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24

OPEC bulletin 8–9/17

F o r u m

countries consuming LNG (from 18 to 32 in ten years),

with the associated construction of regasification termi-

nals and gas-supplying infrastructure.

This number may increase further. This is not only due

to the climate agenda, but also due to the development

of such technologies as floating regasification terminals,

which can actually be driven to any remote area. There

are projects where such terminals will not only regasify,

but also immediately consume gas for power generation

and water desalinization. Thus, prerequisites are created

to solve a great number of problems for developing coun-

tries, in terms of improving access to energy supplies.

The proliferation of electric vehicles continues to

influence global energy.

According to BP’s current forecasts, the number of

electric vehicles on our planet will increase 50 fold —

from two million to 100m — within the next 20 years (by

2035). And according to Bloomberg calculations, it will

remove from themarket up to 1.4mbarrels of oil/day. This

will quicken with the likely emergence of budget-friendly

electric vehicles in Asia-Pacific countries and Europe.

However, taking into account active sales tax equal-

ization for cars with electric and petrol engines and

demand saturation, the rate of electric vehicle propaga-

tion will decrease.

Electric vehicles will find their niche and coexist with

petrol cars for a long time. Naturally, the spread of the

use of electric vehicles may be significantly influenced

by national energy policies and new breakthroughs in

energy acquisition technologies.

Energy technologies

Everyone is familiar with the shale revolution both in

the gas and oil industries. The optimization of produc-

tion processes, the development of horizontal drilling

technologies and the improvement of hydraulic fractur-

ing made it possible to drill deeper, further, quicker and

more efficiently.

This process is also continuing — ‘Big Data’ or

machine learning in our sector may lead to higher optimi-

zation, and the reduction of costs and downtimes, which

will make more oil available for consumers. Digitalization

in this sector will enable more precise collector mode-

ling and equipment attrition planning, without storing

extra inventory and spare parts in the field, as well as

the quicker drilling and transportation of drilling rigs.

Nowadays some companies already use smartphone

applications to control drilling. It means that you can

actually text your wife, order a pizza and browse the game

score of your favourite soccer team all while continuing

to lay a two-kilometre deep side track.

In the power industry, we can also witness a rapid

development in technologies. Nets are becoming

‘smarter’ — smart grids are being introduced everywhere,

the share of distributed generation is on the rise, new

power transmission technologies, such as wireless trans-

mission (via air), and the use of superconductors etc, are

being tested.

The use of renewable energy sources is also con-

tinually being perfected, and it can compete with tradi-

tional power generation in terms of price, though it is still

actively supported by subsidies.

Nuclear power plant technologies are being upgraded

successfully, particularly those that operate in the closed

nuclear fuel cycle.

The development of such technologies requires a new

level of collaboration between scientific teams, manu-

facturing, and governmental structures. In this context,

it is possible to maintain competitiveness only by joining

forces with like-minded people. The new era may become

the epoch of energy prosperity, or if we are not prepared

for constructive cooperation, it may leave many with only

secondary roles to play.

Geopolitics and artificial barriers

The energy of the future will depend not only on funda-

mental values and technologies. The most important

factor for sustainable development is the unrestricted

development of trade relationships, with crossflows of

capital and technologies and collective research and

development activities. Clear, transparent and fair rules

of the game are required; otherwise politics can become

a serious barrier for growth.

For example, very often we face artificial barriers for

infrastructure development and artificial preferences to

certain energy sources and suppliers.

Three years ago, at the World Petroleum Congress in

Moscow, we warned about the possibility of such risky

action, in particular with respect to the European gas

market. We can see uncovered sabotage of economi-

cally justified and consumer-attractive infrastructure

projects, interference in the commercial relationships

of companies, preferences to certain transit countries,

contrary to commercial common sense and transit safety

considerations.

We can witness certain distortions in the energy