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.
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
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
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
We can witness certain distortions in the energy