Global energy leaders at a 2015 Offshore Technology Conference session believe that opportunities abound in six energy hot spots around the globe. The panel of leaders shared opportunities as well as potential challenges that lie in the world’s ripest countries for energy. Leaders from the countries of Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, the United States and Vietnam shared their respective countries’ recent stories of success, policy changes and investment possibilities.
Instituto Brasileiro de Petroleo (IBP) president Joao Carlos De Luca identified Brazil as “one of the most attractive regions for exploration in the world,” citing the country’s 29 sedimentary basins, high geological potential in the extraordinary pre-salt area and in other sedimentary basins and exploration and production investments of more than $30 billion per year. The challenge for Brazil, De Luca noted, is improving business attractiveness for investors.
“Global energy demand will increase by 37 percent in 2040 … today North America has a big role to play, not only in supplying our energy needs, but the rest of the world,” Murray Coolican, deputy minister of energy, Province of Nova Scotia, told the audience.
He shared that Canada is the largest supplier of crude oil and petroleum products to the United States. Opportunities in Canada lie within the Arctic, estimated to hold one of the largest remaining untapped gas reserves, the LNG potential and Nova Scotia’s advantage over British Columbia and the Gulf of Mexico. Coolican said with the current strength of the U.S. dollar, it’s an excellent time to invest in Canada.
Ir. I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja, minister of energy and mineral resources for the Republic of Indonesia, shared the vision for a country made up of more than 17,000 islands in which “only two islands are bright at night.” Wiratmaja highlighted three shifting paradigms in the new government for Indonesia as:
- energy as commodity to energy as the driver for economic growth
- energy following people to people following energy
- pollution to green energy
Challenges for Indonesia include moving exploration and production in the east side of the country which currently consists of deep water and high currents.
“Three of our last discoveries were in the ocean – a deep water region,” said Wiratmaja. “Indonesia is maritime and we have more ocean than land, so offshore development is key.”
Noting that Mexico’s resources are vast and diverse and variability must be taken into account, Dr. Edward Rangel-German, of the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), shared information about the country’s recent energy reform, specifically constitutional amendments articles 25, 27 and 28.
“This is the most significant overhaul of the energy sector in this country in more than half a century: a truly major, better-than-expected reform,” said Rangel-German. “Forty-nine companies are interested in exploration in Mexico; 23 companies are interested in extraction in Mexico – so that’s a positive that there is legitimate interest.”
As the world’s largest producer of hydrocarbons, Chandra Brown of the United States Department of Commerce, told attendees she felt optimistic about the upward trajectory in how the United States is expected to increase production in the future. Brown shared that despite the downturn, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects strong growth – from being a net importer of natural gas to a net exporter of natural gas.
“There are huge swings in development and opportunity,” she said. “The education, people, innovation and productivity resources are all advantages for the United States.”
H.E. Pham Quang Vinh, ambassador of Vietnam to the United States, shared that the United States has invested $11 billion in Vietnam. In 40 years of operation and development in oil and gas in Vietnam, the country has produced more than 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil. One of the challenges Vinh addressed was the need for Vietnam to import 70 percent of refined products.