BGS Group interviewed Olivier Benyessaad, Head of Business Development at DORIS Engineering, on some burning upstream industry issues. By the way, Olivier has joined EPOCH of Sustainability and will speak within the Business Program session: growing demand for gas as a step to sustainable future.

oli.jpgOlivier Benyessaad
Head of Business Development
DORIS Engineering

Topic: Monetization of small or isolated gas reserves: new business models & technical solutions

Here's what we've discovered:

How do you evaluate the role of natural gas in terms of environmental regulations?

Natural gas will be an energy of transition. As gas is still a strong CO2 emitter, it needs to be considered as a good solution to make the transition between our current carbon world toward a carbon free world. However, considering its immediate impact, Liquefied Natural Gas used as a fuel is seen as a great opportunity to reduce not only CO2 emission but as well NOx and SOx that are particularly present in the transportation industry (ships and trucks).

What are the key points to keep a workforce inspired and efficient?

People are more and more looking for a meaningful work. Having a direct impact on the company or even better, having a role impacting the society itself is a must to keep people proactive. Companies need to define and respect the values they are committed to and involve the overall workforce in the current social and environmental challenges. More pragmatically, defining clear objectives while letting the teams proposing ways of achieving them is a great manner to empower the people and consolidate team spirit.

Which regions do you consider the most promising in the upstream industry?

For Offshore activities: Brazil seems to continue to be the leader in terms of offshore floating developments. West Africa with Angola, Senegal, and Mauritania is as well an active region for offshore developments that should continue to grow on both gas and oil sides. Nigeria, that is still a promising country, could be impacted by the new national policies and be less attractive for large developments.

What are the most important factors in keeping exploration and production sustainable?

E&P will remain sustainable only if: Oil & Gas demand continue to grow; CO2 footprint can be tracked and reduced as low as possible; Profitability of projects is still reaching operating companies expectation. 

Do you think that digital technologies are capable of playing the main role in making businesses greener?

Operating companies can definitely save money, increase their profit and improve both human and environmental safety by adopting efficiently digital technologies. However, digital technologies are all about having a better control or understanding on assets or supply chain. It allows then to limit carbon and other toxic emissions, that is a good start, but it is very unlikely to make E&P industry a green business. The best we could expect from digital tools is a reasonable reduction of energy consumption and related emission to produce a given amount of oil or gas that is directly related to production efficiency and availability improvement. Transforming our industry into a greener industry will necessitate much more effort on the « physical world » by thinking development plans straight from the beginning with a limited environmental impact by using more efficient technologies, use electrical power when possible, combine with renewable energies, reinject CO2 for storage and enhanced oil recovery and many other aspects that are quite independent from digitalization efforts.

Do you agree the upstream has either a sustainable future or no future at all?

The upstream industry is currently under transformation. From Oil to Gas, then from Gas to Renewables, many transformations will take place in the coming years and most of the operating companies have already acquired shares or the totality of renewable energy companies. Upstream companies are now becoming more and more energy companies providing assets and services for the complete Energy spectrum. All the companies will have to look to their new balance now that will not be about producing oil or gas but providing energy.

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