The future of offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production was the subject of a round-table discussion of ARPEL
Montevideo hosted the round table “Best practices in offshore exploration and production in times of crisis,” organized by the Regional Association of Oil, Gas and Biofuels Sector Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARPEL) and the World Petroleum Council (WPC).
Almost a third of the oil and a fourth of the natural gas consumed in the world come from underwater areas, and forecasts show a continued growth of production in traditional offshore regions and a significant development in new areas.
In the current global context of low oil prices, international experts discussed the strategies and methodologies for the economic viability and sustainability of offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production over time.
The President of ANCAP, José Coya, stated that “for some years now, Uruguay has developed an energy policy that I would like to highlight because, in addition to being a policy driven and directed from the Ministry of Industry, it has also been very participatory, understood and applied fully by political sectors and political parties. Therefore, I would like to highlight that this approach has enabled ANCAP to start these activities, in the case of oil exploration, in a much more rational and shared manner.”
“In ANCAP we seek to spearhead this activity so that it is definitely consolidated in Uruguay. In fact, we are in a very advanced stage. In the first half of the coming year, we will surely undertake very good offshore and onshore activities in Uruguay. This is extremely important to us because it promotes the need to continue to think that these activities are extremely important to our companies,” he said.
“Regional and global integration in these issues is absolutely fundamental,” Coya concluded.
The Executive Secretary of ARPEL, Jorge Ciacciarelli, said that in the scenario of low prices, cooperation among companies and between companies and governments is the way to achieve greater efficiency in operations and management, and therefore, to transform the current situation into an opportunity. At the same time, cooperation is key to maintaining the activity in the region since the commitment to energy security, with social equity and environmental sustainability, are long-term projects.”
On the other hand, the Director General of the World Petroleum Council, Pierce Riemer, stated that no other industry works in the extensive time horizons as the oil and gas industry. “We know that the population is increasing and that energy intensity is increasing. We know that a good part of the world's population needs energy and we are helping many people out of poverty," he said.
“We have our critics and we all know that we are not perfect, but we are extremely good at what we do. We are essential to modern life. We are responsible for economic growth, as we have been for more than 150 years and we will continue to be in the next 100 years. Without energy, there is no growth, there is no progress and, therefore, there is no social progress,” Riemer underlined.
The round table was attended by representatives of ANCAP, Total E&P do Brasil, ExxonMobil, Brazilian Institute of Oil, Gas and Biofuel, Schlumberger, Embraer, Accenture, Center for Offshore Safety, and the World Petroleum Council.
The closing ceremony was presided by the Vice President of Membership of the WPC, Pedro Baridón, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ARPEL, Benito Piñeiro.
The round table was one of the cornerstones of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of ARPEL, an association founded on October 2, 1965 as a vehicle for cooperation and mutual assistance among oil and gas companies operating in Latin America and the Caribbean, which aims to promote the pursuit of operational excellence in the sector.
ARPEL currently has 31 member companies, which represent over 90% of the operations in the region, and brings together more than 300 professional delegates from those companies who share knowledge and experiences in seven Technical Committees.
ARPEL and WPC will continue to work jointly to promote cooperation and integration in Latin America and the Caribbean.