More than 4800 oil and gas professionals gathered at the 83d Annual EAGE Exhibition and Conference in Madrid in June of 2022, under the banner of “Leading the Geosciences in a New Era”. U3 Explore was represented by founder Katya Casey and contributing geoscientist Carlos Giraldo. It was the best-attended hybrid event we experienced in 2021-2022, and indeed may have been the largest in-person industry event since the onset of the pandemic three years ago.
Talks, panel discussions, vendor presentations, and exhibition covered a wide range of themes, with U3 Explore’s Carlos Giraldo delivering a talk: "Neogene structural evolution along the southern Gulf of Mexico (Campeche sub-basin)." You can review the summary of the presentation following this link on U3Explore.com
The Energy Transition was, of course, the crux of the “New Era” of the conference banner, and was probably foremost in everyone's mind as they prepared to attend early in the year, but inevitably current events in Europe overshadowed the meeting, bringing energy security challenges to the forefront.
One of the interesting aspects of the way that the meeting was set up was that four “Forum” Sessions focused on the role of geoscience during the energy transition. The purpose of these sessions was to supplement the technical program with a series of moderated conversations between industry leaders, aiming to bridge the gap between strictly scientific topics and the most pressing broader challenges affecting geoscientists and engineers in the field. Although this offered the promise and opportunity of a wide-ranging set of discussions addressing social and professional issues on a very wide scale, it was, unfortunately, a missed opportunity as almost without exception the panelists expressed their personal and individual corporate views, approaches, and plans, with much talk of "pivoting" and "holistic, integrated solutions" within their respective companies. They largely failed, however, to take an actual holistic or communitarian perspective on the changing technological, societal, or employment landscape, and the options to discuss other sectors where the skillsets developed in the oil and gas industry over the past three or four decades could be deployed were passed over. Panelists couldn't answer the question - "How do we encourage "the pull” on G&G skills from Oil and Gas by the new sectors, or how do we develop it in areas where it is not yet seen?"
Other general observations from technical and forum sessions:
- IOCs and NOCs have different perceptions of the future of #exploration for Hydrocarbons, and while IOCs are planning flat budgets for exploration and developing opportunities in areas where they are currently active, NOCs are pursuing growth.
- Exploration now is regarded as a part and not a victim of the energy transition, at least within the industry. The value of exploration is integrated into the asset lifecycle.
- Operators have a long-term strategy for the existing producing assets, which includes mineral mining from the fluids and #carbonsequestration
- Carbon storage projects require the identification and characterization of large volumes for permanent subsurface carbon sequestration. Illuminating offshore targets with commercial storage capacity will drive seismic acquisition business.