WHAT ENERGY FUTURE AFTER THE WORLD OIL PRODUCTION

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WHAT ENERGY FUTURE AFTER THE WORLD OIL PRODUCTION PEAK?
This EAGE Student Lecture for 2009-2010 will present three subjects which at first view
could seem only loosely connected, but which in fact attempt to present a consistent and
credible view of the long term world energy future.
The first subject will be a reminder of how the “world energy system” has in fact worked
during the last fifty years or so: a system regulated both in quantitative terms and in price
terms by oil. It will be shown how this system itself became regulated by OPEC since
the mid-seventies, and that in fact Saudi Arabia regulated OPEC. The resulting question
of this first part is: can such a system continue when two major new constraints are
developing – peak oil and climate change – more or less simultaneously, with both
having closely interrelated consequences.
In a second part this lecture will summarize what is really known about these two
constraints, and what can be our guesses as far as their medium and long term influences
are concerned. Will the peak be a short or a long plateau, and what could the world oil
production decline curve look like? What changes in fossil fuel future production and
future prices could be triggered by the climate change constraint? These are the basic
questions.
In a third and last part an original view of the world energy long term future will be
proposed for further reflection. This view is based on the idea that oil, gas, coal and
nuclear will become increasingly interrelated and that in particular the oil industry and
the nuclear industry will develop strong synergies. The basis for such a view is that the
oil industry itself will need more and more energy, whether heat or electricity, and more
and more hydrogen: if carbon emissions constraints become important, as we believe
they will, then the oil industry should use more and more non-CO2 emitting sources for
its own energy and hydrogen requirements. Heat and hydrogen should therefore be
increasingly produced thanks to nuclear. By way of example, it will be shown how the
automobile industry could adjust to this process.
In conclusion a somewhat paradoxical vision of the long term energy future will be
presented, highlighting that peak oil and climate change will trigger major developments
for the oil industry. However, this future should be a “golden age” for the oil industry
with an ever increasing “brain content” per barrel. If this view is correct, students should
favor joining the oil industry if they wish to enjoy challenging but fascinating careers.
Full name
: Pascal Breton
Current position : Head of higher education relations for
geosciences
Biography
Employment History
TOTAL
2007-today : Head of higher education relations for geosciences
2003-2007 : “Reservoir geophysics methods” team leader: seismic characterization and
contribution to reservoir modeling (methods, R&D, Know-how, training, 3G integration,
study adviser…)
2000-2003 : “Calibration and vision around the well” team leader: Time-depth
conversion / seismic-to-well tie / seismic modeling and interpretation guide/ Seismic
feasibility and processing QC/ Borehole seismic acquisition and processing.
Elf Aquitaine
1999-2000 : Well Management R&D project : head of borehole measurement for well
steering
1995-1998 : “Senior geophysicist: petroelastic, AVO and lithoseismic interpretation
guide…
1991-1995 : Junior geophysicist: borehole seismic acquisition, processing, expertise
1989-1991 : Head of Mururoa seismic network (CEA / French Polynesia)
Education
1989
: Geophysicist Engineer degree (Strasbourg, France)
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2
Student Lecture Tour
Europe 2009-2010
What Energy Future after the
World Oil Production Peak?
Prof. Pierre-René Beauquis
Total Professeurs Associés
Mr Jean-Marie Masset
Total Professeurs Associés
Mr Roland Geoffrois
Total Professeurs Associés
Dr Philippe Julien
Total
Mr Pascal Breton
Total
Mr Pierre Mauriaud
Total
www.eage.org
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