Where might energy technology take us? Insights from BP s long-term technology view

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1 Where might energy technology take us? Insights from BP s long-term technology view

2 1 The global context page 2 2 Looking back page Billion toe/yr 3Oil Gas Coal & Lignite Nuclear Solar Biomass Onshore wind Offshore wind Geothermal Ocean Hydro-power Energy resource base page 8 This publication outlines: How technology might extend existing energy resources and unlock new resources to meet global demand through to How new and improved conversion technologies might increase competition within the power and transport sectors. The potential for significant technology breakthroughs in areas such as resource extraction, conversion and storage, which could change the energy landscape. How social, policy and environmental factors might influence the speed and nature of technology development and adoption. 4 Power and transport sectors page 14 5 Social, policy and environmental factors page 20 6 Implications for the oil and gas industry page 22

3 Foreword Where might energy technology take us? Insights from BP s long-term technology view Where might energy technology take us? provides a perspective on future trends in technology and their potential impact on the energy system, using insights from BP s research. This analysis, originally carried out by BP and its research partners in 2005 and refreshed in 2009 and 2013, assesses what lessons can be learned from technology evolution and how they might shape our future energy choices. This publication includes selected highlights from BP s research into the potential future impact of technology across the energy system, from resources to end uses. It focuses on primary energy resources, oil and gas extraction, power generation, transport fuels and vehicle developments. This is an industry-wide assessment of what is technically possible, not a forecast of what is likely to occur, which would involve many other nontechnical and macro-economic inputs. The analysis draws on BP s view of the global energy system reflected in BP Energy Outlook 2035 and BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June Both of these publications have become standard references for those with an interest in the energy industry. The future, of course, is uncertain: the absolute figures in this document are less important than relative comparisons and the long-term trends they might imply. These trends include probable and possible changes in resource availability, conversion and end use, and the implications these may have for decision-makers in government, business and society. 1

4 1 The global context Energy demand continues to grow Energy demand has increased by more than 50% over the past two decades and is projected to grow by more than 40% between 2012 and 2035, based on BP Energy Outlook while nations also seek secure and sustainable energy supplies. All nations want access to secure, affordable and sustainable sources of energy, but these circumstances rarely exist in combination. New technologies have the potential to accelerate and reduce the cost of achieving these goals. 2

5 Section 1 The global context Fossil fuels the consequence of millions of years of solar energy captured by organic matter and concentrated by geological forces have dominated energy supply for more than a century, because of their abundance and cost advantage. Energy markets today are primarily shaped by the properties and characteristics of these fuels. The more energy dense a fuel is, for example, the lower the cost of storage and transportation as a proportion of its wholesale value. Hence the markets for some energy resources, such as coal and liquid hydrocarbons, are global while others are more regional, such as those for natural gas; power is often priced in real time and highly location specific. Over the past few decades, there have been frequent claims that fossil fuel resources will be depleted at rates faster than we can replace them. Coupled with that has been the concern that rising levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases (particularly carbon dioxide), caused by the combustion of fossil fuels, are changing the climate to the detriment of humankind and the natural world. This concern has been recently reinforced in the Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 2 November 2014, which states that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are extremely likely (defined as % certainty) to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The oil and gas industry, however, has demonstrated that concerns about fossil fuel depletion have been overstated, by consistently replacing oil and gas reserves in large part by application of new technologies. Global primary energy consumption by resource type Renewables Billion tonnes of oil equivalent Nuclear Hydroelectricity Gas Oil Coal Source: BP Energy Outlook

6 I R E C T I O N A L D R IL LI N G C ATA LY TIC C R AC K IN G H Y D R AULIC FR AC T URING CO M BINED CYCLE G AS TURBINE Back to contents 2 Looking back 1900s IN T ER N A L C O M B U S TIO N EN GIN E 1930s D 1940s 1950s W IN D P O W ER 1970s 3 D S EIS M IC I M A GIN G 1990s 2000s SHALE GAS REVOLUTION HYBRIDIZ ATION 4

7 I L F U E L S T EC H N U N C O N V EN TIO N A L G A S Section 2 Looking back EN H A N C ED OIL R EC OV ER Y 2005 P ER B A R R EL In 2005 the oil price stood at around $55 per barrel and the Kyoto Protocol had recently come into force. Developments in energy markets are hard to predict, so managing uncertainty is vital In an industry in which capital investments can last for generations, energy companies take uncertainty into account when making long-term investments. Strategic decisions are made and re-evaluated in the knowledge that technology improvements and breakthroughs will emerge and potentially change the energy landscape and our choices. Within the past decade, energy market environments have changed dramatically. In 2005, when BP developed its first long-term technology view, the oil price stood at around $55 per barrel and the Kyoto Protocol had recently come into force. It was reasonable then to foresee a world in which pressures to reduce carbon emissions would increase and where the oil and gas resource base could also be extended, especially through enhanced recovery and unconventional sources, to meet growing demand. It was also reasonable to expect new pathways for the conversion of various energy resources into products. 5

8 Section 2 Looking back Shale and tight gas have become major components of US gas supply, comprising around 40% of US gas production today. T R A N S P O R T S H A L E & TIG H T G A S C R U D E OIL What actually happened? Between 2005 and 2013 the oil price roughly doubled, precipitating significant cost inflation within the industry deepwater-rig rates, for example, almost tripled. New technologies that broaden our options for meeting energy demand have emerged. The emergence of technologies to unlock unconventional resources such as tight oil, shale oil and shale gas economically has raised the possibility of US energy independence and even of it becoming an exporter of crude and/or refined and petrochemical products. Shale and tight gas have become major components of US gas supply, comprising around 40% of US gas production today. Renewables, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind, have continued to grow at a rapid rate, albeit starting from a low base. They are now the fastest-growing energy sources. By 2035 we estimate that renewable energy, excluding large-scale hydro-electricity and the use of biomass in small scale heating and cooking, is likely to meet around 7% of total global primary energy demand, up from 2% today. N U C L E A R Developments in fuels and lubricants technology have contributed to a 1.8%-per-year improvement in global new light-duty vehicle engine efficiency between 2005 and 2011, reducing the litres of gasoline required per 100 kilometres from 8.0 to around 7.2 litres. 1 This trend is continuing through powertrain hybridization and other new technologies across much of the vehicle fleet. Although many areas of the world have national policies on carbon emissions, events, not least the 2008 global financial crisis, and national security concerns have dominated policy-maker attention. Consequently, together with a squeeze on public and private support and investment for alternative energies, policy support for lower-carbon energy globally has not materialized as fast or as strongly as seemed likely 10 years ago. G A S F O S S I L F U E L S S O L A R P V B A S E OIL S H Y D R O P O W E R 1 Source: Fuel Economy State of the World 2014, Global Fuel Economy Initiative. 6

9 Section 2 Looking back L U B RI C A N T S O N S H O R E W F U EL S Developments in fuels and lubricants technology have contributed to a 1.8%-per-year improvement in global new light-duty vehicle engine efficiency between 2005 and IN D What have we learned for the future? Technologies have improved across the board with some, such as solar PV and wind, experiencing extraordinary cost reductions. While there have been major advances in the successful development of large-scale, complex projects such as ultra-deepwater oil exploration and production, it has become clear that learning and expertise can develop faster in smaller-scale, often modular, developments such as onshore shale wells or wind turbines. Major technology breakthroughs, such as those that have occurred in seismic imaging, hydraulic fracturing and floating production, do not occur frequently. When they do, however, their impact as evident in the development of shale gas in the US can be dramatic, enabled by a rare confluence of technology, business and policy support. S H A L E & TIG H T G A S Regional variations are therefore important: the nature, availability, quality and location of energy resources present very different challenges and opportunities for technology to unlock and convert resources to meet demand. Environmental concerns, such as those relating to air quality, have also tended to be regional or local in nature. Many of the environmental mitigation technologies developed and deployed in the past years have been driven by local mandates and emissions standards. T R A N S P O R T Above-ground factors such as government policy, infrastructure, supply chains, markets, public opinion and consumer preferences add more complexity and are significant in determining priorities for technology development and uptake. Public opposition to energy developments such as nuclear power, onshore wind and hydraulic fracturing can make otherwise technically and economically sound choices difficult to implement in some countries. C R U D E OIL N U C L E A R G A S F O S S I L F U E L S S O L A R P B A S P ER B A R R EL

10 3 Energy resource base Energy resources globally in 2050 There are abundant technically accessible resources to meet global energy demand through to t billion Billion toe/yr* * Tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) per year. 8

11 Section 3 Energy resource base As energy demand continues to grow in the decades ahead, getting access to resources will continue to be challenging. Enhancing recovery from existing resources will become increasingly important. 2 Energy Technology Perspectives 2014, International Energy Agency. Energy resources are plentiful BP s analysis indicates that technology could greatly extend the primary energy resource base, with the potential to meet global demand many times over through to 2050 (the International Energy Agency projects global demand in 2050 to be billion tonnes of oil equivalent 2 ). Indeed several resources, including solar and wind, could theoretically (on a global basis) meet all primary demand. But while the technically recoverable potential of some non-fossil resources appears, at first glance, to be attractive and sizeable, fundamental challenges such as energy density, remoteness from centres of demand, access to land, supply-chain constraints, cost disadvantages (particularly relative to established sources), and intermittency mean that only a limited portion is likely to be realized before Unconstrained primary energy resource production potential by region in 2050* Oil Gas Coal OIl Nuclear (uranium) Gas Solar Biomass Onshore wind Coal & Lignite Nuclear Solar Biomass Onshore wind Offshore wind Geothermal Offshore wind Ocean Hydro-power Geothermal Ocean (e.g. wave, tidal, thermal) Hydroelectricity,020 EJ/yr * This represents the energy resource potential per year based on the availability of the underlying source of energy, including locally sourced uranium for nuclear, without reference to economic viability. Fossil and uranium resources have been annualized over a 50-year period for comparison with renewables. Source: BP. 9

12 IS SI G L O B A L G H G E M C A R B O N P O L I C Y Section 3 Energy resource base U N C O N V EN TIO N A L G A S EN H A N C ED OIL R EC OV ER Y T EC H N O LO GY Innovation will help unlock future oil and gas resources In terms of oil and gas, our analysis reveals that there are approximately 45 trillion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) discovered originally in-place, of which only 1.7 trillion boe have been produced to date. The most significant change to the oil and gas resource base over the past 10 years has been the advent of production from shale and tight rock, initially in the US. This has more than doubled the exploitable amount of oil and gas originally in-place, from around 21 to 45 trillion boe. Application of today s best available technologies, coupled with the potential to develop unconventional resources could increase the recoverable oil and gas resource base by around 1.8 trillion boe. Just as the oil and gas industry has successfully met challenges in the past, in the future technology innovation will continue to help access resources economically. Continuous advances in seismic imaging technology, for example, have helped reveal previously undiscovered oil and gas fields, particularly in deep water and below layers of salt, which make it harder to see the characteristics of reservoirs. The shale revolution has been largely made possible by developments in directional and horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing techniques evolved over many years. Application of today s best available technologies, coupled with the potential to develop unconventional resources (including shale resources outside the US), could increase the recoverable oil and gas resource base by around 1.8 trillion boe. While no technology breakthroughs are needed to develop these resources, there are likely to be significant above-ground challenges to overcome. Looking forward to 2050, improvements in recovery factors from new technology developments and the discovery of new oil and gas resources from exploration have the potential to add around another 1.8 and 0.7 trillion boe respectively, over and above the potential from current best-available technologies. This is likely to come from developments in unconventional gas and enhanced oil recovery (EOR), combined with new resources discovered through exploration. Advanced EOR technologies have the largest potential for improving recovery factors for conventional oil. Imaging, well construction and intervention technologies will be key levers for unlocking unconventional oil and gas resources. 10

13 Section 3 Energy resource base Technology impact on additional recovery of oil and gas resources ~2.9tboe Proved reserves ~1.7 tboe Cumulative production (oil and gas) ~1.8tboe Additional recoverable resources with current technology Unconventional gas Enhanced oil recovery Other ~1.8tboe Scope for recovery with future technology ~0.7tboe Yet-to-find resources 10 9 Oil and gas resources (trillion barrels of oil equivalent tboe) Source: BP. Gas Oil Cumulative production (oil and gas) 11

14 Section 3 Energy resource base Technology advances will not only extend supply from existing oil and gas resource types but are also likely to open up new frontiers and enable new oil and gas resource types, such as those in ultra-deepwater and tight gas, to become increasingly cost competitive. This could potentially change the ranking or merit order of investment and development of the different resource types. Our analysis suggests that future technology could reduce today s underlying cost of supply by 20 to 40% across all oil and gas resource types, driven primarily by seismic imaging, new drilling techniques and digital technologies (such as sensors). In securing access to and delivering energy from these resources often found in challenging frontier environments the most basic challenge the industry faces is to produce them safely and reliably. Developments in remote sensing, automated operations and data analytics are already enabling remote and predictable operation, and are also delivering increased operational reliability. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) Once in production, only about 10% of the oil in a reservoir will typically flow to the surface under its own pressure. For decades a technique known as waterflooding has been used to push more of the remaining oil out of the reservoir. With conventional waterflooding the average recovery factor is around 35%, meaning almost two-thirds of the total volume of oil contained within a reservoir is left behind. Clearly, the opportunity to recover more of the oil left in existing reservoirs represents a potentially enormous resource, perhaps even larger than that from new discoveries. The effectiveness of waterflooding can be improved by modifying the water injected into the reservoir, either by changing its ionic composition or by adding chemicals or polymers and surfactants. Maximizing recovery can also be achieved by other EOR technologies, such as carbon dioxide injection, miscible flooding, and vaporization. Extra-heavy oil and oil sands resources require a different set of techniques and technologies such as steam flooding, in-situ combustion or solvent-assisted thermal flooding. Longer term, breakthroughs in microbial and nano-particle technologies could raise recovery factors further. 12

15 Section 3 Energy resource base Seismic imaging Seismic imaging technologies enable exploration that looks deep into the earth s subsurface. These technologies can be used across the whole spectrum of oil and gas resource identification, access and recovery. The emergence of threedimensional seismic imaging during the 1990s had a dramatic impact on oil and gas exploration; in some instances raising exploration success rates from 30% to 50%. Since then, seismic acquisition technologies have advanced to include multi- and wide-azimuth surveys to illuminate the subsurface from different orientations by conducting multiple surveys in different directions over the same area. 4D seismic, which involves executing the same survey over different time periods, plays an increasingly important role today in helping to determine how reservoirs are changing as oil, gas and water move through the subsurface and are produced. These advances have been enabled by rapid increases in cost-effective processing capacity and deep algorithmic expertise to process and interpret vast streams of seismic data. As interest in unconventional tight oil, shale oil and shale gas grows, advances in imaging technologies that improve understanding of subsurface factors and identification of sweet spots will be of real value. Understanding reservoir structure, rock and fluid properties is critical to cost-effective, large-scale developments and to maximizing the recovery of unconventional hydrocarbons. 13

16 4 Power and transport sectors Different resources and conversion technologies might compete BP s analysis also set out to understand how different resources and conversion technologies might compete within key energy markets such as power and transport. 14

17 Section 4 Power and transport sectors L U B RI C A N T S S H A L E & TIG H T G A S S S S S L U B RI C A N T S L U B RI C A N T S O N S H O R E W O N S H O R E W T R A N S P O R T F U EL S The future costs shown in the chart are our expected case in 2010 US dollars. In reality there will be a high low range driven by sensitivities such as variable resource quality, feedstock costs and carbon pricing. The numbers in parentheses opposite show the expected case costs for fossil fuels in 2050 with a carbon price of $40/tonne of CO 2 equivalent. For renewable sources, the cost of intermittency has been excluded. Source: BP. T R A N S P O R T S H A L E & TIG H T G A S F U EL S IN D S H A L E & TIG H T G A S C R U D E OIL IN D C R U D E OIL C LI M AT E C H A N G E Power sector Grid solar 2010 ~$ ~$ ~$60 L U B RI C A N T S O N S H O R E W O N S H O R E W T R A N S P O R T 2050 ~$55 ($70) F U EL S S H A L E & TIG H T G A S F U EL S IN D S H A L E & TIG H T G A S C R U D E OIL IN D C R U D E OIL C LI M AT E C H A N G E New nuclear 2010 ~$ ~$120 New coal 2010 ~$80 T R A N S P O R T T R A N S P O R T S H A L E & TIG H T G A S C R U D E OIL N U C L E A R C R U D E OIL G A S 2050 ~$75 ($110) F O S S I L F U E L S S O L A R P V Onshore wind 2010 ~$ ~$40 Offshore wind 2010 ~$ ~$95 B A S E OIL S H Y D R O P O W E R N U C L E A R In the power sector, which in 2012 accounted for 42% of the world s primary energy demand, gas-fired and coal-fired generation form the backbone of most electricity systems globally. The comparatively low marginal cost of supply of existing gas and coal plants makes it difficult for new entrants to displace these established and mature technologies. Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE 3 ) in North America ($/MWh) T R A N S P O R T New combined cycle gas turbines N U C L E A R G A S F O S S I L F U E L S 2005 S O L A R P V B A S E OIL S H Y D R O P O W E R G A S N U C L E A R F O S S G A S I L F U E L S F O S S I L F U E L S 2005 S O L A R P V S O L A R P V U N C O N V EN TIO N A L G A S U N C O N V EN TIO N A L G A S H B A S E OIL S B A S E OIL S P ER B A R R EL T EC H N O LO GY H EN H A N C ED O T EC H N O LO GY G L G L 2005 EN H A N C ED O T E C H A N G E C LI M C LI M AT E C H A N G E 2005 P ER B A R R EL 3 Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) is represented here as the break-even per-megawatt-hour cost (in real dollars) of building and operating a generating plant over an assumed lifetime. Key inputs to calculating LCOE include capital costs, fuel costs, electrical efficiency, fixed and variable operations and maintenance costs, financing costs, taxation, depreciation and an assumed utilization rate for each plant type. P ER B A R R EL 15

18 B RI C A N Back to contents S H A L E & TIG H T G A S L E A R H Y D R O P Section 4 Power and transport sectors F U EL S S O L A R P V O N S H O R E W IN D BP expects the cost of new onshore wind energy to fall globally by 14% per doubling of capacity. C LI M AT E C H A N G E Because a high proportion of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions typically arise from the power-supply sector, it is an important area of the economy to target emission reductions. Emissions of CO 2 per megawatt hour (MWh) from natural-gas-fired combined-cycle-gas-turbine (CCGT) power stations are less than half of those from coal-fired plants. Consequently, introducing a carbon price that increases the cost of generating electricity from fossil-fuel power plants penalizes coal more than natural gas. As well as enjoying a significant carbon emissions-intensity advantage over coal, gasfired CCGTs also deliver higher efficiency, lower sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ), nitrogen oxides (NO X ) and particulate emissions that adversely impact local air quality. They also require less water and have a significantly smaller physical footprint all important factors in siting power stations near urban areas, particularly where land values are high. T R A N S P O R T C R U D E OIL G A S F O S S I L F U E L S B A S E OIL S The cost of renewable power has been falling and, consistent with past performance, we would expect the costs of onshore wind and grid solar PV to continue to decline, at around 14% and 24% respectively per doubling of installed capacity. The incremental cost of integrating intermittent generation such as wind and solar into 2005 electricity systems should not, however, be overlooked. This is a complex variable that depends on factors such as generation and demand profiles, the scale and variety of the installed generation base (and reserve capacity) and the level of flexibility in the system. P ER B A R R EL This grid integration cost could be comparatively low, at around $10/MWh in a mature system with established reserve capacity and at penetration levels for renewables up to around 20%. The cost is likely to be higher in developing systems and likely to rise as penetration levels rise. Looking at North America this would imply that new-build onshore wind could be competitive with new-build coal before 2020, and with newbuild gas-fired CCGT around Grid solar PV, on the other hand, is unlikely to be competitive with new-build coal or new-build gas-fired CCGT before Introducing policy measures, such as applying a cost to CO 2 emissions, that raise the cost of gas and coal generation, will lower the hurdle for new-build renewables to become cost competitive and bring forward their introduction. In North America it would require a high price of carbon for existing gas-fired and coal-fired plants to be displaced 16

19 Section 4 Power and transport sectors by new-build onshore wind (more than $80/tonne of CO 2 for gas and approximately $40/tonne of CO 2 for coal). Whereas new-build onshore wind is close to being competitive with new-build coal today without a carbon price, it would need a carbon price of more than $40/tonne of CO 2 to compete with a new-build CCGT. Although both gas and coal plants are able to de-carbonize their emissions by installing carbon capture technologies and linking these to underground storage systems, doing so with today s technologies would add significant cost and reduce efficiency. Moreover, carbon capture technologies have yet to be demonstrated at scale. New-build nuclear power is expected to face cost challenges to 2050 and possibly beyond. In addition, the nuclear sector will need to manage other concerns including safety, costs and liabilities for decommissioning nuclear plant and the long-term storage of waste. Onshore wind technology Technology advances in recent years have led to improvements in load factors, availability and resource capture all of which have contributed to significant reductions in the levelized cost of electricity for new-build onshore wind. Increasing the height of towers to accommodate 100-metre-diameter rotor blades, in average wind speeds of 7.5 metres/second, increases the amount of wind energy captured by approximately 20%, compared with similar-sized turbines with smaller blades and lower tower heights. Continued advances in onshore wind technology are expected to occur across a range of elements such as ground base and structure design technologies to support taller towers, and new materials and manufacturing processes to increase blade sizes and reduce failures at higher loads. Improved blade designs will enable construction of larger-scale components with developments in sensors and control systems enabling active aerodynamic control throughout the blade length. Better drive design and improved gearbox reliability, together with prognostic maintenance systems, predictive technologies and active control systems, will further increase turbine reliability and efficiency. In short, plenty of scope remains for wind technology to improve performance and reduce cost. 17

20 Section 4 Power and transport sectors The abundance of crude oil resources could sustain refining as a major source of transport fuels. T R A N S P O R T S H A L E & TIG H T G A S C R U D E OIL Transport sector N U C L E A R BP s analysis examined fuel production and vehicle technologies, including conventional liquid fuels, biofuels, natural gas and electricity. G A S F O S S I L F U E L S S O L A R P V The abundance of crude oil resources could sustain refining as a major source of transport fuels although refineries will have to adapt to changes in crude composition and impurity levels (from nitrogen compounds, mercaptans or metals, for example), which have an impact on processing. BP expects refineries to continue to make incremental improvements in efficiency through the development of conventional technology, with new-build refineries or major upgrades seeking greater efficiency. Global demand for refined products will increase with growth in vehicle ownership in non-oecd countries; OECD demand, however, is expected to decline because of improved vehicle efficiency and the use of alternative fuels. In addition, new engine technologies may encourage changes in product quality, such as higher-octane gasoline fuels. B A S E OIL S H Y D R O P O W E R U N C O N V EN TIO N A L G A S Abundant shale gas may spur implementation of gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies that make liquid fuels and chemicals from natural gas. Although these approaches have been demonstrated at scale, current technology trends suggest they will continue to need low-cost natural gas to compete with refined products. EN H A N C ED OIL R EC OV ER Y T EC H N O LO GY S G L O B A L G H G E Biofuels have the potential to make more headway into the transport fuel market. Brazilian sugarcane ethanol can already compete economically with fossil fuels. In 2005 many other regions, however, further ethanol growth is limited by a combination of sustainability concerns, inconsistent regulation, and engine or fuelling infrastructure constraints. Other sources of biofuels are expensive, although ligno-cellulosic ethanol (which is made by the de-polymerization and fermentation of energy grasses, wood or agricultural residues) has significant potential. To achieve cost parity (on an energy basis) with fossil fuels in the US and other temperate regions, biofuels are likely to need some form of policy/fiscal support for at least a decade or two. P ER B A R R EL 18

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