US$4tr Caspian challenges Mid East offshore operators
Middle East Workboats & Offshore Marine 2013, the region’s leading event for workboat operators, builders and equipment suppliers, marks its return to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from September 30-October 2 2013, with a ‘regional power hour’ on the opening afternoon of the show.
Chairing the session is Roy Donaldson, chief operating officer, Topaz Marine, which has more than 60 offshore support vessels operating in the Caspian region.
“The key to success is operating a young, diverse and well-equipped fleet that can stand up to the challenge of working in diverse environmental conditions,” said Donaldson. “For example, if one simply considers water levels, in Azerbaijan where the IOC’s operate in water depths of between 150 to 1,000 metres the fleet consists of medium to large PSV’s and AHTS.
“Whereas in the Kashagan field, water depths are as low as two metres hence there is a requirement for specialised barges and shallow-water tugs. In Kazakhstan there is also a requirement for ICE Class assets whereas in other areas of the Caspian there is no significant sea ice.”
Emma Howell of Middle East Workboats & Offshore Marine 2013 added: “The Caspian region is so complex that it continues to provide challenges to offshore operators, from geopolitical issues and bureaucracy to 80-degree temperature swings, vessel modification and risk management.
“Yet the rewards are significant, capex spending is estimated to reach US$55 billion between 2015 and 2020 and the region is estimated to hold over 200 billion barrels of crude alone worth US$4 trillion.”
Other leading industry experts that will join the panel include Zamig Ismayilov, chief operations officer, Caspian Marine Services Limited; Dan Lewis, regional marine authority/marine manager, AGT BP Marine; and John Scott, sales manager, Polarcus DMCC.
According to energy analyst Infield Systems, the Caspian region is still one of the key drivers of offshore capex and expects a 33% increase in the Middle East and Caspian over 2011-15 compared to 2006-10, or an increase of US$10 billion to approximately US$39.9 billion.
Development of the region's oil resources has been led by three major projects: Tengiz and Karachaganak (in Kazakhstan), and Azerbaijan's Azeri, Chirag, and deepwater Gunashl (ACG) field.
Combined, these three projects were producing roughly 30% of the regional total with total capital expenditure of US$38 billion over the five years to 2015, which is set to increase to US$55 billion for the following five years.
Current estimates indicate that, in addition to huge gas deposits, the Caspian basin may hold as much as 200 billion barrels of oil – 33 times the estimated holdings of Alaska's North Slope and a current value of US$4 trillion. It is enough to meet the United States' energy needs for 30 years or more.
This year’s event line-up also includes the inaugural Saudi Aramco Global Workboat Technology Forum, on October 1 at which international experts will present a series of technical papers on industry agenda-leading topics, with dynamic positioning (DP) capability and systems development dominating the final day’s debate on October 2.
Middle East Work Boats & Offshore Marine 2013 has already signed up more than 165 exhibitors for this year’s event which will offer business and social networking both in the conference sessions and on the exhibition floor. Exhibitors for the 2013 edition include ABS, Etihad Ship Building, IRSHAD, Stanford Marine and Topaz Energy and Marine.