The Role of Technology in Modern International Oil and Gas Exploration Strategies
Wolfgang E. Schollnberger, Ronald A. Nelson, 2000. "The Role of Technology in Modern International Oil and Gas Exploration Strategies", International Oil and Gas Ventures: A Business Perspective, George E. Kronman, Don B. Felio, Thomas E. O’Connor, Mindy S. Kronman
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In the last 20 years, major U.S. oil and gas companies and some larger independents have dramatically changed their exploration focus from a dominantly U.S. focus to one dominated by international opportunities. This shift required creation of more new exploration strategies than were necessary in the more traditional U.S.-based programs. During the last 10 years, these new internationally focused exploration strategies were driven in part by rapidly evolving new technology. Technology advances and the availability of those advances allowed the exploration companies to find new opportunities in well-established basins and to move to less-established basins where they could be involved in large portions of the value stream available to the energy business.
Although various strategies were used by different companies, those technology-driven international exploration strategies that were prevalent in the 1990s contained new and unique strategic elements and tactics. These include (1) risk analysis, (2) learning to access newly advancing technologies rapidly and deploy them promptly to find economic reserves, (3) technical alliances with other exploration and service companies, (4) partnering with national oil companies, and (5) playing the “technical niche role.” Examples of the use of these technology-driven strategic elements and how they have driven specific international exploration opportunities are presented. Funding and directing technology development and future trends of innovation round out the subjects covered in this paper.
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A “one-stop” business view on how to succeed in international exploration and production. Success in the international upstream arena requires more than the technical ability to find oil and gas. Relationships with governments and people, mutually beneficial contracts, workable strategies, and implementation plans are necessary to build strong, mutually beneficial, and profitable ventures. Key components that drive exploration and production in the global environment are examined. Specific topics include negotiating for success, contracts, the role of technology in international strategies, cross-cultural relationships, alliances, and international upstream financing. Authors from around the world, representing industry, governments, national oil companies, consultants, and academia, contributed their perspectives. Views are provided from both sides of the negotiating table, the corporate boardroom, the resident manager, the explorationist, the businessman, and the theoretician. Geoscientists, engineers, and negotiators, who are, or would like to be, involved in the global energy business will find this collection an important reference.