Industry at large

BOEMRE funding. BP’s Energy Outlook. Calvert on SEC reform. Grant Thornton on upstream. P2ES NAPE survey. Prophet reputation survey. Trace anti-bribery. Shell’s Energy Scenarios. IBM Watson.

President Obama has requested $358.4 million (a 50% hike) to fund the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement in fiscal year 2012. The budget is designed to implement organizational and regulatory reforms in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The report from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill noted that the agency has been ‘historically and dramatically underfunded.’ The hike will be partially offset by $65 million in fees charged to industry.

The latest edition of BP’s Energy Outlook is the first the company has made public. Energy Outlook (EO) complements BP’s Statistical Review with a projection of future energy trends out to 2030. EO sees little deviation from the current trends in CO2 emissions—something of a ‘wake up call’ to BP CEO Bob Dudley. The report sees energy use as flat in the OECD but rising sharply in line with population and growing economies elsewhere. . Overall energy use is to grow by 40%. Coal oil and natural gas remain by far the predominant fuel sources. Oil’s share in the mix continues to decline and is replaced by natural gas and, to a lesser extent, by renewables.

Calvert Asset Management is pressing the SEC to implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act so that oil, gas and mining companies intensify their disclosure efforts in countries with poor governance, weak rule of law and high levels of corruption.

Grant Thornton LLP’s ninth annual Survey of Upstream US Energy Companies found a bullish outlook for employment levels in 2011. Fallout from the Macondo well is likely to spark a 10% or greater hike in Gulf of Mexico drilling costs.

P2 Energy Solutions’ informal survey of attendees at the 2011 NAPE Expo found that commodity prices were the number one concern followed by a ‘chorus of unhappy voices about politics and government policies.’ Concerns about drilling equipment and field supplies came in third. Fourth was the ‘challenge of hiring good people.’

Prophet ‘s annual Corporate Reputation study saw former high flyer BP tumble in the face of the Gulf oil spill. BP fell from number 78 to the very bottom of the ranking at 145. On the tech side, Sony moved up to No. 5, ahead of Amazon (9) and Apple (13). Google, however, slid to 28 from 10. The oil and gas industry overall saw a 10-point drop. ConocoPhillips was its high performer with a ranking of 127.

Trace International has launched an anti-bribery specialist accreditation program, a framework for anti-bribery compliance training and certification—links/1103_32.

Shell’s Energy Scenarios look ahead to 2050 by which time global energy demand could triple from its 2000 level. While improvements in energy efficiency could moderate demand by 20% and supply growth could bring a 50% production hike. This leaves a 400 EJ/a gap—roughly the size of the whole industry in 2000. This ‘Zone of Uncertainty’ will be bridged by ‘some combination of extraordinary demand moderation and extraordinary production acceleration.’ I.e. it will be either a zone of extraordinary opportunity or extraordinary misery!

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence has an informative article1 on how IBM’s Watson was built. Last month Watson won out over human competition on the popular Jeopardy quiz show. Watson’s motor, IBM’s DeepQA architecture uses the open source Apache Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA), Hadoop big data analytics and RDP data sources (see also Heaton Research2).



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