World Petroleum Congress: ExxonMobil’s Tillerson Confident in Partnership with Russia

June 18, 2014

Seeking an efficient response to energy challenges of the 21st century requires a focus on three key areas: deepwater production, unconventional resources and development of the Arctic, ExxonMobil Chairman, President and CEO Rex Tillerson told participants of the World Petroleum Congress being held this week in Moscow.

Speaking about the long-term energy outlook, Tillerson noted that by 2040 increases in population, along with growing trade and development would spur global energy demand by about 30 percent. “To put that number in perspective, it would be like adding more than the combined current energy demand of Russia and India, all of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. We must also recognize that the vast majority of this growth in population and energy demand will take place in developing economies. These fundamental facts mean that every discussion of energy policy has a humanitarian dimension,” the executive added.

Tillerson also quoted the latest energy poverty figures, which suggest that 20 percent of global population still have no access to electricity and two out of five people on the planet must rely on biomass such as wood, charcoal or animal waste for their basic cooking and eating needs, which has far-reaching consequences for their health and quality of life.

Dealing with these issues, he stressed, would require a pursuit of “all sources of energy wherever and whenever they are economically competitive,” simultaneously addressing the issue of wise environmental stewardship.

According to Tillerson, over the last three decades alone ExxonMobil has taken on deepwater and ultra deepwater challenges, developed new techniques to unlock unconventional oil and natural gas, and continued to expand on its historic achievements in the Arctic and subarctic to provide the energy the world needs. “These new sources of energy and our technological advances and performance have in turn powered the global economy, helped nations progress and improve the individual lives and futures of hundreds of millions of people,” he said.

Many things have changed over time, but the need to conquer new frontiers remained, pushing oilmen to use more sophisticated tools and rely on innovations as they continued to tap new hydrocarbon reserves. “One of our industry’s most extraordinary advances has been in deep water. Advanced technologies have enabled unprecedented offshore exploration and production. Only a generation ago, my generation of engineers was working with slide rulers and drafting tables and hand drawings. Geoscientists were hand-interpreting seismic shoots. Today, of course, we use high-speed, sophisticated computers to find resources, design rigs that can operate in water depths of more than 10,000 feet, drilling wells that extend five miles below the ocean floor – something I never would have dreamed of when I began my career,” Tillerson said.

As a result, ExxonMobil projects a 150-percent deepwater oil production growth in 2010-2040, while deepwater contributions to global liquids supplies are slated to rise from 6 percent to 12 percent.

Touching upon the subject of unconventionals, Tillerson noted that in less than a decade the modern energy map has been redrawn by technological