Collaboration and cooperation stressed at conference

Dr. Anita Arduini in Beijing

Dr. Anita Arduini, Program Director for CMC, recently attended the 6th International Petroleum Technology Conference in Beijing, China co-hosted by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and ExxonMobil. She wrote this blog about her experience.


The 6th International Petroleum Technology Conference attracted over 3500 delegates from 60 countries with its theme of “Challenging Technology and Economic Limits to Meet the Global Energy Demand”.

The conference started with a CEO plenary session with comments from executives of CNPC, Royal Dutch Shell, Saudi Aramco, Baker Hughes and Woodside Energy Ltd. It was stated that traditional fossil fuels will continue to play a dominant role in the world’s energy mix, but new sources of energy will play an increasing role particularly unconventional oil and gas. Many of these new sources of energy will be found in challenging areas such as deep water and the Arctic. The cost of developing these resources is increasing.

Collaboration is necessary

All executives stressed that collaborations and partnerships are necessary for the development of the energy industry. No one company can do it alone anymore because the scale and cost of the projects are so large. Zhou Jiping, President of CNPC, stated that “We need international technological cooperation in an innovative manner to achieve mutual benefits and win-win outcomes”.

An example of an area for co-operation is in the development of China’s shale gas resources. While it was stated that by 2020, the portion of non-fossil energy is expected to reach 15% of China’s primary energy mix, there was no further discussion of alternative energy systems. The focus of the conference was definitely fossil fuel.

Social license to operate important

Questions from the delegates to the participants in the plenary session were focused around environmental impacts and interactions with communities. There was recognition that the “social license to operate” depended on continually improving the industry’s environmental performance along with effective communication with all partners. Industry needs to form partnerships with groups that it hasn’t been well connected with in the past.

The technical program of the conference consisted of over 600 papers presented in both technical sessions and in “ePoster” presentations. The “ePoster” format is being tried for the first time at this conference. The posters are displayed on 40 screens set up in the corridors of the conference centre. At specific times, authors of the posters are present to give mini-presentations. As well, delegates are able to access the ePosters at the stations thoughout the conference. The advantage of this system is that more information can be offered than is normally placed on a paper poster.