1. Although the current global oil reserves in place are estimated at 14 trillion barrels, only about 1.2 trillion can be recovered, said Khaled Al Buraik, executive director of the government-controlled Saudi Aramco. However, in the near future new oil technology will enable 2 trillion barrels to be accessed.
“Advanced technology in hydrocarbon production could add around two trillion barrels to the existing proven crude reserves in the near future,” he said in his address, published by Saudi newspapers on Monday. 10.8 trillion barrels of oil would still await better technology to make them recoverable.
The plan is to construct ‘cities’ more than 2,000 metres under water, containing machines, giant pieces of equipment and robots that could inspect the systems being used to extract millions of barrels of oil. Many operations would be fully automated while others would be controlled by humans at a distance.
“Our target is that we won’t need platforms in ten years from now,” said Carlos Tadeu Fraga, executive manager of the Petrobras Research Centre.
Petrobras already owns virtual reality laboratories where engineers can inspect 3D images of oil fields. But now they want to take a further technological leap by installing floating rig equipment on the sea bed.
The machinery under the sea would be capable of separating oil, gas, water and sand, compressing substances and generating enough energy to keep the operation functioning.
Petrobras will take the first step in turning its plans into reality when it installs machines to separate water and oil in the Marlim oil field in the Campos Basin.
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