Oil and Gas Companies Are Facing Major Technological Disruption

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Our Energy Mainly from Fossil Fuels

The world derives more than 80% of its energy from fossil fuel. Due to the threat of climate change, society is urging the $5 trillion energy industry to develop cleaner ways to generate power. Since 2008, the value of the world’s largest power suppliers has halved.

These companies are striving to redefine themselves. Statoil, a Norwegian energy giant, aims to become the world’s “most carbon-efficient oil and gas producer.” It has created the first offshore carbon-capture storage plant, which strips carbon dioxide from extracted gas and pumps it below the Earth’s surface, where it remains stored for perpetuity.

“Although technologies to extract fossil fuels may have changed over the decades, the core products themselves have never been challenged – until now.”

Renewable Energy

Many communities are turning to renewable energy. Wildpoldsried, a village in Germany, generates a mix of solar and biogas power that produces more energy than the village needs. Securing a steady supply of renewable energy that powers the grid even when the sun isn’t shining requires an energy storage system. Sonnen, a local start-up, has built the world’s first residential storage batteries, which allow villagers to store excess energy for later use, to supply one another with power via a smart energy grid and to become more self-sufficient.

“By embracing…alternative technologies now, forward-thinking oil and gas companies might just be able to withstand the disruption caused by the renewable revolution.”

Germany is home to almost 1,000 energy cooperatives, which are challenging the nation’s traditional energy companies. Between 2008 and 2016, Eon, once a monopoly, saw its share price fall by more than 75%. Thus, Eon decided to embrace the renewable revolution. But rather than just concentrating on generating power from renewables, Eon has spotted an opportunity to manage these diverse sources of power on an industrial scale. As millions of energy production and consumption sites will feed into the grid, the complex system will require skilled management. To fill this need, Eon is entering into a broad range of partnerships. For example, Eon and Statoil are collaborating on the Arkona offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, where Statoil has constructed the world’s first full-scale floating windmill, a turbine that industry can mass-produce faster and cheaper than existing fixed windmills. Special software stabilizes the tower in all weather conditions and optimizes power production by letting the turbine’s blades adapt to the direction of the wind. These movable, efficient turbines may be the future of wind power.

Fossil fuel giants Exxon and Shell are also investing in battery, biofuel, solar and wind power. They hope that if they embrace alternative energy now, they can weather the disruption of the energy industry.

It’s a battle for survival, so, it either those energy giant adapt or die.

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