Offshore Energies Magazine - Issue 55 Spring 2023

cargo swaps. "Our strong balance sheet allows us to take risks. We expect EU imports will be higher this year than last. We are entering now a new world where energy costs are high and we need to not only invest more upstream but also consume less," TotalEnergies said announcing its 2022 results. CEO Patrick Pouyanne also likes the US IRA, saying it is good for everyone and it has material upside. If Europe was serious about global warming, it should follow the US model, he said. Supply lag The value that technological advances – typically pioneered by the international upstream and oilfield services companies – have added is also poorly appreciated by the public at large. Advances in seismic interpretation reliability, directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have all brought huge quantities of hydrocarbons within economic reach of the drill-bit – especially in the US, where subsoil law is also more encouraging than in most of Europe. The threat of peak oil, which cropped up in discourse in the 1990s, has become a thing of the

past. So companies have been able to reduce flaring, expand carbon capture and storage and clean up their output in a number of ways that might all add to the production cost but still allow for profitable sales. The CTO of US major Chevron, Eimear Bonner said as the company announced its fourth-quarter results: "Solving energy challenges through technology is key to shaping the future energy system. We have unique capabilities, assets and customers that offer a platform to accelerate our programme." Interviewed early this year for Bloomberg TV, his boss, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth said: "We believe the future of energy will be lower carbon. We intend to be a leader today and in that future." And also dismissing the possibility of the IOCs cornering the gas market and manipulating prices to increase profits, Mr Wirth said of the US major’s LNG trade: "We are price takers, not price makers. These are global commodity markets." And as such, they are cyclical and years of famine may follow short bursts of exceptional profits. The US major was allocating "billions of dollars every year" to upstream projects but just two years ago "prices

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