NOGA, Bahrain
Minister of Energy opens energy conservation in oil refining industry conference

Minister of Energy opens energy conservation in oil refining industry conference



Minister of Energy His Excellency Dr. Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza opened in the Kingdom of Bahrain on Tuesday morning, February 3, 2015 a conference titled ‘Options for Energy Conservation in the Oil Refining Industry Conference’, organized by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in cooperation with Japan Cooperation Centre Petroleum (JCCP) and National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), in a ceremony attended by industry experts, engineers and senior technicians, involved in various oil refining phases.

The Minister pointed out the growing need for energy conservation during this time of falling oil price, which has made it a necessity for the energy-intensive refining industry, which uses about half of all the energy consumed by the oil and gas industry. He said that though energy efficiency and conservation were distinctly different, both played important roles in reducing energy use, lowering investment and operating costs.

H.E. Dr. Mirza, in his opening speech, welcomed the decision of the organizers to hold the event in Bahrain, wishing them and all the delegates a great conference experience. He urged the participants to take advantage of the technical sessions and benefit from the scientific papers presented.

He pointed out that the World Energy Investment Outlook 2014 published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), stated more than $1.6 trillion investment in 2013 to provide energy to the world, with a rising investment share in end use energy efficiency projects. It said the share was expected to be US $ 8 trillion by the end of 2035, the lion’s share going to secure efficiency in transportation and building, and 10% to be invested in fine tuning oil refining.

H. E. Dr. Mirza said there was a need to increase this investment percentage, in spite of the numerous challenges in implementing energy efficiency programs, especially in the old refineries.

The Minister said that there were growing global concerns about the massive quantities of energy consumed in fuel production. He said energy intensity in production had increased with the advent of more non-conventional methods, and advanced high energy intense refining processes. He said it was encouraging to see refineries now proactively reducing energy intensity by switching to more efficient technologies, equipment or processes, which would not only improve productivity and lower operating costs, but would also reduce environmental impacts.

He said some experts claimed oil and gas industry activities in extracting, processing and marketing fuels accounted for more than a quarter of the world’s total primary energy use, pointing out that some upward pressure on the overall energy intensity in the refining industry could be due to the stringent standards and demand for lighter products. Production processes in challenging offshore and heavy crude oil fields used additional energy to harvest same volumes, whereas energy intensive secondary and enhanced recovery techniques also consumed more energy.

He said that oil and gas companies had to do more than invest heavily in more efficient technologies all along the supply chain. They had to reduce avoidable flaring or venting of the associated natural gas and strengthening the distribution infrastructure. He pointed out that Bahrain was on the right path in designing environment compliant projects, such as the newly commissioned gas compression station at the Bahrain National Gas Company (Banagas), which ensured a clean harvest from the Bahrain Refinery operations.

The Minister said he was happy to see that many organizations world over have started energy management programs to ensure effective energy usage in their current and future projects, pointing out that successful energy management strategies improved energy use. He said comprehensive monitoring of the energy resources, potential energy savings and low production costs depended on amended energy policies and commitment to set regulatory tools.

H.E. Dr. Mirza concluded his speech thanking the OAPEC, JCCP and NOGA for their great efforts in organizing the major event.

H.E. Kiyoshi Asako, Ambassador of Japan to Bahrain, H.E. Abbas Ali Al-Naqi Secretary General of OAPEC and Mr. Eiji Hiroka Special Advisor, JCCP also spoke at the opening session.

The conference will address several key energy conservation themes, procedures in oil refineries, challenges in the Arab countries, stages of implementation of energy conservation programs, opportunities, and case studies on rationalization of energy consumption in oil refineries.

The conference delegates will be taken for a tour of the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), where they will be briefed about the important achievements of the company and its ambitious projects, especially the refinery modernization. They will also visit the historic Oil Museum of Bahrain, and the first oil well in the Gulf, where oil was discovered in 1932.

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