Notwithstanding the odd reduction owing to specific financial or economic situations, the demand for hydrocarbons has grown steadily in the past and is set to follow the same trend in the future. In parallel to the increase in demand, the production from mature fields is regularly decreasing. The upstream oil industry now faces a major challenge to increase production through the continuous development of new hydrocarbon fields. The need to satisfy the world?s growing thirst for hydrocarbons means producing from oil and gas fields at ever greater depths (deeply buried reservoirs), or under ever deeper water depths (-ultra- deep offshore). Our industry has begun to tackle developments that require considerable technological boldness to produce: ? either deeply buried reservoirs characterised by High Pressures and High Temperatures (HP/HT) with all the problems generated by these extreme conditions, ? or reservoirs located at great water depths: these fields have to be developed; sometimes satellite reservoirs have to be tied back to a very distant processing unit, while coping with the difficulties of producing more and more viscous oils. Through use of representative examples this session will illustrate some of the technical challenges that our industry has experienced, or still has to face, the ground-breaking solutions that have already been found, and the innovations we hope to see in the next few years.
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