Our upstream business is responsible for the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas, including bringing new gas imports to Europe to support diversity and security of supply; marketing of gas and power; and the longstanding commitment to research and development which has led us to numerous industry-leading breakthroughs in energy technology.
We have upstream investments in the UK, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Italy, extensive North Sea oil and gas production operations, and significant onshore natural gas production facilities. In Europe, we produce 480,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids a day as well as 3.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day– enough to meet close to the entire daily gas demand of The Netherlands. (2007)
We strongly believe in the value of energy technology: from locating reserves using 3-D seismic data to new techniques for producing previously inaccessible or uneconomical resources.
Unlocking “Tight Gas”:A Technological Breakthrough
Large quantities of natural gas are trapped in “tight” underground rock reservoirs. For decades, it was simply uneconomical to develop this gas, even though energy companies knew it was there. Today, major advances in drilling technology enable us to “unlock” these resources. By using advanced hydraulic fracturing technology we can create single or multiple cracks in the reservoir rock which, in turn, create pathways for the trapped gas to reach the wellbore, and then the surface.