Ignited by the merger between BP and Amoco in August 1998, drastic reorganization of oil majors is breaking out with such starters as Exxon & Mobil and BP & ARCO. This is in line with mega-mergers enhanced by progressing globalization also involving other industries like communication, automobile and financing. Low oil prices and reducing of refining margin are listed as the reasons of such reorganization of oil majors, and this reorganization gives grave impact to Japanese oil industry. Refining & marketing is confronted with fierce competition. Oil exploration & development is also pressed to improve the transparency of development policy and to seek national consensus. Oil development companies would need to sharpen management power and business strength to meet market movements.
Historical shifts of the four main energy resources-from wood, to coal, to petroleum, and to natural gas-have been investigated from the viewpoints of technology, energy efficiency and environment. It is concluded that the driving force for the energy shifts is desire of human beings to get resources with higher thermal value, or higher hydrogen content, and that technology is a tool or measure-rather than restriction-by which human beings pursue that desire. Having the highest hydrogen to carbon ratio and the lowest carbon to hydrogen ratio, natural gas is stated as the ultimate energy resources, both in terms of energy efficiency and in the environmental issues. The role of natural gas in the 21st century has been examined from four viewpoints: resources and reserves, global warming, energy efficiency, and transportation and delivery. It is concluded that the ultimate recoverable reserves of natural gas will probably be increased and meet the world demand for energy in the next century. The effects of natural gas in reducing CO2 are stressed together with the importance of carbon sequestration to stabilize the emission of global warming gases. The efficiency, present state and future outlook are demonstrated by various gas utilizing technologies, such as cascade use of energy in combined cycle power generation and co-generation, natural gas vehicles, fuel cells, and combination technology with other types of energy. The importance of constructing world gas supply networks is emphasized in order that as many people as possible can enjoy the merits of natural gas. It is proposed that hydrogen will be an ideal and ultimate energy in the 22nd century and beyond, providing the highest energy efficiency and absolutely no environmental damage, and that natural gas, which has the lowest CO2 emission, is a reasonable bridge to it as the most economic source, reservoir and carrier of hydrogen.
Zakum Development Company (ZADCO) is an operating company established in 1977 in Abu Dhabi to develop Upper Thamama Formations of Zakum field, which is the fifth largest oil field in the world. Like other operating companies such as Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Operations (ADCO) and Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO), ZADCO has employees whose nationalities are more than thirty countries. This situation can be described as multi-national society, implying different languages, religions, cultures, ways of thinking and so on. After the merger of ZADCO and Umm A1 Dalkh Development Company in 1988, tens of Japanese staff seconded by Japan Oil Development Company (JODCO) have been contributing to ZADCO operations under this environment, which is very different to the one in Japan. Job description combined with grading system adopted in the Operating Companies in Abu Dhabi is also unfamiliar to many of these Japanese secondees. Due to these differences, Japanese secondees normally encounter a lot of difficulties in showing their capabilities, particularly for the first three to six months of their new assignments. However, once they get accustomed to the differences, many secondees fulfill their duties to improve company's efficiencies and performances, cooperating with their foreign colleagues and friends.
The characteristics of hydrocarbon inclusions in quartz from wells in the Joetsu and Chuetsu areas, Niigata Prefecture, Japan were examined by means of fluorescence spectroscopy and micro-thermometry. The fluorescence is emitted mainly from the liquid phase of the inclusions. The fluorescence spectra are similar to those of crude oils, having a narrow single peak around 440nm. In the fluorescence spectra of crude oils, both the wavelength of the peak (λ) and the relative intensity at 500nm (I500) increase with increasing specific gravity, indicating that heavier oils contain larger molecular-weight aromatic hydrocarbons and/or lower amount of saturated hydrocarbons. Crude oils and hydrocarbon inclusions are similar to each other in the λ-I500 relationship, suggesting that the compositional variation of hydrocarbon inclusions can be estimated by means of fluorescence spectroscopy. Liquid homogenizing temperature (ThL) and I500 of hydrocarbon inclusions in quartz from the Shinkumoide SK-1D well decrease with increasing depth, suggesting that, overall, molecules in the inclusions become lighter with depth. As ThL also decreases after pyrolysis experiment, the depth profiles of the two parameters in the Shinkumoide SK-1D well can be interpreted as the result of thermal cracking of the hydrocarbons. This means that the correlation between ThL and I500 for the well samples indicates a maturity trend of hydrocarbon inclusions. The hydrocarbon inclusions from various wells from Joetsu and Chuetsu areas would be divided, at least, into two groups with respect to the ThL-I500 relationship. One group is represented by the relationship observed in the Shinkumoide SK-1D well, while the other group is distinguished from that by the higher ThL.