Bas JA Van Vroonhoven, Manager, Business Development of FME Association, the largest organisation in the Netherlands representing employers and businesses in the technological industry, spoke to R Ray on the sidelines of the Petrotech-2010 conference.
What are your expectations from the Indian infrastructure growth especially in the oil and gas sector and how do you see Dutch companies contributing to the momentum?The untapped oil and gas reserves in India, combined with Dutch technological expertise, can reap some positive rewards. One of the world’s most important oil and gas companies—Shell—originates from the Netherlands and we have grown with the company in our experience within this sector. With long term experience, Dutch companies offer technologies in the field of gas conversion, with focus on LNG, GTL, chemical conversion and power generation and gas transport. Gasunie, TNO, NAM and VOPAK are companies which have immense knowledge in this area. The Netherlands has 10 international engineering firms, five of which are capable of designing and building complete exploration and production offshore rigs. We have taken a pioneering role in developing technologies such as Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) and the positioning and anchoring of these FPSO’s.
How major a market is India for the Netherlands? India has significant oil and gas reserves and just over 60 per cent of the potential in oil sector has been explored so far. The country made extensive oil discoveries in the recent years. The most noteworthy of these discoveries are located in the offshore east coast basins of Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi-NEC basins; Western offshore and onland in the Rajasthan, Cambay and onland Assam-Arakan basins.
On our part, Dutch consulting firms can, offer reliable information on the exact location of oil and gas reserves leading to major cost savings in exploration. Companies like TNO and TU Delft, together with Shell have founded Integrated System Approach Petroleum Production (ISAPP), to increase production from existing fields, and make them faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly, by using efficient water injection techniques in wells.
What are the critical issues affecting this sector on a whole? Do you think there is an urgent need to bring an environmental perspective to the sector?There are two important aspects to consider which are critical worldwide for oil and gas: economic stability and environmental sustainability. With a prominent water and environmental sector, the Netherlands is a leading provider of knowledge in the environmental field, also for the oil and gas sector. In renewables, we take a strong position in R&D and production equipment for the high tech industry (solar cells) and gasification process of biomass. Growth of sustainable energy will come from offshore wind energy and electricity from biomass. In offshore wind, the strong maritime sector takes a postion in transportation and logistics.
Safety is a major concern keeping in consideration the environmental impact and loss of resources. Do Dutch companies have an edge in this area? Safety and environment are of vital importance for the oil and gas sector, given that the public demand and pressure in my estimate will continue to increase to become a zero-accident business and eventually even a zero sum game as far as carbon emissions are concerned.
On the regulatory side regarding safety, strict Dutch and EU regulations hold no secrets for Dutch companies. Shell puts us at the forefront of safety and sustainability. This experience and continuous improvement allows us to deal within the oil and gas sector all around the world. In that manner, probably our biggest strength is our adaptability to local standards and customer requirements and we hope we can increase our foothold in India by leveraging those competencies.