Technology plays an important role in helping Chevron deliver affordable energy that fuels human progress and economic growth around the world.
Chevron develops and deploys technology for our global operations through our proprietary solutions, in-house expertise, strategic partnerships and venture capital investments. Our open innovation approach provides us with continuous access to new ideas and enables Chevron to deliver the right technologies at the right time to meet business needs, which drives growth and efficiency.
The technologies we deploy help us find and commercialize new oil and gas fields in highly complex environments cost-effectively and also help us recover more resources from existing fields. They enable us to integrate data and information so that we can manage and develop our global assets efficiently. And they help us advance emerging energy with the goal of developing scalable and economical new resources while reducing our environmental footprint.
Chevron has three technology companies that support our businesses in this effort: Chevron Energy Technology Company, Chevron Information Technology Company and Chevron Technology Ventures. The work that these companies do is integrated across Chevron, ensuring a strong alignment between the technologies we use and our business strategy.
- Chevron Energy Technology Co. develops and manages technology to help find and produce new oil and gas reserves, enhance recovery in existing fields and optimize productivity of downstream assets.
- Chevron Information Technology Co. supports our entire business by integrating information technologies to connect people, ideas, processes and data. Its applications include "intelligent" oil and gas fields, automation and visualization technologies, and technical networks.
- Chevron Technology Ventures identifies, develops and sponsors emerging energy technologies and helps integrate them into our core businesses. It has invested more than $200 million in emerging technology companies and continues to serve as an on-ramp for promising technologies.
In addition, Chevron Energy Solutions is leading Chevron's efforts to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency for government, education and business customers, as well as for our own operations. Our experts help commercialize emerging technologies. When we evaluate facilities for upgrades, we make recommendations, applying those technologies and incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. To date, these projects are saving customers more than $1 billion and reducing greenhouse gases by more than 3 million metric tons.
Some 2012 Highlights
Chevron continues to make advances that will enable the company to explore, produce and operate safely and efficiently, with technologies such as long-distance power, high-boost pumping and advanced remote inspection monitoring.
Chevron's seismic data and fluid prediction technology have improved our understanding of reservoirs and have led to continued exploration successes in 2012, including offshore Western Australia.
In collaboration with the University of Western Australia, the Australian Research Council and local companies, Chevron built a unique test facility to simulate underwater conditions during cyclones. Chevron's Wheatstone Project is leveraging this innovative research to improve the safety and reliability of pipeline design. The program won the 2012 Western Australia Engineering Excellence Award for Innovation and Development.
Chevron launched a new tank technology for storing water at sites where Chevron drills for natural gas from shale. These patent-pending modular metal tanks can be quickly assembled and then taken apart and reused. This precludes the need for water storage pits and is intended to enhance safety, reduce land disturbance and pad size, and significantly lower costs. The first fully operational tank was brought into service in Ohio.
Chevron is building on more than four decades of research and development in improved catalysts. In 2012, the next-generation ISODEWAXING® catalyst, ICR® 432, contributed to the highest base-oil yield ever recorded at the Richmond Base Oil Plant in California. Premium base oils are produced using isomerized dewaxing technology.
Chevron continues to evaluate advanced biofuel technologies. Catchlight Energy LLC, a 50-50 joint venture with Weyerhaeuser Co., signed agreements to supply forest-based feedstock to a third-party conversion plant and to purchase biofuel blendstocks from that plant. The plant was mechanically complete and began commissioning in late 2012.
At our Cymric Field in California, we commissioned an 800-kilowatt plant that takes waste heat from fluids produced from field operations and converts it to electricity. The process lowers fluid temperatures without venting heat to the atmosphere.
We completed a demonstration project to enhance the energy efficiency and reliability of cooling towers in the McKittrick Field in California by using variable-speed direct-drive motors. The project is designed to reduce energy and maintenance costs while improving reliability.
Through our solar demonstration projects in Questa, New Mexico; Bakersfield, California; and Doha, Qatar, we are testing and evaluating solar technologies for commercial use.
Chevron's information technology infrastructure is essential to every aspect of the business and critical to our data-intensive work. Seismic data processing and interpretation, for example, are supported by our networked, high-performance computing infrastructure that provides new levels of processing capability.
Chevron and the Los Alamos National Laboratory received the 2012 Excellence in Technology Transfer award presented by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for our collaborative work. The award was received for wireless sensing technology used to collect real-time temperature and pressure information from oil and gas wells.
To learn more, see the latest issue of Next*™, Chevron's technology magazine.
Updated: April 2013