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Shell’s chief scientists showcase extraordinary innovations
Title: Unusual Innovation for the Future
Duration: 7:44 minutes
Shell Chief Scientists discuss extraordinary and unusual innovative solutions being developed to meet future energy needs.
By 2050, the world's population could grow to 9 billion people, up from about 7 billion today. This growing population and rising prosperity around the world will push up global energy demand, and, for the foreseeable future, most people will depend on fossil fuels for the majority of their energy.
Yet many of the world's remaining oil and gas fields are in harder-to-reach places and are more difficult to develop. With increasing energy demands, environmental and social pressures on both government and industry, the global energy system needs to undergo a radical change. It has to become broader, cleaner and more efficient.
Innovation -- the capacity for doing things differently and better than before -- holds the key to unlocking the energy needed today and in the future. Shell Chief Scientists are responding to these challenges by pushing the boundaries of innovation -- working closely with customers and partners to apply creative thinking and technology to achieve more within safe boundaries.
Unusual Innovation for the Future Film Transcript
[Background music plays]
Bright, uplifting music
Stylised line animation of pastoral landscape. Pigs in field with trees. Zooming to ascending space shuttle. Simulated binary code and DNA sequence.
Doing the unusual to meet future energy needs
Split screen graphic sequence with blocks primary colours depicting faded revolving globe and silhouette of people;
Over the next 40 years, the world will become home to 2 Billion more people
Split screen graphic with animated city scape;
Global energy demand is expected to double in the first half of this century
Split screen graphic depicting single colour; yellow simplified silhouettes of people in the workplace;
Innovation and technology will play a crucial role in meeting the global energy demand
Shell chief scientists help push boundaries
Interview with Lance Cook
Shell Chief Scientist Well Engineering & Production Technology
“Natural gas is a crucial aspect of future energy and it's the cleanest burning fossil fuel. To get to the tightly trapped hydrocarbons you need to drill hundreds of wells each year, over many years”.
Footage of heavy drilling machinery. Footage of workers operating machinery
“That led us to think about mass producing wells using automation and standardized design, and last year Shell and China National Petroleum Corporation announced a joint venture (VO) to develop systems for mass producing wells”.
Automated wells will have a smaller footprint and work to Shell's safety standards.
Aerospace technology… down under
Interview with Vianny Koelman
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist, Petrophys
“To make most out of our oil fields we need a clearer understanding of subsurface conditions. Now that presents a tremendous challenge. It's a challenge to electronic sensors, digital electronics have difficulty with the temperatures that we encounter at the depths where we find oil. Temperatures, pressures can be high. It's a very hostile environment. Working with the aerospace industry, Shell developed fibre optics suitable to use deep beneath the surface of the earth known in the industry as downhole deployments”.
Footage of Computer screen showing digital readout. Footage, close-up of man eyes wearing goggles.
Footage of fibre optic machinery. Sign underneath machinery - "Hot Surface"
Footage of close-up fibre optics. Footage of hand smoothing out individual fibres.
A single optical fibre can replace thousands of sensors that detect pressure, temperature and sound.
[Split screen footage]
Extreme close-up of single fibre.
Hydrocarbons and health
Interview with Sergio Kapusta
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist Materials
“Yet another unusual partnership is with the healthcare industry. Shell is cooperating with a cancer research centre to adapt their drug delivery system (VO) to deliver chemicals to the oil reservoirs, such as for enhanced oil recovery.”
Split screen graphic sequence with blocks primary colours depicting cells.
A 1% increase in hydrocarbon recovery efficiency could deliver 3 years of production
Biofuels for the future
Interview with Joe Powell
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist Chemical Engineering
“Shell was one of the first energy companies to invest in advanced biofuels (VO) using feed stocks such as crop waste or inedible crops and new conversion processes that offered the potential for improved CO2 emissions reductions. We have research agreements with experts in leading academic institutions across the world and technical partnerships with leading biotechnology companies.”
Man driving large machinery and plowing field
Crop waste in ditch
Machine spitting chipped crops into back of large metal container
Close-up shot of crops
Workers in lab working at table.
Clip of machinery plowing fields and spitting chipped crops into containers
In Brazil, Shell and Raizen produce 2 billion litres of biofuels every year.
Wide shot of machinery inside manufacturing plant
Extreme close-up shot of gears spinning
Close-up of brown liquid pouring from container
Interview with Jose Bravo
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist Seperations
“The oil sands are vital for North America's economic and energy security. They provide already (VO) 20% of the us oil imports and they are capable of providing 400 years of energy security for Canada. (OC) one of the unusual partnerships that we have formed to help us in that endeavor is one we formed with (VO) Dutch pig farmers who had a problem of having to dehydrate pig manure for space constraints. We found that we could adapt that technology to the removal of clay and sand from water in the oil sands (OC) and reduce the tailing pond problem that they also have had.”
Aerial shot of large machinery in field
Aerial shot of trucks driving through field
Aerial view of large machine dumping dirt into back of truck
Wide shot of dirt roads
Wide shot exterior of plant facility
Wide shot dump trucks driving along dirt roads
Close up of hand manipulating pig manure
Close up of gloved hand manipulating pig manure
Woman with goggles observing oil.
Shell is working with first nations in Canada to use traditional environmental knowledge to develop land reclamation plans.
Interview with Dirk Smit
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist Geophysics
“To meet energy demand and find more oil and gas we need more data from below the surface of higher quality and at less expense. (VO) To achieve this we need to apply new concepts and new technologies (OC) from other industries. (VO) Shell's also partnering to develop micro electric mechanical system sensoring technology. This technology, originally developed for inkjet printers, is now being adapted as tiny seismic sensors. (OC) These tiny seismic sensors, in fact thousands, if not millions of them, (VO) will allow us to acquire far more data of the subsurface through which we would then get a far better image of the subsurface and understand more of the geological conditions (OC) in particular that are relevant for oil and gas exploration.”
Man and woman in meeting looking at computer images on wall.
Drawing of area under ground
Man and woman looking at computer
Computer graphics of seismic sensor images
Interview with Carl Mesters
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist Chemistry and Catalysis
“Typically in the past Shell has been changing molecules starting from crude oil to make molecules that fit into gasoline or diesel lubricants or household goods like detergents or plastics. However, with the abundancy of natural gas as a clean burning fuel coming more and more available, there is also an increasing interest to change gas molecules into molecules that we currently derive from crude oil. (VO) we are now looking for new chemistries to do this more efficiently and one of the processes that we use to do this is called crowdsource. This is a new experiment for a chemist to try to do a new technique, a new process to see if we can, say, simply tap all the ideas that are out there instead of basically doing it on our own. (OC) So we really mobilize the external world and now with unknown partnerships that might be help.”
Scientist working in lab looking through magnifying glass
About 44% of the Fortune 500 firms have used crowdsourcing.
Drawing of people standing on globe
Drawing of light bulb
Scratching the surface
Interview with Bruce Levell
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist Geology
“Unconventional natural gas has an important part to play in meeting the future energy challenge. However, producing from those tight rocks involves drilling deep into the subsurface and a process known as hydraulic fracturing. Shell is working with civil engineering researchers at MIT using an old technique called the scratch test to give the relative hardness of the minerals. (VO) What's unusual about it is it used to be applied on a macro scale and it's now being applied at a micro scale. By understanding which parts of the rock formation are toughest (OC) We hope to create better designs for more efficient and safer fracturing treatments.”
The "scratch test" dates back to 1824 yet the exact physics behind it has never before been defined
Various shots of rock formations
Between rocks and hard places
Interview with John Karanikas
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist Reservoir Engineering
“In the past, the hydrocarbons Shell supplied came from easy to reach reservoirs. (VO) Surrounding these reservoirs were impermeable zones with less hydrocarbons that were either ignored or used for research purposes. Today, (OC) thanks to advances in drilling and production techniques, these formerly ignored unconventional resources are rapidly moving into the production mainstream. These new unconventionals though, they pose unusual challenges for the reservoir engineering discipline because, frankly, they are barely reservoirs in the traditional sense of the word. (VO) To improve our understanding of these resources we are partnering with leading universities like the University of Texas, and MIT on collaborative research program that involve not only oil and gas production experts but also materials, civil engineering and physics. These programs seek to understand the behaviour of these unconventional resources by studying them almost down at the molecular level trying to explain and predict the reservoir scale performance.”
Tight and shale gas can flow through pores measuring 10 nanometres - 10 billionths of a metre
Scientist working in lab with test tubes
Close-up of scientist looking at ingredients in test tube
Scientist lining up items to go through CT and looking at images on screen
Close-up of scientist placing drops into petri dish
Scientist writing on graph printout
The "formula" for success
Interview with Wolfgang Warnecke
[Name and title]
Shell Chief Scientist Mobility
“We in Shell, we are the largest fuel retailer in the world, so selling fuels and lubricants is an important part of our business. (VO) For me, as a chief scientist, and a fan of high end technology, the icing on the cake is motorsport projects for example, being involved in the development of dedicated racing products along with our partnerships with Ferrari, Ducati, or Audi or even Porsche in the past. Motorsport is the toughest test bed. It poses extreme stress to materials and products. The insights and know-how we gain here are directly applied to enhance the quality of our products to the benefit of our customers around the world.”
Close-up shot of machinery
Scientists working at desk in lab
Close-up shot of oil pouring
Various shots of race car drivers
Scientist working in lab with test tubes and petri dishes
Close-up scientist with goggles
Driver getting into car
Race car driver racing around track
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