Var det teknologien som vant frem, eller var det de som hadde mot til å ta den i bruk? Spørsmålet er like relevant i dag som det var for snart 50 år siden.
“Congratulations! You are part of an exciting profession, of immense value to the human race. As a result of your efforts in 2014 the number of malnourished people in the world dropped to an all time low of about 830,000 – all due to cheap easy to use energy. We hear a lot about the downside – global warming – but none about what the world with a population of 7billion would be like without the food and material comforts provide by oil and gas.
Slik innledet Richard Hardman (79) sin middagstale (“Technology: The Human Dimension”) under konferansen Recent Advances in Exploration Technology i mai. Hardman har en lang karriere som explorationist bak seg, og han spilte blant annet en viktig rolle da Valhall-feltet ble funnet tidlig på 1970-tallet.
Med referanse til konferansens tema delte han ut denne kraftsalven: «… it is often difficult to get new technology accepted – or more significantly – to allow those with new technology to have their way. This takes courage and good judgement on the part of the individuals who control spending. Their unease is easily explained they are too remote from the science and have no time or no interest in learning the details.”
Hans eget eksempel var fra funnet av Hod-feltet med brønn 2/11-2 i 1974 i kritt kalksteiner (opprinnelige reserver var ca. 65 millioner fat olje).
«In those days, Amoco had a research lab in Tulsa where they were working on improving seismic imaging attempting to improve deep reflections by bringing up the gain and ignoring true amplitudes. Then they found out that Mobil and Shell had developed bright spot technology using seismic sections with amplitude preservation and that they were working in entirely the wrong direction. To counter this Don Hughes was hired from Shell. He proved that in the North Sea for the most part we should be looking for dim spots not bright spots. Don’s major contribution was to convince us that the depressed dim spot in block 2/11 in Southern Norway was most likely a result of high chalk porosity immediately below the Paleocene shales. When those who opposed drilling were on holiday, we were able to spud well 2/11-2. When they came back, all hell broke loose and they wanted to stop drilling but the well had reached 2000metres. When the well had been logged and it was clearly an oil discovery, subsequently called Hod, there was amazement and while there were no bonuses recriminations were cut short. Subsequently we were able to apply the lessons learned and confirm the Valhall Field with 2.4 billion barrels in place.”
Richard Hardman avsluttet med følgende retoriske spørsmål: “So the question for you, was it the technology that won it, or the individuals who had the courage to back that technology, the technology of an outsider?”
Som takk for innsatsen fikk Richard Hardman med seg en thermokopp med Nordryggens logo.