Prince Amir Al Saud

Report on Optimization of Natural Resources with Information and Nano-Technology

Report on Optimization of Natural Resources with Information and Nano-Technology




The fear of reaching peak oil continues to haunt the oil industry. The oil reserves are enough for the next 46.2 years.

A recent high-profile WTO trade case suggests, minerals, especially rare earth minerals, are going to have an important impact on the economy. It is concluded that if wind turbines and electrical vehicles were to become as mainstream and widespread as they could be, the requirements for certain rare metals would need to increase by 700-2,600% over the next 25 years, whereas these supplies are only increasing by 6% a year.


In order to manage the natural resources efficiently and effectively. We can use the modern tools and information technology. In recent time, Business analytics is one of the popular tools. Business analytics (BA) refers to the skills, technologies, applications and practices for continuous iterative exploration and investigation of past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning. Business analytics focuses on developing new insights and understanding of business performance based on data and statistical methods.




Optimization of Natural Resources with Nano-Technology




The natural resources are the base of life on the planet. Nature is bountiful to provide us with immense natural resourced to meet our needs but scale and complexity of our requirements for natural resources have increased manifolds with the rising of population and production.


Our demand for the natural resources has made the nature fragile. There are thresholds that cannot be crossed without endangering the basic integrity of the system. we must be ever mindful of the risk of endangering the survival of life on Earth. Moreover, the speed with which changes in resource use are taking place gives little time in which to anticipate and prevent unexpected effects.


It is imperative to understand the natural resources, impact on economy and sustainability and how technology can help us have more renewable natural resources and its alternative for the future generations to come. There are various methods of categorizing natural resources, these include source of origin, stage of development, and by their renewability. This is going to widen our horizon to use the resources judiciously for sustainability and to have future generations.


Biotic resources are obtained from the biosphere (living and organic material), such as forests and animals, and the materials that can be obtained from them. Fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum are also included in this category because they are formed from decayed organic matter.


Abiotic resources are those that come from non-living, non-organic material. Examples of Abiotic resources include land, fresh water, air and heavy metals including ores such as gold, iron, copper, silver etc.




In the World- the rapid depletion of non-renewable mineral resources, the depletion of forest areas and wetlands, the extinction of animal and plant species, and the deterioration in air and water quality (especially in some countries of Eastern Europe, the former USSR, and China) pose serious long-term problems that governments and peoples are only beginning to address


In recent years, the depletion of natural resources has become a major focus of governments. The organizations such as the United Nations (UN). This is evident in the UN's Agenda 21 Section Two, which outlines the necessary steps to be taken by countries to sustain their natural resources.


The depletion of natural resources is considered to be a sustainable development issue as it has the ability to degrade current environments and potential to impact the needs of future generations.

Management of natural resources involves identifying who has the right to use the resources and who does not for defining the boundaries of the resource. The resources are managed by the users according to the rules governing of when and how the resource is used depending on local condition.

A successful management of natural resources shouldengage the community because of the nature of the shared resources the individuals who are affected by the rules can participate in setting or changing them. The users have the rights to device their own management institutions and plans under the recognition by the government.


The right to resources includes land, water, fisheries and pastoral rights. The users or parties accountable to the users have to actively monitor and ensure the utilisation of the resource compliance with the rules and to impose penalty on those peoples who violates the rules.


Major Natural Resources

The six natural resources most drained by the people. These resources are under severe pressure from the current rates of consumption. The Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, European Union, Russia, South Africa, , Saudi Arab and United States to name few have reserves of oil, natural gas and rare earth elements are with massive reserves of natural resources such as oil, natural gas, coal and Rare Earth Elements (REE).


Water- Freshwater only makes 2.5% of the total volume of the world's water. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations is predicting that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity.


Oil- The fear of reaching peak oil continues to haunt the oil industry. The oil reserves are enough for the next 46.2 years.


Natural Gas- Similar pictures to oil exists for natural gas, with enough gas in proven reserves to meet 58.6years of global production.


Phosphorus- Without this element, plants cannot grow. scientists from the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative predict we could run out of phosphorus in 50 to 100 years unless new reserves of the element are found.


Coal- This has the largest reserves left of all the fossil fuels, we have enough coal to meet 188 years of global production.


Rare Earth Elements- Scandium and Terbium are just two of the 17 rare earth minerals that are used in everything from the powerful magnets in wind turbines to the electronic circuits in smart phones (sphones). The elements are not as rare as their name suggests but currently 97% of the world's supply comes from China and they can restrict supplies at will.


Business  Analytics Management Science

In order to manage the natural resources efficiently and effectively. We can use the modern tools and information technology. In recent time, Business analytics is one of the popular tools. Business analytics (BA) refers to the skills, technologies, applications and practices for continuous iterative exploration and investigation of past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning. Business analytics focuses on developing new insights and understanding of business performance based on data and statistical methods.


In contrast, business intelligence traditionally focuses on using a consistent set of metrics to both measure past performance and guide business planning, which is also based on data and statistical methods.


Business analytics make extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive modeling, and fact-based management to drive decision making. It is therefore closely related to management science. SAP innovations in analytics, mobile, and databases – powered by the SAP HANA® platform – can help us unlock the value of our Big Data by embedding new and exciting functionality in our products and innovating more quickly than our competitors. It means we can offer our customers unprecedented levels of real-time monitoring and predictive insights to enhance asset utilization, improve employee safety, and increase profitability.


Predictive maintenance

Upgrading monitoring or telemetry systems with SAP HANA enables the analysis of a continuous stream of machine data, so we can predict when the performance of machinery is degrading to perform preventive maintenance and avoid potential downtime or machine failure. There is 50% potential decrease in product development and assembly costs for manufacturers through Big Data.


Business analytics can answer questions like why is this happening, what if these trends continue, what will happen next (that is, predict), what is the best that can happen (that is, optimize).


Business analytics depends on sufficient volumes of high quality data. The difficulty in ensuring data quality is integrating and reconciling data across different systems, and then deciding what subsets of data to make available.


Now business analytics is becoming a tool that can influence the outcome of customer interactions. When a specific customer type is considering a purchase, an analytics-enabled enterprise can modify the sales pitch to appeal to that consumer. This means the storage space for all that data must react extremely fast to provide the necessary data in real-time.


Davenport argues that businesses can optimize a distinct business capability via analytics and thus better compete. He identifies these characteristics of an organization that are apt to compete on analytics:


•   One or more senior executives who strongly advocate fact-based decision making and, specifically, analytics

•   Widespread use of not only descriptive statistics, but also predictive modeling and complex optimization techniques

•   Substantial use of analytics across multiple business functions or processes

•   Movement toward an enterprise level approach to managing analytical tools, data, and organizational skills and capabilities

Imagine the ability to meet the increasing demand the business decision-makers are feeling to produce on-demand, evidence-based insight. With analytics tools, we can turn the flood of raw data we have on hand into a real competitive advantage at our fingertips. (SAP)


Technology Impacts- Information Technology

Here’s a look at the five key innovation areas the extraction industry is focused on — and where the biggest opportunities lie for O&G technologists:

The Digital Oilfield and Beyond

As Marc Andreessen has written, software is “eating the world,” and O&G is no exception. “The Digital Oil Field” is something of a buzzword in the oil and gas industry – tossed around like “the cloud” or “big data” are in IT. The basic premise is a web-based visualization platform from which companies can manage, measure, and track all of the data coming from all over the oilfield.


Accessing the Previously Inaccessible- New technologies are making the once-inaccessible accessible.


Working in Remote Environments


Oil and gas exploration today is based in some of the most remote places in the world. It is hard to imagine places more inaccessible than Prudhoe Bay (on the North coast of Alaska), Russkoe Field (above the Arctic Circle in Russia), the Campos Basin (offshore, Brazil) or the Tengiz in Kazakhstan. Such as remote collaboration software, are crucial. VSEE Labs, a startup, provides video conference and collaboration software used by Shell Oil and Saudi Aramco.


Minimizing the Harm of Hydrocarbons


The Wilder Hill Clean Energy Index is down 55% since it was launched in 2004. This has increased interest in making production and consumption of hydrocarbon fuel less harmful, rather than making alternative fuels commercial. Cerion Energy produces a nanotechnology-based diesel fuel that decreases consumption by a minimum of 8%, while reducing emissions.


Fuel Metamorphoses


There is another suite of companies that try to take one resource and turn it into other, more valuable or convenient resources. Fractal Systems is a VC-backed technology that upgrades heavy oil and bitumen. Heavy oil and bitumen have greater densities than light crude oil; they are more expensive to refine and produce more pollution; however, there is much more heavy oil and bitumen in the world than light crude.


Siluria Technologies is a company that replaces oil with natural gas for manufacturing processes. The advantage of doing this is that natural gas is cheap and abundant in the U.S. (and has become cheaper and more abundant because of fracking technology) and pollutes less than oil (0.23 kgCO2/kWh for natural gas vs. 0.27 kgCO2/kWh for gasoline).


In a similar vein, Ciris Energy converts coal to natural gas. This is valuable, because coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in the U.S. and China, but converting it to natural gas makes it more environmentally friendly (0.23 kgCO2/kWh for natural gas vs. 0.37 kgCO2/kWh for coal).


Even more audacious are companies turning waste into energy. Enerkem is pioneering technology to use garbage to replace petroleum. Sun Coal Industries turns organic waste, such as garden compost, straw, and chicken manure, into carbon-neutral coal. Agilyx developed technology to convert plastics into synthetic crude and other petrochemicals. Plastic is heated until it turns into a gas, the gas is condensed into a liquid, and then the hydrocarbons are separated.


Mineral extraction innovation

Only a fraction of venture investment goes into energy technology, and only a small portion of that goes into hydrocarbon related technologies. Even fewer dollars go into supporting the mining and minerals industry. The sole venture-backed mineral company Simbol Materials, which produces Lithium; the sole strategic minerals.


As the recent high-profile WTO trade case suggests, minerals, especially rare earth minerals, are going to have an important impact on the economy. It is concluded that if wind turbines and electrical vehicles were to become as mainstream and widespread as they could be, the requirements for certain rare metals would need to increase by 700-2,600% over the next 25 years, whereas these supplies are only increasing by 6% a year.


It’s easy to see how technology is reinventing retail, entertainment, telecommunications, and healthcare, but there’s little discussion of tech’s impact on the universe of companies focused on natural resources extraction, such as petroleum, natural gas, and mining companies. aka “extractive industries.” The reality is, O&G is adopting a lot of new technologies, and a lot of funding is going into innovative companies that can help oil and gas companies work smarter.


Strategics are involved in not only funding companies, but in funding VC firms. Chevron invests in firms such as Ampersand Ventures, Element Partners, EnerTech Capital, Nth Power, and RockPort Capital Partners. KPC Ventures backs Braemar Energy Ventures, Chrysalix, Emerald Technology Ventures, Conduit Ventures, Nth Power, and EnerTech Capital. Baker Hughes, Nalco, and Weatherford sponsor the Oil & Gas Innovation Center, and the Surge Accelerator was recently started to serve as a Houston-based incubator for energy start ups.


The exponential growth of machine-generated sensor data presents a massive opportunity for manufacturers of all types of industrial machinery. The focus needs to be on unlocking new business value for customers and developing new revenue streams for the organization and growing resource of Big Data could provide the key.

Traditionally, natural resource companies could not do simulations on multiple operating assumptions that were prone to fluctuate; couldn't make high-level decisions on resource allocation, customer contracts, and analyst guidance without knowing their actual production numbers; and could not provide feedback to management on "what-if" scenarios. SAP solution can synchronise commodity management with supply chain, operations, and risk management – for improved performance and lower costs.


Oracle offers a complete strategic planning solution for natural resource companies that can maximize long-term financial returns and incorporate risk; generate high-quality reserve and supply estimates; develop an optimized operations plan; determine financial impact and options; and align the organization and monitor the plan.

Key products in oracle's industry solution for strategic planning are Oracle Performance Management Solutions, oracle Strategic Network Optimization, Oracle Crystal Ball Solution, Oracle Hyperion Solutions to name few products. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) by Maximize the performance of our physical assets over their entire lifecycle, ensuring asset availability and reliVentyxability while reducing operational costs and risk.


Operation Management-Enhance the efficiency, productivity and safety of plant operations by achieving a consistent, organized and integrated approach for all plant-related operational processes. Energy Market Intelligence- Gain a better understanding of the market landscape with access to rigorous market data and research that provides intelligence on power, fuels, generation, environmental and transmission. Leverage this data into your own planning with advanced analytics.


Nano-Tech is future Friendly


Nanotechnology has had a revolutionary impact in many industries, from consumer electronics to healthcare and telecommunications healthcare to aeronautics, and could potentially have a similar impact in the oil and gas exploration and production industry. Furthermore, the Nanotechnology may be able to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in medicine, electronics, biomaterials and energy production.


Development of applications incorporating semiconductor nanoparticles to be used in the next generation of products, such as display technology, lighting, solar cells and biological imaging; see quantum dots.


The nanomaterials field includes subfields which develop or study materials having unique properties arising from their nanoscale dimensions. Nanoscale materials can also be used for bulk applications; most present commercial applications of nanotechnology are of this flavor. Progress has been made in using these materials for medical applications. Nanoscale materials such as nanopillars are sometimes used in solar cells which combats the cost of traditional Silicon solar cells.

The largest impact within the upstream business is expected in subsurface applications, for instance contrast agents for advanced exploration and surveillance, novel fluids for enhanced oil recovery, and better analytical techniques for the characterization of oil and rock interactions.


What has triggered a nanotechnology revolution was the developments of techniques in materials science, chemical engineering, and physical analytical methods, particularly the invention of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope and the discovery of Buckyballs that allowed a detailed understanding and manipulation of the properties of nanoparticles.


Nanotechnology is defined as the understanding and control of materials and materials properties at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. The emphasis is on control - the manipulation and engineering of materials at the nanoscale to obtain desired properties.

A high percentage of nano-related “products” is represented by devices or structures in which top-down (i.e., miniaturized) technologies are employed to obtain electronic, fluidic or mechanical functions that can be applied to integrated circuits, sensors, telecommunications, environmental monitoring or bio-oriented diagnostics.


As far as the top-down approach is concerned, nanotechnology is a natural continuation and improvement of the miniaturization revolution introduced with the microelectronic era. Nevertheless,

the true nano-revolution relies on the full exploitation of the bottom-up approach, i.e., the creation of smart materials by exploiting their self-organisational capacity. The ultimate breakthrough of the nanotechnologies will be the extensive integration.


Another nanotechnology material, called graphene, has long been regarded as one of the most promising technologies to emerge. The latest development saw researchers at Samsung and Sungkyunkwan University in Korea produce a continuous layer of pure graphene which could be used to conduct electricity across

flexible, transparent touchscreens based on a sheet of carbon just one-atom thick that can be folded like paper (Kim et al., 2009). The same material can also be used to make displays lighter and more power-efficient.


The Oil and Gas exploration and production industry faces difficult challenges, as it tries to meet the growing energy demands of an increasing and more affluent population. Conventional methods of exploration and production might not be able to keep up with this growing demand; the industry needs technological innovations to successfully meet the energy challenge.


Nanotechnology is not new. Nanoparticles have been used for hundreds and even thousand of years, even though their nature and properties were not fully understood until recently. The oil refining and petrochemical industries have used nanoparticle catalysts for almost 100 years.




The technology makes oil and gas easier, safer, cleaner, and cheaper to extract, energy prices and quality of life could improve for everybody. And it presents a huge business opportunity.

A digital oilfield can also minimize the impact of the lack of qualified skilled labor; Booz & Co predicts that the labor gap could reach 1 million by 2015.


With analytics tools, we can turn the flood of raw data we have on hand into a real competitive advantage at our fingertips.

The SAP and Oracle solution can develop new revenue streams. The solutions can differentiate us from the competition. Of course, it is going to reduce operational costs substantially and improve margins. These solutions from such vendors and create successful intelligent business solutions.


Nano-sensors have been developed rapidly to enhance the resolution of the subsurface imaging leading to advanced field characterization techniques. Nanotechnology also strikes the stage of production enormously to enhance the oil recovery via molecular modification and manipulate the interfacial characteristics. Moreover, in a very similar fashion, it provides novel approaches to improved post production processes.


Nanoparticles with noticeable alterations in optical, magnetic, and electrical properties compared to their bulk counterparts are excellent tools for the development of sensors and the formation of imaging contrast agents (Krishnamoori, 2006).


Hyperpolarized silicon nanoparticles provide a novel tool for measuring and imaging in oil exploration (Song and Marcus, 2007). There are now several active and promising programmes to develop nanosensors compatible with temperature and pressure ratings in deep wells and hostile environments.


Nanosensors are deployed in the pore space by means of “nanodust” to provide data on reservoir characterization, fluid-flow monitoring, and fluid-type recognition (Esmaeili, 2009). Nano-Computerized Tomography (CT) can image tight gas sands, tight shales, and tight carbonates in which the pore structure is below what micro-CT can detect.


In addition, nanotechnology has the potential to help develop geothermal resources by enhancing thermal conductivity, and nano-based materials could be used for geothermal production. Nanoscale metals have already been used to delineate ore deposits for geochemical exploration (Kong and Ohadi, 2010).


The development of mesoporous catalyst materials such as MCM-41 has significantly changed downstream refining. Nano-filters and particles have the ability to remove harmful toxic substances such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and related acids and acid anhydrides from vapor, and mercury from soil and water, with exact precision.

There are numerous areas of the petroleum industry where nanotechnology can contribute to more efficient, less expensive, and more environmentally technologies than those that are readily available. The future possibilities for nanotechnology in the petroleum industry are identified as improved success of exploration by improving data gathering, recognizing shallow hazards, and avoiding dry holes.



Enhanced materials that provide strength and endurance to increase performance and reliability in drilling, tubular goods, and rotating parts. There is improved elastomers, critical to deep drilling and drilling in high-temperature/high-pressure environments. Nano-Tech affirms production assurance in diagnostics, monitoring surveillance, and management strategies. This is useful in Corrosion management for surface, subsurface, and facilities applications.


This produces lightweight, rugged materials that reduce weight requirements on offshore platforms, and more reliable and more energy-efficient transportation vessels. There is selective filtration and waste management for water and carbon nanotube applications.

Nano- Technology application has enhanced oil and gas recovery through reservoir property modification, facility retrofitting, gas property modification, and water injection. Nano-Tech plays a vital role in refining and petrochemicals technologies also.


On the other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as any new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials, and their potential effects on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios.


This is a nano-tech era, environment, health and safety are the most important issue not to mention sustainability. The care of future generation in as important as the survival in current and critical situation. There is no end to further developments and advancement particularly new technologies and nano- technology is the future. The solution will be evolved to address the critical issue and make nano-technology a safe solution for the future generations.


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Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it. — Arapaho

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." “We must not only protect the country side and save it from destruction, we must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities … Once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured. And once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature, his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted.” — Lyndon B. Johnson - President of the United States

The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others. —  Theodore Roosevelt

“The natural resources of the world do not belong to any person, organization, collective, or so-called nation.” — Bryant McGill

“There is a delight in the hardy life of the open. There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm. The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.” —

 Theodore Roosevelt - President of the United States

“The supreme reality of our time is … the vulnerability of our planet.” “National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources. It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today.” —  John F. Kennedy - President of the United States

"What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself." —  Mollie Beattie Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

“The land, the earth God gave to man for his home … should never be the possession of any man, corporation, (or) society … any more than the air or water.” “Laws change; people die; the land remains.” —  Abraham Lincoln - President of the United States

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