The Lamp 2017

“What makes an energy option attractive? It should be scalable, reliable, affordable and sustainable.” Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development

Photo by Robert Seale

A long-term focus Understanding the energy landscape decades from now is important because of the nature of energy development. ”The infrastructure needed to move an energy source and the types of capital projects required to extract or convert resources all take significant amounts of time and funding to implement on a commercial scale,” Swarup says. “Therefore, we must have a big-picture focus and future view for determining which technologies to place our research behind, with a line of sight to develop

improved efficiency of internal combustion engines and understanding how we can make advanced polymers that are lighter weight. “In the expanding energy access area, we’re studying energy options for developing nations, including power- generation technologies and power distribution. “As part of our good science and sound policy studies, we conduct what’s called wells-to- wheels analysis to determine the environmental impacts of various energy types and technologies over a complete life cycle.”

them ultimately into commercial projects or products.” Emerging technologies can influence the energy landscape. “One of the great uncertainties is the rate and pace of technology evolution and development. We couldn’t have imagined 50 years ago the types of deepwater and directional drilling techniques that are available today,” Swarup says. “As the energy landscape continues to evolve, our job is to understand the fundamental science behind the various energy options so that we can continue to advance our contribution to energy and

energy solutions,” he adds. The entire corporation plays a role in technology evolution, from the upstream in finding and developing new opportunities for energy access, to the downstream in converting energy resources to fuels, lubricants and chemical products that are more efficient, affordable and better for the environment. “This is an exciting time to be in technology,” Wojnar notes. “The integrated alignment across the ExxonMobil value chain is in great shape, and we look forward to what we will deliver.”


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