TOPICS OF INTEREST
Unconventionals at a Crossroads: Where Do We Go From Here?
URTeC 2020’s opening plenary session panel shared insights into how the shale industry can scale technology, fiscal restraint, and social responsibility into a sustainable business case for a new energy landscape.
Long-Lasting Shale Slowdown Leads to a Sense of Malaise
The good news is 95% of the oil companies in Texas are expected to survive 2020, which means there is a lot of bad news to endure.
Succeeding in the New Pressure Pumping Environment
New report offers guidelines for pressure pumpers of the future.
What Damage Is Wrought by the Rush to Shut In Wells?
The Permian Basin is now influencing the upstream water market on the way down, while many questions swirl around the implications of unprecedented shut-ins.
Interview With George King: Better Practices for Well Shut In and Startup
The industry has very limited experience in shuttering production on a large scale in unconventional reservoirs. Many questions remain on how stimulated, nanodarcy shale reservoirs may respond. George King discusses the paradigm shifts needed in the industry.
Offshore Enters Uncharted Waters
For the offshore sector, the collapse in oil demand and prices came just as the market was beginning to look up. Now many companies are focused on survival. This article discusses how various market segments, regions, and companies are faring in “the new reality.”
Is Depression-Era Production Regulation What OPEC Really Wants To See?
The notion that the state of Texas could help oil producers by limiting production at a time when the market is glutted has a real history in Texas, but an iffy future.
E&P Spending Cuts Spur Requests for Reduced OFS Fees
The shale industry could shoulder 65% of $100-billion 2020 global E&P spending cut. Can oilfield services providers afford to cut their fees further to prop up hard-hit operators?
Life After 5: How Tight-Oil Wells Grow Old
Production data from the oldest horizontal wells in the three largest oil plays in the US show that annual decline rates remain relatively high for a long period of time. This challenges assumptions held about production after 5 years and directly affects reserve and ultimate recovery estimates.
Shell’s Well Pad of the Future Is Open for Business
The international major is calling its latest multiwell project in the Permian Basin a “beacon of innovation.” The goal is to see if combining digital technologies will lower the operating costs of its shale assets.
Rystad Warns of Gloomy Start to 2020 for Oilfield Service Firms
Reduced investment in US shale will continue to weigh down the global oilfield services market through 2020.
Basic Energy Services to Leave Pressure Pumping Business
The company said it will avoid the pumping business's “structurally disadvantaged position” and instead focus on well servicing and water logistics.
Shale, Tight Oil Investments to Fall 12% in 2020; Global Deepwater Rising
Lower oil prices and capital discipline are expected to result in a double-digit drop in shale and tight oil spending, while deepwater momentum is seen continuing. This comes as “massive investments” will be needed in the next decade to meet growing oil demand.
US Sets New Records for Proved Oil and Gas Reserves
Proved oil reserves totaled 43.8 billion bbl at yearend 2018 while proved gas reserves amounted to 504.5 Tcf, both topping records set in 2017, the US Energy Information Administration said.
Devon Teams with Dow to Develop STACK Acreage
Under the agreement, the Oklahoma City independent will monetize half of its working interest in 133 undrilled locations in the form of a $100-million drilling carry during the next 4 years.
ConocoPhillips Leaning on Conventionals Near-Term, Unconventionals Long-Term
Most of ConocoPhillips’ oil and gas production by the end of the next decade will come from its unconventional operations. But, for the near-term, the Houston independent will rely on conventional assets as it seeks to keep spending in check, decline rates low, and cash flow on the rise.
UT Study: Permian Seismic Activity Up Dramatically
New research links a rise in seismic activity in West Texas with increased oil and gas development over the past 20 years and, in particular, the past decade.
SPE Talks To: Andrew Pepper
Fluid saturation isn't what it used to be when it comes to unconventional reservoirs. Our guest is among those sharing new research to discuss the shale sector’s changing perspectives on the importance of mobile hydrocarbons vs. immobile hydrocarbons.
Equinor Exits Eagle Ford JV
Spain’s Repsol will assume 100% interest in and operatorship of the joint venture as Equinor leaves the 9-year partnership.
Report Forecasts “Major Slowdown” in US Oil Output Growth
Lower oil prices, increased operator focus on capital discipline, and diminishing access to capital are choking off once-soaring US oil production growth.
Led By the Permian, US Flaring and Associated Gas Production Hit New Highs
The volume of flared gas in the US unconventional sector is now 12% of the country’s total gas production. A pair of new reports say that Permian Basin operators account for much of the growth.
Flowing Shale Wells Sooner Would Add Billions to Sector Cash Flow
The time it takes for a shale producer to drill a well has been a major focus for the past decade. A new report says the industry should place equal weight on how long it takes a well to actually deliver first oil.
Newly Merged C&J Energy, Keane To Become NexTier Oilfield Solutions
Expected to close 31 October, the deal will create one of the largest pressure pumpers in the US.
Schlumberger, Halliburton Mull New North American Land Strategies
The two largest oilfield services firms grapple with a worsening North American land market.
Weatherford Prepares for Difficult Services Market into Early 2020s
The company, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in June, revised downward its revenue projections amid lower expectations for the US oilfield services market and oil prices.
More Permian Consolidation: Parsley Energy To Buy Jagged Peak
The move will bolster Austin-based Parsley’s holdings in the Delaware Basin, giving it a contiguous 120,000 net acres opposite of its original Midland Basin focus area.
EP Energy Seeks Chapter 11 Protection
EP Energy is now one of at least 200 North American exploration and production companies to have filed for bankruptcy since 2015.
2020 SPE President Promises to Focus on Strengthening Organization’s Engineering Core
Speaking on the final day of ATCE 2019 in her home province of Alberta, Shauna Noonan unveiled the theme of her 2020 SPE presidency, “SPE Strong: Strengthen the Core.”
Enverus: Third-Quarter US Operator M&A Activity Surpassed $17 Billion
The current M&A market is characterized by an increase in private capital, geographical diversity, and a variety of transaction types, including joint ventures and royalty deals.
EIA: US Crude Production Fell for Third Straight Month in July
Output fell below 12 million B/D and was down more than 300,000 B/D from an all-time high in April, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.
Louisiana Austin Chalk: Hundreds of Millions Down the Drain?
ConocoPhillips has pulled out of the much-hyped Louisiana Austin Chalk play after the company’s test wells yielded a gusher of water. Meanwhile, an Australian operator flying under the radar continues to pursue the adjacent-but-even-more-challenging Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.
Dallas Fed Survey: Oilfield Service Woes Fuel 3Q Upstream Industry Contraction
Lower equipment utilization and prices have worsened the pain for oilfield service companies in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana, while operators continue to grapple with the industry’s shifting business climate.
Colombia’s New Ambitions Include Caribbean and Shale Development, But Are They Achievable?
Colombia is walking a thin line between becoming another fading petroleum province and Latin America’s next big success story. Its aces in the hole: unleashing its nascent offshore and unconventional sectors.
Dallas Fed: US Shale Boom Accounted for 10% of US GDP Growth
Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas quantified the economic impact of the US shale revolution for the first half of this decade.
The Shale Bankruptcies Continue
Times are still financially tough for many shale operators: Sanchez Energy and Halcón Resources become the latest to file for Chapter 11 protection.
When Will the Market Stop Punishing Public Shale Operators?
Share prices have plunged for seemingly every major US shale producer, with Concho, Pioneer, and Continental among those receiving the worst of the market’s fury. Have investors completely lost faith in the industry? And are shale executives any more optimistic?
Rystad Says Permian Well Productivity is Just Fine
Despite reports to the contrary, Permian well productivity remains healthy, with average new production per well in the basin matching all-time highs, Rystad says. And the majors are now a main catalyst.
US Onshore Drilling Decline to Continue, Rig Contractors Say
Leaders from two large US onshore rig contractors said their expectations that the rig-count slide would hit a second-quarter bottom were off and are now refraining from making new predictions as to when it will end.
Analytics Firm: Permian Fracturing Work Underreported by 21% in 2018
Findings from Kayrros suggest the average Permian well is both less productive and more expensive than reflected in public data.
Engineers Get a Look at Oilfield Advances at URTeC While Grappling With the Pressing Problem of Profitability
The Unconventional Resources Technology Conference is like visiting an oilfield theme park for engineers and geoscientists. This year those traveling to the conference for a glimpse of what is possible in exploration and production will also focus on ways to improve short-term profitability.
US Energy Department R&D Funding To Include Conventional, Shale EOR
The projects are designed to reduce technical risks in enhanced oil recovery and expand application of EOR methods in conventional and unconventional reservoirs.
Permian Operators Collaborate to Improve Understanding and Performance of Unconventional Reservoirs
Permian Basin operators and service companies met to discuss completions diagnostics, flowback strategies, water management, and artificial lift strategies.
US DOE To Fund 12 R&D Projects To Boost Unconventional Characterization, Recovery
Twelve organizations—universities and private technology companies—will conduct research and development on emerging shale plays and technologies covering everything from digital pressure-sensing to smart microchip proppant.
ExxonMobil Proceeds with Long-Term Vaca Muerta Shale Oil Development
Up to 55,000 BOE/D of output is expected from the ExxonMobil-operated Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block in the Argentine shale play, with a possible second phase producing up to 75,000 BOE/D.
Oilfield Flares Provide a Glaring Reminder of the Drive To Produce More Oil
Oilfield flares are a bright indicator of rapidly rising oil production that exceeds pipeline capacity. And it raises the question: Why are oil companies in such a hurry?
Exploring the Innovative Evolution of Hydraulic Fracturing
The evolution of hydraulic fracturing is a long and circuitous one that deserves examination. Engineering and completions leaders from Liberty Oilfield Services did just that, authoring a paper that encapsulates the high points in the development of the groundbreaking completions practice.
Service Companies Remain Optimistic Despite Tough Start in 2019
The three largest service companies are optimistic about the rest of 2019.
Canadian Oil Business Gets More Canadian as Devon Exits
Devon Energy and its debt gets smaller, as Canadian Natural Resources adds to its huge, long-term bet on Canadian heavy and ultra-heavy crude.
Chevron No Longer Pursuing Anadarko
Oxy has won the fight for Anadarko. Citing capital discipline as the reason, Chevron has elected not to make another bid for the independent.
Anadarko Accepts Oxy's Revised Takeover Offer
Anadarko Petroleum now plans to exit its agreement with Chevron after deeming Occidental Petroleum's revised takeover bid "superior."
Activating Shale Can Create Well Barriers
This paper discusses shale creep and other shale-deformation mechanisms and how an understanding of these can be used to activate shale that has not contacted the casing yet to form a well barrier.
Shale EOR Delivers, So Why Won’t the Sector Go Big?
There is every reason to believe that enhanced oil recovery through huff-and-puff injections in US tight-oil plays could be a technical success across large numbers of wells. However, widespread economic success remains uncertain.
Shale Oil Focus Shifts to Cash Flow, Squeezing Growth and Small Players
In the shale oil business, cash flow is a life or death issue. For smaller players, money from investors and lenders is getting harder to find.
Oxy Makes $38-Billion Bid for Anadarko in Hopes of Beating Out Chevron
Keen on Anadarko for a while, Occidental Petroleum is ready to do battle with Chevron for the big independent.
What Happened to the Private, Family-Owned Oil Company?
When the oil and gas industry goes one way, family-owned Hunt Oil goes the other. And that’s why the company has been around for three generations.
Shale CEO on Parent-Child Challenge, Well Declines: We Know
Encana CEO Doug Suttles assures that shale executives are acutely aware of the parent-child well challenge, and he doesn’t think it’s “a big threat” to the sector.
ExxonMobil, Chevron Target Nearly 2 Million BOE/D in Permian Production
The US majors plan to produce around 1 million BOE/D each from the basin, which has become a primary focus of their upstream operations.
Gas Lift Operations Require Accurate Predictions of Downhole Annulus Pressure
Downhole annulus pressure is required for any gas lift design. This paper presents several methods of determining annulus pressure at depth and helps determine which method is most appropriate for specific conditions.
Chesapeake Teams With Analytics Firm To Improve Asset Performance
The Oklahoma City independent has a new-look portfolio and new operational and financial priorities. And now it has enlisted an energy research firm to leverage advanced analytics and machine learning to help get the most out of its assets.
The Eagle Ford Still Looks Good to Operators
The Eagle Ford Shale has reclaimed its standing as one of the most attractive US onshore liquids basins, and for good reason. Does this mean more operators will seek to buy in to the play, and could further consolidation take hold following last year’s big deals?
Shale’s Big Sand Switch Is Delivering Dollars, but Not Eroding All Concerns
Producers in Texas have claimed an economic victory with their transition to local sands that they once avoided using in horizontal wells due to their low-quality.
How Does Vaca Muerta Stack Up vs. US Shale? Data Tell the Tale
Vaca Muerta production is on the upswing. Will increasing activity propel the Argentine play to the ranks of US shale? Data suggest it is both already there and has a ways to go.
Big Year for Shale M&A May End with Shell and Endeavor
2018 has seen a wave of shale deals that are consolidating the landscape. While this one could be among the biggest, it is not yet final.
Led by Frac, The Oilfield Services Space Could Get Interesting in 2019
Slumping oil prices may throw a wrench into a positive outlook for the global oilfield services and equipment industry. Even if prices rebound, complications in the US fracturing market—and elsewhere—are expected to persist.
USGS’s Largest-Ever Assessment of Continuous Oil Potential: Permian’s Wolfcamp-Bone Spring
Production and proved reserves in the Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation are reaching new heights, and a new assessment from the US Geological Survey indicates the industry is just scratching the subsurface when it comes to what may be technically recoverable.
US Oil, Gas Reserves Hit All-Time Highs
Proved oil and gas reserves in the US have spiked to levels not seen before, the EIA reports, and one of the main drivers is the Permian’s Wolfcamp-Bone Spring Shale.
IEA Warns of Global Oil Supply Deficit, Leaning Too Heavily on US Output
US crude oil production is expanding at an unprecedented rate, but much faster growth will be needed in the next few years to meet the world’s demand if global investment in conventional supply doesn’t pick up, an IEA report indicates.
Setback Rule Defeated in Colorado, But Industry There Remains Threatened
Colorado voters soundly defeated a measure 6 November that would have restricted the vast majority of new development in the country’s fifth largest oil-producing state. The outcome was a big relief for the oil and gas industry, but its existential fight in the state hasn’t ended.
Can Machine Learning Mitigate Frac Hits?
BHGE is developing an analytics and machine-learning approach that offers descriptive and predictive insights on frac hits, with the aim of eventually offering a real-time monitoring capability to be deployed during frac jobs.
US Shale Consolidation Heats Up as Firms Mull Long-Term Survival
With big shale mergers dominating the headlines, some of the industry’s most influential financial players gathered to discuss what’s driving the shift in operational and fiscal priorities.
Liquids-Rich Permian Showcased as a Model Basin
The SPE Liquids-Rich Basin Conference in Midland, Texas, merged topics that have dominated recent industry discussions: technologies centered on big data, interwell communication, and Permian Basin production.
Schlumberger and Halliburton Warm on Global Market, Cooler on US Shale
The two biggest oilfield services providers are enjoying a rebound in international activity but continue to struggle with a softening US shale completions market. While takeaway constraints will be temporary, steep shale production declines may emerge as a longer-term challenge.
It May Be Boom Time for the Oil-Rich Powder River Basin
The Powder River Basin has emerged over the past year as the latest source of oil production growth for the Lower 48. Companies ranging from a reborn Samson Resources to US onshore mainstays Devon, Chesapeake, and EOG are now betting on the basin to become a long-term core asset.
BHP Affirms Devotion to Oil and Gas Despite US Shale Exit
BHP Billiton lost billions during its foray into US shale, but that doesn’t mean it has soured on oil and gas—particularly when it comes to deepwater development.
The Company That Slipped Into the Permian “Under The Cover of Darkness”
WPX Energy COO Clay Gaspar discusses his company’s timely transformation into a Permian player and the challenges that lie ahead in the basin.
Diamondback Energy Spending $10.5 Billion in Permian Acreage Expansion
Diamondback is slated to become the Permian’s latest pure-play giant with its pending purchases of Energen and Ajax Resources.
Now There’s Enough Pressure Pumping and Sand to Go Around
Hydraulic fracturing is now a little bit easier for US shale operators thanks to readily available horsepower and in-basin sand.
BP To Buy US Shale Assets From BHP for $10.5 Billion
BP ends a year of speculation as to who will buy BHP Billiton’s much-coveted US unconventional business, transforming its Lower 48 portfolio in the process.
Is the Permian Barreling Toward a Breaking Point?
Permian oil output is growing fast, pipeline capacity is full with little relief in sight, truck drivers are in short supply, and the value of basin-produced crude is sinking. Is a drop off in activity—including drilling and production—becoming inevitable?
The Big Unknowns for World’s Balancing Act of Supply and Demand
Prices are up, and so is production. But a new report from BP raises important questions as to how the biggest producers will respond to shifting dynamics.
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23 July 2020
04 August 2020