The South American Deepwater Sector
Unlike shale, deepwater plays—which are highly front-loaded investments with long project cycles—will be least affected by the current round of severe investment reductions. Large offshore plays in safer regions have become essential elements of the core business of large oil and gas players.
That Was Then, This Is Now
In 2004, US oil production was in decline, Facebook did not exist, and attitudes toward climate change were in flux. In years since, what has happened—and what’s important for the oil and gas industry of tomorrow?
A Net-Zero Future Full of Opportunities for a New North Sea
Despite the global downturn, the long-term transition to net zero presents a major opportunity to create new multibillion industries based around the North Sea. Cross-sector collaboration and major state/private sector intervention, together with strong leadership, will be key.
Industry Ingenuity and Care in a Crisis
Now more than ever, safely managing the role of digitalization and the demand for decarbonization while efficiently balancing the books will be critical for companies to survive and thrive.
Oilfield Life After the COVID-19 Crash
What will the landscape of this industry look like when the dust of the current price crash settles? The business will realign, as it always does. This may bring big changes to the future of technology development.
Rapid Pivot to Gas Crucial for Future Energy Mix
There are numerous views of what the future energy landscape will look like in the next decade and beyond. When thinking about sources of primary energy, it is not a question of either/or, it is a question of what can reach scale fast enough to meet continued demand growth.
Addressing Challenges of Shale Development
If design A yields the same 90-day production at 10% lower cost in a series of wells than design B wells, is design A the better one? Using pressure-based fracture measurements, the separability of variables between two completion designs can be evaluated.
What Do We Want From Our Wells: Drilled Fast or Drilled Right?
Drilling rig automation is increasing as the industry realizes its benefits. What about downhole automation of the drilling process, specifically directional drilling? What problems might it solve and what opportunities might it create? The opportunity is huge, if only we look in the right place.
Why Should SPE Members Be Interested in Carbon Capture and Storage?
Carbon storage is perhaps the only viable option for reducing carbon to the levels that many governments have agreed are important, and EOR is the only proven technology that can be made ready in the time and at the scale required to accomplish this reduction worldwide.
Permian Shale Water Management: The Hidden Costs
While traditional operating expenses in produced water management are heavily scrutinized, a full picture of profitability in water management is gained only after comprehensively examining the unique aspects of the overall business model.
From Blockbuster to Blockchain: How To Manage a Not-Quite-Settled Technology Platform
Rather than waiting for a dominant player to emerge, the oil and gas industry is at a point in its journey with blockchain where it makes sense to actively start working toward common architectures and standards in the blockchain domain.
Production 4.0 Brings Autonomous Management to the Well
Industry 4.0 is the innovation revolution across all industries. For our industry, Production 4.0 presents a massive opportunity to elevate oilfield performance by harnessing an easy-to-reach and plentiful resource—our data.
Five Innovation Themes for Integrated Geomechanics Technology
Applications development in reservoir geomechanics has grown exponentially in recent years, taking advantage of significant computer breakthroughs. Data integration and multidisciplinary strategies are key to advancing integrated reservoir geomechanics capabilities.
Technology Deployment: How to Get it Done and Maximize Outcomes
Technology is an enabler. But why do some technologies get deployed while other seemingly superior technologies struggle to get traction?
The Future of Subsea Well Access and Completions
Subsea completions for gathering hydrocarbons from subsea wells have demonstrated both environmental and economic benefits for offshore oil and gas projects. Barriers and opportunities for expanded use of subsea completions involve both technological and regulatory issues.
Digital Transformation: Quest for Operational Efficiency
In recent times, we have been inundated with articles concerning the oil and gas industry’s race toward digitalization and automation. The pillars of such a transformation are the rapidly evolving industrial Internet of things, secure cloud computing, data analytics, AI, and machine learning.
Countering Security Issues in the Digital World
As the global oil and gas industry grasps the benefits that digitalization, automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence can bring to production and profitability, its relatively immature cyber systems are making it an attractive soft target for hackers.
Artificial Intelligence Can Reduce ESP Failures
Electrical-submersible-pump (ESP) technology predominates available artificial-lift options. The risk of ESP failures can be reduced greatly with the right combination of advanced technologies, such as combining artificial intelligence with a cloud-based autonomous surveillance system.
Counteracting the Supply Chain Bullwhip Effect
reverberations in production, capacity, and inventory throughout the supply chain. But there are several ways that operators and service providers can mitigate this “bullwhip effect.”
Completion-System Reliability: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?
All completion systems should enable the safe and profitable extraction of reserves. To maximize the useful life of the completions system, reliability of components, configurations, and processes should be maximized.
Knowledge Capture and Containment Are Critical to Safe Operations
Knowledge is at the risk of being lost in the oil and gas industry. Other industries have shown ways it can be retained by building mechanisms for knowledge retention into the safety management system.
Unlocking Unconventional Reservoirs With Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence
As shale plays are becoming economically viable, operators have fast-adopted best practices to optimize drilling and completion processes to drive down the lifting costs. Adoption of data-driven analytics to improve completion design, drive efficiency, and yield economic gains has been less swift.
Robust Well Barrier and Well Integrity Management
“Well integrity” and “digitalization” have become buzzwords in the oil and gas industry. How do we measure well integrity in the most effective manner? To start with, we need to know what is in the well.
Digital Drilling Disruption—Understand Downhole, Gain Control
The shift toward lower prices in the industry has resulted in the necessity for more wells to be drilled at lower cost. Numerous other industries have shown that they are able to constantly reduce cost per unit. Where do we stand today and what will the future possibly look like?
Growth in Unconventional Resources Adds to Technical Literature
Technology has been key to success in exploiting unconventional resources. In recognition of the current significant interest in this field, the upcoming issue of an SPE technical journal will feature peer-reviewed papers on the rapidly evolving suite of technologies for unconventional resources.
Innovation—A Word We Throw Around
Who decides what innovation is? Are we really innovating as an industry or merely applying a catchphrase to already tried and tested processes because that’s what’s “in?”
A Carbon Tax Would Be Good for the E&P Industry
Globally, a growing number of the general public and decision makers appear to have the opinion that climate change caused by greenhouse gases is likely. The E&P sector has the competencies and capabilities to develop mitigating solutions.
Putting the Power Into Empowerment To Drive Digitalization
Harnessing stranded data will transform operations beyond what existing, siloed software solutions delivered. There is a clear need to be more agile and embrace cloud-based solutions to realize new capabilities.
Higher Capability, Lower Costs With Cloud Subsurface Data Management
Lower oil prices, lack of experienced personnel, and uncertainty about long-term global oil and gas demand are driving petroleum companies to seek new ways to improve operational capability and lower costs.
Regain Trust by Aligning With Society´s Needs
The company-centric stakeholder model belongs to the time when an oil company had to communicate its good intentions and demonstrate it was also executing them. But the world continues to change. Society nowadays expects business to take on more responsibility than that.
How Artificial Intelligence Will Benefit Drilling
In drilling, more often than not, automation and optimization are independently addressed. Artificial intelligence can be the bridge between the two.
Cognitive Computing: Augmenting Human Intelligence To Improve Oil and Gas Outcomes
The goal of cognitive computing is not to eliminate humans but allow highly skilled professionals to spend time doing what’s most valuable for the company.
Delivering Long-Term Value in E&P
E&P has become a margin business, with relentless pressure on cost performance and global competition for capital. As operators consider how to achieve further reductions in unit operating costs, the leadership team should focus on long-term value.
E&P Digital Transformation: Fundamental Next Step in Creating Value
The adoption of emerging technologies is essential for all businesses, and even more important for well-established industries because of the perpetual threat of disruption from competitors.
Can Additive Manufacturing Breathe New Life Into Aging Assets?
Additive layer manufacturing technology has gained prominence in the aerospace sector and is being used for the rapid production of prototype parts. Its credibility has quite literally “taken off” and is now used to build in-flight production components for aircraft.
Climate Change: Why Oil and Gas Must Join the Debate
Public perceptions matter. The industry needs to take a proactive and solution-centric position with respect to the Paris Agreement and join the battle for the clean and affordable kilowatts of energy the markets will increasingly favor.
Innovation Will Drive Shale Survival
How can operators and service companies go forward in a shale-dominated industry with low oil prices?
We Need To Celebrate Our Successes If We Want the Next Generation To Be Part of Our Future
To overcome challenges of perception and attract young people to the talent pool, the oil and gas industry should publicize its technological achievements rather than take them for granted.
Technology’s Role for Today’s New-Look, Multidisciplinary Teams
What are the real opportunities for disruptive step change that will help us to catch up and leapfrog other industries that have given rise to companies such as Amazon, Google, and Apple, and have driven the renewal of the auto, airline, and transportation industries?
Safety: It’s All About Us—The Human Factors Behind the Statistics
Adopting a robust set of Life-Saving Rules can reduce fatalities and lost-time injuries.
Why Can’t We Apply Advanced Technologies More Often to Vertical Wells in Mature Fields?
The oil and gas industry should pay more attention to mature vertical wells but it first must consider technology and cost.
Are You Ready for the Oilfield Recovery?
Companies need effective talent acquisition and retention programs to succeed in the pending economic recovery.
Needed: Radical Efficiencies
During my 35 years in the upstream oil and gas business, I have seen firsthand the tremendous gains in efficiency, productivity, and cost reduction that the industry has achieved through innovation and technology.
Lower for Longer: Lean Forever
The 1996 book, Lean Thinking, introduced lean to mainstream business. Since then, lean has propelled operational excellence in construction, software development, healthcare, financial services, state government, and more.
The Looming Market for Abandonment and Decommissioning
As the boom of the 1970s and 1980s makes way for the first tranche of major decommissioning projects, the market for abandonment and decommissioning has grown over the past 5 years. To deliver these projects in a safe and economic way, decommissioning needs to be accepted as a serious challenge.
Industry Transformation Takes Many Forms
Many column inches are filled with discussion of how companies need to operate in the lower-for-longer market that the upstream oil and gas industry continues to face.
Assessing the Processes, Tools, and Value of Sharing and Learning From Offshore E&P Safety-Related Data
With the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement as a cochair of the steering committee, SPE held a 2-day summit in April to discuss the development and implementation of an industrywide safety-data sharing framework.
Incentivizing Energy and Climate Innovation
In a quiet industrial park in suburban Toronto, there is a machine that eats carbon dioxide (CO2) and spits out fuel. A world away, at a world-class research institute in Bangalore, India, engineers have developed a completely different technology to convert CO2 into industrial chemicals.
Risk Management at NASA and Its Applicability to the Oil and Gas Industry
At NASA, the qualitative approach to risk assessment is augmented by a quantitative technique to mitigate low-probability, high-consequence outcomes.
Low Prices Trigger Much-Needed Change Through a Holistic Approach
A reason why projects are not completed on time is the disconnect between operators and contractors. An integrated asset approach tackles complex offshore jobs by being holistic and full field in nature and encompassing the planning, building, and operating phases of a project.
Lessons for a Downturn
Downturns offer you a choice: Panic and shut down all but breathing or make use of the opportunities that desperation has handed you. A mountain of mistakes is a gold mine to those willing to spend the time in assessment mode.
Aiming for a Better Oil Price
As an example of an open system, the oil and gas market is a function of several external forces. Free market supply and demand may not yield a sustainable equilibrium price, but the deferral of capital projects will result in a lack of global supply in just a few years.
Isn’t It Time for Our Own Spielbergian “Idea Summit”?
Industry's finest minds are expected to come together for an idea summit during the upcoming SPE Intelligent Energy International Conference and Exhibition in Aberdeen.
Guest Editorial: Creating Value From Flared Natural Gas
Approximately 5% of world annual gas production is being flared or vented. This is equivalent to approximately 110–140 billion m3 (Bcm) of gas, and equates to the combined gas consumption of Central and South America in 2013.
Guest Editorial: Changing How We Manage HSE: Getting to Zero
For the more than 7 billion people on our planet, every measure of quality of life, from gross domestic product per capita and infant mortality, to education levels and access to clean water, is correlated to the consumption of modern fuels, including oil and gas.
Guest Editorial: How To Thrive in a Downturn
The industry is in one of its periodic downturns. Jobs are uncertain or scarce. Profitability is challenged. Bankruptcy looms. Projects are being canceled. Deals are dropped or delayed. It seems there is bad news everywhere. So how do we survive in this environment?
Guest Editorial: Engineering Design in the “Lower for Longer” Environment
For engineering design teams, the market downturn is an opportunity to review practices and learn from others who have used hard times to reshape processes through simulation while cutting development time and costs.
Treating Produced Water With Understanding
Produced water has become the largest byproduct in the oil and gas industry. Treatment and disposal or reuse of this byproduct requires a good understanding of conditions and options to devise the optimal strategy.
An Environmental Perspective on Risk Management and Water
There is no denying that the oil and gas industry, as well as the agencies that regulate its activities, have significantly improved many aspects of environmental performance. Despite this progress, there is always more to be done to identify and manage risks associated with oil and gas development.
Guest Editorial: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Customization
While some standardization makes sense, it is important for the industry to implement cost-effective supply chain practices to efficiently deliver customization when it improves efficiency and increases production.
America’s Unconventional Energy Opportunity
The United States is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation energy opportunity. The advent of hydraulic fracturing has launched a new era of energy abundance—a stark contrast to the decades of growing domestic energy scarcity that preceded it.
Guest Editorial: Managing Production to Weather the Storm
The recent plunge in oil prices has reinforced a number of truths about our industry.
Improving Operator Returns
There is a school of thought that the dramatic collapse in prices and oversupply of oil that has affected our industry, and has added to the challenges facing deepwater and mature developments, is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Keeping Reservoir Stewardship on Course
The French term, déjà vu, which means literally “already seen,” is the feeling that you have previously experienced something you are currently experiencing.
Guest Editorial: SPE Provides Support During Industry Downturn
SPE has served members through the ebbs and flows of the oil and gas industry since 1957. The exploration and production business is inherently cyclical.
Guest Editorial: A Balancing Act
Getting through this latest downturn in oil prices will require a balancing act between short-term measures to reduce costs while maintaining a long-term perspective on growth in the industry.
Guest Editorial: The Six Minds of a Whole New Engineer
Early engineers of the 19th century were rock stars of their times, much like famous dot-com entrepreneurs of our times.
New Prices, Challenges, and Opportunities in the Next Wave of Unconventional Resource Development
Concerns about the usage of water and chemicals and the environmental effect of large numbers of wells signaled the need for new thinking to address these concerns.
Upfront Reservoir Monitoring Investment Promises Long-Term Rewards
The industry’s continued migration into deeper, hotter, and more unconventional oil and gas reservoirs carries the potential for significant financial rewards and major economic risks.
Applying Technology To Enhance Unconventional Shale Production
The oil and gas industry has an amazing opportunity at present; the demand for energy around the globe is increasing and our industry has answered the call in the form of unconventional oil and gas production.
Energy’s Struggle With Rapidly Changing Roles, Responsibilities, and Reputation
Almost every aspect of modern society is supported or influenced by energy—and yet it is one of the least understood and possibly one of the most reviled industries on the planet.
Guest Editorial: Wanted: A New Type of Business Leader to Fix E&P Asset Developments
Upstream oil and gas companies are leaving millions of dollars on the table through poor project management.
Subsea Needs To Make the Right Connections
The subsea market is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the international oil and gas industry, involving the development and deployment of some of the most advanced technology ever created in increasingly inhospitable environments.
North Sea Legacy Continues to Help Shape Global Energy Production
There is no doubt that North Sea activity, both its highs and lows, has been the benchmark of quality and efficiency for many decades.
North Sea Oil and the Scottish Independence Referendum
On 18 September 2014, the Scottish public will vote on the question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?” With North Sea oil predicted to be the largest sector in an independent Scottish economy, the industry finds itself at the center of a political and economic debate.
EOR: Next Frontier for Unconventional Oil
As the global energy industry works to apply advanced drilling and completion technologies to unconventional resources, enhanced oil recovery specialists are focusing on how to maximize tertiary oil recovery.
The Unfinished Revolution: What is Missing From the E&P Industry’s Move to “Big Data”
One cannot help but be impressed by the inroads that digital oilfield technologies have made into the exploration and production (E&P) industry in the past decade.
Shale Gas Drives Vertical Integration
Optimum exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons will rely almost as much on innovative business models as on technology breakthroughs.
How Intelligent Knowledge Systems Will Improve Operations and Safety in the Future
Going forward, the oil and gas industry should have intelligent, automated systems designed to capture data, learn from events, optimize production, and prevent safety-related incidents. The time is now for this step change in the industry.
Digitizing E&P: Accelerating the Pace of Change
The oil and gas industry is a major driver of high-performance computing development, particularly for upstream seismic processing and permanent field monitoring. But exploration and production still lags behind other industries in the use of digitization.
Reducing Uncertainty to Ensure Future Asset Performance
Over the past 5 to 10 years, there has been an increasing focus in the offshore oil and gas industry on predicting and quantifying an asset’s expected production performance.
The Control Room of the Future
Control rooms have come a long way over the years, and there remains ample room for improvement.
Unconventional Oil and Gas: Unlocking Value Through Collaboration
In North America, unconventional oil and gas* represents the largest energy discontinuity of the past few decades.
What Is Next for Intelligent Energy?
Digital oilfield solutions can be leveraged as a whole to provide aggregate value at the business portfolio or corporate strategy levels and to contribute to a company's intellectual capital.
Creating a Common Safety Culture
The oil and gas industry can enhance safety practices by developing shared guidelines for work control, isolation standards, risk assessment, and safety observation programs.
Managing Risk at Ground Level
Risk management continues to evolve to reflect changing challenges in the industry. Weatherford shares how adopting a behavior-based safety culture helped minimize risk and stop unsafe practices.
Shale 2.0: From Efficient to Effective Shale Development
Horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing have enabled shale development. In the next stage of shale recovery, the focus will be more effectgive development to achieve greater production with fewer wells and fewer total resources.
Déjà Vu All Over Again?
Petroleum engineering enrollment in the US, particularly at the undergraduate level, is increasing in a manner similar to the period between 1976 and 1982.
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