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SPE Technical Directors’ Outlook: Tearing Down the Walls Among Disciplines

The positive feelings experienced by those in the upstream oil and gas industry during 2018 faded into a familiar uneasiness in 2019.

Commodity prices declined last year and share prices continued their half-decade-long fall in yet another reminder of the uncertainty that comes with working in the industry. While the previous 2 years were seen as a recovery from a generational oil-price downturn, last year marked a wholesale shift in how operators approach the business. A movement toward financial discipline over growth has impacted work all the way down the supply chain and affected every aspect of the upstream space, particularly in North America.

The goal for the industry is to ensure more stability in the business and operations amid the typical fluctuations in commodity prices. This will come with better efficiencies and lower costs, which will be accelerated by the application of new technologies and work flows. It will also come against the backdrop of a drive toward sustainability, with the industry working to eliminate its environmental impact to ensure its long-term survival.

To meet these challenges in the coming years, it is unanimous among SPE technical directors—each of whom has their own unique perspective forged from decades of work experience in their discipline—that the traditionally fragmented industry must become more integrated and collaborative. A primary solution to breaking down those barriers: the continued evolution and adoption of digital technologies.

Here, the six directors share their outlooks for the next several years for the disciplines they lead: Data Science and Engineering Analytics (formerly Management and Information); Drilling; Completions; Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability; Production and Facilities; and Reservoir.

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SPE Technical Directors’ Outlook: Tearing Down the Walls Among Disciplines

Matt Zborowski, Technology Editor

01 January 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 1

No editorial available

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