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Spending Cuts First, Job Cuts Are Next
Oil exploration and production jobs globally are at about the level they were after deep cuts following the 2014 crash. Now companies need to find more to cut.
The US Fracturing Market Is Sinking, But How Low Will It Go?
Shale producers are pulling completions crews out of the field to respond to the recent price crash, but the contraction has only begun.
UPDATE: Oil Industry Budget Cuts Adding Up Across the Globe
The list of companies that are slashing millions and sometimes billions from their annual spending programs is growing longer as the ripple effects of a price war and pandemic spread across the globe.
Chevron Hits the Brakes on Permian, Cuts $8 Billion Across Company
The international major has lowered its output forecast in the world’s most prolific unconventional basin by 20%.
Industry Faces Long Road to Recovery
Leaders of Rystad Energy went online recently to talk about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the oil and gas industry, and the prognosis isn’t good.
Global Upstream Industry Moves Into Survival Mode
As the fallout deepens from the coronavirus pandemic and the global collapse in oil and gas prices, oil- and gas-producing regions around the world are feeling the pain.
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.
Oil Prices Look Worse This Week, Time for Companies To Cut Deeper
US shale operators are cutting deeper, with some eliminating drilling and completions activity altogether.
Halliburton Issues Mandatory Furloughs at Headquarters
The world’s second-largest service firm has seen its share price tumble by 75% as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a brutal price war. Workers at Halliburton’s main campus are among the first to feel the impacts.
Interest in US Gulf Lease Sale Sapped by Price Crash
Oil and gas operators played it safe in the latest offshore auction by placing about half the high bids typically made. As a result, the total dollar commitment for the round was the lowest since 2017.
Historic Oil Glut May Linger for Years
Oil prices got bad fast, so when will they get better? Don’t bet on a quick recovery.
Facts and Figures: US To Fill Strategic Petroleum Reserves Amid Historic Price War
In its first response to the Russia-Saudi Arabia price war, the US government will purchase up to 78 million bbl of crude to protect domestic producers.
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?
Oil Price Crash Triggers Decisions To Slow Drilling
The prescribed treatment for market- and virus-induced oil price collapse is to quickly slow production growth. Two US shale companies moved swiftly to cut the pace of drilling and completions, but it is too soon to know if that will have any impact.
Drilling Automation Is the Future, But ExxonMobil Finds Gaps To Fill
ExxonMobil’s rig automation experiment is accelerating, with plans to push the number of rigs in the system from three to nine. Drilling efficiency was improved by use of an automated pipe-handling system, which reduced the median time required for connection at one location by 20%.
Don’t Tell Them You Are Using Excel
Engineering career tip of the day: If you are using Microsoft Excel at work, don’t leave it open on your computer when your boss is nearby.
ExxonMobil Shares Blueprint for Stricter Regulations of Methane Emissions
The largest oil and gas major in the US is calling for tighter rules around methane monitoring, wellhead venting, and the replacement of equipment components with “high-leak potential.”
Record US Production Topped 12 Million B/D in 2019, Will Climb Slower This Year
Led by Texas and New Mexico, year-over-year crude output jumped by 11% according to the US Energy Information Administration. Going forward, new records will be set but at a slower pace.
Podcast: Highlights from SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference
In this episode, we discuss some of the latest research and emerging techniques that were shared at the industry’s leading hydraulic fracturing gathering earlier this year.
Equinor Strikes Oil at New North Sea Discovery
Because the greenfield can use existing infrastructure, the Norwegian operator says it will count as a low-carbon development.
Saudi Aramco Set To Make $110-Billion Investment in Tight Gas
The first of three major unconventional developments in Saudi Arabia has been given the green light. The project will underpin the country's goal to become a top gas exporter by 2030.
Transocean's Backlog Signals A Deepwater Revival
Transocean reported a long list of reasons why the deepwater drilling business is coming back strong. Making money is still not one of them.
Eni Makes Another Discovery Offshore Mexico, Expects Several More
The Italian oil and gas company has found its second big well offshore Mexico and is setting its sights on several more in the near future.
Saudi Oil Basins Rich and Complex
Saudi Arabia offers a seemingly bottomless supply of oil and an equally deep array of exploration challenges as well.
Enverus Acquires RS Energy Group and Q Engineering
The provider of subscription-based analytics services for the North American oil and gas sector continues its streak of purchasing data-focused firms.
BP Aims for Net-Zero Emissions, Oxy To End Flaring
BP says it is firmly committed to achieving the ambitious target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years—even if that means producing less oil and gas.
Why Shell Drilled a “Horseshoe” Well in the Permian Basin
Sometimes problems turn out to be an opportunity to try something new. In this case, the result was a well design unlike anything most in the shale sector have seen before.
SPE Launches “Energizing Our Lives”
The aim of the new site is to report the positive stories about how our industry is having a beneficial impact on people’s lives.
Operators Seeking Faster, Cheaper Ways to Screen Fracturing Ideas
High-tech testing is playing a bigger role than ever in helping shale producers reduce the time needed to screen out bad ideas.
Offshore Investment to Bolster Middle East Oil and Gas Supply Ambition
The most recent hydrocarbon production boom is under way in the Middle East, and this time, the race is spilling into offshore waters.
Federal Investigators Probe Central Texas Blowout
The US Chemical Safety Board will investigate the blowout that killed three workers at a Chesapeake Energy well in central Texas.
Alta Mesa Resources Started Strong And Ended Up in the Bargain Bin
Alta Mesa Resources is not the biggest shale startup to go bankrupt, but was its early death rooted in petroleum engineering or financial engineering?
Coronavirus Outbreak Impacting Crude Demand Forecasts
Wood Mackenzie expects the ongoing outbreak and disruption to the world’s second largest economy to be a one-off event, yet it could remove at least 500,000 B/D of crude demand in the short term.
EIA: US Crude and Renewables Will Coexist For Decades To Come
While renewable energy sources are poised to see major growth, possibly displacing natural gas as the top source of electricity in the US, hydrocarbon production will remain above or near current historical highs until at least 2050.
SPE Talks To: Mathias Carlsen
In this episode, we discuss the state of shale EOR in the US and what hydrocarbon producers need to know about seperator oil shrinkage.
ExxonMobil: Another Guyana Discovery, Ups Recoverable Reserves, Adding a Drillship
Guyana continues to strengthen its reputation as the world’s fastest growing offshore exploration hotspot.
Lundin Petroleum Joins Decarbonization Movement With a Name Change
The Swedish oil and gas producer is aiming to produce 200,000 B/D while offsetting the entirety of its carbon footprint.
Digital Startups Raise Hundreds of Millions To Modernize Upstream Sector
Producers and investors continue to reward small companies with big solutions that lean on new software and hardware to lift the bottom line of one the world’s few trillion-dollar industries.
Shale Producer Partners with Analytics Firm To Stop Overbilling and Fraud
Concho Resources and Enverus say turning to automated software for tracking invoices could save the upstream business many millions of dollars.
Schlumberger, Halliburton Downsize Fracturing Services Amid Shale Sector’s “Biggest Test”
The two oilfield service leaders serve as critical bellwethers for the health of North America’s upstream sector, which is under pressure to consolidate and generate free cash flow.
2020 Will Be Year of New Directions and Complex Choices for Oil and Gas Industry
Amid weakening confidence and volatile market conditions, greater efficiencies and decarbonization are at the center of the industry’s agenda.
Report: BP Pulling Out of Iraq Field
The withdrawal comes at a time of increasing tension between the US and Iraq, which makes investment in the country riskier.
Oilfield Construction Giant McDermott Files for Bankruptcy Protection
The firm has outlined a restructuring plan that will see it sell off subsidiaries and erase more than $4.6 billion in debt.
Eni, ADNOC Sign Carbon Capture Agreement
The companies will focus on research and development to reduce CO2 emissions and promote the circular economy.
Nine Months After Discovery, Eni Starts Offshore Angolan Oilfield
The Italian oil and gas company used a “fast track” model to get the first production well flowing from the Agogo field.
Can Deep Cost Cuts Sustain Growth in the UK North Sea?
Sharp reductions in operating expenses has rekindled growth and exploration in the UK North Sea, but this fragile recovery will require a continued luck in exploration drilling and a focus on holding the line on costs, which are still high.
Nasser Satisfied With Aramco IPO, Advocates Climate Strategy
The head of the world’s largest oil company calls the current discussion of climate change too narrowly focused.
Israel Starts Exporting Natural Gas to Egypt
Landmark deal called most significant since 1979 peace treaty.
Oil and Gas Discoveries Reach Four-Year High in 2019: Rystad
A total of 12.2 billion BOE was discovered worldwide in 2019—the highest volume in 4 years, with offshore regions dominating the list of new deposits.
Saudi Arabia Pledges To Help Stabilize Market in Wake of US/Iran Tension
Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said OPEC must continue to work toward market stability to allow needed oil and gas investment to go forward.
US Onshore Contraction Results in Layoffs at Occidental and Apache
Layoffs have begun at Occidental Petroleum, which needs to slack costs after buying Anadarko, as well as Apache.
Talos Shares Zama Reserves Audit Amid Unitization Negotiations With Pemex
Talos is hoping to retain its operatorship of the major discovery it made in 2017 offshore Mexico after a reserves audit confirmed the reservoir is shared between two offshore blocks.
Equinor Plans to Eliminate Norwegian Carbon Emissions
Equinor has released its plan for eliminating carbon dioxide emissions in Norway by 2050, but it comes with some tall technical challenges.
BP Makes $625 Million Exit From North Sea Assets
The deal is part of BP’s plan to divest $10 billion in the North Sea so that it can focus on developing core growth areas and construct more cost-effective subsea tiebacks in the region.
Oxy and Total Team Up in Colorado for Carbon Sequestration Project
A new joint study will test the economic viability of taking CO2 from a cement plant and giving it to an oil company to pump underground.
US Shale: All Signs Point to Further Consolidation
As capital markets dry up and shale producers look for pathways to growth, oil and gas data analytics firm Enverus predicts the US sector will see a “surge” in mergers and acquisitions in 2020.
Egypt Awards Oil Majors First Red Sea Blocks
The Arab world’s most populous country has awarded a string of concessions in a bid to become the region’s next major supplier of natural gas.
Massive Gas Field Begins Production Offshore Israel
The largest natural gas field in the rising Eastern Mediterranean region is now flowing after being discovered a decade ago.
Global Deepwater Production Hits 10 Million BOE/D
The depth of the world’s offshore projects has steadily increased over the past 30 years—and so has its production base. The growth trend will continue thanks to new fields offshore Brazil, Guyana, and the US.
The Top Stories of 2019
The most read stories reflect interest in the digital transformation, the energy transition, and shale operations.
Guyana Hits New Milestones
First oil from the 120,000-B/D Liza Destiny FPSO is flowing ahead of schedule.
Tackling Carbon Emissions on a Grassroots Level
Alberta carbon conversion challenge yields potential GHG reduction of millions of metric tons per year.
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.
Devon Sells Barnett Asset to Thai Venture Firm for $770 Million
Devon exits the asset that served as the company’s cornerstone for almost two decades and is known to the world as the birthplace of the shale revolution.
Legacy Providers Lose Ground In Texas’ Crowded Directional Drilling Market
Directional drilling and measurement-while-drilling technology has become so democratized in the Texas shale sector that no provider holds more than 8% of the market share.
Total to Gain Blocks, Extend Production Licenses Offshore Angola
Total has agreed to acquire interests in two blocks in the offshore Kwanza Basin from Angola’s state-owned Sonangol and has received an extension on its offshore Block 17 production licenses.
BP Confirms Further Gas Potential Offshore Mauritania, Senegal
Three appraisal wells drilled this year—GTA-1, Yakaar-2, and Orca-1—targeted nine hydrocarbon-bearing zones, encountering gas in high-quality reservoirs in all zones and yielding a combined 160 m of net pay.
Superior Energy Becomes Latest Service Firm to Abandon Pressure Pumping
As completions activity slows down in the US, the second service company in a week’s time has said it is exiting the business of hydraulic fracturing.
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.
Weatherford Emerges from Chapter 11, Eliminates $6.2 Billion in Debt
The company also secured $2.6 billion in exit financing facilities, including a $450-million revolving credit facility, as well as a $195-million letter of credit facility and more than $900 million of liquidity.
WPX Buys Private Permian Player Felix Energy for $2.5 Billion
The latest move to consolidate the US shale sector will add 1,500 drilling locations to the buyer's portfolio. It also reflects that all-stock or mostly-stock deals are now the sector’s preferred acquisition vehicle.
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.
Chevron Sanctions First Deepwater Ultra-High-Pressure Development
The Anchor development in the US Gulf of Mexico is the first ultra-high-pressure project requiring 20-ksi operating pressure to reach a final investment decision.
Permian Basin Decline Rates Have “Increased Dramatically” Amid Ongoing Slowdown
A new report says that production growth in the world’s most prolific unconventional basin is on the verge of stalling out.
Berry to Succeed Shale Pioneer Hamm as CEO of Continental Resources
Hamm, who has served as CEO since founding Continental in 1967, will become executive chairman effective 1 January.
Chevron Sets 2020 Upstream Budget, Writes Down At Least $10 Billion
The US major will keep its overall budget flat for a third straight year, but the expectation of lower oil and gas prices long-term will result in tax impairment charges of $10 billion–$11 billion. More than half of those charges will come from its Appalachia Shale gas assets.
Enverus Forecasts “Significant Slowdown” in US Gas Output Growth in 2020
The data analytics firm projects US dry gas output growth will shrink to 2 Bcf/D next year from 8–9 Bcf/D in 2018 and 2019.
SPE Talks To: Yogashri Pradhan
In this episode, we discuss how to market yourself and grow your career.
Total Officially Enters Libya’s Waha Concessions
Total will invest $650 million in the development of two main projects, North Gialo and NC 98, resulting in a 180,000-B/D increase in production.
Tullow Oil CEO, Exploration Director Resign Amid Lower Production Outlook
The resignations come as the company makes downward revisions to its production guidance after a disappointing performance from its TEN and Jubilee fields offshore Ghana.
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.
OPEC, non-OPEC Allies To Extend, Increase Production Cuts
The group will shed an additional 500,000 B/D of oil production through March 2020, bringing the total curtailment to 1.7 million B/D.
Pemex Makes 500 Million Barrel Discovery
The Quesqui field is expected to be the biggest onshore find in Mexico since 1987.
Colombia Awards 14 Onshore Blocks
Calgary-based Colombia producers Canacol Energy and Parex Resources led all firms by gaining three blocks each, with one more counteroffer from Parex pending review.
Apache To Deepen Suriname Exploration Well, Conduct Further Tests
Industry awaits the results of Apache’s Maka Central-1 exploratory well offshore Suriname, where high expectations follow the rapid exploration success of neighboring Guyana.
US Was Net Exporter of Crude, Petroleum Products in September
It is the first time the country was a net exporter of crude and petroleum products during a month since the US Energy Information Administration began keeping such records in 1973.
SPE Talks To: Shauna Noonan—Strengthening Ways To Disseminate Knowledge
Each month, Shauna joins The SPE Podcast to discuss her President's Column and to share her SPE journey. We'll end each of these podcasts asking the audience an interactive question.
Repsol Becomes First Oil Company To Aim For Net-Zero Emissions By 2050
The Spanish oil and gas company says existing or foreseeable technologies will achieve at least 70% of its ambitious plan to shrink its carbon footprint.
Oil and Gas UK Calls for Urgent Action on Carbon Capture and Storage
Rapid scale-up of CCUS projects is critical to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Wallace Appointed CEO of Israel’s Delek Group
The succession at the top role comes amid the independent’s expansion beyond the Eastern Med, with recent acquisitions of North Sea and US Gulf of Mexico assets.
SPE Talks Tech: 2020 Technology Watch List
With 2020 on the horizon, JPT editors put together our Top 10 list of technologies and ideas to keep an eye on in the coming year.
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.
Another View: The Innovation Path to Deployment
Many confuse “an” innovation model for “the” innovation model, and we have confounded innovators with entrepreneurs. They are not the same thing.
CNOOC Names CEO, Increases Bohai Oil Production
Xu Keqiang took the reins as CEO of the Chinese national oil company on 19 November. Meanwhile, more oil is flowing from the offshore Caofeidian 11-1/11-6 oilfield project.
ConocoPhillips Unveils 10-Year Operating, Financial Plan
The plan targets some $50 billion in free cash flow over the period while growing production more than 3%/year.
SPE Talks To: Kirstie Boyle
Business Development VP Kirstie Boyle joins The SPE Podcast to talk startups. Recently part of a $4.5-million funding round, Kirstie shares what makes Interface Fluidics flow.
Short-Term Headwinds and Fundamental Long-Term Change Will Challenge Oil and Gas Industry in 2020
Macroeconomic and business risks, investor uncertainty, and the energy transition highlight the challenges outlined in the report.
European Investment Bank To Stop Funding Oil and Gas Projects
The bank funded some €2 billion in projects last year.
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18 March 2020
17 March 2020