Latest News are articles brought to you online only and have not been published in an issue of JPT.
Reservoir Commentary: Potential Implications of Long-Term Shut-Ins on Reservoir
New commentary from the SPE Reservoir Advisory Committee (RAC) provides key high-level insights on the potential consequences of long-term shut-ins on conventional and unconventional reservoirs.
As Upstream Investments Plunge, Risk of A Market Swing Rises
A new report from the IEA forecasts the global oil and gas industry will suffer a $1-trillion loss in revenue as a global pandemic saps demand and crushes prices. It might also set the stage for a price swing in the next few years.
Schlumberger To Restructure Business Units
Schlumberger plans to restructure by focusing on basins and divisions in line with customers’ E&P workflows.
China’s Oil Demand Shows Signs of Recovery
Gasoline and diesel demand are set to increase YoY beginning in Q3 2020.
New Low for Active US Crude Oil and Natural Gas Rigs
In 2 months, the US saw a 56% decline in rig count, reaching a 33-year low.
Oil Price Pains Flow Downhill
As operators feel the pinch of low oil prices, so, too, do their service providers.
Google Says No More AI or Machine Learning for Upstream Industry
The Internet giant is walking away from the exploraiton and production business following a report that claimed it was undermining its own climate initiatives by offering its machine-learning tools.
Neptune Exits Deal With Energean for North Sea Assets
Neptune must pay Energean a break-up fee of $5 million for cancelling what was to be a $250 million deal.
Total Puts the Brakes on Oil Deal With Occidental
Houston-based Occidental had earmarked the money to ease debt from buying Anadarko.
ExxonMobil, Pioneer Propose A Methane Monitoring Network For Texas Oil Fields
Tracking down fugitive emissions has traditionally relied on small-scale detection efforts. This new project seeks to buck the trend by covering the Permian Basin with sensors.
EIA: Global Liquid Fuel Inventory To Decline for 1.5 Years After Reaching 2020 Peak
The recent increase in global liquid fuel inventory has been largely driven by travel restrictions, and reduced economic activity. Supply is expected come back down as demand and prices recover.
Omani- and Shell-Backed Solar EOR Firm Runs Out of Steam
GlassPoint Solar was founded in 2008 to replace the use of natural gas for steamflooding heavy-oil reservoirs. But amid low energy prices, its chief investor has decided to pull the plug for good.
Saudi Arabia Faces Challenge in Balancing Deep Oil Cuts With Need for Gas
Middle East could lose 15% of ethane-based ethylene supply in 2020 because of oil supply dynamics.
Major Operators Submit Plans for Northern Lights JV
An investment decision this year would sanction Norway’s first CO2 storage project. Phase 1 is expected to be operational in 2024.
Leveraging the Combined Benefits of RTA and PTA During Market-Induced Production Shutdown
The silver lining for those overseeing the unprecedented shut ins of tight-oil wells is the potential to acquire a wealth of reservoir data. But first, petroleum engineers need to monitor these wells and use the right analysis toolbox.
Leaders on Leaders: Advice on Surviving the Storm From SPE’s Top Volunteers
The reality is that those working in the oil and gas industry are facing the toughest challenges seen in a generation. Aside from higher prices, one of the only things that will make it easier is good leadership.
Electric Frac Fleets Rise From 3% to 30% of US Shale Market Amid Diesel Drop
Though they have been a niche ever since their introduction to the market a few years ago, e-fleets are proving to be some of the most downturn-proof assets in the shale sector.
ADNOC’s New CTO Shares Innovation Philosophy
Alan Nelson is not only the new chief technology officer at ADNOC, he is the company’s first person to hold the title at the integrated oil company.
Wintershall Dea Makes Third Oil Discovery in Less Than a Month
Two discoveries offshore Mexico add to April’s finding in the Norwegian Sea.
Smaller Companies Attempt Life-Saving Measures To Stem Economic Suffering
Oil companies large and small have pulled out the stops to stay on solid ground. Devon, Diamondback, and Parsley post latest cuts in production.
The US Upstream Cementing Market Feels the Full Force of the Effects of COVID-19
The cementing services market size in the US is expected to drop 50% year-on-year from 2019. The significant drop in Permian Basin activity will account for 40% of the total market size reduction.
No, This Bust Doesn’t Feel Familiar
So many unprecedented changes have occurred in the Canadian oil business that it is impossible to compare the current downturn to anything seen before.
North American Contractions: Murphy Oil, Marathon Oil, and Halliburton
With US oil prices struggling to top $25, oil companies and service providers are making deeper cuts this month to cope. The biggest come from Halliburton which may have shed 5,000 total jobs since the start of the year.
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.
KLX Energy Services To Merge with Quintana Energy Services
The merged companies will offer large-diameter coiled-tubing, directional drilling, snubbing, wireline services, and pressure pumping services.
Texas Says No to Oil Production Quotas, Yes to Well-Plugging and Pit-Cleanup Delays
The Texas Railroad Commission finally ended its uncomfortable flirtation with limiting production by declining to set quotas, but it changed rules to speed oil storage construction and allow companies to conserve cash by giving them more time to plug wells and clean up waste pits.
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.”
Human Rights as a Sustainability Goal
While sustainability is approached through various means within the industry, at its core is the welfare of human beings. Recent SPE papers demonstrate the importance of human rights in the industry’s drive toward sustainability.
Three Money-Saving Ideas To Frac Faster
Faster drilling speeds have become one of the major obsessions of the shale sector in recent years. But since completions represent up to 70% of a new well’s cost, maybe this side of the business needs more attention now.
Keys to Better Water Management: Seeking Sustainability Amid the Chaos
The room for error and cost overruns just got a lot smaller with the escalating need to make operations more efficient and leaner with fewer resources and investors continuing to prioritize ESG alongside profitability.
Finding Oil Is Really Hard, Making Money Even Harder
Putting together the billions of dollars needed to develop deepwater finds has become tougher, but when the discoveries are huge, companies will make every effort to find a way to tap what may be a cheap source of oil.
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.
Asphaltenes: A Complex and Challenging Flow Assurance Issue To Measure and Quantify Risk
Researchers use novel methodology to measure the thermo-electric properties of native crude.
Offshore Discoveries Continue Even as Shale Slows
Four recent deepwater offshore discoveries show exploration is not dead, it is just concentrated offshore.
Feeding the Growing Appetite for Reality-Based Drilling Data
Drilling still depends on human judgment to solve many problems. Some of the problems are big, and others are related to niggling details. This article discusses three innovations aimed at improving the data flows.
The Great Shale Shut-In: Uncharted Territory for Technical Experts
As tight-oil producers move to curtail production, hard-to-answer questions are being raised about how shuttered wells will come back. The issue reveals key uncertainties about the delicate flow paths that define unconventional reservoirs.
Managing Risk and Reducing Damage From Well Shut-Ins
A technical synopsis of major considerations for unconventional wells facing prolonged shut-ins. The review includes deciding factors for kill fluid selection and risks of incompatible fluid mixing.
US Drilling Consolidation: Intrepid Buys Gyrodata’s Directional Unit
The move to combine forces comes amid the fastest contraction in drilling activity the US shale sector has ever seen while Gyrodata will retain its international business.
Australia Study Finds Few Environmental Effects From Hydraulic Fracturing in Coal Seams
A 3-year study of air quality, soils, groundwater, and waterways found few to no effects as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations in Surat Basin coal seam formations.
Video Interview: Implications of Negative WTI
On 20 April, a historic drop of oil prices occurred. WTI futures contract dove into negative territory for the first time ever.
Diamond Offshore Files for Bankruptcy
The chapter 11 filing comes as record-low crude prices and excess supply have impacted operations across the industry. About 2,500 jobs could be at stake.
Permian Completions Activity Falling Fast, But Not Evenly
While many shale producers are racing to cut costs by removing crews from the field, ExxonMobil and Chevron stood out as maintaining large numbers of fracturing crews.
Negative US Oil Prices Could Return in May
The nuances of futures contracts caught many of the world’s traders off guard, sending major US crude benchmark into negative pricing territory for the first time. But it probably will not be the last time.
Production Lifting Costs Shrinking
The savings result in part from the depreciation of global currencies against the US dollar, as most operating expenses in oil and gas production are realized in local currencies. Brazil leads in savings.
ConocoPhillips to Voluntarily Cut Production, Reduce Cash Uses; Weatherford to Delist from NYSE
Financial Fallout: For two big companies, tougher times call for tougher actions.
Can Regulators Move Fast Enough To Fix a Shattered Market?
Texas Railroad commissioners recognize the battering Texas oil companies, and their workers, are taking, but will continue considering their options until 5 May.
SPE Broadcasts First Editorial Roundtable Through LinkedIn Live
SPE's first live editorial roundtable discussion covered latest news and new technologies.
Oilfield Service Giants Report Billions in Losses
Halliburton and Schlumberger write-off billions in asset value and signal that more job cuts are coming during the second quarter.
Texas Railroad Commission, Executives Hold Hearing To Explore Production Quotas
Even some free-market advocates are calling for regulators to step in and try to help pull them out of what feels like a chasm by setting production limits.
IEA Head Declares “Black April” as Oil Oversupply Peaks at 29 Million B/D
A new report shows that the worst of the ongoing downturn may be soon over. A gradual recovery to global oil markets is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
How An Oil Price Crash Can Be a Good Thing
Not everybody suffers when US oil producers slash production. Among the beneficiaries could be US gas producers who will benefit because less oil production will mean a lot less gas on the US market.
Pandemic, Falling Oil Prices Threaten Global Licensing Rounds
Exploration commitments are expected to dwindle in the current market environment.
ExxonMobil Field Tests New Methane Leak Detection Systems
As studies point to increased emissions, ExxonMobil is stepping up efforts to detect and mitigate methane release.
OPEC+ Moves To End Price War With 9.7 Million B/D Cut
Reductions will begin next month and last until June. After that, major oil producers around the world plan to step down from the cuts in phases that extend to 2022.
After a Close Look at Its Oilfield Business, Baker Hughes Working on Cost Cuts
The firm said it will be “restructuring” to “right size its operations” for a slowing market without mentioning how that will affect its workforce. It also says its two major lines of business are worth less than previously estimated.
SPE Discounts OnePetro Papers, Offers Support for Learning and Job Transitions
As SPE members deal with challenging and uncertain times, they are reminded that there are a number of programs available to provide support and key resources. Read more to see which ones are useful to you and your career.
COVID-19 and Low Oil Prices—Critical Supply Chain and Procurement Strategies
With oil prices at historic lows and with COVID-19 supply chain disruptions, the time has come to evaluate supply chain and procurement strategies, sourcing techniques, and costs.
Podcast: Discussion on COVID-19 With Johana Dunlop
An expert panel moderated by Johana Dunlop, SPE technical director for HSE and sustainability, covers a wide range of issues facing the double crisis of COVID-19 and historically low crude prices.
Equinor Makes First Discovery in Gulf of Mexico Since 2015
The Monument well represents the Norwegian operator’s first deepwater drilling project in US waters in 5 years.
Further Cuts Announced Due to Low Oil Price, Supply/Demand Imbalance
ExxonMobil and Halliburton made additional cuts in spending and personnel.
Whiting Bankruptcy Opens a New Frontier for Executive Payouts
Golden parachutes typically pay executives big money if they are fired without cause. Whiting Petroleum executives found a way to collect theirs for staying on board after the company they led filed for bankruptcy.
In Search of a Flowmeter That Is Sensitive but Tough
Measuring the flow of water, mud, and cuttings from a well is critical, and difficult. A new flowmeter design that promises to be both accurate and durable is one of three technologies featured in a JPT series on drilling measurement innovation.
There’s More to Dull Drill Bits Than Meets the Eye
The best way to know how drilling affects drill bits is to visualize the bits. A device that creates high-resolution images for precise measurements is one of three technologies being featured in a JPT series on drilling measurement innovations.
Whiting Files for Bankruptcy
The Denver-based shale producer is the first to cite the ongoing price war and COVID-19 pandemic as the triggers for its insolvency.
US to Consider Leasing Space in Strategic Petroleum Reserve
The potential leasing of space in the SPR comes after the DOE’s plans to buy crude oil were suspended. US oil inventory stockpiles stand at a 10-month high.
Ask the Experts: Better Foresight Comes With Strong Flowback Philosophies
Every horizontal well must pass through the flowback phase before it becomes a true producer. A wealth of insights are generated during this period, but they only matter if an operator knows how to listen and interpret the data sets correctly.
A Drilling Automation Idea a Driller Could Appreciate
A group of people who really care how drillers code the memos added to the daily drilling report is the data scientists—who find that the coded tags do not match the activity. A program that helps drillers code is one of three technologies featured in a JPT series on drilling measurement innovation.
Russian Government Buys Venezuelan Assets From Its Own Oil Company
US sanctions appear to have prompted a change in ownership. It is unclear how the new arrangement will impact Venezuela’s diminishing ability to export crude oil.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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26 May 2020
20 May 2020