To Spark Real-Time Revolution, Fracture Diagnostic Firms Partner Up and Innovate
The types of advancements made in real-time drilling data acquisition and processing are now on the doorstep of the North American completions sector. Technology developers are banding together under the umbrella of “coopetition” in a bid to change the way producers fracture tight reservoirs.
Report: “Simple” Well Spacing Calculations are Inaccurate and Costly
Figuring out how far apart to place horizontal wellbores remains one of the biggest challenges facing the future of the shale revolution. One roadblock appears to be the way in which the sector has traditionally measured these distances.
Testing a System Where Machines Decide How Much to Pay a Trucker, and Send a Check
Ten big names in the oil and gas business created a group to try out ways to use blockchain in the oil business, and test if the record keeping and automatic data collection software can track water shipments more efficiently.
Shale Sector’s Switch to Slickwater Highlights Compatibility Issues with Produced Water
Not all friction reducers are created equal. With dozens of varieties on the market, industry research suggests that oil and gas companies be choosy.
Motivating Innovation on the Rig Floor
Occidental drillers and engineers figured out that it is faster and cheaper to reduce the weight on bit (WOB) than speeding ahead, which increased the risk of a breakdown and time lost for repairs.
Drilling Change Requires Changing Drillers
Drilling change requires training drillers. Leadership matters, as does motivation, engaging displays, and understanding office politics. Four different looks at the human side of drilling productivity improvement.
Slipping Past Human Barriers to Change
When Apache rolled out a digital system delivering real-time drilling data and advice, the reactions from workers were strong, and conflicting.
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.
Selling Drilling Data like a Smart Phone
Corva’s challenge is to change the behavior of drillers who work for somebody else. The fast-growing company has no shortage of users.
To “Right Size” Fractures, Producers Adopt Robust Monitoring and Custom Completions
If you can see it, then maybe you can control it. This sums up the latest quest that the unconventional engineering community embarked upon to get a better understanding of proper well spacing and how fractures really interact.
SPE Honors 2019 International Award Recipients at Annual Meeting
Recipients of SPE’s 2019 International Awards will be recognized on 1 October, during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Calgary.
Q&A With 2020 SPE President Shauna Noonan
Shauna Noonan will take office as 2020 SPE President during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in October in Calgary. In this interview, she shares the key issues she will emphasize during her term, the challenges facing SPE, and the growth plan for the Society.
US Fracturing Test Data Trickling Out With a Lot More Promised
A fracturing test site in West Virginia has quietly made a data trove available on the website of the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Lab.
Anadarko’s Digital Legacy Offers a Template for Others
The large independent put together a team of data scientists, software developers, and petrotechnical staff to create a forward-looking vision for how to use digital technology to solve problems.
Event Covers State of the Art in Plugging and Abandonment
An SPE Forum held recently in The Hague, The Netherlands, brought together professionals from production and service companies, regulators, and stakeholders to discuss issues that are shaping the well plugging and abandonment sector.
These Five Companies are Reinventing the US Frac Fleet
Pressure pumping equipment has been one of the most neglected areas of technological advancement. This has started to change as innovative developers push out new technologies that are slowly modernizing fracturing fleets, delivering major fuel savings, and creating other tangible efficiencies.
Workshop in Kuwait Lifts the Bar in Digital Transformation for Oil and Gas
To analyze the status of digital transformation strategies and the pace of implementation in the Middle East, an SPE Applied Technology Workshop brought together operating and service companies and consulting firms for a discussion.
Shale Producers Piloting Downhole Compression To Solve Liquid Loading
Using maglev technology, a new artificial lift system seeks to boost production output by sucking down reservoir pressure from inside the wellbore and from inside the reservoir.
LNG at a Crossroads
In its first 50 years, LNG has become the world’s fastest-growing gas supply source and is now part of an upheaval in the global energy market. Today, the sector stands at a crossroads, and the industry must adopt new thinking to address current and future needs of buyers, sellers, and consumers.
Big Data vs. Diverse Data: Confidential Databases Lack Performance Benchmarks
A study by a real-time monitoring company showed that many coiled-tubing strings are retired with a lot of life left in them. It suggested companies could lower costs by using pipe for a longer time and could benefit from multicompany studies showing how their decisions compare to the competition.
Report Recounts the Missed Signals Leading to a Blowout that Killed Five
Regulators say the blowout that killed five workers on a Patterson-UTI rig in Oklahoma was the product of a slow-moving series of missed signals, misleading testing, and miscalculations that failed to control a natural gas influx.
New Distinguished Lecturer Schedule Announced
With speakers from various disciplines and professions, the 2019–2020 Distinguished Lecturer lineup focuses on industry trends, challenges, and technology applications and advances.
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?
More Tweaks Than Transformation in Rewrite of Well Control Rule
The new well control rule is evidence that memories of the Macondo blowout remain a powerful force for caution. Despite the rhetoric on both sides of this hot-button issue suggesting big changes, the final changes were incremental.
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.
Malaysia’s Petronas is Looking Near and Far for Gas and Oil
The state-owned firm is looking within its home country, around Southeast Asia, and to the Americas—including shale—in an effort to maintain its forecast average yearly production of 1.7 million BOE/D over the next 5 years.
As Exciting as Watching Scale Grow: Real-Time Observations Generate New Control Ideas
The chemical reactions creating buildups of scale that can clog a well can be replicated in a chemical lab, but researchers are finding many more variables on the surfaces of pipes that need to be considered.
China’s Shale Dream Rests Atop Chaotic Geology
As the country pushes for higher output from its emerging unconventional sector, nature is pushing back. To get better results, operators there are increasing their reliance on technology.
How Southeast Asian Upstream Operators Are Digitalizing
Malaysia’s Petronas, Shell Malaysia, and Thailand’s PTTEP are now in the midst of full-scale digital adoption. The companies are beginning to see results, but none is counting on a “big bang” in development of the technology soon.
Make or Breakeven: Is Unconventional Oil Production Getting More Efficient?
If the benchmark oil price is $10/bbl higher than the breakeven price for production that means companies are making good money, right? Maybe, but it’s hard to know what goes into a breakeven price.
Industry Dives into UK’s New Oil and Gas Data Hub
Some 3,000 people and counting intrigued by UK oil and gas data have signed up for access to the country’s new National Data Repository. What motivated the OGA to make the data available to the public, and what can the public do with the data?
Digital Transformation at BP is Starting to Add Up to Billions
Analytics, sensors, and robots are changing the way one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies does business. Underpinning all the new technology though is a shift in how BP thinks, and what it means to be a supermajor in the 21st century.
Offshore: Making a Comeback After the Downturn
Could 2019 be a bumper year for offshore energy development?
OTC Names Winners of Spotlight on New Technology Awards
The Offshore Technology Conference selected 15 new technologies for its 2019 Spotlight on New Technology Awards. The annual awards program recognizes innovative technologies and companies to showcase the latest advances in offshore exploration and production.
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.
Looking for Fracturing Sand That Is Cheap and Local
The very first fracturing job used sand scooped from a nearby river. After decades of buying sand based on tight size standards, unconventional operators are increasingly going back to a broad range of sizes, similar to that river sand.
Data Is Not Scarce, but Oil Companies Hoard It as if It Were
A growing number of oil industry leaders are saying that data sharing across the industry is needed, but change is coming slowly.
New Operators, Well Designs Drive Record Gas Production in Haynesville
After a long cooling off period, this dry-gas shale play is once again red hot.
Souped-Up Search Engines Wrangle Drilling, Completions Data
Fed by big data loads from big operators, a university consortium and software firm are each working to make upstream data access as quick and easy as a Google search.
One Industry of Global Citizens
An assortment of sustainability initiatives shows how the oil and gas industry, leveraging its reach, diversity, and resources, is going well beyond just supplying energy to impact the world for the better.
This 17 article special section pays tribute to petroleum engineers, their technical achievements, and examines the issues that will shape the profession in the near future.
Did I Make the Right Career Choice?
JPT asked several active young professionals about their career path thus far and what they liked about petroleum engineering. Here are some of their answers.
Petroleum Engineering—The Best Profession
Short of choosing a life partner, deciding on a profession may be the most important decision any of us ever makes.
Meeting the World’s Energy Needs Through Innovation and Insight
JPT asked several active SPE members about the appeal of petroleum engineering, the significance of the work they do, and what the future may hold. Here are some of their answers.
What Does the Data Revolution Offer the Oil Industry?
The need to understand the future trends of the oil industry has never been greater than it is today.
How the Oil and Gas Industry Is Contributing to Sustainability
In September 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals, addressing the global challenges facing humanity, including poverty, inequality, health, education, energy, climate, the environment, and prosperity.
The Challenge of Public Perception
Are you annoyed by all the wrong things passing for facts about oil and gas? A lot of petroleum engineers are. As for what to do to solve the problem, that gets complicated, and likely will require studying psychology.
Three Myths About the Oil and Gas Industry’s Future and How To Counter Them
We are in the midst of an energy transition: the world is moving quickly and inevitably away from “dirty” fossil fuels to “green” solar, wind, and batteries.
How Oil Innovation Has Benefited Other Industries
Technology transfer in the oil business is too often discussed from a lens of bringing in outside innovations. But what happens when innovation escapes the industry’s orbit and finds a new home?
Ten Technologies From the 1980s and 1990s That Made Today’s Oil and Gas Industry
Contrary to popular imagination, which favors John Wayne stereotypes heroically rescuing the oil industry with wrench and hammer, the oilfield is a place of exquisite engineering, the match of anything on Earth, a marvel of innovation at the biggest and smallest scales.
Engineering Miracles: A Short Distance Between Creation and Value to Society
In the JPT issue celebrating SPE’s 50th anniversary, John C. Calhoun addressed how distinctive petroleum engineering is from other engineering disciplines.
What Lies Ahead for Hydrocarbons in the Global Energy Mix?
The energy transition is underway, and the push to reduce carbon emissions will be at the forefront of industry discussion in the coming years. What role will oil and gas play in the changing landscape? How diversified can our fuel mix be while still meeting growing energy demand?
Why We Matter
When worldwide oil and gas consumption reached record levels yet again in 2017, SPE members were there when it counted, helping to generate more light and power for billions of people across the world.
The X-Factor in PE: Women in the Industry
Women in PE make significant technical contributions and bring value-adding attributes and perspectives to the industry
Petroleum: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
For sheer impact, in touching the lives of virtually everybody on the planet, Haber-Bosch is hard, if not impossible, to beat. While food (together with water) is arguably the most important human need in terms of sustaining life, affordable energy is an important determinant of the quality of that
An Actionable Path for Oil and Gas in the Fight Against Climate Change
Global climate concerns, amplified in the public consciousness by a steady stream of violent weather events such as hurricanes and California wildfires, are generating a new set of realities for the energy industry.
All in the Family
Perhaps the best compliment paid to a profession is when a child follows his parent’s footsteps into it.
New Tech Accelerator Teams With Big Operators To Solve the Pilot Problem
Funding for startups in the upstream industry does not always guarantee that oil and gas companies will want to test the new technology. A new venture and accelerator model hopes to change this through guaranteed pilots.
In 2040, Will There Be Jobs for Petroleum Engineers?
BP’s latest annual energy outlook considers many scenarios for the future, and they all require engineers to find a lot more oil to meet high demand.
To Solve Frac Hits, Unconventional Engineering Must Revolve Around Them
The struggle to overcome the challenge of frac hits has led to a critical dialogue about which pathway the shale sector should take. One idea is to simply put the problem at the center of every major decision.
The Oil and Gas Chat Bots Are Coming
The technology is being proven in millions of phones and homes across the world. Now, a small group of software startups wants to introduce chat bot technology to oil and gas professionals.
SPE Technical Directors’ Outlook: Do Good, Then Do Better
In their outlook for 2019, SPE’s technical directors suggest petroleum engineers take a moment to reflect on the industry’s great feats, and then get back to work to do things better.
What’s Different About These Drill Bits? How a Little Change Can Be Made to Matter
A contest where teams of college students design and build an automated drilling rig able to deal with hazardous obstacles in a test block, showed how a small change can be engineered to matter.
Reservoir-on-a-Chip Technology Opens a New Window Into Oilfield Chemistry
An oil and gas startup has attracted the business with a major operator thanks to its ability to forecast whether production-enhancing chemicals will work as advertised.
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.
Fighting Water With Water: How Engineers Are Turning the Tides on Frac Hits
If the shale sector’s most complex problem can be solved, it will require companies to use their wells as a team. Newly detailed field work shows that a good defense is the key to success.
Permian Pulse: Using Satellite Imagery Analytics To Track the World’s Busiest Oil Play
Companies are bringing satellite monitoring to the unconventional oilfield—namely the Permian Basin—where they are training machine learning models to track and predict drilling and completions work.
How Close Is Too Close? Well Spacing Decisions Come With Risks
The ideal well spacing is in the eye of the beholder. The decision depends on so many factors that machine learning is now trying to determine the best combination of ingredients.
Fewer Grads + More Jobs: A Winning Formula for Job Hunters
As demand for petroleum engineers begins to rise, supply is dropping fast. It may be a good market for job seekers but things could get tougher for those doing the hiring.
Looking Inside the Well: An Interview With Visuray CEO Kambiz Safinya
Visuray is using its unique X-ray technology to improve downhole imaging.
An Inside Look at Anadarko Petroleum’s Digital Transformation
Meet the group advancing digital technology adoption within one of the largest oil and gas producers in the US. Its aim is to cross-pollinate reservoir engineers with data scientists to create a 21st century workforce.
Oil and Gas Salaries Continue To Head Upward
Petroleum industry professionals’ reported average compensation in 2018 shows an increase from this past year but is still lower than salaries before the oil price downturn that began in 2014.
Shell Picks a Digital Platform To Build Its AI Future Upon
The international major has been playing with intelligent programs for years, but this new deal shows that it is now ready to scale those efforts up to cover hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment.
Seeq’s Focus on Time-Series Data Draws in Chevron, Shell, and Pioneer
The 5-year-old software startup is getting noticed by the oil and gas industry for its ability to accelerate analytics projects by taking care of all the tedious work involved with data wrangling.
So Many Wells, So Few Engineers—Scaling Production Engineering for All Those Shale Wells
Fast-declining, older, unconventional oil wells require artificial lift experts to deal with and explore a population of miles-long horizontal wells that do not follow the established rules of thumb.
Fracturing Wells in Pairs Creates Strong Links
Fracturing two or more wells at the same time creates connections. While fracturing fluids reach out further, those ties create a stronger link, though not forever.
BP and Startup Beyond Limits Try To Prove That Cognitive AI Is Ready for Oil and Gas
BP has invested more than $100 million into nine different startup companies in the past 2 years—but only one of them wants to turn your brain into a piece of its software.
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.
New SPE President Offers a Vision of Oil and Gas Sustainability
2019 SPE President Sami Alnuaim will spend the next year forging new relationships to promote the industry’s role in addressing environmental issues.
Culture Change Needed To Realize Full Value of Digital
What does industry need to create successful ecosystems in a new digital reality? While companies identify and implement new technologies to streamline their operations, a greater focus on new cultures, skill sets, and mindsets may be necessary.
Life is Complicated and Uncertain: Why Not Just Focus on Drilling Faster?
Predicting the trajectory of a satellite, or a well, requires sophisticated analysis to reduce the huge uncertainties. That adds to the many things drillers should be thinking about, which can be overwhelming.
Imagine Fracture Modeling Based on Actual Fractures
By measuring which tests best predicted the fractures observed at the Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site, Laredo Petroleum developed a method it hopes will improve fracture modeling in other places.
Upstream Data Can Be “a Rat’s Nest of a Mess”
Companies such as Google, Schlumberger, Shell, and Encana are working to turn the industry’s rat’s nest of data into a goldmine of insight, analysis, and technology.
Panel Highlights Challenges, Successes in Digital Transformation
Strides made in data analytics over the past few years have been huge. But the complexity of data, and understanding how to use them, can delay the advantages to be gained. If the benefits and methodology of data acquisition are not better explained to engineers, might implementation suffer?
Real Fractured Rock Is So Complex It’s Time for New Fracturing Models
A close look at hundreds of feet of fractured core samples suggest that new fracture models are needed to simulate complicated reality.
What Happens When Facebook Technology Meets Oil Well Records
The same tools that make it fun and easy for you to see a friend's updates online are also pretty good at tying together unconnected databases holding valuable well information.
BP and Baker Hughes Go Live with Big Analytics on All Gulf of Mexico Platforms
What do 60,000 sensors on 1,200 pieces of equipment add up to? Hopefully, hundreds of millions of dollars in savings.
SPE Honors 2018 International Award Recipients at Annual Meeting
Recipients of the 2018 SPE International Awards will be recognized at the Annual Reception and Banquet to be held during the 2018 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dallas this month.
Can Putting Blockchain on Drilling Rigs Really Get Everyone on the Same Screen?
Having blockchain on an oil rig means everyone on the job shares a view of a project from start to finish. This could facilitate innovations that cut costs, but organizational change is required.
Getting to Zero and Beyond
The recently issued SPE technical report Getting to Zero and Beyond: The Path Forward highlights the “how to” for the industry to achieve zero incidents, zero harm, and zero impact.
An Update of the Global Standard in Reserves/Resources Classification and Definitions
Since its publication in 2007, the SPE Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) has been broadly adopted by the petroleum industry as the international standard reference for reserves and resources classification and reporting.
Oilfield Service Patent Contests Get Heated
From the highest courts of the US judicial branch to the C-suite, contests involving patents have recently come to the fore in the innovation hungry US oilfield services industry, even as filings and litigation have declined in recent years.
Can You Measure Reservoir Depletion While Drilling?
Shale explorers run very few logs into horizontal wells, making it difficult to understand the effects of reservoir depletion in tightly spaced wells. This new technology is trying to change that.
New Modeling Code Sees Deep Inside Fractures, May Change Thinking on Well Spacing
Operators are working with a young startup company to overhaul how the unconventional sector has traditionally interpreted one the most common tests used to influence well completion designs.
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.
Innovative Pressure Map Offers Insights on Frac Hits
Well-interference issues can be hard to diagnose, but this startup may be figuring that out. The data-driven process it developed can also help operators come up with more effective ways to use diverters.
Rapid Evaluation of Development Ideas Has Engineers Thinking: What If?
A software program has evolved from predicting future well output to showing engineers the many ways their ideas could affect asset performance.
In the Battle Against Frac Hits, Shale Producers Go to New Extremes
The rise of cube developments in the Permian Basin has introduced a new way of thinking for some of the region’s biggest players.
Legends of Artificial Lift
The 2018 Legends of Artificial Lift are announced. Recipients will be honored at the 2018 SPE Artificial Lift Conference and Exhibition to be held in The Woodlands, Texas.
Pioneer's Analytics Project Reveals the Good and Bad of Machine Learning
A recent research effort has shown that the digital journey is full of stumbling blocks. Just like humans, advanced computing technology will get some things right and some things wrong.
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