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.
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.
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.
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.
Post-Macondo Focus on Safety
Following the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, the industry put in place comprehensive initiatives to improve offshore safety. This article outlines the status of two initiatives, a summary of the current focus areas to enhance safety, and SPE’s contribution to them.
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.
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.
SPE Board Announces Nominees: 2022 President and 2021 Directors
Kamel Ben-Naceur is the nominee for 2022 SPE President. He and seven others make up the new slate of nominees recommended for positions open on the SPE Board of Directors.
Upstream Digitalization Is Proving Itself in the Real World
For the upstream industry, where improvement in efficiency or production can drive significant financial results, there is no question that the size of the digital prize is huge. So are the challenges.
How SPE Board Members Are Selected
SPE is governed by a Board of Directors comprising 22 members from around the world. Each SPE super region and board-endorsed technical discipline is represented by at least one director.
A Digital Edge for Wireline Logging
Edge—or, in-field, device-level—computing is being driven by the need for data from individual wells to be analyzed and processed at the wellsite instead of in data centers for early and accurate decision making.
Subsurface Compression Lifts Liquids, Increases Gas Production in Unconventional Well Trial
A downhole compressor solution based on advanced magnetic technologies completed its first field trials in an unconventional gas well. It resulted in a 62% increase in gas production and significant increase in liquid production compared to using a rod pump previously in the well
Components of Real-Time Flowback Analysis, With a Focus on Full Value Chain
Improved collaboration and more integrated workflows.
Sealed Wellbores and the Unlikely “Breakthrough” Behind Cheap, Accurate Fracture Diagnostics
When engineers went searching for clues on how fractures move beneath the surface, they expected to uncover important learnings. They did not know they were on the path to a new invention.
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.
What is the Future Demand for Petroleum Engineers?
Artificial intelligence can do some things faster and better than humans can. But that may allow engineers to focus on higher-value tasks.
Succeeding at Petroleum Engineering in a Digital Age
Digital advances allow computers to do many of the tedious tasks once done by engineers, which frees them to focus on more interesting tasks.
A Career in Three Stages
Hon-Chung Lau, professor of petroleum engineering at the National University of Singapore, offered a short guide to a successful career in petroleum engineering at the 2019 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.
Innovators Seek To Transform Flaring Into Money and Power
Instead of burning money, why not make electricity? This is the big pitch being made by a growing number of technology companies who see green every time they see a red-hot flare burning associated gas.
Effective Treatment and Handling of Produced Water
Produced water is an inevitable byproduct of oil and gas production. The use of online oil-in-water monitors plays an important role in the management of produced water.
Man vs. Drilling Machine Can Be a Productive Thing
Hess is testing whether it can drive drilling improvement by combining drilling rigs equipped with automated functions and humans determined to find a way to beat the programmed drilling.
With Automation in Hand Drillers Demand a Raise
Rigs drilling faster earn less money per foot because they are contracted by the day. But at least they are still working. Now service companies are developing new rigs with more automated functions, and want increased rates based on the productivity gains achieved.
Life After 5: How Tight-Oil Wells Grow Old
Production data from the oldest horizontal wells in the three largest oil plays in the US show that annual decline rates remain relatively high for a long period of time. This challenges assumptions held about production after 5 years and directly affects reserve and ultimate recovery estimates.
Want More Production? Try Taking a Break
Oil companies are considering whether shutting in a well for a month or so may mean stronger production later by allowing more time for water to soak into the rock, which gets it out of the way of the oil and gas. But this is not always effective, and additional work is needed.
Heavy Oil Innovation Haunted by Low Oil Prices and Bad Memories
Heavy production spiked in two Canadian wells heated by an electric cable, but it is hard to find customers there at a time when Canadian oil prices and customers remember cables in the past that died young.
What’s the Difference Between Tier 1 and Tier 2? Not Much
The formula for value in a shale play used to be simple, lease acreage in the best quality rock based on Tiers cover large areas. That standard is fading as it has become obvious that the rock is highly variable and the drilling and completion designs are just as important.
Sustainability Is the New Safety
Integrating sustainability in the core business is not a quick fix but a complex journey that touches all parts of the business and requires new ways of alignment and cooperation. Safety has gone through similar challenges, and we can learn a lot from that journey.
An Unconventional Challenge: Can Casing Failures During Hydraulic Fracturing Be Stopped?
The shale sector is seeking answers to a complex issue involving casing deformations that block access to long sections of a lateral. As opposed to frac hits, this rising problem is considered to be an intrawell phenomena.
SPE Technical Directors’ Outlook: Tearing Down the Walls Among Disciplines
Merging new knowledge and technological capabilities among the disciplines—and beyond—will be crucial to sustaining the industry for the long term.
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.
Digital Twins Mature in the North Sea
A proving ground for the use of digital twins has emerged in the North Sea. There, operators Total, Aker BP, and Shell have each developed and deployed twins that they expect to pay big dividends.
As Industry Changes, So Does Petroleum Engineering Education
The industry is becoming increasingly complex, leading to changes in how universities approach education for undergraduate study.
Fracturing Creates Hundreds of Fractures—Only a Few Matter
ConocoPhillips’ one-of-a-kind test site in the Eagle Ford studied core, image logs, proppant tracer, distributed temperature sensing, distributed acoustic sensing, and pressure, which shows that not all hydraulic fractures are created equal.
Questions Over Permeability Prompt Producer-Led Group To Rebuild Key Fracture Diagnostic
For the past 20 years, the diagnostic fracture injection test has been used across the frontlines of the shale revolution to paint a picture of what cannot be seen. However, that picture has not always been so clear in the eyes of subsurface engineers.
Industry Continues To Make Progress on Carbon Capture
Rapid scale-up of carbon capture, use, and storage is essential for meeting climate and emissions targets while not crippling economic growth. Yet, its potential remains largely untapped because of reasons that include growing pains of immature technologies and uncertainty around public policy.
Industry Salaries Continue to Inch Up
Total compensation for SPE members this year has risen to its highest level since 2016, as the oil and gas industry continues to recover from the steep oil price downturn that began mid-decade.
Flowing Shale Wells Sooner Would Add Billions to Sector Cash Flow
The time it takes for a shale producer to drill a well has been a major focus for the past decade. A new report says the industry should place equal weight on how long it takes a well to actually deliver first oil.
Shale Producers Adopt Geochemistry Fingerprinting to Quantify Cross-Well Production
Knowing which horizon crude oil flows from and in what proportions has been a major challenge for shale producers. Increasingly, they are turning to new technology to find the answer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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26 May 2020
20 May 2020