TOPICS OF INTEREST
Halliburton Commits to Lower Emissions
The oilfield service company said it expects to set emissions-reduction targets by next year to meet the goals of the Paris Accord.
IEA Releases Interactive Energy and Carbon Tracker
The new tool offers global insights for tracking the progress in the transition to low-carbon energy systems.
Texas Regulator To Place New Limits on Allowable Flaring
Oil and gas producers in the state are being asked to submit data and economic analysis on why they cannot sell natural gas before they are granted permission to flare it.
Equinor Aims To Become Net-Zero Energy Company by 2050
As it reaches for net-zero emissions, the company said its operations offshore Norway remain central to its long-term strategy.
CO2 EOR Could Be Industry’s Key to a Sustainable Future or Its Biggest Missed Opportunity
The challenge is immense, but the promise is, too. If the oil and gas business can scale up CO2 EOR, then it can play a very big role in mitigating climate change while offering carbon-negative fuels.
Will Investors Be Treating Oil Companies as Fossils?
Tough talk about World Bank financing for oil and gas is a sign of the growing pressure to squeeze investing in fossil fuels as a way to slash carbon emissions.
UK Regulator Awards Eni CO2 Appraisal and Storage License
Eni plans to reuse depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs in Liverpool Bay to permanently store CO2 captured in northwest England and North Wales.
Shell To Shed More Than 10% of Staff as Part of Net-Zero Restructuring Push
Shell's CEO said the Dutch supermajor has "too many layers" and that the move to downsize will help ensure its future. As a result, at least 9,000 people are expected to leave the oil and gas producer between now and 2022.
UPDATE: Workers Return to Offshore Platforms After Hurricane Sally Evacuations
Personnel are returning to platforms in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Sally was downgraded to a tropical depression late Wednesday, but the threat of another major hurricane remains as a tropical storm may form in the Gulf of Mexico today.
BP and Microsoft Strengthen Ties To Develop Low-Carbon Solutions for Upstream and Beyond
The tech giant and supermajor have been working on cloud solutions already, but in a new agreement, they will combine their talents to create new technologies for oil and gas as well as energy consumers.
Shell and Baker Hughes Venture Going Big on Methane-Hunting Drones
After 2 years of testing, Shell is going all in on using high-flying technology to catch methane leaks to reduce its overall emissions to less than 1%.
Managing Pressure To Mitigate Environmental Impact
Discussed are real-world examples of the less often considered but valuable environmental benefits delivered via MPD.
Water, Water Everywhere: Using ML and Game Theory To Win at Produced-Water Forecasting
Advanced machine-learning methods combined with aspects of game theory are helping operators understand the drivers of water production and improve forecasting and economics in unconventional basins.
Schlumberger and Thermal Energy Partners To Create STEP Energy
The new geothermal project development company will offer expertise in subsurface and drilling, project development, and risk mitigation.
Range Resources Among First Shale Producers To Aim for Net-Zero Emissions by 2025
Through a combination of reducing operational emissions and offsetting projects, the shale-gas producer has set a new benchmark for its sector.
US Opens Alaska Wildlife Refuge to Oil and Gas Leasing
The area has a potential for up to 11.8 million bbl of recoverable oil reserves. The program aims to keep oil flowing in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, which has seen dwindling throughput since 1988.
Oil Major Invests in Nuclear Startup Company
Zap Energy will use Chevron’s investment to develop its technology, a next-generation modular nuclear reactor with an aim toward cost-effective, flexible, and commercially scalable fusion.
BP Pivots From IOC to Integrated Energy Company as It Resets for Energy Transition
Supermajor announces actions to achieve net-zero ambition and reshape business. It also noted that it will not seek to explore in countries where it does not already have upstream activities.
Unconventionals at a Crossroads: Where Do We Go From Here?
URTeC 2020’s opening plenary session panel shared insights into how the shale industry can scale technology, fiscal restraint, and social responsibility into a sustainable business case for a new energy landscape.
Operator Consortium Pledges Emissions Cuts as Proportion of Production
Although based on “intensity” and not “absolute” emissions, oil giants say it’s a step toward net-zero goals for 2050.
UPDATE: Appeals Court Stay Allows DAPL To Operate Temporarily
Energy Transfer pursued the stay and expedited appeal after its emergency request for a stay was denied by the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
Oil and Gas Companies Begin Turning to Renewables To Power Operations
IHS Markit says the industry’s “striking pace of growth” and a dynamic commercial environment are fueling the movement to zero-carbon sources.
IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit: First Step Toward Bridging Gap Between Ambition and Action?
Technology innovation, job creation, inclusive and equitable recoveries, and sustainable electricity headline discussions at high-level summit.
Total Tapped as Industry’s Top Explorer
Apache, Qatar, and Shell clinch best discovery, best new venturer, and energy transition leader.
US District Court Orders Dakota Access Pipeline Shut and Emptied
The court said it was mindful of the disruption the shutdown will cause but said the seriousness of deficiencies from the US Army Corps of Engineers outweighs the negative effects of shutting down the pipeline.
A Net-Zero Future Full of Opportunities for a New North Sea
Despite the global downturn, the long-term transition to net zero presents a major opportunity to create new multibillion industries based around the North Sea. Cross-sector collaboration and major state/private sector intervention, together with strong leadership, will be key.
AI Meets HMI: Next-Gen Robots Take on the Tough Tasks To Reduce Risks on Rigs
With their gee-whiz—albeit artificial—intelligence, robots may be the industry’s answer to jobs deemed dangerous, dirty, distant, or dull.
Norway’s Northern Lights CCUS Project Hits a Yellow Light
An independent study pegged the cost of the project at about $2.6 billion, 80% of which Norway’s government planned to fund. The ministry said there is uncertainty about Northern Lights’ benefits and that it could prove to be unprofitable.
Norway Opens New Realms of Arctic Oil Exploration
A new licensing round will open up 136 blocks in the Arctic Barents Sea.
BP Slashes Up to $17.5 Billion in Assets; Cites Pandemic for Swifter Shift to Net Zero
Write-offs include billions for early-exploration-stage projects that the company will now cut.
Staking Energy and ESG Positions
What’s driving ESG investment?
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Texas Flaring Volumes Expected To Increase Alongside Oil Volumes
Texas Railroad Commissioner releases state's first flaring report.
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.
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.
Eni, ADNOC Sign Carbon Capture Agreement
The companies will focus on research and development to reduce CO2 emissions and promote the circular economy.
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.
Tackling Carbon Emissions on a Grassroots Level
Alberta carbon conversion challenge yields potential GHG reduction of millions of metric tons per year.
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.
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.
IEA Outlook Highlights Deep Disparities in Global Energy System
Annual report says that governments have the greatest capacity and responsibility to shape the energy future.
UT Study: Permian Seismic Activity Up Dramatically
New research links a rise in seismic activity in West Texas with increased oil and gas development over the past 20 years and, in particular, the past decade.
California Oil Fields Are Not the State’s Biggest Methane Emitters
Methane emissions from California garbage dumps far surpass emissions from oil fields, according to a NASA survey.
Majors Step Up Low-Carbon Initiatives
Large-scale investment in carbon capture and methane-emission reduction tops the agenda of the Oil and Gas Carbon Initiative, an organization led by chief executives of several major oil and gas companies.
Locally Sourced, Ecofriendly Hydrate Inhibitor Effective in Simulated Offshore Environment
The complete paper investigates gas-hydrate inhibition in a simulated offshore environment using a plant extract (PE) as a local inhibitor.
Equinor Picks 10 New Startups for Accelerator Program
Digital technologies serve as a primary theme of this year’s group, with a few environmentally conscious firms included in the mix.
Third Oil Spill Reported Off Newfoundland and Labrador
Production from the Hibernia platform was shut down again on 17 August after its second oil spill in a month, while Husky Energy began to ramp up output from the White Rose field following the largest-ever spill off Canada’s easternmost province.
Texas Regulators Say Yes to Flaring Over Pipeline Company’s Objections
Texas regulators rejected a rare challenge to gas flaring in the state after an oil company argued that a flaring ban would force it to shut in wells, damaging the reservoir and reducing future oil production.
Data-Driven Management Strategy Can Reduce Environmental Effect of Production Plants
This paper highlights the results of a test campaign for a tool designed to predict the short-term trends of energy-efficiency indices and optimal management of a production plant.
Study Finds Fort Worth Basin Wastewater Injection Increases Fault-Slip Potential
Researchers mapped 251 faults in the North Texas home of the Barnett Shale, the birthplace of the shale revolution, finding that wastewater injection there “significantly increases the likelihood for faults to slip.”
Mature Fractured Reservoirs Can Be Repurposed for Gas Storage
This paper discusses studies conducted on two California offshore fields that may be abandoned in the near future. These studies examined the feasibility of repurposing these fields for offshore gas storage by using their reservoir voidage and existing pipeline facilities.
Novel Approach to Sour-Gas Treatment Lowers Cost and Limits Safety Hazards
This paper investigates novel approaches to sour-gas treatment for use in the Middle East that are outside the common oil and gas market and compares them with traditional techniques.
Sustainability Means Survivability for the Oil and Gas Industry, World Abroad
Sami Alnuaim, 2019 SPE president, welcomed the addition of two new oil and gas sustainability initiatives at the University of Houston and highlighted a number of ways the industry is already acting as a good global steward.
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.
Analysis of Environmental Aspects of Exploiting Unconventional Reservoirs
This paper presents an analysis of the environmental aspects of the exploitation of unconventional reservoirs in order to evaluate the risk of the activity.
Equinor Invests in Two Gas-Focused Tech Startups
Venture groups spend their time evaluating hundreds of companies each year to only make a handful of investments. These two cover interesting ends of the upstream spectrum: aerial drones and downhole artificial lift.
What’s Driving Oil Companies to Buy Electric Car Charging Firms?
Some of the industry's largest players are now fueling the electrification revolution, and it is only the beginning.
Official: Lack of Industry Knowledge Hampered EPA Study on Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water
A professor who the EPA charged with reviewing its 2016 study on hydraulic fracturing’s possible drinking water impacts shared her observations on the flawed process that led to the agency’s final conclusion.
BP and Shell Agree: A New Energy Future Is Coming
The world still needs oil and gas, but it is also making room for renewable energy which will change how upstream companies do business.
Court Rejects Pipeline Project on Climate Concerns
An appeals court on 22 August rejected the federal government’s approval of a natural gas pipeline project in the southeastern US, citing concerns about its effect on climate change.
Approaches for CO2 Capture and Sequestration Inspired by Biological Systems
In this study, several process alternatives for the permanent sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) as solid carbonates are evaluated.
Climate Change and SPE
Last year, SPE created a task force to study the topic of climate change and to determine if a public position statement should be created. After a year-long review, it recommended that we not develop a statement on climate change, which was accepted by the SPE Board of Directors in March.
Industry Perspectives Vary on Implementing Effective Social Performance
Social responsibility has become a common term but what defines “social performance?” In a globalized economy, with multinational corporate and state actors having a more immediate effect on individual lives than ever before, social performance initiatives should not be viewed as an expendable cost.
Panel Examines Methane Regulations and Opportunities
Three experts from different sectors discussed the challenge of methane and regulation at the first panel session of the 2017 SPE Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility Conference–North America in New Orleans.
With New Advance, Natural Gas Filtering Technology Moves Closer to Commercial Reality
A new material under development is highly effective at sieving carbon dioxide from natural gas streams and is also cheap and easy to make, according to researchers.
Oklahoma Official: Progress Being Made, but Induced Seismicity Will Not Stop Anytime Soon
One of Oklahoma’s top government officials announced recently that it could be many more months before the full scope of the state’s regulatory response plan for induced seismicity is proven effective.
Moving Closer to True Picture of the Fugitive Methane Problem
The US shale sector has proudly touted the fact that it has helped reduce the nation’s carbon dioxide output to an 18-year low by producing the natural gas that is displacing coal use in power generation. But government regulators appear to want even more.
Incentivizing Energy and Climate Innovation
In a quiet industrial park in suburban Toronto, there is a machine that eats carbon dioxide (CO2) and spits out fuel. A world away, at a world-class research institute in Bangalore, India, engineers have developed a completely different technology to convert CO2 into industrial chemicals.
Plume Modeling Establishes Efficacy, Safety of Gas Extraction From Lake Kivu, Rwanda
A floating gas-extraction facility was constructed to extract gas-laden water, separate the CH4 and some of the CO2, and reinject the degassed water, thus increasing the safety of the lake and simultaneously providing CH4.
Injection in Shale: Experience on the Norwegian Continental Shelf
Waste injection in shale has been performed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) for more than 15 years. Techniques have been developed that allow wells to dispose of several million barrels into individual shale domains with matrix permeability in the nanodarcy range and no permeable layers.
Making an E&P/Fisheries Management Plan Work in Ghana With Multiple Stakeholders
Ghana’s fishers and coastal communities have raised concerns over the effects of offshore oil exploration and production relating to the giant Jubilee field. This paper describes the process and results of the multistakeholder approach to solving marine-zone conflicts.
Drilling Slump in North Dakota Allows Rapid Flaring Reduction
The amount of natural gas flared has plunged in North Dakota, a region that has been the leader by far in gas wasted because gathering systems could not hook up the wells fast enough.
New Optical Gas-Imaging Technology for Quantifying Fugitive-Emission Rates
Optical gas-imaging is effective for visual identification of volatile organic compound (VOC) leaks. But it doesn't currently quantify the leak rate as required by regulations. This paper discusses work aimed at adding that quantification.
Saudi Aramco's Manifa field demonstrates that our industry can operate in harmony with the environment. Industry needs to minimize the impact of drilling and producing unconventional resources.
Guest Editorial: Changing How We Manage HSE: Getting to Zero
For the more than 7 billion people on our planet, every measure of quality of life, from gross domestic product per capita and infant mortality, to education levels and access to clean water, is correlated to the consumption of modern fuels, including oil and gas.
Beyond the Headlines: Fugitive Gas and Flaring: Current and Future Realities
Are fugitive releases of natural gas and flaring environmental concerns? Can these be ameliorated today and even better in the future? Yes and yes.
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