TOPICS OF INTEREST
Digital Startups Raise Hundreds of Millions to Modernize Upstream Sector
Producers and investors continue to reward small companies with big solutions that lean on new software and hardware to lift the bottom line of one the world’s few trillion-dollar industries.
Remote Sensing Imagery Improves Safety and Logistics of Arctic Operations
Many forms of remote sensing imagery can be used, along with data sets and the resultant products, to improve the efficiency and safety of upstream oil and gas operations on the North Slope of Alaska.
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.
Led By the Permian, US Flaring and Associated Gas Production Hit New Highs
The volume of flared gas in the US unconventional sector is now 12% of the country’s total gas production. A pair of new reports say that Permian Basin operators account for much of the growth.
Britain Imposes Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing
The decision comes 2 months after UK shale operator Cuadrilla Resources halted stimulation work at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire because of a magnitude 2.9 seismic event.
Low-Toxicity Polymer Fluid Developed for Environmentally Sensitive Offshore Drilling
Industry’s Difficult Task: Meet Global Demand While Lowering Emissions
Panelists at the opening general session of the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition acknowledged the industry’s daunting challenge of meeting global demand while reducing its carbon footprint.
Health, Safety, and Environment
A critical support role within the upstream sector is played by the thousands who work in HSE and sustainability. The HSE performance of the industry has improved dramatically over the decades because of technological advances and a greater understanding of systems, processes, and human performance.
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.”
Wood Mackenzie: Peak Oil Demand Is Coming, Will Transform Exploration Sector
The confluence of alternative energies, shifting public sentiment, and the industry’s own improvements to existing fields may upend the industry’s “engine of growth.”
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.
Well-Abandonment Solutions Use Bismuth and Thermite Effectively and Safely
This paper demonstrates a new way to create gas-tight seals during well abandonment, overcoming the limitations of traditional methods and reducing the operator’s liability and potential environmental impact after decommissioning has been completed.
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?
SPE Forum Spotlights the Women in Energy
A host of women and men gathered at the inaugural SPE-GCS Women in Energy Congress to discuss the gender-gap challenges facing oil and gas today. How does greater diversity and inclusion help the industry progress, and what can companies do to encourage more diverse and inclusive environments?
Setback Rule Defeated in Colorado, But Industry There Remains Threatened
Colorado voters soundly defeated a measure 6 November that would have restricted the vast majority of new development in the country’s fifth largest oil-producing state. The outcome was a big relief for the oil and gas industry, but its existential fight in the state hasn’t ended.
Do Not Forget the Methane Leaks
Methane monitoring using improved methods is detecting more gas in the atmosphere, increasing the need for better ways to eliminate releases.
The Industry of the Future: What Does It Look Like?
A look at how policy, future workforce perception, and industry standards will shape energy companies in the near and distant future.
Accidental Discovery: Bitumen Pellets for Heavy Oil Transport
Researchers at the University of Calgary have developed a solid pellet that can transport bitumen and heavy oil by railcar instead of pipelines.
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.
This Vision of Onshore Seismic May Look Strange at First
Faced with big potential discoveries under terrain that makes good seismic imaging impossible, Total is rethinking how to gather the data it needs, with an idea that could change the face of seismic exploration.
Filling in the Blanks To Limit Earthquake Risks
It is known that a well injecting a lot of water near a big fault can lead to earthquakes. The problem is, more often than not those faults are not known until after a tremor.
Amid Downturn, Noble Invites Wider Industry Partners To Use Drilling Training Center
While the slowdown offshore persists, this 96-year-old drilling outfit says that sharing its high-tech simulators with more of its clients will strengthen the business.
OTC: Low-Price Environment Affects Safety
The new economic environment known as “lower for longer” has had no small effect on offshore safety, said a panel of experts at the 2017 Offshore Technology Conference.
Joining Forces for Sustainable Communities
Global, multinational companies often make commitments for local infrastructure as a condition to do business in host countries.
Nanotechnology Could See Big Future in Water Cleanup
Nanoparticle catalysts could play a major role in cleaning contaminated water for upstream oil and gas and other industries, says Michael Wong, chair of Rice University’s chemical and biomolecular engineering department.
Dynamic-Positioning Software Allows Improved Maneuverability for Marine Vessels
As the number of tankers on the open sea remains high, a new motion-prediction software aims to increase vessel safety.
Coral Relocation Mitigates Habitat Effects From Pipeline Construction Offshore Qatar
The Barzan Gas Project is a critical program to deliver natural gas to Qatar’s future industries.
Safe Handling and Disposal of Nanostructured Materials
This paper provides a first-hand perspective on the appropriate handling of nanomaterials in a laboratory setting.
Building the Foundations of Process Safety in Design
The maximum level of process-safety performance an operational asset can attain is set indelibly in the early stages of a project. This is why it is crucial to lay a solid foundation for process safety during design.
LULA Exercise Blends Surface and Subsea Responses to Simulated Deepwater Blowout
Total organized and ran a large exercise to check the ability to efficiently define, implement, and manage the response to a major oil spill resulting from a subsea blowout.
Airborne Remote-Sensing Technologies Detect, Quantify Hydrocarbon Releases
Airborne imaging spectroscopy has evolved dramatically since the 1980s as a robust remote-sensing technique used to generate 2D maps of surface properties over large areas.
Health, Safety, Environment, and Social Responsibility
If there is a discipline where current conceptual research and technology development expand simultaneously, involving highly interconnected people, it is health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility.
Safety Case in the Gulf of Mexico: Method and Benefits for Old and New Facilities
The purpose of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) is to enhance safety of operations in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).
Managing Marine Geohazard Risks Throughout the Business Cycle
Today, the industry is faced with entry into frontier areas with little prior published understanding and potentially complex slope and deepwater settings.
Hydrogen Sulfide Measurement With Wireless Technology
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) represents a major hazard in oil and gas production, and the efficient and reliable detection of gas leaks is a critical safety aspect.
Renaming of New Construction Vessel Offers a World War II History Lesson
Allseas Engineering’s giant new offshore construction vessel has a new name, prior to its first job. What was once the Pieter Schelte is now the Pioneering Spirit.
SPE Technical Directors Think Cooperatively: Working Outside the Lines
SPE’s technical directors are focused on problems that require working outside the bounds of their discipline.
Causal Factors and Improvement Measures Related to Well Control
From 2009 to 2010, there was an increase in the number of well-control incidents on the Norwegian continental shelf reported to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA).
A Long-Term View From Multiple Angles
A condensed version of what is on the minds of SPE’s technical directors is: The industry needs multidisciplinary, data-driven ways to adapt to what is ahead, focus on what is critical for decision making, and take a long view as another generation takes over.
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