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.
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.
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.
Colorado Regulator Poised To Place Major Restrictions on Where New Wells Can Be Drilled
Critics of the new rule call it a de facto ban on new drilling and completions that will affect large portions of the state’s undeveloped oil and gas properties.
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.
BP’s Energy Outlook Foresees Big Shift for Oil Demand
This year’s outlook contains scenarios that suggest peak demand has already arrived because of a global pandemic and an accelerating energy transition.
BP Takes on Billion-Dollar Stake in Equinor’s US Offshore Wind Power Projects
Two of Europe’s largest oil and gas producers will lead four offshore wind projects that together have the potential of powering 2 million homes.
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%.
Northern Lights and Blue Logic Win ONS 2020 Innovation Awards
Winning innovators focused on environment, safety, and operational efficiency.
Company Integrates Offshore Windfarm Into Subsea Field Development
The complete paper discusses a floating wind-turbine solution that is particularly cost-competitive for deepwater locations and that can unlock the possibility of deploying large wind-powered generators far from the coastline in deep water.
Study Explores Effects of H2S Scavenger Byproducts on Carbon Steel
In the complete paper, the authors seek to understand the effect of triazine on the electrochemical response of a carbon-steel surface in a mixed-gas system.
Liquid-Redox Process Used for Sulfur Removal on an FPSO
The complete paper examines the decision to use hydrogen-sulfide- (H2S) removal technology, the cost of operation, and the unit’s availability over its lifetime.
Environmentally Preferable Smart Chemicals Improve Production, Performance
This paper describes studies that confirm that enzyme-based, environmentally preferable chemistries can be used to break polymers and mitigate H2S in various systems.
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.
Maersk Invests in Rocket Science Technology To Achieve Carbon-Neutral Drilling
The offshore drilling contractor’s latest effort to curb emissions relies on technology developed during the US space shuttle program and could become commercial by 2022.
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.
Total Tapped as Industry’s Top Explorer
Apache, Qatar, and Shell clinch best discovery, best new venturer, and energy transition leader.
New Closed Blender Reduces Footprint, Gasification of CO2 in Waterless Fracturing
Carbon dioxide (CO2) waterless fracturing uses liquid CO2 to replace water as the fracturing fluid in reservoir stimulation. The continuity and reliability of the blender are key factors determining performance of the operation.
Novel Solutions to Atmospheric Carbon Maintain Advantages of Petroleum
This paper presents novel approaches to carbon abatement using petroleum that have a strong chance to succeed in fulfilling technological and economic goals.
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.
Succeeding in the New Pressure Pumping Environment
New report offers guidelines for pressure pumpers of the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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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