TOPICS OF INTEREST
PRODUCTION AND WELL OPERATIONS
Chevron Sanctions First Deepwater Ultra-High-Pressure Development
The Anchor development in the US Gulf of Mexico is the first ultra-high-pressure project requiring 20-ksi operating pressure to reach a final investment decision.
Chevron Sets 2020 Upstream Budget, Writes Down At Least $10 Billion
The US major will keep its overall budget flat for a third straight year, but the expectation of lower oil and gas prices long-term will result in tax impairment charges of $10 billion–$11 billion. More than half of those charges will come from its Appalachia Shale gas assets.
Enverus Forecasts “Significant Slowdown” in US Gas Output Growth in 2020
The data analytics firm projects US dry gas output growth will shrink to 2 Bcf/D next year from 8–9 Bcf/D in 2018 and 2019.
Total Officially Enters Libya’s Waha Concessions
Total will invest $650 million in the development of two main projects, North Gialo and NC 98, resulting in a 180,000-B/D increase in production.
Tullow Oil CEO, Exploration Director Resign Amid Lower Production Outlook
The resignations come as the company makes downward revisions to its production guidance after a disappointing performance from its TEN and Jubilee fields offshore Ghana.
OPEC, non-OPEC Allies To Extend, Increase Production Cuts
The group will shed an additional 500,000 B/D of oil production through March 2020, bringing the total curtailment to 1.7 million B/D.
Analytical Study Examines Production of Multistage Horizontal Wells in the Bakken
Multistage horizontal well designs were first implemented in the Bakken in 2007. Since then, more than 12,000 wells have been completed in either the Middle Bakken or Three Forks zones.
ConocoPhillips Leaning on Conventionals Near-Term, Unconventionals Long-Term
Most of ConocoPhillips’ oil and gas production by the end of the next decade will come from its unconventional operations. But, for the near-term, the Houston independent will rely on conventional assets as it seeks to keep spending in check, decline rates low, and cash flow on the rise.
CNOOC Names CEO, Increases Bohai Oil Production
Xu Keqiang took the reins as CEO of the Chinese national oil company on 19 November. Meanwhile, more oil is flowing from the offshore Caofeidian 11-1/11-6 oilfield project.
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.
ADNOC To Boost Oil Production from Giant Bab Field
The upgrade project will increase the maturing field’s oil production to 485,000 B/D.
Petrobras Starts Production from Pre-salt Berbigao Field
P-68 is Petrobras’ fourth FPSO to begin operations this year following the startups of P-67 at the Lula field and P-76 and P-77 at the Buzios field.
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.
Report Forecasts “Major Slowdown” in US Oil Output Growth
Lower oil prices, increased operator focus on capital discipline, and diminishing access to capital are choking off once-soaring US oil production growth.
ExxonMobil, Hess To Start Production Off Guyana by Year’s End
First oil from the 120,000-B/D Liza Destiny floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, which arrived on the block in late August, is targeted for December.
Hess To Tie Back Deepwater US Gulf Oil Discovery
The Esox-1 well encountered 58 m of high-quality oil-bearing Miocene reservoirs and will be tied back to Tubular Bells production facilities.
Eni, EGPC Fast-Track Gulf of Suez Appraisal Well
The Sidri 36 appraisal well confirmed the downdip westward extension of the Sidri 23 discovery announced last July by the Italian major.
EIA: US Gulf Oil Output To Continue Record Pace
New projects coming on stream will boost US gulf oil output to 1.9 million B/D in 2019 and 2 million B/D in 2020, EIA projects.
Oxy Starts Up Solar Facility To Power Permian EOR
The 16-MW solar facility in Ector County, Texas, near Odessa, powers the Goldsmith field through deployment of 174,000 photovoltaic panels.
EIA: US Crude Production Fell for Third Straight Month in July
Output fell below 12 million B/D and was down more than 300,000 B/D from an all-time high in April, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.
For Subsea Technology, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”
Subsea advancements in the works include longer tiebacks, an underwater drone that lives on the seafloor, and a robotic manifold capable of actuating dozens of valves. Do these new capabilities, born of necessity, signal a sea change in industrywide technology development?
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.
Aramco Plan to Restart Damaged Oil Facilities “Optimistic”
Rystad estimates almost 2 million B/D will remain shut in on average during September and October, with full restoration to pre-attack levels not coming until closer to year end.
Alliances Drive Upstream Digital Deployment
Partnerships with big tech, tech startups, and innovative service companies—and the merging of their data, cloud, and software applications—are proving essential for operators in the scaling phase of digital deployment. Equinor, Microsoft, and Halliburton are among those joining forces.
North Sea Still a Big Part of Total’s Future
Recent exploration success in the North Sea has motivated Total to invest some $10 billion in the basin over the next 5 years.
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.
Dallas Fed: US Shale Boom Accounted for 10% of US GDP Growth
Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas quantified the economic impact of the US shale revolution for the first half of this decade.
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.
Murphy Oil Greenlights US Gulf Floating Production Facility
Anchored by the Khaleesi-Mormont and Samurai fields, the King’s Quay FPS will receive and process up to 80,000 B/D of crude oil.
Rystad Says Permian Well Productivity is Just Fine
Despite reports to the contrary, Permian well productivity remains healthy, with average new production per well in the basin matching all-time highs, Rystad says. And the majors are now a main catalyst.
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.”
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.
Petrobras to Sell Shallow-Water Campos, Santos Basin Fields
UK operator Trident Energy is entering Brazil while Australian firm Karoon Energy is expanding its position in the country. Both will try to boost output from already-producing assets.
Engineers Get a Look at Oilfield Advances at URTeC While Grappling With the Pressing Problem of Profitability
The Unconventional Resources Technology Conference is like visiting an oilfield theme park for engineers and geoscientists. This year those traveling to the conference for a glimpse of what is possible in exploration and production will also focus on ways to improve short-term profitability.
Oil Begins Flowing from Eni’s Area 1 Offshore Mexico
Early production from Area 1 is the first output from an international operator in Mexico since energy reforms were implemented earlier this decade.
Built on Several New Tools, Marathon’s Digital Oilfield is Maturing
Marathon Oil says its shale fields are producing more oil and gas with less hands-on work from company personnel thanks to a growing arsenal of digital technologies and workflows.
North America E&P Capital Efficiency Likely to Stall in 2019-2020
Cost inflation and volatile commodity prices pose threats to sustained financial improvements.
ExxonMobil Proceeds with Long-Term Vaca Muerta Shale Oil Development
Up to 55,000 BOE/D of output is expected from the ExxonMobil-operated Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block in the Argentine shale play, with a possible second phase producing up to 75,000 BOE/D.
Interwell EOR Pilot Proves Advantages of Polymer Flooding
This paper discusses an enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) polymer-flood pilot at the Captain field in the UK North Sea during 2011–2013.
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.
Venezuela Oil Output Sinks to Lowest Level Since Early 2003
The recent production freefall could accelerate even further as US sanctions-related deadlines pass, the US Energy Information Administration said.
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.
ExxonMobil Moves Forward With Second Guyana Development
Expected to start up in mid-2022, Liza Phase 2 will produce up to 220,000 B/D of oil.
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.
Shale CEO on Parent-Child Challenge, Well Declines: We Know
Encana CEO Doug Suttles assures that shale executives are acutely aware of the parent-child well challenge, and he doesn’t think it’s “a big threat” to the sector.
ExxonMobil, Chevron Target Nearly 2 Million BOE/D in Permian Production
The US majors plan to produce around 1 million BOE/D each from the basin, which has become a primary focus of their upstream operations.
This industry is one often considered reactive and overly tradition-bound. These new technologies, however—and, more importantly, the drive of these researchers to harness their capabilities—prove that petroleum engineers remain at the forefront of innovation and discovery.
Noble Energy Touts Output Gains, Potential From “Row Development” Concept
Noble’s first row of wells in its massive Mustang project is helping increase the operator’s DJ Basin output, and similar results are soon expected in the Delaware Basin.
Brazil’s Lula Field a Step Closer to Producing 1 Million B/D of Oil
Petrobras and Shell have brought online the Lula field’s seventh FPSO as the firms continue to ramp up production from the pre-salt Santos Basin.
CNOOC’s Strategic Plan Sets “Bullish Tone” for Chinese NOCs
The national oil company’s aim to lift oil and gas production and reserves over the next few years will rely on growth from big international projects, including those in Nigeria, Guyana, and the US.
An Eye on the Prize: Shell Invests in Computer Vision Developer
The backing of one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies aims to put this emerging digital technology on the path to widespread adoption.
ProPetro Completes Acquisition of Pioneer’s Pressure Pumping Assets
ProPetro closed its deal to purchase Pioneer’s pressure pumping fleet, boosting its services in the Permian Basin.
Total Begins Production From Nigeria’s Giant Egina Field
The French major is racking up barrels of deepwater production as part of its large-scale West African push.
How Does Vaca Muerta Stack Up vs. US Shale? Data Tell the Tale
Vaca Muerta production is on the upswing. Will increasing activity propel the Argentine play to the ranks of US shale? Data suggest it is both already there and has a ways to go.
Production and Facilities
Creativity and innovation have long characterized production and facilities, and this year is no exception. The economic challenges of the oil industry clearly have provided a strong stimulus for even more creativity and innovation.
BP, Chevron Bring Two More Offshore Projects on Stream
Majors BP and Chevron have overcome development challenges and delays to launch their respective Clair Ridge and Big Foot projects.
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.
Liquids-Rich Permian Showcased as a Model Basin
The SPE Liquids-Rich Basin Conference in Midland, Texas, merged topics that have dominated recent industry discussions: technologies centered on big data, interwell communication, and Permian Basin production.
Petrobras, Shell Start Production From Eighth Lula Field FPSO
The unit is flowing oil and gas from the Lula Extremo Sul area, 290 km off Rio de Janeiro state in 2150 m of water.
Schlumberger and Halliburton Warm on Global Market, Cooler on US Shale
The two biggest oilfield services providers are enjoying a rebound in international activity but continue to struggle with a softening US shale completions market. While takeaway constraints will be temporary, steep shale production declines may emerge as a longer-term challenge.
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.
Petrobras, Murphy Oil Form 75,000-BOE/D US Gulf Partnership
The new venture will operate several deepwater assets—including the Cascade, Chinook, Medusa, and Thunder Hawk fields.
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.
Total's Deepwater Output To Hit 500,000 BOE/D by 2020
Despite a trend toward renewables and low-carbon energy production among European majors, Total remains wholeheartedly committed to deepwater production.
Production From ‘Supergiant’ Zohr Field Off Egypt Hits 2 Bcf/D
The benchmark comes as operator Eni solidifies concession agreements and ramps up exploration and development in the North African country.
Three Basins Driving Big Year-Over-Year Increase in US Gas Output
A marked change from a decade ago, Appalachia, the Permian, and the Haynesville now represent almost half of total US gas production, EIA reports.
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.
BP Launches Caspian’s First Subsea Development
The $28-billion Shah Deniz Phase 2 project off Azerbaijan will supply gas to Europe through the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline system.
Is the Permian Barreling Toward a Breaking Point?
Permian oil output is growing fast, pipeline capacity is full with little relief in sight, truck drivers are in short supply, and the value of basin-produced crude is sinking. Is a drop off in activity—including drilling and production—becoming inevitable?
Oil at $70 Provides Little Comfort Offshore
Sustainable cost reductions through innovation and standardization will have more of a positive effect on the offshore sector than cyclical oil-price increases, an OTC panel of industry participants agreed.
Pioneer Unveils Strategy To Boost Permian Production, Control Costs
As it works to increase production to 1 million BOE/D, Permian mainstay Pioneer is taking a methodical approach to sustaining capital efficiency.
Colorado Operators Reaping Rewards From Sticking by ‘Predictable’ DJ-Niobrara
Colorado’s industry lacks the size, variety, and Wild West characteristics of Texas, but that is precisely why the Centennial State’s oil production is surging to record levels.
Another Big Gas Field Starts Production Offshore Egypt
More gas is flowing from Egyptian waters and the Eastern Mediterranean with BP’s launch of its Atoll Phase One project.
There are two ongoing trends in the industry. The first is an increasing wave of digitization. Second, piggybacking on the increased access to sensor and equipment data, analytics and artificial intelligence are on an exponential rise in the industry.
ExxonMobil Plans to Triple Permian Output
The Irving, Texas-based supermajor plans to cash in on its expanded foothold in the Permian Basin, aided by a big reduction in the US corporate tax rate.
Production and Facilities
The overarching theme of work published during the past year relating to production and facilities is performance and productivity improvement—doing more with less at a lower cost.
Perforation and Flowback Highlights From the Gorgon Field, Offshore Australia
This paper contrasts the detailed perforating and flowback plan with the results of the operation where a number of planned, and some unplanned, contingencies were faced.
Hybrid Microseismic and Microdeformation Monitoring of a Coal-Seam-Gas Well
A hybrid downhole microseismic and microdeformation array was deployed to monitor fracture stimulation of a vertical coal-seam-gas (CSG) exploration well in the Gloucester Basin in New South Wales, Australia, to provide more-accurate insight into overall fracture height.
New SCADA Systems Help Operators Fulfill Potential of the Digital Oil Field
Supervisory control and data acquisition systems no longer simply monitor operations and produce large volumes of data in static displays, but now collect production data from all operation data sources and contextualize and present them to workers in real time as meaningful, actionable information.
Clouds are Forming Around the Upstream Sector, and That’s a Good Thing
No longer considered a buzz phrase, cloud computing has made converts of the largest oil companies, and now the smaller ones are next.
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