TOPICS OF INTEREST
PROJECTS, FACILITIES & CONSTRUCTION
Oilfield Construction Giant McDermott Files For Bankruptcy Protection
The firm has outlined a restructuring plan that will see it sell off subsidiaries and erase more than $4.6 billion in debt.
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.
Guyana Hits New Milestones
First oil from the 120,000-B/D Liza Destiny FPSO is flowing ahead of schedule.
Shale, Tight Oil Investments to Fall 12% in 2020; Global Deepwater Rising
Lower oil prices and capital discipline are expected to result in a double-digit drop in shale and tight oil spending, while deepwater momentum is seen continuing. This comes as “massive investments” will be needed in the next decade to meet growing oil demand.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
West Mira Semisubmersible Deploys Hybrid Power Plant
By using the four converter-battery systems, the operator estimates it will be able to reduce the runtime of the rig’s on-platform diesel engines by 42%, cutting CO2 emissions by 15% and NOx emissions by 12%.
Oilfield Service Firms Branch Out Past Oil and Gas
Service firms are diversifying their portfolios, in part driven by large-scale budget cuts among operators since the industrywide downturn.
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.
Power-From-Shore Expanding to Support Norwegian Offshore Production
Offshore facilities are typically powered from onsite gas turbines but efforts to become “carbon efficient” are pushing oil and gas companies toward an onshore alternative.
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.
Canadian Startups Shine in Calgary Contest
The SPE Annual Technology Conference and Exhibition is fast becoming one of the essential venues for the energy industry’s growing array of startups. All startups awarded a cash prize this year for the viability of their offering call Alberta home.
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.
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.
As Oil and Gas Data Multiply, so Do the Cybersecurity Threats
Saudi Aramco, BP, and Schlumberger pride themselves on staying at the forefront of digital technology development and deployment. But an equally daunting challenge for the industry heavyweights is keeping their ever-expanding digital systems secure.
Supply Shock: Reactions to the Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities
Oil prices rose on the news that Saudi Arabian production was disrupted by aerial attacks. The massive outage might may boost US exports to new highs.
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.
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.
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.
Aramco Advances 550,000-B/D Expansion of Marjan, Berri Fields
The world’s largest oil producer has awarded $18 billion in engineering, procurement, and construction contracts as part of its Marjan and Berri expansion projects.
Equinor To Cut Lundin Stake, Add Johan Sverdrup Interest
The Norwegian operator will increase its ownership of the giant Johan Sverdrup field before the field commences oil production this November.
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.
W&T Offshore To Acquire ExxonMobil’s Assets Off Alabama
The deal consists of stakes in nine shallow-water producing fields covering 108,000 gross acres in 10–50 m of water.
Hurricane Hits First Oil From Basement Reservoir in North Sea
This new development is the first to recover commercial quantities of oil in the UK from reservoirs that are generally considered non-productive.
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.
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.
OTC Event Selects 10 Startups Worth Watching
The results are in. Here are this year’s “Most Promising” startups as decided by upstream investors and oil company innovation teams
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.
Offshore: Making a Comeback After the Downturn
Could 2019 be a bumper year for offshore energy development?
Deepwater capital expenditure has nosedived since the oil-price crash of 2014 and has not quite recovered because of the high level of break-even prices required, but some oil companies maintained their interest in the sector and went ahead with big-ticket projects anyway.
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.
Global Oilfield Services Market Won’t Recover Until 2025
The financial effects of the downturn are set to last at least a decade—which puts the industry almost at the halfway point. This is according to a new report that says the FPSO market is the most “unscathed” of all the service segments.
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.
US On Track To Be Net-Exporter Of Crude and Petroleum Products
A new report predicts that US output will rise to a new record high of 12.1 million B/D in 2020.
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.
Mexico’s Giant Zama Discovery Gets New Interest Owner
DEA Deutsche Erdoel is buying Sierra Oil & Gas, giving the German operator stakes in six new blocks off Mexico—including the Zama discovery, where appraisal drilling is now under way.
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.
Permian Pulse: Using Satellite Imagery Analytics To Track the World’s Busiest Oil Play
Companies are bringing satellite monitoring to the unconventional oilfield—namely the Permian Basin—where they are training machine learning models to track and predict drilling and completions work.
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.
New Oil Sands Development Gets Green Light
Imperial Oil has made a final investment decision on its 75,000-B/D Aspen oil sands project, the first new oil sands development to be approved in 5 years.
Hilcorp Gets Approval for First Oil Production Facility in Alaska’s Federal Waters
The green light comes 4 years after the privately-held firm filed its development and production plan. Liberty Island would consist of gravel, stretch 9 acres, and sit just a few miles offshore.
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.
Shell Picks a Digital Platform To Build Its AI Future Upon
The international major has been playing with intelligent programs for years, but this new deal shows that it is now ready to scale those efforts up to cover hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment.
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.
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.
BP and Baker Hughes Go Live with Big Analytics on All Gulf of Mexico Platforms
What do 60,000 sensors on 1,200 pieces of equipment add up to? Hopefully, hundreds of millions of dollars in savings.
Eni Gets Development Approval for Area 1 Offshore Mexico
The Italian firm is slated to become the first international operator to produce oil from Mexican waters since energy reform took hold. The launch of early production from Area 1 is expected in first-half 2019.
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.
The UK North Sea: How To Manage an Aging Basin
A recent spike in production has engendered a cautiously optimistic outlook for the UKCS, but will it do anything to stave off the overall decline of the mature basin?
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?
Rising Tide of Produced Water Could Pinch Permian Growth
As oil production grows by millions of barrels in the Permian, so does the water. A report from Wood Mackenzie offers an estimate of the cost and who will be affected most.
Finding Meaning, Application for the Much-Discussed "Digital Twin"
An increasingly buzzy term tossed around at industry events, “digital twin” is leveraging data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to improve efficiencies from design to decommissioning.
Shallow Ports Keep US from Exporting Even More Crude
Even though exports are rising to more than 1.6 million B/D, the US is facing a new bottleneck at its port facilities.
Total Prepares Exit from Big Iran Project as US Sanctions Renewed
The US re-imposing sanctions on Iran has prompted Total to consider dropping its stake in a project designed to bolster output from the world’s largest gas field.
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.
Shell’s Penguins Redevelopment a Step Forward in North Sea Revival
The long-term decommissioning of the historic Brent field has necessitated redevelopment of the younger Penguins field in the North Sea, where the UK hopes to see more revival projects in the coming years.
California Becomes a Proving Ground for Solar EOR Technology
If proven economic, solar EOR technology could represent an environmentally and energy friendly solution for California’s heavy oil producers.
Statoil Plans Leaner, $6-Billion Arctic Project
Statoil has submitted a long-awaited development plan for what will become Norway’s northernmost development.
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.
Robot Removes Operators From Extreme Environments
Robots have the potential to move human operators away from uncomfortable, potentially risky environments and into comfortable, safe control rooms.
Lebanon Eager To Award First Offshore Contracts, Become Gas Exporter
Untapped offshore gas reservoirs could easily meet all of the country's domestic needs, while the rest could supply regional neighbors.
The Price is Finally Right for Indian Gas Megaproject
Reliance Industries and BP are going forward with the expansion of a huge field off the east coast of India that is expected to fill 10% of the country’s energy needs.
The need to offset declining production from mature basins, as well as the ability of international oil companies to access larger reserves with the use of new exploration-and-production technology, will continue to drive deepwater expenditure.
US Gulf of Mexico Hits Record Production
New figures show that the facilities working in the Gulf of Mexico achieved higher crude output in 2016 than at any other period.
New is Better at the 2017 Offshore Technology Conference
In the midst of enormous change, OTC retains its status as a “must attend” technical conference for petroleum engineers and scientists working around the globe.
Mexico Awards Its First Deepwater Blocks; What Comes Next?
Mexico’s long awaited deepwater auction saw 8 out of 10 blocks awarded but there remains plenty of work to be done before activity ramps up, including finalizing regulatory rules, upgrading ports, and optimizing the bid rules for future auctions.
Drilling Technology and Rigs
Sustaining innovation and well performance during economic downcycles is a hot topic right now. However, the severity of this downturn has resulted in an unprecedented purging of existing paradigms. In this context, it is important to reveal and highlight new initiatives and success stories.
Production and Facilities
Significant advances were reported in materials, field optimization, safe operations, corrosion, and wellbore-related technologies related to production and facilities
US Approves BP’s use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Alaska
In June, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued the first approval for the overland use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Alaska.
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