TOPICS OF INTEREST
Upstream Digitalization Is Proving Itself in the Real World
For the upstream industry, where improvement in efficiency or production can drive significant financial results, there is no question that the size of the digital prize is huge. So are the challenges.
Subsurface Compression Lifts Liquids, Increases Gas Production in Unconventional Well Trial
A downhole compressor solution based on advanced magnetic technologies completed its first field trials in an unconventional gas well. It resulted in a 62% increase in gas production and significant increase in liquid production compared to using a rod pump previously in the well
US to Consider Leasing Space in Strategic Petroleum Reserve
The potential leasing of space in the SPR comes after the DOE’s plans to buy crude oil were suspended. US oil inventory stockpiles stand at a 10-month high.
Global Upstream Industry Moves Into Survival Mode
As the fallout deepens from the coronavirus pandemic and the global collapse in oil and gas prices, oil- and gas-producing regions around the world are feeling the pain.
Drilling Automation Is the Future, But ExxonMobil Finds Gaps To Fill
ExxonMobil’s rig automation experiment is accelerating, with plans to push the number of rigs in the system from three to nine. Drilling efficiency was improved by use of an automated pipe-handling system, which reduced the median time required for connection at one location by 20%.
US Onshore Contraction Results in Layoffs at Occidental and Apache
Layoffs have begun at Occidental Petroleum, which needs to slack costs after buying Anadarko, as well as Apache.
Colombia Awards 14 Onshore Blocks
Calgary-based Colombia producers Canacol Energy and Parex Resources led all firms by gaining three blocks each, with one more counteroffer from Parex pending review.
Canadian Drilling To Drop Further in 2020
Canadian drilling activity has fallen measurably in 2019, and the outlook is even worse for 2020, according to a forecast from the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.
ONGC Makes Discoveries in Colombia, Brazil
India’s ONGC reported an oil find in Colombia’s Llanos Basin as well as a gas and oil discovery in Brazil’s deepwater Sergipe Alagoas Basin.
Dallas Fed Survey: Oilfield Service Woes Fuel 3Q Upstream Industry Contraction
Lower equipment utilization and prices have worsened the pain for oilfield service companies in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana, while operators continue to grapple with the industry’s shifting business climate.
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.
Eni Makes Big Gas, Condensate Discovery in Nigeria
The well will immediately be brought on production and is expected to flow at more than 100 MMscf/D of gas and 3,000 B/D of associated condensate, the company said.
US Onshore Drilling Decline to Continue, Rig Contractors Say
Leaders from two large US onshore rig contractors said their expectations that the rig-count slide would hit a second-quarter bottom were off and are now refraining from making new predictions as to when it will end.
Santos To Resume Shale Drilling in Australia’s Northern Territory
The green light for Santos Energy’s drilling program in the McArthur Basin comes after a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory was lifted in 2018.
Cuadrilla to Fracture Second Well in UK Bowland Shale
The UK shale operator will move forward with fracturing and testing its second well at its Lancashire site despite strict constraints on induced seismicity that hampered fracturing work on its first well.
Directional Drilling Becomes Office Work at Chevron, Hess
Moving their directional drillers into their Houston real-time remote operations centers has improved drilling efficiency for two of the top shale producers.
Big Data vs. Diverse Data: Confidential Databases Lack Performance Benchmarks
A study by a real-time monitoring company showed that many coiled-tubing strings are retired with a lot of life left in them. It suggested companies could lower costs by using pipe for a longer time and could benefit from multicompany studies showing how their decisions compare to the competition.
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.
Exploring the Innovative Evolution of Hydraulic Fracturing
The evolution of hydraulic fracturing is a long and circuitous one that deserves examination. Engineering and completions leaders from Liberty Oilfield Services did just that, authoring a paper that encapsulates the high points in the development of the groundbreaking completions practice.
Canadian Oil Business Gets More Canadian as Devon Exits
Devon Energy and its debt gets smaller, as Canadian Natural Resources adds to its huge, long-term bet on Canadian heavy and ultra-heavy crude.
Chinese-Owned Operator Claims Longest Permian Lateral
Houston-based Surge Energy drilled the Medusa Unit C 28-09 3AH well in the Midland Basin to a TMD of 24,592 ft, with a total horizontal displacement of 17,935 ft, or 3.4 miles.
What Happened to the Private, Family-Owned Oil Company?
When the oil and gas industry goes one way, family-owned Hunt Oil goes the other. And that’s why the company has been around for three generations.
Gas Lift Operations Require Accurate Predictions of Downhole Annulus Pressure
Downhole annulus pressure is required for any gas lift design. This paper presents several methods of determining annulus pressure at depth and helps determine which method is most appropriate for specific conditions.
Surface-to-Borehole Electromagnetics Hold Promise for 3D Waterflood Monitoring
The authors detail the development of a technique based on surface-to-borehole controlled-source electromagnetics (CSEM), which exploits the large contrast in resistivity between injected water and oil to derive 3D resistivity distributions, proportional to saturations, in the reservoir.
UK Shale Flow Test Positive, But No Regulatory Relief in Sight
UK’s first horizontal shale well has yielded positive results after an initial flow test. But further testing—and fracturing of a second well—will have to come amid a continuation of UK’s stringent regulations on induced seismicity.
US Shale To Drill And Complete 20,000 Wells This Year
A new report expects US producers to drill their highest number of wells since 2014, and that completion activity may exceed drilling for the first time since 2016.
Eni To Team With BP, Others in Growing Middle East Exploration Campaign
By racking up exploration agreements in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain, Eni took a big step forward in its pledge to tap into the Middle East’s vast swaths of highly prospective oil and gas acreage.
China Flexes Shale Muscles as CNPC Ups Gas Output 40%
The country continues to step up its delivery of shale gas, but has a long ways to go to meet the government's target.
Shale’s Big Sand Switch Is Delivering Dollars, but Not Eroding All Concerns
Producers in Texas have claimed an economic victory with their transition to local sands that they once avoided using in horizontal wells due to their low-quality.
Global Oil and Gas Exploration, Project Sanctions Expected to Rise in 2019
Financially healthier than in years past, operators are prepared to stave off the negative impacts of volatile oil markets in 2019 and advance their exploration and development programs.
Led by Frac, The Oilfield Services Space Could Get Interesting in 2019
Slumping oil prices may throw a wrench into a positive outlook for the global oilfield services and equipment industry. Even if prices rebound, complications in the US fracturing market—and elsewhere—are expected to persist.
Refined Business, Software Platforms Drive Helmerich & Payne’s Drilling Evolution
Helmerich & Payne’s first 100 years have required constant reinvention. Now the company hopes its new drilling software platform built on the acquisitions of two startups will propel it through the next century.
Total, ADNOC To Explore for Unconventional Gas in Abu Dhabi
The French major will become operator of the Ruwais Diyab concession, and ADNOC says additional companies are lining up to partner on the emirate’s other unconventional areas.
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.
Frac Hits To Take Center Stage at SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Conference
The upcoming event will provide the shale sector with a venue to share new learnings and approaches meant to overcome one of its greatest subsurface challenges.
Gas Begins Flowing From UK Shale Well
Small quantities of gas and water are flowing to the surface from the UK’s first horizontal shale well—just days after operator Cuadrilla paused injection work for a second time amid earthquakes.
Can Machine Learning Mitigate Frac Hits?
BHGE is developing an analytics and machine-learning approach that offers descriptive and predictive insights on frac hits, with the aim of eventually offering a real-time monitoring capability to be deployed during frac jobs.
Small Earthquakes Pause Fracturing of UK’s First Horizontal Shale Well
Cuadrilla has encountered its first bumps in the road while fracturing its Preston New Road shale gas well, with two quakes already temporarily halting injection operations.
Merger of Ensco and Rowan Jacks Up Their Market Share
The merger of Ensco and Rowan creates a company with growing cash flow from the biggest fleet of jackup rigs, and growth potential as deepwater drilling comes back.
Company To Fracture First UK Horizontal Shale Wells
Cuadrilla Resources will test the two wells over the next 6 months to determine how much gas it can initially recover from the Bowland Shale.
BHP Affirms Devotion to Oil and Gas Despite US Shale Exit
BHP Billiton lost billions during its foray into US shale, but that doesn’t mean it has soured on oil and gas—particularly when it comes to deepwater development.
Can You Measure Reservoir Depletion While Drilling?
Shale explorers run very few logs into horizontal wells, making it difficult to understand the effects of reservoir depletion in tightly spaced wells. This new technology is trying to change that.
Now There’s Enough Pressure Pumping and Sand to Go Around
Hydraulic fracturing is now a little bit easier for US shale operators thanks to readily available horsepower and in-basin sand.
In the Battle Against Frac Hits, Shale Producers Go to New Extremes
The rise of cube developments in the Permian Basin has introduced a new way of thinking for some of the region’s biggest players.
BP To Buy US Shale Assets From BHP for $10.5 Billion
BP ends a year of speculation as to who will buy BHP Billiton’s much-coveted US unconventional business, transforming its Lower 48 portfolio in the process.
Aramco, NOV To Form Saudi Onshore Drilling Joint Venture
Saudi Aramco’s aim to localize oilfield services in the kingdom is taking another step forward with an onshore drilling partnership with National Oilwell Varco.
Permian Oil Production Could Soon Reach 5.4 Million B/D
A report from IHS Markit forecasts continued strong production growth in the Permian over the next 5 years despite the well-documented challenges that have recently emerged in the basin.
US Onshore Pressure Pumpers Adjusting to New Market Demands
Higher oil prices and higher-intensity completions are increasing the need for US onshore pressure pumping horsepower. Will still recovering pressure pumpers and equipment manufacturers be able to step up?
Future US Onshore Growth Depends on a Higher Price
Strong US production growth and rising oil prices no longer look incompatible. With a lot less oil in storage, the production is needed to meet growing demand and cover the cost of added output.
Firms Lay Transformation Blueprints for Post-Downturn E&P World
Two old school operators and a financial change agent embody a new era for the US onshore industry. Their CEOs convened at the NAPE Global Business Conference in Houston to explain why.
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.
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.
UK Shale Horizontal Drilling Under Way, Fracturing to Follow
Overcoming numerous regulatory hurdles, Cuadrilla Resources is pressing ahead with its plans to fracture a well in the UK for the first time since 2011.
Big Discoveries Prompt US Agencies to Lift Recoverable Resource Estimates in Alaska
Major oil discoveries by Armstrong Oil & Gas and ConocoPhillips have compelled the US Department of the Interior to reassess its estimate of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in parts of Alaska.
SPE Technical Directors’ Outlook: An Obsession With Value and Cost
Technical Directors have a range of things to work on for 2018 that add value at a time when resources are scare.
Oil Discoveries Fall to Lowest Level in 70 Years
Low oil prices that forced operators to slash upstream spending budgets has led to the lowest level of discoveries in decades.
It’s Official: GE, Baker Hughes Complete Merger
The merger of industrial giant GE and oilfield services firm Baker Hughes closed on 3 July, creating the second-largest oil field services firm in the world.
What Does It Mean When Your Technology Is an MVP?
For startups in the upstream sector, knowing how to navigate through a technology's Minimum Viable Product stage is critical, but not always straight forward.
CERAWeek: Russian Oil Business Changing as it Turns to the East
Russia has looked to the east to find more oil and gas, growing markets and investor support, allowing it to shrug off the global slump and trade sanctions.
Mexico’s Onshore Auction Considered a Success, Deepwater Up Next
Each of the 25 onshore blocks offered to private companies in Mexico’s December auction were awarded, almost all of which went to Mexican companies.
New Oil Sands Technology Debuts in Utah, Promises Low Environmental Impact
In the northeastern desert of Utah, a new type of oil sands extraction technology has been born. The company behind it claims the process is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to develop oil sands.
Eroding the US Crude Export Ban
Booming US oil production is beginning to seep into international markets despite the country’s ban on oil exports. One sign of change was the departure in late July of a tanker from Texas City, Texas, with 400,000 bbl of liquid hydrocarbons bound for Asia, Reuters reported.
Searching for Opportunities in Environmental Trouble
Polluted streams in Pennsylvania could provide a source of water for hydraulic fracturing and help prove a new way to clean up waterways contaminated by coal mine waste.
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27 March 2020