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US DOE To Fund 12 R&D Projects To Boost Unconventional Characterization, Recovery
Twelve organizations—universities and private technology companies—will conduct research and development on emerging shale plays and technologies covering everything from digital pressure-sensing to smart microchip proppant.
Report Recounts the Missed Signals Leading to a Blowout that Killed Five
Regulators say the blowout that killed five workers on a Patterson-UTI rig in Oklahoma was the product of a slow-moving series of missed signals, misleading testing, and miscalculations that failed to control a natural gas influx.
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.
US Leads World in Oil Reserves
Ranking places US ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia.
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.
IEA, OPEC Cut 2019 Oil Demand Growth Forecast
Trade tensions and economic sentiment take a toll.
New Merger to Create Third-Largest US Pressure Pumper
As the hydraulic fracturing market faces pressure to lower costs, Keane Group and C&J Energy Services announce they will combine their businesses.
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.
Global Energy Demand in 2018 Grew at the Fastest Pace This Decade
Natural gas accounted for almost 45% of global demand growth last year.
Comstock Resources to Buy Covey Park, Triple Haynesville-Bossier Position
The combination will create one of the Haynesville Shale’s top gas producers, tripling Comstock’s Haynesville-Bossier acreage.
More Tweaks Than Transformation in Rewrite of Well Control Rules
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.
Dorado Discovery Off Australia Is Bigger Than Expected
After drilling the Dorado-2 appraisal well, operator Santos Energy now expects a big increase in gas resources from predrill estimates, adding to one of the largest oil resources ever found on Australia’s North West Shelf.
Thirty Firms Awarded Blocks in UK’s 31st Offshore Licensing Round
The round marked a continuation of a recent trend on the UKCS in which lesser-known firms and newcomers have gained stature, replacing more-familiar, bigger operators that have pared down their North Sea positions.
Eni Tallies Fifth Oil Discovery in Angola Deepwater Exploration Campaign
The Agidigbo find follows the Kalimba, Afoxé, Agogo, and Ndungu discoveries. The five discoveries combined hold an estimated 1.8 billion bbl of light oil in place.
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.
Murphy Oil to Buy Deepwater US Gulf Assets for up to $1.625 Billion
The El Dorado, Arkansas-based Murphy has quickly found a home for some of the cash it will receive from the sale of its Malaysia business. The company has been rapidly expanding its US gulf footprint while simplifying its portfolio and targeting more oil.
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.
Chevron Sells UK North Sea Assets
There is a new, big independent in the UK North Sea, Delek Group. Its UK North Sea arm, Ithaca, bought most of Chevron’s holdings in the sector in a $2 billion deal.
Service Companies Remain Optimistic Despite Tough Start in 2019
The three largest service companies are optimistic about the rest of 2019.
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.
Make or Breakeven: Is Unconventional Oil Production Getting More Efficient?
If the benchmark oil price is $10/bbl higher than the breakeven price for production that means companies are making good money, right? Maybe, but it’s hard to know what goes into a breakeven price.
Shell Begins Production from Massive Gulf of Mexico Platform
Appomattox begins production below cost and ahead of schedule in another optimistic sign of the offshore sector’s rebound.
Shell Partners with Startup to Get a Better Taste of the Reservoir
Wireline formation tests are a critical piece of the exploration and appraisal process, yet they come with a degree of uncertainty. The supermajor has tapped a new software developer to see if it can clear things up.
Brazil Focuses on Cost Control in Deep Water
Petrobras says it can produce oil for a lower break-even price than onshore shale plays, including the Permian Basin. Brazil’s offshore sector has cut the cost of deepwater production but comparisons based on break-even prices are slippery.
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.
Industry Dives into UK’s New Oil and Gas Data Hub
Some 3,000 people and counting intrigued by UK oil and gas data have signed up for access to the country’s new National Data Repository. What motivated the OGA to make the data available to the public, and what can the public do with the data?
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.
Transocean Reveals Its Drilling-Changing Ideas
The biggest drilling company appears interested in becoming the most innovative. It is testing inventions ranging from a blowout preventer that is not hydraulically powered to power systems designed like a hybrid car.
Idle Drilling Rigs Actually Require a Lot of Work
When a rig is stacked, its owner has two choices: spend millions to keep it in good shape, or let it rust out. These two companies describe what it is like to maintain their assets for the day that a contract comes.
Chevron No Longer Pursuing Anadarko
Oxy has won the fight for Anadarko. Citing capital discipline as the reason, Chevron has elected not to make another bid for the independent.
UK Continental Shelf: Two Big Discoveries and More to Come
Leaders from UK’s Oil and Gas Authority, Total, CNOOC, and Equinor discuss exploration successes, misses, and expectations for the offshore UK.
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
Digitalization is Changing Offshore Operations
Adoption of digital technologies will continue to improve the offshore sector, including improved well efficiency, real-time directional drilling, lower maintenance costs, and safer operations.
Anadarko Accepts Oxy's Revised Takeover Offer
Anadarko Petroleum now plans to exit its agreement with Chevron after deeming Occidental Petroleum's revised takeover bid "superior."
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.
Operator Executives Share Haynesville Development Strategies
Indigo Natural Resources, Aethon Energy, and Rockcliff Energy are among the most active operators in the revived Haynesville Shale of North Louisiana and East Texas. And most people outside of the region likely have never heard of them.
Schlumberger to Sell its Middle East Drilling Business to Saudi Arabia’s TAQA
The deal will bolster Arabian Drilling Company’s fleet to 67 rigs across the Middle East and North Africa.
Spain’s Repsol, LLOG to Partner on Deepwater US Gulf Developments
The pact, which builds on the firms’ current partnership on the Buckskin project, covers four Keathley Canyon blocks including the Leon and Moccasin discoveries.
Shale Oil Focus Shifts to Cash Flow, Squeezing Growth and Small Players
In the shale oil business, cash flow is a life or death issue. For smaller players, money from investors and lenders is getting harder to find.
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.
Oxy Makes $38-Billion Bid for Anadarko in Hopes of Beating Out Chevron
Keen on Anadarko for a while, Occidental Petroleum is ready to do battle with Chevron for the big independent.
Blacktip: Shell’s New Discovery in the Gulf of Mexico
The explorer has so far encountered 400 ft of reservoir pay zone in an area where it has three other producing fields.
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.
ConocoPhillips to Exit UK E&P Business in $2.7-Billion Sale
With the purchase, the growing, privately-held Chrysaor Holdings will expand its UK North Sea production to 185,000 BOE/D.
ExxonMobil’s Guyana Offshore Discovery Count Rises to 13
Yellowtail-1 is the fifth discovery in the Turbot area, where ExxonMobil plans another Stabroek Block development hub.
Majors, IOCs Win Blocks in Argentine Offshore Bid Round
Thirteen companies placed bids on 18 blocks in the Austral, North Argentina, and Malvinas West basins as part of Argentina’s first open bid round for offshore acreage in more than 20 years.
Ghawar vs. Permian Basin: Is There Even a Comparison?
While some try to put the two enormous oil producers toe-to-toe, the best thing to do might be to understand why they are different.
Energean Makes Gas Find Off Israel, Estimates More Than 1 Tcf in Place
The discovery will be tied back to the 775-MMcf/D Energean Power FPSO, advancing Israel’s aim of becoming a regional gas supply hub.
Chevron’s $50-Billion Purchase of Anadarko Will Create "Ultra-Major"
Chevron’s $50-billion purchase of Anadarko will make it the second-place ultra-major, behind ExxonMobil.
Israel’s Delek Group to Buy Stake from Shell in US Gulf Field for Almost $1 Billion
The move is part of Delek’s strategy to expand its operations beyond the Eastern Mediterranean region. Shell, meanwhile, is in the midst of a $10-billion divestment program.
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.
Majors Drive Increase in Global Oil and Gas Discovered Resources
Conventional oil and gas discovered resources in 2019 are on pace to rise 30% from last year and reach their highest level since the beginning of the industry downturn. Here, a recap of the first quarter's 15 biggest oil and gas discoveries, which altogether are propelling the increase.
Shale Producers Look for Fracturing Power, See a Tighter Market
In the fast-moving US shale sector, no market trend seems to last long. The pressure pumping market exemplifies the maxim.
Three Big Numbers Shaping the Global Crude Picture
Take a quick look at some of the data points shaping upstream headlines and the movement of oil supplies around the world.
Repsol, ExxonMobil Latest to Add Colombian E&P Blocks
Colombia now counts Repsol, ExxonMobil, Shell, and Noble Energy as companies committed to exploration in its portion of the Caribbean Sea.
Noble Energy, Shell to Explore Colombian Caribbean Sea
Noble’s farm-in to blocks recently awarded to Shell marks the Houston-based independent’s entry into Colombia, where the government hopes to boost offshore exploration.
What Does the New Silk Road Mean For Oil and Gas?
Executives from two of Asia’s largest national oil companies declared China’s Belt and Road Initiative project a driving force behind their shifting priorities to diversify the world’s energy mix.
UK Releases 130 Terabytes of Oil and Gas Data
Data from the UK Oil and Gas Authority’s new data repository cover 12,500 offshore wellbores, 5,000 seismic surveys, and 3,000 pipelines.
PTTEP to Buy Murphy Oil’s Malaysian Business for $2.1 Billion
Thailand’s PTTEP is doubling down on Malaysian oil and gas in an effort to broaden its reach in its native Southeast Asia.
Shell Dominates US Gulf Lease Sale
The major’s dominant showing in US Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 252 propelled another rise in bids and dollars for the biannual regionwide auction.
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.
Shale Pioneer: Hard Ceiling on Production Growth Coming
The complicated parent-child relationship in US shale fields is emerging as a turning point in the US shale revolution. One of the first executives to exploit tight oil says the issue will reverse the sector’s cumulative growth rate by 2025.
Is the Cloud Mature Enough for High-Performance Computing?
Data volumes are growing at an exponential rate. How can high-performance computing solutions help operators manage these volumes? Will faster, stronger processors and cloud computing solutions be the answer?
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.
OTC 2019 Announces Spotlight on New Technology Award Recipients
The Spotlight on New Technology Awards—a program for OTC exhibitors—showcase the latest and most advanced hardware and software technologies that are leading the industry into the future.
Imaging Fracturing’s Unexpected Changes
Pictures shot in fractured wells show how a high-pressure slurry of water and sand carves up the perforations.
Change in Energy Sector is So Extreme Oil Companies May Need to Share Data
Oil companies generate an enormous amount of data but are reluctant to share it. But more sharing of information may be required in the future to keep up with a rapidly changing energy landscape.
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.
ExxonMobil Makes Huge Gas Discovery Offshore Cyprus
The discovery is world’s third-largest natural gas discovery in the past 2 years.
Shale Executives Address Investor Concerns Over Production, Frac Hits, Up-Spacing
The technical challenges imposed by tight well spacing and fracture interactions have become a focal point of recent earnings calls between investors and the leaders of several shale producers. The picture of the future is becoming clearer, and there are fewer oil wells in it.
New Tech Accelerator Teams With Big Operators To Solve the Pilot Problem
Funding for startups in the upstream industry does not always guarantee that oil and gas companies will want to test the new technology. A new venture and accelerator model hopes to change this through guaranteed pilots.
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.
Keeping Up with the Older Generation Proves Costly and Futile in the Permian
Another reminder that it costs more to coax the same amount of oil from new wells as for older wells nearby, with a closer look at the big plays and how the wells are completed.
Israel Hopes to Build on Success of First Bid Round
The second round will offer 19 offshore blocks clustered in five zones to continue natural gas development in the eastern Mediterranean’s Levant Basin.
Devon Pulls Up Its Roots, Goes All In on US Oil
Devon Energy will be getting simpler and smaller by selling two no-growth assets—gas acreage in the Barnett Shale in Texas and oil sand operations in Canada. Its future is staked on growing oil production in the Permian’s Delaware Basin and three other unconventional oil plays.
Permian Basin Production Will Grow as Long as Well Productivity Allows It
Production growth in the Permian Basin requires drill rigs running at a high pace. That is challenging companies to push well productivity.
Equinor, Transocean Ink Deal for Five Automated Rigs
The contract is helping to solidify Europe’s offshore sector as the focal point for the rise of automated drilling technology.
In 2040, Will There Be Jobs for Petroleum Engineers?
BP’s latest annual energy outlook considers many scenarios for the future, and they all require engineers to find a lot more oil to meet high demand.
Chesapeake Teams With Analytics Firm To Improve Asset Performance
The Oklahoma City independent has a new-look portfolio and new operational and financial priorities. And now it has enlisted an energy research firm to leverage advanced analytics and machine learning to help get the most out of its assets.
EIA Adds New Plays to Shale Gas, Tight Oil Reports
The agency updated its methodology and production volume estimates to factor increasing production from new, emerging plays as well as older plays that have rebounded thanks to drilling advancements.
The Eagle Ford Still Looks Good to Operators
The Eagle Ford Shale has reclaimed its standing as one of the most attractive US onshore liquids basins, and for good reason. Does this mean more operators will seek to buy in to the play, and could further consolidation take hold following last year’s big deals?
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.
To Solve Frac Hits, Unconventional Engineering Must Revolve Around Them
The struggle to overcome the challenge of frac hits has led to a critical dialogue about which pathway the shale sector should take. One idea is to simply put the problem at the center of every major decision.
Imaging Shows What is at Fault in Fracturing Job
Electromagnetic images can show where water flows during a hydraulic fracture. A test in the Anadarko Basin showed a fault there was a bigger hazard than expected.
What Happened to all the E&P Deal-Making?
One of last year’s big stories in the industry was consolidation among several of the larger upstream operators. But deal activity has fallen off in recent months. Will things remain this quiet during the somewhat uncertain year ahead?
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.
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 “Major Find” In North Sea Is Biggest In 11 Years
The state-run offshore company has found a gas and condensate field that holds an estimated 250 million BOE.
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.
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?
C&J Energy, Seismos Combine Technologies To Evaluate Fractures As They Are Made
Using drilling data and a downhole acoustic signal, developers aim to assess unconventional fracture networks in real time and give engineers ability to customize each stage.
Survey Points to Bullish Outlook for 2019, With Some Caveats
Industry confidence is on the rise, and so is capital spending, according to DNV’s 2019 annual outlook.
Sustainability Means Survivability for the Oil and Gas Industry, World Abroad
Sami Alnuaim, 2019 SPE president, welcomed the addition of two new oil and gas sustainability initiatives at the University of Houston and highlighted a number of ways the industry is already acting as a good global steward.
So Many PE Schools, So Many Strangers
Many leaders of petroleum engineering schools from around the world have never met but SPE’s technical director for academia would like to change that.
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.
Reservoir: Assume Nothing is Totally Conventional
Unconventional development has made it clear to Erdal Ozkan that conventional theory overlooks a lot of potentially productive rock. He talks about looking for ways to do better as part of JPT’s tech director report.
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.
Norway Awards Most Licenses Ever in New Round
In need of an exploration boost, Norway doled out a record 83 production licenses in mature areas of the Norwegian Continental Shelf to 33 firms.
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.
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19 June 2019