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API Launches Oil and Gas Workforce Website

Source: Offshore Energy Today | 16 June 2014

The American Petroleum Institute (API) officially launched–www.oilgasworkforce.com–a new website that provides information to anyone interested in careers, training, and certifications in the oil and natural gas industry.

“The website is another tool building on API’s worldwide leadership in standards, training, and certification to strengthen the next generation of oil and natural gas development and the industry workforce,” said John Modine, API vice president of Global Industry Services in a conference call with reporters. “Our goal is to create a resource to help meet our nation’s ever-growing need for a workforce that can help us realize our energy potential for the future.”

A recent report by IHS predicts an additional 1.3 million new career opportunities in the oil and natural gas industry by 2030, and a 2013 Energy Information Administration study estimates that job growth has been 40 times higher in the oil and natural gas industry compared to the economy as a whole.

As North American Flaring Rises, Proposed Gas Conversion Projects Double

Source: RedOrbit | 16 June 2014

Planned projects to convert natural gas into fuels, intermediate chemicals, and fertilizers have doubled in just 12 months, according to presentations from the Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) North America conference held in Houston.

Energy researcher Zeus Intelligence, a unit of Hart Energy, surveyed 24 gas-conversion projects in the United States and Canada in 2013. This year, Zeus identified 47 projects. Four developed by Nucor, Oberon, Primus Energy, and Celanese are already producing hot-briquetted iron, dimethyl ether, gasoline, and methanol, respectively.

“Flaring is a symptom of a market ballooning with natural gas,” said Chris Cothran, lead gas-conversion analyst at Zeus Intelligence. “We’re seeing the benefits of cheap natural gas across many industries.

“Effective June 1, North Dakota’s Industrial Commission changed its regulations,” he noted. Now oil producers must submit plans to capture gas when filing permits for new oil wells. Due to limited takeaway infrastructure, roughly 270 MMcf of associated gas is flared daily in North Dakota, mostly from oil wells in the Bakken shale. Regulators want producers to fund more pipelines or process plants to convert gas into marketable products.

Flares already in operation are attracting greater scrutiny, too. On 1 July, North Dakota’s Industrial Commission is expected to announce new flaring rules. The state’s goal is to reduce flare gas from roughly 25% of total production to less than 10% by 2020.

“Gas-conversion technologists see an opportunity,” Cothran said. “Technologists are working to offer mobile solutions to convert gas at the wellhead into liquid products that can be shipped to market.” He said at least four joint ventures have been announced in recent weeks.

Texas Railroad Commission Holds Water Conservation and Recycling Symposium

Source: Oil and Gas Update | 28 May 2014

Water is a hot topic these days—drought, water rights, earthquakes, and saltwater disposal wells. On 22 May, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) facilitated presentations by representatives from the oil and gas industry about water conservation and recycling—a hot topic for Commissioner Christi Craddick. Fifteen representatives from companies such as AES Water Solutions, Pioneer Natural Resources, Apache, Halliburton, Laredo Petroleum, Baker Hughes, and Omni Water Solutions relayed in 5 minutes or less each of their company’s water recycling goals, capabilities, and technologies. Each representative commended the RRC for having recently updated the agency’s water recycling rules last year to streamline the permitting of water recycling projects and to create more flexibility for multilease/multioperator recycling activities, thus making water recycling projects cost-effective and encouraging more reuse of produced water.

DNV GL Launches JIP To Standardize Subsea Documentation

Source: Offshore | 27 May 2014

DNV GL has launched a joint industry project (JIP) to standardize subsea documentation.

A typical subsea project can involve more than 10,000 documents (with up to 80,000 in a complex project) over a life cycle of 30 years. To develop, maintain, and verify the quality, security, accuracy, and availability of documentation, operators, contractors, and suppliers will often spend millions of dollars on document management, technical review, and information management systems.

“The aim of this broad industry collaboration initiated by DNV GL and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association is to develop a standardized set of subsea-system documents for designing, approving, manufacturing, verifying, operating, and maintaining equipment,” explained Jarl S. Magnusson, the JIP project manager for DNV GL Oil & Gas.

De-Risking Gulf of Mexico Operations and Maintenance Practices

Source: 23 May 2014 | OE

Maintenance, like safety, is everyone’s business. Even a cursory examination of successful energy companies reveals a strong commitment to a maintenance and safety hierarchy that goes from employees in the field all the way to the executive offices. Strong safety and maintenance cultures go hand-in-hand because poorly maintained assets can be the root cause of accidents and collateral damage to personnel and assets.

Beginning at the field, platform deck, or plant floor level, a company’s skilled workers may perfom complete end-to-end maintenance, or management may outsource operations and maintenance activities to technical service providers. On the Gulf Coast, asset owners and operators routinely outsource advanced maintenance and repairs to technical service providers who specialize in one or more aspects of the maintenance “ladder” that extends from construction, hookup, and commissioning to operations, shutdowns, and turnarounds. Today, even relocation and decommissioning activities are handled by highly specialized firms with the skills, equipment, and processes in place to manage complex projects.

How Safety Leaders Can Start the Sustainability Discussion

Source: Behavioral Science Technology | 6 May 2014

Over the past 30 years, HSE leaders have guided their organizations through a remarkable transformation. What was once a practice focused largely on regulatory compliance and crisis response has evolved into a strategic function that now helps guide operational excellence. Today, many organizations not only enjoy record low injury rates and greater safety literacy across employees at every level, they also have learned to “bake” safety into work practices and systems and detect changes in risk before they create events in a way that protects the workforce and the community while also delivering greater profitability. At the highest levels, HSE leaders have become experts at change.

As business becomes more interconnected, global environmental and social issues will increasingly affect an organization’s ability to operate. Left unchecked, these issues can pose an existential threat to the enterprise unlike anything traditional management models have accounted for. Whether they recognize it or not, organizations are in need of expertise that can guide the development of sustainability practice and strategy. HSE leaders play a special role in guiding that discussion as they have done while helping to transform safety from a priority into a core value for many leading organizations.


Shale Plays Create Opportunities, Challenges for Automation

Source: Automation World | 23 April 2014

Crude oil production in North America continues to rise. 2013 saw an increase of 1 million B/D in the United States, and production this year is expected to hit close to 9 million B/D, according to John Royall, president and CEO of Gulf Publishing.

Royall, giving an opening presentation at the Siemens Oil & Gas Innovations Conference in Houston, gave an overview of the North American and worldwide oil and gas scene, also outlining various factors in the industry and how they affect automation opportunities.

For example, industry activity has traditionally been measured by the number of rigs, but, for the first time, analysts no longer think rig count is the most important thing to look at, Royall said. That’s because the rig count on average is going down, yet footage drilled is on the rise. “With higher-efficiency rigs, we’re drilling much more footage with fewer rigs,” he said. “We’ll reach close to 400 million ft drilled in 2014.”

Column: Shale Industry Can Benefit From Human Factors

Source: Shale Energy Insider | 9 April 2014

Shale production is a major player in the quest for energy independence. The merits of shale production are irrefutable, and the positive impacts are great. While the benefits are well known, like in other process control industries, there are those who promote fear through a lack of knowledge about this viable form of energy. When there is a lack of knowledge about a topic—whether it is energy production or any other meaningful concern—the stage may be set for undesired consequences.

Global Survey Sees Companies Increasing HSE Spending in 2014

Source: EHS Journal | 11 March 2014

More than 62% of corporations worldwide will increase spending on environmental management initiatives in 2014, and 31% will increase spending in the double-digits according to a new report released by independent analyst firm Verdantix.

The survey of 250 heads of environment, health, and safety (EHS) in 13 major economies found that just 3% plan to cut spending in 2014 compared to 2013, while 36% will hold spending in line with inflation. According to the survey data, spending on EHS information systems is set for a significant increase: 55% of the respondents plan to increase spending in this area; 24% are targeting double digit increases in 2014 compared to 2013.

David Metcalf, chief executive officer of Verdantix, said, “Spending on environmental issues such as air, soil, and water pollution, permitting, waste, water, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is in robust shape in 2014. Compared to spend on energy management and sustainability, the EHS market looks much more attractive. Particular hotspots for global environmental spending in 2014 will be EHS software, environmental reporting, auditing, and compliance. Product sustainability has also emerged as a priority theme for 2014.”

Column: Helping Business Leaders Talk About Sustainability

Source: EHS Journal | 3 March 2014

Some sustainability professionals are lucky. They work for chic executive offices (CEOs) who, for one reason or another, “get” sustainability. Their CEOs may have been exposed to sustainability issues by their customers, by their predecessors, or even by their grandchildren.

Most sustainability professionals don’t have that luxury. They have to make their case to a skeptical business audience. That audience often views sustainability as soft, sentimental, and suspect. That audience seems to want a business case for sustainability with short-term return-on-investment numbers.