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SPE's New Publications

Digitalization and unconventionals production are transforming the oil and gas industry. Shale oil output now accounts for the lion’s share of world production increases and has reshaped global energy markets and trading. Partly in response to the severe price downturn that began in 2014, companies are adopting the use of advanced data analytics, machine learning, visualization, and artificial intelligence to reduce costs and to make operations more productive and efficient.

SPE’s mission is to give its members the most current information related to key industry topics and develop programs and publications that are of most relevance to petroleum professionals, offering valuable insight into current and future ways of doing business. A key part of the new SPE Strategic Plan, adopted earlier this year, is to promote expertise in new areas, as well as better understanding of new digital technologies, through increased content offerings. To support this effort, SPE is launching a new online publication and newsletter on data science and digital engineering and a new monthly newsletter on the unconventionals oil and gas sector. The new publication and newsletters are designed to give members in-depth information and insight into these increasingly important sectors, in addition to the coverage these topics receive in SPE’s current publications.

The JPT Unconventional Insights newsletter debuted in November, containing staff-written and curated content (items of interest from non-SPE sources), as well as other information such as key insights from recent technical papers that caught the eye of subject matter experts. The Data Science and Digital Engineering publication and accompanying newsletter will debut in the first quarter of 2019. To receive the newsletters, members and nonmembers must sign up on the SPE preferences page located at www.spe.org/en/preferences/email_preferences.

Both the unconventionals and digital science topics are likely to dominate industry discussion for the foreseeable future. October marked the 10th anniversary of the first completed horizontal well in the Eagle Ford Shale formation in south Texas. That discovery helped propel a boom over the next several years that turned the region into one of the world’s most active oil plays, and was further realization that shale development had even greater potential than originally thought. Now, with Permian Basin output growing so fast that it has outstripped transportation capacity, and huge new plays coming on line in Argentina and China, the shale sector will continue to play a major role in upstream oil and gas for years to come.

The International Energy Agency reported last month that US crude oil production is expanding at an unprecedented rate thanks to shale. The US is expected to account for 75% of the world’s oil production gains to 2025, with an increase of 5 million B/D during the period to 18.5 million B/D, according to the organization’s World Energy Outlook 2018. Tight oil production alone will rise to 9.2 million B/D.

Integrating digitalization and data science into upstream operations has emerged as a strategic priority and will have an inevitable impact on the industry. As consultancy Wood Mackenzie noted in a recent report: “Digitalization is happening. In our view, it is not a choice to do it or not; it is now about the speed and depth of adoption. …Cloud computing, automation and robotics, blockchain, 3D printing, machine learning, and the Internet of Things are all playing increasingly large roles, serving as a platform for data, analytics, and the connectivity of people, machines, and devices.”

SPE's New Publications

John Donnelly, JPT Editor

01 December 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 12

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