Souped-Up Search Engines Wrangle Drilling, Completions Data
Fed by big data loads from big operators, a university consortium and software firm are each working to make upstream data access as quick and easy as a Google search.
One Industry of Global Citizens
An assortment of sustainability initiatives shows how the oil and gas industry, leveraging its reach, diversity, and resources, is going well beyond just supplying energy to impact the world for the better.
Meeting the World’s Energy Needs Through Innovation and Insight
JPT asked several active SPE members about the appeal of petroleum engineering, the significance of the work they do, and what the future may hold. Here are some of their answers.
Did I Make the Right Career Choice?
JPT asked several active young professionals about their career path thus far and what they liked about petroleum engineering. Here are some of their answers.
Three Myths About the Oil and Gas Industry’s Future and How To Counter Them
We are in the midst of an energy transition: the world is moving quickly and inevitably away from “dirty” fossil fuels to “green” solar, wind, and batteries.
What Does the Data Revolution Offer the Oil Industry?
The need to understand the future trends of the oil industry has never been greater than it is today.
How Oil Innovation Has Benefited Other Industries
Technology transfer in the oil business is too often discussed from a lens of bringing in outside innovations. But what happens when innovation escapes the industry’s orbit and finds a new home?
Engineering Miracles: A Short Distance Between Creation and Value to Society
In the JPT issue celebrating SPE’s 50th anniversary, John C. Calhoun addressed how distinctive petroleum engineering is from other engineering disciplines.
What Lies Ahead for Hydrocarbons in the Global Energy Mix?
The energy transition is underway, and the push to reduce carbon emissions will be at the forefront of industry discussion in the coming years. What role will oil and gas play in the changing landscape? How diversified can our fuel mix be while still meeting growing energy demand?
The X-Factor in PE: Women in the Industry
Women in PE make significant technical contributions and bring value-adding attributes and perspectives to the industry
All in the Family
Perhaps the best compliment paid to a profession is when a child follows his parent’s footsteps into it.
Petroleum: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
For sheer impact, in touching the lives of virtually everybody on the planet, Haber-Bosch is hard, if not impossible, to beat. While food (together with water) is arguably the most important human need in terms of sustaining life, affordable energy is an important determinant of the quality of that
Ten Technologies From the 1980s and 1990s That Made Today’s Oil and Gas Industry
Contrary to popular imagination, which favors John Wayne stereotypes heroically rescuing the oil industry with wrench and hammer, the oilfield is a place of exquisite engineering, the match of anything on Earth, a marvel of innovation at the biggest and smallest scales.
An Actionable Path for Oil and Gas in the Fight Against Climate Change
Global climate concerns, amplified in the public consciousness by a steady stream of violent weather events such as hurricanes and California wildfires, are generating a new set of realities for the energy industry.
How the Oil and Gas Industry Is Contributing to Sustainability
In September 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals, addressing the global challenges facing humanity, including poverty, inequality, health, education, energy, climate, the environment, and prosperity.
The Challenge of Public Perception
Are you annoyed by all the wrong things passing for facts about oil and gas? A lot of petroleum engineers are. As for what to do to solve the problem, that gets complicated, and likely will require studying psychology.
Petroleum Engineering—The Best Profession
Short of choosing a life partner, deciding on a profession may be the most important decision any of us ever makes.
This 17 article special section pays tribute to petroleum engineers, their technical achievements, and examines the issues that will shape the profession in the near future.
Why We Matter
When worldwide oil and gas consumption reached record levels yet again in 2017, SPE members were there when it counted, helping to generate more light and power for billions of people across the world.
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.
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.
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.
The Oil and Gas Chat Bots Are Coming
The technology is being proven in millions of phones and homes across the world. Now, a small group of software startups wants to introduce chat bot technology to oil and gas professionals.
SPE Technical Directors’ Outlook: Do Good, Then Do Better
In their outlook for 2019, SPE’s technical directors suggest petroleum engineers take a moment to reflect on the industry’s great feats, and then get back to work to do things better.
What’s Different About These Drill Bits? How a Little Change Can Be Made to Matter
A contest where teams of college students design and build an automated drilling rig able to deal with hazardous obstacles in a test block, showed how a small change can be engineered to matter.
Reservoir-on-a-Chip Technology Opens a New Window Into Oilfield Chemistry
An oil and gas startup has attracted the business with a major operator thanks to its ability to forecast whether production-enhancing chemicals will work as advertised.
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.
Fighting Water With Water: How Engineers Are Turning the Tides on Frac Hits
If the shale sector’s most complex problem can be solved, it will require companies to use their wells as a team. Newly detailed field work shows that a good defense is the key to success.
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.
How Close Is Too Close? Well Spacing Decisions Come With Risks
The ideal well spacing is in the eye of the beholder. The decision depends on so many factors that machine learning is now trying to determine the best combination of ingredients.
Fewer Grads + More Jobs: A Winning Formula for Job Hunters
As demand for petroleum engineers begins to rise, supply is dropping fast. It may be a good market for job seekers but things could get tougher for those doing the hiring.
Looking Inside the Well: An Interview With Visuray CEO Kambiz Safinya
Visuray is using its unique X-ray technology to improve downhole imaging.
An Inside Look at Anadarko Petroleum’s Digital Transformation
Meet the group advancing digital technology adoption within one of the largest oil and gas producers in the US. Its aim is to cross-pollinate reservoir engineers with data scientists to create a 21st century workforce.
Oil and Gas Salaries Continue To Head Upward
Petroleum industry professionals’ reported average compensation in 2018 shows an increase from this past year but is still lower than salaries before the oil price downturn that began in 2014.
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.
So Many Wells, So Few Engineers—Scaling Production Engineering for All Those Shale Wells
Fast-declining, older, unconventional oil wells require artificial lift experts to deal with and explore a population of miles-long horizontal wells that do not follow the established rules of thumb.
Fracturing Wells in Pairs Creates Strong Links
Fracturing two or more wells at the same time creates connections. While fracturing fluids reach out further, those ties create a stronger link, though not forever.
BP and Startup Beyond Limits Try To Prove That Cognitive AI Is Ready for Oil and Gas
BP has invested more than $100 million into nine different startup companies in the past 2 years—but only one of them wants to turn your brain into a piece of its software.
It May Be Boom Time for the Oil-Rich Powder River Basin
The Powder River Basin has emerged over the past year as the latest source of oil production growth for the Lower 48. Companies ranging from a reborn Samson Resources to US onshore mainstays Devon, Chesapeake, and EOG are now betting on the basin to become a long-term core asset.
New SPE President Offers a Vision of Oil and Gas Sustainability
2019 SPE President Sami Alnuaim will spend the next year forging new relationships to promote the industry’s role in addressing environmental issues.
Culture Change Needed To Realize Full Value of Digital
What does industry need to create successful ecosystems in a new digital reality? While companies identify and implement new technologies to streamline their operations, a greater focus on new cultures, skill sets, and mindsets may be necessary.
Life is Complicated and Uncertain: Why Not Just Focus on Drilling Faster?
Predicting the trajectory of a satellite, or a well, requires sophisticated analysis to reduce the huge uncertainties. That adds to the many things drillers should be thinking about, which can be overwhelming.
Imagine Fracture Modeling Based on Actual Fractures
By measuring which tests best predicted the fractures observed at the Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site, Laredo Petroleum developed a method it hopes will improve fracture modeling in other places.
Upstream Data Can Be “a Rat’s Nest of a Mess”
Companies such as Google, Schlumberger, Shell, and Encana are working to turn the industry’s rat’s nest of data into a goldmine of insight, analysis, and technology.
Panel Highlights Challenges, Successes in Digital Transformation
Strides made in data analytics over the past few years have been huge. But the complexity of data, and understanding how to use them, can delay the advantages to be gained. If the benefits and methodology of data acquisition are not better explained to engineers, might implementation suffer?
Real Fractured Rock Is So Complex It’s Time for New Fracturing Models
A close look at hundreds of feet of fractured core samples suggest that new fracture models are needed to simulate complicated reality.
What Happens When Facebook Technology Meets Oil Well Records
The same tools that make it fun and easy for you to see a friend's updates online are also pretty good at tying together unconnected databases holding valuable well information.
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.
SPE Honors 2018 International Award Recipients at Annual Meeting
Recipients of the 2018 SPE International Awards will be recognized at the Annual Reception and Banquet to be held during the 2018 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dallas this month.
Can Putting Blockchain on Drilling Rigs Really Get Everyone on the Same Screen?
Having blockchain on an oil rig means everyone on the job shares a view of a project from start to finish. This could facilitate innovations that cut costs, but organizational change is required.
Getting to Zero and Beyond
The recently issued SPE technical report Getting to Zero and Beyond: The Path Forward highlights the “how to” for the industry to achieve zero incidents, zero harm, and zero impact.
An Update of the Global Standard in Reserves/Resources Classification and Definitions
Since its publication in 2007, the SPE Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) has been broadly adopted by the petroleum industry as the international standard reference for reserves and resources classification and reporting.
Oilfield Service Patent Contests Get Heated
From the highest courts of the US judicial branch to the C-suite, contests involving patents have recently come to the fore in the innovation hungry US oilfield services industry, even as filings and litigation have declined in recent years.
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.
New Modeling Code Sees Deep Inside Fractures, May Change Thinking on Well Spacing
Operators are working with a young startup company to overhaul how the unconventional sector has traditionally interpreted one the most common tests used to influence well completion designs.
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.
Innovative Pressure Map Offers Insights on Frac Hits
Well-interference issues can be hard to diagnose, but this startup may be figuring that out. The data-driven process it developed can also help operators come up with more effective ways to use diverters.
Rapid Evaluation of Development Ideas Has Engineers Thinking: What If?
A software program has evolved from predicting future well output to showing engineers the many ways their ideas could affect asset performance.
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.
Legends of Artificial Lift
The 2018 Legends of Artificial Lift are announced. Recipients will be honored at the 2018 SPE Artificial Lift Conference and Exhibition to be held in The Woodlands, Texas.
Pioneer's Analytics Project Reveals the Good and Bad of Machine Learning
A recent research effort has shown that the digital journey is full of stumbling blocks. Just like humans, advanced computing technology will get some things right and some things wrong.
Big Leaps Still to Come in Unconventional Technology
Today’s advancements in unconventional technology are worth marveling over, but there is still plenty of room for growth.
Find Out What Google and Oil and Gas Companies Are Searching for in Big Data at 2018 ATCE
The company behind the world’s most popular search engine is trying to click with the upstream business at the most distinguished technical event of the year.
In the Shale Business, It’s Time for Another Revolution
The report card for unconventional oil and gas producers from a leading industry analyst is A+ for growth and F- for paying back investors.
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?
Machine Learning Can Enhance and Add Jobs
The perceived change stemming from the spread of machine learning and artificial intelligence can feed alarming predictions about massive job losses, but replacement of humans is a low priority among organizations implementing these technologies.
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?
Someday Soon, a Computer Will Do the Report for the Morning Meeting
When the drilling crew arrives for the morning meeting, the computer will have generated its daily operations report.
How Do Oil and Gas Investors Pick Entrepreneurs? Vice Versa?
Oil and gas entrepreneurs need more than just a brilliant idea to attract investment, and investors have to offer more than just money.
Time To Enlist in the Analytics Army
Some operating companies are now enlisting engineers as foot soldiers in their analytics army. It is not required yet, but those looking to get ahead would be wise to get involved.
2018–2019 Distinguished Lecturers, Topics, Company Affiliations, and Discipline
With speakers from various disciplines and professions, the 2018–2019 SPE Distinguished Lecturer season focuses on industry trends, challenges, and technology applications.
Evidence That a Burning Oil Well Can Sometimes Be the Best Option
Well fires look all consuming, but proving they burn all the oil without leaving a spill behind required the efforts of Boots Coots plus a rocket scientist and a lot of high powered computer equipment.
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.
AR Headsets Give Oil and Gas Sector the Quicker Fix
Wearable computers are turning heads in the oil and gas industry and appear to be on a trajectory for widespread adoption.
Argentina’s Shale Play is Beginning to Live up to Expectations
Wells are starting to come on stronger than expected, which is putting a new emphasis on orginizing all the other ingredients needed for shale production: more rigs, roads, pipelines, water, and sand.
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?
Drilling by the Numbers Demands Better Numbers
As leaders in digital drilling analysis push into real-time data analysis and digital controls, they are finally confronting data-quality problems. Humans are better than machines at dealing with ambiguous readings.
Will Blockchain Become the New Operational Backbone in Energy?
Energy companies are looking to distributed ledger technology—otherwise known as blockchain—to help navigate the complex transactional systems that make up their operations. What is blockchain, and what makes it valuable to our industry?
Additive Manufacturing Makes Waves in Industry
Gas turbine blades and large-scale printing machines highlight new advancements in additive manufacturing that are likely to affect supply chain management in the not-so-distant future.
Rethinking Fracturing at the Point of Attack
A small group of engineers are turning a geeky focus on how to better control the flow of fluids through the holes shot in the casing to increase the number of spots stimulated, and ultimately production.
Colorado Operators Reaping Rewards From Sticking by ‘Predictable’ DJ-Niobrara
Colorado’s industry lacks the size, variety, and Wild West characteristics of Texas, but that is precisely why the Centennial State’s oil production is surging to record levels.
US Gulf of Mexico Production Projected To Hit Record High
Falling costs and breakeven prices, increased operational efficiencies, and favorable government policy are at the heart of a potential short-term boon in Gulf of Mexico production.
Oilfield Service Sector Sees Recovery Emerging
After 3 harsh years of budget cuts and layoffs, oilfield services companies are beginning to see a recovery take shape. And the worst may be over for heavy-asset suppliers and equipment manufacturers in the offshore and subsea sector, but recovery is likely to be significantly slower.
Statoil, ABB Among Companies Pushing Integrated Operations Initiatives
Statoil’s integrated operations center on the Norwegian continental shelf is one of several initiatives operators and service companies have set in motion to improve condition monitoring and maximize production on their assets.
Mexico's Second Deepwater Auction Successful
Mexico’s Round 2.4 deepwater auction surpassed expectations as 19 of 29 blocks were awarded to 11 firms from 10 countries.
Digging up New Information on What Fractures Really Look Like
During a panel discussion on what fractures look like, one expert added a significant qualifier to the title: what they “may look like.”
Fracturing Plans and Reality Often Look Really Different
Good diagnostic testing is often painstaking, time-consuming, and costly, but recent studies suggest that a lack of knowledge can be even costlier.
VACA MUERTA RISING: Faster and Cheaper Without Losing Better
After Gustavo Astie, executive manager for unconventionals at YPF, presented what he thought was an aggressive growth plan for the coming year to YPF management, he was asked: Would it be possible to go faster?
VACA MUERTA RISING: A Trip Along the Learning Curve
A drive down a gravel road in the Loma Campana follows the steep early learning curve in the Vaca Muerta.
VACA MUERTA RISING: Forces Favoring Shale Development are Aligned in Argentina, for Now
It is easy to fixate on what it will take to extract huge volumes of oil and gas from the nearly impermeable rock within the Vaca Muerta.
VACA MUERTA RISING: Creating a Family-Friendly Oilfield Boomtown
Añelo is a small town in an arid, sparsely populated area with a new supermarket, police station, bank, skate park, hotel, and hospital. In the past decade the population has roughly tripled to 7,000, and in 5 years, it is expected to nearly triple again to 20,000.
VACA MUERTA RISING: Building Unconventional Production From the Ground Up in Argentina
YPF has followed an unconventional path up the learning curve to develop the Vaca Muerta, which could be the first big ultratight play developed outside North America.
Dramatic Enrollment Shifts Plague Petroleum Engineering Programs
Crude prices may be rebounding, but undergraduate enrollment in US petroleum engineering programs continues to dive. Will there be a shortage of young, qualified PE graduates in the coming years?
An Interview With Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller
Halliburton Chief Executive Officer Jeff Miller discusses the service company giant's outlook for North American unconventionals and the overall health of the oil and gas industry.
They Are Not Drilling Shale Wells Like They Used To
Shale operators are working harder to get as much out of new wells as they did from older ones nearby.
Cyberattacks Pose Increasing Industry Threat
Cyberattacks are an increasing threat globally to businesses and organizations, very much including the oil and gas industry, with operating activity of all kinds exposed as well as information technology networks.
Water Demand Spurs Permian Infrastructure Investment
Rising oil production in the Permian Basin has created an opportunity for midstream companies to acquire and expand pipeline infrastructure to handle a predicted spike in produced water.
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.
Stressed About Production? Consider a Chemical Cocktail
Early field tests suggest chemical treatments may be able to significantly increase production from unconventional formations.
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16 April 2019
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18 April 2019