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.
The Industry of the Future: What Does It Look Like?
A look at how policy, future workforce perception, and industry standards will shape energy companies in the near and distant future.
An Interview With Ecuador’s Minister of Hydrocarbons Carlos Pérez Garcia
Carlos Pérez Garcia, Ecuador’s Minister of Hydrocarbons, discussed the direction of his country’s upstream oil development effort in a recent interview with JPT.
The Problems With Bigger Fracs in Tighter Spaces
Fracturing reservoirs effectively can be like boxing. Moving in close enough to land a powerful punch often means a fighter has to take some hits. To effectively develop all the productive rock in a lease, new wells are drilled as close as possible to older ones, making frac hits inevitable.
After Drop in Activity, Haynesville Shale Sees Resurgence
After a drop in drilling activity in recent years, the Haynesville shale has become a hot area for natural gas production in the US, and companies are looking to bolster their positions in the area.
Drilling Slowdown Sparks Water Trading
When fracturing slowed last year in the Marcellus, companies holding produced water they did not need for fracturing paid other operators to take it. It provided a cheap source of fracturing water then, and in the future, water trading could reduce the high cost of shipping water.
Frac Hits Reveal Well Spacing May Be Too Tight, Completion Volumes Too Large
The effect of frac hits on production economics is becoming more important as a result of the high-speed drilling in the US shale sector. Recent research reveals the financial and recovery risks involved if well spacing results in well-to-well interference.
Turning Dirty Produced Water Into Fresh Water and Salt To Sell
Antero Resources has built a huge plant to turn waste water into fresh water and salt for sale. The $275-million investment in West Virginia is the most tangible indication of how operators in the Marcellus are pushing water reuse.
Petroleum Industry Salaries Begin To Rise After Downturn
Petroleum salaries are showing increases again after 2 years of decline.
Fifty Years of TUDRP
One of the oldest drilling consortia in the world, The University of Tulsa Drilling Research Project, celebrates 50 years and is poised to continue its tradition for another 5 decades.
Angola: Does Recent Change Mean Economic Development?
Angola’s powerful oil and gas industry has enabled the country’s rapid growth, but an overreliance on those revenues has posed major challenges. Does a recent change of leadership mean a shift in the nation’s economic direction?
2018 SPE President Darcy Spady
2018 SPE President Darcy Spady shares the goals for his presidency and his strategies to steer the Society through the downturn and changing demographics in the industry.
SPE Honors 2017 International Award Recipients at Annual Meeting
Winners of the 2017 SPE International Awards are announced. Recipients will be recognized during the Annual Reception and Banquet at the SPE ATCE in San Antonio.
Adding the Human Touch to Oilfield Apps
One tech company is using a unique approach to building custom apps for the oil and gas business.
Shale EOR Works, But Will It Make a Difference?
The promise of getting 30% more oil production from shale wells has set off a race by companies trying to see if they can replicate what EOG has done. But the big question is: Can it add enough oil to increase the industry’s low average recovery rate?
Finding Your Next Sweet Spot Using Dirty DNA
Tiny soil samples may contain as many as 300,000 species of microbial life, but a Netherlands-based startup has figured out that between 50 and 200 of them can tell an operator if a drilling location will hold oil and gas reserves.
Operators Share Frac Schedules To Know When Wells Are at Risk
To reduce the risk of wells getting “frac hits,” Permian Basin operators around Midland created an information exchange to give them notice of nearby fracturing.
Clouds are Forming Around the Upstream Sector, and That’s a Good Thing
No longer considered a buzz phrase, cloud computing has made converts of the largest oil companies, and now the smaller ones are next.
Outlook Points to Peak Transport Demand for Oil
Oil demand growth from the transportation sector, the linchpin of oil consumption, will slow to a trickle by 2035 and level off, while demand from the petrochemicals sector will become oil’s chief growth driver, the BP 2017 Energy Outlook says.
This Vision of Onshore Seismic May Look Strange at First
Faced with big potential discoveries under terrain that makes good seismic imaging impossible, Total is rethinking how to gather the data it needs, with an idea that could change the face of seismic exploration.
Unconventional Resources: A Typical Well Is Hard To Define
A type curve is a quick way to answer a critical question—what does a typical well produce over time in a given place?
Unconventional Resources: Conference Highlights Shale as an International Business
The Unconventional Resources Technology Conference included discussions on emerging approaches to improving oil and gas recovery from tight rocks and exploring where the risks still lie with induced seismicity.
Filling in the Blanks To Limit Earthquake Risks
It is known that a well injecting a lot of water near a big fault can lead to earthquakes. The problem is, more often than not those faults are not known until after a tremor.
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18 February 2019
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