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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Unconventional Resources: Validating the Smooth Success of HEAL System
PipeFractionalFlow, a spinoff startup from the University of Texas at Austin, uses new theories and equations to make modeling complex multiphase flow more affordable. A model recently developed offers operators an “independent and unbiased” way to validate the system and select candidate wells.
Unconventional Resources: Will Shale Oil Ever Make Money? Quite Possibly Next Decade
This well-established oilfield consultancy explains why 2020 might be a big year for the unconventional sector.
ADNOC Case Studies Illustrate Importance of Technology Qualification Process
ADNOC’s authority on technology maturity describes the case studies used to test the company’s new technology qualification process.
Heavy-Oil Technology May Be a Perfect Fit for Geothermal Power
A Canadian research organization believes the country’s oilfield technology could help another energy sector drive down its costs and it may work out for heavy oil producers too.
What Happens to Directional Drillers When Computers Are Directing Drillers?
Software that offers turn-by-turn directions for drilling a horizontal well could drastically reduce the number of directional drillers.
Solar EOR Firm Looks To Heat Up the Competition
In thermal enhanced oil recovery there is one big ingredient: steam. A new startup from Germany believes it has found the oil industry’s cheapest way to make it.
Waves are Full of Energy, Sometimes Destructively So
Ocean waves are potential sources of energy that are powerful, often more readily available than wind and solar, and closer to population centers along coastlines.
Induced Earthquakes in Oklahoma Dropping, But Not off the Radar
Top US seismic experts say they are keeping a watchful eye on ground shaking in the state as new concerns are raised in neighboring Texas.
Unconventional Resources: Three Alternative Paths To Maximizing Unconventional Resources
As well-developed shale plays and tight formations mature and decline in production, nontraditional strategies for maximizing production and discovering new resources must be considered.
Growing Range of Renewable Opportunities for Offshore Oil and Gas
The top US wind power official told the offshore upstream sector that it can help build “smaller, leaner, and cheaper" wind turbine farms.
Distinguished Lecturer Topics Set for 2017–2018 Season
With speakers from various disciplines and professions, the program focuses on industry trends, challenges, and technology applications.
It's Hard To Make Money in Deepwater, Even With Billions of Barrels To Produce
Low oil prices have made the goal of this Petrobras project and its four partners to lower the break-even price of operating to USD 35/bbl.
With Over 200 Shale Well Installs, This Slug-Smoothing Lift Technology Is Boosted By Schlumberger JV
Slug flow has made the life of an unconventional production engineer a bit complicated, but a new downhole technology may smooth things right out by solving some big artificial lift problems for the shale sector.
A Passion for Energy Education
SPE member Colin Black has donated countless hours to promoting energy education and helping students on their career paths.
Need a Faster Measure of Relative Permeability? Take a CT Scan and Follow With Digital Rock Analysis
Faster, lower-cost measures of multiphase permeability of conventional reservoirs are promised by a digital rock analysis method developed by BP and Exa, which is marketing software to measure relative permeability.
Can Austin Chalk Expansion Lead to Revival?
There is increasing interest in drilling the Austin Chalk formation, with hopes that the latest unconventional development methods can deliver a boom in a play that has seen several over a 90-year history.
Getting More From Fracturing With Diversion
Significant production gains are being made with hydraulicly fractured wells using diversion to stimulate a higher percentage of the perforations.
SPE: Weathering the Downturn
When oil prices began to fall rapidly in the last half of 2014, the impact was quickly felt in all of SPE’s programs. Our magazines were affected first by a reduction in advertising as companies reduced their marketing budgets.
With New Rig Software, Automated Drilling is Easier To Embrace
A new process system compatible with all types of drilling rigs is opening the door to wider adoption of drilling automation in North America’s shale sector.
Permian, Bakken Operators Face Produced Water Challenges
As oil prices recover from the low point of the downturn, operators in the Permian and the Bakken are tackling water management issues.
The Big Payoff for Drilling the Perfect Well
By creating a different sort of partnership for a drilling project with close cooperation and greater efficiency built into every detail, including the contracts, Statoil was able to halve the cost of drilling eight wells at its Johan Sverdrup field.
Want To Make Deepwater More Profitable? Shell Says Listen to the Facility Staff
One of the oldest deepwater platforms in the Gulf of Mexico has become a profit-leader for the oil major during this downturn and is now a model for the company’s other floating assets.
Optimism and Activity Rising in the Vaca Muerta
Shale explorers in Argentina are reporting that improving performance and activity is set to rise this year to boost the country’s gas production.
Russia’s Push for Oil and Gas Growth Stunted by Oversupplied Markets
Russia’s need to continue expanding the oil and gas business is pushing it to look east for more production and markets. But everywhere it turns there is stiff competition in a world awash in oil and gas.
Major Alaskan Discoveries Promote Great Expectations
Three major finds have shattered assumptions about what is possible in the most explored parts of Alaska’s North Slope.
Schlumberger: New Automated Hydraulic Fracturing Tech Trims Time and Workforce Requirements
A new spread of stimulation equipment from the world’s largest service company demonstrates the latest significant step to creating a more automated oilfield.
New SPE President, Board Members Nominated
Sami Al-Neaim has been nominated for 2019 SPE President, and eight other members were nominated to fill vacancies on the 2018 SPE Board of Directors.
Airborne Dust Limits Finalized for Sand Use in Hydraulic Fracturing
A closer look at technological and mechanical solutions being developed to limit exposure to respirable silica dust during hydraulic fracturing operations in the wake of US government regulations.
Times are so Tough in the Oil Sands, Companies May Have To Collaborate
Things are so tough in the Canadian oil sands that competitors are considering whether to start sharing some of what they know about producing more and doing it for less. Collaboration should speed progress for everyone, but companies with something to give are looking for something in return.
Oil and Gas Producers Find Frac Hits in Shale Wells a Major Challenge
In North America’s most active shale fields, the drilling and hydraulic fracturing of new wells is directly placing older adjacent wells at risk of suffering a premature decline in oil and gas production.
The Future of the Oil Sands Depends on One Thing: Totally Rethinking Everything
Oil production from the Canadian oil sands is big, growing, and its future is in doubt. The problem is the cost and time required to develop new production is not competitive now. While some big international oil companies are selling out, others are focused on changing the economics of growth.
India Asks Big Oil Companies "Where Do You Want to Drill?"
India will test whether it can reach its ambitious goal of reducing oil and gas imports by 10% by 2022 with an upcoming auction of oil properties.
Seeking Big Oil Production Gains By Fracturing With Microproppant
Early testing suggests that grains of proppant so small they need to be measured in microns can add production by slowing the notoriously rapid declines in unconventional wells.
Mexico Awards Its First Deepwater Blocks; What Comes Next?
Mexico’s long awaited deepwater auction saw 8 out of 10 blocks awarded but there remains plenty of work to be done before activity ramps up, including finalizing regulatory rules, upgrading ports, and optimizing the bid rules for future auctions.
New Permian Oil Play Requires Pumping and Persistence
A new play in the Permian Basin is unconventional in an unexpected way: there is a small group of independents producing from a watery formation where oil production begins after they have pumped only water for weeks.
Rebound To Test If Cost Cuts Will Last
As drilling activity rises, the demand for all that is needed to complete wells rises even faster. The wells are bigger, and more water and sand are used for each foot stimulated.
Looking Up, But Still Tough Outlook Brightens for Unconventional Oil
US drilling and completion companies that were slashing workforces and cannibalizing pumping trucks for parts 6 months ago are now hiring crews and repairing equipment to meet rising demand.
New Study: US Shale Productivity Will Offset Rising Service Costs
Though crude prices are rising, US shale producers face questions over whether their improving oil production results and cost efficiencies will last as increasing drilling activity drives demand for oilfield services.
Technical Directors Outlook: Engineers Need To Learn From History Because the Industry Tends To Repeat It
SPE’s technical directors offer advice on how to get through the current bad times, which are not so different than when they got in the business.
Industry and Academia Continue Working on Big Ideas for Nanotechnology
A number of ongoing industry research projects are developing nanoparticles that work at the reservoir level and for fluid treatment. Though they may be a few years away from finalization, these efforts highlight nanotechnology’s increasingly sophisticated and growing application scope.
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07 August 2018
09 August 2018