TOPICS OF INTEREST
Dallas Fed: US Shale Boom Accounted for 10% of US GDP Growth
Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas quantified the economic impact of the US shale revolution for the first half of this decade.
The Shale Bankruptcies Continue
Times are still financially tough for many shale operators: Sanchez Energy and Halcón Resources become the latest to file for Chapter 11 protection.
When Will the Market Stop Punishing Public Shale Operators?
Share prices have plunged for seemingly every major US shale producer, with Concho, Pioneer, and Continental among those receiving the worst of the market’s fury. Have investors completely lost faith in the industry? And are shale executives any more optimistic?
Rystad Says Permian Well Productivity is Just Fine
Despite reports to the contrary, Permian well productivity remains healthy, with average new production per well in the basin matching all-time highs, Rystad says. And the majors are now a main catalyst.
US Onshore Drilling Decline to Continue, Rig Contractors Say
Leaders from two large US onshore rig contractors said their expectations that the rig-count slide would hit a second-quarter bottom were off and are now refraining from making new predictions as to when it will end.
Analytics Firm: Permian Fracturing Work Underreported by 21% in 2018
Findings from Kayrros suggest the average Permian well is both less productive and more expensive than reflected in public data.
Engineers Get a Look at Oilfield Advances at URTeC While Grappling With the Pressing Problem of Profitability
The Unconventional Resources Technology Conference is like visiting an oilfield theme park for engineers and geoscientists. This year those traveling to the conference for a glimpse of what is possible in exploration and production will also focus on ways to improve short-term profitability.
US Energy Department R&D Funding To Include Conventional, Shale EOR
The projects are designed to reduce technical risks in enhanced oil recovery and expand application of EOR methods in conventional and unconventional reservoirs.
Permian Operators Collaborate to Improve Understanding and Performance of Unconventional Reservoirs
Permian Basin operators and service companies met to discuss completions diagnostics, flowback strategies, water management, and artificial lift strategies.
US DOE To Fund 12 R&D Projects To Boost Unconventional Characterization, Recovery
Twelve organizations—universities and private technology companies—will conduct research and development on emerging shale plays and technologies covering everything from digital pressure-sensing to smart microchip proppant.
ExxonMobil Proceeds with Long-Term Vaca Muerta Shale Oil Development
Up to 55,000 BOE/D of output is expected from the ExxonMobil-operated Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block in the Argentine shale play, with a possible second phase producing up to 75,000 BOE/D.
Oilfield Flares Provide a Glaring Reminder of the Drive To Produce More Oil
Oilfield flares are a bright indicator of rapidly rising oil production that exceeds pipeline capacity. And it raises the question: Why are oil companies in such a hurry?
Exploring the Innovative Evolution of Hydraulic Fracturing
The evolution of hydraulic fracturing is a long and circuitous one that deserves examination. Engineering and completions leaders from Liberty Oilfield Services did just that, authoring a paper that encapsulates the high points in the development of the groundbreaking completions practice.
Service Companies Remain Optimistic Despite Tough Start in 2019
The three largest service companies are optimistic about the rest of 2019.
Canadian Oil Business Gets More Canadian as Devon Exits
Devon Energy and its debt gets smaller, as Canadian Natural Resources adds to its huge, long-term bet on Canadian heavy and ultra-heavy crude.
Chevron No Longer Pursuing Anadarko
Oxy has won the fight for Anadarko. Citing capital discipline as the reason, Chevron has elected not to make another bid for the independent.
Anadarko Accepts Oxy's Revised Takeover Offer
Anadarko Petroleum now plans to exit its agreement with Chevron after deeming Occidental Petroleum's revised takeover bid "superior."
Shale EOR Delivers, So Why Won’t the Sector Go Big?
There is every reason to believe that enhanced oil recovery through huff-and-puff injections in US tight-oil plays could be a technical success across large numbers of wells. However, widespread economic success remains uncertain.
Activating Shale Can Create Well Barriers
This paper discusses shale creep and other shale-deformation mechanisms and how an understanding of these can be used to activate shale that has not contacted the casing yet to form a well barrier.
Shale Oil Focus Shifts to Cash Flow, Squeezing Growth and Small Players
In the shale oil business, cash flow is a life or death issue. For smaller players, money from investors and lenders is getting harder to find.
Oxy Makes $38-Billion Bid for Anadarko in Hopes of Beating Out Chevron
Keen on Anadarko for a while, Occidental Petroleum is ready to do battle with Chevron for the big independent.
What Happened to the Private, Family-Owned Oil Company?
When the oil and gas industry goes one way, family-owned Hunt Oil goes the other. And that’s why the company has been around for three generations.
Shale CEO on Parent-Child Challenge, Well Declines: We Know
Encana CEO Doug Suttles assures that shale executives are acutely aware of the parent-child well challenge, and he doesn’t think it’s “a big threat” to the sector.
ExxonMobil, Chevron Target Nearly 2 Million BOE/D in Permian Production
The US majors plan to produce around 1 million BOE/D each from the basin, which has become a primary focus of their upstream operations.
Gas Lift Operations Require Accurate Predictions of Downhole Annulus Pressure
Downhole annulus pressure is required for any gas lift design. This paper presents several methods of determining annulus pressure at depth and helps determine which method is most appropriate for specific conditions.
Chesapeake Teams With Analytics Firm To Improve Asset Performance
The Oklahoma City independent has a new-look portfolio and new operational and financial priorities. And now it has enlisted an energy research firm to leverage advanced analytics and machine learning to help get the most out of its assets.
The Eagle Ford Still Looks Good to Operators
The Eagle Ford Shale has reclaimed its standing as one of the most attractive US onshore liquids basins, and for good reason. Does this mean more operators will seek to buy in to the play, and could further consolidation take hold following last year’s big deals?
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.
How Does Vaca Muerta Stack Up vs. US Shale? Data Tell the Tale
Vaca Muerta production is on the upswing. Will increasing activity propel the Argentine play to the ranks of US shale? Data suggest it is both already there and has a ways to go.
Big Year for Shale M&A May End with Shell and Endeavor
2018 has seen a wave of shale deals that are consolidating the landscape. While this one could be among the biggest, it is not yet final.
Led by Frac, The Oilfield Services Space Could Get Interesting in 2019
Slumping oil prices may throw a wrench into a positive outlook for the global oilfield services and equipment industry. Even if prices rebound, complications in the US fracturing market—and elsewhere—are expected to persist.
USGS’s Largest-Ever Assessment of Continuous Oil Potential: Permian’s Wolfcamp-Bone Spring
Production and proved reserves in the Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation are reaching new heights, and a new assessment from the US Geological Survey indicates the industry is just scratching the subsurface when it comes to what may be technically recoverable.
US Oil, Gas Reserves Hit All-Time Highs
Proved oil and gas reserves in the US have spiked to levels not seen before, the EIA reports, and one of the main drivers is the Permian’s Wolfcamp-Bone Spring Shale.
IEA Warns of Global Oil Supply Deficit, Leaning Too Heavily on US Output
US crude oil production is expanding at an unprecedented rate, but much faster growth will be needed in the next few years to meet the world’s demand if global investment in conventional supply doesn’t pick up, an IEA report indicates.
Setback Rule Defeated in Colorado, But Industry There Remains Threatened
Colorado voters soundly defeated a measure 6 November that would have restricted the vast majority of new development in the country’s fifth largest oil-producing state. The outcome was a big relief for the oil and gas industry, but its existential fight in the state hasn’t ended.
US Shale Consolidation Heats Up as Firms Mull Long-Term Survival
With big shale mergers dominating the headlines, some of the industry’s most influential financial players gathered to discuss what’s driving the shift in operational and fiscal priorities.
Can Machine Learning Mitigate Frac Hits?
BHGE is developing an analytics and machine-learning approach that offers descriptive and predictive insights on frac hits, with the aim of eventually offering a real-time monitoring capability to be deployed during frac jobs.
Liquids-Rich Permian Showcased as a Model Basin
The SPE Liquids-Rich Basin Conference in Midland, Texas, merged topics that have dominated recent industry discussions: technologies centered on big data, interwell communication, and Permian Basin production.
Schlumberger and Halliburton Warm on Global Market, Cooler on US Shale
The two biggest oilfield services providers are enjoying a rebound in international activity but continue to struggle with a softening US shale completions market. While takeaway constraints will be temporary, steep shale production declines may emerge as a longer-term challenge.
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.
BHP Affirms Devotion to Oil and Gas Despite US Shale Exit
BHP Billiton lost billions during its foray into US shale, but that doesn’t mean it has soured on oil and gas—particularly when it comes to deepwater development.
The Company That Slipped Into the Permian “Under The Cover of Darkness”
WPX Energy COO Clay Gaspar discusses his company’s timely transformation into a Permian player and the challenges that lie ahead in the basin.
Diamondback Energy Spending $10.5 Billion in Permian Acreage Expansion
Diamondback is slated to become the Permian’s latest pure-play giant with its pending purchases of Energen and Ajax Resources.
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.
BP To Buy US Shale Assets From BHP for $10.5 Billion
BP ends a year of speculation as to who will buy BHP Billiton’s much-coveted US unconventional business, transforming its Lower 48 portfolio in the process.
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?
The Big Unknowns for World’s Balancing Act of Supply and Demand
Prices are up, and so is production. But a new report from BP raises important questions as to how the biggest producers will respond to shifting dynamics.
Embedded Discrete Fracture Modeling With Artificial Intelligence in Permian Basin
IEA Sees No End to US Shale Output Surge
The scheme by OPEC and non-OPEC producers to collectively curb oil production has brought stability to the global market—which, as a result, could soon be awash in “a second wave” of US shale output growth.
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.
Concho Deal Creates Permian Basin Giant
A pair of Permian pure-play operators are consolidating to form a regional drilling and production powerhouse.
Horizontal Shale Well EUR Determination Focused on the Permian Basin: An Integrated Method
Big-data mining techniques can help determe the type-curves and the resulting estimated ultimate recovery of an asset being evaluated for acquisition.
Well-Placement Timing, Conductivity Loss Affect Production in Multiple-Fracture Wells
This paper describes numerical-simulation results from a three-well pad in a stacked liquids-rich reservoir (containing gas condensates) to understand the interaction between wells and production behavior.
Firms Lay Transformation Blueprints for Post-Downturn E&P World
Two old school operators and a financial change agent embody a new era for the US onshore industry. Their CEOs convened at the NAPE Global Business Conference in Houston to explain why.
Producers’ Commitments Keep Methane Emission Reduction in the Spotlight
With the API and a multi-operator group passing separate programs aimed at reducing methane emissions, the discussions on what defines an acceptable level of regulation continues within the industry.
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.
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.
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.
Argentine President Macri Visits With US Oil and Gas Industry, Asks For More Investment
Argentina President Mauricio Macri visited with oil and gas companies in Houston to emphasize that his country’s reforms are making it increasingly attractive for upstream investing.
More Oil, More Water: How Produced Water Will Create Big Cost Problems for Shale Operators
If crude prices, rig counts, and tight oil production demonstrate a stronger upward trend in the months to come, US shale operators may find themselves with more produced water than they bargained for.
New Numbers Highlight Permian Bonanza
This week the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the Wolfcamp shale holds 20 billion bbl of technically recoverable oil. This builds on other active formations in the Permian Basin, where nearly half of US active rigs are operating.
Completion and Well-Spacing Optimization for Horizontal Wells in Pad Development
In organic shales, hydraulic fracturing is important for optimizing the production of horizontal wells. For a standalone lateral, the propped surface should be maximized to increase production. In the case of a pad, well spacing is an additional factor.
The Role of Induced Unpropped Fractures in Unconventional Oil and Gas Wells
On the basis of production data, diagnostic methods, and field observations, it is becoming increasingly clear that induced unpropped fractures created during the hydraulic-fracturing operation play a critical role in determining the success of fracture treatments.
Abundant Supplies A Lingering Problem
Mass layoffs and rising bankruptcies haven't put an end to abundant supplies.
The Reason to Expect Prolonged USD 30–60/bbl Oil
A fairly stable set of conditions coalesce to make a strong reason to expect the oil price to range between USD 30/bbl to USD 60/bbl for the foreseeable future.
Shift Toward Permian Drives Rising Rig Count
The US rig count has inched up recently, and the driver has been the old reliable of onshore oil production, the Permian Basin. With surging production, the Permian is the only major US oil shale play to grow since crude prices began to fall.
Engineered Shale Completions Based on Common Drilling Data
In this study, the authors demonstrate a reliable, cost-effective methodology that empowers shale operators with reservoir data on every well.
Boosting Shale Fracability With Positive Ions
A long-time energy industry executive and chemical engineer has built a new water treatment system that he says can increase recovery rates from shale wells without using chemicals and will recycle all the water used in the process.
Upon Further Consideration, US Gas Reserves Look Bigger
The list of the biggest gas plays in the US is being revised as the US Geological Survey creates new estimates based on additional drilling results and available rock samples. New at Number 2 is the Mancos Shale on the Western Slope of the Rockies with 66 Tcf in recoverable reserves.
Drilling Slump in North Dakota Allows Rapid Flaring Reduction
The amount of natural gas flared has plunged in North Dakota, a region that has been the leader by far in gas wasted because gathering systems could not hook up the wells fast enough.
Shell Stays Committed to Shale Opportunities
Shell has reaffirmed its commitment to the shale business and views it as a growth opportunity moving into the 2020s
New-Frontier Reservoirs I
With the current changes in the industry, are we seeing the demise of unconventional developments? No, clearly not. The unconventional industry is adapting to deliver the energy demands of the future despite the low oil price.
CO2-Based Enhanced Oil Recovery From Unconventional Reservoirs
In this study, detailed petrophysical and geological field models focusing on the middle and lower members of the Bakken Formation were developed.
EOR-For-Shale Ideas to Boost Output Gain Traction
The low recovery rates observed in most shale reservoirs has prompted a number of research projects to develop new enhanced oil recovery methods.
DNA Sequencing: A New Diagnostic Tool for Shale Wells
For the past 2 decades, the use of DNA sequencing technology has largely been relegated to the domains of criminal forensics and the healthcare industry. One company is betting that the shale industry soon will join that list.
Unconventional Measures For Shale Reservoirs
One of the biggest ways to lower the cost of production from shale would be to identify zones that are productive, or not, before fracturing them.
Shale Completions Improve, Despite Shrinking Number of New Wells
Two places that illustrate the mounting challenges facing the shale business are the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, where the number of working rigs is one-third what it was a year ago, and the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, where there are no more working rigs.
Surviving the Downturn: Oil Executives See Continued Tough Times Ahead
Holding little back, speakers at the annual IHS CERAWeek conference in February discussed how the industry has been shaped by the disruptive impact of North American shale production and predicted that many more months of financial pressure will spell the end for some companies.
Drawdown Management Critical To Mitigating EUR Losses in Shale Wells
In drawdown management, operators can exert control over the downhole flow pressure, reservoir pressure, and choke size to avoid estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) losses.
Designing an Optimized Surfactant Flood in the Bakken
The Bakken’s ultratight, largely oil-wet nature limits the potential of waterflooding. As an alternative, an optimally spaced well-to-well surfactant-flooding technology is proposed.
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