Exclusives

Four ways to accelerate automation in the oil and gas sector is to eliminate, simplify, standardize and virtualize, according to a Siemens engineer.

Predictive analytics

With big data and predictive analytics, operators can use production surveillance, comparing predictions to new actuals to determine how a particular oil or gas asset is performing. In response, adjustments can be made to improve production and overall operations.

Field tanks adorn one of Stonegate's Eagle Ford sites. (Source: Stonegate Production Co.)

Mike Harvey of Stonegate Production Co. is using his technology-driven savvy to score another business success.

Operators seek greater efficiency and lower cost per barrel in a challenging price environment.

The availability of dual-fuel engines and dedicated natural gas engines has created more fuel options in the oil patch.

Deepwater International

The emerging Paleogene play in the US Gulf of Mexico continues to offer increasing encouragement for major deepwater discoveries, with Chevron confirming a significant find.

Shell's CEO Ben van Beurden says, "there is a lot more to do" in its North American deepwater sectors. 

Exploration

Given lower oil prices, Mexico is carefully choosing which fields will be part of each round.

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. will work with BP Exploration and Production Inc. and ConocoPhillips Co. to explore and appraise 24 jointly held offshore leases in the northwest portion of Keathley Canyon.

Encana Corp. has completed the previously announced sale of certain Clearwater assets in Alberta to Ember Resources Inc.

Statoil has agreed to reduce its working interest in the non-operated U.S. southern Marcellus onshore asset from 29% to 23%, following a $394 million transaction with Southwestern Energy, Statoil said in a news release.

Woodside has finalized an agreement with BP to farm in to offshore blocks in the Scotian Basin located off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Production

Shell is committed to drilling for oil in Alaska despite opposition from environmentalists and a pledge to reduce spending.

Mexico produced 2.35 MMbbl/d of oil this month through Dec. 28, according to data the Mexico City-based company posted online.

Husky Energy has commenced steam operations at the in situ Sunrise Energy Project in northeast Alberta.

The focus comes as oil and gas operators venture into new frontiers and go deeper into mature ones.

Experts talk about the sector’s past, present and future.

Technology

TAG Oil Ltd. (TSX: TAO) CEO and director Garth Johnson and COO Drew Cadenhead have submitted their resignations, the company said in a news release.

Spending is likely to increase from $25 billion to $50 billion annually, Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya Austin said.

The transaction is anticipated to be completed in early April 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.

Exxon Mobil Corp. reported a steep drop in fourth-quarter profit on lower prices and declining production as the rout in oil ushered in an era of frugality for an industry that reaped $3.2 trillion in sales last year.

Jeanette L. Ourada has been named corporate vice president and comptroller for Chevron Corp., effective April 1. Ourada succeeds Matthew J. Foehr, who will retire from the company March 31 after 33 years.