Technology Exclusives

Africa’s largest oil producer continues to endure tough market conditions and instability, which some fear could escalate as the postponed February elections arrive.

​Experts from IBM, which also addresses human capital challenges, say now is the time for companies to devise strategies to regain lost talent and attract more.

Iran is seeking a final agreement with international powers by June that would curb its nuclear program in exchange for phasing out sanctions that have cut its crude exports, choked cash flow and halted most oil investment. 

U.S. Gulf of Mexico planning areas (Source: BOEM)

Sale day statistics show 64 blocks in water depths of greater than 1,600 m (5,249 ft) received bids worth a total of about $334.9 million.

A succession of high-profile speakers at the annual SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in London lined up to outline some of the long-term measures their companies have undertaken to raise their game.

Technology Completion

This latest patented invention relates to fluid treatment and, more particularly, to an improved treatment apparatus for destroying aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in fluids used in oil and gas recovery and conditioning of said fluid for reuse, Ecosphere said in the release.

A process called forward-osmosis is applied to clean water used in hydraulic fracturing.

Researchers estimate that for every gallon of water used to frac for natural gas, Texas saved 33 gallons of water by using that gas for electricity generation.

Technology Contracts

Pertamina plans to invest around $2 billion annually into Mahakam, if given control. Target output is 1.2 Bcf/d to 1.5 Bcf/d of gas, Reuters said. 

Offshore geosciences company Benthic received a contract to conduct a geotechnical investigation in the Sea Lion Field in the Bass Strait offshore southeastern Australia from Carnarvon Hibiscus Pty Ltd.  

Mexico’s initial production sharing contracts will contain extended exploration periods for 14 shallow-water projects, Reuters said. Companies can meet test well requirements, said the head of Mexico’s national hydrocarbons commission. 

Parent of refiner Sinopec Corp. will provide integrated oilfield services worldwide this year, chairman Jiao Fangzheng said. It also seeks an overseas acquisition for technologies, he said, according to Reuters.

C&J Energy Services Ltd. is led by current C&J management and will be based out of Bermuda. The transaction was originally announced June 25, 2014.

Technology Digital

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.

Asset Guardian Solutions specializes in protecting companies’ process critical software assets.

Under the five-year contract, BP said it will offer courses next year in a new-state-of-the-art Maersk Training facility in Houston.

As hackers unleash clever cyberattacks, companies and individuals can work together to protect valuable data.

Success calls for technology investment despite industrywide cutbacks and high costs, according to panelists.

Technology Downhole

The TAM FastSwell technology utilizes a proprietary process that alters the geometric design of the elastomer to provide ultra-fast, but predictable and controlled swell rates for challenging downhole conditions.

Problematic areas have included perforation issues, loss of fracture length, and sometimes wellbore connectivity.

Technology Equipment

Fugro Americas’ geological survey equipment and instruments include a dynamic positioning system and an echosounder for gas seep surveys. The ship can work the U.S. GoM, the Americas and Caribbean.

The rigs are Deepwater Expedition, Transocean Legend, Transocean Rather and GSF Arctic III.

Contractors are canceling previous orders. Estimates are that orders could be down as much as 80% in 2015.

The Mariner Sentinel will provide emergency cover, oil spill response preparedness and tanker-assist capabilities for the Mariner Field.

This will be Ceona’s first rigid pipelay project in the GoM for Houston-based Walter Oil & Gas Corp.

Technology Operations

Royal Dutch Shell is cutting about 250 UK North Sea operations staff and agency contractors, Reuters said. In August, 250 were cut. Other large E&Ps cut their North Sea staff.

The interests in OML29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line were assigned to Aiteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd. Total cash proceeds for Shell amount to some $1.7 billion.

Field operator BP declared force majeure March 16 after a power loss at the FPSO PSVM offshore facility that feeds oil from Plutao, Saturno, Venus and Marte fields, Reuters said.

Superior is interested in assets Baker Hughes Inc. and Halliburton Co. must sell during their merger, Bloomberg said. Superior, seeking international exposure, will become the fourth-largest oilfield services company.

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

Technology People

Unite and GMB members voted strongly for an official strike action ballot over shift and pay grievances, Reuters said. A GMB spokesman said an electoral register will be compiled.

Economist Guido Mantega resigned as president of the board of directors at Petrobras on March 23.  Luciano Galvão Coutinho was elected president. He has been a board member since 2008.

Most recently, Eskil Jersing headed new ventures and was co-head of M&A at Petrobras in Rotterdam. He has 29 years' experience in exploration, new ventures, strategy planning and business development. 

Opedal will be responsible the corporate improvement programs and for driving operational efficiency across Statoil’s business areas.

There was a small fire on the floating production vessel serving BG Group, Norwegian authorities said Tuesday. Knarr produced first oil last week and can produce 63 Mbbl/d, Reuters said.

Technology Regulations

Special meetings determined the shareholders’ votes. The merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes is scheduled to close in the second half of 2015, subject to regulatory approvals.

The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday that a subsidiary of Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings had pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions related to Iran and Sudan and would pay a $237.2 million fine.

An existing law stipulates that only state energy majors Rosneft and Gazprom can explore offshore fields, but Lukoil, Russia's No.2 oil producer, calls for allowing private firms, Reuters said.

The U.K. lifted a moratorium in December 2012, but no fracking has taken place, Bloomberg said. Scotland and Wales temporarily banned the method while studying environmental safeguards.

Western sanctions against Russia and Rosneft led Rosneft to cancel a roughly-$150 million contract for Northern Offshore’s Energy Endeavour jackup in the Russian Arctic, Reuters said.