Technology Exclusives

The near-term offshore drilling market is one of the most challenged upstream sectors, with its long-term recovery—while undoubted—to lag behind any broader upturn.

Despite a challenging environment, the oil and gas industry still has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Saudi Aramco’s president and CEO outlines his four-point framework for success.

Stratas Advisors, natural gas, breakeven, deepwater, Mediterranean, Gulf of Mexico

Report shows break-even prices for natural gas developments in the Mediterranean Sea and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are among the lowest in the world.

Vermilion Energy, downturn, oil, gas, Anthony Marino

The company has been helped by declining service costs, but it is counting on the staying power of operational efficiency improvements, technology, better techniques and cash-generating assets.

Technology Completion

William D. Von Gonten Jr., W.D. Von Gonten & Co., DUG, Eagle Ford, shale, fracture, prop, completion, model

Better insight, including on calcite and ash bed layers, could lead to better frack designs, greater stimulation and ultimately, more production.

The technology uses an industry standard downhole data logger to collect data from which measurements are made and fracture locations pinpointed.

Schlumberger, Paal Kibsgaard, oil, drilling, technology, hydraulic fracturing, investment

The company plans to produce a new hydraulic fracturing system and a ‘land drilling system of the future.’

At Hart Energy’s DUG Rockies conference, technology panelists said drilled but uncompleted wells are an appetizing prospect for producers in trying times.

Baker Hughes, H.C. Freitag, drilling, completion, technology, shale, unconventional, DUG Rockies, oil, gas

Drilled but uncompleted wells in the U.S. provide an opportunity to examine new shale drilling and completion technology.

Technology Contracts

Athens tendered 20 offshore blocks in 2015 in the Ionian Sea and south of the island of Crete for deepsea oil and gas drilling, and unsealed the offers in February, Reuters reported.

Mozambique officials expect more than $30 billion will be invested initially in the natural gas sector, Reuters reported.

If successful, the blocks could generate up to $4 billion worth of investment each, and as much as $11 billion in the case of Trion, Joaquin Coldwell said, citing Pemex estimates.

Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is delivering a FEED package and detailed engineering for the Vito host platform topsides.

A purchase and sale agreement relating to each block must be submitted to Ecopetrol by Dec. 7 and executed by Dec. 22, Reuters reported.

Technology Digital

American Petroleum Institute, cyber, security, FMC, Halliburton, Hess, digital, oil

Lower commodity prices have not stopped oil and gas companies’ efforts to guard against cyberattacks.

The FRACGAS II JIP continues the development of the Elfen tight gas reservoirs (tgs) software suite pioneered by Rockfield, a geomechanics software solutions developer. The research aims to enhance finite element (FE) based modeling technology and microseismic methodology, the release said.

ABB, wireless, digital, oil

The benefits of modern network connectivity in the field make for a better, safer and more productive operation.

Radar surveillance systems from PetroCloud can track speed, work with drones and provide thermal images like the truck in the bottom right. “This is really high-end heightened security that works much better than motion detection,” according to White. (So

New technologies are increasing the industry’s situational awareness of cybersecurity threats, experts tell the crowd at DUG Permian Basin.

Nervana Systems, Naveen Rao, artificial intelligence, oil, gas, seismic, Paradigm, geoseismic

A Silicon Valley-based deep learning, artificial intelligence company is using artificial neural networks to help find oil and gas using geoseismic data.

Technology Downhole

Combining real-time downhole intelligence, coiled tubing strength and flexibility, and continuous electrical power benefits fishing, milling, cleanouts, perforating and other operations.

David G. Gallagher said that trademarked Gilsonite is a naturally occurring asphaltite that binds and strengthens as an additive for drilling fluids and cementing.

Ely's world-class reservoir stimulation and completion consulting services will be packaged with Flotek’s CnF customized completion chemistries for clients that purchased CnF chemistries directly through The Flotek Store.

JetStream was recently used in a 6.5-in. intermediate section in the North Sea that was drilled to 10,446 ft total depth through soft, porous limestone.

GCDT fits fully into Prysmian’s expansion strategy in subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines and complements its product range. The portfolio of protectors will be enhanced, the company added.

Technology Equipment

Drillers added two oil rigs in the week to Nov. 11, bringing the total count up to 452, the most since February, but still below the 574 rigs seen a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) said on Nov. 11.

System provides operators with savings and efficiency for shale production.

Benefits of AUV use continue to expand. AUVs are being used to survey and inspect pipelines and flowlines and to verify the integrity of subsea structures.

With oil prices expected to continue rising in 2017 and 2018 amid a forecast tightening of the supply-demand balance, analysts said energy firms will boost spending on drilling, Reuters reported. 

Drillers added four oil rigs in the week to Oct. 14, bringing the count up to 432, the most since February, but still below 595 rigs a year ago, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI).

Technology Operations

Harald Frigstad, chairman and founder of Frigstad Group, said that Frigstad Group is reorganizing, investing in R&D and launching next-generation ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig designs in 2017. 

FMC Technologies Inc. and Technip SA will combine. Their respective shareholders voted Dec. 5 to approve the proposed business combination, the transaction for which is scheduled to close in early 2017.

The proposed IPO will not require Origin shareholder approval and is set to list next year, the company said, according to Reuters.

The Neutral Zone is the only place in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where foreign oil firms have equity in fields, which are otherwise owned and operated by state oil companies, Reuters reported.

Cano Limon, in Arauca province along the border with Venezuela, produces about 50,000 barrels per day (Mbbl/d). This year, attacks against Cano Limon have led to the loss of 22 Mbbl of crude, Reuters reported. 

Technology People

In November, Congo Republic lowered oil and gas royalty rates under a new petroleum code approved by Parliament as part of efforts to encourage investment in new exploration.

Argentina produces an estimated 716,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, Reuters reported.

Jupiter Energy Ltd. appointed Sergey Kostin as the new head of operations in Kazakhstan, leading the operations team as the company prepares to restart producing in 2017 during “a critical period in the development of Block 31,” according to a Dec. 1 press release.

The area where the workers were kidnapped is close to South Waziristan, part of the lawless Federally Administered Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan, Reuters reported.

Canada-based Niko Resources Ltd. said Nov. 25 that Robert S. Ellsworth Jr. will resign as interim CEO and director, effective Dec. 19, and also said that William T. Hornaday’s appointment as CEO will become effective Dec. 19.

Technology Regulations

The resource-rich Territory's newly elected center-left Labor government banned fracking in September pending an investigation into whether the unconventional drilling technique harms farm land or Aboriginal sites.

The risk of accidents in Norway's oil industry rose in 2015 after reaching record lows in 2014, a survey by the Nordic country's safety administration showed earlier in 2016, Reuters reported.

The audit office questioned the eligibility of deductions claimed for the cost of debt and equity funded capital and the excise paid on crude and condensate, Reuters reported.

The government-backed nonprofit, which takes responsibility for orphan wells, compiles numbers four times every fiscal year ending March 31, Reuters reported.

Brazil's Petrobras said in a securities filing on Nov. 21 that an injunction in a civil lawsuit has forced the company to suspend the sale of stakes in the Bauna and Tartaruga Verde oil fields. Petrobras will appeal, the filing said.