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This paper presents a matrix to identify environmental and social aspects that may affect the initiation, assessment, final investment decision, and implementation of oil and gas projects in Mexico. The matrix is applied to 19 blocks. The results demonstrate the ease of identification of key elements that may affect project feasibility. This matrix may be used as a tool for resource classification and thus adapted to other countries. The Agency for Safety, Energy, and Environment (ASEA), with collaboration from the Energy Ministry (SENER) were involved while the project selection was integrated by the National Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH). CNH selected 19 blocks with 75 oil and gas projects for review.
Pioneer Natural Resources announced this week new greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions-reduction targets across its Permian Basin operations. The plan, rolled out in the company’s new sustainability report, calls for a 25% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 and a 40% reduction in methane emissions by 2030. The Irving, Texas-based shale producer has also committed to flaring less than 1% of its associated gas and aims to eliminate routine flaring by 2030, and possibly as soon as 2025. By 2022, the new flaring limit will apply to the assets Pioneer is acquiring through its purchase of Parsley Energy. Pioneer announced it was buying the smaller Permian player in a deal valued at $4.5 billion in October.
The notion of reducing our environmental footprint, minimizing leaks and spillages, and identifying operational efficiencies is nothing new. We have been addressing these issues for years. Sustainability, however, has gained a higher profile recently, especially since the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change accord and the evolution of alternative energies. It came, therefore, as a pleasant surprise to review an extraordinary wealth of well-written papers relating not only to this topic, but to all manner of fascinating engineering issues. Let me back up a bit.
US Job Numbers Up for OFS and Equipment Industry, But Outlook Remains Unclear The increase in OFS and equipment sector jobs over the past 2 months came amid higher oil and gas production. But increases in COVID-19 cases are causing uncertainty about when and how much demand will rise. Texas Regulator To Place New Limits on Allowable Flaring Oil and gas producers in the state are being asked to submit data and economic analysis on why they cannot sell natural gas before they are granted permission to flare it. UAE Has Become World’s Newest Producer of Unconventional Gas The first delivery of shale gas in the UAE marks a major milestone toward its goal of reaching 1 Bcf/D by 2030. It also signals the expansion of hydraulic fracturing in the UAE’s conventional fields.
OPEC’s easing of production cuts originally planned for January may be delayed until mid-2021 because of the global increases in COVID-19 cases occurring in November. As restrictions are renewed, extended, or newly instated, fuel demand is expected to decrease. Following a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) meeting on 16 November, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo underscored the need to remain “vigilant and diligent” in the months ahead. The JTC recommended that supply increases be postponed from 3 to 6 months. The OPEC ministers plan to hold an online meeting on 30 November to decide on production levels among the 13 member countries.
New wet-sand systems such as the one shown here may be the next big cost-cutting step for the unconventional sand sector. By eliminating the drying step, US operators can save up to $10 per ton of sand. Then it gets wet again. Such is the unassuming life cycle of most every grain of sand ever pumped down a horizontal well along with millions of gallons of water and into the freshly opened fractures of a tight-rock formation in the US. But what if the sand never had to be dried?
In 2019, an analysis of 16,000 unconventional wells operated by 29 of the largest producers in Texas and North Dakota revealed that these companies spent $112 billion more in cash over the past 10 years than they generated from operations. A primary contributor to this shortfall was optimistic production forecasts based on a small number of early wells. These types of projections lead companies to commit to development projects before they understand the true variability in well performance and, most importantly, whether the average well will be commercial (i.e., able to pay for the cost to drill, complete, and tie in). Commercial is defined here as attaining a present value greater than zero at the corporate discount rate. If this is 10%, a net present value (NPV) of zero equates to a 10% rate of return.
The final afternoon of the 2020 ATCE saw a wide-ranging virtual special session that covered an important but often overlooked facet of the unfolding digitalization revolution. While the rising wave of digital technology usually has been associated with production optimization and cost savings, panelists emphasized that it can also positively influence the global perception of the industry and enhance the lives of its employees. Chaired by Weatherford’s Dimitrios Pirovolou and moderated by John Clegg, J.M. Clegg Ltd., the session, “The Impact of Digital Technologies on Upstream Operations To Improve Stakeholder Perception, Business Models, and Work-Life Balance,” highlighted expertise taken from professionals across the industry. Panelists included petroleum engineering professor Linda Battalora and graduate research assistant Kirt McKenna, both from the Colorado School of Mines; former SPE President Darcy Spady of Carbon Connect International; and Dirk McDermott of Altira Group, an industry-centered venture-capital company. The final afternoon of the 2020 ATCE saw a wide-ranging virtual special session that covered an important but often overlooked facet of the unfolding digitalization revolution.
ExxonMobil announced on Monday a capital spending plan that is focused squarely on the company’s highest-potential developments. The company also issued a warning to investors about a major impairment to many of its dry-gas projects. ExxonMobil plans to spend between $16 billion and $19 billion next year and between $20 billion and $25 billion annually up to 2025. These figures represent a considerable reduction from ExxonMobil’s March capital plan that forecast $30 to $35 billion in exploration and development spending. In addition to its marquee developments offshore Guyana and the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, the new capital program will also focus on “targeted exploration” projects in Brazil and the company’s chemicals division, according to a statement from ExxonMobil.