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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.
Two online seminars planned by IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for advancing environmental and social performance, will examine efforts to address the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide. Set for 9 December, the first seminar will look at carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) as a way to achieve net-zero emissions and meet the goals of the Paris agreement. Samantha McCulloch, head of the CCUS unit at the International Energy Agency (IEA), will present recent IEA publications related to CCUS, examining how CCUS is a critical technology in delivering cost-effective pathways to meeting the goals of the Paris agreement. She will focus on the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) 2020; the IEA ETP special report CCUS in Clean Energy Transitions, for which she was lead author; and how CCUS facilitates the sustainable development and net-zero 2050 scenarios of the IEA World Energy Outlook 2020. The second seminar planned by IPIECA, set for 10 December, will look at reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas industry through improved operations.
Despite having many of the technologies enabled by advanced connectivity already at its disposal, the oil and gas sector has yet to realize much of connectivity’s potential—and the potential is significant. According to McKinsey's estimates, making use of advanced connectivity to optimize drilling and production throughput and improve maintenance and field operations could add up to $250 billion of value to the industry’s upstream operations by 2030. Of that value, between $160 billion and $180 billion could be realized with existing infrastructure, while an additional $70 billion could be unlocked with low-Earth orbit satellites and next-generation 5G technologies. McKinsey’s work with the oil and gas sector suggests offshore operators can reduce costs, including operational and capital expenditures, by 20 to 25% per barrel by relying on connectivity to deploy digital tools and analytics. Such a dramatic technological lift can’t come soon enough.
Emerson has launched cloud-native software designed to find opportunities for field development through data mining and automation. The reservoir analytics software, called SpeedWise Reservoir Opportunity, was developed in collaboration with Quantum Reservoir Impact (QRI). Emerson and QRI say the software can reduce the time needed to identify field-development opportunities from months to weeks. The software uses automated geoengineering work flows to identify and rank recompletions, vertical sweet spots, and horizontal wells. By analyzing historical field performance and benchmarking against analog assets, the framework selects the optimal parameters for the identification process.
Produced water is water that is brought to surface during oil and natural-gas production. It includes formation, flowback, and condensation water. Produced water varies in composition and volume from one formation to another and is often managed as a waste material requiring disposal. In recent years, increased demand for, and regional variability of, available water resources, along with sustainable water-supply planning, have driven interest in reusing produced water with or without treatment to meet requirements within the industry or by external users. Reuse of produced water can provide important economic, social, and environmental benefits, particularly in water-scarce regions. It can be used for hydraulic fracturing, waterflooding, and enhanced oil recovery, decreasing the demand for other sources of water.
The exceptional year that has been 2020 highlights the fact that the world can change quickly, and a challenging macroenvironment brings into focus the need to maximize the use of our natural resources and the value that can be derived from them. Even without the black swan event of COVID-19, the industry must critically examine the technical, commercial, and operational bases of the projects it proposes and executes. A logical, reasonable, ethical, and philosophical approach is critical to underpin good decision making and value creation. Paper SPE 196252 delivers a comprehensive discussion of the issues to consider in the management of mature oil fields that are becoming increasingly important as older fields decline and approach abandonment. The discussion makes direct reference to assessing the late-life economic limit within the context of the Petroleum Resources Management System.
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.