Moving their directional drillers into their Houston real-time remote operations centers has improved drilling efficiency for two of the top shale producers. The major’s dominant showing in US Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 252 propelled another rise in bids and dollars for the biannual regionwide auction. Funding for startups in the upstream industry does not always guarantee that oil and gas companies will want to test the new technology. A new venture and accelerator model hopes to change this through guaranteed pilots. The Pluma-1 discovery could turn the southeast portion of Stabroek Block off Guyana "into a major new development area," the company says.