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Since the arrival of the big crew change young professionals (YPs) are increasingly making important contributions to the industry. We see such star performers in our professional and social interactions: among our coworkers, our alumni groups, friend’s friends, and employees. To turn the spotlight on YPs' contributions to the industry, the TWA Editorial Committee launched a new concept under the TWA banner last year: "TWA Energy Influencers: Young Professionals Who ENERGIZE Our Industry.” The TWA Energy Influencers 2020 was a selection of 14 outstanding young professionals in the oil and gas industry whose work positively influences and inspires others. Continuing on the success of the 2020 recognition list, nominations for the TWA Energy Influencers 2021 list is now open.
Seveal SPE sections celebrate milestone anniversaries of their creation in 2021. SPE geographical sections are located around the world and provide an operating framework for all major society activities. Sections are semi-autonomous units and self-governing within the framework of SPE policies. Section members elect officers and directors annually. Sections are organized into regions, and each region has representation on the SPE Board of Directors.
Sandhill cranes, on their way north in March 2018, stopped near Gibbon, Nebraska. The Trump administration gutted protections for migratory birds on 5 January, delivering the second of two parting gifts to the oil and gas industry, which has long sought to be shielded from liability for killing birds unintentionally in oil spills, toxic waste ponds, and other environmental disasters. The move, by the Department of the Interior, came a day after the Environmental Protection Agency finalized another regulation that had long been sought by fossil fuel companies and other major polluting industries: a measure that effectively bars some scientific studies from consideration when the agency is drafting public health rules. The two regulations are among the last major environmental rollbacks expected from the Trump administration and will present an immediate challenge to the incoming Biden administration, which has pledged to suspend and reverse many of the last-minute rules known as midnight regulations. A senior official with the Biden transition team, speaking on background in a briefing call with reporters, called the last-minute rollbacks an “unrelenting assault” on the environment and said rebuilding federal agencies that the Trump administration has gutted will be an enormous task.
The project aims to capture carbon dioxide emitted by factories and refineries in the Rotterdam port area in order to significantly reduce emissions in Europe’s largest sea port. A consortium that includes oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil has requested a total of $2.55 billion in subsidies for a project to store carbon dioxide in empty Dutch gas fields in the North Sea, the Dutch Economy ministry said. The subsidies were requested together with industrial gas suppliers Air Liquide and Air Products for a project that aims to capture carbon dioxide emitted by factories and refineries in the Rotterdam port area in order to significantly reduce emissions in Europe’s largest sea port. The port and the four companies involved said they would take a final investment decision on the project early next year and that they aim to have it operational by 2024. The Dutch government has said it will grant a total of 5 billion euros in subsidies in 2021 for technologies that will help it achieve its climate goals.
The US Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued final regulations regarding the Section 45Q tax credit for qualified “carbon oxide” sequestration using carbon-capture equipment placed in service on or after the date of the enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Section 45Q of the US tax code provides a foundational policy for increasing deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the US. It provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal income tax liability for each metric ton of “qualified carbon oxide” when an eligible project has either securely stored the captured carbon dioxide (CO2) in geologic formations, such as oil fields and saline formations, or beneficially used captured CO2 or its precursor, carbon monoxide (CO), as a feedstock to produce fuels, chemicals, and products such as concrete in a way that results in emissions reductions as defined by federal requirements. The credit value ranges from $10–50 per metric ton, depending on when the carbon-capture equipment is placed in service and what is done with the carbon oxide after it is captured. The credit is worth more if the carbon oxide is permanently buried as opposed to used in an enhanced oil or natural-gas recovery project or other process. The final regulations make several important clarifications and technical changes.
Having the support of other actors from both the private sector and civil society will be essential to do so. So, in turn, companies have responded by starting to design strategies that align with the SDGs at a corporate and global level. But the SDG priorities of host governments can vary greatly between countries of operation. Navigating this at a local level can be challenging. To support companies in their efforts, in 2019, IPIECA commissioned a research project with Earth Security Group to help companies identify country-level issues, priorities, and opportunities and enable them to align their SDG initiatives with a host country’s priorities.
Having established itself as a player in the wind-power industry, Equinor is now turning to solar as an area to develop new business. This illustration shows what the pilot plant may look like. Equinor’s announcement of plans to build the world’s first pilot plant for floating solar power in rough water near the island of Frøya comes one day after the Norwegian energy major announced its selection as BP’s partner to supply offshore wind power to New York. Hailed as one of the largest renewable-energy procurements in the US, the award by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) seeks to transform the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany into large-scale offshore wind-working industrial facilities, thus positioning New York as an offshore wind-industry hub. While Equinor already is positioned as a player in wind energy, the Norwegian major is only taking its first steps in solar.
Michael has recently defended his PhD thesis at Louisiana State University (LSU). His research is on fluid-driven fracture initiation and orientation during drilling, completions, and loss of well control events. A native of Cyprus, Michael joined the Cyprus National Guard for 2 years of military service after completing secondary school at the American Academy of Larnaca. In 2010, he enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 2013 and master’s degree in 2016, both in petroleum engineering. At the 2019 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Calgary, he captained LSU’s PetroBowl Championship winning team, and placed second in the PhD division of the International Student Paper Contest.
In 2020, the world seemingly entered a new era of cyberattacks. Although there have been decades of viruses, breaches, and other forms of attack, last year saw increased bad actor sophistication, a propensity to pay in ransomware cases, and a broad swath of geopolitical uncertainty—conditions that hackers have found favorable. The severity of financial consequences has been profound. Ransoms have rocketed from five-figure price tags into the millions, including $10 million reportedly paid by Garmin. Several ransom demands were far higher before being negotiated downward, according to clients worldwide.