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Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, and blockchain can play a key role in creating a more sustainable and resilient low-carbon energy system. But first, what is blockchain exactly? Think of it as a decentralized digital ledger that records transactions and stores information such as financial transactions, medical records, and assets. Traditionally, transactional information is stored in one central ledger or database. A blockchain is a ledger, too, but one that stores data in encrypted blocks across a distributed network of computers.
With rising global demands for sustainable transformation in the energy industry, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies play an important role toward a sustainable future. Coupled with contaminants management, CCUS has the potential to deliver sustainable environmental benefits, improve reliability, and increase economic viability. These benefits have attracted the support for CCUS from a wide range of stakeholders in recent years. Mohamed Firouz Asnan, senior vice president of Malaysia petroleum management at Petronas, in his keynote delivery, said, “The time is now, and this is evident in the Petronas carbon-commitment efforts on greenhouse-gas (GHG) reduction through the seven United Nation Sustainable Development Goals. As the country’s resource owner and manager, we have the responsibility to manage and ensure that our gas resources are developed responsibly and efficiently in the most cost-effective manner.
Geothermal Engineering Ltd. (GEL) has launched a tender for the supply of a unit to install and run an electrical submersible pump at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Project (UDDGP) in Cornwall. The ESP will be installed at a maximum depth of 700 m. Closing date for the tender is 9 February. UDDGP is the first geothermal power plant in the UK. It is being funded by a mixture of public and private funds to include the European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council, and Thrive Renewables.
The Goliat floating production, storage, and offloading unit is in the Barents Sea where it produces from the first commercial oil field in the northernmost area of the Norwegian continental shelf. Norwegian oil producers Equinor, Aker BP, DNO, and Vår Energi accounted for more than three-quarters of the awards. Norway’s largest producer, Equinor, took home 10 licenses as the operator and seven more as a partner. Eight of these licenses are for blocks in the North Sea and nine are in the Norwegian Sea. But it was Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum that received the highest number of licenses at 19, seven of which are as the operator.
Two deepwater rigs that were likely destined for the scrap yard appear to have found a second lease on life as offshore launchpads. The development was first reported on Twitter by reporters with NASASpaceFlight, an independent website covering the space industry, who shared photos of a drilling rig in Brownsville, Texas, which sits along the Gulf of Mexico. The images showed a rig named Deimos and the website reported that a second rig named Phobos is also sitting quayside in Brownsville. The semisubmersibles both measure 240 × 255 ft and were formerly known as ENSCO 8500 and ENSCO 8501. According to public reports they were sold for $3.5 million apiece by Valaris in August.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting that specific members of the energy workforce receive the COVID-19 vaccine sooner, moving from Phase 1c to 1b. In the letter, signed by all FERC commissioners, the agency says, “Over the course of the last year, workers at electric utilities across the country have engaged in heroic efforts to keep the lights on in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their work ensures the functioning of our nation’s critical infrastructure—everything from our telecommunications systems to the hospitals that care for our most vulnerable.” The vaccine allocation guidance from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices places the energy workforce in Phase 1c. FERC requests that “a subset of the energy workforce … specifically, highly trained electrical field workers, power plant operators, transmission and distribution grid operators, and personnel who procure the energy needed to balance the grid on a moment-to-moment basis” be included in Phase 1b.
ConocoPhillips said last week that it has finalized its acquisition of Permian Basin oil and gas company Concho Resources. The all-stock deal valued at $9.7 billion was announced in October amid a flurry of other mergers and acquisitions designed to consolidate the US shale sector. ConocoPhillips’ purchase of its smaller rival has netted it an additional 550,000 acres and around 200,000 B/D in the Permian. The Houston-based oil and gas producer now holds about 1.5 million acres across the Lower 48 which hold an estimated 17,000 drilling locations that can generate profits at $40/bbl. By the time the deal was announced, Concho was operating around 2,100 horizontal wells in the Permian while ConocoPhillips had less than 200.
The schematics at the bottom of Figure 1.3 illustrate the pore-level recovery mechanisms discussed earlier (Figure 1.2). At the end of the waterflood, residual oil is a discontinuous phase that occupies approximately 40% of the pore space. Early in the miscible flood [3.0 to 3.5 total pore volumes (PV) injected], some of this oil has been miscibly displaced by solvent from the higher-permeability flow path (on the pore scale). However, some oil also has been initially bypassed by solvent. Note that this bypassing at the pore level is much different from solvent bypassing, which can occur at the field scale because of larger-scale reservoir heterogeneities.