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The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC), the state's regulatory body for the oil and gas industry, has designated a region around Stanton, Texas, as a Seismic Response Area (SRA) after a series of earthquakes shook the region. The area in the Permian Basin is home to 72 saltwater-disposal (SWD) wells (Figure 1). The RRC has connected these wells to several seismic events, including a 4.2 magnitude temblor on 31 December 2020 and one on 28 December 2021 that registered a magnitude of 4.6. According to B3 Insights, a water-management data and analytics company, the Stanton SRA is permitted for 9.88 million B/D of water reinjection. Of the 72 injection wells in the SRA, 35 are active and handle approximately 273,000 B/D.
Consultants Westwood Energy Group has outlined a half dozen key themes that will impact the offshore wind sector in 2022, including smaller capacity additions for China compared to last year as state-sponsored subsidies lapse. New capacity additions globally were six times higher than the 2.5 GW it installed in 2020. Via these new projects, China accounted for the lion's share (86%) of global capacity additions and surpassed the UK in terms of the world's largest installed base of offshore wind capacity. Mainland China must now grapple with a national subsidy-free reality in 2022, where the project tariff will be based on the prevailing coal-fired power tariff, which is significantly less than the previous offshore wind FiT (feed-in-tariffs) for projects commissioned by December 2021. This will force the industry to find further capital and operational spending reductions – whether it be through technology innovation, supply chain collaboration, or other optimization measures.
While COP26 concluded with an apparently promising narrative in 2021, the conference failed to categorically agree on the need to "phase out" coal. And since last year, we have seen coal--the most emissions-intensive fossil fuel--be proactively sourced to provide security to the European energy grid as winter neared. Such moves were a counterbalance measure meant to offset the supply squeeze of natural gas, which led to record-high gas prices. So, on one hand, the emphasis for greener supplies of energy (via COP26) continues. On the other hand, the use of conventional sources of energy (such as coal) clearly remains a priority.
Independent natural gas and oil company Wintershall Dea has selected Ikon Science to optimize its core data. Wintershall will use Curate, Ikon's scalable cloud-enabled subsurface-data-management software. The multiyear deal includes Ikon's data services to migrate and optimize all core data for quality assurance and the use of Curate to manage and visualize core data. "Wintershall Dea is introducing Curate as the new harmonized platform for core data to facilitate management, visualization, and interpretation of our core data in one solution," said Ulrich Lorang, Wintershall's vice president of data governance. "It is important for us to free data from silos, to store it in one workspace, and to make it readily accessible to our experts from anywhere and at any time."
"While our company considers that its presence in a country allows it to promote its values, including outside its direct sphere of operations, the situation, in terms of human rights and more generally the rule of law, which have kept worsening in Myanmar since the coup of February 2021, has led us to reassess the situation and no longer allows TotalEnergies to make a sufficiently positive contribution in the country," the company said. French oil and gas giant TotalEnergies has decided to pull out of Myanmar following a coup that took place in February 2021. "TotalEnergies has firmly condemned on several occasions the abuses and human rights violations taking place there," the company said in a press release. The company said that, while it halted ongoing projects in the country, it wanted to continue producing from the Yadana field, which it says is crucial for providing energy to the local Burmese and Thai populations. It said, however, that it wanted to stop revenue from flowing to Myanmar's national oil company.
The big news, of course, is ExxonMobil's pledge to reach net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions from its operations by 2050. Exxon hasn't gone as far as some of the other majors; BP, Occidental, Eni, and Shell all are targeting Scope 3 emissions, those released by consumers of their products. Exxon has only talked about Scope 1 and 2 emissions, but it does seem to have some plans, though they apparently are incomplete. "We are developing comprehensive roadmaps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from our operated assets around the world," said CEO Darren Woods in a statement. While Scope 3 doesn't appear to be on Exxon's immediate radar, some fueling changes are coming.