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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.
In tight unconventionals, oil and gas rates often are measured daily at separator conditions. Consequently, converting these rates reliably to volumes at standard conditions is necessary in cases where direct stock-tank measurements are not available. Because of changes in producing-wellstream compositions and separator conditions, the separator-oil shrinkage factor (SF) can change significantly over time. The complete paper presents a rigorous and consistent method to convert daily separator rates into stock-tank volumes. Recommendations for developing field-specific shrinkage correlations using field test data also are proposed.
New wet-sand systems such as the one shown here may be the next big cost-cutting step for the unconventional sand sector. By eliminating the drying step, US operators can save up to $10 per ton of sand. Then it gets wet again. Such is the unassuming life cycle of most every grain of sand ever pumped down a horizontal well along with millions of gallons of water and into the freshly opened fractures of a tight-rock formation in the US. But what if the sand never had to be dried?
In 2019, an analysis of 16,000 unconventional wells operated by 29 of the largest producers in Texas and North Dakota revealed that these companies spent $112 billion more in cash over the past 10 years than they generated from operations. A primary contributor to this shortfall was optimistic production forecasts based on a small number of early wells. These types of projections lead companies to commit to development projects before they understand the true variability in well performance and, most importantly, whether the average well will be commercial (i.e., able to pay for the cost to drill, complete, and tie in). Commercial is defined here as attaining a present value greater than zero at the corporate discount rate. If this is 10%, a net present value (NPV) of zero equates to a 10% rate of return.
Sinopec recorded China’s highest daily output of shale gas at 20.62 million cubic meters (Mcm) at its Fuling shale-gas field in Chongqing, China, a key gas source for the Sichuan-East gas pipeline. The first major commercial shale-gas project in China, Fuling has continuously broken records for the shortest gasfield drilling cycle while significantly increasing the drilling of high-quality reservoirs covering more than 3 million m, according to Sinopec. Gasfield production construction was also expanded to raise production capacity. The company said the field maintains a daily output of 20 Mcm, producing an estimated 6.7 Bcm per year. Apache filed appraisal plans for its Maka and Sapakara oil discoveries in block 58 offshore Suriname.
The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) chief energy regulator has announced that the country holds a substantial volume of newly discovered unconventional resources as it approved a 5-year spending plan for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The Supreme Petroleum Council, which also serves as ADNOC’s board of directors, placed the estimated reserves of unconventional oil within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at 22 billion bbl, according to a government news release on 22 November. The figure would place the UAE’s tight reservoir potential on par with that of some of the biggest plays in North America. The government also said that an additional 2 billion bbl of reserves was also recently discovered, raising the UAE’s total conventional reserve estimate to 107 billion bbl. Both the conventional and unconventional estimates were independently verified by Houston-based reserves specialist Ryder Scott.
NextTier Oilfield Solutions announced today that it has recently started field testing electric fracturing pump technology developed by National Oilwell Varco (NOV). The two Houston-based energy companies are looking to the electric-based systems, also known as e-fleets, to improve efficiency and lower emissions at unconventional wellsites in the US. NextTier is currently using prototypes in the field and, if the pilot proves out, then the pressure pumper may end up purchasing the first e-fleet manufactured by NOV, the announcement said. NextTier added that its pending adoption of e-fleets would complement its dual-fuel fracturing fleets that can run on either diesel fuel or cleaner-burning natural gas. Like other commercial e-fleets, NOV’s system relies on gas turbines to generate power that is then used to drive the high-horsepower pumps.
After a year’s worth of hyperactive volatility, the outlook for oil production next year looks positively comatose. Both the big oil-producing countries in OPEC and the US shale producers appear likely to be delivering volumes in between the lows reached during the worst of the COVID-19 demand swoon and last year’s all-time high. With another surge in COVID-19 cases in progress worldwide, OPEC said it would stick with its current quotas because moves to slow the incidence of the infections are likely to stall demand growth, or worse. OPEC+, which includes Russia and other countries from outside the 13-member organization, predicted demand rising to 96.84 million B/D in the monthly report, down 80,000 B/D from its previous outlook, according to Reuters. Oil prices rose after that news but also likely benefitted from optimistic reports from two vaccine developers that said their clinical trial results to date indicate effectiveness.
SPE’s A Peer Apart award recognizes those dedicated individuals involved in the review of 100 or more papers for SPE’s peer-reviewed journals. Peer review is an essential part of scientific publishing and helps to ensure the information contained in a journal is well supported and clearly articulated. Volunteers who commit their time to review papers make substantial contributions to the technical excellence of our industry’s literature. Each year SPE typically has more than 1,400 individual reviewers submitting more than 3,500 reviews for SPE’s various journals. These committed volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, including academia, service and operator companies, and consultancies from around the world.
Oklahoma City-based Gulfport Energy plans to shed nearly $1.25 billion in debt as it enters a court-supervised Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, according to a company statement on 14 November. Gulfport operates in the Oklahoma’s SCOOP and Ohio’s Utica Shale and as of the second quarter of this year was operating a single rig in each play. The company formed a new executive team in 2019 which was tasked with trimming costs and improving cash flow. However, Gulfport’s large debt load combined with long-term pipeline contracts meant it was on an unsustainable footing given current natural gas prices, ultimately driving its decision to enter bankruptcy, David Wood, president and CEO of Gulfport, said in the announcement. A prepackaged restructuring agreement was reached with most of the natural gas producer’s credit lenders and senior noteholders.