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Title of article
Frac innovations accelerate financial and environmental sustainability efforts.
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Girish Saligram
Drilling
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US Shales Scorecard
January 2021
Logo
Title of article
Frac innovations accelerate financial and environmental sustainability efforts.
Black plus
Girish Saligram
Drilling
Aerial Shot of factory
US Shales Scorecard
January 2021
A Hart Energy Publication
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January 2021 + Vol. 96 + Issue 1
Cover Story: Hydraulic Fracturing Trends
This special section highlights the latest hydraulic fracturing technologies and services from nearly 40 companies.
An in-depth analysis shows what went right and what didn’t in 2020 and the game changers for 2021.
2021 Market Outlook
Exploration: Process & Interpretation
Drilling Automation
Completions: Plugs
Production: Mature Fields
Offshore: Well Control
Energy Transition Perspective
Cover story icon
E+P Plus logo
January 2021 + Vol. 96 + Issue 1
Cover story icon
Cover Story: Hydraulic Fracturing Trends
This special section highlights the latest hydraulic fracturing technologies and services from nearly 40 companies.
An in-depth analysis shows what went right and what didn’t in 2020 and the game changers for 2021.
2021 Market Outlook
Exploration: Process & Interpretation
Drilling Automation
Completions: Plugs
Production: Mature Fields
Offshore: Well Control
Energy Transition Perspective
Plus
Plus
About The Cover: As the North American shale industry slowly recovers from the devastation of 2020, new technologies and frac designs are helping companies achieve greater operational and financial efficiencies. (Cover photo courtesy of Universal Pressure Pumping; Cover design by Melissa Ritchie and Alexa Sanders; Bottom images from left to right courtesy of Weatherford, Marc Morrisson/marcmorrison.com; Sobrevolando Patagonia/Shutterstock.com; and Marc Morrison/marcmorrison.com)
Coming Next Month: The February cover story will focus on remote operations and will include interviews with Weatherford, Emerson, Baker Hughes, BCG, Shell and InEight. The Executive Q&A will feature an exclusive video interview with Scott Dale, executive director with Halliburton Labs. This issue also will highlight an artificial intelligence roundtable video. The Company Spotlight will feature a video Q&A with Varel, and the Regional Report will cover the Arctic. As always, E&P Plus will include its exploration, drilling, completions, production and offshore features in every issue. While you’re waiting for your next copy of E&P Plus, be sure to visit HartEnergy.com for the latest news, industry updates and unique industry analysis.
E&P Plus (ISSN 1527-4063) (PM40036185) is published monthly by Hart Energy Publishing, LP, 1616 S. Voss Road, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77057. Advertising rates furnished upon request. All subscriber inquiries should be addressed to E&P Plus, 1616 S. Voss Road, Suite 1000, Houston, TX 77057; Telephone: 713-260-6442, Fax: 713-840-1449; custserv@hartenergy.com. Copyright © Hart Energy Publishing, LP, 2021. Hart Energy Publishing, LP reserves all rights to editorial matter. No article may be reproduced or transmitted in whole or in parts by any means without written permission of the publisher. Federal copyright law prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means and imposes fines of up to $25,000 for violations.
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Online Content +
Exclusives Available Only Online
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Colorado School of Mines hosts online fall 2020 reservoir characterization project
By Larry Prado, Activity Editor
The Colorado School of Mines Reservoir Characterization Project featured field projects from across the globe including the study of legacy wells and wells currently being drilled by HighPoint Resources in the Denver-Julesburg Basin.
Pioneer’s Sheffield: Few independents will survive oil downturn
By Joseph Markman, Senior Editor
The consolidation trend among oil and gas producers will continue before vaccines pave the way for recovery, Pioneer CEO Scott Sheffield said Dec. 1 at the Reuters Future of Oil & Gas 2020 virtual conference.
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HART ENERGY VIDEOS
By Jessica Morales, Director of Video Content
A&D roundtable: A pinprick of light at tunnel’s end
2020 was a dark year for A&D, but a variety of factors point toward bright spots in the foreseeable future. Leaders from Detring Energy Advisors, EnergyNet and UBS Investment Bank share their thoughts on why in this roundtable with Hart Energy’s Emily Patsy.
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Executive Q&A: How ABB’s new digital platform offers relief to struggling oil producers
Brandon Spencer, president of ABB Energy Industries, sits down with Hart Energy’s Faiza Rizvi to explain how the company’s Adaptive Execution portal offers relief to oil producers struggling with capital restrictions and project delays.
Brandon Spencer and Faiza Rizvi
Hart Energy names 2020 Forty Under 40 honorees
Out of hundreds of nominations across E&P, service, A&D, midstream and finance, the Oil and Gas Investor team hand-picked 40 influential individuals who are furthering the goals of their organizations and the industry through their initiative, intelligence and persistence. View the 2020 Forty Under 40 honorees, their bios and video interviews at HartEnergy.com/fortyunder40/2020.
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Is this a watershed moment?
Watershed moment: A critical turning point in time where everything changes so that it will never be the same as before.
In this video interview, Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, spoke with Hart Energy about his latest book and the industry.
B

y definition, it’s impossible to definitively answer this question. Watershed moments, of course, are usually deciphered in hindsight. But what the heck, let’s throw caution to the wind and try to look ahead anyway.

I had been pondering this question in my mind for the better part of autumn, and then I got the chance to ask it directly to someone who understands much more about the oil and gas industry and its history than me. So I asked Daniel Yergin, the vice chairman of IHS Markit and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, during a one-on-one video interview about his latest book, “The New Map: Energy, Climate and Clash of Nations,” as well as the industry as a whole. Not surprisingly, I got a very insightful and even more thought-provoking answer.

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Executive Q&A
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New Weatherford CEO shares his plans for leading the company in 2021
In this exclusive video interview, Weatherford CEO Girish Saligram shares how he plans to lead the company as the industry recovers.
New Weatherford CEO shares his plans for leading the company in 2021
Girish Saligram talks energy transition and developing mature fields.
Brian Walzel, Senior Editor
Girish Saligram headshot
Girish Saligram
I

n September 2020, Weatherford International named Girish Saligram the new CEO. Officially taking over a month later, Saligram heads one of the world’s largest oilfield service companies. Weatherford’s offerings include tools and systems for drilling, completions, production, formation evaluation, tubulars, interventions and abandonment.

Before joining Weatherford, Saligram served Exterran Corp. as COO and previously as president of Global Services after joining the company in 2016. Prior to Exterran, Saligram spent 20 years with GE as a business leader in industry sectors across the globe, including his last position as general manager of Downstream Products & Services with GE Oil & Gas. Prior to that, Saligram led the GE Oil & Gas Contractual Services business based in Florence, Italy. Before his eight years in the oil and gas sector, Saligram spent 12 years with GE Healthcare in engineering, services, operations and other commercial roles.

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SPONSORED CONTENT
Cut Frac Sand Cost,
Improve Your ESG Score
Contributed by PropX
T

he cost of hydraulic fracturing on a tight gas or oil well in North America is the single largest item in a well’s AFE and proppant delivered is the largest single component of the fracturing invoice. PropX has developed a method to cut total delivered cost of proppant while reducing an operator’s or service company’s environmental impact.

This new method (patent pending) involves a system to store and deliver wet sand to the frac blender. Skipping the drying process after mined sand is washed saves significant energy and the CO2, VOCs, Nox and silica dust emissions are reduced or eliminated.

Company Spotlight
ChampionX president and CEO talks R&D, digitalization and the energy transition
Soma Somasundaram shares details about how the company battled through 2020, its ESG efforts, digital technologies and current R&D projects.
Ariana Hurtado, Senior Managing Editor, Publications
I

n June 2020, ChampionX Corp. completed the merger of the businesses of Apergy Corp. and ChampionX Holding Inc., the former upstream energy business of Nalco Champion. Apergy then changed its name to ChampionX Corp. Now ChampionX has a team of nearly 7,000 people globally, and the company offers chemical, artificial lift, drilling and digital technologies for the reservoir, production, midstream and water treatment markets.

“The creation of ChampionX through the merger of Apergy and the Nalco Champion upstream chemicals business has been transformative and a complementary combination in strategic, operational and financial dimensions,” President and CEO Soma Somasundaram told E&P Plus. “Our combination created a global leader in production optimization and an essential player in the oil and gas market with a strong portfolio, global customer base and footprint, and strong financial profile.”

Cover Story:
Hydraulic Fracturing Trends
Title of article
Frac innovations accelerate financial and environmental sustainability efforts.
Brian Walzel, Senior Editor
A

s the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. But as the industry looks back on the past year, it might be hard-pressed to come away with a clear vision of 2020. The oilfield services (OFS) sector, and in particular the hydraulic fracturing market, took the brunt of the blow, with many pressure pumpers seeing almost no work by late spring and early summer.

According to Westwood Energent, the number of frac crews operating in the Permian numbered 18 to 20. Even as pandemic restrictions began being lifted, and demand for oil started to marginally improve by the early fall, the OFS sector remained mostly stagnant as operators worked through their inventory of DUCs.

But as the calendar has flipped to a new year, the fracking industry is both taking stock of lessons learned from 2020 and pushing forward with innovations and technologies designed to optimize efficiencies for both operators and service providers. Meanwhile, as shale producers increasingly put more effort on achieving ESG goals, service providers are bringing to market systems and tools that cut down on emissions and generally reduce the carbon footprint of fracturing operations.

Cover Story:
Hydraulic Fracturing Trends
Title of article
Frac innovations accelerate financial and environmental sustainability efforts.
Brian Walzel, Senior Editor
A

s the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. But as the industry looks back on the past year, it might be hard-pressed to come away with a clear vision of 2020. The oilfield services (OFS) sector, and in particular the hydraulic fracturing market, took the brunt of the blow, with many pressure pumpers seeing almost no work by late spring and early summer.

According to Westwood Energent, the number of frac crews operating in the Permian numbered 18 to 20. Even as pandemic restrictions began being lifted, and demand for oil started to marginally improve by the early fall, the OFS sector remained mostly stagnant as operators worked through their inventory of DUCs.

But as the calendar has flipped to a new year, the fracking industry is both taking stock of lessons learned from 2020 and pushing forward with innovations and technologies designed to optimize efficiencies for both operators and service providers. Meanwhile, as shale producers increasingly put more effort on achieving ESG goals, service providers are bringing to market systems and tools that cut down on emissions and generally reduce the carbon footprint of fracturing operations.

Cover Story:
Hydraulic Fracturing Trends
Opinion: Digitizing well completions reduces the cost to complete a well
The stage is set to introduce autonomous frac sooner than most realize.
Matt Steen, Cold Bore Technology
W

hen we talk about the digitization of well completions, forget the buzzwords you are used to reading; while they sound nice, they mean nothing. Instead, let’s focus on the concrete, monetizable solutions that operators are realizing right now.

Today, oil and gas companies face one main problem: the cost to complete a well is too high given current commodity prices. Operators need to improve their financial metrics by reducing the cost to complete a well.

Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Showcase typography
Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Showcase typography
2021 Hydraulic
Fracturing Technology
This special section highlights the latest hydraulic fracturing technologies and services from nearly 40 companies and how these tools aim to address operator challenges.
showcase typography
showcase typography
This special section highlights the latest hydraulic fracturing technologies and services from nearly 40 companies and how these tools aim to address operator challenges.
Compiled by Ariana Hurtado, Senior Managing Editor, Publications
D

iscover innovations for the next fracturing revolution

Profound scientific knowledge has catalyzed advancements in intelligent systems and applications for hydraulic fracturing. Industry professionals leading these innovations will present their findings Feb. 2-4 at the 2021 SPE Virtual Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition. The conference features a diverse portfolio of next-generation technologies, sustainable developments and best practices.

Fracture diagnostics sessions at this event will include a novel method and its application to define a maximum horizontal stress and stress path. Among other demonstrations are field applications of sealed wellbore pressure monitoring to evaluate completion effectiveness.

Special Report:
US Shales Scorecard
Special Report:
US Shales Scorecard
US Shales in 2020
An in-depth analysis shows what went right and what didn’t in 2020 and the game changer that could push each major North American shale basin into prosperity in 2021.
Analysis by Enverus
An in-depth analysis shows what went right and what didn’t in 2020 and the game changer that could push each major North American shale basin into prosperity in 2021.
Analysis by Enverus
A

s the industry often does, it will one day look back on 2020 in a variety of contexts—how demand destruction and a global price war sunk oil prices to previously unseen levels, how mounting debt problems coupled with a lack of investment opportunities drove widespread consolidation, and how production shut-ins crippled operators.

The 2020 details vary depending on which of the seven major shale basins are being reviewed:

  • Activity dropped to merely a crawl in places like the Rockies and the Midcontinent;
  • The Permian behemoth took a punch but quickly got up off the mat; and
  • Gas plays like the Haynesville and Marcellus/Utica rode on the coattails of Henry Hub prices that reached $3/MMBtu by early fall 2020.
Image of By the Numbers US Shale
Image of By the Numbers Big Data in oil and gas
Rigs operating in the seven major U.S. shale basins:
Arrow pointing down513 in January 2017

210 in October 2020

Illustration
$44 Drop Average breakeven price for North American tight liquids
Illustration 280 to 300 rigs needed to maintain flat oil output
Since 2015 lateral lengths
per well have grown by
21%
DUCs in the major U.S. shale basins:
8,533 in July 2019 Arrows pointing down

7,592 in September 2020

10.8 MMbbl/d
Expected U.S. onshore oil
output by second-quarter 2021
Blue arrows pointing down 42% is the average reduction in permit counts in the seven major shale basins between April 2020 and July 2020 (compared to November 2019 to February 2020 timeframe)
500 MMcf/d
Expected U.S. onshore dry
gas production for 2021
105% Arrow pointing up
The amount proppant usage per well has increased since 2015
Rigs operating in the seven major U.S. shale basins:
Arrow pointing down513 in January 2017

210 in October 2020

Illustration
Illustration
Average breakeven price
for North American tight liquids
Illustration 280 to 300 rigs
needed to maintain flat oil output
Illustration
Since 2015 lateral lengths per well have grown by
21%
DUCs in the major U.S. shale basins:
Arrows pointing down

8,533 in July 2019

7,592 in September 2020

10.8 MMbbl/d
Expected U.S. onshore oil output by second-quarter 2021
Blue arrows pointing down
42%
is the average reduction in permit counts in the seven major shale basins between April 2020 and July 2020 (compared to November 2019 to February 2020 timeframe)
500 MMcf/d
Expected U.S. onshore dry gas production for 2021
Arrow pointing up
105%
The amount proppant usage per well has increased since 2015
(Sources: A&D Market Monitor, Baker Hughes Rig Count, Rystad Energy, U.S. Energy Information Administration, and McKinsey & Co.; Data compiled by Brian Walzel; Design by Melissa Ritchie)
2021 Market Outlook
Video icon with drop shadow
Vaccines, digitalization and energy transition to drive oil markets in 2021
Analysts from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East joined Hart Energy to discuss the 2021 oil and gas market outlook.
Faiza Rizvi, Associate Editor
In this video, analysts from around the world answer questions regarding COVID-19’s impact on the oil market, the energy transition, digitalization and more.

Jump to a topic:

  • 0:46—Shale outlook
  • 2:00—Resurgence of virus and impact on Europe’s oil market
  • 4:15—Extension of OPEC+ cuts into 2021
  • 7:43—Joe Biden and the energy transition
  • 12:26—European oil majors realigning goals with net zero 2050
  • 17:13—‘Hydrogen will be a game changer’
  • 21:10—Digitalization will shape recovery
  • 28:46—Final thoughts on the industry’s path forward

I

n an exclusive roundtable discussion, analysts offered a bullish outlook for 2021, expressing cautious optimism that a vaccine breakthrough will significantly improve oil demand and prices as the economy goes back to normal in the second half of 2021. Speakers in this in-depth discussion include:

  • Dr. Keith Myers, president of research with Westwood Global Energy;
  • Dr. Yousef Alshammari, CEO and head of oil research with CMarkits; and
  • James West, senior managing director with Evercore ISI.
Industry Pulse
Routes to reduce emissions from oil and gas production
The quicker that governments incentivize the industry to adopt technology, the earlier the industry will take the technology down the cost-learning curve.
Liv A. Hovem, DNV GL – Oil & Gas

N

ew research from DNV GL reinforces the message that pressure on the global oil and gas industry to decarbonize its value chain to maintain its social license to operate will continue to increase in a rapidly changing world.

The 2020 Energy Transition Outlook estimates that fossil fuels will account for 74% of world energy-related CO2 emissions in the mid-century and more than 80% of combined emissions of CO2 and methane (measured as CO2 equivalents). While global energy-related emissions will be roughly halved between 2018 and 2050, emissions from the entire oil and gas value chain will fall by a third.

Analyst Corner
The future of work in oil, gas and chemicals
With heightening employment cyclicality and layoffs challenging the industry’s reputation as a reliable employer, workforce and business transformation have become a strategic imperative.
Duane Dickson and Noemie Tilghman, Deloitte

T

he U.S. oil, gas and chemicals (OG&C) industry brought the country to an era of energy security on the back of its nearly 1.5 million-strong workforce. This talent enabled the upstream shale boom and downstream energy renaissance in the country, and the industry in turn rewarded its workforce generously with large paychecks. In fact, the U.S. energy and utility sector had the highest median salary of any industry in the S&P 500 in 2018.

However, supply from this boom started running ahead of oil demand. The result? Oil started its longest and deepest downturn in 2014, and the growth narrative changed into mass layoffs of about 200,000 employees between 2014 and 2016. The COVID-19-led lockdowns and the resulting oil price crash to negative levels exacerbated the situation, leading to the fastest layoffs in the industry: about 107,000 workers were laid off between March and August 2020.

Exploration: Process & Interpretation
Exploration: Process & Interpretation
Providing crucial
data visibility
New software integrates engineering planning with geoscience data for optimal well path designs.
Joe Dominguez, CGG GeoSoftware

E

xpert knowledge resides in individuals, but data belong to everyone. The petroleum industry is adopting a more integrated team approach to well planning and drilling, with software technology bringing engineering and geoscience closer together for better well trajectory designs. The ability to integrate all available geological and geophysical (G&G) data and related interpretations, and also identify the locations and paths of planned and existing wells, optimizes well planning in unconventional and fractured reservoirs.

A collaborative team of technical experts with access to all relevant data can provide benefits in terms of safety, efficiency and delivery cycle times, and help maximize the project’s return on investment. Software advances that support the integration of engineering planning and geoscience data will assist these new collaborative teams to function effectively.

Drilling Automation
Drilling Automation
Transforming well
construction with
autonomous directional drilling
Ziad Akkaoui, Schlumberger
The well construction domain needs to transform and can do so by leveraging intelligent and autonomous systems.
T

he oil and gas industry is facing an unprecedented challenge to operate more efficiently and sustainably than ever before. The industry will be unable to meet this challenge without using disruptive technological innovations. More specifically, the well construction domain needs to transform and can do so by leveraging intelligent and autonomous systems.

An autonomous and self-steering bottomhole assembly (BHA) that is supported via a fully integrated data architecture eliminates siloed and independent workflows and harmonizes all aspects of well construction operations. The end result is an autonomous system that can drill wells for any field, rig or trajectory in the most efficient and consistent manner possible. Through increased efficiency and consistency, operators can deliver better drilling outcomes and economics, which enables optimal equipment and power utilization, minimized HSE risks and a reduction of the carbon footprint.

Drilling Automation
The future of remote operations
with managed pressure drilling
Focusing on automation can remove operators from controlling the system.
Scott Miller, Halliburton
T

he world of managed pressure drilling (MPD) is a confusing one. For instance, a term like “lite MPD” means “lightweight”—not “light on capabilities.” Terms like “flex” are used to describe multiple service levels. Operators often discuss electric and hydraulic choke control methods and argue about which system controls better—when actually they are manipulating surface backpressure to hold a constant bottomhole pressure, which is usually over a mile away down a hole filled with all different types of compressible fluids, temperature variations and complex geometries. And what does it really mean to have an MPD-ready rig?

The MPD Committee of the International Association of Drilling Contractors strives to standardize communication in this area and to provide terms and tables that will clarify the capabilities and levels of MPD. There are so many different owners of equipment and many different ways that MPD systems are being used, so it can be quite a challenge to properly standardize these industry terms.

However, it should be an easier task to standardize the levels of automation in MPD systems, as these levels can be classified following the same standards that the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has released for automated vehicles. The SAE J3016 standard defines six levels of driving automation, from SAE Level Zero (no automation) to SAE Level 5 (full vehicle autonomy). Leveraging the same structure as the SAE J3016 standard, the adaptation for MPD is shown in Figure 1.

Drilling Automation
The future of remote operations
with managed pressure drilling
Focusing on automation can remove operators from controlling the system.
Scott Miller, Halliburton
T

he world of managed pressure drilling (MPD) is a confusing one. For instance, a term like “lite MPD” means “lightweight”—not “light on capabilities.” Terms like “flex” are used to describe multiple service levels. Operators often discuss electric and hydraulic choke control methods and argue about which system controls better—when actually they are manipulating surface backpressure to hold a constant bottomhole pressure, which is usually over a mile away down a hole filled with all different types of compressible fluids, temperature variations and complex geometries. And what does it really mean to have an MPD-ready rig?

The MPD Committee of the International Association of Drilling Contractors strives to standardize communication in this area and to provide terms and tables that will clarify the capabilities and levels of MPD. There are so many different owners of equipment and many different ways that MPD systems are being used, so it can be quite a challenge to properly standardize these industry terms.

However, it should be an easier task to standardize the levels of automation in MPD systems, as these levels can be classified following the same standards that the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has released for automated vehicles. The SAE J3016 standard defines six levels of driving automation, from SAE Level Zero (no automation) to SAE Level 5 (full vehicle autonomy). Leveraging the same structure as the SAE J3016 standard, the adaptation for MPD is shown in Figure 1.

Completions: Plugs
Completions: Plugs
New plug designs
make improvements
and lower costs
To create a more efficient cleanout operation—not eliminate cleanouts altogether—a dissolvable plug must be economical.
Ariana Hurtado, Senior Managing Editor, Publications
T

he evolution of frac plugs has been a key enabler in the economic development of unconventional reservoirs in the U.S., according to John Ray, vice president of completions with Innovex Downhole Solutions.

“The industry has experimented with a variety of different completion technologies over the last 10 years, but we are firm believers that frac plugs are the simplest, most robust way to complete horizontal wells.”

Production: Mature Fields
Production: Mature Fields
A well is broaching with fire from an adjacent well with a snubbing unit and relief well drilling rig shown in the background. (Source: Wild Well Control)
When poor integrity
leads to blowout
A case study reviews well integrity in ageing assets and the remediation efforts required in the aftermath of a land-based well blowout in the Middle East.
Aaron Scheet, Wild Well Control, USA
A well is broaching with fire from an adjacent well with a snubbing unit and relief well drilling rig shown in the background. (Source: Wild Well Control)
A case study reviews well integrity in ageing assets and the remediation efforts required in the aftermath of a land-based well blowout in the Middle East.
Aaron Scheet, Wild Well Control, USA
T

here are a variety of triggers that can lead to surface and underground blowouts on oil and gas wells. Drilling and workover operations that exhibit a compromised hydrostatic barrier can permit formation fluids to come to surface. Additionally, a surface barrier may fail on a production well. In both cases, these events could lead to a surface blowout.

On the other hand, underground blowouts can happen if there is formation flow from a high-pressure reservoir to a formation with lower integrity. This is typically the result of some type of downhole failure.

A particularly severe event can occur if loss of well control barriers follows. The crucial factor in the ability to cap a surface blowout, or reenter and concentrically kill an underground blowout, is the well control specialist’s ability to gain access to the wellhead.

Offshore: Well Control
Offshore: Well Control
MWCC CEO discusses
emergency response readiness
The company recently added a 20,000-psi capping stack and subsea coolers to its portfolio.
Faiza Rizvi, Associate Editor
T

he Marine Well Containment Co. (MWCC), which was established in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, has designed a comprehensive emergency response program to contain compromised deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). In an exclusive interview with E&P Plus, MWCC CEO David Nickerson discussed how the company remained continuously ready to respond to a deepwater well control incident in the GoM amid a global pandemic and higher than average tropical storm activity.

Energy Transition Perspective
Energy Transition Perspective
What can the US learn from Europe
in the global energy transition?
Europe and the U.S. are often referred to as the Old World and the New World, respectively. In the case of the energy transition, the New World stands to learn from the Old, which took the plunge a bit earlier in the game.
Francois Laborie, Cognite North America
E

volution is underfoot in the 160-year-old oil and gas industry. It’s a slow change spurred on by digitalization, and the efficiencies and opportunities it creates, as well as a call to action for our climate. The energy sector is responding by turning its attention toward a sustainable future.

Digital Solutions
AI-powered gas leak detection technology improves workplace safety
The new AI module provides pattern-finding automation for gas leak detection.
Mary Holcomb, Associate Editor
U

.S. oil and gas companies are seeking new technologies to address an old problem: gas leaks. Many organizations have long relied on fixed hardware or manual assessments to monitor leaks. Naturally, the occurrence of a major leak requires immediate response, but detecting the source of a leak from the beginning can ensure a quick and safe correction or evacuation.

Blackline Vision, the data science team of Blackline Safety, is developing its AI Gas Leak Detection module, which resolves this issue by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the process while providing situational awareness and connectivity. The module provides advance alerts of gas leaks by identifying patterns in low-level gas readings streamed to the Blackline Safety Cloud from G7 wearable gas monitors.

Tech Trends
New low-carbon technologies
Despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, oil and gas companies are investing in low-carbon technologies, in line with the broader energy transition taking place across the industry.
Vessel-deployed subsea wellhead cutting system to reduce carbon emissions
Baker Hughes has released its Terminator vessel-deployed subsea wellhead cutting system. The system can reduce fuel consumption with its 100-hp motor and is also smaller and lighter compared to the original 1,000-hp abrasive water cutting system typically used on similar types of vessel-based operations. The Terminator technology affirms Baker Hughes’ commitment to energy transition by helping customers decarbonize oil and gas operations. Using a mechanical wellhead removal method, the system has already proven its capabilities by successfully cutting a subsea wellhead from an abandoned exploration well owned by Wintershall DEA in Norway. Baker Hughes worked with Wintershall DEA to cut the subsea wellhead from an abandoned exploration well in 360-m water depth in only 35 minutes. By comparison, alternative abrasive cutting methods could take as long as 5 to 6 hours for the cut alone. The Terminator system can be deployed from a vessel and uses a mechanical cutter, rather than water jet cutting methods of conventional systems, to eliminate associated risks with high pressures.
Regional Report
Midland Basin
Midland Basin: Many opportunities across 75,000 sq miles
The region of the eastern Permian Basin has seen a steady amount of new E&P activity since 2011.
Larry Prado, Activity Editor
T

he Midland Basin region of the eastern Permian Basin has seen a steady amount of new E&P since 2011.

The Midland Basin underlies an area approximately 250 miles wide and 300 miles long, and it includes the West Texas counties of Borden, Dawson, Martin, Midland, Upton, Reagan, Glasscock and portions of Andrews, Crane, Gaines, Ector, Terry, Lynn Howard and Irion counties.

The Midland Basin is bounded to the east by the Eastern Shelf through a series of north-south trending fault segments, to the north by the Northwest Shelf and to the west by uplifted areas of the Central Basin Platform. Southward, Midland Basin formations thin out into the Ozona Arch, an extension of the Central Basin Platform, which separates the Delaware and Midland basins.

US Highlights
US Highlights Map
1
Wyoming

Two Campbell County, Wyo., Parkman producers were completed by EOG Resources Inc. The wells were drilled in Crossbow Field on a pad in Section 5-42n-72w. The #0508-01H Congo was drilled to 16,820 ft (true vertical depth of 7,446 ft). It produced 1,017 of 58°API oil, 1.459 MMcf of gas and 1,095 bbl of water per day from perforations at 7,854 ft to 16,754 ft after 22-stage fracturing. The offsetting #0508-02H Congo was drilled to 17,356 ft (7,467 ft true vertical depth). It flowed 1,210 bbl of 57°API condensate, 1.079 MMcf of gas and 987 bbl of water daily after 24-stage fracturing. Production is from perforations at 7,619 ft to 17,292 ft after 24-stage fracturing.

2
North Dakota

A Hawkeye Field completion by Hess Corp. initially flowed 4,082 bbl of 40°API oil, with 7.107 MMcf of gas and 1,302 bbl of water per day from Middle Bakken. Located in Section 34-152m-95w in McKenzie County, N.D., #152-LE-95-3427H-1 HA-Nelson A was drilled to 21,294 ft (10,698 ft true vertical), and production is from a perforated zone at 11,155 ft to 21,113 ft. It was tested on a 42/64-inch coke, and the flowing casing pressure was 2,044 psi.

International Highlights
International Highlights Map
1
Colombia

GeoPark announced results from an appraisal test in Colombia’s Block CPO-5. The well, #2-Indico, was drilled to 10,925 ft and flowed 5,200 bbl of 35°API oil per day from Une (LS3). It was tested on a 40/64-inch choke, and the wellhead pressure was 330 psi. According to the company, the well bottomed within one-half mile to the north and 151 ft down-dip of a previous test, #1X-Indico, which hit a net pay zone of approximately 161 ft. Additional production testing is planned. The drilling rig is being moved to the nearby Aguila exploration prospect in the block to test several targets in Une (LS3). Up to six more wells are planned for the block by GeoPark.

2
Argentina

President Energy reported test results from exploration well #1-xEVN near Estancia Vieja Field in northern Rio Negro Province, Argentina. Two pay intervals in the previously untested Estancia Vieja North structure were confirmed by well logging, with an unreported amount of 36°API oil and gas flowing to the surface. The preliminary testing indicated that IP levels can be expected in line with P50 pre-drill expectations of more than 200 bbl/d of oil plus associated gas from this lower interval. The well is near the main Estancia Vieja pipelines and facilities. Additional exploratory drilling and testing are planned.

On The Move
Illustration of person moving up in clouds
Illustration of person moving up in clouds
PEOPLE
David E Constable Headshot
Constable
Fluor Corp. has named David E. Constable CEO. Constable succeeds Carlos Hernandez, who has retired as CEO and a member of the company’s board. Constable brings 30 years of insight to Fluor, having held various leadership roles within the company from 1982 to 2011 before returning as a board member in 2019.
Marc Becker Headshot
Becker
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announced that Marc Becker is to return to the company as CEO of its offshore business. Becker served as managing director for Germany and head of offshore sales and projects with Siemens Gamesa before leaving the company in early 2020. Becker, who is to be the permanent replacement for Andreas Nauen who was promoted to CEO of the company in June, will be based in Hamburg and start his new role on Feb. 1. Pierre Bauer will continue as interim CEO in the meantime.
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Last Word
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Why the outlook for the OFS sector is down but not out
OFS companies will need to preserve capital and ride out the storm before they can expect to see an uptick in activity.
Businessman shouting into a megaphone
Dean Price and Kevin Cannon, Opportune LLP
H

istorically, there has been a correlation between rig counts and oil prices driving capital spending in the upstream sector of the energy industry. Likewise, this has typically been an indicator for the performance of the oilfield services (OFS) sector as well.

The onset of 2020 began with an active rig count of 796, down from the peak of 1,075 in January 2019. Post-COVID-19, the rig count declined to 247 and has since rebounded slightly to 269. Pre-COVID-19, the disconnect between rig counts and oil prices was evidenced by the change from 2019 to 2020. Post-COVID-19, the lowest WTI closing price was $16.94/bbl; however, the WTI crude price has since rebounded from historic lows to hover at approximately $40/bbl.

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