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Onshore Advances

Global land rig demand recovers, offshore still seeking inflection point

Figure 6: The active rig count in Canada rose to 155 in 2017, up from last year’s 91. Utilization improved to 24%.

One year after setting record lows for utilization, the land rig markets in North America have seen a remarkable recovery. In the US, onshore rig demand surged by 105% to 976 active units, compared with 476 in the previous year. In Canada, there were 155 active land rigs during the census period, an increase of 65% over last year’s 94 units. Nevertheless, fleet utilization in both countries remain below normal at 46% (US) and 24% (Canada). Many lower-spec rigs are expected to exit the available fleet next year, as operators continue to give preference to higher-specification pad-capable rigs for development of onshore unconventional resources...

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Operators double down on Permian, seek solutions to operational, downhole and reliability challenges

A panel of operators with assets in the Permian shared their perspectives and outlook on the challenges and opportunities at the IADC Shale Energy Workshop on 13 September in Midland, Texas. From left are Steve McCoy, Latshaw Drilling (moderator); Mike Hollis, Diamondback Energy; Joe Wright, Concho Resources; John Willis, Occidental Oil and Gas; and Joey Hall, Pioneer Natural Resources.

If the rising rig count has made US shale the brightest spot in the global exploration and production market, then the Permian Basin has been the supernova. Of the 916 rigs working in the US onshore market as of late September, 385 were in the Permian. No other US basin even comes close – the Cana-Woodford in Oklahoma sits in a distant second with only 62 rigs. In fact, the Permian has been a major driver of growth in US oil production since 2010, Joe Wright, Executive Vice President and COO for Concho Resources, said during a panel session at the IADC Shale Energy Workshop in Midland, Texas, on 13 September. He pointed out that US oil production grew by 4 million bbl/day from 2010 to 2017, and 40% of that growth came from the Permian. “You can see that it’s very much been a revolution,” he said...

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IADC Permian Basin Chapter ramps up activity

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Although no regions in North America have been immune to the effects of the downturn, the Permian Basin has fared better than most. Particularly as US onshore contractors put rigs back to work, many of them are going to the Permian. The IADC Permian Basin Chapter has also been ramping up its activities, with the intent of connecting contractors, operators and service companies in the region to ensure the a safe and efficient recovery. One of the chapter’s major efforts on this front was the planning and execution of the first IADC Shale Energy Workshop, which was held on 13 September in Midland, Texas. In this video from the conference, Luke Crownover, Chairman of the IADC Permian Basin Chapter and Managing Partner for Robinson Drilling, explains some of the primary concerns and issues drilling contractors are facing in the Permian Basin and how the chapter plans to address those concerns...

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TxDOT to undertake Energy Sector Corridor Improvement program

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Many of the Texas roadways that run through energy-rich areas of the state were not built and designed to handle the constant traffic from heavy trucks that is associated with oil and gas exploration and production. Through the Energy Sector Corridor Improvement program, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will undertake improvements to roads that experience high levels of energy-related traffic, Randy Hopmann, Director of District Operations for TxDOT, said at the IADC Shale Energy Workshop in Midland, Texas, on 13 September. In this video from the conference, Mr Hopmann discusses some of the improvements that will take place under the program, including strengthening the pavement structures and adding passing lanes. He also explains how the program will help make Texas roads safer for oil and gas employees and Texas residents alike...

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Premier announces proposed sale of Wytch Farm interests

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Premier announced that it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to sell its entire interests in licences PL089 and P534, which contain the Wytch Farm field, to Verus Petroleum for a cash consideration of $200 million (subject to certain customary financial adjustments) payable on completion. In addition, Premier will be able to release Letters of Credit totaling approximately $75 million that have been issued in relation to future decommissioning liabilities that are now being transferred to Verus. The effective date of the disposal is 1 July 2017. Wytch Farm is an onshore oil field located in Dorset, United Kingdom, that has been producing since 1979. Verus is a UK-focused independent E&P company backed by HitecVision, a Norway-based private equity investor ...

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Nabors acquires Robotic Drilling Systems

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Nabors Industries announced that it has acquired Stavanger based Robotic Drilling Systems, a provider of automated tubular and tool handling equipment for the onshore and offshore drilling markets. This transaction integrates the highly capable RDS team and product offering with the technology portfolio of Canrig, Nabors rig equipment subsidiary, and strengthens the development of its drilling automation solutions...

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