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The Offshore Frontier

Artificial intelligence-enabled flexibility at heart of cognitive drilling platform

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By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor Schlumberger is in the final stages of commissioning its Rig of the Future, which should be commercial by early 2018, Arindam Bhattacharya, President of Schlumberger Land Rigs, said at the 2017 IADC Advanced Rig Technology Conference on 25 October in Amsterdam. The rig brings together not only automation but also mechanization, including a central hoisting and rotating system, as well as an integrated fluid system that will help to integrate workflows like cementing and managed pressure drilling. Elements of the downhole system, like stick-slip mitigation, can also be optimized through automation. The Rig of the Future project was driven by the lower oil price environment and the desire to thrive, not just survive, in this ...

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Department of Interior announces largest oil and gas lease sale in US history

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US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced that the Department of Interior is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the United States: 76,967,935 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The proposed regionwide lease sale, offering an area about the size of New Mexico, is scheduled for March 2018 and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), surpassing last year’s regionwide lease sale by about 1 million acres. “In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and is ...

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IHS Markit: Tight inventory of deepwater E&P assets for M&A drives prices higher as offshore deal value increases

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Reduced spending for oil and gas exploration is limiting availability of quality deepwater assets for merger and acquisition (M&A) deals, according to a new report by IHS Markit. This lack of deepwater asset inventory is challenging E&P operators who seek to acquire assets in order to secure development funds or de-risk their portfolios. “Low oil prices have significantly reduced operator spending on exploration — particularly in the deepwater, which is very costly,” said Cindy Giglio, CFA, Senior Principal Energy M&A Analyst at IHS Markit. “This means fewer deepwater discoveries are made and even fewer world-class assets become available for sale or acquisition. As a result, those quality deepwater assets that do become available are commanding premium prices.” During this period, ...

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Acoustic telemetry network provides real-time data during deepwater frac pack completions

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Most of the telemetry platforms in existence today don’t provide real-time data during completions. XACT Downhole Telemetry developed its acoustic telemetry network to provide pressure, temperature, tension, torque and bending data during completion operations. At the 2017 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas....

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Atwood Oceanics announces contract extension for Atwood Orca jackup rig

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Atwood Oceanics announced that one of its subsidiaries has agreed to a four month extension on the jackup rig Atwood Orca with Mubadala Petroleum for drilling operations offshore Thailand. The new contract is at an undisclosed day rate that is higher than the current day rate, and it includes two four-month options that are priced at successively higher day rates than the new firm day rate...

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