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Drilling Ahead: Boom/bust: Nothing new under the sun

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The reviews are in, and this is the worst downturn since the 1980s. After the baby bust of 2008-09, it was easy to think, “This too shall pass.” But, as one frustrated exec told me on the cusp of the Great Downturn, “We worked every angle from the 2009 playbook, but nothing succeeded.” During the 2009 downturn, gas went flat as swollen inventories cratered prices. But liquids and crude prices still soared. We don’t have an escape route this time.

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BP realigns senior executive team

McKay

BP has appointed Lamar McKay to the new position of Deputy Group Chief Executive. Mr McKay, currently Chief Executive of BP’s Upstream segment and a 35-year veteran of BP, will be based in London and take up the role following a suitable handover period. He will be succeeded as Upstream Chief Executive by Bernard Looney, currently Chief Operating Officer, Production, in the Upstream segment.

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Canadian project puts high-horesepower frac pump into the field

The SPM QEM 3000 was designed for continuous-duty pressure pumping operations at a sustained 275,000-lb road load, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Texas-based Weir Oil & Gas has partnered with Canada-based Canyon Services Group to take Weir’s SPM QEM 3000 frac pump to the field. It is the industry’s first high-horsepower frac pump designed for continuous-duty pressure pumping operations at a sustained 275,000-lb rod load, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The pump is projected to reduce total cost of ownership by 17%.

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Next-gen microchip plots cracks, pores through frac fluids

The size of this newly developed microchip, including the on-chip camera and the pads, is only 0.55 mm by 0.85 mm.

Rice University’s Integrated Systems and Circuits (RISC) laboratory has developed a new generation of microchips, approximately the size of a grain of sand, that travels downhole through fracturing fluids to plot the cracks and pores through which oil and gas move to the surface. Activated by electromagnetic signals sent from an aboveground transceiver, the microchips return real-time data to create high-resolution maps of reservoirs and formations formed by hydraulic fracturing.

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Saudi Aramco, partners to develop maritime complex in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Aramco and the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) have amended the expired memorandum of understanding (MOU) on developing a maritime complex that would provide engineering, manufacturing and repair services for offshore rigs, commercial vessels and offshore service vessels in Saudi Arabia. The proposal is a major step in the development of Saudi Arabia’s maritime sector and part of a wider undertaking aimed at developing an energy goods and services sector, while contributing to the kingdom’s economic growth and job creation.

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