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For shale business to survive, employees must think like owners, orient organizational culture to the bottom line

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What do you see as the most critical challenges facing the upstream side of the oil and gas industry right now? Clearly, the cost issue is front and center. Some people say that you should never waste a good crisis, but to me, it goes beyond that. The margins have shrunk extensively, and we don’t have an option but to respond. We have cut our capital program for US shale from more than $4.5 billion in FY 2013 to about $1.5 billion this year.

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To achieve sustainable cost reductions, industry must break old paradigms, adopt more technology standardization

MikeBowie

Mike Bowie is North America Region Executive-Subsea Systems and Drilling at GE Oil & Gas. Mr Bowie also serves as the IADC Division Vice President of Drilling Services and is a member of the IADC Executive Committee. What do you consider to be some of the biggest challenges facing the upstream industry at this time? How can we begin to address these challenges? All companies are challenged with cost reductions due to the market. The real question is how to address fundamental opportunities to improve productivity and efficiency, not just cut costs through the brute force of asking for price di

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Costs must be controlled, but savings achieved via cuts in HSE, training are just false economy

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David Williams is Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Noble Corporation. Mr Williams is past Chairman of IADC and is a member of the IADC Executive Committee. From your perspective at Noble, what do you see as the most critical challenges facing the industry in this down market? The most critical challenge, and overarching goal for Noble, is to deliver safe operations and ensure environmental awareness in all that we do. Whether the market is up or down, we are committed to running our business in a safe and responsible manner. Cycles are just a part of this business. It’s the nature of the beast. Predicting when a change in the cycle will occur is next to impossible, but history tells us they will come. At Noble, we’re blessed with some very good contract coverage, and our focus remains on continuous improvement to safety and environmental compliance and on running our business efficiently.

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Research project aims to improve safety by learning from success

Figure 1: This simplified model for success, failure and variability illustrates how individuals handle deviations from normal variation in work performance.

Many theories, concepts and perspectives are available to the petroleum industry to help it understand failure. Similarly, there is a rich array of methods to analyze the causes of accidents and critical events. A great effort is put into such analyses and dissemination of results, by the industry and by national authorities. However, when it comes to successful operations, the industry lacks the language and theoretical “infrastructure” to conceptualize success. Further, there is a scarcity of methods for analyzing and learning from successful operations.

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Short-term approach to personnel development is a growing concern, DNV GL survey finds

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A report published by DNV GL reveals that skills shortages are seen as a barrier to growth and an increasing concern throughout the US. More than half of respondents believe organizations are taking a short-term approach to skills and career development. “A New Reality: The Outlook for the Oil and Gas Industry in 2016” is based on a global survey of 921 senior professionals in the sector. It shows that an increased portion of US respondents see cost management as the top priority in 2016 – 38% compared with 25% in 2015.

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Dissolvable tools, plug-less and wave fracturing among innovations delivering more efficient multistage completions

The Infinity dissolvable plug-and-perf system uses degradable fracturing balls and seats instead of plugs to isolate zones during stimulation. The ball and seat disintegrate into a fine powder, eliminating the need for milling and enabling full-bore production. The system is suitable for multistage stimulation in various well geometries, including extended-reach wells and underpressured reservoirs.

The past 12 months have been marked by market volatility, pressures to cut costs and a drastic reduction in the number of onshore wells drilled. In the unconventional sector, however, innovation for multistage completion technology has not diminished. R&D efforts are pressing on in response to operator demands to drive down costs and boost recovery.

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