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Despite challenges, lure of Latin America too strong to ignore

In 2014, an investigation by the Brazilian federal police, dubbed Operation Car Wash, raised suspicions that several politically appointed Petrobras executives had been accepting bribes in exchange for offering construction and engineering companies inflated contracts. Portions of these ill-gotten gains were allegedly paid to politicians and their political campaigns.

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A seismic shift in the subsurface

In the 15 or so years since the unconventional oil and gas boom began, the industry has learned that unlocking the secrets of the subsurface is the key to tapping additional resources. Operators now know that the complexity, heterogeneity and unpredictability of unconventional plays and tight oil and gas formations require a deeper characterization of the geology and an understanding of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on the rock. Today, models can provide a 3D view of the formation and simulate hydraulic fractures, with the capability of making real-time adjustments. They have become essential in designing completion strategies that enhance production. A pivotal piece of that process involves listening to the rock and detecting subsurface stress – microseismic monitoring.

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High-cost subsea sector faces test of economics

Risk, cost and safety and environmental concerns impact every aspect of oil and gas recovery, but these challenges are especially daunting in the subsea sector. Here, as operators drive into increasingly deeper reservoirs and high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) fields, a single failure can be catastrophic.

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