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Caterpillar eases Tier 4 transition with 3512E engine

The 3512E, Caterpillar’s Tier 4-compliant engine, has a similar skid size to the commonly used 3512C for an easier transition from Tier 2 to Tier 4 engines.

By the end of 2017, drilling contractors will need to have transitioned to engines compliant with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier 4 standards for non-road diesel engines. The EPA’s flexibility provisions had allowed onshore drillers and OEMs in North America to continue using Tier 2 engines, but the flexibility period will end next year.

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OESI panel encourages more engineering, training for alarm management

From left are Evelyn Baldwin, Human Factors Lead Instructor at Maersk Training; Jarvis Outlaw, Petroleum Engineer at the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE); Trent Martin, Senior Manager – Technical Support Service at Transocean; Mike Fairburn, Operations Manager at Shell; and Eddie Habibi, Founder and CEO of PAS. The panelists participated in the Ocean Energy Safety Institute forum, “Focusing on Alarm Management for Safer Offshore Operations,” held on 24 August in Houston. Bob Blank (right), Vice President Operational Excellence at Noble Drilling, moderated the panel discussion on alarm management at the forum.

By Alex Endress, Editorial Coordinator Today’s offshore drilling rigs are highly complex and equipped with numerous digitized and interconnected systems. To monitor the functionality of these systems, rigs have also been equipped with numerous alarms – some that are safety- and mission-critical, and some that aren’t. Deciphering which alarms are critical and reacting accordingly is a matter of proper engineering and training, both of which were discussed at an Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI) forum, “Focusing on Alarm Management for Safer Offshore Operations,” held on 24 August in Houston. “Alarm fatigue or alert fatigue occurs when one is exposed to a large number of frequent alarms and consequently becomes desensitized to them,” Bob Blank, Vice President Operational Excellence at Noble ...

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Barclays survey: 2017 spending poised to grow 3% to 8% at current prices

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A mid-year survey of more than 200 companies shows that global upstream spending is poised to grow in 2017 after consecutive years of declines. The Barclays Upstream Spending Survey estimated that spending will increase by approximately 3% to 8% at current oil prices. Large-cap E&P companies are expected to increase North American CAPEX by as much as 50% next year, although international oil companies (IOCs) – particularly those in the offshore sector – will still be very cautious in their spending.

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Garvin: Systems, processes must be in place to keep workers safe as rigs go back to work

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It’s been approximately 20 months since the downturn began, and uncertainty persists over how much longer the market will remain depressed. Dayrates are down by approximately 40% on average, and many contractors are operating on negative margins. Some have even been pushed out of the market altogether, Mike Garvin, Senior Vice President, Operation Support at Patterson-UTI, said at the 2016 IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference on 31 August in Houston. “Back at the peak, there were 171 drilling contractors operating at least one rig in the United States. Today, we're at 87, so half of the drilling contractors have quit working over the last two years,” he said.

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Future success depends on non-linear innovation, closing the possibility gap

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In the midst of the industry’s worst downturn since the 1980s, many oil and gas companies may be focused on today, not thinking much about the future. However, companies must balance managing the present with planning for the future if they want to become and remain an industry leader, said Dr Vijay Govindarajan, Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business. “Because an organization is a leader today, you cannot assume you will be a leader tomorrow. Earning that leadership is what strategy is all about,” Dr Govindarajan said on 23 August at the Landmark Innovation Forum and Expo, hosted by Halliburton in Houston. “Strategy is always about creating your future while managing your present.”

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BP signs second Chinese shale gas contract with CNPC

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BP announced that it has signed a second production-sharing contract (PSC) for shale gas exploration, development and production with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC). The PSC, signed on 27 July, covers an area of approximately 1,000 sq km at Rong Chang Bei in the Sichuan Basin. In March 2016, BP and CNPC signed their first shale gas PSC on the adjoining Neijiang-Dazu block. As with the earlier contract, CNPC will operate the Rong Chang Bei PSC. “We are pleased to be making further progress in our strategic partnership with CNPC and deepening our business in China. This second shale gas PSC in China builds on the successful cooperation we are already seeing with the Neijiang-Dazu PSC signed in March,” Bob ...

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