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November/December

Brazil is mindful of E&P challenges, will continue to lower ‘above-ground’ risks, ANP Director General says

Proposal to include pre-salt blocks under open acreage program and adjusting fiscal terms among steps being taken to enhance competitiveness of Brazil’s assets By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor Recognizing that oil companies – facing unstable prices and stringent environmental regulations – have become much more selective about where they place investments, Brazil’s National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) is undertaking multiple efforts to increase the attractiveness of the country’s hydrocarbon assets. “We are aware that oil companies are focusing on opportunities that can resist lower oil prices in the long term and have a lower carbon footprint,” ANP Director General Rodolfo Saboia told DC in an exclusive interview. “We have done a lot over the last years ...

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What drives drilling contractor decisions on tech investments?

Cost is important, but contractors also weigh technology’s scalability, value to customers and – increasingly – influence on ESG performance By Stephen Forrester, Contributor In today’s market, effectively managing costs and investing in the right technologies – be that through internal product development or mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – are make-or-break tasks for drilling contractors. As a company works through the process of determining whether and how to make an investment, myriad criteria must be assessed from an operational and a financial standpoint. When those investments pay off, however, significant value is unlocked. In this article, leaders from Parker Wellbore and Helmerich & Payne (H&P) weigh in on how their companies look at technology investments and what they see for ...

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This time, energy transition digging deep into our roots

By Linda Hsieh, Editor & Publisher The oil and gas industry, and in particular the contract drilling industry, has weathered a lot of storms to get to where it is today. Offshore, for example, we’re drilling in 10,000 to 12,000 ft of water with 15,000- to 20,000-psi BOP stacks, and drilling with sophisticated MPD equipment that allows bits to safely and efficiently penetrate formations so difficult that, just a decade ago, we probably wouldn’t have even tried to drill through. Onshore, it’s astounding both the precision with which drillers can steer the bit through miles of rock underground and the efficiency with which a single rig can be utilized to drill 10 or more closely spaced wellbores on a pad, ...

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Noble teams up with tech company to leverage AI, create and deploy inclusive, automated behavior-based safety program

By Adrian Brown, Fennex; Barry Quinn, Noble Corp challenges in the oil and gas industry, leaders are seeking innovative tools and solutions that will help them remain relevant and competitive, and digital technologies are leading the charge in driving the change in modern operations. Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data analytics offer the potential to revolutionize efficiencies. This article describes how Noble Corp collaborated with tech company Fennex to harness the power of advanced digital technologies and fully automate safety observation processes across Noble’s global rig fleet, delivering benefits in efficiency, efficacy and sustainability.  With it, an outdated process with lagging indicators has been transformed into a clear, agile system providing unprecedented speed and transparency to pursue ...

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North American land drilling market moving up, but at a gradual pace

Amid slow recovery, operators are still hedging against potential oversupply in 2022, while strong natural gas prices may lead to some reallocation of resources By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor Heading into 2022, the North American shale market appears to be in the early stages of a recovery from the COVID-fueled oil price downturn.  A gradual increase seen in this year’s US rig count, driven mostly by activity in the Permian Basin, is likely to continue into next year, according to Rystad Energy. The number of wells drilled in US shales is also likely to see an uptick in 2022. Overall, Lower 48 oil production is expected to increase from 9.4 million bbl/day in Q4 2021 to 10.0 million bbl/day by ...

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Offshore rig utilization continues upward trend, but not all regions seeing bumps in dayrates yet

Westwood: Global marketed utilization could reach as high as 85% in 2022 if rig attrition continues By Terry Childs and Alex Middleton, Westwood Global Energy Group The global offshore rig market has experienced somewhat of a recovery – at least in utilization – in many regions. The price of Brent crude seems to have risen and stabilized at more than $70 over the past several months. Additionally, oil companies and rig owners have mostly managed to navigate through many of the logistical hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Drilling programs that had been postponed have now begun or are back on schedule. As a result, the number of contracted rigs has rebounded, and fleet utilization (jackups, semisubmersibles and drillships) is ...

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Environment, Social and Governance

New drilling emissions reporting tool aims to accelerate oilfield decarbonization RigCLOUD recently released its Drilling Emissions Reports, designed to help users optimize engine utilization and reduce their carbon footprint. The tool is available to both drillers and operators. The tool provides accurate and reliable data on fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, CO2 per foot drilled, average engine load and average number of engines online during each drilling activity. To optimize emissions output, drilling contractors and operators have visibility into the minimum engine requirements throughout the well construction process. This capability enables customers to reduce their environmental impact without compromising operational performance. “By deploying emissions analytics and advanced engine management, we are empowering anyone who is contracting or operating a rig ...

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IADC presses ahead on ESG, training and information sharing

From Jason McFarland, IADC President The past year has been an exciting one at IADC, and I am enthusiastic about the good work our members continue to put in. Although in-person industry events have not returned to full capacity, that has not stopped our members from collaborating. Whether it’s spotlighting safety accomplishments in Nigeria, advocating on behalf of MODU owners in Saudi Arabia or raising money for charity in the Rocky Mountains, IADC’s member-driven chapters have stayed proactive across the board.  One example is IADC’s Texas A&M Student Chapter, which planned and executed its own HSE Summit in April. The students came together and virtually hosted academics, regulators and industry representatives to discuss safety in oil and gas operations. The ...

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Wirelines

BOEM to hold Lease Sale 257 on 17 November, including 15,000+ blocks in GOM The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced on 30 September that it will hold an oil and gas lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico on 17 November, in compliance with an order from a US District Court. Lease Sale 257 will be the eighth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. It will include approximately 15,135 unleased blocks located from 3 to 231 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico with water depths ranging from 9 to more than 11,115 ft. The Gulf of Mexico OCS, covering about 160 million acres, is estimated to contain about ...

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Drilling & Completion Tech Digest

Nabors drills first well from fully automated land rig Nabors Industries announced its PACE-R801 – which the company is calling the industry’s first fully automated land drilling rig – has reached total depth on its first well, a horizontal well for ExxonMobil in the Permian Basin. XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, contracted the rig to drill three horizontal wells on a test pad in Midland County, Texas, as part of its own R&D efforts. The first well was drilled to a total measured depth of 19,917 ft. Nabors and ExxonMobil do not plan to publish performance data and results. The rig utilizes Nabors’ Smart Suite of automated drilling software with Canrig robotic systems, creating an unmanned rig floor that ...

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