URTeC 2014: Integrating geosciences and technologies to develop unconventional plays


URTeC 2014: Integrating geosciences and technologies to develop unconventional plays


DENVER – The second annual Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) opened with a plenary session focusing on a multidisciplinary approach to state-of-the-art breakthroughs, pragmatic prospecting and assessment tools and optimized development and value creation.

Presenting their views on the integration theme were Bobby Ryan, VP – Global Exploration for Chevron Upstream; Brad Holley, VP Rockies, Anadarko Petroleum; Scott Key, CEO, HIS; Jay Ottoson, President and COO, SM Energy; Tom Petrie, Petrie Partners; and Rick Bott, Jr., President and CEO, Continental Resources.

In his opening remarks, Chevron’s Ryan extolled the value of the unconventional revolution. “Without shale gas and tight oil production, the U.S. would not have gained 2.1 million jobs, $2.4 trillion in GDP value creation, 12% drop in greenhouse gases, and a renaissance in manufacturing,”

Speaking on the topic of extending the North American shale revolution throughout the world, Ryan said, “It was easier in North America because of the existence of a mature energy infrastructure, established service industry, an incentivized fiscal regime and local support. In other countries, the right geology might be there, but the cost models are more complex due to above-ground challenges such as access, environmental regulations and lack of land owner incentives.”

Ryan appreciated the value of integration. “At Chevron in New Orleans, the geophysicists and geologists were on different floors and the petroleum engineers were in a different city.”

“The next breakthroughs will have to be above ground,” Ryan suggested. “We need to reduce our footprint, protect water and be able to operate transparently. Our team will have to expand beyond the geoscientists and the engineers to include public and community affairs professionals.”

In a presentation focusing on Anadarko’s activities in the Wattenberg field, VP Brad Holley explained how the company was able to redevelop the field through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing and fieldwide campaign planning.

“We’re now drilling 100 wells in days,” Holley elaborated. “We expect to drill 360 wells using 13 rigs.”

Holley also explained how Anadarko was minimizing community and environmental impact. “We now have zero methane emissions, centralized stimulation centers to reduce noise levels at nearby communities and transporting water and produced liquids underground to minimize truck traffic. These actions have increased our social license to operate.”

A collaborative conference between the SPE, AAPG and SEG, the URTeC conference continues until Wednesday with technical presentations and about 200 exhibits.


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