December 2011 ///

Special Focus

Auditing offshore facilities for safety and environmental management systems

Under new US guidelines that went into effect Nov. 15, operators on the outer continental shelf ave two years to submit an audit of their ability to manage hazards.

Haynesville trial well applies environmentally focused shale technologies

As part of a companywide HSE strategy, El Paso Corp. incorporated methods to reduce water use and hazardous chemicals handling into its hybrid frac design.

Using casing annular packers to prevent shallow gas migration to surface in shale wells

New research suggests that methane contamination blamed on fracing is actually due to cement integrity issues that can be inexpensively controlled.


Web Exclusive: Analysis of EPA's proposed clean air restrictions on oil and gas operations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently introduced a suite of rules regulating air emissions from oil and gas production—including hydraulically fractured wells. Once these rules are finalized, they may impose more stringent permitting and operating constraints.

China spews fire at India-Vietnam E&P pact

ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), the overseas arm of India’s state-run oil major Oil and Natural Gas Corp., entered a historic cooperation agreement Oct. 12 with PetroVietnam, the national oil company of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Dual-injection frac systems in horizontal wells

Dual-injection frac systems include either a coiled or standard tubing string inside the casing and allow fluid injection through both the internal string and the casing-tubing annulus.

International fracing controversy stalls European shale

The natural gas shale gale that was supposed to sweep across Europe has stalled in England and France due to an impasse over fracing operations.

Regional Report: China

China boasts the world’s largest shale gas reserves and enormous new offshore resource potential, but geopolitical tensions and environmental concerns threaten to slow China’s E&P development

Industry Report: Research efforts aim to improve Arctic transport for E&P operations

Optimizing ice road networks through better understanding of water availability and environmentally sensitive areas will expedite the development of oil and gas reserves on Alaska’s North Slope.

Rig innovations focus on safety, reliability

Equipment manufacturers and drilling contractors continue to emphasize safety, performance and environmental responsibility in new rig floor equipment and new or enhanced drilling rig designs.

What industry leaders expect in 2012

Despite high oil prices and a shale-driven boom in drilling activity, the approach of a new year brings with it plenty of reasons to be concerned for the future of the oil and gas industry.


Drilling advances

Mud companies struggle with diminishing barite supplies

Editorial comment

Let’s start a revolution!

Energy Issues

It’s an apps, apps, apps world

Innovative thinkers

Paul Koomey:
Steam pumps, nuclear-BOP controls and a few crawfish boils in between

Oil and Gas in the Capitals

Years-long Arab Spring?

What’s new in exploration

Research at Cornell University tempers shale gas debate

What's new in production

Make your own hydrates—Let ice carry the gas

News & Resources

Companies in the news

Companies in the news

Industry at a glance

Industry at a glance

Meetings and Events

Meetings and Events

New products

New products and services

People in industry

People in industry

World of Oil and Gas

Statoil granted exploration licenses offshore Canada and Indonesia

Industry At A Glance

International Offshore Rigs

International Rotary Rig Count

International Rotary Rig Count

International Rotary Drilling Rigs

International Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

US Gas Prices ($/MCF) & Production (BCFD)

Monthly US Gas Prices and Trends ($/Mcf)

International Geophysical Activity

International Geophysical Activity

U.S. Geophysical Activity

U.S. Geophysical Activity

Selected World Oil Prices

Selected World Oil Prices Graph

U.S. Oil Production

U.S. Oil Production

U.S. Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

U.S. Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

Rotary Rigs Running in US

Rotary Rigs Running in US

Workover Rig Count

Workover Rig Count

World Oil and NGL Production

World Oil and NGL Production Table


Resource plays and living in an X-Box economy

The US oil and gas industry today is dominated by the ever-growing list of unconventional reservoirs, such as the Eagle Ford, Bakken, Barnett and Marcellus. Fueled by advancements in horizontal drilling and stimulation methods, the US is leading the world in defining the reserve potential in these emerging resource plays.

Operators looking for relief on the UK continental shelf

The UK continental shelf (UKCS) saw a series of noteworthy and sometimes unexpected events in 2011. The mood changed dramatically in March with the announcement of sharp increases in the taxation of production income, with immediate effect. Specifically, the Supplementary Charge (SC) was increased to 32% from 20%, increasing the total tax rate on new fields to 62% from 50%. On mature fields subject to the Petroleum Revenue Tax, the total tax rate was increased to 81% from 75%.

Fiddling while Rome burns

As 2010 came to a close, many sectors of the US E&P business were still reeling from the aftershocks of the Macondo tragedy. The end of 2011 brings an eerie sense of déjà vu: The US economy and jobless levels are far beyond discouraging, certain European economies are on life support, revolutions rage in the Middle East, and an American election is less than a year away. This comes closer to a global “perfect storm” than any time in recent memory.

Short-term hiring pains foreshadow looming talent crisis

The Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association (PESA), in collaboration with the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), encourages high school students to enter the oil and gas industry through three Petroleum Academies in Houston all focused on a math and science curriculum.

If it can happen onshore, why not offshore?

Job seekers from all 50 states are flocking to the North Dakota town of Williston, whose population has nearly doubled from 12,600 to 23,000. While the nation’s unemployment rate hovers around 9%, Williston’s is less than 1%. While a boom in the oil and gas industry is great news, I was left asking myself, “Why isn’t this happening offshore as well?” One reason for the difference is regulatory climate.

Service intensity in liquids-rich shale plays more intense than ever

The Baker Hughes rig count is widely seen as a business barometer for the drilling industry and its suppliers. When rigs are active, they consume the products and services produced by the oil service industry. The rig count is also a leading indicator of demand for products used in well completions, production and processing of oil and natural gas.

What the “shale” is happening in America?

The flurry of capital investment in America’s natural gas industry during the past several years has occurred despite depressed prices caused by an abundance unimaginable five years ago and begs the question: what the “shale” is happening here to attract such worldwide investment and confidence in the future of natural gas?

Arab Spring, financial fall

The Arab Spring has rolled into fall with the fate of a number of Middle Eastern states in question. The global economy trips and stumbles along, threatening to fall flat on its face. One can but wonder what the future might look like, and, coincidently, what global oil and gas activity levels and markets might look like over the next few years.

Rig Floor Equipment

Rig floor equipment: QSK95, tri-grip torque wrench, RTS-H, Automatic Pipe Loader, Jet String Elevator, Model 7875 Below Tension Ring, Revit, PRV Max, Quatro, 850 Top Drive, Wrangler Roughneck 120,

New Rig Design

An oilfield service company located in Suriname started operating its second hoverbarge-based swamp drill rig, Toucan II. KCA Deutag introduced its latest generation Arctic drilling rig in 2011, the HR 4000. IDE developed the IDE Sparta Recon Drilling System (SRDS). Nabors Drilling USA’s reinvented programmable A/C electric (PACE) model operates on multi-well pads in shale plays in the northern part of the US Lower 48.

New Build Report

At this time last year, there were 109 rigs under construction at the various shipyards around the world. There are now 162 mobile offshore drilling units being built, according to RigStar, World Oil’s offshore rig database.

New Geological and Mining Law in Poland – an overview of key changes

The new Geological and Mining Law Act (the “Act”) shall come into force on the 1st of January 2012. One of the main goals of the legislators was to implement several EU Directives into the Polish legal system, including a further implementation of Directive 94/22/EC of the 30th of May 1994 on the conditions for granting and using authorisations for the prospection, exploration and production of hydrocarbons.