December 2013 ///

Special Focus

What industry leaders expect in 2014

As we expected 12 months ago, 2013 has been another healthy year for the global upstream industry, albeit on something of a plateau in North America.

Features

Health, safety and environmental issues go hand-in-hand with cost savings

The upstream oil and gas industry has its own unique set of health, safety and environmental (HSE) challenges. Drilling, completion and production have become increasingly specialized and complex. Some techniques, pose an inherently high risk to the environment and to worker safety. The purpose of HSE technology is to provide products and services that minimize those risks.

ShaleTech: International - Countries make push for domestic reserves

Despite the abundance of unconventional oil and gas potential in all corners of the globe, North America remains the only region with a booming shale industry. However, a host of other countries are eager to emulate the region’s success and exploit their own, domestic shale resources. 

Regional Report: China

Even as its once-ethereal economy returns to the real world, China continues to wield tremendous clout in global oil and gas markets, as it looks outward and inward to narrow an ever-widening divide between consumption and domestic production.

Columns

First oil

Pramod Kulkarni

Success through failures

What's new in exploration

William J. Pike

Deghosting solutions still emerging

Drilling advances

Jim Redden

Your subcontractor may be at risk

What's new in production

Henry Terrell

The Bakken shale and the Red Queen’s race

Offshore in depth

Melanie Cruthirds

Evolving standards for Gulf of Mexico well containment

Oil and gas in the capitals

Mauro Nogarin

Colombia: Oil industry in contrast

Executive viewpoint

Chuck Drobny

Cloud computing and cybersecurity are fundamentally HR problems

Innovative thinkers

Melanie Cruthirds

GlassPoint: Harnessing the power of the sun

The last barrel

Kurt Abraham

Global organizing of indigenous peoples is latest E&P headache

News & Resources

World of oil and gas

World of oil and gas

People in the industry

People in the industry

Companies in the news

Companies in the news

New products and services

New products and services

Meeting and events

Meeting and events

Industry at a glance

Industry at a glance

Industry At A Glance

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

Monthly US Gas Prices and Trends ($/Mcf)

World Oil and NGL Production

World Oil and NGL Production Table

Special Supplement

Selected World Oil Prices

Selected World Oil Prices Graph

Drilling Rig Advances 2013

Rig advances come in all shapes and sizes. From a line of software code to a BOP stack, and from deepwater drilling vessels to walking land rigs, these innovations describe a dynamic industry focused on safety, efficiency and capability, in some of the most difficult circumstances on earth.

Russia to dominate 2014 exploration numbers

Russian seismic activity should remain high in 2014. It accounts for about 40% of the global count, with 222 crews active in mid-October, out of a global active crew count of 545 (Seismic Crew Report, Dana Cain, October 2013). Recent announcements by the Russians suggest that these numbers might move higher, as they seek to exploit the potential in their frontier areas.

Challenges remain in exporting North America’s shale experience

How well will the North American shale experience be able to be exported? Globally, there are massive resources; however, the challenges exceed those faced by U.S. and Canadian operators, and service companies. Even in North America, there has been a substantial transition from a decade of land grabs, cheap money, adding capacity and “playing the numbers,” to a decade of driving efficiencies and applying science.

The Pied Piper(s) … in Washington

When considering a forecast for the next period, it helps to see where we’ve been during the last. By all accounts, the global production of hydrocarbons continues a healthy expansion on a relative basis, improving domestically with the advances of hydraulic fracturing, and offshore with increased efficiency in deepwater operations. Sounds good, so far.

Full speed ahead?

The oil and gas industry has risen from the trembling aftermath of the global financial crisis and is, yet again, climbing to an all-time-high activity level. The markets are burning hot, and the future is bright. The world needs energy, and our industry is set to deliver. But beware: some dark clouds are on the horizon!

A call to action

Last year at this time, I used this forum to present a case for the oil and gas industry to take even more action to improve its image. The vast majority of the world’s energy consumers still do not fully appreciate the connection between cost-effective energy, and their present and future living conditions. Our industry continues setting a fine example through responsible development; however, we are not gaining ground quickly enough with respect to better understanding by the public of affordable energy’s contributions to society. The industry must foster that understanding, to solidify foundational support for further progressing development.

Chevron in 2014 - A few insights

I looked back at the expectations that I had written for 2013, and not too much has changed. Chevron seems to be on a steady path to increase production in a safe, reliable manner, but, as always, there are challenges.

Service/supply sector will be called on to do even more

The oil and gas business is at an unusual juncture in our history. We’re faster and more efficient than ever in solving subsurface engineering problems, and our industry now has a decades-long inventory of known, productive drilling locations in the U.S. The U.S. recently passed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the top oil and natural gas producer in the world. Oil and natural gas supplies are not constrained by resources any longer, but, instead, by above-ground issues.

Was the government shutdown key to breaking Washington’s worst stalemate?

American energy entered a renaissance in 2013 that could change the economic direction of the U.S. for generations. For the first time since former President Richard Nixon and his successors vowed to achieve American energy independence, the U.S. is on the verge of that milestone. Our industry has provided the backbone for a steadily recovering economy that has stabilized growth and provided much needed energy resources.

The Next Wave and the next wave

Yes, I am referring to the Offshore Technology Conference’s (OTC’s) very successful young professionals leadership program. We initiated this program in 2006, to help retain and attract oil and gas professionals with under 10 years’ experience. The young professionals’ Leadership Team selects program content, speakers and formats that address their needs.

Iraq: Still hanging in there

Iraq has a glorious history, immense resources and rightfully proud people. Unfortunately, in 2013, Iraq continued to struggle with regional geopolitical and sectarian tensions. This deterioration of security interrupted IOC operations already struggling with an inefficient government and infrastructure. Unfortunately, such troubles come while Iraq needs national stability to attract the investments required to meet production and re-construction targets.

Paradoxes to remain in prospect for UK Continental Shelf

The year 2013 on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) has been personified by major paradoxes. On the positive side, field development expenditures have been at a record high with Oil and Gas UK, the industry trade association, estimating that the amount could be £13.5 billion. This reflects, in particular, the coincident development of several very large and expensive new projects, such as Clair Ridge, Schiehallion’s redevelopment, Laggan/Tormore and the Mariner heavy oil field. For 2014, it is quite possible that even higher levels of development expenditures will take place. Thereafter, there is likely to be a modest fall from these record levels.

International Offshore Rigs

International Offshore Rigs

International Rotary Drilling Rigs

International Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

International Rotary Rig Count

International Rotary Rig Count

Rotary Rigs Running in US

Rotary Rigs Running in US

U.S. Oil Production

U.S. Oil Production

U.S. Onshore Well Count

U.S. Onshore Well Count

U.S. Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

U.S. Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

Workover Rig Count

Workover Rig Count

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