Oilman Magazine

Letter from the Editor (March-April 2024)


As we approach the second quarter of 2024, a glance back at the first of the year shows a lightning jump to the present. The oil and gas industry bustled with activity right out of the gate. While predictions from the global financial powerhouses paint a bright picture for the offshore and international oil and gas markets, North American shale is expected to remain flat and not experience significant growth.

While some might disagree, I see it as an opportunity. North America’s shale history is made by innovative individuals defying the odds and developing something that has continued to grow and prosper. Yes, it has had its booms and busts, but the investments made have always led to a better market down the line.

This year’s North American shale activity will steadfastly commit to meeting production levels to fulfill the current needs. LNG demands alone have commanded commitment from the Permian, Haynesville, and even from assets in the Northeast. As we progress through the coming months, we probably will not witness grand expenditures in drilling campaigns, but the opportunity exists. One must peel back the layers to see that the opportunity lies in providing a level of efficiency that significantly impacts profitability.

Although we likely will not see a wildcatter version of new wells coming online, directing attention to increasing production offers significant opportunity. Well optimization, through-put enhancement, and de-bottlenecking are all solutions that will increase production. High levels of efficiency will save money, which increases profitability. Service companies are already offering this technology, but further developing and improving the applications allows the provider to surpass the competition and grab increased market share.

The next opportunity surrounds existing data. The cultivation and use of existing data through new methods offer a more cerebral version of opportunity, but when it knocks, it knocks. Companies that can provide new methods in how existing data is obtained, exported and interfaced with other data can offer real-time solutions. Increasing the speed at extracting a solution from data derived reduces lost time and reflects more money back into the customer’s pockets.

If a business with the next big idea focuses on these areas and steps out of the shadows this year, the potential opportunity could serve as a placeholder for years to come as North American shale continues to evolve and develop. The secret to success lies in offering something new that significantly impacts the customer’s bottom line. Pay close attention; the next best thing might be approaching.

Author Profile
Freelance Writer and Photographer

Nick Vaccaro is a freelance writer and photographer. In addition to providing technical writing services, he is an HSE consultant in the oil and gas industry with twelve years of experience. Vaccaro also contributes to SHALE Oil and Gas Business Magazine, American Oil and Gas Investor, Oil and Gas Investor, Energies Magazine and Louisiana Sportsman Magazine. He has a BA in photojournalism from Loyola University and resides in the New Orleans area. Vaccaro can be reached at 985-966-0957 or nav@vaccarogroupllc.com

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