The U.S. shale market continues to excel at producing oil and gas for export around the world. Several shale plays are hotbeds of activity. However, there are oil producers dealing with critical obstacles of not being able to find skilled employees for key positions, insufficient pipeline capacity and not enough truckers to handle routine business tasks. Despite the business hiccups, the U.S. produced 10.9 million barrels a day of crude oil in June. The projected average for 2018 is 10.8 million b/d and in 2019 the EIA projects 11.8 million b/d.
Geopolitical risks are all over the oil and gas map. One in particular is Iran, which exports about 2.4 million b/d. The OPEC member will see their exports cut to zero. Buyers of Iranian crude must cut off imports by November 4 or risk sanctions. Venezuela’s oil and gas market continues to decline due to political and economic instability. Oil production by the government owned group PDVSA declined from 3.5 million b/d to 1.5 million b/d. A bright spot in South America is Guyana. The small nation has a potential huge offshore oil discovery. Although, they are in dispute with Venezuela over who owns the rights to the field.
OPEC member nations and Russia agreed to increase production by 600,000 b/d, after holding back for more than a year. The decision was based on rising oil prices, rising geopolitical risks to supply, like Iran, and shrinking global inventories. The tug of war between U.S. shale, OPEC and members outside of the oil-cartel have been a dramatic one the past three years. The saga will continue for some time as each entity forces a heavy hand in the direction of oil and gas supply worldwide.
Companies that were struggling to survive during the oil price downturn are bouncing back. It’s amazing with the constant changes in the oil and gas market, small oilfield businesses, even large companies, are so resilient. During the slowdown, many companies were forced to merge, scale down or close up shop. In this issue of OILMAN, our feature is about Baker Hughes, a GE Company. On the backend of the downturn, Baker Hughes and GE merged to form the world’s first full stream company. Enjoy this issue of OILMAN and most of all, enjoy your summer.
The publisher of Oilman Magazine, Emmanuel Sullivan is a technical writer who has built up his profile in the oil and gas industry. He lives and works in Houston, where he publishes Oilman on a bimonthly basis, distributing his magazine to energy thought leaders and professionals throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. At a time when technology is rapidly changing, he provides an invaluable service to oil and gas engineers and managers, offering them both broad and specific looks at the topics that affect their livelihoods. Sullivan earned his BA in Communications at Thomas Edison State University and his MA in Professional Writing at Chatham University.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.