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November-December 2019

Whose Milkshake is Whose?: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Considers Whether the Rule of Capture Applies to Hydraulic Fracturing

Whose Milkshake is Whose?: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Considers Whether the Rule of Capture Applies to Hydraulic Fracturing

The Rule of Capture has been a foundational concept of oil and gas prospecting for 150 years. The Rule of Capture exists to provide an affirmative defense to drillers when they tap into oil and gas pockets that cross property lines. As fictional oilman Daniel Plainview so aptly described it in the film There Will Be Blood, “Underground, there’s no…

Four Steps to Advanced Data Science in the Oil and Gas Industry

Four Steps to Advanced Data Science in the Oil and Gas Industry

When it comes to advanced data science – including machine learning and AI – there’s a perception that energy is lagging behind other industries, like retail or technology. While understandable, especially given the sheer visibility of AI solutions like online recommendations or ride-sharing apps, it’s also a bit unfair. While “fail fast and fail often” is a common mantra in…

ogressive Strides in Unconventional Oil and Gas Recovery

Feature Podcast: Progressive Strides in Unconventional Oil and Gas Recovery

When talking about advances in oil and gas technology, we would be remiss if we didn’t discuss unconventional methods of oil and natural gas recovery and the ways in which they could benefit the U.S. economy. There are always the tried and true methods – foolproof and with little-to-no risk. With these standard approaches, there have been and continue to…

Most Common Oil and Gas Cybersecurity Threats

Most Common Oil and Gas Cybersecurity Threats

We are currently in the middle of a technological revolution, and the signs are all around us. Go ahead and name any tech buzz word such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, or Artificial Intelligence, and it will definitely be related to so many industries out there. Here, however, we’re not going to talk about the new opportunities, but…

Optimax MLA Simulator – Photo courtesy of CastilloMax Oil and Gas

Virtual Reality is Not Just a Game, But Training

With the passage of time, it is increasingly difficult to get trained personnel for the oil industry. The experience as a crane operator, drilling rig, welder, drilling floor engineer among others, will only be achieved with time, and practical knowledge is only acquired with practice. Worldwide companies use millions of dollars for the training of personnel in these areas, and…

2.0 units float on the surface of the evaporation pond, allowing concentrated droplets to fall back into the water.

Revolutionary Evaporation System Cuts Costs To $.006 Per Barrel And Protects Environment From Particulate Contamination

Disposing of industrial wastewater is a problem in many industries. Wastewater is so named because it typically contains a high concentration of contaminants including chemicals and particulate matter that are beyond the capabilities of municipal sewage systems. Mining endeavors including all types of fossil fuel recovery are particularly awash in wastewater. Oil and gas operations may produce 5 to 10…

Conductor Supported Platforms: Demystifying the Industry’s Best Kept Secret

Conductor Supported Platforms: Demystifying the Industry’s Best Kept Secret

For the field development engineer striving to deliver the most cost-effective concept design for a shallow water development, there are a variety of possible routes to take. Maybe a subsea tieback would provide the most profitable solution, or perhaps a jacket supported wellhead platform? Maybe separate offshore processing is worth considering? One option that is all too often overlooked though,…

Why bbl? Energy Units in the USA and Other Countries

Why bbl? Energy Units in the USA and Other Countries

History tells that in the past Standard Oil company – for the sake of distinguishing – painted barrels that were used to carry crude oil in blue color (while those for kerosene – in red). Therefore, the first letter “b” stands for “blue.” But this is a non-grounded myth as “blue” was carried by the barrel many years well before…

Mark Stansberry

Boone’s Impact and Vision!

Twenty-five years ago, Boone Pickens sent me a letter describing his passion for natural gas and America’s energy future. I share with you a portion of the letter, dated October 7, 1994: “There is a lot of focus these days – as there should be – on the tremendous costs facing business and local governments as a result of the…

What Safety Measures Should You Take for Lone Workers

What Safety Measures Should You Take for Lone Workers

You hear about lone worker accidents all the time. “Lone Worker” is not just remote oilfield or pipeline workers in the wilderness. According to Wikipedia, a lone worker can be “an employee who performs an activity that is carried out in isolation from other workers without close or direct supervision. Such staff may be exposed to risk because there is…

Drilling for IoT Data Insight

Drilling for IoT Data Insight

Digital technologies have been a critical factor in the oil and gas industry’s transformation. Beyond transforming the industry, the integration of “smart” technologies now has the potential to create additional cost-savings from existing capacity. McKinsey research confirms how effective use of digital technologies can “reduce capital expenditures by up to 20 percent” while reducing operating costs “in upstream by 3…

Randy Velarde and sons: Vincent and Garrett – Photo courtesy of The Plaza Group

The Plaza Group Defining and Embracing the Core Values

It is not unusual for a Houston Petrochemical marketer to celebrate 25 years in business. But a look at the history of the company, and the extraordinary decisions made by a 33-year old chemical engineering executive, Randy Velarde, in 1994, is to see some important lessons for all corporate leadership in the 21st Century. Velarde began his executive level career…

Letter from the Publisher (November-December 2019)

The oil and gas industry is experiencing signs of a slowdown with reduced drilling rigs, E&P financial distress, reduced headcount and a pull back from investors. Industry experts agree that this is part of a normal cycle in the course of oil and gas business. However, the overall theme is that business activity in the industry will slow down in…

According to Cate, most of the natural gas pipelines are over 40 years old and are in need of updates sooner rather than later.

Pipelines as Critical Infrastructure

The state of California currently experienced a reality check in energy accountability and aging infrastructure. While the majority of the attention is on the spike in gas prices, black outs and stress on the grid in California, Wesley Cate of Eco-Energy believes the national conversation should shift to the issue of aging pipelines. The most recent “Infrastructure Report Card” published…

Five Essential Mobile Device Management Features for Oil and Gas Personnel

Five Essential Mobile Device Management Features for Oil and Gas Personnel

Challenges abound in the oil and gas industry: from navigating unpredictable – and often treacherous – weather conditions to maintaining production levels and ensuring the safety and security of staff and equipment across a range of locations. It’s clear to see the role mission-critical communications technology plays in the smooth operation, safety and efficiency of both headquartered and remote worksites.…

Coarse Filtration: The “First Line of Defense” In Protecting Oil and Gas Processes

Coarse Filtration: The “First Line of Defense” In Protecting Oil and Gas Processes

Multi-element, automatic self-cleaning strainers optimize upstream and downstream production, while minimizing maintenance and downtime For the oil and gas industry, coarse filtration of various fluids is critical to ensure reliable production, extend the life of a wide variety of upstream and downstream equipment, and increase the intervals between backwashing or necessary maintenance. Upstream, production wells often use coarse filtration (from…

O3b mPOWER will further strengthen the ability of offshore providers to capitalize on cloud services by delivering multi-gigabit, low-latency connectivity.

Driving Offshore Growth with Satellite Communications

Digitalization in the offshore market has begun to ramp up, with new technologies poised to deliver substantial costs savings and improved profitability to the industry. However, these technologies depend on the existence of robust and reliable connectivity – a challenge for many offshore operators, particularly as they venture into deeper waters that are frequently out of range of traditional terrestrial…

Robotic Process Automation: Four Key Considerations for Oil & Gas

Robotic Process Automation: Four Key Considerations for Oil & Gas

Many energy companies have embarked on significant digital transformation projects utilizing emerging technologies such as big data, cloud, mobile, APIs (Application Program Interfaces), natural language processing, machine learning and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to reduce costs and streamline operations. In a recent discussion with an organization contemplating a major RPA initiative in the commercial and logistics area, the possibility of…

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