E&P Notes

Total, Google Cloud To Team on AI for Upstream

Matt Zborowski, Technology Writer

Total and Google Cloud are teaming up to combine artificial intelligence (AI) with subsurface data analysis in an effort “to explore and assess oil and gas fields faster and more effectively,” the French supermajor said in a press statement. Google Cloud has previously stated its intention to further its involvement with the oil and gas industry.

Under an agreement, the companies intend to develop AI programs to interpret subsurface images from seismic studies using computer vision technology and automate the analysis of technical documents with natural language processing technology. Total geoscientists will work with Google Cloud’s machine learning personnel as part of the same project team based in Google Cloud’s “advanced solutions lab” in California.

 

Pioneer Unveils Strategy To Boost Permian Production, Control Costs  

Matt Zborowski, Technology Writer

A more crowded Permian Basin means higher drilling, completions, and operating expenses for exploration and production firms, many of which have already spent billions of dollars over the past couple of years to gain core acreage positions in the region.  

Confident in its ability to take on these cost increases is long-time Permian operator Pioneer Natural Resources, which traces its roots in the basin back to the early 1960s with predecessor company Parker & Parsley. The company is in the midst of a plan to increase its production to 1 million BOE/D by 2026 while divesting its non-Permian assets.

 

Shale Output Redefining US Production

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

Recent snapshots of last year’s US energy production show how the shale oil and gas business has gone from a revolution to an evolving production machine.

The centers of oil and gas production remain constant in the recently released production figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which show that the big-gest concentration of gas production is from a cluster of states—Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. They just edged out Texas, which declined a bit last year.

A look at the production changes by state shows Louisiana and Ohio as the fastest-growing states, benefitting from the growing domestic and global markets for US gas.

 

Abu Dhabi Plans International Tender for Oil and Gas Exploration Blocks

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is planning its first-ever competitive tender for international partners to participate in the exploration and development of oil and natural gas, in an effort to boost production in the UAE.

Placed for bid will be four onshore and two offshore blocks, with bidding expected to conclude by October and ADNOC to announce the winners by year’s end, company CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said at a recent news conference. The partners would bear the exploration costs, and with the startup of production, ADNOC would assume a 60% interest.

 

Total Becomes Founding Partner of Smart Energy Fund in China

Total’s venture capital arm invested around $50 million to launch the Cathay Smart Energy Fund, alongside the provincial government of Chinese province Hubei (through Hubei High Tech Fund) and Cathay Capital.

Finalized on 27 March, this ranks as one of Total Energy Ventures’ (TEV) biggest investments to date in a fund. Dedicated to China’s energy sector, it will focus on renewable energies, the energy Internet, energy storage, distributed energy, smart energy, and low-carbon businesses.

“Everything changes at lightning speed. If you’re not paranoid, if you don’t check your rearview mirror constantly, you’re at risk of being overtaken,” said Girish Nadkarni, TEV’s CEO in a statement.

 

International Majors Expand Footprints in Brazil, Mexico

Matt Zborowski, Technology Writer

A wide array of international oil companies shored up their presences in Brazil and Mexico in March following a pair of auctions. The events furthered energy reforms for the two Latin American oil and gas powers, both months away from presidential elections in which leftist candidates have vowed to dial back the changes. 

Preceding Brazil’s 15th Round on 29 March was news that two blocks in the Santos Basin would not be offered after a court determined they would earn more value for the country as part of production-sharing contracts. Those blocks, which garnered strong interest, will be awarded in June.

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