Data, Digital Energy Take Center Stage at Annual Conference
- Matt Zborowski (JPT Technology Writer) | Stephen Whitfield (JPT Senior Staff Writer) | Stephen Rassenfoss (JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor) | Chris Carpenter (JPT Technology Editor) | Trent Jacobs (JPT Digital Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 55 - 62
- 2018. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 73 since 2007
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The digital transformation of the oil and gas industry dominated discussion at the 2018 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, held in late September in Dallas. Topics such as data analytics, the use of artificial intelligence, and machine learning and how these are affecting the upstream sector were discussed at numerous panel and technical sessions throughout the event. More than 8,100 technical professionals attended the conference, which included presentations across multiple technical disciplines, a banquet honoring winners of SPE’s international awards, and the installation of a new SPE president. Highlights from the conference are below.
Trying To Get a Handle on Data
Matt Zborowski, Technology Writer
Upstream companies that don’t have a coherent strategy around managing and interpreting their data can find themselves in “a rat’s nest of a mess.”
This aptly Texas-flavored warning came from Melissa Suman, Schlumberger vice president, data and digital, during the opening general session. The panel discussion commingled executives from big oil and gas firms and big tech—a gathering that was representative of a broader merger of disciplines and technologies currently taking place in the upstream space.
Culture Change Needed To Realize Full Value of Digital
Stephen Whitfield, Senior Staff Writer
The digital transformation in upstream oil and gas is already under way, as operators seek to identify the technologies that will bring added value to their enterprises. Speaking at the ATCE chairperson’s luncheon, 2018 ATCE Chair Sara Ortwein said the industry has shown “pockets of innovation” that are demonstrating digital value in real-world applications. However, accelerating this value capture will require a greater understanding of the people behind the technologies. The industry, she said, will have to adapt to a new cultural focus, emphasizing new skill sets and mindsets, if it wants to create a new digital reality.
Putting the Focus on Drilling Faster
Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor
Mathematically, there is a common link between tracking orbiting space junk and tracking what is ahead of a drill bit.
In both cases, the calculations require inputs on the current location, where it is headed, and a description of the object. But the data available to those doing the calculations are less than the data desired; those holding data are often reluctant to share it and some will try to mislead others; and a lot of computer power is required to do the advanced analysis needed to reduce the high level of uncertainty.
Panel Highlights Challenges, Successes in Digital Transformation
Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor
Nearly everyone in the oil and gas industry is aware of the importance of Big Data, even as subject matter experts (SMEs) grapple with its implications. But what are the barriers standing in the way of implementing a digitally minded culture for operators and vendors, and how can these barriers be overcome?
At a panel session titled “A Mission of Uncovering the Value of Knowledge in Digital Transformation Projects in the Oil and Gas Industry,” industry experts reflected on the transformation taking place and its implications.
Changing the Mix: A New Approach to Polymers for Offshore EOR
Stephen Whitfield, Senior Staff Writer
Polymer flooding is a longstanding, popular tool for improving oil recovery, and over the years a number of researchers have worked at improving the quality of commercially available polymers. However, polymer mixing in offshore applications can present a number of challenges. A technical session at the conference discussed a new approach to a better understanding of the drivers for polymer hydration and the design of optimal field mixing systems. Researchers hope the information gathered in testing this approach could help with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in offshore.
New SPE President Offers a Vision of Oil and Gas Sustainability
Trent Jacobs, Digital Editor
Sami Alnuaim became 2019 SPE president on the closing day of the conference, succeeding 2018 President Darcy Spady. The transition was made at the annual president’s luncheon and meeting of members.
Alnuaim outlined how his year-long tenure will focus on promoting the concept of energy sustainability.
|File Size||7 MB||Number of Pages||8|