• Featured Oilfield News

    Halliburton Lays off 650 Employees In Four Western States

    Houston oilfield service giant Halliburton has laid off 650 employees in four western states from New Mexico to North Dakota.

    Houston oilfield service giant Halliburton has laid off 650 employees in four western states from New Mexico to North Dakota.In a notice filed on Monday with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Halliburton reported that the company laid 178 workers from its Grand Junction, Colo. office.

    Company officials attributed the layoffs to "local market conditions." The layoffs come amid a slump in crude oil prices that have resulted in less drilling and hydraulic fracturing activity.

    "Making this decision was not easy, nor taken lightly, but unfortunately it was necessary as we work to align our operations to reduced customer activity," the company said in a statement.

    Halliburton officials confirmed that the Grand Junction layoffs were among 650 people laid off in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming.

    The majority of those employees were given the option to relocate to other offices where more activity is anticipated, the company reported.


    Halliburton To Pay $275,000 To Settle National Origin And Religious Discrimination Suit

    Halliburton Supervisors and Co-Workers Harassed Two Muslim Employees, Federal Agency Charged

    Halliburton sued by EEOCHalliburton Energy Services, Inc. has agreed to pay $275,000 and furnish significant relief to settle a national origin and religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

    The EEOC charged that Houston-based Halliburton, one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry with over 55,000 employees, subjected two oilfield workers to national origin and religious discrimination. The EEOC's suit also alleged that Halliburton unlawfully retaliated against one of the employees by firing him for reporting the mistreatment.

    According to the EEOC's suit, Hassan Snoubar, of Syrian national origin, began working for Halliburton as an operator assistant oil field worker in approximately August 2012. During his employment, Snoubar, a U.S. citizen, was subjected to taunts and name calling regarding both his national origin and his Muslim religion. According to the suit, he was frequently called derogatory names and was accused of being associated with ISIS and terrorism by supervisors and co-workers. Mir Ali, a Muslim co-worker of Indian national origin, was similarly subjected to the hostile environment. The EEOC said that the two men were made to openly suffer insults including radio broadcasts of the offensive characterizations.


    Drilling Rig Worker Alleges Oil Company's Negligence Led To Amputation Of 4 Fingers, Leg

    A worker is suing an oil company, alleging four of his fingers and his leg were amputated due to the defendants' negligence.

    Drilling Rig Worker Alleges Oil Company s Negligence Led To Amputation Of 4 Fingers  LegMiguel Saucedo filed a complaint on Aug. 22 in Harris County District Court against National Oilwell Varco LP and  Cimarx Energy Co., alleging negligence.

    According to the complaint, on Nov. 14, 2017, Saucedo was working on a drilling rig that was manufactured, designed, tested, distributed and sold by the defendants when the rig failed while under the direct control of National Oilwell Varco and Climax Energy. The plaintiff said he suffered the traumatic amputation of his right leg and four fingers.

    The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to properly train and supervise its employees and failed to provide safe equipment.

    Saucedo seeks monetary relief of more than $1 million, trial by jury, attorney fees, court costs and all just relief. 


    Halliburton Introduces Automated Drilling Telemetry Service

     Halliburton released its QuickPulse Automated Directional Gamma Service, a new measurement while drilling (MWD) technology, that provides quick and reliable downhole information at extended depths to deliver wells faster. This capability helps operators drill longer laterals, make improved geosteering decisions and reduce well time to maximize their asset value.

    Halliburton introduces automated drilling telemetry serviceThe QuickPulse system combines directional, vibration and gamma ray sensors with a strong transmission signal that overcomes most downhole interference. The system automatically prioritizes critical vibration, tool face and downhole inclination measurements enabling rapid drilling decisions. It transmits data in intervals as fast as three seconds and full survey measurements in as little as 24 seconds.

    “As operators drill longer laterals, obtaining quality data at greater depths can be difficult because of noise and interference,” said Lamar Duhon, vice president of Sperry Drilling. “We designed the QuickPulse system with advanced sensors that detect and automatically transmit data so operators can drill faster and more accurately.”

    The system also has a small footprint for up to 70% faster rig-up time and the fully automated signal detection helps increase rig efficiency.


    U.S. Drillers Cut Oil Rigs For Record 10 Straight Months -Baker Hughes

    U.S. energy firms reduced the number of oil rigs this week and for a record 10th month in a row as producers follow through on plans to cut spending on new drilling this year.

    US Drillers Cut Oil RigsDrillers cut six oil rigs in the week to Sept. 27, bringing the total count down to 713, the lowest since May 2017, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

    In the same week a year ago, there were 863 active rigs.

    The rig count fell 29 in September, and 80 during the third quarter, the biggest quarterly decline since the first quarter of 2016.

    The oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, has declined over a record 10 months as independent exploration and production companies cut spending on new drilling as they focus more on earnings growth instead of increased output.

    That reduction in activity showed up in an energy survey released on Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    Although oil production rose, service firms reported declines in activity, a sign that operators have figured out how to pull more oil from the ground with fewer rigs. Overall, the outlook from 55 oilfield services executives surveyed was negative.


    Drones Creating Buzz In Permian Basin Oilfield

    Drones with advanced cameras are streamlining services at oil sites

    Drones in Permian Basin OilfieldImagine the detail of an entire oil site at the tip of your finger-now 3D models can bring pump jacks and rigs to your handheld device.

    That service is now available in the Permian Basin through a partnership from Thermal Cam USA and Ondaka.

    "We can map out a location like this or an oil field location or a drilling rig, we'll fly it for them and we'll take anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 pictures of that location, and they'll stitch it or map it together into a reality program," said Peter Walper, owner of Thermal Cam USA.

    Walper and his staff operate a fleet of drones equipped with advanced cameras, and with video game like controllers in their hands. His staff and a fleet of drones with advanced cameras are streamlining a number of services at oil rig sites.


    Grand Jury Indicts Oilfield Company For Felonies After Workers Say They Were Injured By Chemical Release

    A grand jury in Anchorage on Tuesday indicted Baker Hughes oilfield service companies and a Baker Hughes manager on several counts of assault after five workers with a construction crew said they were injured in a chemical release during an incident that is alleged to have taken place in Kenai in 2014.

    Felony charges filed against Baker HughesThe 25 felony counts in the indictment include 10 counts of first-degree assault. The companies face up to $2.5 million in fines for the most serious charges if convicted, the Alaska Department of Law said in a statement on Wednesday.

    John Clyde Willis, a manager for Baker Hughes, faces up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for the most serious charges if convicted, the statement said.

    In 2014, during the construction of a new chemical transfer facility, the workers allegedly were repeatedly exposed to toxic chemical releases from the existing chemical transfer facility, the statement said, citing the indictment.

    The indictment also claims that Houston, Texas-based Baker Hughes, along with Baker Petrolite, Baker Hughes Oilfield Services, and Willis, “failed to provide safety information regarding the chemicals used on site and failed to respond to repeated complaints by workers about the chemical exposures until May 8, 2014, when several workers were sent to the hospital because of a large exposure event.”


    Boot Camp Offering Oilfield Training-Canada

    A local man has begun offering a unique oil patch training program, geared towards teaching young people what it’s like to work in the oil and gas industry.

    An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary  Alberta  CanadaThe day-long boot camp is an entry-level oil field orientation and screening program, targeting young adults ages 18-25, but any who are interested are welcomed to sign up.

    Patchprep Bootcamp President Dallas Letersky, a 21-year industry veteran, said the course launched two weeks ago after two years of development and revisions.

    “It’s unique in the sense that it’s a general orientation program that also covers the personal financing and mental health aspects of the job,” said Letersky.

    “We want to offer a means for inexperienced people who are considering a career in oil and gas to go through the workshop and learn exactly what they can expect whether they like it or not.”

    Two thirds of students in attendance were female for Letersky’s first camp, a point he highlighted due to a high ratio of male workers typically seen in the fields.

    Letersky said his four-part boot camp goes over with its students, first how oil and gas is extracted, then brings in Personal Finance and Wealth Manager Sherri Hunter to teach students how to efficiently and effectively save money.

    “Rather than make the same mistakes as all the previous generations, she tells them to invest their money in TFSA’s and RRSP’s,” said Letersky.


    House Approves Oil Drilling Ban Off Atlantic, Pacific Coasts

    The House approved legislation Wednesday that would permanently bar drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and extend a moratorium on drilling off Florida's west coast.

    ShellNo flotilla participants float near the Polar Pioneer oil drilling rig during demonstrations against Royal Dutch Shell on May 16 2015 in Seattle Washington.Coastal lawmakers from both parties said the bills would protect U.S. coasts from drilling that can pollute crucial waters — and lead to disasters such as the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Opponents, mostly Republicans, said the bills undercut domestic energy security and limit thousands of job opportunities.

    Lawmakers approved the Atlantic and Pacific measure 238-189, while the bill to block drilling in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida was approved 248-180. The bills head to the Republican-controlled Senate, where action is unlikely.

    The votes come as the Trump administration is reevaluating a plan to sharply expand offshore drilling amid a series of court challenges.

    Republican and Democratic governors and lawmakers from coastal states strongly oppose expanded drilling. A federal judge in March ruled against President Donald Trump's executive order to open the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic to broader oil and gas development, saying Trump had exceeded his authority.


    Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens Dies At Age 91

    T. Boone Pickens, a brash and quotable oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts, died Wednesday. He was 91.

    Founder   Chairman  BP Capital Management T. Boone Pickens speaks at the 2016 Concordia SummitPickens’ spokesman Jay Rosser confirmed the death to The Associated Press. Pickens suffered a series of strokes in 2017 and was hospitalized that July after what he called a “Texas-sized fall.”

    An only child who grew up in a small railroad town in Oklahoma, Pickens followed his father into the oil and gas business. After just three years, he formed his own company and built a reputation as a maverick, unafraid to compete against oil-industry giants.

    In the 1980s, Pickens switched from drilling for oil to plumbing for riches on Wall Street. He led bids to take over big oil companies including Gulf, Phillips and Unocal, castigating their executives as looking out only for themselves while ignoring the shareholders.

    Even when Pickens and other so-called corporate raiders failed to gain control of their targets, they scored huge payoffs by selling their shares back to the company and dropping their hostile takeover bids.

    Later in his career, Pickens championed renewable energy including wind power. He argued that the United States needed to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. He sought out politicians to support his “Pickens Plan,” which envisioned an armada of wind turbines across the middle of the country that could generate enough power to free up natural gas for use in vehicles.

    “I’ve been an oilman all my life, but this is one emergency we can’t drill our way out of,” he said in 2009.

    Pickens’ advocacy for renewable energy led to some unusual alliances. He had donated to many Republican candidates since the 1980s, and in the 2004 presidential campaign he helped bankroll television ads by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that attacked Democratic nominee John Kerry. A few years later, Pickens endorsed a Kerry proposal to limit climate change.


    Drilling Company Banks On New Rig To Build Success

    Efficiency gains and technological advances have resulted in the need for far fewer rigs drilling oil and natural gas wells.

    New  ulra portable drilling rig by Lasso Drilling 4But Lasso Drilling is bucking that trend, banking on its newly designed rig to boost business.

    "There was a call for a drilling company with something different," said Rick Vanee, vice president of Lasso Drilling, which acquired Big Dog Drilling from Autry Stephens earlier this year.

    What the company has come up with is a rig certified to 21,000 feet and that can be moved 100 miles and rigged up in a day, "guaranteed."

    In addition, there is a system underneath the rig that allows the entire rig to "walk" to its next well, something Vanee said will accommodate pad drilling. It also eliminates the need for crews to disconnect systems before the move. And at 50 pounds per square inch, that walking rig will be easier on the subsurface, he said.

    "It's easier on the crews," Vanee said.

    Giving a tour of the rig – Lasso's second - in a yard just northwest of Odessa's Schlemeyer Field, Vanee described the rig as designed to be modular, enabling it to move faster and with a top drive new to the Permian Basin market. Among the features are an 1,100-barrel mud system and a stand-building machine that can be expanded.

    "If an operator wants to build up to 25,000 feet, he can," he said. "We build in bevels, so they don't have to move a bigger rig in."


    U.S. Shale Firms Cut Budgets, Staff As Oil-Price Outlook Dims

    Oil producers and their suppliers are cutting budgets, staffs and production goals amid a growing consensus of forecasts that oil and gas prices will stay low for several years.

    Drilling rigs operate at sunset in Midland  Texas  U.S.  February 13  2019.The U.S. has 904 working rigs, down 14% from a year ago, and even that is probably too many, estimated Harold Hamm, chief executive of shale producer Continental Resources, which has reduced the number of rigs at work.

    Bankruptcy filings by U.S. energy producers through mid-August this year have nearly matched the total for the whole of 2018. A stock index of oil and gas producers hit an all-time low in August, a sign investors are expecting more trouble ahead.

    “You’re going to see activity drop across the industry,” Earl Reynolds, CEO of Chaparral Energy, told Reuters at the EnerCom oil and gas conference last month.

    The Oklahoma energy firm has slashed its workforce by nearly a quarter, trimmed its spending plan by 5%, and agreed to sell its headquarters and use some of the proceeds to reduce debt.


    Natural Gas Is America's Wonder Fuel

    One of the many idiocies of the “Green New Deal” and other such anti-fossil fuel crusades is that all of this arrives on the political scene at a time when the price of producing energy from fossil fuels is lower than at any time before in human history.

    President Trump supports energy dominanceThe Wall Street Journal reported last week that natural gas prices “in Europe and Asia have plummeted this year to historic lows.” Meanwhile in the United States, the natural gas price is flirting with a price of $2 per million BTUs. This means natural gas prices have fallen by 80% since 2005 and the advent of the shale gas revolution.

    What is wonderful about this story is that U.S. production from places like Ohio and Pennsylvania and the Marcellus Shale is what is driving down worldwide prices. America is now the OPEC of natural gas production as our exports surge.

    The production bonanza due to technologies like fracking and horizontal drilling continues to make America rich while it has shifted the geopolitics of the global energy story away from the Middle East and Russia. And America’s energy supplies are effectively a bottomless pool — with hundreds of years of reserves with existing drilling capabilities. No, we are not running out of fossil fuels.


    Wearable Tech To Increase Safety In Oil & Gas Ops

    Oil and gas companies are evaluating the possibilities of deploying wearable devices in day-to-day operations to improve safety and efficiency in oilfield operations, according to a report by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

    Wearable tech to increase safety in oil   gas opsInitial research is focused on enabling real-time monitoring of field technicians to ensure their safety and in providing them with audiovisual assistance to perform asset maintenance, with the hopes of adopting lightweight, yet rugged wearable devices, said the report.

    GlobalData’s latest thematic report, ‘Wearable Tech in Oil & Gas’, states that wearable devices can augment natural human capabilities, such as enhanced vision or smell, thereby adding to productivity and safety in oil field operations. These features of wearable tech are encouraging oil and gas companies to adopt helmets, smart glasses, wristbands, and other devices that incorporate technologies such as wireless connectivity, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.  

    Ravindra Puranik, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData, said: “Mobility is considered as the key driver and precursor to implement any wearable tech in the oil and gas industry. Ever since the evolution of digital technologies, companies in the oil and gas sector are using industry-grade smartphones to capture field-level data and exchange information with onshore experts.”


    Flint Energy Services to Lay Off Permian Workers

    Flint Energy Services, Inc., a subsidiary of engineering firm AECOM, is laying off 127 workers in the Permian, according to a letter submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission on Aug. 27.

    Flint Energy Services  Inc.  a subsidiary of engineering firm AECOM  is laying off more than 100 workers in the Permian.The layoffs will come as a result of the company’s closing of two sites: once in Odessa and once in Pecos.

    The letter states that most of the affected employees are out-stationed at company client sites, but report to either the Odessa District Office or Pecos District Office and have one of the district offices as their home base.

    The office closures come are due to AECOM’s decision to exit its U.S. Oil and Gas Mechanical Construction business, the letter states.

    A total of 127 employees will be let go, which includes 77 who report to the Odessa office and 50 who report into the Pecos office. Additionally, four employees – two of whom are based in Houston and two based in the field – whom support district office operations will also be laid off.