• Featured Oilfield News

    US Expects Record Domestic Oil Production In 2019, 2020

    The United States expects domestic oil production to reach new heights this year and next, and that prices — for both crude and gasoline — will be lower than they were in 2018. 

    In this May 14 2015  file photo-the oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer is towed toward a dock in Elliott Bay in Seattle. The government says U.S. oil production will keep climbing and set new records in 2019 and 2020 while oil prices will remain below last yearGovernment forecasters are sticking to their forecast that the United States — already the world's biggest oil producer — will become a net exporter of crude and petroleum products in 2020.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday that it expects the United States to pump 12.4 million barrels of crude a day in 2019 and 13.2 million barrels a day in 2020. The January average was 12 million barrels a day, up 90,000 from December.

    Most of the increase is expected to come from the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, where production has been booming for several years as operators use hydraulic fracturing and other techniques to squeeze more oil and gas from shale formations.

    "The U.S. energy industry continues to transform itself," said Linda Capuano, administrator of the agency, which is part of the Energy Department.


    Jury Finds Ship Crush Death Accidental

    The death of an oil worker who was crushed by machinery aboard a ship was accidental, a jury concluded.

    Jeremy Sutch was crushed by machinery on the Platinum ExplorerJeremy Sutch, 46, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, died following the incident on the Platinum Explorer off the coast of Malaysia in February 2016.

    He suffered rib fractures which led to respiratory failure when he was hit by equipment known as a riser feeder.

    At the end of a three-day inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court, a jury reached a conclusion of accidental death.

    Mr Sutch worked for Vantage Drilling Company and was described as "highly conscientious and competent".

    He died in hospital after a "protracted" evacuation from the drillship, which he had been maintaining and servicing as part of a small crew, on 25 February 2016.

    After being hit by the machinery, he was lowered via a rig crane to a boat which took him on the 30-minute journey to the shore, the jury heard earlier in the inquest.

    His family said they felt it was a "protracted evacuation" and questioned why a helicopter had not been used.

    But pathologist Dr David Rouse said Mr Sutch's injuries were so serious they were "non-survivable".

    Source: BBC


    XTO- Safer Wells One Year After Accident

    One year after an explosion at the Schnegg natural gas well pad near Powhatan Point, XTO Energy officials told Belmont County commissioners about progress at the site.

    Brian Teller, XTO operations manager for the Appalachia District, speaks during the Belmont County commissioners’ Wednesday meeting. He updated the county about new precautions in the wake of last year’s well pad explosion at Powhatan Point.Brian Teller, operations manager for XTO’s Appalachia District, and Karen Matusic, public and government affairs manager for the district, discussed precautions implemented in the wake of the accident that happened off Cats Run Road last Feb. 15. The incident displaced numerous residents, with those living closest to the site being affected for weeks. The XTO officials said the company is now monitoring its well pads more carefully.

    Commissioners Josh Meyer and J.P. Dutton heard the report. Commissioner Jerry Echemann, who took office in January, was out of town attending education sessions for new commissioners.

    “We worked through some different reconstruction plans, looked at the wells individually,” Teller said, adding that XTO has been working with regulators. “We came up with a good plan to reconstruct those wells so that they were safe for production again.”

    Teller said the well pad is active again, with four wells producing.

    “As of (Tuesday), we turned on two of those wells for production, and today we’re turning on the final two for production,” he said.


    BSEE Issues Report Of Investigation Into Petrobras Drillship Fatality

    A lack of training, familiarity, and experience with the drill floor equipment and drillship layout could have contributed to the Dec. 2, 2017, accident that killed a floor hand aboard the Petrobras 10000 drillship working in the Gulf of Mexico’s Walker Ridge 469 area, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a Feb. 13 report of its investigation into the incident.

    Petrobras Drillship 10000BSEE said the Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. floor hand, who was not identified, was part of a crew performing drill pipe picking up and racking back operations on the vessel’s auxiliary drill floor when he was crushed between the skate’s loading platform arm and an auxiliary stanchion post around 4:40 a.m. CST.

    “The panel’s investigation and its findings underscore the importance of placing safety first in every job being undertaken on a facility—no matter how routine,” BSEE Director Scott A. Angell said in a memorandum accompanying the report.

    The report also highlights the importance of following and enforcing safety rules on an offshore rig and the need for appropriate training, familiarity, and experience with a drillship’s equipment, Angell said. “This is particularly important when the crew is reporting to the first shift of their hitch,” he said.

    “Finally, with the fatal incident occurring more than 10 hr into the crew’s shift, the report underscores the importance of not becoming complacent while performing a repetitive job,” Angell said


    Chevron To Ramp Up Permian Basin Drilling Projects

    Oil giant Chevron is preparing for a large round of drilling in the Permian Basin of West Texas.

    An employee walks by pressure pumps before hydraulic fracturing operations begin at a Chevron drilling siteThe California oil company filed 12 drilling permit applications with the Railroad Commission for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing projects on its DR State Wise Unit lease in Culberson County.

    Located off FM 652 between Guadalupe Mountains National Park and the town of Orla, all 12 drilling projects target the Ford West field of the Wolfcamp geological formation down to a depth of 9,000 feet.

    Chevron closed 2018 with a nearly $14.9 billion profit on $166.3 billion of revenue. The company attributes part of those profits to a production increase in the Permian Basin where it holds more than 2.2 million acres of leases.

    With a large presence in Houston, Chevron filed for 124 drilling permits in Texas last year. The company’s nearly 2,300 Texas leases produced nearly 28.9 million barrels of crude oil, more than 116.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas and nearly 5.4 million barrels of condensate during the first 11 months of 2018.


    Austin’s RigUp Adds $60M For Service That Finds Oil And Gas Workers

    Energy industry startup RigUp has added $60 million in new funding for its service that aims to connect oilfield workers who are looking for a job with oil and gas companies.

    Energy industry startup RigUp has added 60 million in new funding for its service that aims to connect oilfield workersThe financing is Austin, TX-based RigUp’s Series C funding round and was led by Founders Fund, the San Francisco venture firm started by PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel, Ken Howery, and Luke Nosek. Earlier investors Energy Partners, Global Reserve Group, and Bedrock Capital also participated.

    RigUp raised a $15.8 million funding round in February of 2018 to build out mobile features for its online marketplace, as well as to make new hires. Founders Fund, known for a wide range of big-name investments in companies including SpaceX and Stripe, also participated in the Series B deal and in a $15 million Series A funding round in 2016. RigUp added $3 million in 2014, the year it was founded, according to a securities filing.

    About 50 percent of the oil and gas workforce may retire in the next five years, RigUp says. The company hopes to help its customers attract younger workers through its app, where prospective employees can search for and quickly find a job. Employers that use the app will save money on labor costs, find workers faster, and reduce the administrative work they must do, RigUp says.


    Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Shell Energy, Others After Fatal Accident

    An estate administrator is suing Shell Energy Holding GP LLC and other companies over a man's death, citing alleged unsafe work environment.

    An estate administrator is suing Shell Energy Holding GP LLC and other companies over a mans death citing alleged unsafe work environmentRosa Jones, administrator of the estate of Marc Jones, deceased, filed a complaint on Jan. 16 in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas against the defendants, alleging they failed to keep and maintain a well pad, an area cleared for drilling, in a reasonably safe condition.

    According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Oct. 27, 2018, Marc Jones was a business invitee of the defendants when a large piece of equipment became dislodged from the well pad and pinned him to the platform, asphyxiating him. 

    He died due to blunt force trauma and positional asphyxiation. The plaintiff says the defendants failed to appropriately inspect and maintain the well pad, failed to correct the dangerous condition, and failed to provide safety warnings.

    The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendants in an amount exceeding $35,000. She is represented by Brandon Swartz and Anthony Giannetti of Swartz Culleton PC in Pittsburgh.


    CNRL Warns Curtailment Will Cause Oil Worker Layoffs In Northeast Alberta

    Oil workers in northeast Alberta are bracing for layoffs after a Calgary-based energy company warned in a letter to suppliers that the province’s curtailment policy will hurt jobs.

    An aerial view of Canadian Natural Resources Limited oilsands mining operation near Fort McKay Alta.“Canadian Natural will be required to curtail a third more production in February compared to January, and the reduced production will unnecessarily impact jobs significantly in the heavy oil region,” said Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) in a letter on Jan. 22.

    The company will shut-in its ECHO pipeline, which delivers heavy crude to the CNRL blending facility in Hardisty. CNRL signalled that could lead to job cuts in Bonnyville, Elk Point and Lloydminster. In its letter, CNRL did not specify how many jobs were at risk.

    But the province argues the company is mischaracterizing the situation and fought hard for the policy that aimed to reduce the punishing price differential.

    In December, Premier Rachel Notley announced that Alberta would cut oil production by 8.7 per cent starting January. It amounts to a cap of 3.56 million barrels per day (bpd) of raw crude and bitumen, and a targeted reduction of 325,000 bpd. There were 28 companies affected.

    “CNRL has benefited substantially from this temporary policy,” said Ministry of Energy spokesman Mike McKinnon in a statement Monday, adding the company is threatening its suppliers. “CNRL is being treated fairly and equitably under this policy, which they support, and the company will need to be accountable for their own regional business decisions.”


    Feeling Betrayal, Frustration, Innisfail-Area Oilfield Workers Hit The Road To Raise Awareness

    Innisfail to Olds truck convoy rolled out Saturday with 100 vehicles

    Semiretired machinist Laurie Gibson of Innisfail shows off his sign aimed at politicians.Albertans struggling in an oilfield crisis feel betrayed by the rest of Canada, said a protester at a convoy demonstration in Innisfail on Saturday.

    “There’s no co-operation between east and west” — or even Alberta and British Columbia anymore, said Reed Howell, who drove a rig in a 100-vehicle line-up to Olds to help raise awareness of hardships in Alberta’s oil and gas industry.

    “For as long as anyone can remember Alberta has helped out the rest of Canada” with its energy revenues, Howell explained. But now that Albertans are losing their jobs and homes because of an industry slow-down — who is helping Alberta?

    Amid the pipeline protests and court appeal of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Howell said, “You feel betrayed…

    “We don’t want a hand out. We just want to be able to go back to work.”


    Shale Oil Growth Headed For Slowdown, But When?

    The shale oil revolution will remain in the spotlight in 2019 and promises to once again be one of the most crucial factors driving global oil markets. Rapid growth in U.S. oil production is single-handedly satisfying worldwide oil demand – and then some – forcing the OPEC cartel and its non-OPEC allies, led by Russia, to make price-supportive supply cuts to keep the market balanced.

    Oil and Gas Industry Crude Oil Pump silhouetted against a mountain sunsetBut how sustainable is the current state of play? How long can shale producers expect Saudi-led OPEC to effectively subsidize their operations and seize a greater share of the global oil market through growing exports?

    Based on recent comments coming out of Riyadh, this arrangement appears to be the new normal. Shale earned the respect of OPEC as a low-cost source of supply during the 2014 oil price collapse and subsequent price war initiated by the cartel, which American producers not only survived but came out of stronger and more efficient.

    Saudi Arabia is still the world’s only true “swing producer,” able to increase or decrease output by millions of barrels a day on short notice. But it has come to accept the importance of shale in global oil markets, as Riyadh fears that investments in other conventional oil projects – those outside of shale such as offshore and oil sands – have not sufficiently recovered over the past five years since the price crash.

    Saudi Arabia now sees shale as an integral part of oil market stability and an important tool to reduce the volatility that has roiled prices over the past year, whipsawing them from over $85 a barrel in October to under $50 last month. President Donald Trump’s close relations with Riyadh, at a time when the kingdom remains under pressure for its role in the killing of Saudi journalist and U.S. citizen Jamal Khashoggi, may also factor into the kingdom’s favorable view of shale these days.


    North Sea Oil Worker’s Death Was Not Caused By Accident At Work

    An oil company has confirmed the death of a worker on one of its rigs was not work-related.

    The Culzean installation in the North SeaA massive search and rescue operation was launched yesterday after the man – who was working in Culzean field – was reported missing at 11am yesterday.

    The man in question was working on the Maersk Highlander jack-up rig, operated by French oil firm Total within the gas condensate field in the East Central Graben area of the central North Sea.

    His body was later found, and police confirmed his family have been informed.

    Total confirmed the incident was not caused by an accident aboard the drilling rig.

    A spokesman for Total said:“Following reports of a missing person from the Maersk Highlander yesterday, a subsequent search and rescue operation sadly recovered a body from the sea.

    “Total is assisting Police Scotland with their investigation into the incident, which was not caused by a workplace accident.

    “Our thoughts at this time are with the family and friends of the person involved.”

    Culzean lies around 145 miles east of Aberdeen.

    A police spokeswoman said last night: “Police Scotland can sadly confirm that the body of a man was recovered in the North Sea on Thursday, January 24 during efforts to locate a person that had been reported missing.

    “Emergency services were contacted at around 11am and a subsequent search was launched led by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).”

    Source: Evening Express


    Training May Have Been Factor In Fatal Oilfield Fire

    The 36-year-old Gillette man who died in October following an explosion and fire at an oil field site in Campbell County was a recent hire to the company with limited training, according to the Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s preliminary narrative of events.

    A fire at an oilfield site north of Gillette burns on Oct. 31. Authorities believe a 36yearold worker died shortly after the explosion and subsequent fire at the facility.The state OSHA employees are still investigating the incident, but the fatal alert — a summary of initial facts and findings — notes a more formal training program and a reevaluation of the oil field site’s hazards for workers may be necessary for the employer. Significant factors in the fatality and recommendations from the state could change in the final report.

    Beau Damori had worked for JCG LLC, the company that holds the permit for the disposal facility north of Gillette, for less than two weeks when the explosion occurred. He was working on the site on Oct. 31 with two roustabouts who were employed by the oil field services firm Tisdale Creek Ranch Inc. The three men had drawn water from a containment pit into a truck and were then emptying the water into a brining building — part of the process prior to injecting salty oil field water underground — according to the fatal alert.

    Damori left the brining building, saying that he needed to check the heater treater unit. The other two men did not later recall what specifically Damori had gone to fix, but within two minutes of him leaving, they heard an explosion, according to the fatal alert.

    The fatal alert notes that limited training for Damori might have been a “significant factor” in the event.

    Source: Gilette News Record


    Mexico Pipeline Explosion Death Toll Hits 73

    Hidalgo state Gov. Omar Fayad says the death toll from an explosion at a punctured pipeline in central Mexico has risen to 73, while the number of injured stands at 74.

    In this image provided by the Secretary of National Defense soldiers guard in the area near an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan Hidalgo state Mexico FridayForensic experts continue to comb the site for remains, many of which were reduced to ashes. At least 54 bodies have yet to be identified. Dozens of family members have gathered at the site hoping to find loved ones since the gusher of gasoline burst into a fireball Friday evening.

    President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he will reinforce security along the country’s pipeline network, if necessary, but that pipelines remain the most efficient and cost-effective way to distribute fuel.

    His administration has been transporting more fuel via trucks over the past three weeks in an attempt to dismantle a sophisticated network of fuel theft that costs state oil company Pemex $3 billion a year. The battle against gas theft has led to long lines at the pump and gasoline scarcity in much of the country.

    The grisly explosion occurred at an illegal pipeline tap in central Mexico that occurred amid government efforts to curb widespread fuel theft.


    Protective Order Sought For Patterson Executives In Oil Rig Deaths

    Attorneys for the wife of one of five men that were killed in a Jan. 2018 explosion near Quinton has filed a response to a motion filed by attorneys for the Patterson 219 rig owners asking for a protective order to prevent depositions of two top company executives.

    U.S. Chemical Safety Board submitted photoWrongful death and negligence lawsuits against Paterson-UTI and other companies involved in the rig at the time of the explosion were filed by the families of the five men, Josh Ray, 35, of Fort Worth; Matt Smith, 29, of McAlester; Cody Risk, 26, of Wellington, Colorado; Parker Waldridge, 60, of Crescent; and Roger Cunningham, 55, of Seminole, that were killed in the explosion.

    A sixth lawsuit was also filed by attorneys for Kevin Carrillo, a man who suffered serious injuries in the fire and explosion.

    The six lawsuits against Patterson-UTI and other companies involved have been combined for discovery purposes only.

    A request for a protective order was filed after notices of intent to take oral/videotaped depositions were sent to Patterson-UTI Energy Chief Executive Officer and President William Andrew Hendricks and Patterson-UTI Drilling Company President James Michael Holcomb by attorneys representing Dianna Waldridge, the wife of Parker Waldridge.


    Tributes To 'Best Rigger in the North Sea' After Normanby Dad 'Griff' Dies While Working Offshore

    David Griffiths' wife has spoken of her shock and sadness after the sudden death of her husband, a 'real gentleman and family man'

    Lisa Griffiths has paid tribute to her husband David who died suddenly in December

    Tributes have been paid to "one of a kind" Normanby man David Griffiths, dubbed by colleagues "the best rigger in the North Sea".

    The 38-year-old father-of-two collapsed suddenly while working on the Fulmar oil platform, near Aberdeen, in Scotland.

    His wife, Lisa Griffiths, has said "one of a kind" David was a man "who just lived for us", as she told the heartbreaking story of how he died, minutes after he'd been joking with co-workers.

    David FaceTimed his family every day and was in regular contact with Lisa, who works with children who have special needs.

    But on that fateful day on December 12, she knew something was wrong.

    "Usually he FaceTimed every day," she said. "I had no FaceTime off him and no messages."

    She frantically attempted to contact the rig to be told it was in "lock down" due to an incident.

    She rang back a short time later and desperately pleaded to be told if David was OK: "I said, 'please, just tell me if my husband is dead or alive'.

    "I was at work, I rang my mam and said, right get the kids, something has happened.

    "I waited for about an hour and then the police turned up."