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3 “Digital Oilfield” trends to watch at Gastech 2018

Four years ago, I stood in the centralized data command center of an American oil and gas company, watching a former colleague remotely adjust infrastructure at wellsites thousands of miles away because an algorithm detected a potential failure. This was the first time I personally witnessed the power of the “digital oilfield.”

Essentially, the “digital oilfield” refers to a transformative effort to bring solutions such as automation, predictive maintenance, and IoT technologies to the world’s oil and gas industry. Oilfield digitization has started to change the way decisions are made, operations are conducted, and facilities are managed across the entire oil and gas value chain. While early adopters are already employing automated and connected innovations to gain a competitive advantage, only a few are applying digitization technologies to address one of the industry’s biggest challenges: methane.

Fortunately, this is starting to change—because despite a contentious political environment in the United States with the current Administration’s attempts to dramatically weaken methane emissions standards—the opportunities surrounding digital methane management are unprecedented and global, and both the bottom line and the environment can benefit. That’s something that everyone along the oil and gas value chain can get behind.

As Gastech gets underway in Barcelona this week, here are three oilfield digitization trends I’m watching. Read More »

Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

The race to reduce emissions: Five takeaways from OGCI venture day

The day before the World Gas Conference – one of the energy industry’s largest – 10 companies competed for USD $20 million to fund solutions with the power to disrupt how methane is managed, measured, and reduced.

The money was provided by Oil and Gas Climate Investments, the billion-dollar investment fund tied to the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – a consortium of 10 oil and gas companies sharing knowledge and resources to cut the greenhouse gas footprint of their industry.

OGCI’s investment team and technical experts from member companies provided expertise and consumer-driven insights to select the 10 companies competing at Venture Day from nearly 60 applicants. The goal was to highlight companies and concepts that aren’t just innovative, but scalable and disruptive – something BP CEO and OGCI Chair Bob Dudley made clear: “If a person in the field with a hard hat turning the valves doesn’t get it, it won’t work.”

Not only was Venture Day a moment to showcase how high-tech can be high-impact (despite the companies in the room, it felt more Silicon Valley than Houston), it also represented a noticeable shift in the philosophy around industry investment in the methane space. In what OGCI CEO Pratima Rangarajan dubbed “the year of methane,” Venture Day signaled an inflection point for increased transparency, enhanced coordination, and global vision.

Read More »

Posted in General, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

How virtual reality can help the oil and gas industry confront its invisible challenge: methane

I’m a certified oil and gas tech nerd, and I’ve never been so excited about my job. I love data, the insights that come with it, and especially the ways of applying those insights to catalyze continuous improvement. There are few decisions I make without an Excel spreadsheet – and after spending several years working for an oilfield services company, I’m passionate about solving one of the biggest environmental problems of our time: methane emissions.

Methane is the main ingredient in natural gas and a common byproduct of oil production. Unburned, it’s also a powerful greenhouse gas. Worldwide, about 75 million metric tons of methane escape each year from oil and gas operations through leaks, venting and flaring – making the industry one of the largest sources of man-made methane emissions.

As methane risk draws increasing attention from public officials, major investors and industry leaders, tech solutions are increasingly relevant and “digitization of the oilfield” is becoming industry’s hottest new term.

Read More »

Posted in Fourth Wave, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

OGCI Venture Day is an opportunity for methane technology

As the deadline for applications for OGCI Climate Investments Venture Day approaches, I had the opportunity to ask OGCI Climate Investments CEO, Dr. Pratima Rangarajam, a few questions to understand more about their plans for Venture Day and what opportunities exist for companies with technologies or business models for methane detection, measurement, and mitigation to present and receive funding.

OGCI Climate Investments supports the development, deployment, and scale-up of low emissions technologies. Applications are due by May 15, and Venture Day will be held on June 25 in Washington, DC. 10 to 15 companies will be invited to present their proposals seeking funding to support methane technology commercialization and participate in breakout sessions to challenge proposed technologies and business models and discuss deployment.

Read More »

Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Why one oilfield service provider sees opportunity in managing methane

This post was co-authored by Drew Pomerantz, a research scientist at Schlumberger.

Isabel Mogstad, a Project Manager with EDF+Business, who previously worked as a management consultant for Schlumberger, and Drew Pomerantz, a research scientist with Schlumberger, took this opportunity to have a conversation about why an oilfield service company wants to get involved with methane detection.

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Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

In his efforts to delay the EPA methane rule, Pruitt rejects American ingenuity

We hope our leaders have the public’s best interest in mind. Unfortunately, instead of using sound science, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appears to be making decisions based on the influence of the worst actors in the oil and gas industry.

Although in his recent Congressional testimony he said the outcome of his proposal to suspend and possibly roll back EPA’s methane rule is yet to be determined, the way he justifies the delay of these standards shows he lacks confidence in American industry’s ability to rise to a challenge. Specifically, Pruitt wants to suspend EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for 2 years longer (beyond the one year phase-in already provided by the Rule).  He suggests that this extended suspension is justified in part because he says that the leak detection and repair industry isn’t capable of meeting the rule’s provisions requiring oil and gas companies to check for and repair methane leaks twice a year.

But Pruitt hasn’t provided any support for these claims and they are totally inconsistent with the engineers, servicemen, and tech developers already providing the services needed to find and fix these leaks.  His argument also flies in the face of how our economy has innovated for centuries. Read More »

Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed