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Oil and Gas Roundup — Oct. 28

October 28, 2013
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas news from around the state, nation and world:

Halliburton’s tech chief pushes oil field innovation

Greg Powers joined Halliburton in 2010 after a career in engineering and senior management. As vice president of technology for the oil field services company, Powers oversees development of new products and services, and the strategy and structure of the company’s global technology organization.

He holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Powers spoke with FuelFix about the innovation and challenges in Halliburton’s quest for new technology. Here are edited excerpts:

FuelFix: What are some of the changes you have introduced at Halliburton?

Powers: I introduced systems to standardize product development and job structures, which gave us a chance to make things uniform. It means we now have a common language — all the programs for product development use this process.
When I arrived, Halliburton was a company of technology acquisitions, and each acquisition had its own culture and processes for developing products.
The organizational differences and non-uniformity took me by surprise.

FuelFix: Why is standardization so important for a giant science lab like Halliburton?

Powers: The purpose of having this uniformity is that the process is repeatable. When you practice it, you get better. As a result, we doubled the output with the same number of people. The more uniform you are around the world, the more you can transfer people, which lets a corporation better leverage the competencies of its people.

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Analysis: From Big Foot to Bluto, Gulf of Mexico set for record oil supply surge

The Gulf of Mexico, stung by the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history in 2010 and then overshadowed by the onshore fracking boom, is on the verge of its biggest supply surge ever, adding to the American oil renaissance.

Over the next three years, the Gulf is poised to deliver a slug of more than 700,000 barrels per day of new crude, reversing a decline in production and potentially rivaling shale hot spots like Texas's Eagle Ford formation in terms of growth.

The revival began this summer, when Royal Dutch Shell's 100,000 barrels per day Olympus platform was towed out to sea 130 miles south of New Orleans — the first of seven new ultra-modern systems starting up through 2016. It weighs 120,000 tons, more than 200 Boeing 777 jumbo jets.

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Moniz: U.S. still vulnerable despite improved domestic outlook

The U.S. still must address natural resources geopolitics despite its oil and gas outlook being dramatically better than it was when the Arab oil embargo began 40 years ago, U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest J. Moniz said.

“Reducing our oil dependence must continue to be a key objective, even as we increase our domestic production,” he told an audience in Washington, DC, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Oct. 24.

DOE intends to continue work on unconventional oil and gas production, biofuels, higher-efficiency and alternative fueled vehicles; compressed natural gas vehicles, global gas market designs, and electric vehicles, Moniz said.

He called General Motors’ announcement that it will begin offering a bifueled Impala — which primarily would use CNG but have backup gasoline capacity (OGJ Online, Oct. 16, 2013) — “one of the most exciting recent developments, and the approach which is already being taken in Europe.”

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Louisiana oil, gas companies eye growth south of border

Mexico’s national oil company is reaching beyond its borders for financial and technical help to develop its vast but hard-to-get reserves, a development that could mean further good news for an already booming Louisiana oil and gas sector.

To get the billions of dollars needed to boost production, Petróleos Mexicanos, the Mexican national oil company called Pemex, will need to undergo cultural and legal changes. Though American service companies have always worked for Pemex, for the last 75 years no one but Mexico has been allowed to own the oil pulled from the ground in that country.

The decades of going it alone has yielded a bloated Pemex that does not now have the money or know-how to stem waning oil and gas production, even though there are billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of gas in Mexico.

That may soon change. The Mexican Senate currently is debating reforms for Pemex, including changing the country’s constitution to allow foreign investment in Mexico’s state-owned company. The measure needs a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House.

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