April 21, 2021
SEG SmartBrief
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Top Story
Drilling companies are coming back to the Permian Basin as oil prices continue to rebound from 2020 lows, with the area adding three new oil and gas rigs last week, said Baker Hughes, bringing the total to 227. With increased drilling activity also comes a resurgence of servicing companies operating in the area, such as natural gas storage and environmental services companies.
Full Story: Carlsbad Current-Argus (N.M.) (tiered subscription model) (4/20) 
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Geophysical Technology News
An underwater robot developed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers is designed to squeeze into difficult-to-reach spaces and inspect offshore rigs and other structures. The robot snake, tested in a Carnegie Mellon pool last month, has joints and can get around corners, researchers say.
Full Story: Rigzone (4/16) 
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ExxonMobil on Monday proposed a $100 billion public-private carbon storage and sequestration project along the Texas Gulf Coast that would pull carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere and store them deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Such a project could bury 55 million short tons a year of CO2 by 2030, with capacity potentially doubling by 2040, but for that "it will need government and private-sector funding, as well as enhanced regulatory and legal frameworks that enable investment and innovation," Exxon said.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (4/19) 
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Industry Update
Eni subsidiary Eni RAK has been awarded a 430-square-kilometer onshore hydrocarbon block in the United Arab Emirates' Ras Al Khaimah, Eni says. Eni RAK will have a 90% stake and operate the block, which includes underexplored areas, and Ras Al Khaimah's National Oil Company RAK Gas will maintain a 10% interest, Eni says.
Full Story: Rigzone (4/20) 
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The natural gas production recovery in the Bakken Shale is taking longer than in other oil basins as rig activity remains well below pre-downturn levels. Bakken gas output should average 2 billion cubic feet per day in April and fall to 1.8 Bcf/d over the summer and 1.7 Bcf/d by October, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.
Full Story: S&P Global (4/16) 
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US shale operators' reluctance to boost spending on new drilling should keep oil production growth to a minimum this year, with Energy Information Administration figures showing that output has stalled at around 10.5 million barrels per day and is unlikely to reach 11 million bpd by December. Most public and independent firms plan to focus on maintaining rather than growing output this year, at least until market conditions become more favorable.
Full Story: Argus Media (4/19) 
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Oil giant BP plans to invest around $1.3 billion to develop a system made of pipelines and other infrastructure that would gather and capture natural gas extracted as a byproduct of oil drilling in the Permian Basin, in an effort to end routine gas flaring from its operations in the field by 2025. An initial $300 million investment in its Grand Slam oil, gas and water handling facility, which entered service in June, already helped BP reduce its flared volume in the Permian from 13% in the second half of 2019 to about 3.5% in the second half of 2020.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (4/18) 
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Institutes and Academia
An increase in magnitude 4 earthquakes along fault lines could indicate a large earthquake is coming, researchers say. A team led by Boston College seismologist John Ebel created the potential forecasting model after studying nearly 20 years of activity along California faults and looking at Japanese fault patterns.
Full Story: United Press International (4/19) 
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SEG News
Podcast delves into SEG climate change statement
In episode 111 of SEG's Seismic Soundoff podcast, host Andrew Geary speaks with former SEG President John Bradford about SEG's recent statement on climate change. In the conversation, Bradford provides an overview of SEG's position and discusses the role geophysics can play in achieving a net-zero-carbon future. Listen now.
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SEAM seeks info on data usage
In its 13-year history, the SEG Advanced Modeling Corp. (SEAM) has executed six multiyear projects with dozens of participant companies. In an effort to advance industry benchmarks, SEAM is seeking input from those who are currently working with or have in the past worked with SEAM data/models, companies that own a processed or imaged version of SEAM data, and those who are responsible for SEAM data within their companies. Contact seam@seg.org to learn more.
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