After many years of tentative build-up, FLNG has just reached its biggest landmark yet. The world’s first such vessel has started up off Malaysia. We look at how the sector has been shaping up, not least through the difficult economic weather of recent times.
Welcome to the new Upstream Technology free-to-access website section. Our goal is to be your main source of oil and gas technology news, views from engineers and scientists on the front lines of research and development, and to provide insights into the new tools and strategies operators are using to address the challenges of exploration and production.
Earthquakes are mysterious phenomena. For millennia, they happened naturally. But in the last eight years, human activity has induced thousands of earthquakes in the American heartland. Jennifer Pallanich helps clear up some of the confusion surrounding induced and natural earthquakes.
Fibre optics can provide lightning-fast internet connections, but when deployed downhole this fibre optic highway can give an operator insight into a reservoir’s behaviour. The capabilities stretch from temperature sensing to seismic mapping and beyond.
One of the most eagerly anticipated project starts of 2016, Tullow Oil’s TEN is a milestone for the Africa-focused operator — and a sign of Ghana’s growing capacity to provide local support for its offshore industry, writes Russell McCulley.
Two deepwater Gulf of Mexico subsea tiebacks marked a number of firsts for one supermajor. ExxonMobil officials bring Jennifer Pallanich up to date on the challenges of the Hadrian South and Julia projects.
Chevron’s Lianzi field reflects advances in both cross-border co-operation and technology application. Producing the deepwater tieback project, which came on stream in early November 2015, required unitisation between Angola and Congo-Brazzaville and took direct electrical heating technology to new depths, as Jennifer Pallanich writes.
A full set of giant lift beams is now in place on the twin bows of the vast platform decommissioning catamaran Pioneering Spirit. Adrian Cottrill has been aboard to see what all this work involves and to get up to date on an eventful year since the hull’s January arrival in Rotterdam.
A new depletion compression platform at the Malampaya gas field will keep lights burning in Manila for years to come. Russell McCulley talks to Shell about the landmark project’s latest development phase and the technical and logistical challenges involved.
Less than 18 months after pioneering subsea gas compression technology debuted at Statoil’s Aasgard field, the system’s engineers are ready to roll out a second-generation version that provides the same capacity and functionality in a much smaller package. Russell McCulley finds out how they plan to do it.
As ageing ultra-deepwater developments assume brownfield status, operators are looking to technology to help keep them viable in a low oil price environment. Russell McCulley talks to Total about its strategy in Angola’s Block 17, which includes deepwater application of subsea multiphase pumping.
Buffeted by plummeting prices and high costs, the North American shale revolution has struggled to maintain momentum over the past couple of years. That has not stopped innovation in the shale sector, however, as Rick von Flatern writes.
The career of serial deepwater innovator Phil Cooper took a significant turn when he traded his years in the relative quiet of design and engineering consultancy for a new role in the hurly-burly of offshore contracting. He talks to David Morgan about his reasons for hooking up with ubiquitous deepwater installation contractor Heerema — not least the chance to play with the biggest of big boys’ toys.
While only a fraction of the Earth’s mindboggling amount of gas hydrates may be technically recoverable, scientists studying these ice-like hydrocarbons still see plenty of upside for the potential fuel source, as Jennifer Pallanich reports.
In the face of ultra-low rig utilisation rates, drilling contractors are stacking more rigs than ever. Laying up a drillship incorrectly can pave the way for damage to the structure and crucial systems, costing extra time and money to reactivate the asset, writes Jennifer Pallanich.
While currents exist in many places in the world, the phenomenon known as the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current cuts through a prime oil and gas producing region, where the current and its eddies can complicate deepwater activities. Meteorologist Steve Lyons explains the ins and outs of the Loop Current to Jennifer Pallanich.
Slender well technology has generated limited industry interest since it was introduced about 20 years ago. But with the pressure on to reduce drilling costs, that could be about to change, as Russell McCulley learns.
High integrity pressure protection systems (HIPPS) create a “spec break” in production systems to improve safety. BP’s Christopher Curran tells Jennifer Pallanich about the challenges of taking HIPPS technology to extreme water depths.
A thorough understanding of the six degrees of freedom, a basic concept in mechanical engineering, is essential to the design of robotics, dynamic positioning systems, marine structures and motion compensation systems, to name a few.