Upstream Technology Spotlights

Downhole Technology

The oil and gas industry’s push for greater operational efficiency is making inroads below the surface. Operators have a raft of new downhole tools to help maximise production, save on costs and reduce risk. In this Spotlight on Downhole Technology, Upstream Technology examines a some of these tools and techniques, from nanotechnology for better completions to predictive analytics for corrosion control, new technology for wellbore inspection and the growing use of multilateral wells in unconventional hydrocarbon production.

Floating production

While big projects anchored by large floating production units have traditionally dominated the deep-water picture, a cost-conscious industry is taking a closer look at smaller, standardised solutions for many new projects. Upstream Technology’s Spotlight on Floating Production investigates how operators and suppliers are finding creative solutions to make the economics work in a low oil price market, from new thinking on FPSO designs to improved tie-in techniques, optimised topsides to smarter use of data.


From the deserts of West Texas to the frigid deep sea, pipelines are the oil and gas industry's circulatory system, moving production from wellhead to market. Keeping the world's pipelines up and running safely involves expert engineering and a host of technologies, old and new. In this month's Spotlight on Pipelines, Upstream Technology examines how the oil business keeps things flowing smoothly.

Unconventional Oil & Gas

Technology allowed oil and gas companies to tap vast North American shale reserves once thought to be inaccessible, transforming the industry in the process. Now the focus is on bringing down the cost of exploration and production in unconventional plays, boosting productivity and operating efficiently in a price-constrained environment. August's Spotlight on Unconventional Oil & Gas investigates how the industry is using technology to address the challenges.

Inspection, Repair & Maintenance

The range of tools and techniques frequently gathered under the life-of-field umbrella is growing, with IRM an increasing focus area for research and development. It is a part of the business that meshes well with current trends such as increased data gathering capacity, enhanced imaging and automation. Upstream Technology meets some of the scientists and engineers making important strides in keeping the oil and gas infrastructure in shape.

Enhanced recovery

With oil and gas companies coming to grips with a “lower for longer” oil price environment, even greater emphasis has been placed on squeezing as much resource as possible from reservoirs. That means EOR is one area of research that has remained strong during the downturn. Upstream Technology has now published its Enhanced Recovery Spotlight shining some light on some of the more interesting and effective technologies to emerge from these R&D efforts, and how operators are making smarter use of existing tools.


Perhaps no sector in oil and gas exploration is as susceptible to industry ups and downs as the seismic business. Upstream Technology has documented this evolving industry throughout the prolonged lean times. Our Spotlight brings readers up to date on how companies are weathering the current storm and positioning themselves, through technology and strategy, for better days ahead.


For both greenfield developments and brownfield retrofits, the trend in topsides is for compact equipment that does not skimp on performance or durability. Our Spotlight on Topsides features technology that helps operators do their jobs more effectively now and for the long haul.


The oil and gas industry's tighter margins have opened up space for innovation in drilling. Upstream Technology's Spotlight on Drilling highlights some of the ways drillers are using technology to pare costs and boost efficiency.


Natural gas is a crucial part of the global energy mix, a role that is bound to become more prominent as nations implement tighter controls on carbon emissions. The fuel has overtaken oil in many operators' portfolios, and projects are under way to increase that share. The technology to safely and efficiently produce gas is evolving as producers tackle high pressures, complex reservoirs and environmental challenges.