Derrick Digest for March 17, 2017: Mexico taps U of C expertise for energy industry reform
The Derrick Digest is a weekly collection of curated content, based on events from across the oil and gas industry, that caught our eye at Pennine Petroleum Corporation.
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March 17, 2017
Energy security. A looming labor shortage. A lack of knowledge in unconventional production.
The recent deregulation of Mexico’s energy sector represents a major landscape shift in resource development south of the Rio Grande.
That’s why Mexico is investing $44 million in a partnership that will team University of Calgary researchers with Mexican academics—a move that the Latin American nation hopes will help reform its oil and gas industry.
“Expertise is being shared to our mutual benefit,” says U of C provost Druh Marshall. “We had a number of our researchers already down there who were quite well known . . . and we thought that country was a really good match with some of the things we had skill sets for.”
Using Canadian expertise in the areas of monitoring programs, heavy and unconventional production, and challenging terrain, some of the U of C’s 250 energy researchers will help Mexico manage deregulation—addressing everything from the environment to leadership.
“The products of the research undertaken in these knowledge cells will have tangible impacts on Mexico’s hydrocarbon industry performance—knowledge transformed into economic and social gains,” says Joaquin Coldwell, Mexico’s Secretary of Energy.
Giant strike on Alaska’s North Slope
Alaska is known as the Last Frontier.
But in crude oil production terms, there’s apparently a long, long way to go.
In recent days, a massive conventional oil discovery was announced by Spanish oil giant Repsol and its American partner Armstrong Energy. At an estimated 1.2 billion barrels, it’s the biggest onshore discovery in the U.S. in three decades.
The discovery was made on the North Slope, in a well called Horseshoe.
“The North Slope was previously thought to be on its last legs. But this is a significant emerging find,” Repsol’s Kristian Rix tells CNNMoney.
Corporate tax cuts could save U.S. producers $10B
The numbers are in, and the savings appear to be in the neighbourhood of $10 billion.
If the Trump administration follows through on its plans to cut corporate tax rates—from 35 percent to 15 or 20 percent—that could conceivably mean more than $10 billion in savings for oil producers, according to Bloomberg Intelligence research.
That extra cash may open up new opportunities to boost drilling, although added upstream activity in U.S. shale fields in recent weeks has flown in the face of OPEC’s production cutting measures designed to boost crude prices.
Oil producers represent one of the most heavily taxed industries in the U.S., says Bloomberg Intelligence.
During last week’s CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, U.S. production “could go pretty high,” Harold Hamm, the head of Continental Resources Inc., told peers. “But it’s going to have to be done in a measured way, or else we kill the market.”
West Texas Intermediate crude is trading in the $48 range, after peaking at $55.24 on Jan. 3.
More than 8,000 wells: Delving into Duvernay’s promise
There’s hot, and then there’s Duvernay hot.
Expect about 8,200 wells to be drilled in the west-central Alberta play over the next three decades.
That’s the word from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), which estimates the oil and liquids-rich region to be home to 396 million barrels-of-oil equivalent (boe) of proved-plus-probable reserves, and 864 million boe of prospective resources.
The Drvernay is host to two geological plays. The Fox Creek play is a shale resource, while the Innisfail play is a shale and low permeability resource.
“I think we all know it is big, but it is really big when you look at the resource-in-place estimates,” says AER geologist Krista Beavis, one of the authors of the report.
The developed portions of the Duvernay play have been divided into three assessment areas: Kaybob in the north, Edson-Willesden Green in the central, and Innisfail in the south.
“Of the remaining 395 MMboe total proved plus probable reserves, approximately 96% are located within the Kaybob assessment area. Based on these estimates, the condensate-rich areas of the Kaybob assessment area are poised for increased growth within the next five years,” the report reads.