July 2022
Columns

First Oil: Despite many things, oilfield innovation continues at swift pace

We refer to things like poor, deliberately counterproductive energy policies in some countries; a lack of manpower resources from which to draw more technical talent; supply chain problems; shortages of certain raw materials; and inflationary costs for just about everything. Yet the pace of new technology development remains strong.
Kurt Abraham / World Oil

A wondrous trend we’ve been monitoring is how upstream technical innovation continues at a steady rate, despite so many negative factors globally. We refer to things like poor, deliberately counterproductive energy policies in some countries; a lack of manpower resources from which to draw more technical talent; supply chain problems; shortages of certain raw materials; and inflationary costs for just about everything. Yet the pace of new technology development remains strong. 

World Oil Awards are a measure. A great barometer of upstream technical innovation is our World Oil Awards (WOAs). Now in their 21st year, the WOAs have recognized and honored the upstream industry’s leading innovators and innovations. Remarkably, the annual number of submissions has risen over the years. 

In 2021, we received a record 292 submissions, up from 2020’s figure. This year, we beat that number and set a new record of 302 original submissions. It is a testament to the industry’s quest for greater excellence, efficiencies, and cost-savings. 

Given the heighted role of everything digital, it is not surprising that this year’s leading category for WOA submissions is Best Digital Transformation, with 38. Likewise, the second-largest category is Environment/Sustainable Development Onshore, with 26 submissions. Considering the ESG efforts by so many companies, it is “entirely logical,” as Mr. Spock of Star Trek would have said. 

In addition, 142 companies have sent in one or more submissions. The initial judging of submissions is underway, with the finalists set to be announced sometime during the week of Aug. 8.  

New board member and new contributor. It is with great pleasure that we announce that Rami Yassine, Senior Vice President for Halliburton’s Drilling and Evaluation Division, has joined World Oil’s Editorial Advisory Board, effective immediately. Rami is responsible for a number of Halliburton’s service lines. He joined Halliburton in 2002 and has held a variety of positions of growing responsibility in operations and technology management. In addition, we want to thank Eric Carre, now Halliburton’s Executive Vice President and CFO, for his several years of service on our advisory board. 

We are also pleased to announce that effective this month, Leonard Kalfayan has become World Oil’s Production columnist and a Contributing Editor. Leonard is Principal Advisor for Production Enhancement and Head of Production Engineering and Stimulation with Hess Corp. He has 41 years of global experience in the oil, gas and geothermal industries, including production enhancement. He is a past SPE Distinguished Lecturer and SPE Distinguished Member. We also thank outgoing columnist Bill Capdevielle for his many fine columns over the last 2 ½ years. Welcome Rami and Leonard! 

One more thing. This month, we watched the spectacle of a U.S. President begging Saudi Arabia to produce more oil. We will have to wait until OPEC’s next meeting on Aug. 3, to see what comes of Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his meeting with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud. 

Upon returning to Washington, D.C., Mr. Biden told reporters, “I'm doing all I can to increase the supply for the United States of America, which I expect to happen.” Well, no you’re not, Joe. You could take off all the shackles you’ve placed on America’s oil and gas industry, so that it can produce more supply and relieve consumers. 

Biden also could visit the Permian basin and learn something about upstream operations. In a Fox News report aired on July 15, one of our editorial advisors, Latshaw Drilling President Trent Latshaw, along with Tall City Exploration President and CEO Mike Oestmann, shared thoughts on energy policy and government officials. Latshaw noted, "I think the president could have saved a lot of time and taxpayer dollars, and come out here to Midland, Texas, to talk to us instead of going to Saudi Arabia.”  

About the Authors
Kurt Abraham
World Oil
Kurt Abraham kurt.abraham@worldoil.com
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