Chair's Corner - May 2019

Chair's Corner - May 2019

“In God we trust. All others must bring data.” – W. EDWARDS DEMING


Permian Basin and the Gas Conundrum

The Permian basin was in the news for a unique reason this time. Natural gas prices at the Waha hub in West Texas tumbled to record-low negative levels on April 3, as takeaway constraints, coupled with compressor station issues at one pipeline, stranded the gas produced in one of the hottest basins in our industry. Prices dived down to -$3.38/MMBtu – a scenario where the producers are paying others to take their gas! In other regions where the primary production stream is gas, companies have the liberty to restrict production when prices fall. But in the Permian, where gas is mostly considered a byproduct, producers have limited options other than to produce and sell or flare the gas, because oil and natural gas liquids drive the project economics. With several companies laying grand plans to expand their footprint in the Permian Basin, drilling is expected to ramp up. Gas output could continue to climb and gas prices will likely remain depressed. It will be interesting to observe the Permian Basin over the next several months.

Section Update

International Attendance

It’s uplifting to see attendees from other countries at events held in our section! I’ve always believed that our section hosts world-class events pertaining to the technical disciplines in our industry. In the past, these events didn’t have a platform to reach a greater audience. But more recently, the advent of social media, coupled with the diligent efforts of our publicity team, have made news of these events travel far!

Data Analytics Convention

For the second year in a row, the Data Analytics Study Group held their highly successful Data Science Convention on April 4, 2019. The event, which was held under the theme “Transforming the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry with Advanced Data Science Solutions,” featured a strong line-up of speakers and was attended by around 450 professionals. I would like to congratulate Mr. Suri Bhat and the Data Analytics Study Group for all their efforts in making this a highly sought-out event.

Digital Transformation Annual Congress

The inaugural Digital Transformation Annual Congress is slated to be held on May 10, 2019, at the Westin Houston, Memorial City. Having seen this event evolve from scratch, I’m excited to watch how this high-density and hands-on interactive experience turns out! The event will feature keynotes from two internationally renowned speakers: Åshild Hanne Larsen, CIO and senior vice president of corporate IT at Equinor, and Christine R. Boles, vice-president of the IoT group and general manager of the industrial solutions division at Intel. In addition, there will be three technical panel discussions featuring industry experts and a tech pavilion, where exhibitors will present live demos and attendees will have the opportunity to experience some of the technologies enabling digital transformation.

ESP Symposium

The 2019 SPE-GCS Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) Symposium will be held May 13-17 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. This event brings together ESP experts from around the world, including both operators and manufacturers, to share information and lessons learned pertaining to ESP technology, production and operations. The symposium offers a strong technical program, a world-class exhibition with the newest offerings from manufacturers, and multiple training opportunities dedicated to ESP-related equipment and applications. This unique event is held only once every two years and is one of the very few industry events that is solely dedicated to ESPs. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, network and see firsthand the latest in ESP technology and industry knowledge.

All the best!