We continue to live in volatile times. While there has been an easing of the global pandemic, geopolitical issues and conflicts have been increasing. There is also ever-increasing pressure to sanction and maintain oil and gas projects in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. These projects can no longer be considered part of an isolated or independent petroleum sector but as part of the whole resource base of an area, country, or region.
We continue to live in volatile times. While there has been an easing of the global pandemic, geopolitical issues and conflicts have been increasing. There is also ever-increasing pressure to sanction and maintain oil and gas projects in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. These projects can no longer be considered part of an isolated or independent petroleum sector but as part of the whole resource base of an area, country, or region. There needs to be visibility of the linkages among company vision; national, regional, and global targets; and the project attributes in meeting sustainable development goals and maintaining good governance.
Paper SPE 205603 is a good example of a systematic approach to managing oil and gas reserves and resources data that has been assessed using the SPE Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS). It is important for entities to accurately capture the information gathered during resource evaluation to use for strategic planning and sound resource management. We have been encouraged with the ongoing adaption of PRMS and many of the recommendations of the system, including the use of project-maturity subclasses.
We would like to provide a cautionary note that several papers in the 2021–22 cycle highlight the need to ensure that management of resources complies with the requirements of PRMS when they say they do—for example, that when modifications are made to the system, the project still meets the requirements for inclusion in a particular class, such as discovery for contingent resources; and that discovered unrecoverable resources are not contingent resources.
Paper SPE 207801 is a case study in trying to apply the principles of sustainable resource management by repurposing oil and gas wells for geothermal production. The paper follows a systems approach to testing the principles of the circular economy (though this term is not used in the paper). A circular economy is a systems approach that enables the resource to maintain its highest value for as long as possible. Critical considerations in implementing circularity are reducing and rethinking resource use and pursuing longevity, renewability, reusability, reparability, replaceability, and upgradability for resources and value-added products.
Paper SPE 208483 discusses the challenge of decommissioning oil and gas equipment in Australia. The paper is a comprehensive discussion that highlights the importance of good regulation and the development of visible and robust decommissioning plans by industry titleholders. This important issue will resonate at a global scale and underlines the importance of a lifecycle focus on decommissioning rather than a just-in-time approach, which may not optimize costs or engender safe and environmentally responsible practices.
Finally, we encourage you to seek out the additional reading material. Topics include good governance in exploration planning, testing pathways to decarbonization for remote offshore gas fields, an integrated subsurface study, and an example of the complementary use of PRMS and the United Nations Framework Classification.
This Month’s Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
IPTC 21458 The Dusk of the Minimum Economic Field Size in the Digital Era of Exploration Value Creation by Dmitry Surovtsev, Schlumberger, et al.
OTC 30941 Pathway to Decarbonization and Maximum Value Recovery for Remote Offshore Gas Fields by Lee Thomas, Intecsea, et al.
SPE 205688 Integrated Subsurface Study To Convert Upside Intrabeta Subzone Stakes Into Additional Main Targets in Tunu Gas Field, Mahakam Delta, Indonesia by Dwiki Drajat Gumilar, Pertamina Hulu Mahakam, et al.
SPE 207055 The United Nations Framework Classification Concept and the Possibility of Its Application in Azerbaijan by Narmina Garayeva, Baku Higher Oil School, et al.
Barbara Pribyl, SPE, has more than 30 years of experience as a geologist and in managing reserves and resources in the Australian and international oil and gas industry. Her most recent role was as reserves and resources manager for Santos. Pribyl’s professional focus has been on oil and gas reserves and resources classification, management, and reporting and developing guidelines and training and the coordination of reserve reviews and audits. She was a member of the SPE Oil and Gas Reserves Committee (OGRC) between 2014 and 2018 and is a current member of the OGRC Examples Subcommittee and the Petroleum Working Group of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Expert Group on Resource Management. Pribyl is also a Vincent Fairfax Fellow in Ethical Leadership and is the chair of the JPT Editorial Review Board.
Greg Horton, SPE, is retired from Santos after 33 years of reservoir-management responsibilities and maintains an active role in improving the SPE Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS). He holds an honors degree in civil engineering from Adelaide University. Horton was a member of the SPE Oil and Gas Reserves Committee from 2011 to 2014, is a member of the SPE PRMS Improvements Subcommittee, and serves on the JPT Editorial Review Board. He can be reached at email@example.com.