Working remotely: the economics, the opportunity?

We quantify the economic benefits of working remotely between $5-16k per employee per year, as a function of income levels, looking line-by-line across time savings, productivity gains, office costs and energy costs. The model allows you to flex these input assumptions and test your own scenarios.

Based on our research, we think the proportion of remote work could step up from 2009 and 2017 levels (quantified in the file) to displace 30% of all commutes by 2030. This conclusion is justified, by summarizing an excellent technical paper, and a granular breakdown of jobs around the US economy, looking profession-by-profession.

Fully subsea offshore projects: the economics?

This model presents the economic impacts of developing a typical, 625Mboe offshore  gas condensate field using a fully subsea solution, compared against installing a new production facility.

Both projects are modelled out fully, to illstrate production profiles, per-barrel economics, capex metrics, NPVs, IRRs and sensitivity to oil and gas prices (e.g. breakevens).

The result of a fully offshore project is lower capex, lower opex, faster development and higher uptime, generating a c4% uplift in IRRs, a 50% uplift in NPV6 (below) and a 33% reduction in the project’s gas-breakeven price.

Please download the model to interrogate the numbers and input assumptions.

Chevron: SuperMajor Shale in 2020?

SuperMajors’ shale developments are assumed to differ from E&Ps’ mainly in their scale and access to capital. Access to superior technologies is rarely discussed. But new evidence is emerging. This note assesses 40 of Chevron’s shale patents from 2019, showing a vast array of data-driven technologies, to optimize every aspect of shale.

Shell: the future of LNG plants?

Shell is revolutionizing LNG project design, based on reviewing 40 of the company’s gas-focused patents from 2019. The innovations can lower LNG facilities’ capex by 70% and opex by 50%; conferring a $4bn NPV and 4% IRR advantage over industry standard greenfields. Smaller-scale LNG, modular LNG and highly digitized facilities are particularly abetted. This note reviews Shell’s operational improvements, revolutionary greenfield concepts, and their economic consequences.

Blockchain in the Oil & Gas Supply Chain

This datafile tabulates ten examples of deploying Blockchain in the oil and gas industry from 2017 onwards; including the companies involved, the use cases, and our estimates of the cost savings.

Most prior examples have been in oil and gas trading, where cost savings tend to run at c35%. More niche applications are gaining traction in downstream, B2B applications.

For 2020, we are particularly excited by the broadening of Blockchain technologies into the procurement industry by a particular company, Data Gumbo.

c10% cost savings may be achieved for fragmented supply chains, such as US shale, by analogy to other digital procurement platforms we have evaluated in the past.

Super-Computers at Oil Majors?

This data-file tabulates super-computing capacity possessed by leading companies in the energy industry, based on public disclosures and internet sources: both directly owned by the companies, or available through partnerships with research institutions.

Computing capacity has increased by 70x since 2009, rising at a c50% CAGR. The pace of growth is quickening, with a 4x increase since 2016, which is a c60% CAGR.

Main usesfor the super-computers are in seismic processing, reservoir modelling and well-placement; but also for operational process efficiency and downstream catalyst development.

Leading companies are identified in the data-file, although this metric should not be over-emphasized. The largest reservoir simulation to-date was not conducted using an “owned” super-computer, but rather in partnership with an academic institution. The largest supercomputer in the world is also larger than the entire oil industry’s super-computing power combined.

ESP Optimisation Opportunities?

This data-file calculates the financial and carbon costs of running electric submersible pumps (ESPs) at oilfields, as a function of half-a-dozen input variables. This matters with ESPs fitted on 15-20% of the world’s c1M oil wells.

Opportunities to optimise: CO2 intensities can be lowered 25% by switching diesel-powered ESPs to natural gas, and theoretically by 100% by switching to renewables. Associated kg/boe and cost savings are tabulated in the data-file.

Leading Majors and new technology companies are also pioneering means to improve ESP efficiency. We tabulate our top examples in the data-file. Initiatives from Aramco and Equinor screen as most impressive.

Drones & droids: deliver us from e-commerce

Small, autonomous, electric vehicles are emerging. They are game-changers: rapidly delivering online purchases to customers, creating vast new economic possibilities, but also driving the energy transition. Their ascent could eliminate 500MTpa of CO2, 3.5Mboed of fossil fuels and c$3trn pa of consumer spending across the OECD. The mechanism is a re-shaping of urban consumption habits, retail and manufacturing.

Patent Leaders in Energy

Technology leadership is crucial in energy. But it is difficult to discern. Hence, we reviewed 3,000 patents across the 25 largest companies. This note ranks the industry’s “Top 10 technology-leaders”: in upstream, offshore, deep-water, shale, LNG, gas-marketing, downstream, chemicals, digital and renewables. In each case, we profile the leading company, its edge and the proximity of the competition.

The cutting edge of shale technology?

The database evaluates 950 technical papers that have been presented at shale industry conferences from 2018-2020.  We have summarised each paper, categorized it by topic, by author, by basin, ‘how digital’ and ‘how economically impactful’ it is.

The aim is to provide an overview of shale R&D, including the cutting edge to improve future resource productivity. We estimate 2020 was the most productivity-enhancing set of technical papers of any year in the database.

Recent areas of innovation include completion design, fracturing fluids, EORand machine learning. We also break down the technical papers, company-by-company, to see which operators and service firms have an edge (chart below).