Taking a look back on the year that was 2017, our OEdigital.com website's most popular stories pretty much tell everything you need to know.
While the industry is still adjusting to the downturn, the bright spots are few, but significant.
There were record setting lifts, major discoveries, and major fields fast-tracked and brought online early.
And yes, while there were many asset sales, bankruptcies and mergers again this year, a sudden slew of PDOs (plan for development and operation) submitted in Norway gives a tangible sign of the potential for an upturn in activity in 2018.
Without further ado, here are OE's most popular online stories of 2017, followed by OE's most popular print magazine articles (long-reads) of 2017.
Guyana has been a hot topic since ExxonMobil made its giant Liza discovery in 2015. Since this story racked up views online, Exxon has annouced a fifth discovery (Turbot-1) within the Stabroek block, which includes Liza. The Snoek discovery was ranked fourth largest offshore find of 2017 in OE's December issue. Guyana has drummed up a lot of interest in the industry from players large and small. In September, Total opted to join Tullow (60%, operator) and Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (40%), acquiring a 25% stake in the Orinduik block.
#2 - Mexico's Round 2.1 awards 10 blocks
In June 2017, Mexico held its Round 2, phase 1 auction, awarding 10 of 15 shallow water areas. The round included areas in the Tampico-Misantla, Veracruz and Sureste basin areas. This round saw wide participation in the Sureste basin, where both Eni and Talos have experienced billion-barrel oil finds. The biggest winner of the day was Eni, winning three of the 10 blocks awarded.
#3 - Pioneering Spirit completes record offshore lift
Allseas set a world lifting record back in April this year when its dynamically positioned single-lift installation and decommissioning and pipelay vessel Pioneering Spirit with the removal of Shell’s 24,200-ton Brent Delta platform topside. Read more about the lift in this article ("North Sea awe") from our June 2017 issue.
#4 - Fatalities on Total's Martin Linge project
It's always sad to report on workplace death, but these stories always thrust health and safety back into the spotlight, and rightly so. In May 2017, six people were killed in a crane accident at Samsung Heavy Industries' Geoje yard in South Korea while work was underway on Total's Martin Linge project.
#5 - Cantium buys Chevron GoM shelf assets
A new, private equity-backed firm, Cantium, moved to purchase supermajor Chevron’s Bay Marchand and Main Pass assets in the Gulf of Mexico. The acquisition included 300 active wells, 151 platforms, caissons, and other offshore structures, along with the Port Fourchon onshore treatment plant. This wasn't the only time a smaller, newer operator opted to pick up a significant amount of assets. In January 2017, private equity-backed Chrysaor picked up a package of UK North Sea assets from supermajor Shell for about US$3.8 billon.
This year we're ranking OE Magazine articles by article view. Below, the top five articles by view count, reflect a more avid interest in Big Data and Automation topics.
#1 - Putting the IOT in drilling
The Internet of Things could help transform drilling rig technology, but it isn’t a panacea, warns a Transocean official. Karen Boman reports.
The Internet of Things is becoming ever more embedded in the oil psyche. Steve Hamlen reports.
#3 - Going where no riser repair has gone before
Connector Subsea Solutions and Hydratight completed the world’s first deepwater riser repair at 1250m depth for BP off West Africa. Pål Magne Hisdal, Andre Midtun and Ivar K. Hanson explain.
#4 - Autonomous systems hold the key
Sean Halpin, of Liquid Robotics, shares the benefits awaiting the offshore oil and gas industry if it could only speed up implementation of digital oilfield technologies.
#5 - Drilling deeper into data
Reducing maintenance costs is the primary focus of the oil and gas industry’s quest to get more insight from Big Data. But, can they successfully navigate remaining barriers? Karen Boman reports.