U.S. Operators Plan Major Drilling Boost as Industry Shakes off Downturn

February 7, 2017
U.S. Operators Plan Major Drilling Boost

The North American upstream industry is set to stage a comeback, according to new data presented by World Oil, the premier trade publication for the international upstream industry.

According to proprietary survey data, gathered from U.S. operators, U.S. state agencies and international petroleum ministries/departments, World Oil forecasts the following for 2017:

  • S. drilling will jump 26.8 percent higher, to 18,552 wells.
  • S. footage will increase 29.8 percent, to 151.5 MMft of hole.
  • S. Gulf of Mexico E&P activity, focused on deepwater projects, will go up approximately 9.4 percent, with increasing well depths and footage.
  • Canadian activity will begin to improve, gaining 21.6 percent to 4,212 wells.
  • Global drilling should increase moderately to 39,742 wells, for a 6.1 percent pick-up.
  • Global offshore drilling, reflecting stagnant capex outside North America, will only increase 1.4 percent to 2,604 wells.

Speaking to about 400 attendees at a breakfast briefing, Kurt Abraham, World Oil’s chief forecaster and editor, noted that U.S. production—which averaged 8.9 MMbopd in the fourth quarter, up from 8.7 MMbopd in the third quarter—appears to be on the rise. However, he warned, North America may have to continue in its new role as swing producer, and therefore may be required to remain flexible.

Texas – Drilling in the Lone Star State will rise 26.4 percent, with double-digit increases expected for all 12 of the Railroad Commission districts. While the gains are being led by the Permian, with some additional recovery in the Eagle Ford, there is also significant improvement under way in conventional activity.

Permian Basin – In 2016, operators drilled 3,198 wells in Railroad Commission Districts 8 and 7C, more than originally anticipated. For 2017, World Oil expects to see 3,999 wells drilled in these districts. For 2017, the industry projects a 10 percent increase in average lateral length for the Permian.

Eagle Ford – In the Eagle Ford’s predominantly oil portion, concentrated in District 1, activity should increase 28.3 percent. World Oil predicts that operators will drill 802 wells with an average TD of 14,250 ft. In the gas-heavy Railroad Commission District 2, operators have said they plan to drill 638 wells to an average TD of 15,400 ft, a gain of 23.9 percent. Activity in District 4 is also forecast to increase 19.1 percent.

Gulf of Mexico – Activity has been at historically low levels in the Gulf over the last several years, and 2016 was the lowest yet, with just 117 wells tallied. However, a core of deepwater development activity has continued, and it will continue to form the bulk of work in the Gulf. World Oil projects that drilling will increase about nine percent, to 128 wells.

Oklahoma – During 2017, drilling in the state, home to the emerging SCOOP and STACK plays, is expected to increase 38.5 percent overall, with 1,809 wells scheduled for an average TD of around 11,600 ft.

North Dakota – Based on figures from state officials and a proprietary survey of operators, World Oil forecasts that drilling in North Dakota will total 925 wells in 2017, accounting for 18.7 MMft of hole.  Average well depth, including lateral sections, will be approximately 20,250 ft.

Louisiana – Drilling in the northern half of the state is expected to be up a stout 31.2 percent. Meanwhile, in the state’s southern half, featuring conventional oil and deep gas wells, activity is recovering at a more measured pace. Wells drilled are forecast to increase 12.8 percent, to 123.

Northeastern States – In Pennsylvania, operators plan to drill 774 wells for a 29 percent increase. In Ohio, drilling should increase 19.1 percent, to 380 wells. And in neighboring West Virginia, gas-targeted activity is on the rebound, with about half of the wells in the Marcellus. Total wells should reach 245, up 21.9 percent.

Rocky Mountain States – As operators boost drilling in the prolific Niobrara shale, particularly in the DJ basin, Colorado will see its wells drilled rise 34 percent, to 1,012 wells. New Mexico should see its wells drilled total 710, for an impressive 40.6 percent increase.

California/Alaska – Drilling in California, the bulk of which is accounted for by just four firms, is expected to improve about 30 percent, to 892 wells. Meanwhile, in Alaska, drilling is forecast to increase 15.2 percent, to 167 wells.


New Startup Combines Latest Innovations in Foam Technology to Offer Online Consumers a Supremely Comfortable Mattress

Nuvanna LLC opens its virtual doors at www.nuvanna.com in the rapidly growing online retail market for sleep products. Nuvanna’s first product will be a premium mattress that incorporates the latest innovations in foam technology to maximize comfort, temperature management, and progressive support, delivering an optimal sleep experience for a wide range of body sizes, weights, and sleep positions.

Founder and CEO Alvaro Vaselli’s expertise in the materials science and sleep sectors gives the team at Nuvanna an edge in developing high-quality, high-performance products. Vaselli holds a degree in production and mechanical engineering, and has built an extensive resume of global leadership experience driving innovation for Dow, Arco Chemical (now LyondellBasell), Foamex/FXI, and Tredegar Film Products.

“We’ve built an amazing product by using the latest in comfort technologies,” said Vaselli. “I leveraged 20 years of experience working with the world’s largest mattress companies along with leading-edge material scientists to develop the Nuvanna product.”

Nuvanna’s 100 percent, American-made mattress uses a three-layer foam construction to provide a strategic hierarchy of comfort, temperature control, support, and durability. All foams used in Nuvanna’s mattress are certified by the CertiPUR-US® program and encased in an ultra-premium, moisture-wicking TENCEL® fabric that keeps the consumer comfortable, cool, and dry. Motion isolation allows two partners to sleep in harmony, while progressive support ensures a supremely comfortable surface that’s free of painful pressure points regardless of the consumer’s weight, size or sleep position.

Foam Layer #1: Ascension Layer. The top layer uses highly adaptive comfort foam that cradles the consumer’s entire body. The Ascension Layer closes any gaps between the mattress and the body, maintaining proper alignment and eliminating painful pressure points regardless of weight, size or sleep position. The result? No stiffness or soreness upon waking.

The Nuvanna Ascension layer is powered by a leading-edge, intelligent temperature management adaptive foam. This material actively draws body heat into the mattress, where phase-change gel particles work in tandem with high-density, high-performance foam to disperse heat away from the body. The result? The consumer stays at the ideal sleeping temperature throughout the night.

Foam Layer #2: Equilibrium Layer. The Nuvanna Equilibrium layer is built for motion absorption. It responsively contours to sleep movements so that the consumer experiences continuous support without feeling every motion his or her partner makes. The result? Motion transfer is minimized for truly restorative, undisturbed rest.

Foam Layer #3: Foundation Layer. The Nuvanna Foundation layer provides progressive support for the entire system preventing the user from sinking. The more weight and pressure applied to the mattress, the more lift it provides through the optimized 3-layer system. This progressive support feature eliminates the sinking quicksand feeling that often plagues foam mattresses. The result? Consumers feel cradled, comforted and supported as opposed to sunken and submerged.

Mattress Cover: The mattress core is wrapped in a moisture-wicking, breathable cover made with TENCEL®, an ultra-premium fiber with superior performance. Botanically derived and eco-friendly, the revolutionary fibers of TENCEL® outperform cotton and poly fabrics by absorbing moisture completely and releasing it away from the body. This means the mattress maintains a hygienic environment that naturally inhibits the growth of bacteria. Without chemical additives, TENCEL® fibers are more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen.

Nuvanna is the first company in the space with the primary mission of helping consumers live a more balanced life using the latest advances in comfort technology. A personal evolution inspired Vaselli, a global business leader and innovator in the material science and sleep products industry for over 20 years, to launch Nuvanna.

“I recently discovered the benefits of pursing a healthy balance in my own life,” said Vaselli. “I launched Nuvanna because I wanted to use my business and technology background, resources, and personal experiences to help others enjoy the same benefits faster. This mattress is the embodiment of my mission to help people realize how easy it is to reach a better, more balanced life.”

Nuvanna will offer its mattress via direct-to-consumer sales on its website. Its goal is to provide consumers with an easy, positive online buying process to reduce the stress that comes with the typical mattress store shopping experience. A 100-night trial period eliminates the high-pressure decision-making process consumers often undergo in brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, bypassing the middleman enables Nuvanna to offer its customers significant value, with prices at roughly a third of traditional retail stores.

“Right now the online segment of the mattress retail industry is only a small percentage of the industry’s $16 billion total. But it’s growing rapidly,” explained Vaselli. “Everybody needs a mattress, and buying online offers significant advantages with virtually no risk.”

Nuvanna’s mattress comes with free shipping, free returns, delivery in 3-7 business days and a 10-year warranty. The mattress is compatible with most bed frames and box springs. The company has established partnerships with various charitable organizations around the country. Returned mattresses will be donated to these organizations.

“We offer an easy, stress-free buying experience,” said Vaselli.  “We want to make people’s lives better, not just with a restful night sleep, but with a better shopping experience, too.”

Mattresses are only the company’s starting point. Nuvanna will use its website and social media outlets to share knowledge and tips that foster wellbeing and balanced living. The company also anticipates unveiling future products and innovations that promote better sleep and balanced lifestyle.


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