David Jones

Business Development Manager for Oil & Gas Market, Siemens

David Jones (DJ) is a second-generation oil and gas professional. He grew up in Bahrain and Scotland, where his father worked on offshore oil rigs. He attended college in Louisiana, then moved to Houston. Jones says that the industry chose him. He recently answered a few questions for Upstream Pumping (UP) on the state of the industry, especially the drilling segment.

UP
What has been the biggest factor in the last 10 years that affected Siemens?

DJ
Based on my 25 years in the market, advancements in software have had the biggest impact. Siemens has a software division called, "PLM – Product Lifecycle Management." According to Chuck Grindstaff, the division's president and CEO, "The manufacturing industry in America is on the rise and is being transformed by a software revolution that is enhancing productivity, increasing efficiency and speeding time to market."

UP
How is Siemens' equipment operating in the industry? Which areas are the biggest focuses?

DJ
Siemens participates in upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas applications. Siemens provides power generation (turbines), that is then distributed (switchgear) and the power is used to control (variable speed drives) prime movers (electric motors), which can be controlled (automation) locally or remotely. The division that I represent, Process Industries and Drives, has a new alternating current (AC) drilling motor for both new applications and retrofits of existing mud pumps, drawworks and rotary tables. This is where much of my focus will be in the near future.

UP
What changes do you see upcoming for the industry? (Increases in certain types of drilling? Decreases?)

DJ
There is a focus on fit-for-purpose rigs along with automated rigs, leading to higher degrees of safety for the industry. More efficient AC rigs will reduce the number of rigs, having a positive impact on the environment. Wellhead automation (through the use of automation-based solutions) will also have a positive impact on production and gathering applications.

UP
Will drilling increase in the foreseeable future?

DJ
Regulations on fracturing applications will play a role in areas rich in reserves. As onshore drilling rigs become more efficient, drilling activity reports may need to reflect these advances in technology. Automobiles are much more efficient, which also has an impact on demand for gasoline. There are multiple LNG export terminal facilities slated to go online in the near future, which will have a positive effect on demand. Further, there are major refinery expansions in Louisiana and Pennsylvania, which will also have a positive impact on demand. Finally, the recent oversupply of oil has had a dramatic impact on drilling and applicable rig count.

UP
In the next couple of years, what technology on the horizon may have the biggest effect on drilling, completion and production activities?

DJ
Making the drilling process a safer environment is a key focus for the drilling industry. One goal is to remove as many personnel from the rig floor, where the highest risk for injury resides, as possible. Key end users and drilling rig manufacturers are working closely to build/operate rigs with limited personnel on the rig floor.

UP
What are some emerging plays that exploration and production (E&P) companies are excited about? Why?

DJ
It is my understanding that Texas is on track to break the state's annual production record (set in 1972) as July production reached more than an estimated 111 million barrels. Hydrates are more a concentrated form of natural gas than compressed gas, but less concentrated than liquefied natural gas. It is estimated that a significant part of the Earth's fossil fuel is stored as gas hydrates, but as yet, we have no consensus as to how large these reserves are.

UP
Is there anything else happening in the industry that is a "game changer," a trend or that you are particularly excited about?

DJ
The electrification and digitalization of the oilfield is an ongoing game changer for the industry. These implications will have a positive impact on footprint, both carbon and impact to the environment.