Partnering on Technology Solutions

Throughout the entire hydrocarbon value chain, we develop technologies and approaches that enhance operational safety, reliability, and efficiency of our projects and for the benefit of industry at large.  As our company’s business portfolio continues to expand and diversify from its historic roots in upstream exploration and production to downstream refining and petrochemicals, our R&D initiatives and contributions are seeking new ways to realize the full potential of our hydrocarbon resources.  

Our expansion into renewables—wind and solar—adds even more dimension to our long-term R&D vision and program.  

Participation in major industry conferences and standards setting organizations, highlight the technical advances our researchers have contributed and insights into the future direction of the energy industry as it continues to meet energy demands in a safe, affordable and sustainable way.  

Here are some ways our researchers are shaping the energy conversation:

Upstream

  1. Continuing to improve drilling performance and increase the lifespan of a well with new proprietary technologies and practices.  Working at the most fundamental molecular level to develop a new generation of drilling muds and fluids.  
  2. Creating new sensor technologies such as untethered sensors about the size of a golf ball that can be deployed into a well to log sensor measurements in a quick and effective way and gather well log data for enhanced reservoir modeling and recovery.  
  3. Engaging in significant collaborations and joint ventures with global offshore companies to strengthen upstream practices.  
  4. Pioneering advances in drilling and producing from unconventional shale, carbonate, or tight sandstone reservoirs to extract gas.  New approaches and techniques in hydraulic fracturing, fluid chemistries and geomechanics developed in our labs can increase production from unconventional wells.

Downstream

  1. Creating new materials that will help separate heavy hydrocarbons from gas for maximum recovery rates in a clean and sustainable way.  Novel materials, including gas separation membranes, advanced polymers, and methods for increasing the rate of chemical changes by adding a substance, referred to as catalysis, are in development.    
  2. Utilizing nanotechnology to help recover more oil and gas by developing highly advanced nanotracers, or coatings, applied to probes sent into the well for more mapping sophistication.  Advancements in this area are providing some of the best reservoir monitoring and imaging capabilities in the industry.  
  3. Conducting fundamental research on a global materials challenge by examining corrosion at the nanoscale to investigate the mechanisms responsible for initiation and progression in steel.  Research is underway with one of the U.S.’s leading national laboratories to better understand the cause of corrosion and various coatings and processes to make steel less susceptible. 
  4. Expanding the company’s growing chemicals portfolio has led to the development of specialty chemicals, such as our Converge polyols that use a proprietary catalyst to take greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) and combine it with our hydrocarbon feedstock to create high-performing polyols for everyday applications such as coatings for household appliances or consumer and industrial adhesives.

Joint Industry Projects

We actively engage in a range of beneficial joint industry projects, from our partnership with the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) in improving onshore and offshore drilling performance, to the development of a roadmap for studying the value of drilling automation over the next decade.