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New technology ?

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New technology ?

Unread postby sparky » Tue 31 Jan 2017, 17:24:42

.
In 1439 , johannes gutenberg started the printing revolution ,
the world was never the same afterward
He didn't invent printing , or even movable types , but perfected it for what turned out to be a huge demand

often it is pointed out that fracking and long horizontal drilling are not new ,
that's perfectly correct but miss the point ... it wasn't much used , there was no demand

Fracking literally exploded on the world consciousness , and billions were to be made and unmade in a frenzy

Now I wonder if there is some other technical development , already in existence , which could transform the crude oil business

one which spring to mind is autonomous wellheads at the bottom of the ocean ,
rather than a floating platform the structure is towed then sunk .it make them immune to some pretty atrocious weather and floating ice , it could be cleaned and maintained by undersea robots , manned or not
the candidates would be the mid oceanic , arctic and even antarctic provinces .

Maybe there are other possible technologies already in existence which could be the seed of a revolution
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby AdamB » Tue 31 Jan 2017, 17:39:01

sparky wrote:.
Fracking literally exploded on the world consciousness , and billions were to be made and unmade in a frenzy


Well, when it was first applied in the late 1940's, I don't think folks noticed much. Well, non-oilfield folks anyway, they all probably thought it was the cats-meow.

sparky wrote:Now I wonder if there is some other technical development , already in existence , which could transform the crude oil business


Of course.

https://www.onepetro.org/conference-paper/SPE-154122-MS

Greenfield ROZ development is where this springs to mind, and if I recall correctly, there are some DOE estimates of recoverable oil floating around in the 100+ billion barrel range?


sparky wrote:Maybe there are other possible technologies already in existence which could be the seed of a revolution


Of course. But considering that the seeds of hydraulic fracturing took 50+ years before the public noticed, all the ones I can think of today are probably in the same category. In-situ steam generation being one, but there are more problems for the oil field than just new technologies. What happens when energy intensity per person and $ of GDP causes peak demand? After that it all becomes a race to the bottom in terms of marginal price, and that does not bode well for the Saudis.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 31 Jan 2017, 18:42:41

The most current wave of technology is mobile phones and other networked devices, the one before that was the Internet, via wired access.

In terms of absolute and lasting impact, these latest developments are dramatic - very probably the most intense and the most persistent change in the 500 years since we harnessed water power and steam to begin all. This has been happening for 3+ decades, if you are 40+ years old, you remember it all because you were present.

This current wave has already turned individual tribes of human primates into many worldwide virtual networked "tribes", for example members of the PO.com virtual tribe exist and participate from seven continents.

This wave ends when our brains are directly interfaced to the net. The research is being done already. The concept entered our consciousness in an SF story called "Neuromancer" published in 1984. The latest SF to utilize the concept is iBOY, a series on NetFlix, where a teenager suffered an attack on a subway which resulted in a bullet shattering an iPhone, and blasting a networking chip into his brain - now his thoughts control networked devices.

Except it's not really SF anymore, the R&D is paying off big time, more and more human minds are being interfaced to the network. Arguably there approaches a time not too far from the present when anybody without a networked brain will be regarded as obsolete, archaic, and useless.

No, it's not direct oil drilling tech, but the Internet is the new knowledge repository and therefore IS responsible for the majority of technological changes in the past 3 decades in every field of human knowledge. Among recent petroleum tech developments which were enabled or enhanced by Internet access, GPS, etc:

Thermal EOR (EOR = Enhanced Oil Recovery)
Chemical EOR
Microbial EOR
Zipper Fracking
Stacked Lateral Boreholes in Multiple Shale Layers
Remotely Operated Vehicles in Offshore Drilling
3D and 4D Seismic Imaging
Measurement While Drilling Tech

As for innovative and new techs, somebody will first utilize these to make a lot of money, and only THEN will you read about them here.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby sparky » Thu 02 Feb 2017, 18:26:59

.
A good friend of mine , many moons ago was envious of the pay packets I got working on the north sea rigs
I told him the crude oil business was not penny pinching , he was smart and had some good secondary schooling but nothing really flash
he got a job as a general deck hand , then as an assistant to the tool pusher , then with Schlumberger driving the drilling heads , working in many places but mostly offshore ,
Now he has a purebred stable and two daughters pushing him toward bankruptcy
he work FROM HOME driving the drilling heads 5000 miles away thanks to the digital revolution
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby evilgenius » Fri 03 Feb 2017, 12:01:56

I don't know about what will happen in the oil business, but I think that 3d printing has the capacity to change everything. It's not very advanced right now, but it could evolve to replace almost everything we buy at the store or through Amazon. When that happens we will still have semi-trucks running around supplying us from great distances away, but they will mostly be shipping the raw materials the printers use rather than finished goods. It may also change our definition of what a great distance is. Ideas, larger and bulk printed items and raw materials will be what people share between each other for the kind of consideration that includes the transfer of money today. The change may even involve the manufacture of medicines and supplements, as both ideas and infrastructure surrounding the way that is done evolve. Even what sounds inconceivable as a locally sourced item may become regionalized, that is to say, as the world changes its perspective.

I guess it would involve oil. Treated as a raw material in things like plastic it would be very important to 3d printing. There would be competition to either keep oil regional or to cause it to become so ubiquitous, like with an explosion of pipelines well beyond anything imagined in the contentious pipeline arguments of today, that it would function under a marketing system that makes it local enough to meet people's aggregate home manufacturing demand. Corn might become an economically viable substitute as a raw material for some plastics. Batteries, in this more local world, could also become a much more viable alternative to gasoline. I don't know if big central refineries will abound, or if robotics means that smaller micro-refineries might be in the cards. It would depend upon what would work best as 3d printing took off, and upon what sort of marketing conventions people settled upon in their minds as acceptable or not. It's that latter point, what people will do in cooperation with the possibilities available to them in the future that will impact oil most, I think. Gauging that is more difficult than predicting the technological future.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 03 Feb 2017, 12:26:32

3D printing is great for what it is, but not a panacea. I remember a TV interview with Jay Leno, where he demonstrated a 3D printer that they use in Leno's garage to make plastic parts that are then used to make sand molds for cast iron/brass/aluminum parts for restoring antique vehicles. He used his printer to create an adjustable "Crescent Wrench" in a single step, printing all three parts already assembled. The plastic wrench was completely functional in the sense that it did indeed adjust, and completely useless for turning metal nuts and bolts.

One thing I would advise against is investing any money in 3D printers. The smart money already did that here in Silicon Valley more than a decade ago. Now there are multiple bankruptcies happening in 3D printer companies.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby evilgenius » Fri 03 Feb 2017, 12:33:43

3d printing, by the way, is a broad label for a whole class of home based, intelligence driven devices. I watched a video a few years ago put out by some guy who was really high on 3d printing. He was far more excited about the plywood cutting machine that made lick and stick houses possible than the 3d printer.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 03 Feb 2017, 12:54:24

Astute observation, EG. Computer Numerically Controlled machinery has come to the home woodworking shop as well. Here is a place where one can source complete CNC routing machines capable of cutting 4X8 sheets of wood, plastics, and even soft metals:

https://buildyourcnc.com/default.aspx

The prior generation of CNC machinery, in some cases capable of fabricating and assembling housing modules as large as 40' by 10', has been in use for over a decade to build modular housing, which has obsoleted 2/3rds of the rough carpenters that used to work framing new houses.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Fri 03 Feb 2017, 18:59:49

Now I wonder if there is some other technical development , already in existence , which could transform the crude oil business


I am convinced it will be across the board adoption of the industrial internet of things as it applies to oil and gas drilling, production, transportation and processing. There is likely more "big data" available in the oil and gas realm than many industries. Surprisingly enough there are few companies that have done everything they could to make use of said data, it is quite a piecemeal approach across the industry. I know of many recently drilled wells in North America that do not even have SCADA systems installed at the wellhead. The one good example of how this would all work is in Saudi Arabia where they have the concept of a SMART Field development. Basically everything is monitored from drilling and completion of the wells, water injection, production, separation, pipeline transportation, processing etc. and that data is analyzed in order to make decisions that can drop costs, avoid bottlenecks or downtime and improve net hydrocarbon production.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby sparky » Sat 04 Feb 2017, 06:31:05

.
rocdoc ,to get some grist to you mill , I've posted this before but since it apply here , what the heck
Aramco control center , all the production , storage , transport and shipping is handled there
the instrumentation and scada make my mouth water .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQo5_P8N35k

the point I was trying to make is that revolutionary new technologies are often failures at first
full of bugs , mis-applied , with operators who don't really know what they are doing , discovering as they go along
materials procedures and components are per force untested by reality .

"sleeper" technologies are proven ,often used for marginal problems with a well tested usage
once they are applied on a much larger scale , they can be geared up easily .
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 04 Feb 2017, 12:22:26

sparky - With respect to finding, drilling and producing fossil fuels it is the service companies, like Haliburton and Schlumberger, that do the vast majority of research. And the Rockman lunches with them on a regular bases. And none are talking about anything close to game changing as 3d seismic, Deep Water and horizontal drilling (all 3 more then 20 year old "step change" technologies) were. Not even during a 3 martini lunch fantasy level. And actually more likely whiskey then gin. LOL.

No "sleepers" out there. The only meaningful buzz out there is the prospect of more hz drilling and frac'ng as oil prices increase.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby sparky » Sat 04 Feb 2017, 15:37:56

.
So .. nothing much under the horizon , a bit of a pity !

I'm having this fantasy of self driving cars tech being applied to Mega tankers ships ,
mind you , it's already partially done , a computer is often more reliable than a bored sailor
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 04 Feb 2017, 16:48:04

sparky - Just continued tweaking of current tech. Nothing to kick off another drilling boom. Except for high oil prices, of course.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 11:07:37

Maybe we ought to ask if in 50-70 years Exxon will rule solar? Will the oil companies, the majors especially, be able to make the leap to the next iteration? BP has made a lot of noise about investing in what comes next. That doesn't mean they'll succeed, or even still be at it when it will really start to matter. It seems like a good start, though. I don't see many of them putting much into fusion research, but solar I think is possible. Real research, backed up by the anxiety of oil industry execs looking for the kind of solar panel efficiency that makes domination of the industry possible.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 12:31:34

sparky - Just continued tweaking of current tech. Nothing to kick off another drilling boom. Except for high oil prices, of course.


Which is all the shale drilling “technology” is. All of the individual pieces associated with drilling, completion and development of shales was in place a long time prior to the ramp up in activity in the US post 2008. Horizontal wells were being drilled in lots of places for more than a decade before the shale boom, fraccing was commonplace, slotted liners, sand or silica bead propants were all technologies in place. What was different is how those technologies were “tweaked”….i.e. better geosteering capabilities, better mud systems, improvements to LWD (logging while drilling) in order to inable very long horizontal wells to be drilled with appropriate accuracy. Fraccing was similarly a “tweaking” of being able to set up packer contained fracs that allowed for fraccing stages to be accomplished and “tweaking” of the topside setup to allow for very large volume fracs.

This is the point I was trying to make about the SMART FIELD direction the Saudis have gone in. SKADA has been around for decades but it is still only used sporadically around the world. Very few companies employ active real time monitoring while drilling although the technology has been around since the eighties (it was used extensively in the Canadian Beaufort drilling program). The only pipelines that have full SCADA real time monitoring are ones where there has been terrorist or criminal activities associated with pipeline bursts (eg. Colombia and Mexico). How many companies actually real time monitor right from the wellhead through the field gathering system, through the main trunkline and through the plant? I suspect they can be counted on one hand. The important point is that there is considerable upside to improving costs and recoveries in existing fields. One might say this won’t kick off another drilling boom but what it will do is just as important. As an example if you use the low end of OOIP for Ghawar of 250 billion barrels a 10% improvement on recovery factor would add an additional 25 billion barrels to recoverable reserves which isn’t shabby by any standards and in fact is about 3 times the size of the USGS estimate for technically recoverable reserves in the Bakken and Three Forks. In the US simply improving the recovery factor in the Bakken from it’s estimated range of ~6% to 10% would result in an addition of approximately 16 billion bbls of recoverable reserves. That equates to nearly half of the proven reserves in the US (as of 2015).

Maybe we ought to ask if in 50-70 years Exxon will rule solar? Will the oil companies, the majors especially, be able to make the leap to the next iteration? 


Oil companies in the North Sea have been using wind turbines to supplement power for their offshore platforms for quite some time. As Rockman has pointed out much of the power supplied to oil operations in the US is from wind. Companies that do use SCADA invariably power it with solar panels. This issue isn’t in being able to use the alternative sources it is in the storage capabilities which is where the innovation has to come. When the economics warrant it my guess is the majors will begin to diversify at a greater rate, that isn't the case now however.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 12:54:44

Rockdoc123, given what we now know about the shale boom of 2009-14 could someone have started the boom sooner, say 2004 when prices first started to rise year in and year out? You say all the pieces were in place, and the players generally already knew the locations of the sweetest spots that ended up being drilled early in the 2009-10 time period when things were just getting rolling.

I ask because historical quirks interest me personally and if the Shale Boom had started in early 2004 and ramped up as prices rose in 2005-2006 I think there is a fair chance the idea of Peak Oil would have been a much harder concept to sell in 2007. By then prices would have supported an explosive boom level of fracking just as they did from 2011-14 in the real world. I doubt oil would have ever gotten to $147/bbl in 2008 if the Fracking boom were going on at the time, a lot of the impetus for that spike was fear of future shortages.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 13:11:58

"Maybe we ought to ask if in 50-70 years Exxon will rule solar?" And why not: Maybe we ought to ask if in 50-70 years General Electric will rule solar? Or: Maybe we ought to ask if in 50-70 years Ford Motor Company will rule solar? Or: Maybe we ought to ask if in 50-70 years Microsoft will rule solar? Or: Maybe we ought to ask if in 50-70 years Starbucks will rule solar? LOL.

But seriously why not Starbucks instead of XOM? Neither have much solar infrastructure in place nor the personnel to man it if they did. Just a question of how any well funded corporation chooses to deploy its capital strength. Let's hit Texas one more time: one of the biggest wind power generators in the world and in the verge of a huge solar build out. And with a number of major cities targeting alternative energy sources including some looking to go 100% green. And no where do see ExxonMobil's name in the conversation. The big name in Texas alt today is SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy company. So maybe the better question: Maybe we ought to ask if in 50-70 years SunEdison will rule solar?

And Texas is XOM worldwide headquarters for Dog's sake. LOL.

BTW in 2001 E.ON, on the verge of bankruptcy, did a deal with the private equity company Texas Pacific Group (TPG), which purchased E.ON's stake in MEMC for a symbolic dollar and offered MEMC (later known as SunEdison) $150 million in credit lines. In 2006 MEMC announced its large-scale entry into the burgeoning solar wafer market, via longterm agreements to supply China-based Suntech Power and Taiwan-based Gintech Energy with solar-grade silicon wafers. Similar contracts followed with Germany-based Conergy in 2007, and Taiwan-based Tainergy Tech in 2008. The company cultivated short-term solar wafer customers as well. By 2007, MEMC held approximately 14% of the solar wafer market.

In November 2009 MEMC acquired the privately owned company SunEdison LLC, North America's largest solar energy services provider. SunEdison had been developing, financing, building, operating, and monitoring large-scale photovoltaic plants for commercial customers, including many national retail outlets, government agencies, and utilities, since 2003. The company had pioneered solar-as-a-service, and the solar power purchase agreement (PPA) for no-money-down customer financing. SunEdison was purchased for $200 million, 70% in cash and 30% in MEMC stock, plus retention payments, transaction expenses, and the assumption of net debt.

And that, my friends, is how a company becomes the world’s largest renewable energy corporation. And not by producing a bunch of f*cking oil wells. LOL.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 13:58:31

It's very possible. Prior to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, BP Solar was one of the three biggest players in the retail scale Solar PV industry. Now they are a memory, having established a fund to honor customer solar panel warranties:

http://www.bp.com/en/global/solar-warranty.html

Their demise has nothing to do with the expenses from the infamous oil spill. Rather, they found it impossible to compete with the state-sponsored Chinese solar PV manufacturers, who are "dumping" solar panels in the USA at predatory prices that are actually below manufacturing cost. The practice of dumping has long been banned by US law, but the Chinese are past masters at not getting caught, there are literally dozens of examples here in Silicon Valley of lawsuits ongoing where an American company had a product contract-manufactured in China, then found itself competing with a clone product from a "new" company that employs many of the engineers trained by us to manufacture our original designs.

This happened to me, and it still smarts. I suppose that such predatory practices are the least of what happens in the oil business.

One other thing that smarts. Manufacturing silicon rods and wafers requires a heavy investment in machine tools. Originally back in the 1980's these were 2" in diameter but now 12" wafers are standard and 14" are the latest tech. The desire to make larger and larger wafers allows more and larger semiconductor devices to be fabricated in a single manufacturing line. Silicon Valley sold the 6" and 8" machine tooling to China, that they are now cleaning our clocks with in the solar PV industry - the same machines that we used to make the microprocessors that enabled PCs and Mobile devices, China is now using to make the most efficient monocrystalline PV wafers used in high performance PV panels.

Business as usual with our "trading partner" China. Probably BAU for "energy companies" as well, although that was not my trade.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 15:08:16

I ask because historical quirks interest me personally and if the Shale Boom had started in early 2004 and ramped up as prices rose in 2005-2006 I think there is a fair chance the idea of Peak Oil would have been a much harder concept to sell in 2007. By then prices would have supported an explosive boom level of fracking just as they did from 2011-14 in the real world. I doubt oil would have ever gotten to $147/bbl in 2008 if the Fracking boom were going on at the time, a lot of the impetus for that spike was fear of future shortages.


I think it was a series of things that contributed to the timing of the shale revolution as it applies to liquids. Remember that full on unconventional gas reservoir drilling was going on in Alberta deep basin by Canadian Hunter back in the nineties and CHK was going all out drilling for unconventional gas back as early as 2000. The move to unconventional for gas was a product of the view that North American natural gas was in a supply crisis with high cooling and heating prices to show for it. But like many new approaches it takes time for the industry as a whole to embrace it. I remember the discussions back in early part of the 2000’s with some individuals arguing it made sense to drill horizontal wells in shales for gas and many others saying it wouldn’t work and would never be economic in any event. As time progressed costs came down, operators became more efficient and even with natural gas prices dropping the positive economics were hard to argue against. Probably the one thing that got the larger oil and gas companies on the band wagon was the idea that although the shale gas wells had very steep intial declines that was expected to be followed by a very long period of flattish production with only minimal declines. What that meant to very big companies is if they had enough shale wells producing it helped them get off the treadmill normally associated with gas E&P. It took a number of years but eventually many of the old curmudgeons in the industry who had been stalwart critics of shale gas were “born again” claiming they knew shales would work all along.

When oil prices began their precipitous rise then suddenly the paradigm changed. Many of the shale gas wells that were producing had fairly high liquid contents and with higher liquid prices that just made the economics even more attractive. Companies piled into the shale acreage, many who had no business being there (they didn’t understand it well enough). Eventually it was discovered that the low gas content oil part of the shale basins would not be economic due to low production rates and everyone began to concentrate on the fairways where there was gas with high liquid content. This of course resulted in over production of gas which drove gas prices down further.

So I think there were a couple of things contributing to the timing. One it takes time for innovators like McCleland to move from being the voice in the wilderness to being the accepted authority. Secondly it takes time for the early players to make things work both operationally and economically and Thirdly it takes sometime for the oil and gas old codgers in senior management to admit they were wrong. As with most things driven by herd mentality the rush to chase shale oil and gas resulted in a significant amount of companies getting involved who had no idea what they were doing. That resulted in over payment for acreage, poor planning with regards to operations, over promising to the market and over leveraging through debt financing. With the drop in oil prices the crows came home to roost in droves.
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Re: New technology ?

Unread postby Zarquon » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 16:47:36

rockdoc123 wrote:SKADA has been around for decades but it is still only used sporadically around the world. Very few companies employ active real time monitoring while drilling although the technology has been around since the eighties (it was used extensively in the Canadian Beaufort drilling program). The only pipelines that have full SCADA real time monitoring are ones where there has been terrorist or criminal activities associated with pipeline bursts (eg. Colombia and Mexico). How many companies actually real time monitor right from the wellhead through the field gathering system, through the main trunkline and through the plant? I suspect they can be counted on one hand.

Wow. I'd have guessed that real-time monitoring had been standard in the industry since at least the nineties...

When the economics warrant it my guess is the majors will begin to diversify at a greater rate, that isn't the case now however.


https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ssil-fuels

"BP pumped billions of pounds into low-carbon technology and green energy over a number of decades but gradually retired the programme to focus almost exclusively on its fossil fuel business, the Guardian has established.
At one stage the company, whose annual general meeting is in London on Thursday, was spending in-house around $450m (£300m) a year on research alone - the equivalent of $830m today.
The energy efficiency programme employed 4,400 research scientists and R&D support staff at bases in Sunbury, Berkshire, and Cleveland, Ohio, among other locations, while $8bn was directly invested over five years in zero- or low-carbon energy.
But almost all of the technology was sold off and much of the research locked away in a private corporate archive."

It sounds somewhat different on wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP#Altern ... bon_energy
"BP established an alternative and low carbon energy business in 2005, with plans to invest $8 billion over a 10-year period into renewable energy sources including solar, wind, and biofuels, and non-renewable sources including natural gas and hydrogen power. According to the company, it spent a total of $8.3 billion in these projects through completion in 2013.[236][237][238][239] As of 2012, the BP Alternative Energy business employed 5,000 people.[237][240] The division is housed within the firm's "other businesses and corporate" unit, and the company does not break out its financial details.

In the United States, BP has built or purchased 16 wind farms with total gross capacity of around 2,600 megawatts and another 2,000 MW under development. These wind farms include the Cedar Creek Wind Farm, Titan Wind Project, Sherbino Wind Farm, Golden Hills Wind Project, and Fowler Ridge Wind Farm.[190][191][241] In April 2013, BP put its wind energy unit up for sale, to shift its focus more to its main oil and gas businesses.[190][191][242] However, the sale plan was cancelled in July 2013."

Anyway, I know that at least Shell is involved in offshore windparks in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. Which makes sense; if anyone is good at large offshore engineering projects, it should be oil majors. Just fire the geologists.

Apart form that: didn't Exxon diversify into all sorts of weird things, like shopping malls, back in the seventies, only to realize after a few years that this wasn't their strong suit?
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