As access to the world's oil and gas reserves becomes constrained outside Europe and North America, the interest in and potential for exploration and production (E&P) in remote regions has increased. This is especially true in the Arctic frontier, where E&P spending is forecast to grow significantly. The Sakhalin Island shelf contains proven reserves rivaling the North Sea during early development, and 80% of Russia's potential hydrocarbons are concentrated in the northwest Arctic shelf.
Major oil companies bypassed Madagascar in times past, but now it's on ExxonMobil's short list of hot offshore prospects, and the latest licensing round has drawn interest from other major oil companies as well, but onshore prospects offer high potential, too.
The oil and gas sector is a high-risk industry in anyone's estimation - working with high- pressures, volatile liquids, flammable and toxic gases, heavy equipment in remote and harsh conditions, and often hundreds of miles away from emergency services. It is vitally important therefore to understand the significance of emergency preparation and take steps to ensure operators have effective response arrangements in place should the worst happen.
Operators drilling with Dynamic Pressure Control expand access to previously undrillable reserves while reducing mud costs and NPT. Dynamic Pressure Control (DPC) is a managed-pressure drilling (MPD) service to maintain constant bottomhole pressure (CBHP) while drilling.
Drilling underbalanced brings unique problems, but overcoming them can result in a successful well not attainable with traditional drilling techniques. There are many locations worldwide where drilling cost reduction or production improvement is likely to result through application of directional underbalanced drilling (UBD). The main benefit of underbalanced drilling is the minimization of formation invasion related problems.
Because of the presence of both compressible and incompressible fluids, accurate multiphase flow modeling is necessary for the planning and implementation of most UBD projects. In underbalanced drilling (UBD), the pressure throughout the well bore is intentionally kept lower than the formation pressure, allowing the well to produce during the drilling operation.
A remote connection system enables flanges to be used safely and effectively at depth.
Acergy has steadily been building up experience in using standard flange connectors for the tie-in of deepwater pipelines and risers. To date, more than 100 flanges have been successfully connected using the Modular Advanced Tie In System (Matis) remote connection system, with no leaks reported during pressure testing or subsequent pipeline operation.
A workable teamwork approach to construction management reduces the chance of costly misunderstandings. The external interface management process is useful to ensure that the myriad of project elements are properly coordinated, responsibilities assigned, problems identified, conflicts resolved, resolutions documented and roles understood by all involved.
Currently, production from sand-prone environments accounts for approximately one-third of BP's current total production, and this will grow significantly as many of BP's new growth areas ramp up production over the next few years. In addition many of BP's water injectors will require sand control.
New system makes high-rate pumping accessible and affordable in remote areas. For years, offshore operators have relied on dedicated stimulation vessels for high-rate pumping operations such as hydraulic fracturing, frac packing and acidizing.
Packer system, lightweight gravel offer solution for North Sea openhole gravel pack.
In the first part of the 1990s, cased-hole gravel pack was the primary sand control measure in Statoil; however, during the last decade openhole solutions have been taking over. Statoil has had good success with openhole gravel-pack operations in horizontal wells up to 3,937 ft (1,200 m) in length.
Backdropping the oil industry's historical supply/demand fluctuations, every upswing typically brings new challenges as well as open-ended opportunities. As shareholders of super-major oil companies evaluate the balance between production and reserves, increased consumption continues to exert pressure on these companies to keep pace. As a result, seismic data processors are finding themselves dealing with an abundance of work.
By the mid-1990s, 3-D seismic had come into its own, particularly offshore. Vessels were being equipped with longer streamers, and more of them, enabling them to acquire massive volumes of data in a relatively quick period. "Group shoots" were becoming common, enabling geophysical contractors to bite off ever-larger chunks of acreage in return for a guaranteed customer base that helped to pre-fund the survey and offset some of the financial risk.
As the world struggles to address increasing demand and decreasing supply of energy, producers are compelled to explore and produce in more challenging places. Technology has always been a key to success in this game. New seismic technology aims at imaging the blind spots of conventional methods. One such new technology is ocean bottom station (OBS) nodes.
Despite the US Supreme Court's effort to clarify the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), the divergence between lower courts interpreting the law continues to expand. While some courts have construed the ATCA narrowly, limiting the cases that can be brought, others have interpreted the Act broadly, recognizing novel claims and theories of liability.
The history of oil fields covers a broad scope and evolving technology that today encompasses real-time monitoring of producing fields, geophysical techniques that greatly reduce drilling risk, and sophisticated engineering techniques for drilling and producing oil from hostile environments such as in thousands of feet of water. These capabilities were not created overnight. The pioneers of our industry set the groundwork that made these advances possible.
We have only recently surmounted the lengthy hypothesis/test cycle-time problems that other industries have conquered. Computer modeling and simulation is common in many industries today. In the early days of computing, simulation replaced physical experimentation only in simple cases where the simulations executed faster than the associated physical experiments.
Hard-core libertarians may disagree, but in the vast stew of activities funded by the US federal government a few morsels actually return value for money spent. Unlike the infamous Alaskan "bridge to nowhere" - the poster project for government waste - high-decibel bang for the buck can be seen in smaller, sharply focused programs.
I think I am beginning to get the hang of this IT/Intelligent Energy thing. After moderating a couple of conference sessions, it may all be coming together for me. Up until this point, I have been like a penniless kid looking into a toy store window. There are lots of really exciting-looking things inside - and oh how I want to go in - but they are all out of my reach in terms of understanding. I suspect most of the industry has felt like this, and many still do.
The Intelligent Oilfield (IOF) is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Part one of this three-part series defines the IOF and looks at the business case for it. The dynamic and dramatic evolution of the oil industry continues. It was a mere 10 years ago that the industry was feeling bloated with staff as energy demand provided only cautious optimism for the future.
As the price of oil fluctuates, so does the industry's approach to moving technology forward. When the price of oil was low, many operators looked to major service companies to devise custom solutions.
Downhole tools often operate in extremely abrasive, erosive, corrosive and chemically aggressive environments. These conditions reduce tool life and cause significant downtime. This has substantial cost and time implications and can seriously impact well or project viability. Materials used in downhole drilling and completion tools have to combine high hardness with impact and corrosion resistance.
Those of you placing bets on The Next Big Thing in offshore drilling technology may want to check the current odds on riserless drilling. This technology continues to evolve and had a recent success in the North Sea, with the first North Sea oil well employing advanced Riserless Mud Recovery (RMR) technology successfully drilled by Total E&P UK PLC on the Jura West 3/15-10 prospect.
The invention of a completely new device to rotate CT was driven by the numerous advantages that such a capability would provide. This new concept, called the Tubing Intervention Manipulator, will extend coiled tubing to a wider variety of uses, save time and reduce costs.
Instant gratification only works on the Internet. The Royal Bank of Scotland unleashed a disturbing report for the United Kingdom in late August. It said oil production dropped 4% from May to June and 13% from June 2005 to 2006. During the same periods, gas production toppled by 23% month-to-month and 24% year-to-year.
The speculation was fun while it lasted. Newfield Exploration Co., along with partners ExxonMobil, BP, Petrobras, Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. and BHP Billiton Petroleum, was sitting on the details of the Blackbeard West #1, one of the deepest wells attempted in the Gulf of Mexico's "Deep Shelf" play. A successful well would have proved up the theory that huge structures miles below the ocean bottom in the Gulf's shallow waters house enough natural gas to allow the United States to breathe a little sigh of relief in the face of increasing demand and declining fields.