E&P Magazine - October 2006

As I See It

Courts mixed on foreign claims

Suits under the Alien Tort Claims Act could threaten international operations.

Modeling and simulation catch up

We have only recently surmounted the lengthy hypothesis/test cycle-time problems that other industries have conquered.

Cover Story

Looking in the window

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.

Drilling Technologies

The rise of riserless

New riserless technology succeeds in tophole drilling applications.

Completions and Production

Coating extends downhole tool life

Nano-structured material successfully combines the often conflicting properties of hardness and impact resistance.

Rotate coiled tubing

John Van Way, Rental and Fishing Tools, Inc.

Special Report

Expro's CaTS reservoir monitoring technology

Expro's CaTS reservoir monitoring technology

Passive seismic method measures wave fields

Exhibiting for the first time this year is Spectraseis, established in 2003 as a spin-off from Zurich University.

Riserless Mud Recovery technology

Ability Group's Riserless Mud Recovery technology

Subsea compressor selected pilot project

GE new subsea compressor selected for Ormen Lange pilot project

Features

Columbia's activity climbs

Good terms and higher security open Colombian opportunities.

Tech Watch

Gas is on the way, UK

Instant gratification only works on the Internet.

Tech Trends

Integrating the Intelligent Oilfield

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.

Activity Highlights

A bridge to somewhere

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.

Last Word

A personalized perspective

The industry owes a great debt to the pioneers of the 20th century.

Activity Spotlight

News & Analysis

Brazilian energy regulator ANP will offer 284 blocks in seven basins in its eighth licensing auction on Nov. 28 this year as it pinned down a date after an earlier delay. The organization originally planned to offer 1,153 blocks in 18 basins but the government's CNPE energy policy council decided to focus on areas with more focused potential.

Another Perspective

COD drives project efficiencies

Seismic data processing requires huge chunks of compute power. Computing-on-demand helps meet this burgeoning need.

COD drives project efficiencies

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.

Complex projects need coordination

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.

Complex projects need coordination

A workable teamwork approach to construction management reduces the chance of costly misunderstandings.

Expandable sand screens add value

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.

Expandable sand screens add value

Expandable completions will play a bigger role in operators' sand control portfolios.

Flanges tackle deepwater challenges

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.

Flanges tackle deepwater challenges

A remote connection system enables flanges to be used safely and effectively at depth.

Glory Days

Talk about a cyclic industry - geophysical contractors have seen it all. Here's how they survived the tough times and are embracing the good times.

Glory Days

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.

Madagascar seems ripe for picking

Operators know the island nation's potential, but they have to deal with the uncertainty.

Madagascar seems ripe for picking

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.

Maintain constant BHP while drilling

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.

Maintain constant BHP while drilling

Operators drilling with Dynamic Pressure Control expand access to previously undrillable reserves while reducing mud costs and NPT.

Mirror imaging of OBS nodes

Multiples provide unexpected benefits in illuminating complex reservoirs.

Mirror imaging of OBS nodes

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.

Multiphase flow modeling for UBD

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.

Multiphase flow modeling for UBD

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.

Overcome UBD challenges

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.

Overcome UBD challenges

Drilling underbalanced brings unique problems, but overcoming them can result in a successful well not attainable with traditional drilling techniques.

Planning is key in remote environments

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.

Planning is key in remote environments

The importance of preparing for, responding to and managing emergencies should not be underestimated.

Rig technologies in Arctic regions

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.

Sand control gains from new technology

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.

Sand control gains from new technology

Packer system, lightweight gravel offer solution for North Sea openhole gravel packs.

Sand control goes mobile

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.

Sand control goes mobile

New system makes high-rate pumping accessible and affordable in remote areas.

International Spotlight

Walking with Giants

While governments have their definitions of a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME), mine is when an SME has an annual turnover that is less than the stationery budget of its average client.

World Map

Now what??

Blackbeard was a duster. What does this portend for the Deep Shelf play?