October 2001 ///

Special Focus

49th annual Schlumberger Reed-Hycalog rig census

Soaring natural gas prices during the past year resulted in a dynamic U.S. rig fleet. The number of rigs in the U.S. rose after two years of declines, and the activity level of this larger fleet was even more impressive than its expanded size. The number of active rigs rose 31%, pushing utilization to 93%, which is an increase of about 19% from a year ago – a level not seen since the early 1980s.

New drilling technology improves ROP and lowers drilling costs

A closed-loop steering system saves money and reduces casing/ drill pipe wear while conducting near-zero vertical drilling through deepwater salt formations

New rig design improves drilling efficiency

The latest innovation in slant rig drilling technology reduces drilling time for shallow wells by up to 50%, while also improving rig crew safety


Constraining source and charge risk in deepwater areas

In most petroleum companies, each element of the petroleum system is addressed through peer reviews and risking sessions. These elements are: source presence and its characteristics, source maturity, migration (carrier beds), reservoir, trap and seal. An additional risk is oil quality or its preservation. More than half of the risk associated with a prospect or play fairway is assessed via petroleum geochemistry and burial history / thermal / fluid-flow basin modeling. This article will present how regional data, paleo-reconstructions, seepage data via piston coring and 2-D burial history / thermal / fluid-flow basin modeling have typed source-rock characteristics across the deepwater and ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM), and how this helps constrain source type and presence. Also discussed are new definitions of seepage related to petroleum systems vs. unrelated anomalies, how this helps constrain charge, and how all of these data were integrated to define a source-rock model for the deepwater to ultra-deepwater GOM.

Natural Gas: Gathering and Compression

Cooperative effort allows efficient, fast-track development of a gas field – The operator, gas marketer and equipment supplier brought a gas field to full production by using ready-to-ship packages and other equipment from inventory

Part 1 - Mexico's Northern Region launches massive development

State oil company Pemex will conduct a large-scale development of gas reserves over the next five years, much of it in the Northern Region’s Burgos basin

Tectonic setting of the world's giant oil fields

Part 2 continues the discussion of a new classification scheme for the world’s giant fields, focusing on the North Sea, Africa, Persian Gulf and FSU regions

Turkmenistan reaches out to foreign investors

In an exclusive interview, Turkmen Oil and Gas Industry Minister Kurbannazar Nazarov assesses the country’s energy sector and prospects for foreign investors

Using downhole vibration stimulation for enhanced oil recovery

As some operators report production increases, further field tests are warranted for an emerging technology that improves EOR through seismic stimulation

Volatile oil prices result from bad data and misguided attention to inventories

While ignoring unreliable IEA figures, frequent shifts in OPEC quotas still focus too much on API stock changes, often resulting in unintended, wild price swings

Special Report

Mobile offshore production units 2001

World Oil’s annual listing of the 145-unit, global MOPU fleet shows ownership, photographs and performance data for four categories of production vessels


New equipment


Editorial comment

When mere words won’t suffice


Mexican gas stance defies predictability; Cuban oil output leaps higher

International Politics

Criticism of the new Venezuelan law dismissed as “a storm in a teacup”

What's happening in drilling

New techniques reduce operating costs; Britain recruits offshore help

What's happening in exploration

Getting a “jump” on the latest theory behind seismic anisotropy

What's happening in production

Several new projects see first oil; New perforating, gravel pack records set

What's happening offshore

Offshore Europe examined various ways to optimize remaining UKCS potential

News & Resources

Companies in the news

Marathon Petroleum Norge A/S agreed with Statoil, Norsk Hydro and TotalFinaElf to acquire interests in five licenses in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. In Brazil’s third bidding round, Phillips Petroleum Co. finalized an agreement on Blocks BM-ES-11 (in the northern portion of the Greater Campos basin) and BM-PAMA-3 (in the Para Maranhao basin, part of the southern Amazon Fan. Phillips will operate the deepwater blocks. Plans call for seismic acquisition and geological and geophysical evaluations.

Industry at a glance

Looking ahead

Oil country hot line

People in industry