Drilling advances ///

Earlier in my career, I was in a large conference room ready to make a presentation to obtain approval to drill a well somewhere. The Division Manager was seated at the head of the table surrounded by a whole team of highly-paid professionals from all disciplines. Under review just then was a gas-gathering system for a number of leases with newly-drilled wells in South Texas. The gas wells had excellent initial flowrates, but there was no gas pipeline nearby. So, the company decided to build its own gathering system and ship the gas to the nearest pipeline. Seemed like a simple enough idea at the time. The review had gone on for some time. The pipeline guys presented their well thought out plans, including costs and timing for completing the job. After their presentation, the questions started. At first, the questions were benign: “What pipe sizes would be used?”

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