April 2013 ///

Special Focus

Liner drilling prevents circulation losses for wells offshore Mexico

A series of wells in complex lithology, in Carpa field of the Faja de Oro (Golden Lane) area, used liner drilling to isolate the problem intervals and reach planned setting depths.

Features

Adaptation: The (r)evolution of FPSO development

Chapter One: The NOV Harsh Environment FPSO signals a transition in vessel design that will be tested first in the North Sea. Additional versions of the new design will eventually be built and put to work in Brazil, West Africa and other regions.

Hydrate characterization and dissociation strategies

Inhibitors will fail to prevent hydrate formation in subsea jumpers if proper mixing does not occur.

Mobile enhanced oil recovery for America’s small oil producers

Pioneer Astronautics is developing truck-portable equipment for generating CO2 on site to make enhanced oil recovery feasible for the small oil producer.

Operators move to the next level of subsea development

Since the beginning of the upstream industry’s migration from dry land into shallow- water arenas, and subsequently into deeper water depths of 600-plus ft, the development of reserves in ever-greater water depths to 10,000 ft has brought on significantly greater volumes of reserves, along with greater producing rates. This has required the development of a vast amount of new technology to bring these reserves to the marketplace.

Optimizing hydraulic fracturing enhances gas production in Saudi Arabia

While hydraulic fracturing is an essential technology to improve gas production from tight gas reservoirs, often the expected post-fracture rate is not achieved, even though the fracture treatment is pumped, as designed. Saudi Aramco has applied best practices associated with gel and polymer systems and the breaking agents. Examples from Saudi Arabia confirm the successes achieved by identifying problems and following up with remedial actions.

OTC 2013 to focus on offshore regulation, expanding role of NOCs

With activity in the Gulf of Mexico back to pre-Macondo levels, and a plethora of new deepwater discoveries off Brazil, West Africa, Southeast Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean, a special emphasis is being placed during OTC 2013 on industry self-regulation, government policy and the increasing role of NOCs around the world.

Regional Report: Gulf of Mexico

Despite devastating hurricanes and a government-imposed moratorium, the oil and gas industry’s first and largest offshore sector is experiencing yet another banner year.

Shale gas emerges from low price fog as liquids excel

Foggy mountain mornings are commonplace in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, western New York and southeastern Ohio, home to the Marcellus shale. Early in the morning, at or before sunrise, visibility can be less than one-tenth of a mile.

The risk of kidnapping: What oil companies need to do

Despite recent media focus on the In Aménas gas plant attack, there are also many other security threats that face overseas workers, especially in the form of kidnapping for financial gain.

Topsides engineering best practices for lightweight design

An overriding factor in any deepwater project is cost. Because the weight of both the structure and the topsides production facility directly impacts cost, it must be a top priority. By reducing the weight of a 20,000-ton topsides by 15%, it is possible to slash capital costs of the project by $100-150 million.

Columns

Drilling advances

Jim Redden, Contributing Editor

Cybersecurity is a growing rig issue

Energy Issues

William J. Pike, World Oil

Up in the air

Executive Viewpoint

Gregory Powers, Ph.D.,, Halliburton

Disruptive technologies change performance standards

Innovative thinkers

Nell Lukosavich, World Oil

Agilyx: Tapping the energy of plastic waste

Oil and Gas in the Capitals

Mauro Nogarin, Contributing Editor

PDVSA regroups after Chavez

The Last Barrel

Kurt Abraham, World Oil

Eagle Ford shale gives mighty boost to South Texas

What’s new in exploration

Nell Lukosavich, World Oil

Twenty thousand (remotely-powered) traces under the ground

What's new in production

Henry Terrell, Contributing Editor

Sustainable shale gas in Appalachia: A greenhouse divided

News & Resources

Companies in the news

Companies in the news

Industry at a glance

Industry at a glance

Meetings and Events

Meetings and Events

New products

New products and services

People in industry

People in industry

World of Oil and Gas

World of Oil and Gas

Geology & Geophysics

A client-contractor partnership and new seismic technology help Pemex achieve effective deepwater E&P

In 2009, CGG won a four-year contract with Pemex for a dedicated seismic vessel to acquire large narrow-azimuth surveys in the deep offshore Mexican Gulf of Mexico, which was later extended to include two large 3D wide-azimuth projects. Since the start of the original contract, Pemex has acquired the world’s first full-scale broadband, high-density, wide-azimuth survey, specifically designed for field development.

AAPG at a glance

The 2013 AAPG Annual Conference & Exhibition will take place May 19–22 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, Pa. Visit https://www.aapg.org/pittsburgh2013/index.cfm to register for the conference and for up-to-date information. Details about technical sessions are at https://www.aapg.org/pittsburgh2013/technicalprogram.cfm. The conference will feature more than 900 oral and poster presentations, covering 11 themes.

Application of cuttings gas/oil analysis, rapid XRF and high-resolution photography to reservoir evaluation

Rock and fluid analyses are essential for prediction and characterization of produced hydrocarbons and for understanding reservoir architecture. A new approach for archived drill cuttings, or cores of any age, allows evaluation of small rock samples and associated trapped fluid with a single, semi-automated workflow

Brazil’s HRT advances Amazon exploration with new gas discovery

After almost two years of work in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, geologists share the unprecedented experience of finding more than 60 prospects in record time by using new tools to tackle the region’s amazing challenges.

South Africa beckons as the continent’s new frontier

IOC investment in South Africa is growing as companies realize that the nation provides unconventional resources, a favorable drilling environment and a potential domestic market.

Port Fourchon

BP IPT initiative hopes to ease personnel constraints

By early next year, Fletcher Technical Community College of Schriever, La., hopes to begin making a serious dent in the growing shortage of deepwater production operators, with the unveiling of its new, all-inclusive Integrated Production Technology (IPT) school.

Just-in-time permitting tops GEST hit list

While the pace of drilling authorizations is accelerating, all too often operators still find themselves sitting on the edge of their desks, awaiting the go-ahead before a contracted deepwater rig can begin paying for itself, according to the grassroots Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST).

Port Fourchon expands as good times roll in the Gulf

As activity continues to grow in the Gulf of Mexico, the nation’s pre-eminent port for deepwater operations is embarking on further expansion to ensure that operators have sufficient service/supply resources to support their myriad projects

Port Fourchon: A high-priority energy corridor

From what we have seen over the past year and all the signs pointing forward, it is abundantly clear that the Gulf of Mexico is returning full throttle to the business of exploring for, and producing, oil and gas. The activity over the past year, particularly in deep and ultra-deep water, has increased to levels  that we reasonably could not have foreseen a couple of years ago.

Spill penalties could help fund remaining portion of LA 1

In what could be seen as an ironic twist, fallout from the 2010 Macondo oil spill could deliver the long-sought funds needed to help complete the elevated replacement of a rapidly sinking, and often-impassable, Lafourche Parish highway that provides the only access to the strategic deepwater hub of Port Fourchon.

Supplement

First Oil

Renaissance & Resilience: People outside the industry often think of oil and gas discovery and development as chance events. However, it requires vision, hard work and business acumen to manage risks.

Are UK CCS projects finally poised for take-off?

Depleted oil and gas fields and saline formations in the UK sector of the North Sea have the potential to hold vast quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) as part of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. So far, no sizeable pilot schemes have been established in the UK, but in March, two projects were selected as candidates to receive funding as part of a £1-billion ($1.5-billion) UK government-backed competition aimed at stimulating the sector. A venture between Royal Dutch Shell, and Scottish and Southern Electricity, plans to capture 90% of CO2 emissions from a 1.18-gigawatt gas plant at Peterhead, eastern Scotland, for storage in the nearby, depleted, Goldeneye gas reservoir. Meanwhile, a consortium of power producer Drax, Alstom and BOC Group wants to store CO2 from a 304-megawatt, coal-fired power station in northeastern England in an offshore saline aquifer. World Oil asked Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, which represents the UK’s CCS industry, whether this funding could finally kick-start the sector.

Carrying the next generation of offshore mega-structures

In February, the world’s largest semisubmersible heavy transport vessel set out on its maiden voyage, carrying the world’s largest semisubmersible offshore platform hull. The Dockwise Vanguard performed its first float-on operation in South Korea, where it was built, before carrying the Jack/St Malo hull, which weighs almost 56,000 tons, to Kiewit yard in Ingleside, Texas. It is expected to reach its destination in early May. With a bow-less design that enables loading of longer cargoes and a loading capacity of up to 110,000 tons, the Dockwise Vanguard is intended to cater to the next generation of large offshore structures. Michel Seij of Dutch-based Dockwise spoke to World Oil about the rationale behind building this $240-million vessel.

Bridon creating high-tech hub for next-generation rope development

Bridon’s rope production dates back to the 18th century, when it made ropes from natural fibers, such as jute. Now the company manufactures steel wire and synthetic ropes, including high-strength ropes for offshore heavy lifting and deepwater mooring.

Advanced method cuts time and costs for EOR modeling

A sustained high oil price is leading major oil and gas companies to reassess their mature assets, which traditionally would have been sold to smaller operators, when the decline in production reduced the operating margins for the asset.

New challenges confront the UK North Sea

The face of the North Sea oil and gas industry is changing, as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and decommissioning in mature fields become increasingly important. Malcolm Webb of industry association Oil and Gas UK tells World Oil what this shift means for oil and gas firms, both in terms of technology development and financial demands.

Are UK CCS projects finally poised for take-off? (1)

The P-63 Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, developed specifically to work in Brazil’s offshore Papa Terra oil field, is unique in that it will be the first FPSO vessel to utilize gas-fueled engines to produce more than 100 MW of power. The contract to supply the three main power modules to achieve this demanding output was awarded to Wärtsilä. This also includes commissioning, start-up and operational supervision.

Decision time approaches for pioneering subsea compression technology

Gas from Ormen Lange field offshore Norway will probably need compression by the end of this decade, to push it up to the Nyhamna processing facility onshore. Faced with this challenge, Shell, Statoil and their partners have been carrying out pioneering tests on subsea compression technology, which can be powered by subsea cables from the shore, removing the need for any offshore topside equipment, Fig. 1. As the decision time approached on whether to proceed with a project that Shell hopes will revolutionize subsea production, World Oil spoke about the latest developments with Pascal Montoulives and Mathias Owe, two of the engineers most heavily involved with the technology. industry, whether this funding could finally kick-start the sector.

Are UK CCS projects finally poised for take-off? (2)

Depleted oil and gas fields and saline formations in the UK sector of the North Sea have the potential to hold vast quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) as part of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. So far, no sizeable pilot schemes have been established in the UK, but in March, two projects were selected as candidates to receive funding as part of a £1-billion ($1.5-billion) UK government-backed competition aimed at stimulating the sector. A venture between Royal Dutch Shell, and Scottish and Southern Electricity, plans to capture 90% of CO2 emissions from a 1.18-gigawatt gas plant at Peterhead, eastern Scotland, for storage in the nearby, depleted, Goldeneye gas reservoir. Meanwhile, a consortium of power producer Drax, Alstom and BOC Group wants to store CO2 from a 304-megawatt, coal-fired power station in northeastern England in an offshore saline aquifer. World Oil asked Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, which represents the UK’s CCS industry, whether this funding could finally kick-start the sector.

Tackling compensator lock-up risk on floating MODUs

The catastrophic failure of a riser or landing string inside the marine riser of a floating mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) is a real but not widely acknowledged hazard. However good their design, compensator systems are all subject to the risk of failure.

K&B Machine moves to improve port access

Family-owned premium threader K&B Machine will celebrate its 40th birthday next year, in a new facility being developed, in part, to provide the Houma company closer access to Port Fourchon.