September 2010 ///

Special Focus

Alternative coverage analysis method reduces infill shooting

Most marine 3D seismic surveys are acquired with infill to ensure adequate subsurface coverage, especially in areas where seismic surveys are affected by adverse currents or suboptimal streamer feather angle matching.

Challenging the ‘missing section equals normal fault’ paradigm

In structurally complex areas, seismic interpretation can be misled by well data wrongly interpreted. A common approach in the oil industry privileges well data in a seismic interpretation.


Accounting for active geohazards in deepwater facilities design

Modern offshore site investigation techniques provide data sets that enable geoscientists to combine their geophysical and geological expertise to accurately identify and characterize geohazards, both at the seafloor and over the formation depths, which will influence design decisions within the development process.

BRAZIL PRE-SALT: Master plan for the Santos Basin pre-salt cluster development

Petrobras has designated a team to build its Master Plan for Santos Basin’s Pre-Salt Cluster Development, also known as PLANSAL, a guide to the exploration and production of oil and gas of this new frontier. At this point, Petrobras is increasing the managerial focus in all technical expertise, as well as encouraging tight integration and teamwork among all people involved.

BRAZIL PRE-SALT: Pre-salt development gathers speed

Often, what is first considered a frustrating obstacle is later recognized as having an important function. So it has been with thick subsurface layers of salt. Long dreaded by explorers and drillers as hazards, salt formations are nonetheless very effective traps for oil and gas.

BRAZIL PRE-SALT: Safety and local-content regulations and technology for Brazil’s deepwater

With an estimated 35 rigs idled in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Brazil is already receiving inquiries from companies looking to move their rigs here, where vast discoveries in recent years may soon turn the country into a major crude exporter.

How to manage software risk

Mission-critical processes now rely heavily on automated and highly integrated control systems software. This increased reliance on automation introduces invisible, but very real, software risks during the building, operation and refurbishment of high-specification offshore assets.

REAL-TIME OPERATIONS: Saudi Aramco’s intelligent fields: Real-time reservoir management

Recent advancements in well technologies, communications and field instrumentation have made it possible to achieve total asset awareness and optimize operations over a field’s development lifecycle.

REAL-TIME OPERATIONS: Use of predictive workflows improves performance assurance

The first data transmission from a remote oilfield location was initiated in 1964 using microwave radios. In the early 1980s, the use of satellite technology (VSAT) for wellsite data transmission created a new industry standard.

The current state of PDC bit technology

Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) cutters and bits have been a significant contributor to the greatly improved efficiencies and economics of oil and gas drilling over the last 30 years.


Drilling advances

Raise your hand if you ever rolled your eyes when Grandpa Mort began a conversation with “back in my day.” Thought so. You’re certainly not alone, as most of us tend to dismiss offhand any historical footnote.

Editorial comment

I don’t have a crystal ball to gaze into the future. But I attended the 14th Annual Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Technical Symposium on Aug. 19 in New Orleans, and I think I have seen the industry come to terms with the Deepwater Horizon incident and scope out a new scenario for safe deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Innovative thinkers

There is no question Matt Simmons was a man of many words, words spoken with both conviction and fervor. Likened to the curious main character of Rudyard Kipling’s The Elephant’s Child, Simmons, who passed away on Aug. 8 at the age of 67, leaves behind a legacy of asking questions and making his actions speak louder than his words.

Oil and Gas in the Capitals

Four British oil companies continue to drill offshore the Falkland Islands and are now scheduled to drill eight new wells before the year is out, despite an escalating war of words between Argentina and the UK over the self-governing British territory. The companies currently involved are all small explorers, either privately owned or listed on London’s junior AIM market.

What’s new in exploration

In an earlier column (“The age of migration,” July 2010) we discussed the history of seismic migration. Here we consider a related question: “What are the different kinds of migration, and which one should I choose?”

What's new in production

The untimely passing of Matt Simmons last month brought an end to one of the most original and controversial energy “insiders” (see “Innovative thinkers,” p. 21). Simmons, a regular contributor to this magazine since the early 1990s, did not coin the term “peak oil”—that distinction goes to visionary geologist M. King Hubbert—but he brought the expression back into the journalistic mainstream.

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World of Oil and Gas

Dong Energy has sold 15% of the Svane and Solsort licenses (4/98 and 3/09) in the Danish sector of the North Sea to VNG Danmark. Dong retains a 35% interest and operatorship of the licenses.