March 2015 ///

Special Focus

Improving underbalanced drilling using air in the Marcellus shale

Chris Maranuk, Ali Rodriguez, Joe Trapasso, Josh Watson

A newly developed, ruggedized air-drilling system increased rig up time, reduced costs for mud and cuttings disposal, improved hole cleaning, and increased ROP.


Drilling a 6-in. lateral in underbalanced conditions while ensuring effective hole cleaning

Toni Miszewski

Coiled tubing (CT) drilling offers an economical alternative to conventional, jointed pipe drilling when accessing mature and low-yield fields. A 40% reduction in cost can be achieved by CT’s ability to drill continuously, mobilize faster, reduce rig time, and require fewer preparations.

What’s new in well logging and formation evaluation

Stephen Prensky

Part 1: In this first of two installments, the latest developments in well logging and formation evaluation are assessed. General developments include ongoing efforts to improve the accuracy of the logging depth measurement and wellbore position, improving standards for well-log deliverables, and multi-log correlation. New developments in LWD, openhole wireline, and sensor design and methodology are discussed in detail.

Gas detection on the Terra Nova FPSO

Rajat Barua, Ed Sharpe, Zona Bath

Terra Nova oil field is an offshore production zone in eastern Canada, using North America’s first FPSO vessel. When hydrogen sulfide was found in its producing oil wells during 2010, the namesake FPSO underwent a complete decommissioning and upgrading of its gas detection system.

ShaleTech: U.S. Rockies

Jim Redden

Capital shift squeezes unconventional prospects

Regional report: East Africa

Ron Bitto

Energy development will bring economic progress to the emerging nations of East Africa


First Oil

Pramod Kulkarni

Of bulbs and bubbling crude

Energy issues

William J. Pike

Teapot Dome’s ghost banished?

What's new in exploration

William (Bill) Head

To oil, or not to oil (and gas), that is the question

Drilling advances

Jim Redden

Oh, by the way

What's new in production

Henry Terrell

Repeal the export ban? Price drop puts a new twist in the debate

Offshore in depth

Ron Bitto

“Operation Car Wash” takes shine off Petrobras

Oil and gas in the capitals

Jeff Moore

Southeast Asian nations develop “coping strategies” for oil price downturn

Executive viewpoint

Mark Mitchell

The mainstreaming of MPD

Innovative thinkers

Steven McGinn

The Sniffers: Detection dogs

The last barrel

Kurt Abraham

Splinters in the windmills of Putin’s mind

News & Resources

World of oil and gas

Roger Jordan

World of oil and gas

Industry at a glance

Henry Terrell

Industry at a glance

People in the industry

Steven McGinn

People in the industry

New products and services

Steven McGinn

New products and services

Companies in the news

Steven McGinn

Companies in the news

ShaleTech Report

Technical gains continue, in spite of prices

Kurt Abraham

Technical gains continue, in spite of prices

Leverage people and data to prosper in lean times

Eve Sprunt

During the hectic shale boom, there was little time for formation evaluation. The focus was on drilling, fracturing and getting wells online as quickly as possible. With lower oil prices and slashed capital budgets, companies should take time to think about how to survive, and even thrive, in the new reality.

Shale gas: Industry revolution or public revolt?

Paul Taylor

Shale gas has proven its worthiness through a revolution of E&P activity over the last decade, particularly in the U.S. Yet, the question remains, can it prevail beyond current, low commodity prices, as well as environmental/public controversies, specifically in Europe?

How fracture interference impacts Woodford shale gas production

Eva Peza, Richard Hand, Wallace Harper, Ram Jayakumar, Dan Wood, Eric Wigger, Barry Dean, Ziad Al-Jalal, Sameer Ganpule

An integrated analysis of fracture interference revealed that hydraulic fracture system damage was, most likely, due to stimulation fluid flooding, into depleted fracture systems around parent wells, resulting in a reduction in the effective fracture area. The team proposed a number of options to mitigate the impact of fracture interference, including refracturing the existing producing well with an energized fluid.

Positive displacement motors improve drilling efficiency, reduce time to first oil

Ahmed Al-Essa, Azar Azizov, Brayden Jerde, Norwood Augustine, Steven Faulkner, Wolfgang John

With lower oil prices, unconventional plays require a high degree of efficiency to become profitable. The highest number of wells should be drilled with the fewest rigs and services, at the fastest possible rate. Three new positive displacement motors were developed for specific applications in the Williston and Niobrara basins. This focused engineering has delivered enormous savings to operators.

New drill pipe reduces body wear during shale drilling

Aniket Kumar, Robello Samuel, Scott Granger

After detailed analysis of shale well designs and drilling operations in the Bakken, a new drill pipe was introduced to reduce the wear on the pipe body while drilling the intermediate 8¾-in. hole section, as well as providing adequate annular clearance between the pipe and the wellbore to keep the ECDs in check.

Composite plug advances accelerate plug-and-perf operations

Matthew Crump, P.E.

The result of a 14-month design and laboratory qualification work, a new, composite frac plug provides superior sealing strength and allows fast mill-out with fewer large cuttings.

Silica gel emerges as viscosifier for aqueous hydro-frac fluids

Michael McDonald, Neil Miller, William K. (Bill) Ott, PE, Gene Elphingstone

Originally introduced to the E&P industry more than 30 years ago, silica gel, in its next-generation version, is now finally gaining widespread acceptance as a frac fluid viscosifier.

Trends in domestic regulation of shale development

Larry Nettles, Jay Rothrock

Whatever the E&P implications of current market conditions might be, now is not the time for operators to disengage from the legislative and administrative processes that will continue to affect hydraulic fracturing operations, long after present conditions subside.

How curable resin-coated proppant tail-in prevents proppant flowback, reduces workover costs

Keith Greff, Jr., Keith Huebinger, Bruce Goldfaden

This study examined 46 wells in AWP field in McMullen County, Texas, over a 10-year time frame. The authors compared 23 wells using 100% frac sand, and 23 wells utilizing a curable resin-coated proppant tail-in. The study concluded that there is a positive net present value when using curable resin-coated proppant tail-in to control frac sand flowback.

What’s new in Shale technology

Steven McGinn

What’s new in Shale technology