|Theme||Visible||Selectable||Appearance||Zoom Range (now: 0)|
Two of the world's wealthiest men have put their vast resources behind what the nuclear industry calls small modular reactors (SMRs) in the quest for the perfect carbon-free energy source. TerraPower, founded by Bill Gates, and PacifiCorp, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, are sponsors of the project. The first SMR from TerraPower, the Natrium reactor project, will be built in Wyoming--the nation's primary coal producer--at the very location that once housed a coal station, where the infrastructure for a steam-cycle power plant and distribution to the electrical grid already exist. Last year, the state legislature passed a law authorizing utilities to replace coal or natural gas generation with small nuclear reactors and the US Department of Energy awarded TerraPower $80 million in initial funding to demonstrate Natrium technology; the department has committed additional funding subject to congressional approvals. Just ask anyone in Texas where a combination of frozen wind turbines and unprecedented demand last winter darkened the state for days.
Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) said this week it has agreed to sell almost 25,000 net acres in the Permian Basin of Texas to Colgate Energy Partners III for nearly $508 million. Average output of the properties amounts to 10,000 BOE/D from about 360 wells in the southern Delaware Basin, Houston-based Oxy reported in its announcement. The sale, expected to close in the third quarter, will boost Midland-based Colgate's holdings in the Permian to about 83,000 acres with an estimated production of 55,000. Colgate said it plans to run up to six drilling rigs by year's end and boost average production to 75,000 BOE/D by 2022. Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down Oxy's debt that was around $35.4 billion in March, down slightly from the $36.03-billion debt reported last June.
Texas-based independent exploration and production company Talos Energy and UK-based clean energy group Storegga Geotechnologies have formed an exclusive joint venture to source, evaluate, and develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects along the US Gulf Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Areas under consideration include state and federal waters offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. There are no upfront capital commitments, and the partners will share costs in the initial phases on a 50/50 basis with Talos designated the operating partner. Talos said it and Storegga will, in collaboration, "originate and mature CCS ventures with emitters, infrastructure providers, service companies, and financing partners, among others." As individual CCS projects are matured, each will be "ring-fenced" with separate operating agreements, financing structures, and the possibility of additional working interest partners.
Independence Energy and Contango Oil & Gas announced today an all-stock merger that will create a company with an estimated enterprise value of almost $5.7 billion. Independence shareholders will own 76% of the combined company which is to be headquartered in Houston. Contango shareholders will own the remainder. The two companies combined production for the first quarter was approximately 111,000 BOE/D and their combined decline rate for the year is estimated to be 18%. On a pro forma basis, the 2020 booked reserves show a commodity breakdown of 47% oil, 15% natural gas liquids, and 38% natural gas.
The Biden administration called for new protections under the Endangered Species Act for an iconic bird of the Great Plains, a move with major consequences for the oil and gas industry. US Fish and Wildlife Service officials proposed listing as endangered a portion of the lesser prairie chicken's population living in Texas and New Mexico, whose range overlaps with the oil- and gas-rich Permian Basin. The agency stopped short of awarding the same protections to the birds' northern population, in Oklahoma and Kansas, on the grounds that their numbers had declined less drastically. The decision, one of nearly two dozen new conservation measures the administration has adopted in the past four months, underscores President Biden's push to unravel his predecessor's environmental policies. In a separate move, the Environmental Protection Agency abolished a rule restricting what sort of studies the agency can use in crafting public health rules.
Some Texas leaders and oil and gas industry advocates have for years promoted the idea that produced water--the waste water generated through oil and gas development--has a role to play in meeting broad water needs in the state. However, the state has a limited understanding of the chemicals in this waste water and how programs to reuse it outside the oil field could be practiced safely, if at all. Acknowledging the necessity to better understand treatment needs, economic challenges, and public health and environmental risks of industry's waste water, the Texas Legislature recently passed Senate Bill 601, establishing a Texas Produced Water Consortium. The consortium will be housed at Texas Tech University and will bring together a wide swath of agency advisors, technical experts, and key stakeholders to consider these issues and produce a report with recommendations over the next year. The group is charged with suggesting legal and regulatory changes to better enable beneficial uses, identifying pilot projects and assessing the economics of using produced water both efficiently but also in a way that protects public health and the environment.
Remedial cementing requires as much technical, engineering, and operational experience, as primary cementing but is often done when wellbore conditions are unknown or out of control, and when wasted rig time and escalating costs force poor decisions and high risk. Squeeze cementing is a "correction" process that is usually only necessary to correct a problem in the wellbore. Before using a squeeze application, a series of decisions must be made to determine (1) if a problem exists, (2) the magnitude of the problem, (3) if squeeze cementing will correct it, (4) the risk factors present, and (5) if economics will support it. Most squeeze applications are unnecessary because they result from poor primary-cement-job evaluations or job diagnostics. Squeeze cementing is a dehydration process.
Introduction The three primary functions of a drilling fluid--the transport of cuttings out of the wellbore, prevention of fluid influx, and the maintenance of wellbore stability--depend on the flow of drilling fluids and the pressures associated with that flow. For example, if the wellbore pressure exceeds the fracture pressure, fluids will be lost to the formation. If the wellbore pressure falls below the pore pressure, fluids will flow into the wellbore, perhaps causing a blowout. It is clear that accurate wellbore pressure prediction is necessary. To properly engineer a drilling fluid system, it is necessary to be able to predict pressures and flows of fluids in the wellbore. The purpose of this chapter is to describe in detail the calculations necessary to predict the flow performance of various drilling fluids for the variety of operations used in drilling and completing a well. Overview Drilling fluids range from relatively incompressible fluids, such as water and brines, to ...
Directional drilling is defined as the practice of controlling the direction and deviation of a wellbore to a predetermined underground target or location. This section describes why directional drilling is required, the sort of well paths that are used, and the tools and methods employed to drill those wells. Field developments, particularly offshore and in the Arctic, involve drilling an optimum number of wells from a single platform or artificial island. Directional drilling has helped by greatly reducing the costs and environmental impact of this application. A well is directionally drilled to reach a producing zone that is otherwise inaccessible with normal vertical-drilling practices.