Brines are preferred to solids-laden fluids for completion operations due to their solids-free nature, which helps preserve formation permeability. Salt selection is mostly driven by the density that must be reached to match downhole pressure requirements. When density must be above 14.2 lbm/gal (1.7 s.g.), and crystallization must be prevented, previous options were limited to calcium bromide brines, zinc bromide brines and cesium formate. These brines have severe limitations: zinc brines can be harmful to oilfield personnel and the environment, cesium formate brines are cost-prohibitive and not readily available and calcium brines cannot meet deepwater crystallization requirements. A new brine technology has been developed, that is zinc-free and extends the density of conventional bromide brines beyond their theoretical limits. This new technology addresses the limitations listed above, while providing low True Crystallization Temperature (TCT) and Pressurized Crystallization Temperature (PCT) to perform in deepwater and cold weather applications.
Murphy Oil to Buy Deepwater US Gulf Assets for up to $1.625 Billion The El Dorado, Arkansas-based Murphy has quickly found a home for some of the cash it will receive from the sale of its Malaysia business. The company has been rapidly expanding its US gulf footprint while simplifying its portfolio and targeting more oil. The pact, which builds on the firms’ current partnership on the Buckskin project, covers four Keathley Canyon blocks including the Leon and Moccasin discoveries. BP announced four discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico near existing platforms. It use advanced seismic imaging to identify resources in deepwater locations that can be developed cost effectively using platforms nearby.
After the 2010 subsea blowout of the Macondo well that resulted in 11 deaths and the worst oil spill in US history, early kick detection technology found itself at the top of the wish list for regulators and offshore companies seeking to avoid similar accidents. The offshore industry has taken another step toward opening up new deepwater frontiers to exploration with Maersk Drilling ordering the first 20,000-psi blowout preventer (BOP) made by GE Oil and Gas. Many problems that result in BOP downtime could be prevented if only drilling contractors knew which parts of the subsea system to replace and when. BOP monitoring systems have been developed to increase reliability by enabling preventive maintenance.
Mexico Awards Its First Deepwater Blocks; What Comes Next? Mexico’s long awaited deepwater auction saw 8 out of 10 blocks awarded but there remains plenty of work to be done before activity ramps up, including finalizing regulatory rules, upgrading ports, and optimizing the bid rules for future auctions. Mexico’s second oil and gas lease auction has been deemed a success after three out of five shallow-water blocks were awarded in September. The awarded areas contain an estimated 236 million bbl of oil and 190 Bcf of gas. In June, Mexico’s national oil company Pemex announced its largest discoveries of oil and gas in 5 years.
A strong reason for removing old platforms from the Gulf of Mexico, rather than trying to squeeze more years of marginal production out of them, is hurricanes. A destructive run of three hurricanes has been a catalyst for a flurry of innovations in decommissioning shallow-water wells in the US Gulf of Mexico.
The authors detail the development of a technique based on surface-to-borehole controlled-source electromagnetics (CSEM), which exploits the large contrast in resistivity between injected water and oil to derive 3D resistivity distributions, proportional to saturations, in the reservoir. In the complete paper, the authors present a novel methodology to model interwell connectivity in mature waterfloods and achieve an improved reservoir-energy distribution and sweep pattern to maximize production performance by adjusting injection and production strategy on the well-control level. This paper addresses the challenges in modeling highly unstable waterflooding, using both a conventional Darcy-type simulator and an adaptive dynamic prenetwork model, by comparing the simulated results with experimental data including saturation maps. An integrated multidisciplinary approach is required to determine an optimal design and strategy. This paper reviews the design and implementation of a full-field interwell tracer program for a giant onshore oil field in Abu Dhabi.
Study Says Taylor Oil Spill Is up to 1,000 Times Worse Than Rig Owner's Estimate A new federal study estimates that, each day, about 380 to 4,500 gal of oil are flowing at the site where a company's oil platform was damaged after a hurricane. Up to 1,000 gallons of oil per day are being removed from the site of the Taylor Energy spill, says the owner of the company that installed a containment system. The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has announced a new collaboration to support a pilot effort to convert an existing ocean mooring owned by Shell into the first long-term deep ocean observatory in the Gulf of Mexico. An oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in US history. Improved understanding of the coupled natural/human coastal system will help promote resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems under rapidly changing environmental conditions, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is launching a safety initiative to bring critical information directly to offshore workers on the outer continental shelf. The BSEE!Safe program uses text messages to send links to its published Safety Alerts and Bulletins. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says its final well-control rule removes unnecessary regulatory burdens to responsible offshore development while maintaining safety and environmental protection. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says its staffing and inspections are up, while the environmental group Oceana says that oil and gas drillers have a financial incentive to ignore safety. Ahead of the release of the Trump administration's changes to Obama-era rules governing offshore oil platforms, Michael Bromwich said he is worried.
When people hear of surfactant research in the oil and gas industry, they most likely think of surfactant flooding. An emerging area of surfactant application in the industry is as a conformance improvement agent. Digitalization is going to impact every industry in the next 5–10 years. The oil and gas industry needs a lot more data scientists today than a year ago, so a person with the right qualifications and experience is the need of the industry today. Author of the Pulitzer Prize winner The Prize, Daniel Yergin is an energy luminary whose achievements promote the international understanding of energy and its economics.
OTC panelists were excited at the potential of deepwater exploration offshore Mexico and believe that opportunities there could eventually drive a big new wave of activity. One of the oldest deepwater platforms in the Gulf of Mexico has become a profit-leader for the oil major during this downturn and is now a model for the company’s other floating assets. The new economic environment known as “lower for longer” has had no small effect on offshore safety, said a panel of experts at the 2017 Offshore Technology Conference. Panelists at the Offshore Technology Conference largely doubted that the oil and gas industry is making full use of digital technology for fundamental transformation. Companies are rethinking offshore developments and in a very tough market are finding innovative ways of bringing some projects forward.