July 2007

What's new in production

To handle greater output, pipeline projects abound

Vol. 228 No. 7  

Pipelines. With the continued growth in energy demand and the consequent rise in energy prices, many pipeline projects have been proposed to expand oil and gas delivery to hungry markets around the globe. Many of these projects have now been approved and an update of their progress is in order. Here are a few of the most recent projects.

Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan. This 1,768-km (1,098-mi.) pipeline project was completed in June last year to bring Caspian Sea production to Mediterranean markets, and from there to world markets. In a recent news report, a BP official explained that the pipeline’s capacity was on pace to grow to 1.6 million bopd by 2011, from its present 885,000 bopd. The expansion is driven by the Kazakhstan Kashagan field, whose production is being expanded toward a 1 million bopd goal. Kashagan is estimated to hold up to 13 billion boe.

Bulgarian crossroads. Bulgaria’s parliament recently approved two pipeline agreements. The first connects Russia and Greece across Bulgaria. This pipeline will move Russian oil from the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea and avoid tanker congestion in Turkey’s Bosporus Strait.

The project will produce a 280-km (174-mi.) onshore line from Burgas, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea coast to Alexandroupolis, Greece, on the Aegean coast. Oil will be tankered from Novorossiysk, Russia, across the Black Sea to Burgas, where it will enter the pipeline and be pumped to Greece. This connection has been under discussion for 14 years and should be built and operating by early 2010.

A second agreement, the 895-km (556-mi.) AMBO project, was also approved by Bulgaria to link the Black Sea to the Adriatic Sea. This line will connect Burgas, Bulgaria, by way of Macedonia to Vlore, Albania, on the Adriatic coast. This line also bypasses the Bosporous Strait constraint, bringing Russian oil to western markets by 2011.

China. CNPC will begin construction of a 170-km (105-mi.) pipeline section that will connect to a longer Russian pipeline that is to bring East Siberian oil into China. When completed, the pipeline system will deliver 600,000 bopd from Taishet, Russia, to Skovorodino, Russia, on the Chinese border. From there the oil will go south into China and be forwarded to the Pacific coast by rail.

China’s gas production is expanding rapidly. In 2006 gas production grew by 23.5% and it is forecast to grow another 21% in 2007. Demand is projected to expand to 100 Bcm by 2010, from 60 Bcm last year.

PetroChina, a subsidiary of CNPC, completed one natural gas pipeline and began another. The first is a 177-km (110-mi.) pipeline in Qinghai province in China’s northwest. It began delivering 2 Bcm/yr of natural gas to Germu from Sebei gas field. This new line runs adjacent to an older line that delivers 800 MMcm/yr. In Heilongjiang province, northeast China, the company is building a 149-km pipeline from Daqing field to Qiqihaer.

Baltic Sea. The Nord Stream project was approved by Finland to begin preliminary work for a 1,200-km (745-mi.) gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea. The project is headed by Gazprom (51%) and will be laid from Vyborg, Russia, to Greifswald, Germany. The Baltic countries have environmental concerns, so portions of the line may be buried rather than laid on the bottom. Other partners include BASF (24.5%) and E.ON. (24.5%). The pipeline should be completed by 2010 with a capacity of 27.5 Bcm/yr of gas, which will gow to 55 Bcm/yr by 2012.

Iran-Pakistan-India. Pakistan plans to build a 2,000-km natural gas pipeline to connect Iran gas production to Pakistan and Indian markets. The proposed project could cost $7 billion and would initially deliver 60 MMcm/yr. Later its capacity could be expanded to 150 MMcm/yr.

Peru. The Peru LNG consortium was authorized by Peru’s Energy and Mines Ministry to build the main pipeline for its LNG export project. A 34-in. diameter pipeline will stretch 408 km from Ayacucho to a liquefaction plant south of Lima and have a capacity of 667 MMcf. Camisea field gas will be liquefied for export to Mexican and US markets. The project consortium is headed by Hunt Oil (50%) with partners SK Corp. (30%) and Repsol YPF (20%).

New output. CNOOC brought Wei Zhou (WZ) 11-1 field into production with one well producing over 2,100 bopd. The field is in 30–40 m water depth in Beibu Gulf, South China Sea, southwest of Weizhou Island. The field shares the infrastructure of WZ 12-1 field.

PetroCumarebo, a joint venture between Pdvsa (60%) and Vinccler (40%), a subsidiary of PetroFalcon, is increasing production from Venezuela’s East Falcon block. The venture is presently producing 900 bopd with 8 MMcfd of gas, which will grow with new production from four La Vela field wells to 2,500 bopd and 20 MMcfd by year-end.

Energy Partners, Ltd. began producing 25 MMcfd of natural gas and condensate from South Timbalier Block 46 field in the Gulf of Mexico. Well ST 46 No. 4 (A-2) flowed from the recently installed four-pile platform.

Oilexco North Sea Ltd. began producing from Brenda/Nicol Fields in Blocks 15/25b and 15/25a, respectively, in the UK Central North Sea. Production is estimated to average 30,000 bopd during the first year from four wells, Brenda’s three wells and Nicol’s one well. Produced oil is processed at the Balmoral FPSO in Block 16/21a, 8 km east-northeast of Brenda.

DNO began producing 1,400 bopd Nabrajah No. 14 in Yemen Block 43 from the Qishn formation. Additional locations will be drilled soon. In Block 53, the company recompleted the Sharyoof No. 20 well in the shallower Qishn S1A sandstone, which is producing at about 2,000 bopd. In the Bayoot/Hekma area, three 2006 oil discoveries are now producing about 900 bopd. In Block 32, the Godah No. 5 well was brought onstream flowing 400 bopd.

Pan Orient Energy Corp. started producing the Na Sanun No. 4 well at 686 bpd of 29.9° API oil with 100-150 cf/bbl GOR. The onshore Thailand well reached a 950 bpd peak rate, which stabilized at 780 bpd, before being restricted by a 10/64-in. choke.

Editor’s note: I extend thanks to Chuck Horn of Technip for pointing out an oversight in my April column. Subsea trees did exist before 1985, but they required divers for installation and support. I was referring to the first diverless subsea tree, referenced in a 2006 OTC paper. WO 


Comments? Write: schmidtv@worldoil.com

Related Articles FROM THE ARCHIVE
Connect with World Oil
Connect with World Oil, the upstream industry's most trusted source of forecast data, industry trends, and insights into operational and technological advances.