Issue: April 2012

Special Focus

Improving horizontal drilling efficiency: A case study from the Woodford shale

A high-build-rate, rotary steerable drilling system is delivering well profiles previously possible only with positive displacement motors, yet with the superior rate of penetration and wellbore quality of a fully rotating system.

Improving underreaming reliability with RFID technology

RFID technology improves underreaming performance by enabling multiple activations and deactivations on demand without restricting the drillstring ID. As such, the operator can clean out specific well sections affected by swelling formations.


Regional Report - Gulf of Mexico: Automated software workflow optimizes Lower Tertiary reservoirs

Producing from Lower Tertiary reservoirs presents significant, costly challenges, but employing a specific workflow to optimize hydraulic fracture design could improve development values.

Shale Tech: Congressman Olson visits the Eagle Ford shale

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Pete Olson sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which maintains principal legislative oversight for the supply and delivery of energy. Accordingly, Congressman Olson has tried to learn all he can about oil and gas E&P, including a recent Eagle Ford shale field tour.

Dispersed marginal fields offshore West Africa can be developed economically

Careful consideration of location, existing infrastructure, facility concepts and options can result in effective, economic development of marginal fields offshore West Africa.

Shale Tech: Horn River Kitimat LNG terminal entices gas producers

When commodity prices crater and supply exceeds hometown demand, you can either shut in production and await better times, or if you happen to be a producer in the gas-rich Horn River and Montney shale plays of British Columbia, seek out markets elsewhere, in this case some 8,000 mi away.

Improving operational safety on subsea wells with quantative and dynamic risk assessment

To overcome the conceptual conflicts and shortcomings of simplified barrier definitions, five new barrier concepts were developed and applied to quantify the degree of safety in the entire well construction process, as well as during maintenance activities.

OTC 2012 to highlight operational integrity, offshore energy policy

With the advancement in design standards, maintenance, testing and  safety since the Macondo oil spill two years ago, a special emphasis is being placed at OTC 2012 on operational integrity and its fundamental role in offshore operations and regulatory changes.

Pig/paraffin obstruction remediated in a deepwater subsea tieback of the Gulf of Mexico’s Cottonwood field

The flow assurance team used solvent soaking and controlled pressurization techniques to release a pig/paraffin obstruction, and then applied an innovative process of flowline cleaning with a solution of dispersant and sea water at 12% of the cost of replacing the obstructed flowline.

Regional Report - Gulf of Mexico: The difference a year can make as activity creeps toward pre-Macondo levels

At this time last year, the United States government had awarded only a handful of deepwater drilling permits after the prolonged moratorium that followed the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Rigs and investment dollars had been leaving the Gulf of Mexico at a staggering rate during that period, but all was not lost.

Regional Report - Gulf of Mexico: Well testing systems allow early GOM reservoir appraisals

Work conducted by several firms through a procurement contract from the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) has resulted in development of several options for deepwater testing of reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico.


Drilling advances

Regulator says rules not meant to stifle offshore

Energy Issues

Macondo: Two years on

First Oil

Turning on a dime or getting caught flat-footed

Innovative thinkers

Bob Scott:
The art and science of oilfield storytelling

Oil and Gas in the Capitals

Peak Oil? — Not in Norway

The Last Barrel

Playing fast and loose with the facts—Obama style

What’s new in exploration

Seventh OWL across the Gulf

What's new in production

The Niobrara formation—today it’s all about liquids, but gas will have its encore

News & Resources

Companies in the news

Companies in the news

Industry at a glance

Industry at a glance

Meetings and Events

Meetings and Events

New products

New products and services

People in industry

People in industry

World of Oil and Gas

World of Oil and Gas

Industry At A Glance

International Offshore Rigs

International Rotary Rig Count

International Rotary Rig Count

International Rotary Drilling Rigs

International Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

US Gas Prices ($/MCF) & Production (BCFD)

Monthly US Gas Prices and Trends ($/Mcf)

Selected World Oil Prices

Selected World Oil Prices Graph

U.S. Oil Production

U.S. Oil Production

U.S. Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

U.S. Rotary Drilling Rigs Graph

Rotary Rigs Running in US

Rotary Rigs Running in US

Workover Rig Count

Workover Rig Count

World Oil and NGL Production

World Oil and NGL Production Table

World Oil Supply & Demand by Quarter

World Oil Supply & Demand by Quarter

Developing Brazil’s presalt giants: European riser technology meets the challenge

Brazil’s offshore claims some of the world’s most prolific oil and gas regions. Predominant among them is the Santos basin, where giant petroleum deposits have been discovered below a salt layer that in places is over 2.5 km thick. In addition to the obvious challenges of reaching and completing these presalt reservoirs, drillers faced water depths over 2,000 m and locations over 300 km from shore. Nevertheless, with a prize this valuable—some estimates exceed 20 billion bbl of oil equivalent—the engineering and technology feats required were deemed worth it.

Safety training goes online to achieve global standards, consistency

Industry safety training has evolved in recent years, from teachers and classrooms to standardized, web-based training. OPITO, the skills body that ensures safety and competency in the oil and gas industry, teamed up with Atlas, a provider of skills and learning technologies, to develop and deliver an online safety training program, which they are currently introducing in the U.S. World Oil spoke with Atlas CEO John Rowley.

Retrofit cathodic protection maintains subsea asset integrity

Preventing corrosion on subsea architecture is critical for operators in their effort to maintain an asset’s integrity and extend field life. Cathodic protection (CP) is a cost-effective solution for the prevention of corrosion as part of a long-term integrity management strategy.

Installing conductor pipe—moving offshore and into deeper waters

In oil and gas well drilling, one of the initial key elements is the conductor pipe. Offshore, the conductor pipe must be driven into the seabed at significant water depths, which presents its own set of difficulties. World Oil spoke with Andy Penman, president and managing director of Conductor Installation Services, an Actean company, a firm specializing in both onshore and offshore installation of conductors and pilings.

From aircraft to blowout preventer, GE's global technology cross-pollinates

The oil and gas, healthcare and aviation industries may seem, at first glance, to have little in common. But all of them have the same general goals—lighter weights, higher efficiencies and more durable materials. Often, a technological breakthrough in one field of research can lead to unexpected benefits in another. World Oil talked to John Lammas, VP of Engineering for GE Oil & Gas, about recent advances in petroleum technology, and their sometimes unexpected origins.

Statoil tendering new Cat-J jackup rig concept to improve efficiency

Statoil is preparing an invitation to tender for a new type of drilling rig for mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The new rigs, known as category J, will be jack-ups designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil. The purpose is to make drilling and completion of production wells less expensive, more efficient and safer.

Smart Darts provide reliable switching for circulating tool systems

Aberdeen-based Churchill Drilling Tools, focused on delivering innovative systems for the drilling and completion sectors, achieved a 100% reliability target for its Smart Dart system in 2011, which enabled it to ramp-up production. The company will invest £500,000 (US $909,000) to expand production offering and workforce at its Crombie Road facility over the next two years.

Active heave compensation control system for winches

Scantrol AS provides electronic control systems for offshore, fishing, and marine research applications. The company’s new active heave compensation system, Scantrol AHC, is a control system for winches and cranes used for subsea operations. It is designed to give precise control of load position when a vessel is in motion. The AHC can be adapted to all different hydraulic and electric winches.

MudCube transforms the mud treatment process

Designated by Statoil as proven technology in 2012, the MudCube was introduced offshore and in the Marcellus shale play. Studies show a significant improvement in safety and environmental risks during drilling operations. This smart system is made up of integrated shale conveyor technology, a vacuum system, cuttings transport and cleaning packages, real-time monitoring systems, filtration medium failure detection, touch-screen controls and automation components.

Record 48-in. isolation tool built for Nord Stream pipeline maintenance

TDW Offshore Services AS has designed and built a customized 48-in. SmartPlug pipeline pressure isolation tool to facilitate maintenance of Nord Stream AG’s twin pipeline system. Weighing approximately 12 tons, it is the largest SmartPlug tool ever produced.

Longer, stronger ropes extend deepwater capabilities

International rope manufacturer Bridon is expanding the capabilities of offshore heavy-lifting systems. The historical challenge in deepwater operations has been to deploy 300 tonnes in 3,000 m (9,843 ft) of water. Now, as operators seek to reach greater depths, industry is increasingly demanding lifting systems that can deploy weights of 400 tonnes at depths up to 4,000 m (13,123 ft).

Industry-first hot bolt clamp system successful in North Sea

Aberdeen-based Stork Technical Services has launched an industry-first hot bolt clamp system that enables the safe removal and replacement of corroded bolts on live flanged connections that have eight bolts or less. The system has been extensively field-tested and was successfully utilized by Stork personnel for a recent project on a Chevron-operated asset in the North Sea.

New chain wheel handling system for tugs and supply vessels

Finland’s Cargotec has developed a new system for tug and supply vessels to change chain wheels while at sea. This system has the potential to eliminate countless trips to and from port. The company’s new MacGregor Chain Wheel Manipulator has won the Innovation of the Year award from an offshore support journal.

Port Fourchon: A high priority energy corridor

As anyone even remotely involved in the offshore oil and gas industry can certainly attest, it has been a challenging couple of years, to say the least. Like most of these businesses, Port Fourchon made the adjustments necessary to deal with a climate filled with uncertainties. Today, however, all the signposts suggest that we have turned the corner, and that the Gulf of Mexico is returning to the business of exploring for, producing, and servicing oil and gas.

Port Fourchon more than ready, as rigs finally return

After surviving hurricanes, a recession and the Macondo moratorium, Louisiana’s Port Fourchon has a bright future ahead, expanding its role as the home base of Gulf of Mexico deepwater activity.

GEST still shedding light on federal permitting quagmire

Two years after the Macondo accident, and 18 months after the federal moratorium that it spurred was lifted, the Gulf Economic Survival Team finds itself working as hard as ever to speed up an excruciatingly slow offshore well permitting process.

Feds’ latest denial turns up heat on LA 1 funding efforts

Louisiana officials are working to overcome the latest federal denial of funds to rebuild the deteriorating highway that links Port Fourchon to the rest of the state, even though the Department of Homeland Security has declared the road critical to the nation’s energy security.

Feds create boom times for decommissioning companies

A recently imposed federal regulation that compels operators to plug and abandon wells is expanding opportunities for service companies in the decommissioning sector of the Gulf of Mexico market.

Famer Bradshaw’s endorsement boosts mud bag profile

For more than 15 years, Gulf of Mexico operators have soundly embraced Proline Systems’ HSE-friendly approach to the delivery and handling of drilling fluids offshore. However, the New Iberia, La., company recently received a most unlikely endorsement, from none other than Hall of Fame, NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

Delta named primary distributor for fall protection system

Limpet Technology of Edinburgh, Scotland, has designated Delta Rigging & Tools as the primary distributor for its uniquely engineered Limpet Fall Protection and Climb Assist technology.

Shell donates $500,000 to repair port area beach

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s Fourchon Beach Repair and Renourishment Project received a major boost in March 2012, thanks to a $500,000 donation by Shell Oil Co. on behalf of its Mars B Deepwater Platform Project.
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