November 2021 /// Vol 242 No. 11

Columns

What's new in Exploration

Joe Biden: “I did that!”

William (Bill) Head, Contributing Editor

The above headline refers to the phenomenon sweeping the U.S. in the last couple of months, whereby Americans are ordering, from Amazon.com and many other online outlets, stickers of a pointing Joe Biden, declaring, “I did that.” Creative citizens have been affixing these stickers to gasoline pumps, so that Biden is pointing to the price read-out on the pumps, an obvious reference to the massive jump in gasoline prices in the last 12 months.

But seriously, no rational person would have thought that one year after fossil energy independence, the U.S. would be facing a winter gas crisis. Neither would Europe. Russia’s Grandfather Frost won’t help either. Global stupidity to become carbon-free at any cost is the cost.

“If I were the emperor of the world, I would put the pedal to the floor on energy efficiency and conservation for the next decade,” said Dr. Steven Chu, President Obama’s first Secretary of Energy (2009-2013), in a December 2008 Reuters interview while advocating $10/gal gasoline. As noted on various famous quote websites, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was fond of saying, “In politics stupidity is not a handicap.” One has to wonder if he would have applied it to the Paris Climate Accord.

Meanwhile, Norway, land of the Frost Giants, announced that it will not stop exploration. Makes sense. And, “ExxonMobil Corp. is weighing salary increases, as it tries to halt employee attrition across its business divisions after sweeping job and benefit cuts.” Told you so!

Woke comes to Congress. House Democrats are investigating the role major oil companies and their trade groups are alleged to have played in misleading the public on the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming. Science, a popular catch word today, is irrelevant as long as there is a “consensus” among the “whoever,” who have never collected data.

As noted at sciencealert.com (May 2020) “…our planet’s magnetic field acts as a kind of shield—protecting Earth from solar winds and cosmic radiation … any reduction in its strength is an important event we need to monitor closely, as these changes could ultimately have significant implications …. In the last two centuries, Earth’s magnetic field has lost about 9 percent of its strength on average, the ESA says, assisted by a drop in minimum field strength in the South Atlantic Anomaly from approximately 24,000 nanoteslas to 22,000 nanoteslas over the past 50 years.”

Radiation, protons, photons, and the Core bring warming, not CO2. Fact: Nature sequesters better. To wit, as determined by a Texas A&M University study, “Measuring… the team was able to associate periods of increased storage of respired carbon (and low deep-sea oxygen levels) with periods of decreased global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during the past 70,000 years… we find that the Pacific Ocean, like the Southern Ocean, is a location for deep-ocean respired carbon storage during periods of decreased global atmospheric CO2 concentrations.” The sediment core was extracted … aboard the R/V Melville in 2010.

Do we want to survive, or best each other with bio-equalism? Climate concerns, real or not, are working effectively to kill oil as our principal energy source. The obvious intent is to make all people energy-dependent on a handful of persons. Not you. Some oil producers continue as hydrocarbon companies despite green mail and trendy Euro oil. Oil consumption to operate complex machines has only been in use for about 160 years. Modern man has been around only 50,000 years. At a time when women just earned the right to vote in the U.S. a mere 101 years ago, what do you expect the world’s leaders to understand or do? Politics works on power and money—their power, your money. Messages from our political leaders focus on fear and greed; yours, theirs.

Dilemma: CO2 floods remain valuable to both oil producers and oil haters. I know a group of researchers comparing CO2 floods with natural gas + foam as floods. Natural gas is about everywhere, compared to collected and distributed volumes of expensive CO2. NG foam, as an alternative to decrease flaring?

Fig. 1. Thunderhorse excelling today. Image: BP.
Fig. 1. Thunderhorse excelling today. Image: BP.

SPWLA continues to lead, e.g., Distinguished Speaker Webinar, November 2021: Taming the Thunder Horse with Axes and Vectors, Fig 1. “The Thunder Horse field targets Middle Miocene deep-water turbiditic reservoirs. Despite being prolific, the mapping of the ~180 m thick, partly amalgamated reservoir sandstones is challenging. Seismic quality is reduced by the presence of salt structures. The salt overburden and high formation pressure require the use of heavy mud weights and oil-based drilling fluids, which limit the resolution and interpretation potential of borehole image logs (BHI)… Consequently, the assessment and removal of the structural dip component is not trivial… The intention of this paper is to bring the main results from Henry et al. (2018) into context with the eigenvector methodology from Ruehlicke et al. (2019) and to emphasize its value for reservoir characterization.” Paper Ref: SPWLA-2021-0008, Bernd Ruehlicke, Andras Uhrin, Zbynek Veselovsky, and Markus Schlaich (Eriksfiord). Turbidites are the most important reservoirs in the GOM, the last apparently “legal” place to explore in the U.S. offshore.

The Authors ///

William (Bill) Head is a project manager for RPSEA’s Ultra-Deepwater program. As a senior technologist, he has worked over 38 years in U.S. and international exploration, exploitation and production. Mr. Head has been instrumental to several new international ventures, coordinating local and global operations, and has managed one of the industry’s largest computer facilities.

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