<a href="http://youngpetro.org/2013/03/06/how-is-it-possible-to-produce-oil-from-sand/"><b>How is it possible to produce oil from sand?</b></a> <a href="http://youngpetro.org/2011/10/09/people-engineers-and-spe-members/"><b>People, Engineers and SPE Members</b></a> <a href="http://youngpetro.org/2012/12/19/if-i-were-a-prime-minister/"><b>If I Were a Prime Minister…</b></a> <a href="http://youngpetro.org/2012/12/26/polish-shales-delayed/"><b>Polish shales delayed?</b></a> <a href="http://youngpetro.org/2013/01/11/russia-continues-the-policy-of-states-companies-monopoly/"><b>Russia continues the policy of state companies’ monopoly</b></a>

An Interview with Seweryn Kwasniewski, Drilling Optimization Engineer for Baker Hughes

An Interview with Seweryn Kwasniewski, Drilling Optimization Engineer for Baker Hughes

Barbara Pach
Edyta Stopyra

YoungPetro organised a meeting for AGH UST students with Mr. Seweryn Kwaśniewski. He agreed to tell us about his job, work experience and trips to constant places. Today we have a pleasure to present you this conversation.

YoungPetro: You have master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, how did you get an idea to pursue career in Oil and Gas business?

Seweryn Kwaśniewski: Everything’s started in a rather unusual way. When I was in my senior year, I got interested in offshore drilling. And then asked to myself why do not try myself on a drilling rig? At first, I had no idea about the industry. I did not even know any major companies in that field until one day my friend from a student organization/folk dance group/ensemble “Krakus” introduced me to a man from Geoservices and that’s how I got into the oil business. Later I joined Baker Hughes where I am currently working as a Drilling Optimization Engineer.

YP: Now you are working in an office, but earlier you were spending more time on the rig. Did you like working offshore? What was the most difficult for you working in field?

SK: Working offshore is completely different from an office job. I really miss working in field, mostly because of the people I left. Oilmen are like entirely other species. Do not get me wrong but not everyone is suitable for the job and at the sea. I met people who quit after just 1 week. Working offshore you have to be strong, persistent, brave at times, especially towards yourself. Living with the same people for 2 to 6 weeks in a small environment sometimes is tiring. The problem is that it is not a 9-5 job and you cannot go home to distance yourself from work. Everyone has her/his own flaws and habits which you need to accept or at least ignore. But what is the most difficult? Hmm… I think the uncertainty, it is really difficult to plan things when the job can come up anytime and even you were told you can go on vacation you have to go on a rig. I remember one time – we were waiting for the helicopter which was going to take us home but at the last moment it was cancelled… If you did not work offshore you cannot even imagine how it feels. For this reason, sometimes I find it very amusing when I see people frustrated at airports only because their plane was slightly delayed.

YP: Before working on the platform apparently you have to pass a special training and tests. Can you tell us something more about them? What are they and is there anything that can disqualify from working at rig?

SK: Before you go on offshore, detailed medical examination and appropriate HS&E training must be passed. They are conducted in certified centers all around the world and they usually last three days. An exception was the certification for Norwegian Shelf – it took about 5 days. They generally include: training in first aid; basic procedures on platforms; lessons in the pool; familiarization with the swimming techniques. In my opinion, the most interesting are exercises carried out in a helicopter mock-up, which can rotate 180 degrees (then a student is hanging upside down). A task is to escape when it is submerged. Once, while training in Baku (Azerbaijan), I witnessed quite uncomfortable situation: during this kind of maneuver, water got into student’s mouth – it was caused by a leaky bag (we use them for breathing). This of course resulted of his sheer panic. Therefore, it is vital to keep calm in stressful situations.

Basic training is just a start, each company conducts its own additional courses in HS&E. After passing successful the course, you will be awarded a certificate, which entitles you to work for the company or service provider. It may happen that you will have to take about two, three extra courses, before you go on  a rig. In addition, before boarding a helicopter, there is a training concerning safety rules (just as in the airliners).

YP: Working in the oil industry most often is connected with the constant trips to distant places. We know that you have already been to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, the Gulf of Mexico. We are curious what memorable you experienced during your visits. Did you have any adventures, especially striking?

SK: Each country has its own specific characteristics and work culture. For example, Kazakhstan: I’ll never forget walking from Europe to Asia and back. An unpleasant situation that happened to me and my colleague of course concerned money. The staff house was visited by two Kazakhs – they attempted to extort money for electricity bill from us, they threatened to cut it off despite the fact, that the bill had already been settled. Finally it turned out that it was the fault of the owner, who had been in arrears with payments for a long time. Today we laugh about it, but then the situation seemed to be quite dangerous.

Tunisia: the local people like to take an advantage of the fact, that you are not a native – a word of advice for those, who are going to visit this country: use only the yellow cabs and demand turning taximeters on. Otherwise, you can pay several times more than in reality. As the Gulf of Mexico: perhaps the strangest situation I had to deal with was a coach ride through Louisiana, from one heliport to another (because of some problems with flights).

Turkmenistan is another story. I honestly do not know if I would decide to work there again. A lot of things were unacceptable. We were transported to the platform on old boats. To my misfortune, it happened at night and during not the best weather. I was also told to jump from the boat to an old rusty drilling rig. Actually, it is not an easy place for working. The only thing I regret from the trip to this country is that I did not had the opportunity to see so-called “The Door to Hell” but who knows, maybe someday.

During my first visit to Baku, what surprised me were small oil pumping stations in private gardens.

YP: It was a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you very much!

Photos from: www.otcnet.org, www.bakerhughes.com

Ophir sells 20% interest in offshore blocks,Tanzania to Pavilion Energy.

Ophir sells 20% interest in offshore blocks,Tanzania to Pavilion Energy.

Ophir Energy announced on Monday that the transaction reported on 14 November 2013 to sell a 20% interest in Blocks 1, 3 and 4, Tanzania to Pavilion Energy has now completed.

The company has received cash of US$1,255million reflecting the purchase price consideration of US$1,250million plus a completion adjustment of US$5million to reflect interest and working capital movements since the effective date of the transaction of 1 January 2014. A further US$38 million is payable following the final investment decision of the development of Blocks 1, 3 and 4, expected in 2016.

A tax liability will be incurred on the transaction in Tanzania. The timing of the payment will be finalised after discussion with the relevant tax authorities. Net proceeds after tax from the transaction are expected to be ca. US$1.0bn based on Management estimates. This estimate will be subject to finalisation of the 2013 and 2014 corporate tax returns which impact the basis of the calculation with respect to allowable losses arising from brought forward and current year expenditure.

The proceeds from this transaction will support our forward plans which includes investing in a number of new opportunities that are under consideration and have transformational growth potential. This is in addition to having the flexibility to rapidly capitalise on any exploration success from the forward drilling programme which is well funded from our existing cash resources.

Management remain committed to maximising and delivering returns to shareholders and the Board continues to monitor closely the capital needs of the business and the appropriate level of cash liquidity.

Nick Cooper, CEO, commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Pavilion Energy into the Tanzanian LNG development across Blocks 1, 3 and 4. The partial monetisation of our interests is in keeping with Ophir’s strategy of minimising exposure to development capex and realising the value created from exploration success at the appropriate time”

Photos: Ophir Energy

Read more: ophir-energy.com

The new gas reservoir was found by Norway’s Statoil

The new gas reservoir was found by Norway’s Statoil

On 19th March the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported that Norway’s Statoil has discovered gas near the Visund field in the North Sea. The discovery is estimated to amount to between 3.2 million and 12.6 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

The wildcat well 34/8/17-S – located on the northeast flank of the Visund field on production license 120 in the northern part of the North Sea – was drilled to prove petroleum in Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks. A secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Lower Jurassic and Upper Triassic reservoir rocks.

The well encountered a gross gas column of approximately 102 feet in the Tarbert, Ness and Etive formations in the Middle Jurassic – with around 65 feet being in sandstones of very good reservoir quality.

In the immediately underlying reservoir rocks in the Rannoch formation in the Middle Jurassic, the well encountered an approximate 69-foot petroleum column in sandstones with poor reservoir quality. Traces of petroleum were also encountered in Lower Jurassic sandstones of variable reservoir quality in the Cook formation and in the Statfjord Group. The NPD added that it is unclear whether there is oil or gas in the Rannoch and Cook formations, and in the Statfjord group. Meanwhile, the Lunde formation was found to be aquiferous.

Well 34/8/17-S is the 24th well on production license 120. It was drilled by the COSLPioneer  (mid-water semisub) drilling facility, which is now set to drill a sidetrack well elsewhere on the Visund field.

Photos: statoil.com; Bergen Group

Read more: rigzone.com

Petro-chance for Sierra Leone?

Petro-chance for Sierra Leone?

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in Africa, and also in the world. In the 90s there has been a civil war, which broke out due to political disputes about deposits of natural resources: bauxite, titanium and especially diamonds. Today, when the political situation is normalized, the country is facing a great opportunity and also a challenge. Following years of conflict and the discovery of the field called Jubilee (Ghana), oil contractors have been quick to enter Sierra Leone to explore the country’s oil and gas potential. But probably only a few people have heard about “petro-side” of Sierra Leone.


In 1985, the first research was conducted and it was found that Sierra Leone has a hydrocarbon reservoir. Over the next two decades internal conflicts and lack of economic development blocked action in this regard. In 2011, the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Petroleum Directorate Sierra Leone, published the Strategic Environmental Assessment of potential hydrocarbon development in the country.  The report highlighted that Sierra Leone stands to generate more than $100 million annually once oil production gets underway, a significant boost to domestic revenues.

Petroleum blocks

According to Fig. 1 there are 15 offshore blocks in the maritime zone of Sierra Leone. Petroleum blocks are awarded through open bid rounds (2003/2004/2012) and by negotiations thereafter. 9 blocks are awarded, 2 blocks are terminated, and 4 recently demarcated (shallow water/ onshore blocks). Currently, there are many companies operating in Sierra Leone:

  • Anadarko, Repsol and Tullow in block SL-7B
  • Lukoil, Oranto and Vanco in block SL-5-11
  • European Hydrocarbon in block SL-3
  • African Petroleum in block SL-4A
  • Chevron and Noble in blocks SL-8A and SL-8B
  • Minexco and Partner in block SL-7A

Bez tytułu

Fig. 1 Petroleum Blocks

African Petroleum hopes to be able to drill a prospect in one of the Sierra Leone blocks in 2014. The deepest well which currently exist is Jupiter-1. Its depth is 6400 m. The well drilled 30 m hydrocarbon derived from the Upper Cretaceous and did not encounter a hydrocarbon water contact.

Is it a real chance for a better life?

This is an important question for people living in Sierra Leone. A country where GDP per capita is only $1,344 (167 place in the world at 187) certainly will not become economic power overnight. Only a few people can count on finding a job in the industry. Hopefully infrastructure can be improved. If foreign companies and investors will be arrive into the country there is a chance to expansion and rehabilitation of the Lungi airport (in capital city Freetwon). But not only Sierra Leone is counting on profits, because hydrocarbon deposits are also in several countries of Western Africa. Similar projects are realizing in neighboring Liberia, Senegal, Gambia and Ivory Coast.

Sources: www.africareview.com.au ,www.africanpetroleum.com.au, www.sierraleoneindaba.com

Photos: www.africanpetroleum.com.au

End of the battle: Chevron won in U.S. Court

End of the battle: Chevron won in U.S. Court

American lawyer used corrupt means to doom Chevron in Ecuador for billions in damages – that’s the decision of judge in New York. It’s a big success of second-largest U.S. oil company.

The U.S. District Court in New York published the nearly 500-page justification of the verdict after the process ended in November. Document finds that the lawyer Donziger bribed Ecuadorian judge, who issued a judgment awarding $ 19 billion damages for group of villagers in 2011. In the lawsuit, they claimed that Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, contaminated the environment exploiting an oil field in the north-eastern Ecuador in the years 1964-1992.

The court ruled that Donziger and his team “wrote the [Ecuadorian] court’s Judgment themselves and promised $ 500,000 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favor and sign their judgment.”

The verdict of the court ends a long battle in the U.S. courts between Chevron and Donziger, who considered himself a victim of the corruption. Judge Kaplan found, that there was a lot of evidence against Donziger.

Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel said: “Decision is unequivocal: The Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron is a fraud and is the result of criminal acts by a handful of corrupt lawyers looking to enrich themselves. Chevron’s reputation was taken hostage and held for a multibillion-dollar ransom. Rather than give in and pay these criminals off, Chevron exposed the truth. Chevron is pleased with today’s judgment. We are confident that any court that respects the rule of law will likewise find the Ecuadorian judgment to be illegitimate and unenforceable.”

The judge declared that Donziger agreed to lead the case in order to improve the environmental conditions in Ecuador and wanting to provide funds for maintenance, but ultimately lost the process by presenting false evidence, bribing a judge and hiding his misdeeds.

Sources: www.chevron.com, www.bloomberg.com

Photo from: www.fbnstatic.com