<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>

Halliburton’s Positive Perspective on European Shale Gas

29 December, 2014 News No comments
Halliburton’s Positive Perspective on European Shale Gas

We would like to present an article written by  Megan Roden from Charles Maxwell – the Organizer of  


Central and Eastern Europe Shale Gas and Oil Summit 2015
Two-day conference and exhibit covering all important aspects of shale gas exploration in Central and Eastern Europe

Halliburton’s Positive Perspective on European Shale Gas 

Whilst many observers of the European shale gas industry saw the lights fading when a number of key players pulled out of Poland earlier this year, the industry is far from lost. Poland still remains the leader in European shale gas exploration, there are increased investment incentives on the part of the Lithuanian government and positive movements across Germany.

Major shale corporations remain positive about the status of shale both in Poland and across the region. One such company is a pioneer of the shale gas industry, Halliburton.

Halliburton are positive about the future of the European shale industry, noting a number of countries that have the best potential to access their shale gas reserves. Halliburton’s Engineering Manager, Rob Hull, noted that ‘the United Kingdom, Turkey and Ukraine spring to mind with Poland and others also having potential’. Whilst the European shale gas industry is producing mixed outcomes to date Halliburton are making strides to solving many of the challenges facing the sector. Rob Hull commented ‘we are seeing diverse results. Most of what is going on is spotty in Europe. Poland was by far the most advanced with getting results and what we are discovering is that correct fluid systems are a must when stimulating’. Clean chemicals such as Halliburton’s CleanStim® are helping to solve this problem when properly applied and have shown very good results when used hand-in-hand with proper data acquisition.

In light of substantial public opposition to the shale industry across Europe Halliburton are eager to emphasise the importance of working with communities, with Rob Hull reinforcing the notion that ‘as an industry we need to educate and demonstrate to the public that we can plan and execute this safely and precisely in order to put away the concerns’.

Positive developments

Many of the other challenges facing the European shale industry are also on the road to restoration. Regulatory and fiscal regimes have continually served as a stumbling block to the success of the shale industry across Europe, with many corporations citing it as a primary reason for their departure from Poland. Halliburton have highlighted the importance of transparent and consistent regulatory frameworks to the success of the industry. Rob Hull noted ‘I am encouraged by what DECC has done in the United Kingdom as they have workflow that must be followed. We need collaboration with the service providers, operators, regulators and the public so that this is understandable in every country and we leave out the guess work. I am a big fan of the concept “PLAN THE WORK, WORK THE PLAN”’. Positive change is also beginning to emerge across Europe, with Poland looking to introduce new laws from January 2015. Said laws are designed to simplify Poland’s licensing procedures and facilitate increased exploration. Clauses determining that operators are no longer required to form joint-ventures with state-owned organisations and the pause which is to be placed on royalties and taxes for foreign companies until 2020 are set to prove particularly promising for the region.

Geological challenges

Geology remains the most challenging aspect of the European shale industry. Whilst many hoped for shale similar to that found in the US, European shale has proved far more problematic, with each play constituting an entirely new geology and thus greater time commitment. Learning and patience are the fundamental characteristics required to succeed within the European shale gas industry. Halliburton have made such a commitment, with Rob Hull commenting that ‘on the subsurface side, lack of data, proper data acquisition programs and understanding the rock are key components to what is needed. You have to apply wisdom in unconventional plays and not assume that they are all alike. While analogues are certainly useful, all unconventionals are different and need a certain approach for subsurface development’.

Shale promise

In light of all the negative press that has come out of the European shale industry there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel. The region may be more challenging than the experience in America, however for future energy security, job creation and economic growth the European shale industry is one of promise. For Halliburton the key move for the industry now is ‘to educate and prove to the public and regulatory authorities that we have the ability to safely develop these reserves’. Despite initial slow progress across the region, Halliburton are certainly not deterred from the viability of the European shale gas industry. Hopefully this positive attitude marks a trend toward increased operations across the region, more of which will be discussed at the CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE SHALE GAS AND OIL SUMMIT 2015, taking place in Warsaw on 9th-10th March.

Written By 

Megan Roden


Orinoco Belt – World’s Largest Untapped Reserve

Orinoco Belt – World’s Largest Untapped Reserve

Venezuela is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of crude oil. According to the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), in the beginning of 2014, Venezuela had nearly 298 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, the largest in the world followed by Saudi Arabia (266 billion barrels) and Canada (173 billion barrels). The vast majority of Venezuela’s proved oil reserves are located in its Orinoco heavy oil belt. Situated in Central Venezuela, the belt houses billions of barrels of extra-heavy crude oil and bitumen deposits. Development of the Orinoco Belt is the keystone of the Venezuelan government’s future economic plans – oil accounts for 95% of the country’s export earnings and around 55% of the federal budget. The government has stated that it is seeking $100 billion of new investment to develop the Belt.




According to a study released by the U.S. Geological Survey, the mean estimate of recoverable oil resources from the Orinoco Belt is 513 billion barrels of crude oil. PDVSA began the Magna Reserva project in 2005, which involved dividing the Orinoco region into four major areas:  Ayacucho, Boyacá, Junín and Carabobo that are further divided into 28 blocks, and then quantifying the reserves in place. This initiative resulted in the upgrading of Venezuelan proven reserve estimates by more than 100 billion barrels.

The Magna Reserva projects involve converting the extra heavy crude and bitumen to lighter, sweeter crude, known as syncrude. The upgrading facilities themselves introduce another element of risk into Venezuela’s petroleum supply chain. While the country’s four upgraders have installed production capacity of about 600,000 bbl/d of syncrude, industry estimates place production levels for these facilities at less than 500,000 bbl/d as a result of maintenance and safety issues.


  • The Orinoco River surrounds a globally important wetland , also a critical habitat to a number of endangered species with high biodiversity
  • Huge amount of new infrastructure, in terms of the extraction ,upgrading of crude, refining equipment and transport.
  • Lack of power, water and transport infrastructure
  • Pollution due to the production of coke and sulphur waste from the upgrading process
  • Environmental, climatic impacts


Venezuela plans to further develop the Orinoco Belt oil resources in the coming years. In 2009, Venezuela signed bilateral agreements for the development of four major blocks in the Junin area. In 2011, the country awarded two more major development licenses in the Carabobo region. Venezuela expects these projects to add more than 2 million bbl/d of heavy oil production capacity by the end of the decade. However, given recent financial, regulatory, and operational issues, considerable uncertainty surrounds the future of Orinoco production.

It would be very interesting to see how the world’s biggest untapped reserve could be exploited given the added challenges. Several approaches are employed to exploit the belt efficiently, which could probably be the most sought after success in the exploitation of heavy oil sites around the world.






Prices-down, anxiety-up. Is it legitimate?

Prices-down, anxiety-up. Is it legitimate?


During the age of the American oil boom prospects to pursue a petroleum engineering degree were encouraging and a lot of young people thought that it is a certainity on the work market for the nearest future.

Unfortunately, crude prices are contiuously declining- the U.S. benchmark fell to $57.81 a barrel on Friday- and present student are starting to wonder whether their decision will transpire as a good one.

Valid energy companies as Apache Corp., BP, ConocoPhillips and Continental Resources are said to be planning budget cuts, experts anticipate further industry consolidation, which is a justified premise that petroleum branch is heading a slowdown.

Anxiety of students is also related to their apprehension that hunting for job and internship will become more competitive. Industry can’t assure work for future graduated and thit is not a problem of a moment so they are considering undertaking master’s degrees or jobs which will provide them practical experience so they won’t finish they internships empty-handed.

University officials do not have such a harsh attitude as students have and expect that working in petroleum industry will remain attractive for students. They don’t treat numbers as authority and are pointing substantial side of the problem- this business is cyclical. However they are adivising to become more flexible or ponder taking non-engineering roles.

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at the University of Houston, does not expect that industry will hire less. According to his words, salaries and bonuses might decrease althought he doubts that companies will not invest in young talents.

Daniel Hill, head of petroleum engineering department at Texsam A&M, did not experienced negative effects of slowdown in the industry, 85% of his students still have secured job offers. “The world’s demand for oil and gas is not dropping,” Hill said. “And it’s got to come from somewhere.”[1]


Read more at:


Image source:




1. Integrated vs service oil companies.

1. Integrated vs service oil companies.

Have you ever considered a career in the oil and gas industry? For the next couple of weeks, YoungPetro will be releasing series of articles related to the oil and gas industry. The purpose of these articles is to generate general understanding and present you basic technical aspects in terms that everyone can understand. This will be a great resource for gaining knowledge. Stay posted!

We live in times when there are so many sources of energy available for us, but indeed oil and gas are still on the top. Due to its high calorific value, easy transportability, and abundance, oil has been the world’s leading source of energy since the mid-1950s. Oil is the product of prehistoric organic material, compressed over geological time. Once produced, crude oil undergoes refining to create such widely-used products as gasoline, diesel, and heating oil. Without a doubt, oil’s transformation into these useful products brought incredible advancements in world’s energy and bring demand for oil companies.

Today we are going to concentrate about the types of oil companies: integrated oil companies and service companies, and differences between them. Integrated oil companies are the large ones which names may sound familiar to you (for example: Chevron, Shell, BP). They engages in exploration, production, refinement and distribution area. Given the high entry cost relating to many operations, they are world’s largest oil and gas companies. Generally, integrated companies divide their operations into 3 categories: upstream which includes all exploration and production efforts, midstream which is based on storing and transporting and downstream which is confined to refinement and marketing actions. Also, there many different non-integrated, smaller companies that focus on exploration and/or production and then sell their results or unrefined product to companies that specialize in refining or to the integrated companies. Most of integrated companies focus on upstream and downstream and leave refining to other special, smaller companies that deal only with midstream sector.
In conclusion, integrated oil&gas company participates in every aspect of the oil and gas business, which includes discovering, producing, refining and distributing oil and gas (or engages another company for certain aspects). An integrated company organizes its tasks and operations into categories: upstream, midstream and downstream.

Image source

Oil service companies don’t look for, transport or sell oil and gas, but provide services to companies that do these operations. They might upgrade technology, drill wells, do evaluation, completion, sell devices, provide software or even ensure security for workers. First and second place in World’s Top 10 biggest oilfield services list belongs to Schlumberger and Halliburton.
Once again, oil service companies are those ones that provide services to the petroleum exploration and production industry but do not typically produce petroleum themselves.
Now as you know who can you work for, the next article will discuss the major sectors of industry, describe oil and gas reservoir, explain the difference between conventional and unconventional resources.

Sources: investopedia.com, oilandgasiq.com, instituteforenergyresearch.org
Main image source: valuewalk.com

13th, Autumn Issue of YoungPetro

17 December, 2014 News No comments
13th, Autumn Issue of YoungPetro

With last whiffs of autumn we are honoured to present the newest, 13th issue of YoungPetro!

You can find the issue here:


The ruling topic of the issue is CAREER. We are sure it will be interesting for all students and young professionals who just graduated and are looking for job opportunities in the petroleum industry.

What exactly can you find in the issue?

  •  Interesting articles about career and students’ preparations to beginning of professional career

Maciej Wawrzkowicz and Patryk Szarek in their article “Two Worlds – One Industry. From Student to Professional” correlated the ideas and the reality. They talked to young professionals to know how they imagined their future job during studies and how it really looks like now. You can find the results in the article.

Barbara Pach and Aneta Maruszak together with their friend, Piotr Chojnowski, present summer internships. You can get to know what you can expect and what you can learn taking part in such an internship.

  • A big portion of scientific knowledge

Traditionally, YoungPetro presents very interesting student research articles:

“Combined Drill Bit with Selected Variable Step” by Vasyl Movchan
“Smart Way of Mitigation Drilling Problems. Review of UBD vs. MPD” by Mian Tauseef Raza
“Effect of Mobility of Oil in the Performance of Process Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage” by Astrid Xiomara Rodriguez

  • Information about the most important events of the petroleum world

Joanna Wilaszek presents report from 21st World Petroleum Congress – one of the biggest conferences of the industry, which took place in June in Moscow.

  • Information about the most important current affairs

Radek Budzowski gathers the most important news from our wesite in On Stream column.

  • Interesting technical facts

Maciej Wawrzkowicz presents a new interesting topic in How it works? column, this time it is about offshore oil rigs.

Enjoy the reading and send us your feedback!

Gas production from Starfish began

12 December, 2014 News No comments
Gas production from Starfish began

East Coast Marine Area (ECMA) is operated by BG Group subsidiaries on behalf of the joint venture with Chevron Trinidad & Tobago Resources SRL of which each hold 50% participating interest.

ECMA comprises the Dolphin gas field, located 83 km off the east coast of Trinidad in Block 6(b), which commenced production in 1996, and the Dolphin Deep gas field in the adjacent Block 5(a), which started up in 2006. Both Dolphin and Dolphin Deep are contracted to supply domestic gas to the National Gas Company (NGC) and LNG (liquefied natural gas) exports to BG Gas Marketing via Atlantic LNG Train 3 and Atlantic LNG Train 4.


Starfish field was discovered in 1998 and it straddles Block 5(a) and Block E and forms part of the ECMA. Main idea of the Starfish Development involved drilling of four subsea wells and a 10-km subsea tieback to the Dolphin platform (photo on thumbnail). This venture was sanctioned in 2012 and was due to be completed in this year’s third quarter but the rough seas of Trinidad’s Atlantic east coast delayed it. The field is expected to reach peak production of 200 MMscfd.

According to what partners in the Starfish natural gas project offshore Trinidad and Tobago said, production began at 6th of December.

Moreover, the BG Group said that the gas from Starfish will be processed, commingled with Dolphin field production, and delivered via existing subsea pipelines to shore to supply existing contractual commitments with Trinidad and Tobago’s NGC and producer Atlantic LNG. Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Minister, Kevin Ramnarine said production from the field will help ease some of the tightness in the country’s natural gas market and reducing shutdowns in 2015. He added that Starfish is the first gas field to come online in Trinidad and Tobago in a while.

Sources: bg-group.com, ogj.com

Image source: flickr.com

OPEC decides not to prevent falling oil prices

7 December, 2014 News No comments
OPEC decides not to prevent falling oil prices

On  27th November international market noted shockingly low price of Brent Crude Oil. Dropping down to approximately 72 USD per barrel –  it is the minimal price in nearly four years time and is expected to keep sinking.

The main reason of this drop was gathering of OPEC ministers a day earlier. OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) is an international economic cartel with a mission to coordinate and unify petroleum policies in order to secure a steady income to the member states. The organization is formed of 12 countries with the biggest oil producers like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. On the meeting in Vienna, member countries did not reach consensus after a heating debate in regard to falling oil prices. The biggest influence hold a Persian Gulf states with Saudi Arabia’s oil minister arguing against cutting down on production to prop up oil prices as was earlier presumed. This move is an unexpected shift in strategy and might be a sign of OPEC losing leverage. Moreover, poorer countries of organization leave Vienna thoroughly dissatisfied as they were hoping for cuts to balance their budgets.

The direct consequence of the agreement is OPEC commencing a market share combat against United States shale producers. The cartel aims to undermine profitability of expensive shale extraction procedures and eliminate North American companies from business. This would naturally boost oil prices while preserving all of the OPEC shares. However many experts utterly doubt in a point of clashing with US claiming it would take many months to slow down a shale boom.

The gathering is viewed as the most important cartel meeting since financial crysis.


Sources: vox.com, reuters.com, financialtimes.com, washingtonpost.com
Photo: breakingenergy.com

Russia cancels the planned South Stream gas pipeline

Russia cancels the planned South Stream gas pipeline

Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, announced that his country resigns from the plans of building South Stream Gas Pipeline.

It was a strategic project both for Russia and for European countries (mainly Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia and Austria). After the crisis in Ukraine, when the delivery of gas to these countries was threatened, it seemed that South Stream is necessary. The reason is that it was to pass by Ukraine and was to guarantee energy security of the southeastern Europe. The project was very important not only for the economies of these countries, but also for the biggest E&P companies of the region: OMV (Austria) and ENI (Italy). South Stream was to be the second largest investment in the field of pipelines in Europe in the last years. The first was Nord Stream, which was a sticking point in EU, connecting Russia and Germany, passing by Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Belarus and Ukraine.

The official reason of abandonment of the plan is that the position of European countries in the matter of the investment is not constructive. For example, the investor has not received all the necessary permissions for the construction in Bulgaria. But Bojko Borisow, the prime minister of Bulgaria asserts that his country supports the investment and the preparations still go on.

Specialists and politics indicate other reasons which might lead to such a decision of Russian authorities.

First of all, after the crisis in the eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, Russia has to face more and more political and economical problems, although its authorities will never admit it. Some European politics, especially from Ukraine, convince that it is only a political decision and its aim is to punish EU.

The second reason arises from the first one. Political and economical sanctions of EU and US put on Russia brought about serious financial problems to Russian companies, amongst them for the state-owned Gazprom. Maybe the South Stream is too big a burden to bear by the giant.

The third reason may be the price of oil and gas, which is falling down for many days. It is not profitable to invest in such a huge project (its costs are estimated to €40 bn), when the situation is uncertain and unstable.

The next reason is the potential modification of the strategy of Gazprom. The company creates new contacts in southeastern Asia and some people claim that soon some plans of building a gas pipeline to China will be prepared. It can be realized in about 5 years. Such change of strategy can be essential for the future of Gazprom as the approach of European economies also changes its course. European Union is making efforts to start a common energy policy. It looks for new sources of energy (mostly renewable energy, but also nuclear power) and for new contractors of oil and gas. Europe opens its doors for LNG (liquefied natural gas) through construction of LNG terminals in Świnoujście (Poland), Klaipeda (Lithuania) and Omisalj (Croatia). The investments will enable Europe to receive LNG from Qatar and North Africa. From 2019, when the Trans Adriatic Pipeline will be finished, also gas from Azerbaijan will enter Europe.

Thus, Europe will get independence from Russian oil and gas and the Old Continent will no longer need so many pipelines transporting Russian gas. Even given that Soyuz and Brotherfood crossing Ukraine will be cancelled, Jamal and Nord Stream will be enough to provide Europe with gas from Russia.

 “It may a bluff, to pressurise the Bulgarian, Serbian, Hungarian and Austrian governments to unite behind accelerating the project and make a better case for it to the European Commission” – says Martin Vladimirov, an energy specialist at the Centre for the Study of Democracy in Sofia. It may be true, because for Gazprom abandonment of the project can be the first step to loss the European market.

What can we, common gas users, do? I think we can take a bucket of popcorn and wait for the continuation of the matter.

Was Russia’s South Stream too big a ‘burden’ to bear? |BBC News Europe