<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>
 

2. Defining oil reservoir: Oil lake under the surface or a sponge made of rock filled with oil?

2. Defining oil reservoir: Oil lake under the surface or a sponge made of rock filled with oil?

After reading last article you should have a good understanding of the types of companies in the industry. As it was mentioned there, petroleum industry is commonly divided into three sectors: upstream, midstream and downstream.
The upstream sector (better known as E&P sector – Exploration and Production) contains all tasks and operations which deal with bringing oil and gas to the surface. It includes searching for the potential underground crude oil or natural gas fields, drilling exploratory wells and then drilling wells that bring oil.
The midstream sector deals with marketing of the unrefined products: storing in tanks, terminals, salt caverns, creating intermediate products and sending them to refineries through pipelines, long-distance transporting, delivering refined products to distributors.
The downstream sector (also known as refining) deals with all processing hydrocarbons, distribution of commercial products received from oil and gas.

We can now properly describe oil life in 6 points.
1. Oil reservoir.
2. Extraction.
3. Long-distance transport.
4. Refinery.
5. Delivery of refined products.
6. Fuel stations.

Concentrating on the first point, what actually is oil and gas reservoir? Most of you, like me first imagined it as a big lake filled with oil, hidden somewhere under the ground. Wrong? Looking to the dictionary you will find that it is “a subsurface pool of hydrocarbons contained in porous or fractured rock formation”, so the world “pool” can bring the image that petroleum is hidden in “pools” or “lakes” in the caverns under the ground. In fact it more reminds a rock sponge, but since we can’t physically see what is under the ground, drilling companies take core samples of the reservoir to measure rock properties such as porosity and permeability. Core samples are cylindrical sections of rock which are inspected and analyzed by geologists and petrophysicists in specialized labs. As we observe part of the rock carefully, we will see that a reservoir rock has spaces which can be filled with fluids, property which describes number and size of the paces (pores) is named porosity. However, to let petroleum flow, the rock must also have appropriate permeability. Permeability is really an expression about how the pores are connected.


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As temperature and pressure are changed during production, fluids in pores decompress and flow into the well. It is fundamental to understand more advanced topics we are going to go through.


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Unconventional reservoirs has less permeability than conventional ones. Unconventional gas reservoir is an accumulation of the same natural gas as we use in gas stoves for years. Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons (mostly methane – about 90%) and sometimes a small amount of hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and other components.
There are 3 types of unconventional gas reservoirs:
• Shale gas
• Tight gas
• Coalbed methane (Link here you can read more about coalbed methane)

Unconventional oil haven’t been yet strictly defined, but according to definition it is “a type of petroleum that is produced or obtained through techniques other than traditional oil well extraction. Unconventional oil production is commonly seen as more costly than conventional oil production, less efficient, and is likely to cause more environmental damage.” More about the types we are going to discuss later.

In the next article we will try to find out how is petroleum and natural gas formed and name basic drilling string components.

Sources: wikipedia, investopedia
Main Image source: dleng.info

1.Integrated vs service oil companies here you can read 1st part.

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.


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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

Halliburton, Baker Hughes merger talks.

15 November, 2014 News No comments
Halliburton, Baker Hughes merger talks.

Two of the biggest energy companies could soon become one. Shares of companies went up Halliburton +2,40% and Baker Hughes +1,94% after confirmation that the two oil companies are in talks to merge. A merger is an effort to save costs.
Both Halliburton and Baker Hughes are oilfield service companies, and this potential deal is to help both companies weather falling oil prices, as oil-services customers, exploration and production companies, are not spending as much due to falling oil prices. The two companies currently help oil companies by selling equipment, renting tools or supplying labor, so falling prices make oil production less profitable. Their businesses are threatened if their clients cut production or demand better prices from them. Let’s remind that for the past three months, oil prices have gone down by about 25% and now price of oil is the lowest in the last four years (today’s price $ 75.82/bbl)
In a statement on 13th November, Baker Hughes said it is in “preliminary discussions” with Halliburton about a “potential business combination.”
A merged company would be worth $67 billion and have about 140,000 employees. But it would still be only half the size of industry leader Schlumberger.
If the deal goes through, it would be one of the largest energy deals in recent years.

Sources: Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, fortune.com
Image source: aecom.com

World’s largest jack-up rig in Norway named Maersk Interceptor.

World’s largest jack-up rig in Norway named Maersk Interceptor.

Danish company Maersk Drilling presented its new jack-up rig in the Norwegian Port Mekjarvik. It was named “Mearsk Intercetor” during ceremony held at DMC Marine Partners yard in Mekjarvik by Mrs. Anita Utseth Senior Vice President in Det norske oljselskab ASA (The Norwegian Oil Company ASA).

Mearsk Interceptor is the second of four jack-up rigs which will be placed in The Norwegian North Sea for drilling the Ivar Aasen in December this year. The contract with Det norske includes two one-year options. The total investment is estimated to cost 2,6 bn USD.

The first jack-up rig was named Maersk Intrepid and, as the second one, have been delivered from the Keppel FELS shipyard, Singapore. Same legs are 678 ft long and allow drilling on waters with maximum depth of492 ft. Installation can accommodate around 150 people.




Images sources:Maersk Drilling on flickr.com , detnor.no
Sources maerskdrilling.com , rigzone.com

Production profile: coalbed methane

Production profile: coalbed methane

CBM is an unconventional source of natural gas produced from coal seams. Gas is often dissolved in naturally occurring groundwater. CBM wells are typically less than 1000 meters total depth. In this article I will try to introduce you some numbers connected with CBM.
Extraction of coalbed methane grew out of venting methane from coal seams. Some coal seams have been noticed as dangerous and filled with gas so as a safety measure, wells were drilled from the surface into the seams to drive off the methane before mining. Typical CBM wells are drilled quickly. Often a well can be drilled and completed in less than 48 hours. Drilling penetration rates and final well construction details can vary greatly between different CBM fields.


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To extract methane wells are drilled into coal seams and groundwater is pumped out, which is necessary as the water removal reduces the pressure and allows methane release from the coal. Coal seams are traditionally accessed using a single vertical well. Extracting the gas begins with drilling well 300-1500 meters deep. The top section of the well is cased with steel and cement to prevent the loss of water on any aquifers. The coal seams are than stimulated to open the pores within the coal. This releases the pressure within the coalbed and allows the gas and water to flow into the well. The coal resource remains undamaged. The gas and water rise to the surface through separate pipes. The water is transported through underground pipes to a container for reduce and recycling. The gas is piped to processing facility to be compressed and dehydrated.
Coalbed Methane Drilling is performed with rotary and core drilling equipment. Rotary rigs are used to drill and set casing for production wells, and, along with core drills, are used to drill long directionally-drilled holes into coal seams from which coal-bed methane gas is extracted. Due to the occurrence of gas, blow-out preventers are often needed.

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WORLD RESERVES

Coalbed methane as a natural gas resource was approved by US government in late 1970’s. The US Department of Energy funded researches in the area of unconventional gas sources, including coalbed methane. Estimated reserves are about 7500 trillion cubic feet globally with more than 700 tr. cubic feet in the US alone.
CBM extraction in US is currently expanding in the northeast Wyoming and southeast Montana, 7% of the natural gas production comes from CBM extraction. According to the CBM Association of Alabama 13% of the land in 48 United States has coal under it and large part of this coal contains methane. Most CBM production came from the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
In Australia, commercial CBM extraction was started in 1996 in the Bowen Basin, Queensland. As of 2013, coal seam gas made up about ten percent of Australia’s gas production. According to australianminesatlas.gov.au reserves are estimated to 33 trillion cubic feet. as of January 2012.
In Canada, British Columbia have approximately 90 trillion cubic feet of coalbed methane. The only province with commercial coalbed methane wells is Alberta.
Kazakhstan could witness the development of a large coalbed methane (CBM) sector over the coming decades, according to industry professionals. Preliminary research suggests there may be as much as 900 billion m3 of gas in Kazakhstan’s main coalfields – 85% of all reserves in Kazakhstan.

Sources: worldcoal.com, princeton.edu, umt.edu, australianminesatlas.gov.au, en.wikipedia.org, halliburton.com
Main image source simmonsedeco.com

Vladimir Filanovsky Field being prepared to begin production in 2015.

Vladimir Filanovsky Field being prepared to begin production in 2015.

Russia’s largest private oil company, with operations in 28 countries around the world Lukoil has announced contractors for the development of the Vladimir Filanovsky Field, which was discovered in 2005. The investment is expected to reach $3.5 billion.

The field is located about 50km offshore, in the northern part of the Caspian Sea. It is expected to start extraction in 2015. The field contains oil with very low sulfur content of just 0.1%. The reserves of the field include 153.1 million tonnes of oil and 32.2 billion cubic metres of gas.
According to Fedor Klimkin, Press and Communication Officer for Lukoil, the jackets for the offshore platforms have already been installed and subsea pipelines are nearing completion.


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The program for integrated development of the North Caspian fields includes construction of 25 platforms with total weight of about 100.000 tons. Pipelines will be long for more than 1.500 km including subsea lines around 1.000 km long.
The infrastructure at the Vladimir Filanovsky offshore field will comprise of an ice-resistant fixed platform (IRFP-1), a living quarters module platform (LQM-1), a central processing platform (CPP) and a risers block (RB) platform, which will all be linked with connection bridges.


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Lukoil discovered six large oil and gas fields in the North Caspian between 1999 and 2005: Khvalynskoye, 170 km, Yuri Korchagin, Rakushechnoye, Sarmatskoye and Filanovsky. At this stage, the fields are thought to contain 4.7 billion reserves. The Vladimir Filanovsky oil-gas field is the biggest by oil reserves discovered in Russia in the last 20 years.

Sources: offshore-technology.com, lukoil.com
Main image source: offshore-mag.com

What to do after an oil rig dies?

What to do after an oil rig dies?

We all may surmise how difficult process is to get rid of an oil rig. Many of you might have heard of the problem connected with Brent Spar. In 1991, Shell’s authorities decided to end its life. During a year there had been carried analysis of how most efficiently and with the least damage to the environment its life should have been ended. Studies commissioned by Shell in research institutes and universities indicated that the best and least harmful method of getting rid of the platform is its submergence on the open sea. The decision was taken after consultation with the relevant British authorities and approved by them in February 1995.
Month later Greenpeace has released a statement on the sinking of Brent Spar. Its tone was clear. Shell’s management unsuccessfully attempted to engage a dialogue relying on experts opinions, which made it clear that such solution is the best for the environment.
Greenpeace went from words to actions an occupied the platform. All battle was showed in media and media clamor soon swept through Europe. In Germany there have been 200 attacks on Shell gas stations, including setting two bombs and one case of firing.
These incidents caused the fact that Shell relented and gave up the plans to sink Brant Spar. The oil rig was towed to Norway and there pulled down. After that came to light a lie of Greenpeace. Their crowning argument was that the platform tanks contained more than 5,500 tons of oil, which was not true.
There comes the question. If this is so complicated to pull down an oil rig, perhaps we should use it in another way. But how? Let’s read some ideas. Many of them may seems impracticable for you, but some are really worth your attention.

1. A stunning place to visit on holiday.

Picture checking into this luxurious resort: surrounded by crystal clear seas, with water sports on tap and one heck of a rooftop pool. In 2009, these designs won Morris Architects a $10,000 prize for Radical Innovation in Hospitality. Their proposal sees an oil rig transformed into a plush holiday resort, complete with palm trees, glossy lobby and spa. All holidaymakers love hotels with sea views and this would take that concept to the next level – and transform an industrial building into a thing of beauty.


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2. Museum

Seems incredible? Have you known that is does already exist? Less than an hour from Houston, Texas there is a place situated on the retired jack-up drilling rig, called Offshore Energy Center. There you can visit museum, attend in scout programs, overnight programs and even buy some oil field gifts for your family.


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3. Diving center

It also does exist. The five star diving centre – Seaventures, located between Borneo, The Philippines and Indonesia, offers its guests basic accommodation and a unique diving experience.


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4. Luxurious apartments

Luxurious homes with a sea breeze and incredible ocean views. Sadly, they don’t exist yet – but that doesn’t mean they won’t. The vision of two Malaysian architects Ku Yee Kee and Hor Sue Wern to transform oil platforms into luxurious apartments won an award in a skyscraper competition in 2011. Their idea also includes eco-friendly equipment like wind farms and subaqua spaces for marine biology research.


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Do you have any other ideas?

Sources: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/greenpeaces-brent-spar-apology-1599647.html, jonesoil.ie, http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2002509,00.html
Main image source: http://bldgblog.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/hotelier-of-sea.html>

One day as an oil rig worker.

One day as an oil rig worker.

There is a growing demand for oil rig workers in offshore oil platforms, as a new work on new reserves is booming. Living away from home for weeks, long shifts, extreme isolation, open ocean, stressful environment make it quite demanding job. However, oil workers tend to get attractive wages and benefits. Every applicant for an oil rig worker wonders how it is like to live in such environment. So what is life on an oil rig really like? What does a day in the life of an oil rig worker entail?

It is important to mention that conditions vary according to different posts. Drilling or construction employees work outdoors while for example geologists do their tasks in offices, inside oil rig platform. This is the reason that it is impossible to generalize what a day on the rig looks, but let’s look at the average working conditions and what life is generally like.

1. Accommodation

Accommodation can vary from one rig to another and from one company to another, but accommodation can be anything from single rooms with suite facilities to a cabin shared by shift workers. Nevertheless, living conditions on oil rigs have improved considerably and  nowadays many offshore installations meet hotel standards. While on board, you can spend your free time in a wide variety of amenities and amusements such as modern satellite TV, updates selection of videos, gym, sauna, video games, connection to Internet. This is not the norm, but many companies offer this kind of activities for oil workers to avoid stress and  ensure the quality of work.

2. Schedule

Schedules and shifts are another important subject. They can vary between companies and  positions. A very common types of schedule consists in 14 days on, followed by 21 days off or working for 1, 2 weeks or even a moth and leaving for the same period. Sometimes, depending of the service, you will have to work until the job is finished. Timetables are between 80-100 hours per week, typically work shifts tend to last 12 hours. They can begin at any time depending on the particular schedule on the rig. This means working for a long shift, followed by 12 hours of rest.

3. Salary

Salaries – like on land – are established depending on position, experience, education. Also, those who arrived for shorter period of time earn less than workers employed on a permanent positions. Of course, the salary is calculated only on working-days. The range of salaries is from 150 euros / day for up to 400 euros / day and more. It should be noted that the higher the risk associated with the job is, the higher the salaries are. Moreover, food and accommodation is fully paid for while you’re working, and any transport to the rig is also arranged.

4. Isolation

Needless to say that work on the rig is not for everyone. The job drives some people crazy, a lot of people have trouble with getting used to open ocean and sometimes claustrophobic conditions. You have to consider that you can’t go anywhere. Space is an issue on an offshore rig, which is basically a camp that is propped up on ramps in the sea, so life on the rig can be quite claustrophobic. Workers compare it to having a second family. The isolation, the intensity of working so many hours straight and the danger breed closeness uncommon in most jobs. There are movie nights and video game tournaments. There’s even a nurse who get their cholesterol and blood pressure tested.

In conclusion, life on an oil rig can get monotonous, but is mitigated by fairly long breaks that allow you to recover, attractive salaries and additional bonuses and benefits.

Sources: drillingrigs.blogspot.com, oilvoice.com, ap.org
Photo from: facebook.com/Offshore-Jobs