<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>
 

Global oil demand in 2014

10 January, 2014 News No comments
Global oil demand in 2014

World oil demand is expected to grow by one million barrels a day (b/d) in 2014 compared with 900,000 b/d last year, supported by improved performances by the emerging economies and as the global economy continues to recover in general.

“Oil demand growth continues to come mainly from non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, while OECD oil demand is expected to show a further contraction, albeit at a slower rate,” OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) observed.

However, an MOMR article pointed out that the latest forecast is associated with uncertainties related to the pace of economic growth in the OECD region, China and India, as well as to policy reforms in oil product retail prices in some emerging economies.

The improving picture is backed by a strengthening of the global economy in 2014, which is slated to expand by 3.5 percent against 2.9 percent in 2013, mainly as a result of momentum in the OECD economies.

“However, many challenges remain, ranging from the outcome of postponed fiscal negotiations in the United States, the future monetary policy of major central banks, the resilience of the Euro-zone recovery, and continued reforms in the emerging economies to improve structural issues,” the report commented.

It stressed that the signs of a recovery are already visible in rising global industrial production.

According to the MOMR, on the oil supply side, non-OPEC supply growth in 2014 is expected at almost the same level as last year at 1.2 million b/d with some risks in both directions, given possible early start-ups or delays, as well as political, technical and meteorological factors.

Output of OPEC natural gas liquids (NGLs) is expected to rise by 100,000 b/d in 2014, following an increase of 200,000 b/d last year.

The report noted that non-OPEC supply growth in 2013 has performed better than initially expected, supported mainly by the US and Canada, which added around 1 million b/d.

Other contributions to 2013 growth have come from the Sudans, Russia and China, while output disruptions in Syria, along with the decline in North Sea production, partially offset the growth.

“While the above forecasts indicate that incremental non-OPEC oil supply and OPEC NGL growth will outpace projected world oil demand growth, the 164th OPEC Ministerial Conference (held in Vienna Dec 4) decided to maintain current production of 30 million b/d in the interest of maintaining market equilibrium.

“In taking this decision, the Organization’s Member Countries re-confirmed their readiness to promptly respond to unforeseen developments that could have an adverse impact on an orderly and balanced oil market,” the report said.

Looking at 2013, the MOMR said the price of the OPEC Reference Basket experienced significant quarterly swings.

After reaching close to $115 per barrel in the first quarter, the basket price came down steeply to around $96 per barrel in the second quarter, before regaining strength to rebound sharply in the third quarter.

Sources:

  • http://www.business-standard.com/
  • Oil and Gas Journal

Automated Drilling, the Industry’s Future

8 December, 2013 News No comments
Automated Drilling, the Industry’s Future

The oil and gas industry has set the path to completely change how they will find natural resources. Since the beginning, drilling has been at the hands of humans, but this is about to change with the help of autonomous computer-controlled drilling operations – drilling automation.

Operators are continuously seeking ways of meeting their safety goal of zero people hurt on the job and reducing the costs of extracting hydrocarbons. Drilling automation seeks to do just that through process improvements, optimized rates of penetration, consistent hole quality and overall drilling performance, all of which allow operators to reach their objectives in the shortest time.

“Drilling is potentially dangerous, with rig staff and heavy machinery operating in the same tight space,” said Eric van Oort, a former Royal Dutch Shell Plc executive who’s leading a graduate-level engineering program at the University of Texas focused on automated drilling. “So why not let machines do the hazardous work?”

Automation has been widely used in several industries: aeronautics, automobile manufacturing, utility and power generation and general processing. Some may argue that these industries improved drastically when humans were partially taken out of the equation. Automation allows for repetition to occur without suffering from boredom or lapses in attention that its human counterparts are capable of  Robots are able to attain a level of autonomy because there are few decisions to make and there is little uncertainty or variability in their environment and tasks.

Apache (APA), National Oilwell Varco (NOV), andStatoil (STO) are among the companies working on technology that will take humans out of the most repetitive, dangerous, and time-consuming parts of oil field work. “It sounds futuristic,” says Kenneth Sondervik, sales and marketing vice president for Robotic Drilling Systems. He compares it to other areas that have become highly automated, such as auto manufacturing or cruise missile systems.

Robotic Drilling Systems is designing a series of robots to take over the repeatable tasks now done by deckhands, roughnecks, and pipehandlers on a rig. Its blue, 10-foot-tall robot deckhand has a jointed arm that can extend about 10 feet, with 15 or so interchangeable hands of assorted sizes. The robot is anchored in place to give it better leverage as it lifts drill bits that weigh more than a ton and maneuvers them into place. The company is also collaborating with researchers at Stanford University on a three-fingered robot hand embedded with sensors that give it a touch delicate enough to pick up an egg without crushing it.

Recently, Norway’s Robotic Drilling Systems AS, formerly Seabed Rig, developed an innovative autonomous robotic drilling rig for unmanned drilling operations. The company claims that the new system, Robotic Drilling System (RDS), sets new standards with increased safety and cost-effective planning and drilling and can be implemented on existing, as well as new drilling structures, both offshore and on land. The company has taken their product a step further by signing an information-sharing agreement with NASA to discover what it might learn from the rover Curiosity.

Resources:

  • Horizon oil and gas
  • Robots: The Future of the Oil Industry, www.businessweek.com

What’s After Oil ?

3 November, 2013 News 4 comments
What’s After Oil ?

 

If you’re wondering about the direction of gasoline prices over the long term, forget for a moment about OPEC quotas and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and consider instead the matter of Hubbert’s Peak. That’s not a place, it’s a concept developed a half-century ago by a geologist named M. King Hubbert, and it explains a lot about what’s going on today at the gas pump. Hubbert argued that at a certain point oil production peaks, and thereafter it steadily declines regardless of demand. In 1956 he predicted that U.S. oil production would peak about 1970 and decline thereafter. Skeptics scoffed, but he was right.

It now appears that world oil production, about 80 million barrels a day, will soon peak. In fact, conventional oil production has already peaked and is declining. For every 10 barrels of conventional oil consumed, only four new barrels are discovered. Without the unconventional oil from tar sands, liquefied natural gas and other deposits, world production would have peaked several years ago.

Oil experts agree that hitting Hubbert’s Peak is inevitable. The oil laid down by nature is finite, and almost half of it has already been extracted. The only uncertainty is when we hit the peak. Pessimists predict by 2010. Optimists say not for 30 to 40 years. Most experts expect it in 10 to 20 years. Lost in the debate are three much bigger issues: the impact of declining oil production on society, the ways to minimize its effects and when we should act. Unfortunately, politicians and policymakers have ignored Hubbert’s Peak and have no plans to deal with it: If it’s beyond the next election, forget it.

What happens after peak oil?

The worst-case oil crash predictions involve soaring gas prices, the end of globalization, widespread anarchy and the relentless exploitation of previously protected drilling sites.

More optimistic views of this inevitable post-peak world involve a lot more preparation. Basically, the impact of oil shortages can be lessened by decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels. Alternative energy sources and renewable biofuels play a crucial role in these outlooks. Some commentators even go so far as to see eventual oil shortfalls as a stabilizing factor in world politics.

The writing is on the wall. Global oil supply can’t meet global oil demand forever, necessitating new energy sources and usage practices. Even if technology allowed us to harvest every last drop of oil in the planet, increasing scarcity and rising prices would necessitate widespread change long before we actually ran out of oil.

How to minimize the impact of declining oil production?

Conservation and new finds can help. New oil fields continue to be discovered, but they are small. No giant Saudi Arabia-type fields have been found in 30 years. The small fields contribute ever diminishing amounts of oil. But while conservation and new oil can delay Hubbert’s Peak and ease its impact, they cannot prevent it. Moreover, even if the United States conserves oil, other countries might not. A practical long-term, non-oil solution to the problem of Hubbert’s Peak is needed.

We need new technologies, especially for transportation. Possible options are synthetic fuels from coal, hydrogen fuel from nuclear and renewable power sources, and electrified transport: light rail, rail and maglev. Processes for synthetic gasoline, diesel and jet fuel are well developed but expensive. The environmental problems from coal — mining, carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants — are serious and require more attention. Hydrogen fuel produced by electrolysis from renewable power sources is environmentally clean, but it has serious technical problems. Producing the hydrogen equivalent in energy to the oil now used in U.S. transport would require 10 trillion kilowatt hours of electric energy; we would have to triple our electric generation capacity.

A more practical approach would be the electrification of transport. Switching half the truck and personal auto miles to electrified transport would require an increase in electric generation capacity of only 10 percent. Electrified transport is clean, non-polluting and energy-efficient. Light rail and rail systems are already in wide use. First- generation maglev systems are operating, and lower-cost second-generation systems are being developed.

As oil production declines, the combination of electrified transport and synthetic fuels from coal can meet the challenge. Hydrogen fuel is probably not practical, but research and development on it should continue in the hope of a breakthrough.

Whatever non-oil transport technologies prove best, making the transition from our present systems will take many years. It took decades for the first automobiles and airplanes to evolve into effective systems, and decades to build the interstate highway network. We can’t afford to wait until Hubbert’s Peak occurs. We should begin now to plan and implement the new, non-oil technologies. If we don’t, our economy and living standard will be in serious trouble.

Source:

  • Erica Etelson, “After oil supplies dry up, what’s Plan B?”.
  • James Jordan and James R. Powell, “After the Oil Runs Out”.
  • Robert Lamb, “When will we run out of oil, and what happens then?”.

 

How to Get Entry Into Directional Drilling Profession?

How to Get Entry Into Directional Drilling Profession?

 

One of the biggest breakthroughs in how we get the fuel for our vehicles and homes is the science of directional drilling of oil and gas wells. The job of a directional driller is one of the most highly compensated positions in the petroleum exploration industry. Directional drilling has helped discover vast new deposits of oil and natural gas throughout the globe. The technology is for the first time in years reversing the decline in domestic oil production. For this reason, the number of jobs in directional drilling of oil wells is increasing.

Directional drillers earn good money, some of the best in the oilfield, for being in charge of drilling an oil well sideways or horizontally. It can be a demanding high pressure job. To be a directional driller one must be very mechanically inclined, have a good amount oilfield experience, be good at mathematics and be willing to travel and spend much as fifty weeks a year away from home when starting out.

How?

The people who most often become highly paid directional drillers have usually arrived at the position by one of two paths. Some have worked their way up the ladder from roughneck and regular oil rig driller and then applied for the job of directional driller with a service company, such as Sperry Sun, that specializes in that type of work. To be hired they must have years of experience drilling oil wells in different types of rock formations, working on different types of rigs, etc., as well as possess excellent math and problem solving skills.
Others who become directional drillers may have spent several years working in the field of MWD-LWD (Measure and Logging While Drilling), which is the electronic technology used to guide directional drillers as they drill oil and gas wells horizontally through rock stratas. Those working in LWD and MWD may have an engineering degree from a university or technical school degree.

Required Educational Background

There are several ways to enter the vast oil and gas field. If you browse through the profiles of different oil field workers, you’ll observe that some are just high school pass outs while some are masters’ degree holder too. There are just few companies which recruit freshers directly as a directional drilling personnel and maximum of those are PSU’s. Most of the reputed companies hire fresh graduates as a MWD operator and after few years (may be about 4 to 5 years) they are provided DD training and shifted to core directional drilling department as a DD.

If you are fresh Engineering Graduate with Electronics, IT, Computer, Petroleum as major, you can directly enter the MWD department and later get promoted to Directional drilling section.

If you are fresh graduate with Petroleum or Mechanical major, you can enter via drilling and then switching to MWD since all MWD service providers do not recruit mechanical engineers for MWD field operation.

Education background preferred for MWD operator position:
Bachelors in Electronics / Electronics & Communication
Bachelors in Computer / IT
Bachelors in Petroleum

If you want to get a job as a directional driller, make sure you take courses in math and science in high school and college. Trigonometry is an essential part of the job and though many of the calculations used to determine how to build or maintain angle in the well can be done on programmable scientific calculators, understanding the “why” behind the math is essential to the job. In addition, most companies require that directional drillers attend a multi – day class and pass a final exam before being promoted any further than trainee.

Job Environment

Your work will either be on a land rig or on an offshore rig. There is no such thing as a typical “work day” for a directional driller. One of the most critical times on the job is when the directional driller is diverting the well from vertical to horizontal. A bad calculation on error in judgment when deciding when and how to build angle can mean the difference between having to abandon days of work, cement the newly drilled section of the well, etc. During these times both the day and night directional drillers may be up for many hours without sleep. During the training phase of the job a trainee may work part of the night with one driller and part of the day with the other full time D.D. Since well trained “hands” are in high demand, they may go straight from one job to the other, with days in between going home. To say that the job can be stressful is an understatement.

Salaries

Salaries for directional drillers with several years of experience may be well over $200,000 a year but in return they are required to go to jobs anywhere, at anytime the company orders them to do so.

Sources:

• CAREER IN DIRECTIONAL DRILLING, Directional Drilling Technology Blog.

• How to Get A Job As A Directional Driller In The Oilfield, eHow Contributor

The Middle East: Employment Future and Challenges

10 September, 2013 Career 4 comments
The Middle East: Employment Future and Challenges

Oil and gas are the world’s most important energy sources. They produce power for our factories and our homes, run our cars, ships, aircraft and railways, and provide us with plastics and other synthetic materials that, in the modern world, we often take for granted.

With demand for oil and gas increasing, and greater care being taken of our natural resources, the oil industry faces a challenging and exciting future – one that is going to test its ingenuity and expertise to the full. The oil industry offers a variety of job opportunities. Many are office based, but some still demand working in difficult conditions.

The oil and gas industry creates widespread impact throughout all sectors of an economy. The economic impact includes direct employment, labor income, and “value add” benefits based on the investments in the sector. These benefits are called multipliers. Indirect impact takes into account the economic activity created through the supply chain serving the oil and gas industry while induced impact is based on household spending. The last element creates additional employment and related economic activity.

In the recent past, Middle Eastern national oil companies (NOCs) have had to compete with other regions of the world for the best available human resources from their partners, the International Oil Companies (IOCs). Until about five years ago, this competition was relatively unsuccessful, as IOCs deployed their best exploration and production talent instead to more technically challenging areas of the world such as the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa, the Caspian and emerging areas of Asia- Pacific. The effect of using this talent elsewhere was that Middle Eastern NOCs were not exposed to the best in class experience in science, engineering and technology that the IOCs had to offer. In the past five years however, things have started to change, as the Middle East re-emerges as a priority investment area for those IOCs attracted by the size, availability and stability of the resources available in the region.

According to Derek Massie, former SVP HR at deepwater drilling company, Seadrill: “Labour supply and demand is not balanced on a global scale. In the Middle East, 86% of workers are imported”.

What can be done to ease the talent shortage in the Middle Eastern energy and utilities sector?

There are a series of measures which, when taken together, can provide solutions for the short-, medium- and longterm. Before an increase in the existing skill base is even contemplated, quick wins can be realized simply by better managing the existing pool of talent within an NOC or NEWC organization or within the industry as a whole. Apart from the benefits which a well thought out and executed organizational redesign can bring, the positive contribution of a professional HR function, fully integrated with the business operating units which it serves, is crucial for developing coherent and proactive talent strategies to enable them to compete in a global resourcing market. A separately identified HR function is relatively unknown to the Middle East, where HR activities are sometimes regarded as part of an overall administrative function, tasked with reactive fire-fighting rather than constructive, preventative action. A professional HR function, empowered by senior management and staffed by well-trained individuals, can address a whole range of issues such as recruitment, training, career progression, remuneration, and retention of an organization’s most valuable assets.

Sponsorship of continuing education, also a key element in staff development and retention, is gradually becoming a core strategy adopted by the NOCs. Last year Saudi Aramco paid for the education of 1,922 graduate and undergraduate Saudi students, including 1,138 in North America, 439 in Europe, and 217 in Saudi Arabia itself. Saudi Aramco also supports a College Preparatory Program that gives Saudi secondary-school graduates the skills they need to succeed in international universities. The company runs the equivalent of community colleges that give thousands of Saudi young people the technical skills they need for employment, and it has other extensive collaborations with Saudi and international higher education institutions. In 2009, Saudi Aramco set up a “university relations” division to manage such partnerships. As far as closing the mid-career skills gap in energy and utilities is concerned, other quick wins can include identifying and fast tracking young employees according to their technical and business development skills, as well as incentivizing the delayed retirement of long-serving employees. In the long term, however, only a sustained program of attracting school students at an early age into science, engineering and technology education and careers, sponsored by the NOCs and IOCs working together, will solve the problem which they helped to create 15 years ago.

References:

1. Deloitte, Midle East Energy and Resources.

2. Energy Zone, Careers in Oil and Gas Industry.

3. Schlumberger, The Gulf Challenges.