<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>

Life of the oil field

Life of the oil field

Today, I am going to describe a life of the oil field. Probably the topic is obvious and well known but the basic knowledge is worth to be repeated. Oil field is a region with a large number of boreholes extracting petroleum. Oil fields typically occupy large areas up to several hundred kilometers in width, so the total utilization of the deposit is possible only thanks to location many boreholes around the area.

Before starting exploitation of the deposit, firstly of course we have to discover it, and make inventory of resources. Promising geological formations are examined by analyzing the propagation of the artificially generated seismic waves in the earth’s crust. Test drilling are performed, and then we can start extraction. At the beginning crude oil is readily available and it is easy to increase production. Later, it is more complicated: we have to pump it, squeeze out of the ground by introducing water and gas into the reservoir – production will be stabilized and then will be decreased.

Advanced mining and drilling techniques allow very efficient exploitation of the deposit of oil. Several decades ago it was normal to extract approximately 20% of the deposit. But today we can exploit even more than 50%. The specific value depends on the type of oil layer, the deposit and other factors like porosity, permeability, etc. Regardless of the type and the efficiency of the mining methods, there remains less and less crude oil in the deposit. In the extracted crude oil is also more water. When the amount of water becomes too large (eg. 99%), we should abandon wellbore. Gradually we will turn off the exploitation of the oil wells. The typical lifetime of an oil field is a several / a few dozen years and depends largely on intensity of exploitation. Deposits which are intensively exploited (particularly with the use of horizontal wells enabling rapid pumping of oil) reach “end” much faster. Also decrease of production of such a deposit is characterized by a rate of over a dozen percent per year, in contrast to several percent per annum for deposits exploited using “classical” methods.

The world is full of old, abandoned oil sites. Once there were lively places, giving employment to thousands of people, providing energy throughout the countries. Today – there are only abandoned, decaying remains of old wells, pumps and destroyed infrastructure.

And what’s more? Any questions? I urge you to search on!


Sources: anz.theoildrum.com, oilfield.com

Energy future of Europe: still no change

Energy future of Europe: still no change

On the European gas market we should not expect drastic changes: the share of natural gas from Russia will remain significant, and its price will be competitive. Not until after 2030 the price will slightly decrease, but Russia will compensate that itself by an increase in the supply of LNG to Europe.

These are the main conclusions from comprehensive report about European gas market drawn by the Washington Brookings Institution. Report predicts that even in the case of absence of gas transit through Ukraine, or if European Commission will prohibit the construction of South Stream pipeline from Russia to Italy, it wouldn’t have significant effects on the origin of natural gas in Europe. The conclusion is that regardless of the different hypothetical scenarios, Europe will still need Russian gas.

The authors assume that the demand for gas in Europe will start to grow from 2015, but will return to the pre-crisis level (2008) in 2040. They also estimate that domestic gas production in Europe will fall to 208 billion cubic meters in 2020, and then will decrease slightly to 199 billion cubic meters in 2040, even assuming that the production of shale gas in 2040 will be about 20 billion cubic meters. The authors based their calculations on the assumption that 80% of shale gas production will take place in the UK and Poland, which is “very optimistic assumption”.


The report also refers to other alternative sources of supply, such as an increase in imports by the South Corridor or increase domestic production of shale gas. These options are important in themselves, but there is no evidence that these alternative supplies will lead to changes in the European gas supply system in the near future.

Sources: brookings.edu, rigzone.com
Photos from: euanmearns.com

Conflict in Iraq – new hope for Kurdistan

Conflict in Iraq – new hope for Kurdistan

Although Iraq is still dangerous place, Kurdistan is relatively peaceful region. In recent years, the Kurds have formed there virtually independent state, and today use the conflict in the north of the country to earn money on oil. Kurdistan has become one of the most promising areas for exploration and production of crude oil. Hope for its development came after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

Petroleum resources of Kurdistan, although they are smaller than in other parts of Iraq, have strategic importance for the relations between Kurds and Baghdad, as well as for the potential export of gas to Turkey and European Union countries. This autonomous region ruled by president Masoud Barzani since several years gradually gaining more independence from the government of Iraq. Robin Mills, head of consulting Manaar Energy Group providing advisory services on matters of oil, said that the Kurds have used ISIL offensive to take most of the territories, including the city of Kirkuk and oil fields in the surrounding area. From both oil fields – Kirkuk and Bai Hassan – they can export even 450 thousand barrels per day, but since March this year Kurds haven’t mined significant quantities after damaging Iraqi-Turkish pipeline Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline by saboteurs. Current export is big step forward for the Kurds towards even more independence. In 2011 the government of Kurdistan signed independently contract with Exxon Mobil to start mining in the north of the country. Since then, the Kurds have signed new contracts – with Chevron, Gazprom and Total.

The conflict in Iraq and Islamist offensive sparked hopes of Iraqi Kurds to create an independent state. Probably this will not happen, because United States and the countries of the region with the Kurdish minority are against. Kirkuk is the center of the oil industry in Iraq, located outside the Kurdish autonomous region, but Kurds suggest that they do not intend to give it back. According to experts, mastering additional oil reserves will give them economic independence. Kurdish Regional Government plans in the future to produce up to one million barrels per day. Deposits of oil in the region is estimated at 45 billion barrels. On the basis of the Iraqi constitution adopted in 2005, crude oil – the main wealth of the country – should be passed by all the provinces to the central government, and only government has the right to export it.  The Kurds, however, do not apply to this provision. Kurdish authorities have also entered into long-term agreements with the Turkish government on the oil export.

Sources: iraqoilreport.com, theenergycollective.com
Photos: americancontractor.com

Report from Morocco Oil & Gas 2014 Summit

Report from Morocco Oil & Gas 2014 Summit

The Morocco Oil & Gas 2014 Summit was held at the Hotel Pullman Palmeraie in Marrakech on 7th – 8th May 2014.

The Summit has been organised by International Research Networks, a leading business intelligence group, transmitting information through the medium of highly topical Conferences, Summits, Round Tables, Reviews and Publications.

The Summit, fully endorsed by the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), attracted more than 250 delegates from international oil companies. H.E Abdelkader Amara, Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment of Morocco, opened the event. He referred to potential measures for further increasing Morocco’s attractiveness in his speech.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Ms. Amina Benkhadra, General Director of ONHYM. She stated that 2013 and 2014 have been an unprecedented period of growth for Morocco’s upstream activity, and the ONHYM is continuing its promotional work. Two or three additional agreements could possibly be signed by the end of 2014 in addition to 31 exploration contracts currently in force, as well as five reconnaissance agreements.

Day 1 of the Summit, included insightful presentations by the senior directors of ONHYM, highlighting Morocco’s offshore and onshore exploration opportunities, hydrocarbon legislation and promising petroleum systems. The insights were given by experts in the field including Mr Mohamed Nahim, Exploration Director at ONHYM; Mr Redouane Hajjaj, Head of the Petroleum Agreements Management Department; and Mr Abdellah Ait Salem, Basin Evaluation Division Manager.

Amongst the major operators in Morocco, Ben Conley, Morocco Asset Manager at Cairn Energy, and Duncan Wallace, Exploration Manager at Chariot Oil & Gas, presented on their exploration plans and activities, including offshore and onshore activities. Later that day, Rick Eisenberg, Africa Frontier Exploration and Appraisal Manager, and Carl Atallah, Vice President and Country Manager of Platinum Sponsor Chevron discussed opportunities in Morocco and what it takes to be successful in frontier exploration in the country. The American major is due to start seismic shooting promptly and plans to multiply drilling offshore Agadir. Mr Atallah stated that part of their appeal is that this area has not been explored before. He then added “exploration is a risky business, and even in a success case, it will be a very long time before Morocco sees the kind of benefits associated with oil and gas production.”

After a full day of exclusive insights and networking, the delegation were taken to a Networking Reception, sponsored by Genel Energy, allowing participants to pursue business conversations with senior representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, the ONHYM and the main oil and gas operators and service providers of the industry. The evening pleasantly continued at the Tigmiza Palace for a prestigious Gala Dinner, hosted by Gulfsands Petroleum.

Day 2 featured presentations on Morocco onshore and offshore developments by Mahdi Sajjad, President and CEO at Gulfsands Petroleum; Paul Griffiths, Managing Director at Fastnet Oil & Gas; and Gerald Lane, Finance Director at Kosmos Energy. Gerald explained more about the unexplored basins offering potentially high volume and high value barrels. He stated that the excellent investment climates – one of the best in Africa – and the good alignment with Government authorities on hydrocarbon exploration, are among the reasons for exploration.

Shale oil and gas were discussed by the experts in the field; Walid Sinno, Middle East and North Africa Director at San Leon Energy; Hussein Abdallah, Exploration Manager Morocco and Mauritania at Repsol, and Mike Hoffmann, Exploration Manager North Africa at Gold Sponsor Anadarko. They explained that their objectives in terms of unconventional resources are to explore alternatives to accelerate development and help to establish a profitable oil and gas shale industry.

Gold Sponsor CGG, represented by Rob Crossley, Chief Geologist, also presented on geological and geophysical integration for successful exploration of the Moroccan offshore.

Finally, Franck Le Baron, Vice President International Projects at Elengy; Fabrice Fortin, Head of Gas and LNG Market Developments North Africa at Royal Dutch Shell – Integrated Gas; and Laurent Thery, Senior Vice President International Business Development at GDF Suez, hosted a session on the Moroccan downstream sector focusing on natural gas and LNG terminals. Morocco is aiming at diversifying its energy mix for better energy efficiency and, according to Mr Fortin, gas and LNG are keys to achieving the national energy strategy goals.

The Marrakech Farewell Night, sponsored by Kosmos Energy, took place at the magnificent Soleiman Palace, facilitating exclusive networking opportunities with international oil and gas thought leaders.

Amongst companies that attended the Summit were AVA Newpark, Baker Hughes, Caithness Petroleum, Clifford Chance, ConocoPhillips, Dan-Bunkening Middle East, Dolphin Geophysical, Enel, Ernst & Young, Freeport McMoRan Oil & Gas, Galp Energia, Genesis Oil & Gas, Glencore UK, GPS Intl, Halliburton, Impact Oil & Gas, Integrated Geochemical Interpretation (IGI), ION Geophysical, Jotun MENA, Kerui Group, Lafarge Maroc, Longreach Oil & Gas, Mubadala Petroleum, New Age Morocco, OGRPP – Guinea, OneSubsea, Polarcus, PwC, Saham Assurance, Sanad, Saipem, Sotaserv, Spectrum, Sumitomo Corporation, Svenska Petroleum, Technip, Teredo Oils, TGS, Total Safety and Xodus Group. The Ministry of Economy and Finance and West African guests from Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania and Gabon were also present.

Official Supporters of the Summit included the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of Casablanca, Cedigaz, the Moroccan Association of Petroleum Geologists and GEP AFTP. IRN donated a substantial amount of the Summit proceedings to its Charity Partner, L’Heure Joyeuse.

For more information on the second edition of the Morocco Oil & Gas Summit that will take place next year, please visit the website www.moroccosummit.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