Basic Understanding of Underbalanced Drilling

Between the fracture pressure and the pore pressure of the formation, the hydrostatic pressure of drilling fluid will always be maintained according to conventional drilling practice. In order to control the transport cuttings to the surface as well as the formation fluids, the drilling fluid is held within the wellbore where it circulates. Furthermore, it also keeps the drill bit cool and lubricated as it acts as a stabilizing agent. For effective use, the fluid must be water- or oil-based and this leads to a maximum weight of 19 pounds for each gallon (minimum of 7.8 pounds). As an attempt at imparting fluid loss, density, and rheological properties, it also contains a mixture of liquid and solid products.

Figure 1 - Conventional Drilling

Figure 1 – Conventional Drilling

For many years, the conventional drilling has been the safest method when drilling a well but there are also some negatives to using the method. For example, fluid invasion is a common problem because the drilling fluid pressure is naturally above the pressure of the natural formation – this can cause permeability damage. Also, physical blockages and washouts are common as the solids and fluids lodge into the formation. Continue reading

What are Central Processing Platforms (CPP)?

Offshore platforms are used to explore, extract, and process oil and gas retrieved from the seabed. One vital part of these structures is the central processing platform (CPP), where the well head fluid is pumped from the wellhead platforms through the riser for processing. The most important function of the CPP is to separate the oil, gas, and water from this three-phase well head fluid, to produce the final product of the platform.

Most central processing platforms feature the following components:

1. Separation Unit

2. Gas compression and dehydration

3. Produced water conditioning

4. Sea water processing and injection system Continue reading

Top 10 World’s Catastrophic Accidents in Oil and Gas Industry

Much offshore gas and oil exploration takes place many miles beneath the ocean. As well as involving some seriously complex equipment, oil platforms can also be dangerous places, with numerous environmental hazards to deal with. Well drilling has taken place for thousands of years, with the earliest known instance being in China in 347 AD, and since then there have been numerous accidents which have had a serious impact both on human life and the environment. There is a positive side to this, though- virtually every accident has led to safety reviews, and helped to improve safety protocols and equipment.

Below, we’ve put together a list of the ten catastrophic oil rig accidents, to demonstrate just how dangerous this industry can be.

1) PIPER ALPHA PLATFORM – 6 July 1988

The Piper Alpha Platform

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Top 10 Countries With Largest Oil Reserves 2017

Over the past ten years, the price of oil has certainly been volatile. This has led to concern at all levels, from the businesspeople selling oil, to the governments and policy makers in charge of regulating the industry. There are also environmental concerns associated with increased fossil fuel consumption, leading some to question whether there are enough oil reserves to satisfy demand, and what the long-term consequences of extraction may be.

As you can see, there are a lot of questions surrounding the oil industry at the present time. To help make things a little clearer, we have composed a list of the ten countries with the largest oil reserves in the world, to show how they fit into the global energy landscape.

1. Venezuela – 298.4 Billion Barrels

Venezuela

Venezuela Oilfield Map

Possessing over 298 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Venezuela is by far the country with the largest reserves in the world today. While they currently hold the top spot, they only reached this point fairly recently- at the end of the previous decade, it was Saudi Arabia which was well out in front of other countries in terms of its oil reserves. Continue reading