The Gravity of Oil and Gas Exploration
Trent Jacobs, JPT Technology Writer
A Cold War technology invented to stealthily guide the United States Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet is now serving a much more peaceful purpose: aiding in the search for oil and gas deposits. Far removed from the ocean depths, gravity gradiometry has evolved to become an increasingly sophisticated aerial technology that has been used to rapidly analyze the subsurface of every continent in the world.
Mexico Receives a Cautious Endorsement for Investment
Jack Betz, JPT Staff Writer
Despite shallow-water, conventional areas being some of Mexico’s most promising plays for international operators in the short term, the economic factors surrounding them are “not robust,” even at higher oil prices.
During a December presentation at the Petroleum Club in Houston, Alan Cunningham, technical director at Gaffney, Cline & Associates, said that assuming an oil price of USD 80/bbl and a 50/50 production- sharing agreement with the Mexican government, the firm’s pro forma model projected that a generic, shallowwater, light oil discovery of 50 million bbl would yield a 12.4% return. Even at the model’s designated oil price, which is significantly higher than the current price, Cunningham stated that a 10% swing in any of its variables could destroy economic viability.
Steel Pipe May Offer a Window Into Reservoirs
Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor
Add a new possible use for downhole casing: It can serve as broadcast antennae. Saudi Aramco recently reported that it has successfully tested a method for mapping oil and water underground using electromagnetic waves generated by running an electrical current through the steel casing in a well (IPTC 17845).
The method could represent a cost-saving step forward for the Saudi Arabian national oil company’s longterm effort to monitor changing fluid flows in its reservoirs with electromagnetic energy to study how water injected into its fields is sweeping out the remaining oil, and see what it is missing.
ExxonMobil Report Sees North America as Net Exporter of Oil and Gas in 5 Years
Jack Betz, JPT Staff Writer
North America is expected be a net exporter of both oil and natural gas by 2020, according to ExxonMobil’s “Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040” report, which was released in December.
The report sees Latin America, Africa, Russia, and the Middle East joining the US as net oil exporters while Europe and Asia will remain net importers. By 2040, unconventional sources will provide approximately 45% of oil and liquids production around the world. Tight oil will make up the largest share of unconventionally sourced liquids, followed by oil sands.