E&P Notes

After Years of Development, Nanoparticle Drilling Fluid Ready

Trent Jacobs, JPT Senior Technology Writer

The challenge for nanotechnology-based drilling fluids is that in order to gain acceptance, they cannot simply match the industry’s conventional chemistries— they must outperform them.

Calgary-based nFluids believes it is among the first to answer that call. The 4-year-old firm is now in the early stages of commercializing its nanoparticle additive that it says is compatible with all types of drilling fluids.

Based on results from nine pilot wells and an independent study by the University of Missouri, the company reports that its nano-additive has achieved up to a 60% increase in wellbore strength, a 90% reduction in fluid losses, and a 50% reduction in friction during drilling— with the latter translating to a faster rate of penetration.

Anticipation, Uncertainty High for Upcoming Mexico Auctions

Stephen Whitfield, Staff Writer

The opening of Mexico’s oil and gas sector was a landmark moment in the industry, but despite the potential upside, the uncertainty and risk surrounding unfamiliar offshore territory in a volatile price market kept many potential investors at bay. Today, more than a year after the first auction of shallow-water blocks, operators have a better idea of what to expect from Mexican authorities, but there are still questions left to be answered with more public bids on the horizon, an expert said.

In a presentation held by the SPE Gulf Coast Section’s International Study Group, Loren Long discussed Talos Energy’s decision to bid on Mexican shallowwater leases, its experiences operating in the country, and his outlook on upcoming auctions. Long is the managing director for Talos’ Mexican operations.

Energy Research Funding the Next Generation

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

When Tom Williams was hired as president of RPSEA, one of the first things he did was change the title of the technology development organization’s September conference. At the end of The Best of RPSEA 10 Years of Research, he added, “and Beyond.”

The decision was made shortly before the September gathering because he said the original made it sound “like a funeral. You are saying this is it.”

That was a worry because the organization had failed to find funding to replace the dwindling cash flow from a US Department of Energy (DOE) program that the US Congress had killed before it was scheduled to expire.

At the meeting Williams emphasized, “It is not it. We are a viable organization that will keep going.”

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