E&P Notes (May 2016)
- Trent Jacobs (JPT Senior Technology Writer) | Stephen Whitfield (JPT Staff Writer)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 26 - 29
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Drilling Down On Particle Size Analyzers
Trent Jacobs, JPT Senior Technology Writer
Automated particle-size analyzers are something you will not see on most drilling rigs, but some think this outside- the-oil-field technology will play a big role in the future of the drilling sector.
They are routinely used in a number of industrial processes for quality control, including agricultural plants and mines to measure things such as the size of corn kernels or to identify materials that might damage a rock crusher, for instance.
On a rig, particle size analyzers would generate value by making drilling under difficult conditions significantly easier, and they may also help move automated drilling efforts forward.
As drilling fluids circulate thousands of feet through a wellbore, the bits of material that flow back up to the surface can be a telltale sign that the operation is running smoothly, or running into trouble.
Directly measuring these particles would give rig crews and engineers an unprecedented ability to quickly determine how the well is really holding up and react if things head south. Fully automated analyzers would go one step further by acting on the data to make precise adjustments to the fluid mix, creating a savings opportunity on drilling chemicals.
Eric van Oort, a professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Texas (UT) in Austin, believes the adoption of such technology is in the early stages, but he sees immediate benefits for operators and contractors who commit to using it. He coauthored a technical paper on the subject that was presented in March at the SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, which outlines the capabilities of various analyzer technologies.
Simplification Key To Delivering Efficient Projects in Low-Oil-Price Climate
Stephen Whitfield, Staff Writer
To survive in the current low-price environment, exploration and production (E&P) companies must better handle the complexities inherent in their projects through practices that promote capital effectiveness and collaboration. Owners and operators must emphasize the long-term viability of their assets over high returns, an expert said.
In a presentation hosted by the SPE Gulf Coast Section Projects, Facilities, and Construction Study Group, Neeraj Nandurdikar discussed the collective actions the industry should take to improve project efficiency. Nandurdikar’s presentation, “Journey Towards Efficiency,” was the fourth installment of the study group’s Spring Event Series, “Delivering Projects at Less Than USD 50/bbl.” He is the director of the E&P practice at Independent Project Analysis.
Nandurdikar said that while simplification is key to developing efficient projects, the task itself is harder for E&P companies now because they do not engage in enough cross-disciplinary collaboration. In addition, with national oil companies (NOCs) and service companies managing their own projects, and NOCs partnering with specialists in other countries outside of their home base, the role of a traditional multinational E&P company is in flux. Nandurdikar said these companies can only determine the ways in which they can simplify their operations after they determine their roles in a low-price environment.
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