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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Shell plans to sell stake in Eagle Ford Shale – WSJ

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell plans to sell its 106,000-acre stake in the Eagle Ford shale formation in South Texas, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Shell’s decision comes after it took a $2.2 billion (1.3 billion pounds) charge against its U.S. shale business in August.

Major oil companies have struggled in oil-and-gas rich regions such as the Eagle Ford, where smaller energy firms have thrived. BG Group and BHP Billiton have also taken impairment charges against their U.S. shale assets.

Shell told the Journal that Eagle Ford holdings did not meet the company’s targets for size and profitability.

The stake “offers a valuable growth opportunity for another experienced operator,” Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh told the paper.

Shell representatives could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular business hours.

The company will continue to operate its 150 production wells in the Eagle Ford while allowing potential buyers to review technical data on the holdings, the Journal reported. The value of the assets wasn’t clear, it said.

Writedowns by Shell and some other majors are a sign they came to the shale boom late in the day, overpaying for lower quality and less well-explored assets – not that the shale revolution is stuttering, according to a Reuters Breakingviews column published in August.


Kazakhstani Parliament ratifies deal on Kazakhstan-China pipeline

The Kazakhstani Parliament ratified on Thursday the agreement between Kazakhstani and Chinese governments on developing and exploiting Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline.

The agreement describes mechanisms and terms of implementation of the project of development and exploitation of the Kazakhstan- China oil pipeline aimed at increasing its capacity.

At a plenary meeting of the Parliament, it was mentioned that investments and capital expenditures will make around 126 billion tenge (840 million US dollars).

“The agreement is mainly aimed at setting a uniform network rate independent of the point of oil’s entry into the Kazakhstan-  China pipeline system. The oil supply rate will be approved by the competent state authorities of Kazakhstan and should not exceed the set oil export rate,” said Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin.

According to the minister, the prices in the oil sales contracts will be set based on international oil prices in oil/ barrel and will be the same at the Kazakhstan-Chinese border.

“The Chinese partners will be making sure that these prices are attractive for Kazakhstani dispatchers for the whole period of this agreement,” Karabalin said.

The plan is to increase the pipeline’s capacity in Atassu- Alashankow section to 20 million tons per year in 2013, he said, adding that the general plan is to create 400 permanent jobs and up to 2,000 jobs for the first two years of construction.

“Exploitation and maintenance of all the parts of the Kazakhstan-China pipeline are currently being performed and will be performed by KazTransOil,” the minister noted.

Earlier, Kairgeldy Kabyldin, director general of KazTransOil, assured that there would be as few foreign workers at the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline as possible.

Currently, China’s share in the production of oil is 24 percent, but Chinese companies are mostly on deposits in the Kyzyl-Orda and Atyrau oblasts, where year-on-year oil production decreases.

Therefore, China’s share in the future of Kazakhstan’s oil production will be reduced to 7-8 percent, said the minister.

At present, investments from the United States in this area accounts for 25 percent, the most among foreign countries.


Screen selection for shale shakers

A shale shaker can be used in all drilling applications in which liquid is used as the drilling fluid. Screen selection is controlled by circulation rate, shaker design, well-bore properties, and drilling-fluid properties.

Most operations involved in drilling a well can be planned in advance because of experience and engineering designs for well construction. Well planners expect to be able to look at a chart or graph and determine the size and number of shale shakers required to drill a particular well anywhere in the world. They expect to be able to determine the opening sizes of the shaker screens used for any portion of any well. But there are too many variables involved to allow these charts to exist. Many shale shaker manufacturers, because of customer demand, publish approximate flow charts indicating that their shakers can process a certain flow rate of drilling fluid through certain-size screens. These charts are usually based on general field experience with a lightly treated water-based drilling fluid and should be treated as approximations at best. These charts should be used to provide only very inaccurate guesses about screens that will handle flow rates for a particular situation.

Rheological factors, fluid type, solids type and quantity, temperature, drilling rates, solids/liquid interaction, well-bore diameters, well-bore erosion, and other variables dictate actual flow rates that can be processed by a particular screen. Drilling fluid without any drilled solids can pose screening problems. Polymers that are not completely sheared tend to blind screens and/or appear in the screen discard. Polymers that increase the low-shear-rate viscosity or gel strength of the drilling fluid also pose screening problems. Polymers, like starch, that are used for fluid-loss control are also difficult to screen through a fine mesh (such as an API 200 screen). Oil-based drilling fluids, or nonaqueous fluids (NAFs), without adequate shear and adequate mixing are difficult to screen. NAFs without sufficient oil-wetting additives are very difficult to screen through mesh finer than API 100.

Shaker ScreenShaker screen

Screen selection for shale shakers is dependent on geographical and geological location. Screen combinations that will handle specific flow rates in the Middle East or Far East will not necessarily handle the same flow rates in Norway or the Rocky Mountains. The best method to select shale shaker screens and/or number of shale shakers for a particular drilling site is to first use the recommendations of a qualified solids control advisor from the area. Screen use records should be established for further guidance.



Drilling fluid processed by Shale Shakers

Shale Shaker is a general term for a vibrating device used to screen solids from a circulating drilling fluid.

Many configurations have been used. These include:

1 A square or rectangular screening area with drilling-fluid flow down the length
2 Revolving, nonvibrating, cylindrical screens with longitudinal flow down the center axis
3 Circular screens with flow from the center to the outside

Other configurations have been tried but have not become commercial. The majority of shale shakers flow the drilling fluid over a rectangular screening surface. Larger solids are removed at the discharge end, with the smaller solids and drilling fluid passing through the screens into the active system. All drilled solids above 74 microns are undesirable in any drilling fluid. API 200 (74-micron) screens are so desirable on shale shakers for this reason. Weighting materials that meet American Petroleum Institute (API) specifications still have 3% by weight larger than 74 microns. Screens this size may remove large quantities of barite and may significantly affect the drilling-fluid and well cost.

Shale Shakers

Shale Shakers are the most important and easiest-to-use solids-removal equipment. They are the first line of defense once drilling fluid is returned from the well bore. In most cases, they are highly cost- effective. If shale shakers are used with torn screens, fluid bypassing screens, incorrectly sized screen panels, or worn parts, the remaining solids-removal equipment will not perform properly.


Iran developing 16 offshore H/C fields on Qeshm Island

The Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) is developing 16 offshore oil and gas fields in southern Iran in a bid to turn the Persian Gulf island of Qeshm into an energy hub, an IOOC official says.

Offshore Drilling
Heydar Yarveisi said on Sunday that the development of hydrocarbon reservoirs is also meant for generating 12,000 megawatts of electricity in the island.

The most important of the fields undergoing development is Forouz B gas field which is estimated to hold 28 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and 180 million barrels of in-place gas condensate.

“In the first phase, the gas production ceiling from Forouz B field is projected to reach one billion cubic feet with nearly 10,000 barrels of gas condensate a day. Moreover, the field is forecast to produce 1.49 million tons of gas liquids a year and 466 tons of sulfur a day. This volume of gas will allow the generation of up to 6,000 megawatts of electricity for domestic consumption,” said Yarveisi, who oversees development projects in Qeshm.

Meanwhile, a refinery is also under construction in Qeshm with a daily production capacity of 80 million cubic feet of gas.

Qeshm Island sits atop of over four billion barrels of oil and 10 tcf of in-place gas.


Injection increases oil production at Salman offshore Iran

TEHRAN, Iran – Oil production from the Salman field in the Persian Gulf has increased by 10,000 b/d following installation of a new gas lift platform close to the existing offshore production complex.

According to Abbas Rajabkhani, a senior official of the Iranian Offshore Oil Co. (IOOC), speaking to news service Shana, the new platform became operational after implementation of a gas injection compressor and accelerated gas flow. It is designed to inject around 60 MMcf/d (1.7 MMcm/d) of gas.

Salman is 144 km (89 mi) south of Lavan Island. The Salman complex comprises 10 main platforms, 10 satellite jacket structures for water injection, and 15 satellite jackets for production wells.

The field has 44 oil wells, 10 water injection wells, and facilities to handle 220,000 b/d of oil and other products.  Produced oil is sent through a subsea pipeline to facilities on Lavan Island for processing and storage.

Elsewhere in the region, IOOC says a new 3D modeling program of hydrocarbon systems in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman is 60% complete. According to Shana, the data will help identify regions with lower hydrocarbon exploration risk.

The Persian Gulf Pearl project is designed to integrate geological, geophysical, and petrophysical data into a new databank using advanced technologies and software.

Iran’s Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) is managing the project, which takes in 80 geological structures, 17 oil and gas fields, and 490 oil and gas wells.

Aims include determining the time of accumulation of oil and gas in structural and stratigraphic traps, timing of geological and tectonic events, and classification of hydrocarbon reservoirs.

According to RIPI, the Persian Gulf has 715 Bbbl of oil and 2.462 tcf (70 bcm) of gas.


Mud Agitator Troubleshooting Guide

Mud AgitatorDrilling mud agitator is a part of mud recycling system. It is designed for mixing mud and avoiding the drilling cuttings deposit on the bottom of mud tank. Its main function is to make the drilling fluid solid particles in suspension. The following table is Troubleshooting Guide of Mud Agitator.

Problem Cause Solution
Motor Will Not Start Power Problem Check electrical supply
Defective Motor Replace motor
Wrong or bad heaters/coil Check heaters/starter
Motor Stops Running Starter tripped Reset starter
Burned out starter Replace heater
Over-amped Check amp draw
Tripped Starter Bad heaters Replace starters
Over amped Check amp draw
Agitator undersized Replace agitator
Whining Noise Check motor bearings Replace motor
Random Noise (Gearbox) Contamination in oil Drain and replace oil
Vibration Assembly loose Tighten all bolts
  Broken weld(base on tank) Re-weld base to tank


ONGC Approves EOR Project in India’s Rajasthan Oil Fields

India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has approved a $560 million project to enhance oil recovery at the Rajasthan oilfields in India.

“Our board earlier this week approved the Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project for Rajasthan fields,” ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Vasudeva told India’s Economic Times Thursday.

The EOR proposal will now be submitted to India’s oil regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons for approval.

Cairn India, the field operator of the Rajasthan block, submitted a draft EOR plan in June 2012 to the Indian authorities for the Mangala oilfield, the largest among the 26 oil and gas find it has made in the Barmer district block.

Funds will be used for drilling additional wells and other works, Vasudeva said, adding that the project cost will be shared between Cairn India and ONGC in a 70:30 ratio.

The Rajasthan joint venture will drill 48 infill wells in the current fiscal year that ends March 31, 2014. These wells will also be used at a later stage for EOR, which may include chemical intervention to sustain plateau production rates for a longer period.

Cairn India has 70 percent in the Rajasthan block, while ONGC holds the remaining 30 percent.

Mud Agitators-Cautions and General Safety Rules

All personnel responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of this equipment should read the following safety precautions to prevent injury to personnel or equipment damage.Mud Agitator

Turn off power, engage lock out, and tag out before performing any maintenance to the agitator.

Do not perform any maintenance or service on the motor before disconnecting the power source.

Discharge all capacitors before servicing motor.

Electrical repairs should be performed by trained and qualified personnel only.

Serious injury could result if safe electrical procedures and instructions are not followed.

Inspect the unit regularly, and replace worn or damaged components only with the parts supplied by the original equipment manufacturer.

Always keep hands and clothing away from moving parts.

The agitator gearbox has a designated gear ratio to maximize the suspension of solids in solution. This gear ratio greatly increases the torque that is transmitted to the impeller. Never attempt to stop or retrieve any object that has fallen into the agitator tank.

Mud agitators should be locked out and tagged out before entering a mud tank for any reason.


Kenya offers 46 oil blocks to Nigerian investors

AS part of its desire to attract foreign prospectors into its oil and gas industry, Kenyan authority has reportedly offered its 46 newly-discovered oil blocks to interested Nigerians to prospect for the development of the sector.

Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison- Madueke, disclosed to reporters that the offer of the oil wells was parts of the outcome of the dialogue group preceding the Nigeria-Kenya Investment Forum held on Friday in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Alison-Madueke was on the entourage of President Goodluck Jonathan who concluded a three-day state visit to Kenya on Saturday with host President, Uhuru Kenyatta, presiding over the Forum.

The Forum, held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi, had in attendance more than 500 prominent investors from both countries. The minister said that beyond giving the opportunity to Nigerian investors to acquire the oil wells, Kenya also sought Nigeria’s assistance in the formulation of the right policies and frame- work to manage the sector.

“It is well known now that Kenya had recently discovered hydro-carbon reserves and they are very keen to move quite aggressively in terms of exploration activities.

“They felt that as sister African country, Nigeria having many years of oil exploration and production, it only makes sense that we exchange agreement in co-operation to hand over knowledge, capabilities and experience learnt.

“They seek various templates that we have formulated, including policies, processes and a sort of templates that form Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), among others.

“We also looked at areas surrounding Nigeria’s investment possibilities where we think that Nigerian business men and women could come into the oil and gas sector in Kenya.

“They are very keen that Nigerian operators in the upstream, midstream and downstream service sectors of the oil and gas industry look to Kenya as a burgeoning frontier for investments in the oil and gas sector.

“They are also very keen that we robustly support them in setting up the right frame-work, policies and processes and technology to help them drive the exploration activities,” she said.

The minister said that among the seven MoUs and bilateral agreements signed by both countries was that on oil and gas, which spelt out details of the co-operation.

Kenya recently announced that its oil resources met the threshold for commercial exploitation, raising the country’s hope of joining the league of oil producing nations.

Specifically, Africa Oil, a Canadian oil and gas company, together with British explorer, Tullow Oil Plc, had put Kenyan oil reserves at the estimate of 368 million barrels, a level capable of commercial exploitation.

Minister of Trade and Investments, Olusegun Aganga, said the maiden economic forum between Nigeria and Kenya had recorded a huge success in terms of trade and economic development between both countries.

He said the forum was a door opener to new range of opportunities that would increase the volume of trade and value of investments between Nigeria and Kenya, which had, hitherto, been so low.

Nigerian business mogul and Forbes magazine richest black person in the world, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who led the Nigerian delegation and chaired the dialogue group, said a number of Nigerian investors would be willing to invest in the oil sector in Kenya.

Dangote, at the forum, announced the decision of his conglomerate to invest $400 million (about N64 billion) in cement production in Kenya.

The CEO of Forte Oil and Zenon Oil, Femi Otedola, Forbes magazine 26th richest African and Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, prominent bankers and investors, Jim Ovia and Tony Elumelu, were in the Nigerian delegation to the Forum.

Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke, said over 70 per cent of interest by the Kenyan businessmen at the forum was focused on tourism.

He said the sector, which is a Greenfield and new frontier, which has low entry barrier, aroused the interest on many Kenyan businessmen and women.

According to him, the area of focus would be wild life development, horticulture, hospitality, training, leisure and entertainment facilities.


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