Is Easy Oil Really Gone?

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A common theory in the oil industry is that the “easy oil” is gone. As known reserves become depleted and production declines, both national oil companies & international oil companies (NOCs and IOCs) are forced to look for oil and gas deposits in more challenging geographical and environmental areas. Andrew George, the chairman of Marsh, an energy risk management company, stated that, “It is fair to say easy oil has gone, and oil and gas are now found in tricky areas. The risk of extraction, or the risk of problem and failure during extraction, is greater” (Mukul, 2012). New wells being drilled are becoming deeper and hotter, resulting in operating conditions in considerably higher formation pressures. It means that operators (oil and gas companies) are drilling and producing in areas that are higher risk, such as deep water (Gaurav, 2004), and environmentally sensitive areas such as the artic (Chazan, 2012).
A risk to any drilling operation is the unplanned release of hydrocarbons to the surface. This condition results from formation pressure of the reservoir overcoming the drilling rig’s safety and control devices (which are a combination of the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling fluid, diverter systems, blowout preventers, etc.). Many factors can contribute to unplanned hydrocarbon escapes to the surface, but the vast majority of events are brought under control in a safe and efficient manner using practices established in driller training, specifically designed to

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