The Production Of Hydrocarbons From Conventional Resources

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Introduction With increasing industrialization, energy consumption and demand have steadily grown at a rate of 2.2% per year from 2005 to 2014, and continue to rise. [1] Meanwhile, the production of hydrocarbons from conventional resources is declining. In order to meet the rise in energy demand, new hydrocarbon reserves must be found and produced. Salt is an ideal hydrocarbon trap because of it’s low permeability and capacity to deform under stress and temperature. Therefore, large oil and gas reservoirs are associated with salt formations. Oil and gas reserves associated with salt formations have been estimated at 1.2 billion barrels of oil (“BBO”) and 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (“TCF”) on the Continental Shelf of the northern…show more content…
Well control is challenging, as predicting pore pressure, fracture gradients and the existence of fractures is difficult. Shock and vibration levels have also proven to cause problems in these formations. Additionally, salt flow is a positive function of time. Therefore, a high rate of penetration (“ROP”) to minimize the possibility of salt flow related problems, such as borehole deformation, is critical when drilling salt. Selection of drilling fluid is one of the most important components of a successful well construction operation. Strategies for successful salt drilling involve recognizing salt closure behavior, stresses, and adjusting drilling fluid density and temperature to minimize problems. The increasing demand, and the assumption that “easy oil” has been depleted, drives the exploration and new field development in salt formations, particularly the domal structures found in the GoM. This report will describe the challenges associated with drilling for salt hydrocarbons. In addition, best practices for overcoming the challenges presented by salt formations will be identified, including an overview of technological advancements in the field. Background Characteristics of Salt The salt deposits found in the GoM were initially created by gradual evaporation and desiccation of salt water deposited during the mid Jurassic, confined in the region throughout the late Jurassic, and ultimately forming the Louann
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