Latin America ///

Using 4C seismic data to improve prospect appraisal: A case study from offshore Trinidad

Problems with gas occlusion, fault shadows and shear wave splitting were overcome.

Casing while drilling results in safer drilling, larger wellbores in Lake Maracaibo

Three days and more than $96,000 were saved when drilling the surface section.

What's new in production

Heavy-oil subsea centrifuge

Oil and gas in the capitals

A smuggled suitcase stuffed with cash is pouring cold water on the romance between the leftist governments of Argentina and Venezuela. Argentina has issued a warrant for the arrest of the Venezuelan businessman who entered the country on Aug. 4 with almost $800,000 in undeclared $50 bills in his suitcase on a plane chartered by the state-owned oil company, Energia Argentina SA, or Enarsa. The businessman, Guido Antonini Wilson, was flying with four executives of Venezuela’s Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and three Argentine public officials. After questioning, Wilson reportedly left the suitcase with customs officials and departed the country unmolested. Statements by the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have ranged from simple denial of any connection between Wilson and PDVSA to blaming the incident on a CIA plot to damage Chavez’s credibility. Chavez has ignored Argentina’s demands for an apology . . .

Achieving zero accidents in marine stimulation vessels

Thanks to application of a safety culture, two vessels operated in Brazil's Campos basin for two consecutive years without any accidents.

Oil and gas in the Capitals

Chavez and the oil companies arm-wrestle over Venezuelan investments

Coiled Tubing Technology: Acid tunneling with coiled tubing significantly increases production

A technique to construct dendritic wells enhances surface area and subsequent production in carbonate formations.

Rig floor equipment: Drilling control system regulates backpressure

The Secure Drilling Micro-Flux Control System is a closed-loop system that collects and analyzes commonly available drilling data to detect well kicks or loss of circulation

Deepwater Technology: Drilling a deepwater wildcat offshore Brazil

Planning, logistics and a diverse team produced an efficiently drilled, HPHT deepwater wildcat.

International Politics

Bolivia’s gas sector nationalization. Almost two centuries after Bolivia proclaimed its independence from Spain, Bolivian President Evo Morales opened a newly elected Constituent Assembly, where the first task is to rewrite the country’s constitution. Morales’ focus is on empowering the majority indigenous population for the first time. Outside of Bolivia, particular focus will be on whether the assembly places any further controls on energy or other economic sectors, especially foreign investment. In the new assembly, elected on July 2, Morales’ party, MAS, (Movement Toward Socialism) has a thin majority. MAS does not have the two-thirds needed to control the assembly completely. A good portion of the opposition, particularly from the powerful department (equivalent to a US state) of Santa Cruz, will fight Morales on any move that discourages foreign investment. President Morales announced the nationalization of energy in May, causing great consternation in Washington and Brasilia.

Mature Colombian field improved with dual stimulation

A combination of acid and propped fracturing added production and reserves.

International Politics

Venezuela snipes at the US while Bolivia goes radical

New production solutions using deepwater sea floor pumping

Petrobras' long-term research pays off with two subsea production options.

International Politics

Venezuela’s Chavez spreads his influence; Ecuador’s upstream suffers.

First all-electric intelligent completion system evolves for deep water

Improvements have been made to the first all-electric, intelligent completion in deep water, which culminated five years of R&D.

Italy: Major Brazilian gas pipeline project

Italy Vol. 226 No. 4 Major Brazilian gas pipeline project Through the end of 200

International Politics

China and Russia lay claim to Latin America

Camisea project in Peruvian Amazon rainforest meets environmental and social challenges

In Peru's Amazonian rainforest, operator Pluspetrol successfully constructed Camisea gas field's gathering lines under demanding technical and environmental conditions.

A method to estimate permeability on uncored wells

Reservoir simulation studies require good knowledge of permeabilities, but reliable measurements are only available from laboratory core tests. These are usually taken from a small percentage of wells. Frequently, this information is extrapolated to calculate permeabilities over the field, but insufficient data points usually cause unreliable predictions. This article proposes a method to estimate formation permeabilities from standard well logs and core data. The method should be applicable to any reservoir as long as sufficient core and log data are available. The method assumes that the Carman-Kozeny equation holds for the reservoir rocks, which is a fairly reasonable assumption, and that the available well logs contain intrinsic information on tortuosity, sand size distribution, cementing characteristics, etc., which ultimately determine flow performance. This hypothesis is usually strong because the available logs are not able to fully read the physical phenomena that cover the complex dynamics of flow through reservoir rocks. The method was tested in a sandstone formation in Chihuido de la Salina, Neuquen basin, Argentina. Some core data points were not used to train the neural network and were subsequently useful for validation and comparison. In spite of certain drawbacks, the method was shown to outperform both standard-regression and hydraulic-flow-unit approaches.

International Politics

Chávez won the referendum, so perhaps PDVSA will focus on oil production and not politics. International observers may have affirmed President Hugo Chávez's win on Aug. 15, but the opposition is likely to continue challenging the results. Another key day will be Oct. 31, when regional elections take place, and the opposition may challenge Chávez again. The opposition, a loose coalition of political parties, business and labor leaders, and civic groups, has struggled to present a united front after the referendum defeat. They are split over whether to challenge Chávez on Oct. 31. Unless the opposition finds a way to challenge him successfully, Chávez will stay in power until December 2006.

Wireless Ethernet integrates gas field automation

How do you automate a natural gas field that is roughly 28-mi square to operate as if it were a single plant covering just a few acres? This was the question faced by Repsol-YPF engineers in a project to modernize control of the company's Loma La Lata gas field. The field is vital to Argentina's economy. Its capacity of 1.413 Bcfd of gas and 84,760 cfd of gas liquids represents 30% of the country's output. Scattered across the field's 768 sq mi are about 200 wells, of which 74 are tied to a SCADA system. There are also 14 primary separation units, a main gas processing plant, a smaller gas plant (including an amine production facility), a field production office and a maintenance facility.

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