Cover: Oilfield Review Autumn 2002
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Editorial: Moving Beyond Strength
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Searching for and producing hydrocarbons is a risky business. The object of this quest is buried beneath the surface, far from sight. Oil and gas companies must rely upon remote measurements and conceptual models, but uncertainty arises because of incomplete measurements, measurement error and modeling inaccuracies. New methods are being introduced in the industry to evaluate uncertainty and control risk.
Improving long-term wellbore integrity is a growing priority, and achieving it requires superior mud removal and proper cement-system design. New simulation software, environmentally friendly primary cementing systems and worldwide field support help operating companies attain well-construction goals from the outset while enhancing environmental protection. Examples from operations demonstrate the impact of new techniques and fluids.
Vast quantities of heavy oil are trapped in shallow, accessible reservoirs, but are difficult to extract. Producers involved in heavy-oil recovery face special challenges in producing the high-viscosity crudes, but are finding some success by applying both traditional oilfield methods and new technologies invented for the heavy-oil sector. This article reviews some of the properties of heavy oil and describes drilling, logging, completion and stimulation techniques that help make heavy-oil reservoirs profitable assets.
Drilling more than one drainhole from a primary borehole is increasingly common. Applications include heavy-oil deposits, naturally fractured or layered formations and fields with bypassed hydrocarbons resulting from distinct reservoir compartments or partial reserve depletion. Strength, sand exclusion and pressure integrity at junctions between lateral branches and a main wellbore are crucial to completion success. We present results from test wells and field installations in North and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
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