Essay on Drilling Phase in oil and gas

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Essay on Drilling Phase in oil and gas

 

Next to exploration phase is the drilling phase and it commences when the presence of potential oil and gas reserves is verified in the exploration phase. In this stage, the sedimentary rocks that are found to be rich in hydrocarbons are drilled to produce hydrocarbon fluids from the rocks. There are various types of drilling procedures and the type of drilling process that needs to be followed depends upon the geological conditions of the prospect region. Offshore drilling differs from onshore drilling in number of ways. For instance, in onshore drilling, the drilling platform is positioned to carry out drilling while in onshore drilling barge, submersible drilling or drilling ship is essential to perform drilling activities. A typical drilling rig module comprises of tanks for storing water and fuel, equipment for handling drilling mud, derrick, mast, cementing equipment and power generators. In order to maintain the hydrostatic pressure while drilling it is essential to circulate mud and drilling fluids. Mud and drilling fluids help in maintaining hydrostatic pressure while they also remove the formation cuttings and cools the drilling bits. This stage of production of oil or natural gas entails an immense amount of hazardous waste which is eventually discharged into the atmosphere.

Drilling is basically a continuous process and is usually carried out round the clock. However, the time taken to drill a well bore depends on the geological conditions and distance of the oil and gas reserves from the surface of the Earth. Once the access to the potential hydro-carbon bearing formation is achieved well- testing is performed to determine the formation pressure and flow rates. On the basis of the well-testing results, further processes are carried out.

For instance, if the targeted field is deemed to produce commercially feasible quantities of hydrocarbons then a well head is installed for the production purposes. However, if the well is not expected to produce hydrocarbons at commercial rates, it is sealed and the installation facilities are decommissioned so that the field is restored to its original state. If the exploratory well is deemed to produce a considerable amount of hydrocarbons, further wells are drilled to find out the size and the scope of the field. The wells are mainly drilled to determine the amount of the productive hydrocarbon reserves are known as appraisal wells. The fundamental aim of drilling appraisal wells is to estimate the extent of reservoir rocks and their nature. The processes involved in drilling appraisal wells are similar to those employed in the drilling of exploration wells. Due to technological advancements, multiple wells can be drilled from a single point. With the help of various drilling technologies, wells can also be drilled at an angle from the original drilling point. This allows greater access to the targeted reservoirs and also allows the drillers to attain access to nearby potential reservoir rocks.

This technique is known as directional drilling and is widely nowadays since it provides greater access to the wellbore, increases the access time and reduces the footprints. Some of the common waste produced during the drilling process includes formation cuttings, construction material, non burnable waste scrap metals, excess drilling chemicals, and simulation and work over fluids. These waste substances extensively contribute in environmental pollution. In fact, inadequate hydrostatic pressures can lead to blowouts that immensely affect the environment.

The wells are mainly drilled to determine the amount of the productive hydrocarbon reserves are known as appraisal wells. The fundamental aim of drilling appraisal wells is to estimate the extent of reservoir rocks and their nature. The processes involved in drilling appraisal wells are similar to those employed in the drilling of exploration wells. Due to technological advancements, multiple wells can be drilled from a single point. With the help of various drilling technologies, wells can also be drilled at an angle from the original drilling point. This allows greater access to the targeted reservoirs and also allows the drillers to attain access to nearby potential reservoir rocks. This technique is known as directional drilling and is widely nowadays since it provides greater access to the wellbore, increases the access time and reduces the footprints.

Some of the common waste produced during the drilling process includes formation cuttings, construction material, non-burnable waste scrap metals, excess drilling chemicals, and simulation and workover fluids. These waste substances extensively contribute in environmental pollution. In fact, inadequate hydrostatic pressures can lead to blowouts that immensely affect the environment.

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