New deepwater production continues to proliferate, mainly off West Africa, Brazil, and the US Gulf Coast. The Far East has potential, too, as explained in the first of three exclusive articles on deepwater operations in this issue's special report, starting in the Exploration & Development section.
The relatively low US rig count this year is due in part to the lack of good prospects, said speakers at the 73rd annual meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America Oct. 28-29 in Dallas.
Despite today's strong oil and natural gas prices, many US independent oil and gas companies still are having trouble raising equity and are being forced to borrow money to finance exploration projects and property acquisitions.
On Oct. 21, President George W. Bush signed into law the Sudan Peace Act. The legislation aims for stability in a very unstable place. And Sudan's citizens could eventually benefit from a promising petro- dollar windfall that now is elusive.
Grant Prideco Inc., Houston, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Schlumberger Ltd.'s Houston-based drillbit maker Reed-Hycalog for $255 million in cash, 9.7 million shares of Grant Prideco common stock (valued at $90 million), and the assumption of about $5 million in debt.
In the next 20 years or more, oil and gas exploration in deepwater basins of the Far East will be of worldwide significance in terms of production growth. Thus far, exploration results in the region have been mixed, with a strong bias toward gas discoveries.
Cross-discipline technologies such as downhole intelligent components combined with multizone sand-control systems in long horizontal laterals will improve reserve recovery, eliminate unnecessary well intervention, and meet operational safety requirements for some deepwater completions off Brazil.
At yearend 1998, Koa Oil Co. (now part of Nippon Oil Corp.) embarked on a comprehensive advanced control implementation at its refineries in Marifu and Osaka. The advanced control implementation included multivariable controllers and optimizers in all the major process units in both refineries and a separate oil movements and blending optimization project.