Oilfield Production is a complex process that includes exploration, drilling, production and refining. It’s also a juggling act with lots of moving parts that can be challenging to manage.
To help with this, oilfield chemicals have a crucial role in the processing of crude oil and certain other applications like separation of water & oil, removal of residues, and mitigation of growth of micro-organisms.
Exploration involves searching for oil and gas deposits that are below the earth's surface. This process is usually expensive and takes time.
To find these hidden deposits, petroleum geologists and geophysicists use the knowledge of geology and geophysics. They also analyze seismic data to determine where the reservoir might be located.
Once the reservoir has been found, test drilling is often necessary to determine if it can be successfully developed. If the well proves to be successful, it is then drilled into production.
Then, the facility separates, treats, transports, and refines the oil, gas, water, and other impurities that are produced. Those materials then get sold to downstream markets, and royalty owners get paid.
In order to be profitable, the field must produce a sufficient quantity of oil. This depends on a variety of factors, including the price of oil and whether or not it is economical to operate the well.
Drilling is the process of creating a wellhole that allows oil to be extracted from a natural source. It involves several steps, including bore drilling, circulation and casing.
A bore hole is vertically drilled into the ground using a drill bit and pipe. Once the hole is deep enough, a steel pipe called casing is cemented into the hole to prevent it from collapsing.
Then, tubing is installed inside the casing to transport oil and gas to the surface. It can also be used to control a well.
Many other steps take place during the production phase, including pumping fluids into the hole to break down limestone and increase the flow of hydrocarbons. This can be done to reduce the cost of a well, but it can also increase the risks of accidents.
Oilfield production involves separating, treating, transporting and refining hydrocarbons and various impurities that flow from the well. It involves a variety of operations including drilling, well cleaning, cementing and stimulation.
A large portion of the work done in oil and gas exploration involves teamwork. Engineers from different areas of expertise are constantly engaged in knowledge transfer.
For example, a well that is drilled by a drilling engineer may be handed over to a production engineer who performs coiled-tubing or stimulation operations. It is important for a well engineer to have a versatile skillset so they can shift their attention if needed.
The world's largest oil fields are located in the Middle East and include Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia, which began producing in 1951 and is now estimated to contain 80 billion barrels of "black gold." Moreover, supergiant (>10 billion barrel) fields are also found in the US, Russia, Mexico and Brazil. These fields are typically deep within rocky reservoirs that have been preserved by the presence of an impermeable rock layer.
The oilfield refining process involves the transformation of crude oil into a variety of products that serve human needs such as fuels, lubricants, waxes, asphalt, synthetic fertilizers, and petrochemicals. Refining also removes traces of contaminants such as sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, and chlorine that may be present in raw petroleum products.
Refining can occur in many different ways, but can be broadly categorized into four steps: separation, cracking, reforming, and distillation. Each step is dependent on the nature of the crude oil and the desired end products.
Crude oil is a complex mixture of organic liquids composed of carbon-carbon bonds. These molecules form either chain or ring-shaped compounds.