Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Well productivity and the efficiency norm

Oil field operation has always been a complex, difficult process. Threats of formation damage are common occurrence if not a natural offshoot of improper system put in place. Any bad case within the bounds of that scenario typically streams back and affects well productivity. Thus, maintenance and prevention are necessary courses of actions.

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While proper execution of drilling and completion operations and good management of the whole production is a first best step, the maintenance and damage prevention aspects must be made on the realm of ordinary procedures. Ever since well productivity gained the well-deserved attention from oil drilling operators, petroleum engineers constantly work on designing better, more efficient operational protocols for oil and gas field production system. Industry experts like Ali Ghalambor, whose publication of the important “Well Productivity Handbook: Vertical, Fractured, Horizontal, Multilateral, and Intelligent Wells” provided significant resources for students and field practitioners alike on well productivity, recognize the importance of oil and gas field development plans.

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Well productivity may be summed up into several things--optimized operations, improved efficiency, and even cost-effective solutions; but it is always about two things: productive maintenance and prevention. In oil and gas drilling and completion operations, any type of damage to well productivity is costly and crippling. Like in any field, either it is contained or failure becomes the norm.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Reviewing Ali Ghalambor's "Petroleum Production Engineering: A Computer-Assisted Approach"

In a time when almost every industry is seeing an unprecedented dynamism in keeping up with the fast-paced technological turnover, Ali Ghalambor makes sure that the petroleum engineering sector does not lag behind. To help the oil and gas industry cope with technological changes, Dr. Ghalambor, together with Dr. Buyon Guo and Dr. William Lyons, penned “Petroleum Production Engineering: A Computer-Assisted Approach.”

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Purposively written to educate aspiring petroleum engineers, “Petroleum Production Engineering: A Computer-Assisted Approach” provides useful guidelines in designing, analyzing, and optimizing petroleum production systems. The book encompasses the entire gamut of petroleum production and features technical calculations while leveraging on computer-based spreadsheet programs.

The book is broken down into four parts:

• Part one discusses the fundamentals of petroleum production engineering. It also presents empirical models for production decline analysis and gives a primer on the performance of oil and natural gas wells.

• In part two, Ali Ghalambor et al. talks about the different principles governing the design and selection of the main components of petroleum production system. This includes the following: well tubing, separation and dehydration systems, liquid pumps, gas compressors, and pipelines for oil and gas transportation.

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• Part three provides an introduction on artificial lift methods. These consist of sucker rod pumping systems, gas lift technology, electrical submersible pumps, and other artificial lift systems.

• Lastly, part four delineates all production enhancement techniques which are currently available. Examples are identifying well problems and designing acidizing jobs, and guidelines to hydraulic fracturing and job evaluation techniques and production optimization techniques.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Going deep: Offshore pipeline and challenges in the oil and gas industry

The offshore pipeline industry has long been trailing a maze of challenges since its vibrant growth in the ‘70s. The subsequent discovery of gas fields during the North Sea offshore exploration spawned a new need for large, long-distance pipelines that will transport oil and natural gas across the continents. While the North Sea experience marked a new development in the oil and gas industry, the harsh climate and deep, hostile sea conditions in various discovered oil and gas sources eventually inspired a new innovation: deepwater pipeline technology.

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Amidst today’s growing demand for oil and gas, the petroleum industry scrambles to find new areas for explorations. While predictions on the depletion of oil sources keep cropping up in various influential circles, the other half-truth centers on the contention that the only reason for such fear is the growing inability to tap other sources within dangerous environments. Beneath the facades of all opinions, the main locus of issue actually slides down to the subject of keeping up with the challenges posed by hostile environments where rich sources of gas and oil can be found. The matter calls for two things: a new technology or an innovative improvement of an existing technology like offshore pipelines.

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Offshore pipeline technology has evolved. It continues even up to this day. Nevertheless, given today’s collective sight on the Arctic as the potential source of oil and gas, offshore pipeline engineering faces a greater challenge; maybe even bigger in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The question for now does not rest on whether offshore pipeline development can be carried out; it’s whether those people involved can do it safely and thoroughly.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Weighty issues on well productivity

Though always overshadowed by the economic and political side of the oil industry, the technical aspects that pertain to oil-drilling operations have its share of weighty issues that need to be brought, even once in a while, into the open. It boils down to one thing—well productivity.

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Throughout the many decades since the oil boom started to define a new global age of progress, well productivity always has a progressive form—different ages, different methods, different approaches, and different views. Well productivity only points to a single concept—improvement; others prefer the term “efficiency.” For the current crop of seasoned petroleum engineers like Ali Ghalambor, it must be a guarded and consistent form of efficiency. Gone are the days when cost-affectivity must only be the sole aim. When the price of oil, for example, dropped many years ago, productivity damage was deliberately ignored over the need to minimize production costs. Over the years, the instability of oil production and the skyrocketing price of oil in the market fortunately made well production and damage prevention an utmost priority.

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Amidst the glaring hues of issues and conflicts typical of a dynamic oil industry in the global stage, the weighty issues on well productivity lies on one certain need: keeping the steady supply of oil and gas resources throughout the world in safe and environmentally responsible manner. Any approach that veers away from that will just make things fall short.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Offshore pipelines and safety calls on deepwater drilling operations

When the Deepwater Horizon blowout (BP oil spill) hit the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, capped with a 4.5 billion dollar fine on the oil group held responsible for the five million barrels of leaked oil, it probably highlighted one of the biggest challenges in the petroleum industry—the need for effective maintenance and reliability in oil and gas fields offshore operations.

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The case of the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig is tragic at all levels. Despite the moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the case itself exploded the volatile issue on the safety of offshore oil and gas exploration and operations. In recent years, the trend for deep-water pipeline technology has put the development of offshore pipelines at the center of petroleum engineering agenda. The highly informative book Offshore Pipelines: Design, Installation, and Maintenance, written by Ali Ghalambor, Boyun Guo, Shanhong Song, Jacob Chacko, and Tian Ran Lin, exposes the key issues on the topic that many people could find really handy. Covering the maintenance and support system, methods and tools for cost-effective operations and system reliability, as well as fundamentals needed to design, install, and commission pipeline projects, the book became a significant resource for engineers and management personnel involved in deepwater drilling operations.

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Today, deepwater pipeline systems continue to play a critical role in offshore oil drilling activities. But like any technical fields, it is always fraught with risks. Heaven forbid, a single oil spill does not have to happen again. Through proper knowledge of the right strategies, the world should be able to avert such disasters.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Drilling growth: Technology-backed oil industry in a big leap

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The oil and gas business is rapidly heading toward a new direction. Along with the rise of high technology, oil and gas production is now endowed with a formidable infrastructure only fitting to an industry long valued for its significant role in building societies. While no amount of argument can dispute the fact that the growing global demand for oil tilts the unsteady balance between global security and instability, it remains to be seen whether the recent advancements in technology-assisted oil drilling explorations and operations could actually spell a difference.

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New technology always supplants the old. For an industry reeling in a state of panic in the past decades due to the intermittent crisis in global oil production, the emergence of new exploration and drilling tools that could help tap reserves even in the most dangerous places brings a reason for optimism and relief. Dr. Ali Ghalambor, petroleum engineer who authored and co-authored books on the similar trend such as frac-packing operations and well productivity, could not agree more that the entry of technology in the oil and gas production is not an inadvertent phenomenon. It has always been a product of decades-long of studies and experiment—and yes, maybe a great deal of dreaming and visions.

While there will always be political and economic sides in the dynamics of the oil and gas industry, it is comforting for all involved that innovative technologies serve the same cause—to create new, efficient ways for oil and gas production. That indeed is a big leap.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

U.S. Natural Gas Exports Poised For Takeoff

This article talks about the increasing role of the US in natural gas exportation.

Shale gas is the energy topic of the day. Production is increasing, but so is gas demand – for electric generation, transportation, and as an industrial feedstock. However, perhaps the most significant dynamic with the potential to drive natural gas prices up in the foreseeable future is a growing push to export LNG from the US. That particular dynamic has recently gone into hyper-drive, with numerous liquified natural gas (LNG) export requests having been filed with the US Department of Energy in the past few years.

Consider this: according to the Energy Information Administration, total natural gas consumption for 2011 was 24.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), and 2012 consumption looks to be on the order of 26 Tcf. In the meantime, just since mid-August, US companies have filed for permits with the USDOE to export 7.8 Tcf of LNG – about 30% of current total domestic consumption. Totalrequests year-to- date equal 11.2 Tcf (though almost 1 Tcf is for re-export of Canadian gas). Add to that, the 5.3 Tcf of exports requested last year, and you get approximately 16.5 Tcf. That’s over 60% of current domestic consumption. It’s also more than the amount of US LNG export capacity from five brownfield and three Greenfield projects in play that are listed in a recent Wood MacKenzie report.

Of course, not all of these planned facilities will get permitted or built. But some will, and perhaps a good number, because the economics are compelling and the market is there.

At the September LNG Producer-Consumer Conference in Tokyo, the Indian delegate was quoted as saying that India’s LNG import capability will multiply five-fold in as many years. It’s not likely to stop there, in a country of over a billion inhabitants, with their enormous energy problems. For its part, post-Fukushima Japan has shut down all but 2 of its 54 reactors, and Tokyo Electric Poweris reportedly in talks with North American suppliers(and negotiating with Washington) to secure long-range gas contracts to supply gas-fired generators. There is a big hole to fill and gas will help fill it.

Clearly, much of the LNG imported by these and other Asian countries will be sourced from places other than North America. Today, 18 countries export the gas to 25 importing nations (with Qatar supplying almost a third of all global LNG in 2011). The US is the new kid on the block, supplying only .1% of the world’s exports last year. However, a powerful combination of robust pipelines, multiple vendors, and world class shale reserves is likely to turn the US – and especially the Gulf Coast – into a favored supplier. If permits can be secured, export growth could occur relatively quickly.

The process of condensing natural gas into a liquid at -160 degrees Celsius reduces its volume by a factor 600, and makes it economic to ship. But the industry is enormously capital-intensive and costs are considerable: A “typical” investment includes an outlay of one to two billion dollars for liquefaction facilities, over two hundred million per vessel for LNG tankers, and half a billion to a billion dollars for receiving terminals. Yet even with those costs, the economic incentive is there. Currently, the North America pays just over $3 per mmBtu, while the Japanese spot market price hovers around $13. In part that’s because Asian gas prices are linked to oil. According to Reuters, long-term contract shipments to Japan would likely be priced at less than $10 per mmBtu. That’s a powerful market differential. Investments in supplying LNG to hungry Asian markets may yield payback periods of under five years for the first players into the game, Woods MacKenzie notes.

The laws of economics dictate that, in the long run, supply and demand reach an equilibrium. LNG facilitates that equilibrium dynamic by linking land-locked North American supplies to world markets. The arbitrage opportunity may eventually diminish if Asian gas and oil prices are de-linked (gas is currently indexed to oil, but there is a strong movement to change that). In the meantime, however, that price differential constitutes a powerful incentive.

The Obama Administration has been looking at this LNG export issue, with a study and recommendations (thrice delayed) due to be released in December. To some degree, this push for numerous twenty-year (or longer) export permits seems to have caught just about everybody off guard. In fact, theEnergy Information Administration study from January of this year evaluating this issue posits a high case scenario of 12 Bcf/day. In the meantime, exporters have lined up quickly, and export requests for 1.25 times that amount have been submitted in the past two years.

Although it can take several years and billions of dollars to build the LNG facilities, the LNG price differential and export dynamic truly make gas markets more “liquid.” This is bound to have a long-term upward impact on US natural gas prices. The challenge for the Obama Administration will be how to balance international free markets with the long-sought goal of US energy security. It won’t be easy.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: The technological frontier in oil and gas industry

Ali Ghalambor is a multi-awarded petroleum engineer. This blog article talks about the special role played by technology in the survival of the oil and gas industry.

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In a speech delivered by OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri to the 15th IIES Conference and Exhibition held in Tehran, Iran last year, he properly recognized that technology has dramatically changed the overall facets of the oil and gas industry. In his words, he considers it a “profound change” that consequently “transformed the supply geography worldwide.” Considering the crippling challenges brought by the geographic, geopolitical, and economic challenges in the oil and gas industry, the assessment could never have been timelier and highly relevant.

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Ali Ghalambor is a retired American Petroleum Institute endowed professor and head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The oil and gas industry is in crisis, yet it survives through the emergence of technology that continues to provide innovative approaches in oil and gas drilling explorations and operation.

“For more than a century, new technologies have changed the way reserves are identified, developed, and produced, leading to a massive growth in reserves and supply,” Abdalla Salem El-Badri said in affirmation and confirmation of the fact that technological changes are pushing the oil and gas industry to a new age. Nevertheless, while technology truly promises a new way forward, the more serious and real challenges have to be identified and contained—something that Abdalla Salem El-Badri hopes the major industry players will take up together to “reach a new frontier.”

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Oil industry smarten up

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In the current context of depleting oil reserves that threaten the major engines of growth in a global scale, oil producers turn to one single, most powerful innovation of the modern century—high technology.

Amidst the rising cost of oil and greater issues and challenges in oil production, technology is advertently leveraging innovative solutions in oil and gas exploration and operations. While consumers are slowly adapting to change, major players are starting to focus on the digital age of the oil and gas industry. Using new inventions such as intelligent field technology and nanotechnology, the global oil production found ways to escape the high-stake issues on oil drilling operations. Through geospatial solutions which enable real-time data processing, oil producers can explore previously untapped sources of oil. Fueled by the success of technology-backed operations, oil companies are now starting to funnel their capital and other assets in technology investments. In recent years, the emergence of the digital oil field has caused the major optimization of oil drilling operational processes. Today, it continues to help oil producers cut costs while benefitting from the huge profits of production.

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Despite the growing fear on total oil depletion, the lucrative oil production enterprise is currently on the rise and has no sign of abatement. To say the least, the entry of cutting-edge technology in the oil and gas industry is indeed revolutionary. Moreover, it is a future rushed to act for a world that can’t run without oil.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

‘Peak Oil’ and the oil crunch

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While some “doomers” talk of “peak oil” and “a life after petroleum,” majority in the oil industry still think that everything is just peaking right. The peak oil scenario—the hypothesis that the oil resources are not only on rapid decline but have already reached their peak—is fast gaining traction from sectors left and right.

The notion that humanity has already burned enough oil reserves that usually take millions of years to develop is seemingly plausible in some respect, but people verge away from the real issue—the current challenges to oil production that continues to slide down from easy to difficult.

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In the past decades, oil reserves had become a potent powder keg of wars at various scales. As the world consumes millions of barrels of oil every day, the exponential rate of loss is truly staggering. No one can doubt that fact. Argument-wise, the avid advocates of alternative sources of energy are in fact standing in a solid ground. The global oil production is indeed at an all-time high as the world approaches closer to a more advanced stage of progress. Nonetheless, the real challenge is not the unfounded belief and fear on the “end of oil age” but the increasing difficulty on oil extraction at hostile territories that cost more money and resources to operate.

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Given the politics and economics of the oil industry, the world will never run out of oil; it will just run out of cheaper ways to extract more.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: The Natural Gas Engineering Handbook and its contribution to education toward efficient natural gas production

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Dr. Ali Ghalambor believes that with the world’s energy consumption rising exponentially and oil production becoming riskier, the shift to natural gas and other alternative energy sources are all but assured.

Natural gas is a cleaner fossil fuel, is plentiful, and is more useful than oil. But naturally, as with all fossil fuels, it still needs to be refined to be useful. The procurement and refining processes of natural gas are complex and are integral parts for the efficient production of natural gas. This is why high-quality natural gas engineering education for students and their continued education as full-fledged natural gas engineers or professionals are very important.

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Dr. Ali Ghalambor is an accomplished petroleum engineer and is a recipient of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Distinguished Achievement Award.

Dr. Ghalambor’s Natural Gas Engineering Handbook, now on its second edition, covers the full scope of natural gas engineering, from gas reservoir engineering to gas processing. It utilizes a computer-assisted approach, which other books on natural gas engineering do not have, and spreadsheets for every engineering calculation that is on the included CD-ROM. This book aims to provide both students and professionals worldwide up-to-date and relevant information in order to provide better insight into the intricacies of natural gas production.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dr. Ali Ghalambor: An overview on the oil and gas well drilling process

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Ever wondered how the process for drilling oil and gas wells work? This Dr. Ali Ghalambor article will enlighten you about the basics of this process, which is a vital aspect in the oil and gas industry.

In the complex world of the petroleum industry, drilling is just a part of what it takes to extract petroleum fluids from beneath the surface of the earth. It entails many elements which will require much planning, studies and research before the actual execution of such operations. A team of geologists, scientists, engineers, and other industry experts works to formulate strategies on how to properly source out oil and gas.

Finding the source of oil is of course the first step to drilling a well. Geologists are said to be primarily responsible in locating the right conditions for an oil trap, which includes the source rock, reservoir rock, and entrapment. Some of the things that they consider in finding oil trap are surface rocks and soil types.

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Dr. Ali Ghalambor has co-authored various handbooks about drilling, production and well completion in exploiting petroleum bearing formations. These handbooks are useful reference for industry movers and those who aspire to work in the petroleum field.

After the site selection, further studies are made particularly on the boundaries and environmental impact of the process. Permits and agreements are also ironed out. In preparing the land, several holes are dug around the area, and a rectangular pit or cellar serves as the workspace around the hole.

Once the rig is set, the drilling operations may start. From the starting hole, experts drill the surface up to the pre-set depth. The pre-set depth is located just above the oil trap. A cemented casing must be placed into the section of the hole to avoid it from collapsing. After several casings, the drilling would continue until it reaches the final depth, wherein there are several tests such as well logging, drill-stem testing, and core samples done. Once the final depth is reached, a perforating gun is lowered into the well. The gun creates the necessary holes in the casing wherein the oil will flow.

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Dr. Ali Ghalambor has over 35 years of academic and professional experience in the field of petroleum engineering. For more about him, follow this Facebook page.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: Energizing the production of oil and gas field development wells

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Dr. Ali Ghalambor, who has served as a consultant to more than 50 petroleum production and service companies, finds that these companies can do so much more with additional information on how they can further energize the production of oil and gas in their field development wells.

There have actually been various changes in the activities related to the petroleum industry that have been implemented over the years. These activities have been made more and more efficient through advancements in research and technology. However, there is still an obvious need for improvements to keep up with the global demand, and lowering the cost.

Along with his colleagues Boyun Guo and Kai Sun, Dr. Ali Ghalambor has published the “Well Productivity Handbook,” Gulf Publishing Co. (ISBN: 1-933762-32-2), 334 pages and has done research on various topics pertaining to modeling oil and gas production wells. They have gone back to reviewing crucial engineering issues and have touched on topics such as petroleum fluid properties, wellbore flow performance, reservoir deliverability, and the productivity of intelligent well systems.

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The data collected are a promising herald of more innovations to come as both seasoned engineers and students are able to understand and apply these to their own work, which will give rise to more improvements in best practices. Reservoir simulation is crucial to the design of effective systems that affect oil and gas field development well operations, and regularly updating modeling methods is seen as the key to energizing the rest of the activities that follow.

From: Ali Ghalambor

Dr. Ali Ghalambor is the recipient of various awards from the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Petroleum Institute. Learn more about his pursuits to contribute to the still-growing petroleum industry by visiting this Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: Pioneering offshore pipeline texts

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Before Ali Ghalambor decided to co-write Offshore Pipelines, there was a marked dearth in the academic literature that was available for this area of study. As a matter of fact, there were very few books about offshore petroleum engineering, and no one dared to tackle the challenging topic of offshore pipelines.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of offshore pipelines, mainly due to its safety, environmental, energy, maintenance, and reliability benefits. With this trend, the subject of offshore pipelines has become all the more important in the study of petroleum engineering.

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This is the reason why the book on offshore pipelines written by Ali Ghalambor, Boyun Guo, and Shanhong Song has been regarded as an edgy and up-to-date contribution to the study of petroleum engineering. First published in 2005, it has proven to be one of the most useful references for engineers and developers who are accorded the challenging task of bringing oil and gas onshore.

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Through this book, pipeline design engineers will learn about designing low-cost pipelines that allow long-term operability and safety. Moreover, pipeline operation engineers and management personnel will be able to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in the cost-effective operation of pipeline systems.

The book also contains a section that deals with deepwater pipelining, a relatively new technology that has been developed in the past ten years and is swiftly increasing in practical use.

Learn more about the books authored by Ali Ghalambor by visiting this Facebook page.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: A look at the roles and responsibilities of petroleum and natural gas engineers

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Seasoned petroleum engineers, like Dr. Ali Ghalambor, are well aware that the process of making petroleum products available in large quantities to sustain the industrial economy and maintain the standard of living is considerably demanding. It is but fitting for petroleum engineers to be completely trained to face these challenges and carry out processes in ways that are friendly to the environment. They must also be versatile enough to be able to cover the different aspects of petroleum engineering. As complex as it is, petroleum engineering involves a diverse set of processes; the more reason to employ experts of different sorts like the following:

With over 32 years of experience in the oil and gas sector, Dr. Ali Ghalambor is the editor and a major author of “The Frac-Packing Handbook,” a comprehensive collection of materials discussing different issues on frac-pack completion operations.

• Drilling engineers. - Drilling engineers develop, plan, schedule, and supervise the operations involved in drilling oil and gas wells. From well designing and testing to completion and abandonment, drilling engineers are there to oversee the operations. They may be deployed on land, offshore platforms, or on mobile drilling units.

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• Production engineers - Also called process engineers, they are involved in an assortment of research and development responsibilities dealing with fabrication, evaluation, internal fixtures, and other processes.

• Reservoir engineer - Reservoir engineers commonly use technology and their expertise in geology and fluid mechanics to determine the location and amount of fuel in underground reservoirs. Additionally, they work with advanced equipment, such as computer modeling and imaging programs, to locate reserves of oil and natural gas.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: Frac pack stimulation in deepwater reservoirs

From Ali Ghalambor

Dr. Ali Ghalambor is a petroleum engineer specializing in areas that involve such complex processes as frac-packing and drilling.

Over the past few decades, deepwater reservoirs have become a major sector for the oil and gas industry. Although its importance has dwindled in recent years, the sector continues to be one of the leading growth areas in the fuel business.

From Ali Ghalambor

The cost to develop deepwater reservoirs today can be tremendously high with rig rates exceeding several millions of dollars. With recoverable reserves requiring efficient and reliable completion techniques, frac packing stimulation has become the most utilized process in accumulating huge quantities of high-quality hydrocarbons, delivering cost-effective production from high permeability wells.

 Dr. Ali Ghalambor is the author of the Frac-Packing Handbook, a comprehensive collection of system guidelines published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. It covers the most fundamental to the most highly advanced issues in frac-packing operation.

Stimulation treatments are the most crucial components of a completion project because these processes largely enhance the connection between the wellbore and the reservoir, making the well financially viable. A completed frac pack treatment results in a highly conductive fracture that extends from the wellbore through the undamaged reservoir.

Oil well stimulation plays an essential role in production operations. With oil prices constantly breaking records, it is imperative from an oil company’s perspective and the consumer’s viewpoint that as much as possible, hydrocarbons are carefully extracted from the reservoir.  

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From Ali Ghalambor

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: Well production testing

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Ali Ghalambor is known for his notable contributions in the oil and gas sector. Aside from working with prestigious universities and organizations, he has served international organizations including the United Nations.

While this article talks about Dr. Ghalambor, it also explores the purpose of testing in the clean-up and commission of the well preceding connection to the permanent production facility.

Over the years, there has been a dramatic change in the way well testing is viewed by the industry. This is due to the onset of computer-generated analyses and derivatives which comprise tools including well performance indicators and heavy-duty reservoir-characterization mechanisms.

Ali Ghalambor co-authored the Well Productivity Handbook.

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Well testing is a complex and technical matter with regard to the assessment and exploitation of reservoir architectures and frontier assets. This is the reason why countless challenges ranging from ultra-deep wells to subsea subsalt developments confront the industry. Added to that is the rise of environmental issues that go up against well production and related processes.

Testing of production wells concerns in-line testing that measures oil, water, and/or gas contents from individual wells. Non-stop production measurements result to reduced costs, non-interference with normal production, and improvement in reservoir appreciation and knowledge. The need for accurate well test results is on the rise since crucial production decisions are based on them. Quality well tests also have implications on safety and accuracy to sustain the life of the well or reservoir.

From Ali Ghalambor

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: How Nigerian wells benefit from single-trip perforate and frac-pack completion

The Bonga development, a deepwater oil field in Nigeria, comprises a single-trip perforate and five frac-pack treatments operating in a porous medium. Petroleum engineers like Ali Ghalambor see the operation as a high-efficiency process that, when coupled with salt-tolerant fracture fluid, can substantially reduce pump rates and horsepower requirements. This in turn, will save more time and money, and produce better quality crude oil.

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Frac-packing is the accelerated process of extracting oil or natural gas from a fractured rock layer. Perforating, on the other hand, involves the drilling of small holes in a petroleum-carrying rock to advance the flow of fluids.

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The Frac-Packing Handbook, published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, is a comprehensive collection of system guidelines that covers the fundamental to the highly advanced techniques in frac-packing operations. Co-written by Dr. Ali Ghalambor, the book discusses frac-pack treatments that compare different techniques with cost savings and well performance standpoints based on field applications. The authors detail the design, execution, and evaluation of the treatments and discuss the fluid system that will best suit the needs of a certain operation.

All treatments in the Bonga development were performed from a stimulation vessel, with some of the treatments using the conventional two-trip technique and others working on a single-trip perforating and frac-packing technique. The single-trip system reduced completion time by 1 to 2 days as compared with the extended time using a conventional system.

From Ali Ghalambor

Dr. Ali Ghalambor’s Frac-Packing Handbook contains specific discussions such as Candidate Recognition for High-Permeability Fracturing, Frac-Pack Mechanisms, Frac-Pack Fluids, Calibration-Test Design and Analysis, Post-Frac-Pack Treatment Analysis, and the Value of Frac-Packing. For more details, visit Dr. Ghalambor’s Facebook page.