When oil prices were trending over $100/barrel, the oil and gas industry was focused on keeping things going, not focusing on efficiency issues such as mud loss. Fast forward to today. With prices trading around $40/bbl, companies are looking at options for cutting costs, even a strange-sounding Norwegian technology, one company official said at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) this week.
Norway-based Cubility AS, which has developed an alternative to traditional shaker technology, is expanding its geographical footprint into the Americas, and will unveil new offerings to complement its technology, the MudCube, later this year, Brandon Buzarde, vice president of international sales, told Rigzone on Wednesday at OTC.
Buzarde said the company’s technology is has attracted interest from private companies entering Mexico’s onshore and offshore oil and gas markets. Realizing that the cost of waste transportation is high and available disposal infrastructure limited to them, they are looking at solutions such as the MudCube to address both issues.
The inability to dispose of mud waste poses the biggest threat offshore, where transportation vessels must take cuttings from one platform to dispose of them at a central facility. In other regions where high-drilling rigs are used, cuttings can be disposed of right next to the drilling hole, but the older rigs used offshore Mexico makes this impossible. Transporting waste by boat in Mexico costs $820/metric ton versus $80 to $90/metric ton in the United States, Buzarde notes.
In the United States, Cubility plans to enter Pennsylvania, and has seen interest from operators in the Permian Basin. Cubility also has conducted successful field trials in Saudi Arabia, and is a qualified technology for Saudi Aramco. Designed to meet health, safety and environmental work standards in Norway, the MudCube technology can reduce total well cost by 15 percent for onshore wells and by two percent offshore, Buzarde noted.
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