Six Tech Advancements Changing the Fossil Fuels Game

We've moved beyond geographical interpretations, such as pursuing exploration based on geological proximity, like Tullow's Ethiopia play is on trend with its massive Kenya finds. This is child's play. What we're talking about is using supercomputing to tell us that standing in prolific Brazil is pretty much the same as standing in Angola; or that Ghana is analog to French Guiana.

Supercomputing advances remove a great deal of the risk involved in undertaking expensive drilling when you're not sure what's there. Supercomputing essentially puts the idea of peak oil to bed for the foreseeable future.

LNG TECHNOLOGY: FLOATING IS NOT A FANTASY

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology—from LNG seaborne tankers and LNG trains to floating LNG facilities have quickly gone from concept to commercialization, opening up new possibilities in new frontiers and rendering the remote—well, much less remote.

Liquefaction of natural gas is the process of super-cooling natural gas to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 162 degrees Celsius) at which point it becomes much safer and easier to transport. After shipped to its destination, regasification plants at importing or receiving terminals return the fuel to a gaseous state.

Floating LNG production, storage and offloading concepts are revolutionary because they have the ability to station a vessel directly over distant fields, removing the need for offshore pipelines and adding the advantage of mobility—these floating facilities can be moved to a new location once existing fields are depleted.

Floating liquefaction technology can bring additional LNG supply by accessing stranded gas reserves that were previously thought to be too remote, small or otherwise challenging for conventional land-based LNG development.

Shell's most prized LNG project is its Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) Project in Australia, which is moored some 200 kilometers out to sea and will produce gas from offshore fields and liquefy it onboard. This vessel will be six times bigger than the biggest aircraft carrier and will cost between $10.8 and $12.6 billion to build—but it also means that Shell won't have to pay rising prices in Australia's onshore LNG plants. The facility will produce about 3.6 million metric tons of LNG and 1.3 million tons of gas condensate a year.


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WHAT DO YOU THINK?


Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

David Tkachuk  |  July 19, 2013
Onshore pad drilling aka octopus drilling certainly isnt new to the oil & gas industry. Its a very standard onshore approach in northern climes where tundra must be contended with, just to list one example. My own experience commenced in the early 80s in the Canadian Arctic with Esso but Ive also pad drilled in Siberia where "Kyusts" (the Russian term for pads) are as common as mink coats, and have been for about a century. Therefore, I have difficulty understanding all the present day "hoopla" around pad drilling. Its a natural, and rather transparent adaptation from offshore platform drilling to onshore applications as required.
Buster Bryant  |  July 18, 2013
It is not clear (to me) from the article how the Octopus concept differs from the SOP of Alaskas North Slope. This approach to drilling wells has been employed and refined essentially since development began at Prudhoe Bay in the late 1970s.

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