Each day of drilling a deepwater well can cost an oil and gas operator $1 million or more, and costs are adding up for the offshore industry. So, maximizing the returns from the reservoirs that feed those undersea wells has become more important.
British oil giant BP has made pushing the limits of subsea reservoirs one of the components of its upstream technology program, company officials said during a briefing of reporters Tuesday at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
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“Technology is really at the heart of everything BP does,” said Bryce Cunningham, a director in BP’s upstream technology group.
The company is using technology to drill faster and deeper to obtain as much oil and gas from each well as possible. It often has to make choices between where it drills and for how long, and whether it needs to stop and rethink, because BP’s focus is on operating where it believes it will “unlock value in our portfolio,” Cunningham said.
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For BP, pushing reservoir limits involves injecting water and other fluids into oil-bearing rocks to retrieve as many hydrocarbons as possible and for as many years as possible. Chemistry, physics, water-flood technology and the way the wells are connected to the oil-bearing formation are among the key factors in the process.