Modern Compasses Improve Oil Production

Posted by Eric Haun
Thursday, December 19, 2013

By using the Earth’s magnetic field, combined with new innovative technology, oil and gas drilling companies are increasing oilfield productivity while reducing development costs and environmental impacts.

This technology has applications across the world, and public-private collaborations between the U.S. Geological Survey and partners have successfully implemented the technology.

These days, multiple reservoirs of oil and gas can be accessed from a single platform by drilling vertically and then horizontally. Drill operators need to know which way their drill bits are going to maximize oil production and avoid collisions with other wells. One way to accomplish this important task is to install a magnetometer—a sort of modern-day “compass”—in a drill-string instrument package that follows the drill bit.

The USGS plays a unique role by monitoring the geomagnetic field every single second at magnetic observatories throughout the country. Through a process called geomagnetic referencing, simultaneous measurements of the magnetic field in the drill hole are combined with those from magnetic observatories at the Earth’s surface to produce a highly accurate estimate of the drill bit position and direction.

The Earth’s magnetic field changes all the time across the world as a result of factors like periodic daily tides or rapid magnetic storms that are related to the 11-year sunspot solar cycle. And at high latitudes, such as in northern Alaska or the North Sea, the geomagnetic field can be very active and can change dramatically during magnetic storms.

“Drill-bit positioning requires directional accuracy of a fraction of a degree, and this can be accomplished with advanced technology and expert understanding of the Earth’s dynamic magnetic field,” said Carol A. Finn, USGS Geomagnetism Group Leader. “USGS operational systems measure the magnetic field on a continuous basis. These data are provided as a service to research scientists, civilian and defense government agencies, and to customers in the private sector, including the oil and gas drilling industry.”

The USGS Geomagnetism Program monitors variations in the Earth’s magnetic field through a network of 14 ground-based observatories around the United States and its territories. There are many customers for geomagnetism data, since the variable conditions of space weather can interfere with radio communication, GPS systems, electric power grids, the operation and orientation of satellites, and even air travel as high altitude pilots and astronauts can be subjected to enhanced levels of radiation.

Internationally, the USGS magnetic observatory network is part of the global INTERMAGNET network. Domestically, the USGS Geomagnetism Program works cooperatively with government partners within the U.S. National Space Weather Program, including NOAA and the Air Force Weather Agency, and with private companies that are affected by space weather and geomagnetic activity.

usgs.gov
 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

ABB Software to Monitor Cosco Heavy Transport Fleet

ABB, a power and automation technology group, will supply its onboard motion monitoring and forecasting system to the Xiang Rui Kou heavy lift vessel, meaning the

P&I Club warns on Enclosed Space Entry & Testing

The London P&I Club says it continues to see cases of injuries and fatalities associated with entry into enclosed onboard spaces, including cargo holds on bulk

OOCL Renews VOD Training Contract

Videotel, producer and distributor of training videos, 3D animation, and e-Learning courses to the maritime market and part of KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI),

Environmental

First German-Latvian Maritime Forum in Riga

On 19 May, Ziemelblazma Culture Palace in Riga, the Latvian capital was the venue for a meeting between numerous representatives of the Ports of Liepaja, Riga, Ventspils, Lübeck, Kiel and Hamburg.

Trim Optimization – Saving Fuel on Offshore Supply Vessels

A joint development project (JDP) between DNV GL, Statoil and Farstad Shipping has demonstrated that offshore supply vessels (OSV) can save up to 21,000 Euros on their annual fuel bill,

The Impact of Hull Form on Efficiency

There is a growing interest in the fuel efficiency of ships because of fuel prices, climate change and energy security issues. This has resulted in, amongst other things,

Energy

Mothballed Vessels SE Asia Reflect Oil Slump Pain

Around 1,300 offshore support vessels lying idle worldwide. Not everyone in shipping is bemoaning the industry's worst crisis in living memory: a cluster of

Asian Traders Unload Floating Gasoline as Market Flips

Gasoline shifted from tankers to landed storage or sold off; forward gasoline prices to flip to backwardation from July. The number of tankers storing gasoline

Bulgaria, Greece to Consider Greek LNG terminal

Bulgarian state energy holding company BEH and Greek natural gas company Gastrade have set up a joint task force to prepare a proposal to build an off-shore liquefied

News

Coast Guard to Remove Some Navigation Aids in Virginia

The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to discontinue 166 navigational aids within the Virginia Inside Passage (VIP) due to shoaling and other navigational safety concerns throughout the area.

MSHS Group President Recognized for Safety Leadership

Signal Mutual Indemnity Association, a self-insured group provider of Longshore benefits, presented MSHS President Are Friesecke with the Francis R. Sharp Executive

New OPDR Service Links Spain with Northern Europe

OPDR introduces new service: CAVA offers connection between the Spanish east coast, northern Europe and Saint Petersburg    OPDR announced its new CAVA service,

Marine Science

P&I Club warns on Enclosed Space Entry & Testing

The London P&I Club says it continues to see cases of injuries and fatalities associated with entry into enclosed onboard spaces, including cargo holds on bulk

TAMRF Extends Research Vessel Charter

Overseas Drilling Ltd., a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Siem Offshore Inc., and Texas A&M Research Foundation (TAMRF) have agreed to extend the charter of the

Kongsberg Tech for Peruvian Arctic Research Vessel

Kongsberg Maritime has been chosen to deliver an integrated subsea technology systems package including two HUGIN Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) for a new

Government Update

EU Ships in Libyan Waters Would Undermine Tripoli Govt

The U.N.-backed government in Libya has not invited European ships into its territorial waters to help stop people smuggling because this could harm efforts to

Striking Port Workers Protest Greek Port Sales

Greek port workers walked off the job for a sixth day on Tuesday and marched through central Athens to protest the state-sanctioned selloff of the country's two largest ports,

Bulgaria, Greece to Consider Greek LNG terminal

Bulgarian state energy holding company BEH and Greek natural gas company Gastrade have set up a joint task force to prepare a proposal to build an off-shore liquefied

Offshore Energy

Mothballed Vessels SE Asia Reflect Oil Slump Pain

Around 1,300 offshore support vessels lying idle worldwide. Not everyone in shipping is bemoaning the industry's worst crisis in living memory: a cluster of

Bulgaria, Greece to Consider Greek LNG terminal

Bulgarian state energy holding company BEH and Greek natural gas company Gastrade have set up a joint task force to prepare a proposal to build an off-shore liquefied

Trim Optimization – Saving Fuel on Offshore Supply Vessels

A joint development project (JDP) between DNV GL, Statoil and Farstad Shipping has demonstrated that offshore supply vessels (OSV) can save up to 21,000 Euros on their annual fuel bill,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1357 sec (7 req/sec)