FWIW, it was the comment below over at the Oil Drum from a couple of years ago (shortly after the discovery was announced) that has always stuck in the back of my mind and I've never seen it discussed here (it may have been discussed, I just haven't seen it):
"But the temperature/pressure combination is the real battle. Once getting the well on production they’ll keep holding their collective breaths for a long time. Reducing the formation pressure while producing can lead to a shift in rock pressure that can cut the casing like a red-hot knife through soft butter. Seen it happen many times. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see several months go by before they try for the completion. Lots of engineering models to go through before they make that effort. Might even be longer if they have to mill specialty parts to handle the pressure/temperature."
The temperature/PSI issue has been discussed many times. It's this "formation shift" issue and its probability that I don't recall seeing discussed here.
No, I'm not being paid by a hedge fund (geez, tough crowd).
I'm just asking some questions that I thought someone who knew more than me might comment on.
I intentionally buried the questions in a long thread hoping that it wouldn't generate a lot of non-responsive noise.
Are you saying that shearing of the pipe is not a concern at these depths? If it's not, then great, I just wanted one of the helpful posters here to comment on it.
As far as the material at the bottom of the hole being loose enough at those temperatures and pressures to cause a problem, I think if you asked 1,000 oil and gas investors the answer to that question, I'll bet few would know it. Isn't part of the challenge with the whole UD frontier that NO ONE necessarily knows the answers to those questions?
If my questions are really that easy to answer, perhaps you or someone could just answer them.
Under the heading of "potential problems", what is the probability of a shift occurring at some point after production commences that shears the pipe? It seems to me that the longer the pipe the greater the probability that this could occur. Also, it seems to me that the greater the pressure, the higher the likelihood of a shift occurring as the reservoir is draing. For example, if I hold a wet sponge by one end and let the water run out I wouldn't expect it to change shape, but if I was in a 25,000 PSI environment, I would expect the sponge to be compressed as the liqud drips out of it. (Just an amateur speculating, though.)
Also, at the bottom of the hole is the soil/sand so loose that it flows into the pipe? It seems that millions of years, 25,000 PSI and 400+ degrees would have compacted the material enough that it wouldn't be loose enough to float into the pipe.
I have always wondered why MMR didn't just bring one of these wells to completion with a flow test to see whether any of these problems were going to be present, rather than simulatanously drilling a bunch of them. I suppose, though, that the fact that they have drilled so many suggests they have a high level of confidence that any problems can be overcome.
Care to take a guess as to how long it will take from the time they start the flow test to the time they have done all the testing and announce the results? (don't worry, we will not hold you to it)
There you are BF, guess Luce reached the beach.
Also FFTP and FSIP, along with the initial. The SI(shut in) build up for FP(final pressure) also is part of the test. This can detect distant barriers, etc, imp't for reserve calc. so this will be not be slighted.
Time, Time what is it at these depths besides expensive and limitless.
Additionally, even though the flow test has a chance of starting shortly (within the next week?), the process of flowing and measuring will take some time, no? In other words, it may take a couple of weeks from the start of the flow test before we get flow test rates, FTP, SIP, etc.
Yup, mine too.
Guess you are with the formation pot flow problem.
They sure should increase flow only AFTER thoroughly assessing conditions at the present rate. This stair stepping upwards you can see will take time(depending on the duration of each stage)which I have no idea of.
So MMR probably will not release info during the testing which could easily be misinterpreted on the low side for potential.
Good input- offshore. There you are L. So some formation cement holding the sand grains in place is desired, those sandbox sands, ala BBH look great on log, however can be problems from get go-that is why JB still is soft on that well. Sand inflow may have packed off the perfs/flow up the tubing. We were never told were we?
I am sure MMR site engineers will error on the side of caution in this environment(post Macondo/SUD pioneering conditions).