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Terminology Series   A

If you're new to the oil and gas world, or are even just considering an energy-related job at this stage, our "Oil & Gas Terminology Series" will help you get clued up with some of the industry's jargon. 

In this first installment, we're kicking off with the letter "A", and focusing on a handful of key words associated with drilling.

  1. ASSOCIATED GAS:
    Natural gas produced with crude oil from the same reservoir, or that which is associated with oil accumulations, which may be dissolved in the oil at reservoir conditions or may form a cap of “free gas” (in a gaseous, not liquid state) above the oil.

  2. APPRAISAL WELL:
    A well drilled as part of an appraisal drilling programme which is carried out to ascertain the size, reserve and estimated production rate of an oil field.

  3. ANTIFOAM:
    A chemical additive used to lower interfacial tension so that trapped gas will readily escape from mud and not form a foam. This additive is used during the preparation of a treatment fluid or when preparing the drilling surface (slurry). Common additives include: Octyl alcohol, aluminum stearate, various glycols, silicones and sulfonated hydrocarbons.

    Treatment fluid - A fluid designed and prepared to resolve a specific wellbore or reservoir condition. Treatment fluids are generally prepared at the wellsite for purposes such as stimulation, isolation or the control of reservoir gas or water. Every treatment fluid is designed for specific conditions.

    Slurry - A term used to describe a mixture of suspended solids and liquids. 

  4. ALKALINE FLOODING:
    Also known as “caustic flooding”, this is an oil recovery technique in which an alkaline chemical such as sodium hydroxide is injected during polymer flooding or waterflooding operations. The alkaline chemical reacts with the oil, forming surfactants inside the reservoir, which reduce the interfacial tension between oil and water and therefore enable an increase in oil production.

    Duringwaterflooding, water is injected into the reservoir to displace residual oil. The water moves the displaced oil to adjacent production wells.

    Surfactants” are compounds that lower the surface tension between two liquids, or two items of opposing states, i.e. between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. 

  5. ABRASIVE JETTING: A wellbore treatment in which a fluid containing solid particles is used to remove deposits from the surface of the wellbore and / or completion components. The fluid is pumped at high pressure through a downhole tool that uses nozzles to direct jets of the fluid onto the target area. Many tools utilise a controlled rotary motion to ensure the entire internal circumference of the wellbore is treated. Abrasive jetting can also be used to cut completion or wellbore components in which case highly abrasive particles (such as sand) are put into the fluid and then jetted at the target area for a prolonged period of time until the surface is eroded.


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