Saturday, May 3, 2008

Technological Barriers To Carioca Field

Brazil Oil Trapped by 500-Degree Heat, Salt Barrier

Brazil's oil will be harder to develop than the Gulf of Mexico, where the deepest wells are now in production, Cline said. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the two biggest U.S. oil companies, saw diamond-crusted drill bits disintegrate and steel pipes crumple when they attempted to tap deposits beneath the Gulf's seafloor two years ago.

Uncharted Depth

Pumping oil from the Brazilian finds, parts of which are 32,000 feet (10,000 meters) below the ocean's surface, will require boring almost twice as far down as the world's deepest producing offshore well.

The obstacles will discourage development unless crude prices stay high, said Tina Vital, an analyst at Standard & Poor's in New York. U.S. oil futures, which reached a record at $119.93 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading yesterday, have jumped 81 percent in the past year.

Engineers will have to overcome temperatures that range from near freezing above the ocean floor to temperatures that can melt bismuth, used for transporting uranium rods and for shotgun shells. Layers of salt will also increase the challenge because the crystals absorb seismic waves used to pinpoint oil deposits.

Seismic Issue

``The seismic issue is important because if you don't identify the location of the oil properly, you're going to waste a lot of money when you drill the hole in the wrong spot,'' said Vital, a former Exxon engineer.

Brazil pumped 2.13 million barrels of oil a day in the last three months of 2007, more than OPEC members Angola, Libya and Algeria.

Tupi, 155 miles (250 kilometers) off Brazil's coast, may begin production by 2012, according to consulting firm Strategic Forecasting in Austin, Texas. The field may have 8 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

No start date has been set for Carioca, which Petroleo Brasileiro said will take at least three months to evaluate. A Brazilian regulator said this month the reservoir may have 33 billion barrels.

If confirmed by further drilling, the reserves will be triple the size of Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, the largest U.S. field.

Record Depth

The ocean-depth record for production was set last year by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. The company is extracting natural gas from beneath 8,960 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico, where pressure measures 3,069 pounds per square inch, squeezing joints and tearing at seals.

``What we do at that water depth in the ocean is similar to NASA's space program, but they get to do it without any pressure trying to attack them,'' Kevin Renfro, production engineering manager at Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko, said in a November interview.

Petrobras hasn't said how much it spent to sink wells at Tupi and Carioca. Similar drilling by Exxon and Chevron Corp. in the Gulf of Mexico cost $180 million to $200 million for each well.


Climate Concerned said...

I am afraid it is you that is deluded. Oil production does not grow every year - it has hardly grown since 2004. Whether it grows again is yet to be shown.

Oil is certainly not abiotic - if it is, why haven't at least some of the worlds existing oil fields regenerated their reserves?

Help is available for delusion. I suggest you go and find some.

OilIsMastery said...

World oil production

2006 - 85.17 mbpd
2007 - 85.20 mbpd
2008 - 86.94 mbpd

Source: IEA

Read it and weep.

Spicer said...

Those numbers include bitumen and extra heavy oil production(syncrude), which isn't technically oil.

Anaconda said...


Climate concerned,
Your comment is welcome. Reviewing the record, as Oilis mastery has done, shows that oil production has grown the last three years, and the record does reflect consistent growth over the history of the industry.

The pertinent question is how much will it grow in the future and for how long?

Peak advocates suggest the peak has been reached or soon will be. Of course, that has been predicted before and not come to fruition.

This blog provides evidence that growth will continue because deep water, deep-drilling is tapping into virgin unexplored territory. And, because more thorough exploration and development of existing oil regions is being done, using abiotic oil principles.

This post illustrates the potential, along with the technical challenges.

You are right to include 'unconventional' oil, but to say it "isn't technically oil," is false. It's not 'light sweet' crude oil, and it more costly to produce and refine, but it most certainly is oil.

Your point is taken, that conventional oil growth has slowed. As above, the question is really whether politics or physical limits are responsible.

Politics has limited exploration in the United States, and politics has limited production among OPEC countries (politically derived quotas for production).

As to the validity of abiotic oil theory -- you are right to question the theory, as everybody has been brought up to believe it, but please review the science available on this blog. It's all there to be studied and debated.

As to the specific objection, review the left-hand column and previous post, The lies of Colin Campbell, October 4, 2007, and review the work of Larry Cathles of Cornell University regarding the Gulf of Mexico.

The science makes the argument.

OilIsMastery said...

Anaconda, thank you so much for your comments. Sorry I haven't been keeping up to date with the blog but I'm glad you like what little is here...=)

I'd also like to get your contact info so I can pick your brain =)

Anaconda said...

Thanks, I would be happy to.

Anaconda said...


This is a serious question that must be answered fully because when people casually hear about abiotic oil, regenerating oil fields is one of the first things they hear. Please see previous post, The Lies of Colin Campbell, October 4, 2007, Comment #7, Why Deep Oil Might Replenish, April 20, 2008. Primarily, the amount of geologic strata between the oil reservoir and source fissure, (proximity) are likely to influence continued upward mobility of crude oil. No one knows the rate of generation for abiotic oil.

Deep oil is the most likely to replenish. Let's review this post: 500 degrees Fehrenheit, hot enough to threaten spontaneous combustion if exposed to open air, and under enormous pressure, suggesting if successfully lifted to the surface, an equally enormous flow rate (barrels per day), like quick silver.

This is no ordinary crude oil discovery.

Successful exploitation with an on-site intial processing facility, could lead to supertankers literally queuing, at sea, to up load for delivery straight to a refinery.

This deep oil may have a unique constitution. All crude oil is present in reservoirs with a porous medium: Sand, gravel, or possibly broken shale. But this deep oil is below a thick salt canopy, at this depth (pressure) and temperature, the salt has the consistency of silly puddy. Salt acts more like a viscous liquid than a solid. So, rather than a salt dome rising and carrying oil with it to be trapped in a layer of porous material, this could turn out to be pockets of nearly pure crude oil with little sedimentary medium of sand or gravel.

Crude oil could rise as a less dense material through the more viscous salt. Now this could mean close proximity to the source fissure or possibly complete seperation. There's more than one type of geologic formation and structure; abiotic oil theory doesn't change that.

And, one way or the other, more exploration and discovery needs to be done. Abiotic oil principles can find more oil.

Anaconda said...


The Exploration and Development of the twelve Major and one Giant Oil and Gas Fields on the Northern Flank of the Dnieper-Donets Basin, J.F. Kenney, Gas Resources Corporation, published in Energia Magazine (2001)

One of the louder arguments against abiotic oil theory is that it has a poor track record of predicting crude oil discoveries.

First, this "poor track record" of abiotic oil theory is greatly exaggerated, if not entirely false. Strictly speaking, abiotic oil principles haven't been used by Western oil geologists, in exploration, so Western oil company's successes and failures to find oil can't be placed, either way, on abiotic oil theory.

In contrast, Russia has been using abiotic principles in their exploration for decades and is now the leading oil producer in the world. Hundreds of oil wells have been discovered using abiotic principles. The best known oil discovery, using abiotic oil principles in Russia, is the Dnieper-Donets Basin.

No one questions the fact that abiotic principles were relied on in making the decision to drill this field, which has proved a spectacular find.

Same is true for Vietnam's White Tiger Oil Field. Direct links are available to articles at the left-hand column under same heading.

Now it's true questions have been raised, whether these oil fields produce abiotic oil, and whether the oil really originates from the sub-basement crystalline rocks (bedrock), but nobody questions that abiotic theory was used to discover these two fields, after, "fossil" theory trained, Western oil geologists, had rejected these same two areas, as unlikely to produce commercial quanities of petroleum.

That's a stark contrast in success and failure: Abiotic, success; "fossil," failure.

Simple as that.

The Brazilian oil field described in the post, has more indicators that can be explained by abiotic principles than "fossil" principles: It's deep, it's hot, it's under enormous pressure. All the prior characteristics are frowned upon by "fossil" theory, while they are key principles of abiotic oil theory.

This Brazilian oil field may be an order of magnitude larger than the Spindletop gusher in Texas in 1901.

Why? Because for Spindletop the oil was incidental to a large salt dome. Salt rises because it's less dense and more plastic than the surrounding rock. The Salt dome rises from deeper levels towards the surface, and creates a conduit for the oil to rise with it, and subsequently be trapped in conjuction with the salt dome.

Many of the larger oil fields in Texas were based on this type of geology.

But in the Brazilian oil field, what abiotic oil theory predicts is an "Oil Dome" similar to a salt dome, but instead, oil is the more plastic substance, surrounded by the salt, which acts like the rock in a "salt dome" geologic formation.

Because the crude oil is the "Dome" material, the oil can exist in purer form than conventional oil discoveries. Each "Oil Dome" discovery will be magnitudes of order larger than the "salt dome" oil discoveries because the oil, instead of being incidental to the salt dome, will be the "dome" itself.

Abiotic oil theory predicts these "Oil Domes" will be an order of magnitude larger than salt domes because of the depth, pressure, and thickness of the materials, and instead of solid dynamics controlling the process, fluid dynamics control the process of materials in the up-welling interactions.

Abiotic oil theory predicts geologic forces are stronger and more massive at great depth and tremendous pressure, therefore, can create larger geologic formations, thus, causing an order of magnitude larger "Oil Domes" than the familiar salt domes.

If these "Oil Domes" are common along the foot of the Brazilian Continental Shelf, oil recovery will be substantial, if technical obstacles can be overcome.

Abiotic oil theory predicts the presence of "Oil Domes" beyond the Brazilian Continental Shelf in other continental shelf areas of the world.

This theory of Abiotic oil claims that super-giant oil fields like Ghawar in Saudi Arabia and Cantarell in the Gulf of Mexico are evidence of "Oil Dome" geologic structures. On shore these geologic structures are rare, but beyond the continental shelf at the base of the continental face, these "Oil Domes" are common. The presence of "Oil Domes" as per general abiotic theory signals the presence of associated oil formations.

The associated oil formations while on land like Ghawar are commercially viable, but at ultra-deep levels and pressures may not be viable.

Ghawar is on land because of the unique configuration and development of the Iraq, Iran, Saudia Arabia, region. The area was "squished" upward from both sides, therefore, raising the entire geologic formation and the "Oil Dome" up towards to surface.

The concept of the "Oil Dome" geologic formation, and being able to locate them for production, is the "holy grail" of the oil industry.

But like a strong, wild, bucking stallion, the question is can it be successfully ridden?

Man has never seen a horse that "can't be rode." Will that be true for oil exploration?

Successful production of ultra-deep "Oil Domes" will increase oil availability by several orders of magnitude.

Abiotic oil theory predicts the presence of such oil while "fossil" theory does not.

For big dogs, there are big bones!

Anaconda said...


At present, the existence of "Oil Dome" geological structures is a concept or hypothesis; there is no definitive proof. The concept is based on fluid dynamics, abiotic oil principles, and undisputed geological knowledge, and inferences from newly announced discoveries.

Before continuing, it must be admitted, formulating a new and unique concept, with enormous implications can promote overstating the evidence. Suggesting that Ghawar in Saudi Arabia and Cantarell in the Gulf of Mexico are evidence of the existence of "Oil Dome" geology is an instance of overstatement.

The structure of those two oil fields is documented to be produced by anticlinal geology. There is a lack of evidence at this time to say that an "Oil Dome" geology undergirds them or that those two fields are evidence of "Oil Dome" geology. Apologies.

Since the "Oil Dome" concept is a prediction, the basis of the prediction must be stated, and the implication of the theoretical concept laid out.

The prediction uses the accepted geology of salt dome structure and development, which relies on the law of fluid dynamics. The abiotic principle relied on is the idea of "forced" or "driven" injection of pure petroleum into the deep geological system controlled by fluid dynamics. And is based on the new discovery of very large oil deposits, at extreme temperature and pressure, under thick layers of salt (the Brazilian finds).

It's the thick layers of salt that provide for the fluid dynamic interaction that would leave pure deposits of oil in the form of a rising dome, if such petroleum is, in fact, being injected from below the thick salt layer.

The reason this prediction, if true, would conclusively prove abiotic oil's existence is that the law of physical entropy would not allow petroleum to become pure in an environment where it was "wicked" up from a state of dispersion. At best, there would be a medium of porous sand or gravel, but never pure oil. The presence of (nearly) pure oil would violate the law of physical entropy. The only way the oil could be pure is if the crude oil was forcibly injected into the system in a pure state by a conduit leading from below.

Only abiotic oil theory could account for this phenomenon.

It will be necessary to await more data, on these Brazilian deep fields, before any conclusion can be drawn. Obviously, the shape of the oil deposit and purity of the oil or lack of medium within the oil deposit will be significant items of information, which should become more apparent upon successful oil production from these finds.

The prediction's validity awaits the answers to these questions.

Anaconda said...


An objection could be made that the oil "wicks" or "pools" into the sediment below the thick salt layers, and then rises into the salt, and forms a dome, or that it may turn out that the oil doesn't rise into the salt at all.

The response to the objection is that the combination of the thick salt layer and the turbitity sediment above that would exert tremendous downward force on any sediment below the salt layer. This would have the tendency of "squeezing" the oil out from underneath the salt layer and preventing it from "pooling," unless an opposite "force" of injection was operating on the petroleum.

An ability to Map the oil deposits and create a three-dimentional image would help resolve these, so far, unanswered questions.