Friday, October 30, 2009

Oil Patch News and Notes - 30 Oct 2009

Saudi's drop WTI Contract When you hear, "the oil prices went up $3 a barrel today...", what they're describing is a standardized contract that other oil prices are based off. WTI is a light, sweet crude from Western Texas that's to be delivered to Cushing, OK in units of at least 1,000 barrels. Sour (sulfur containing) crude trades at a discount, while sweeter, lighter crude closer to market trades at a premium, but WTI has been for 20+ years THE global index for crude prices. Well, WTI production has been declining, Cushing, OK is no longer the center of gravity for the refining world (the Gulf Coast is), and more crudes in the world are heavier and sourer. Saudi Aramco and decided to drop the WTI contract index. The new index will be based off a basket of crudes from several offshore platforms off the coast of Louisiana delivered to Gulf Coast refineries. To put it another way, the price of crude from an artificial island off the Louisiana coast determines the price of Saudi crude on the other side of the world. One of the major constituents of the new blend is Mars' crude oil.

State: Life on mars

Great old article about Mars. St. Petersburg Times' science writer checks in offshore. Don't miss the 3D seismic image three quarters through the article. You can see how the salt dome has trapped hydrocarbons beneath it and how we're able to extract it.

North Dakota passes La. as 4th largest oil-producing state | News for New Orleans, Louisiana | Top Stories | News and Weather for New Orleans |

Louisiana no longer 4th largest oil producing state.

RIGZONE - BW Pioneer FPSO on Track for GOM Operations in 2010

Lots more details on what will soon to be the first FPSO in the Gulf. AFRAmax, double hull, oil tanker of relatively new (1992) construction.

Tanker collision off Texas spills fuel into Gulf | Reuters

One of the concerns I've had about the new FPSO is about all those lighterning operations where tankers saddle up alongside each other to offload crude. I've never heard of a spill, until now. It's interesting that the tanker that caused the spill was a Russian-built vessel. I'd like to see what the Board of Inquiry says the cause was.


New Trend: Flammable Tap Water » INFRASTRUCTURIST

Natural Gas gets into aquifer from poor seal around well casing. Used to be more common than you think. This is one of the reasons why New York has taken such an interest about what chemicals are used in Hydrofracking (PDF).



Leigh C. said...

I think there was a "Charlie's Angels" episode where the shower head in an angel's shower had its water source switched with a torch triggered to go on when she turned on the tap. Just barely avoided getting fried. Neat teevee trick that had me afraid to use the shower for a while as a kid...

Clay said...

It used to be more common than you think. Poorly done casings in the Permian Basin near the Ogalla Acquifer were especially notorious.