A Better View of Horizontal Drilling

People often think of drilling as going straight down through the ground. However, in oil extraction, there is a method more efficient than vertical drilling. Horizontal drilling is the process in which the well changes direction horizontally at a depth. The drilling will start with a vertical process first then turn horizontally at a certain entry point. This technique can reach and collect more energy with fewer wells. It is known to be the best strategy for drilling shale rocks.

Image source: rigzone.com

Image source: rigzone.com

Although this type of drilling has a more intricate process, it has been proven by geological research that it yields more benefits than the conventional one. Targets and reservoirs that cannot otherwise be reached through vertical drilling can be tapped through the horizontal method. It can reach natural oil deposits trapped in tight shale formations located more than a mile below the ground.

Another benefit of horizontal drilling is its ability to reach large areas with just a single drilling pad. When this directional drilling is combined with hydraulic fracturing, it can convert unproductive shale rocks into reservoir rocks. There are more benefits such as: installing underground facilities, sealing out-of-control wells, and improving the productivity of wells.

Image source: test.wmprocess.com

Image source: test.wmprocess.com

Primera Energy LLC is a company that uses a horizontal drilling process along with other innovative techniques. Brian Alfaro is the President of this company. Visit this page to read more articles about the energy industry.

Methane: Key Facts On Natural Gas’ Principle Component

Methane is the principal component of natural gas, itself a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon compounds that frequently form around coal and petroleum. Natural gas is looking to be a promising transitional fuel. The growth of natural gas power throughout the United States alone has helped it begin the transition away from heavily polluting coal.

Image source: thefiscaltimes.com

Although natural gas is the primary source of combustible methane used in energy production, methane itself is a common byproduct of many industrial and agricultural processes. Much methane itself is produced from flatulence produced by cattle farming and from the decomposition of waste in modern sanitary landfills. Ways of harnessing methane produced elsewhere have been in place. Gas extracted from landfills and agriculture, for instance, have been used domestically for energy production in the same way as natural gas.

On its own, methane is a very potent pollutant, even more so than the exhaust it produces during energy production. In general, environmentalists feel it safer to burn the methane than to let it escape into the atmosphere. Domestic natural gas consumption and flaring have been done in response to this, and the growth of natural gas production offers both an economic solution to natural gas along with a few potential concerns. To keep off methane pollution modern plants have to keep facilities sealed tightly to prevent leaks.

Methane can be burned in conventional steam turbine energy systems as with coal and petroleum. Today, however, plants dedicated to burning natural gas utilize special systems that burn the gas more effectively, producing more power from fuel gas in the process.

Image source: worldwatch.org

Brian Alfaro and Primera Energy are dedicated to minimizing the ecological impact of their oil and gas exploration operations in Texas. Visit this Facebook page for more on his company’s commitment to sound energy production.

Earthly Origins: How Is Crude Oil Produced?

Petroleum is used to power homes, cars, and businesses; but where did it come from?

Image source: faceofmalawi.com

Image source: faceofmalawi.com

Natural gas and oil make up petroleum. The word petroleum means “rock oil” in Latin. Petroleum is a fossil fuel made naturally from (prehistoric) decaying plants and animal remains. Petroleum is a mixture of different molecules, including hydrogen and carbon that exist as liquid or vapor. It can be found in offshore wells, deep seas, and caves.

Petroleum is generated over millions of years. For petroleum generation or production to occur, organic matter like dead plants or animals must accumulate in large numbers. This organic matter will then be deposited along with sediments (rocks). Sediments and organic material that are now formed as source rocks will be buried in the absence of oxygen. Without oxygen, the organic material in the source rock will be transformed into petroleum. Source rocks like shale or limestone are an excellent source of petroleum.

Natural gas is found next to or near petroleum. The oil is then transported for fuel distillery. There are technologies used to liquefy natural gas so it can be transported in tanks. There are more than 100 countries that produce both oil and natural gas. Technologies that help find sources of petroleum are now advanced. There are still oil and gas reserves to be discovered—in deeper basins and remote areas.

Primera Energy LLC is headed by Brian Alfaro. The company operates on the Eagle Ford Shale in Southern Texas. For more petroleum news and facts, follow this Twitter account.

Beyond Doom and Gloom: The Need for Sustained Investments in Energy

Image source: thenewstribe.com

Image source: thenewstribe.com

Should current oil prices continue to hold sway long into the new year, a gradual reduction of investments in crude oil exploration could be seen, particularly in domestic markets from oil producing nations such as the United States. Although logical on the surface, held back investments are not intelligent moves in the long run, as low prices will rule only the foreseeable future, and not the long term.

Paradoxically, the glut of oil would eventually become a liability should a stable price floor remain elusive. A prolonged drop in price could render much of the domestic oil production unprofitable, undoing much of the progress of the past few years. In time, as the prices rise again, a spike in prices will again manifest as the country once again becomes dependent on petroleum imports for energy. And while investments would eventually return, their production would lag too far behind demand to stabilize prices.

The shrinking of oil investments can lead to long term problems in domestic and global energy security. The 2015 World Oil Outlook predicts that, to prevent massive shortages, the global economy would need around $10 trillion of new investments by 2040.

Image source: businessinsider.com

Image source: businessinsider.com

Thus, to safeguard the continued stability of energy prices, investments in the energy sector must be protected. In the meantime, investors in oil production continue to play the waiting game, rolling back expansion without a price turnaround in sight. These stalwart companies and individuals would find that their risk-taking places them in a unique position of ensuring future energy security as the glut comes to its eventual end.

And while the oil market’s long night continues, demand slowly but surely begins to pick up.

Brian Alfaro leads Primera Energy LLC, a leading petroleum production company with significant interests in the Eagle Ford and Barnett shales in Texas. Visit this website for more updates on the energy sector of the U.S.

Eagle Ford Shale: The Hydrocarbon Powerhouse that is South Texas

North America is home to some of the largest oil fields in the world. The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas is one of those, which was created about 100 million years ago when a gigantic swathe of forest was buried hundreds of feet beneath the ground (fossil fuels are organic in origin).

Image source: wikipedia.org

The geological formation has permeable rocks which have made it a prime target for oil and gas extraction. The most common method is hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, which uses a combination of water, sand, and some special substances to produce massive pressure inducing release of small pockets of oil and gas inside the rocks.

The Eagle Ford Shale yields both crude oil and natural gas. The oil reserves are estimated at 3 billion barrels, while technically recoverable gas is estimated to be at 50.2 trillion cubic feet. On average, a well can produce 2.36 billion cubic feet of gas. All these make the shale among the most important in Texas and North America as a whole.

Dozens of local and foreign companies tap into this resource to keep petroleum demands in the U.S. relatively manageable. According to a new study, 5,000 new wells could be built by 2020 in the area, a development which could generate 68,000 full-time jobs in the state alone. The economic output could reach billions of dollars.

Image source: wikipedia.org

Brian Alfaro is the founder and president of Primera Energy LLC, a leading hydrocarbon production company with significant operations in the Eagle Ford Shale and Barnett Shale in Texas. More about him and his company can be read here.

Looking Back And Moving Forward: The Uncertain Optimism About Oil Prices

Because oil is a commodity, it will eventually hit a rock bottom price (but it can’t be worth nothing) and gradually hit the peaks and valleys again over time. The game of buy and hold, however, remains a high-risk endeavor, particularly in cases of a global glut like that experienced in the past few months. However, oil has always been cyclical, and veterans in the industry know that the waiting game can pay off considerably when done with enough tact.

Image source: marketwatch.com

Image source: marketwatch.com

In the past month as of writing, things have seemingly looked up for oil prices. Oil prices rose as much as 1 percent on September 24, caused by drawdowns from the vast inventories of U.S. crude. An increase in inventory withdrawals, coupled with a more robust economic climate, could indicate a growing demand for fuel. This is bolstered by lowering interest rates, which could cut inventory costs in the meantime.

If consistent, this turnaround bodes well for most of the industry, although skeptics are not rejoicing yet. There was still a cap to the rising prices, caused by tumbling equity prices on Wall Street that inevitably remind observers that the recovery of the industry is still tied to the rest of the world economy. The latter, it must be remembered, has not been at the best of states in recent months. On a positive note, major buyers like China are beginning to rev up demand once more, indicating some robustness to the recent gains.

Image source: marketwatch.com

Image source: marketwatch.com

In spite of the aforementioned cap, the gains brought about by the inventory draws still represent a cautiously optimistic outlook for the industry, being the first major positive turnaround in the past three sessions. For many of the players in the petroleum industry who decided to play the game of buy-and-hold, the risks taken may yet prove worthwhile.

Brian Alfaro leads Primera Energy, which has a controlling stake at several productive oil shale deposits throughout Texas. Visit this website for more on his company and its production methods.

Unconventional Natural Gas: A Primer on Shale Gas and Coalbed Methane

Years of drilling have depleted the United States and other nations of conventional gas resources. New technologies have allowed oil and natural gas producers to produce unconventional gas from difficult-to-reach, low-permeability rock.

Shale gas and coalbed methane (CBM) are both sources of unconventional natural gas. Shale is a clastic sedimentary rock composed of clay and minerals. Shale gas is an unconventional natural gas that is extracted from shale rock formations through a process called hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

cbmrecoveryImage source: serc.carlton.edu

In this drilling method, horizontal veins are made off a vertical well deep in the earth. The veins are then injected with a fluid mixture of water and additives at an extremely high pressure to hold them open, creating paths for the shale gas to escape and travel to the wellbore where it is collected.

Coal is also a sedimentary rock that naturally occurs in layers or veins called coal beds. Coalbed methane (CBM) is an unconventional natural gas that is extracted from coal beds using a technique similar to that utilized in obtaining shale gas, although slightly more complicated. A well is drilled at 1,000 to 1,500 feet. Highly-pressurized “fracking fluid” is injected into the coal seam to fracture it. The fracking fluid and groundwater is drawn from the well to reduce pressure in a process called “dewatering.” Once pressure is reduced, the methane gas is released and flows to the surface, where it is collected, compressed, and placed into an underground piping system.

The U.S. also produces more shale gas than CBM, which accounts for 7.3 percent of annual total dry gas production in 2011. Shale gas accounted for 47 percent of total dry gas production in 2013.

shutterstock_116006950Image source: shalegas-europe.eu

In addition, despite the differences in extraction, both CBM and shale gas are composed of mostly methane, and both types are suitable for meeting residential, commercial, and industrial energy needs.

Brian Alfaro is the founder of Primera Energy LLC, an oil and natural gas firm headquarted in San Antonio, Texas. Follow this Twitter account for more discussions on the differences between CBM and shale gas.