With the seminar complete, all of my resources today were devoted to the project that Mr. Tucker tasked me at the beginning of the week. I continued my mobility analysis by running statistics on certain intervals from each well/reservoir (still distinguishing between MDT and TTK data). For the rest of the day, I finished my analysis by creating multitudes of cumulative frequency plots for the mobility. I have to say that the analysis today started to test my excel skills, and I started to see my statistics lessons coming through in my work. I began by creating a plot for all wells and distinguished two more data sets by tester (MDT or TTK). I then created new cumulative frequency plots of mobility, distinguishing data sets on a reservoir-by-reservoir basis; this allowed me to identify those reservoirs that have a higher than average mobility and those that have a lower than average mobility. Lastly, I created the same plots, but splitting up data sets by well and creating individual plots for each reservoir. Hopefully, all of my analysis will be able to help Mr. Tucker in his work on this project during the ensuing weeks.
As I wrap up my senior project and reflect upon my experience this week, one conversation sticks out at me. I was talking to a world-class petrophysicist and a close coworker of Mr. Tucker earlier in the week when I realized that everything that this well-experienced man was speaking of was the very reason why I like science and want to be involved in this industry. We were discussing logs when the importance of our understanding of chemistry and physics on the atomic scale sparked him into a discussion on the structural integrity of reservoirs when exposed to foreign liquids such as salt water. His paraphrased discourse is as follows: “As is known, crystalline substances contain atoms, ions, or other molecules arranged in very specific repeating patterns. Shale-type rocks when forming deep in the earth contain many substances created in a similar manner. Let’s say that one day, numerous atoms are lining up in a nice pattern when all of a sudden a ferric cation ion becomes stuck where a magnesium cation should be located. Now, that locale has one less electron than it should and the region has a slight positive charge. Now while this sort of “accident” may not occur a lot from an atomic perspective, it occurs enough on a macroscopic scale to make a huge difference. Imagine that two of these positively charged regions are stacked close to one another, enough so that there is repulsion between the two regions. When viewed on a macroscopic scale, this local electromagnetic interactions account for a significant portion of the structural integrity of a reservoir. Now imagine that during the drilling/completion/recovery process, the reservoir is exposed to an influx of salt water. All of a sudden, excess electrons can complete these crystalline structures, the positive regions and their repulsions disappear, and the reservoir collapses.” Our understanding of a very macroscopic event such as a reservoir collapse can all come down to our understanding of the world on an atomic level. It all relates to the four fundamental forces: strong, weak, electromagnetism, and gravity.
This is what a love about science; it is the convergence of the micro and the macro. It fascinates me to no end that chemistry, physics, and biology can ascribe almost everything we experience in day-to-day life to atomic and molecular phenomenon, and it is for this very reason that I can see myself in this industry. As this petrophysicist said, in no other field has he found so many different fields of science merging together for some ultimate goal; in no other industry would he have been able to play with such very large things and very small things on a daily basis and get paid to do it.
Ultimately, I think I see now the motive behind Parish’s senior projects. The goal of any educational institution should not just be information oriented, but skill oriented. My high school experience would not be complete without being given the opportunity to take all of the skills learned over the years and to apply them in a productive manner. Learning how to utilize skills outside of the classroom environment should be part of the high school education as well. On top of it all, the one thing that sticks out to me as being the most important part of any internship is simply the exposure. Having been fortunate enough to have these experiences at Five States and NSAI, I can say that I completely expect that this exposure and basic understanding of industry dynamics will be an invaluable benefit throughout college. With a basic knowledge of the industry, I hope that I will better be able to connect the dots between seemingly disjoint classes and place them a greater context of their applicability in the workplace.
I would like to thank everyone at NSAI for their warm welcome during my stay, Chris Tucker for everything that he taught me and trusted me to analyze, and Dolores Gende, my faculty advisor, for her continuous support throughout this project and all of high school.