Today started off bright and early with my arrival at Chris Tucker’s—my mentor’s—household at 7:15 AM. While it was not necessary to be at work until 8:00, we had many motives for an early start. NSAI’s Dallas offices are located on the 45th floor of Thanksgiving Tower in downtown, so we both thought it would be a good idea to make sure that I was familiar with the parking setup and had all of the proper introductions to the building. In addition, as Mr. Tucker was departing Dallas for a trip to Peru to work with the charity KIDS AIDE early afternoon the following day, he thought it would be a good idea to get as much time in together today so that I would be set for the rest of the week.
After arriving at the office, getting a tour of the workplace and all its amenities, and being introduced to numerous coworkers, Chris allowed me to get settled in my office and set me up with a computer. This was actually happening. I had my own office on the 45th floor of a skyscraper in downtown. What a strange feeling.
On the car ride downtown, Chris briefed me on the background of NSAI and specifically what I would be doing. As luck would have it, data for a new and exciting project had just arrived, and I was going to be the first to begin analysis of formation pressure and mobility data. From my time at Five States, I was already well acquainted with the general feel of reviewing a prospect such as this, so without much delay we began to talk through the introductory report including geographic (isopach maps), seismic, well log (neutron logs, gamma ray logs, resistivity logs, etc.), and some volumetric data. We discussed the types of hydrocarbons expected in the reservoir as well as the importance of PVT (pressure versus temperature) analysis in determining the types of hydrocarbons-in-place. As is described in basic chemistry courses, every substance (or mix of substances) will have its own individual phase diagram that depicts the characteristics of the substance with respect to pressure and temperature. By performing PVT analysis to obtain information regarding reservoir fluid properties (i.e. bubble points, dew points, gas oil ratios, formation volume factors, fluid compositions, etc.), the types of hydrocarbons-in-place (black oil, volatile oil, dry gas, wet gas, or retrograde gas condensate) along with various impurities (CO2, H2S, and N2) can be determined. This information along with in-place hydrocarbon volumes determined through volumetric or material balance methods to determine OOIP or OGIP, which combined with recovery factors, can be used to calculate EURs (estimated ultimate recoveries). All of this information is crucial in creating accurate reserves reports that are utilized in almost every facet of the industry, from capital investment, acquisitions and liquidations of properties, as well as in government reporting.
Following this discussion, I began the analysis that I will be performing throughout the week. I will be working with formation pressure measurements from numerous wells to determine GWC (gas water contact) depths within the reservoirs. Utilizing pressure tests performed by either Schlumberger (MDT Modular Formation Dynamics Tester – a wireline formation tester for pressure, permeability, and fluid samples) or Baker Hughes (TesTrak logging while drilling formation-pressure and mobility testing) and supplied to us by the client, I began compiling data from multiple runs into a master list for use throughout the process.
Soon enough, lunch came around and Chris and I headed out to an Italian place across the street. A fellow engineer at NSAI came along and we had quite the enjoyable meal. The main reason that I mention this is to include that I was quite surprised to find out that Kathy worked at the building in which Parish is now located when it was still owned by Mobil. It was very interesting to discuss the building as it now is and compare it with how she remembered it when it was an oil company. The rest of the afternoon followed in a similar fashion as I continued to compile pressure, depth, and mobility data into a master list and began to create various graphs until our departure around 6:00 PM.
Despite my nerves and anticipation last night, I think that today turned out quite well. Chris and I had a great time discussing numerous facets of the oil industry and spent the car ride home telling humorous stories about quirky industry mishaps and the business world in general.