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Seeing Is Believing: a Snapshot of Field Depletion

1 June 2005


Professor Heading Out at the The Oil Drum has posted A Picture of Depletion, the subject of which I reproduced to the left—a slice through the Abqaiq oilfield in Saudi Arabia.

(Heading Out is a senior faculty member in one of the energy production disciplines.)

For most people there was some one thing that brought the reality of Peak Oil home to them. For me it was this picture, from a paper by Dogru, Hamoud and Barlow in JPT in February 2004...It shows a vertical slice taken through the Abqaiq oilfield in Saudi Arabia, using an instrument that measures the relative fluid densities at different levels in the field.

The shape is that of the carbonate rock which is the oil reservoir, although the vertical scale has been exaggerated considerably to show the current contents of the field. By using different colors the authors have shown the different fluid densities, and these can simply be translated into four zones. Over time the field has been injected with water (the blue zone) and this has pushed up the oil (the green zone) into the wells. The red is the overlying gas cap. When the reservoir was untapped it was likely all red and green. After all these years of pumping you can see how little of the green—the oil—remains. The field is about 800 ft thick from top to bottom and about 1.5 miles below the surface. If there is a picture that speaks to depletion this to me, is it.

The post continues on with further discussion of the Saudi situation.

June 1, 2005 in Oil | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3)


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Seeing Is Believing: a Snapshot of Field Depletion:

» What Does Peak Oil Look Like? from WorldChanging: Another World Is Here
"Peak oil" -- the notion that global production of oil will soon reach its maximum, and will subsequently decline (even while demand continues to rise)... [Read More]

» What Does Peak Oil Look Like ? from Peak Energy
Heading Out's post at The Oil Drum showing a visualisation of the internal structure of the Abqaiq field in Saudi Arabia has gotten a lot of attention - Energy Bulletin, Green Car Congress and WorldChanging have all picked it up. [Read More]

» See Peak Oil for Yourself from Treehugger
Our friends at Worldchanging and Green Car Congress have both covered, and rightly so, this blog-post from The Oil Drum, a blog dedicated to discussing Hubbert's Peak. It's something to know what's happening, but it's quite something else to actually... [Read More]


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