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Why Are We Still Buying Snake Oil?

When my father bought the little piece of New Hampshire woods where I grew up, he wandered down an old, overgrown dirt track that ran through it to a little spot under a big tree where he found an ancient, all but decomposed pair of shoes and a long-empty bottle of Dr. Kilmer's Swamp Root Remedy. Somebody apparently got "remedied," alright, and left without his or her shoes! Maybe that had something to do with the fact that the stuff was 10% alcohol... Dr. Kilmer was called a Snake Oil Salesman, selling promised cures for any manner of ailments without a shred of evidence that his concoctions (you can read the Swamp Root recipe here) had any actual medical efficacy. In 2013 a high level rese

Some Like It Hot

There is a lot of buzz about the Marten Hills Clearwater Heavy Oil play. And for good reasons. The play is extensive and has intriguing cost structure and reservoir attributes (5-25 m net pay, 20% to 30% effective porosity, 50% oil saturation, 5 to 500 milli-darcy permeability, and <300 cp. oil viscosity) low FD&C costs (in the order of $C10/bbl). this play is competitive with any other play in the Western Canada Sedimentary basin. Even more so when compared to the high cost structure of the East Shale Basin Duvernay and other tight oil plays. One amazing aspect of this play is its location. This play lies along the southwestern fringe of the Athabasca Oil Sands area in which the same fo

The Joy of Geothermics

When it comes to understanding the subsurface, very few direct measurements are available to us. We can capture values for pressure, temperature, conductivity, density, neutron energy levels, sound waves, mud weight, weight on bit. There might be a few more but not many. Everything else is a derivation from these data. These calculations are very sophisticated and serve the oil and gas industry quite well, but the further we get from the initial data, the more the combined effects of assumptions and data errors come into play. This is part of the reason why understanding a basin's geothermics is so powerful. It uses a primary measurement from the formation; temperature. The Geothermal

Using Brittleness as an Input to Completions

Is like trying to start your car with the cigarette lighter. Yes, the electrical system is needed to start the car. Yes, the lighter is connected to the electrical system. Yes, if you push the lighter in, it makes a neato pop and gives off heat. But no. Pushing the cigarette lighter has no impact on whether or not your car starts. And modern cars don't have cigarette lighters.

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