Process Engineering Term - F & G

Process Engineering Term - F

FASTLINE - the end of the drilling line that is affixed to the drum or reel of the drawworks, so called because it travels with greater velocity than any other portion of the line. Compare deadline.

FIELD - A geographical area in which one or more oil or gas wells produce. A field may refer to surface area only or to underground productive formation. A single field may include several reservoirs separated either horizontally or vertically.

FIELD BUTANES - A raw mix of natural gas liquids; the product of gas processing plants in the field. Raw mix streams are sent to fractionating plants where the various components - butane, propane, hexane, and others - are separated. Some refineries are capable of using field butanes at 10 to 15 percent of charge stock.

FINGERBOARD - a rack that supports the stands of pipe being stacked in the derrick or mast. It has several steel fingerlike projections that form a series of slots into which the derrickman can place a stand of drill pipe or collars after it is pulled out of the hole and removed from the drill string.

FIRE FLOODING - a thermal recovery method in which the oil in the reservoir is ignited, the heat vaporizes lighter hydrocarbons and water pushes the warmed oil toward a producing well. Also called in situ combustion. See thermal recovery.

FISH - an object that is left in the wellbore during drilling or workover operations and that must be recovered before work can proceed. It can be anything from a piece of scrap metal to a part of the drill stem.

FISHING - the procedure of recovering lost or stuck equipment in the wellbore.

FISHING MAGNET - a powerful magnet designed to recover metallic objects lost in a well.

FISHING TOOL - a tool designed to recover equipment lost in a well.

FISHING-TOOL OPERATOR - the person (usually a service company employee) in charge of directing fishing operations.

FITTING - a small, often standardized, part (such as a coupling, valve, or gauge) installed in a larger apparatus.

FLARE - (1) To burn unwanted gas through a pipe or stack (Under conservation laws, the flaring of natural gas is illegal.) (2) The flame from a flare; the pipe or the stack itself.

FLOAT COLLAR - a special coupling device inserted one or two joints above the bottom of the casing string that contains a check valve to permit fluid to pass downward but not upward through the casing. The float collar prevents drilling mud from entering the casing while it is being lowered, allowing the casing to float during its descent and thus decreasing the load on the derrick or mast.

FLOAT SHOE - a short, heavy, cylindrical steel section with a rounded bottom that is attached to the bottom of the casing string. It contains a check valve and functions similarly to the float collar but also serves as a guide shoe for the casing.

FLOOD - 1. to drive oil from a reservoir into a well by injecting water under pressure into the reservoir formation. See waterflooding. 2. to drown out a well with water.

FLOW - a current or stream of fluid or gas.

FLOOR CREW - those workers on a drilling or workover rig who work primarily on the rig floor. See rotary helper.

FLOWING WELL -A well capable of producing oil or gas by its own energy without the aid of a mechanical pump. Normally a pump is put on the well after the pressure reduction inhibits the rate of production. FRACING - The process of pumping fluids into a productive formation at high rates of injection to hydraulically break the rock. The "fractures" which are created in the rock act as flow channels for the oil and gas to the well.

FLOW LINE - the surface pipe through which oil or gas travels from a well to processing equipment or to storage.

FLOW RATE - the speed, or velocity, of fluid or gas flow through a pipe or vessel.

FLUID INJECTION - injection of gases or liquids into a reservoir to force oil toward and into producing wells.

FLUID LOSS - the unwanted migration of the liquid part of the drilling mud or cement slurry into a formation, often minimized or prevented by the blending of additives with the mud or cement.

FORMATION FLUID - fluid (such as gas, oil, or water) that exists in a subsurface formation.

FORMATION GAS - gas initially produced from an underground reservoir.

FORMATION PRESSURE - the force exerted by fluids or gas in a formation, recorded in the hole at the level of the formation with the well shut in. Also called reservoir pressure or shut-in bottomhole pressure.

FORMATION TESTING - the gathering of pressure data and fluid samples from a formation to determine its production potential before choosing a completion method.

FORMATION WATER - 1. the water originally in place in a formation. 2. any water that resides in the pore spaces of a formation.

FOSSIL ENERGY - Energy derived from crude oil, natural gas, or coal.

FRAC FLUID - a fluid used in the fracturing process (for example, a method of stimulating production by opening new flow channels in the formation surrounding a production well). Under extremely high hydraulic pressure, frac fluids (such as distillate, diesel fuel, crude oil, dilute hydrochloric acid, water, or kerosene) are pumped downward through production tubing or drill pipe and forced out below a packer or between two packers. The pressure causes cracks to open in the formation, and the fluid penetrates the formation through the cracks. Sand grains, aluminum pellets, walnut shells, or similar materials (propping agents) are carried in suspension by the fluid into the cracks. When the pressure is released at the surface, the fracturing fluid returns to the well but leaves behind the propping agents to hold open the formation cracks.

FUEL TANKS - fuel storage tanks for the power generating system.

FRACTURE - a crack or crevice in a formation, either natural or induced. See hydraulic fracturing.

FRACTURE ACIDIZING - a procedure by which acid is forced into a formation under pressure high enough to cause the formation to crack. The acid acts on certain kinds of formations, usually carbonates, to increase the permeability of the formation. Also called acid fracturing.

FRACTURE PRESSURE - the pressure at which a formation will break down, or fracture.

FRACTURING FLUID - a fluid, such as water, oil, or acid, used in hydraulic fracturing. The fluid carries propping agents that hold open the formation cracks after hydraulic pressure dissipates. See acid fracturing, hydraulic fracturing, propping agents.

FREE-POINT INDICATOR - a device run on wireline into the wellbore and inside the fishing string and fish to locate the area where a fish is stuck. When the drill string is pulled and turned, the electromagnetic fields of free pipe and stuck pipe differ. The free-point indicator is able to distinguish these differences, which are registered on a metering device at the surface.

FRICTION - resistance to movement created when two surfaces are in contact. When friction is present, movement between the surfaces produces heat.

FULL-GAUGE BIT - a bit that has maintained its original diameter.

FULL-GAUGE HOLE - a wellbore drilled with a full-gauge bit. Also called a true-to-gauge hole.

Process Engineering Term - G

GAS - “Any fluid, combustible or noncombustible, which is produced in a natural state from the earth and which maintains a gaseous or rarified state at ordinary temperature and pressure conditions”. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 30, Mineral Resources, Chap. II, Geological Survey, 221.2

GAMMA RAY LOG - a type of radioactivity well log that records natural radioactivity around the wellbore. Shales generally produce higher levels of gamma radiation and can be detected and studied with the gamma ray tool.

GAS CAP - The portion of an oil-producing reservoir occupied by free gas; in a free state above an oil zone.

GAS LOST - Avoidably lost natural gas which is flared or vented (i.e., natural gas not retained in the production system for sale or use).

GAS WELL - A well that produces natural gas which is not associated with crude oil. GEOLOGY - The science of the history of the Earth and its life as recorded in rocks.

GAS ANCHOR - a tubular, perforated device attached to the bottom of a suckerrod pump that helps to prevent gas lock. The device works on the principle that gas, being lighter than oil, rises. As well fluids enter the anchor, gas breaks out of the fluid and exits from the anchor through perforations near the top. Remaining fluids enter the pump through a mosquito bill (a tube within the anchor), which has an opening near the bottom. In this way, all or most of the gas escapes before the fluids enter the pump.

GAS CAP - a free-gas phase overlying an oil zone and occurring within the same producing formation as the oil. See reservoir.

GAS-CAP DRIVE - drive energy supplied naturally (as a reservoir is produced) by the expansion of the gas cap. In such a drive, the gas cap expands to force oil into the well and to the surface. See reservoir drive mechanism.

GAS-CUT MUD - a drilling mud that contains entrained formation gas, giving the mud a characteristically fluffy texture. Gas cut mud may cause a lowering of mud weight.

GAS DRIVE - the use of the energy that arises from the expansion of compressed gas in a reservoir to move crude oil to a wellbore. Also called depletion drive. See dissolved-gas drive, gas-cap drive, reservoir drive mechanism.

GAS INJECTION - the injection of gas into a reservoir to maintain formation pressure by gas drive and to reduce the rate of decline of the original reservoir drive. One type of gas injection uses gas that does not mix (is not miscible) with the oil. Examples of these gases include natural gas, nitrogen, and flue gas. Another type uses gas that does mix (is miscible) with the oil. The gas may be naturally miscible or become miscible under high pressure. Examples of miscible gases include propane, methane enriched with other light hydrocarbons, methane under high pressure, and carbon dioxide under pressure. Frequently, water is also injected in alternating steps with the gas.

GAS INJECTION WELL - a well into which gas is injected for the purpose of maintaining or supplementing pressure in an oil reservoir.

GASKET - any material (such as paper, cork, asbestos, stainless steel or other types of metal, or rubber) used to seal two essentially stationary surfaces.

GAS LIFT - the process of raising or lifting fluid from a well by injecting gas down the well through tubing or through the tubing-casing annulus. Injected gas aerates the fluid to make it exert less pressure than the formation does; the resulting higher formation pressure forces the fluid out of the wellbore. Gas may be injected continuously or intermittently, depending on the producing characteristics of the well and the arrangement of the gas-lift equipment.

GAS-LIFT MANDREL - a device installed in the tubing string of a gas-lift well onto which or into which a gas-lift valve is fitted. There are two common types of mandrel. In the conventional gas-lift mandrel, the gas-lift valve is installed as the tubing is placed in the well. Thus, to replace or repair the valve, the tubing string must be pulled. In the sidepocket mandrel, however, the valve is installed and removed by wireline while the mandrel is still in the well, eliminating the need to pull the tubing to repair or replace the valve.

GAS-LIFT VALVE - a device installed on a gas-lift mandrel, which in turn is put on the tubing string of a gas-lift well. Tubing and casing pressures cause the valve to open and close, thus allowing gas to be injected into the fluid in the tubing to cause the fluid to rise to the surface. See gas-lift mandrel.

GAS-LIFT WELL - a well in which reservoir fluids are artificially lifted by the injection of gas.

GAS LOCK - 1. a condition sometimes encountered in a pumping well when dissolved gas, released from solution during the upstroke of the plunger, appears as free gas between the valves. If the gas pressure is sufficient, the standing valve is locked shut, and no fluid enters the tubing. 2. a device fitted to the gauging hatch on a pressure tank that enables manual dipping and sampling without loss of vapor. 3. a condition that can occur when gas-cut mud is circulated by the mud pump. The gas breaks out of the mud, expands, and works against the operation of the piston and valves.

GAS WELL - a well that primarily produces gas. Legal definitions vary among the states.

GEL - a semisolid, jellylike state assumed by some colloidal dispersions at rest.

GEOLOGIST - a scientist who gathers and interprets data pertaining to the formations of the earth’s crust.

GO IN THE HOLE - to lower the drill stem, the tubing, the casing, or the sucker rods into the wellbore.

GONE TO WATER - pertaining to a well in which production of oil has decreased and production of water has increased (for example, “the well has gone to water”).

GOOSENECT - the curved connection between the rotary hose and the swivel.

GRAVEL - sand or glass beads of uniform size and roundness used in gravel packing.

GRAVEL PACKING - a method of well completion in which a slotted or perforated liner, often wire-wrapped, is placed in the well and surrounded by gravel. If open hole, the well is sometimes enlarged by underreaming at the point where the gravel is packed. The mass of gravel excludes sand from the wellbore but allows continued production.

GUIDE SHOE - 1. a short, heavy, cylindrical section of steel filled with concrete and rounded at the bottom, which is placed at the end of the casing string. It prevents the casing from snagging on irregularities in the borehole as it is lowered.

GUY LINE ANCHOR - a buried weight or anchor to which a guy line is attached.

GUY WIRE - a rope or cable used to steady a mast or pole.


Process Engineering Term - C & D

Process Engineering Term - C

CARRIED WORKING INTEREST - A fractional interest in an oil and gas property conveyed or assigned to another party by the operator or owner of the working interest. In its simplest form, a carried working interest is exempt from all costs of development and operation of the property. However, the carried interest may specify “to casing point”, “to setting of tanks”, or “through well completion”. If the arrangement specifies through well completion, then the carried interest may assume the equivalent fractional interest of operating costs upon completion of the well. There are many different types of carried interests, the details varying considerably from arrangement to arrangement. One authority has observed, “The numerous forms this interest is given from time to time make it apparent the term ‘carried interest’ does not define any specific form of agreement but serves only as a guide in preparing and interpreting instruments”.

CASING - Steel pipe used in oil wells to seal off fluids in the rocks from the bore hole and to prevent the walls of the hole from caving.

CASINGHEAD - The top of the casing set in a well; the part of the casing that protrudes above the surface and to which the control valves and flow pipes are attached.

CASINGHEAD GAS - Gas produced from an oil well as distinguished from gas from a gas well. The casinghead gas is taken off at the top of the well or at the separator.

CASING POINT - A term that designates a time when a decision must be made whether casing is to be run and set or the well abandoned and plugged. In a joint operating agreement, casing point refers to the time when a well has been drilled to objective depth, tests made, and the operator notifies the drilling parties of his recommendation with respect to setting casing and a production string and completing the well. On a marginal well, the decision to set pipe is often difficult. To case a well often costs as much as the drilling. On a very good well there is no hesitation; the operators are glad to run casing and complete the well.

CEMENT - (1) To fix the casing firmly in the hole with cement, which is pumped through the drillpipe to the bottom of the casing and up into the annular space between the casing and the walls of the well bore. After the cement sets (hardens), it is drilled out of the casing. The casing is then perforated to allow oil and gas to enter the well. (2) Sedimentary. Mineral material, usually precipitated chemically, that fills the spaces between individual grains of a consolidated (hard) sedimentary rock; the binding material that holds the grains together. The most common binders are silica, carbonates, and certain iron oxides. Other cements are clay minerals, barite, gypsum, anhydrite, and pyrite.

CHOKE - A type of orifice installed at the surface on the tubing string to adjust and control the amount of oil or gas flowing from a well. It is customary to refer to the production of a well as so many barrels or thousands of cubic feet through a 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch choke, or whatever the size of the opening. The flowing pressure exerted by the well's production give an indication of the strength of the well, and is helpful in determining whether a well is commercial

CHRISTMAS TREE - (1) An assembly of valves mounted on the casinghead through which a well is produced. The Christmas tree also contains valves for testing the well and for shutting it in if necessary. (2) A subsea production system similar to a conventional land tree except it is assembled complete for remote installation on the seafloor with or without diver assistance. The marine tree is installed from the drilling platform; it is lowered into position on guide cables anchored to foundation legs implanted in the ocean floor. The tree is then latched mechanically or hydraulically to the casinghead by remote control.

COMMERCIAL WELL - A well of sufficient net production that it could be expected to pay out in a reasonable time and yield a profit from the operation. A shallow 50-barrel-a-day well in a readily accessible location onshore could be a commercial well. Such a well in virtually any offshore area where enormously expensive producing facilities and pipe lines would have to be constructed would not be considered commercial.

COMPLETED WELL - A well that has been mechanically completed for production or service use. There may be more than one completed zone in the well. (See Active well.)

COMPLETION - To finish a well so that it is ready to produce oil or gas. After reaching total depth (T.D.), casing is run and cemented; casing is perforated opposite the producing zone, tubing is run, and control and flow valves are installed at the wellhead. Well completions vary according to the kind of well, depth, and the formation from which the well is to produce.

COMPLETION FUNDS - Completion funds are formed to invest in well completions, to finance the completing and equipping of a potentially productive well. After a well is drilled into a productive formation, there remain the costs of setting pipe, (casing the well); perforating, testing, acidizing, or fracturing the formation; and running production tubing and installing pumping equipment, separators, stock tanks, etc. The operator who drills the well may not have the financial resources to complete the well, so he may sell part or all of his interests to a completion fund. Completion funds are not as risky an investment as drilling funds, but are less certain than income funds and royalty funds.

CONCESSION - Usually used in foreign operations and refers to a large block of acreage granted to the operator by the host government for a certain time and under certain government conditions which allows the operator to conduct exploratory and/or development operations. The Concession Agreement assures the holder of certain rights under the law.

CONDENSATE - A natural gas liquid with a low vapor pressure, compared with natural gasoline and liquified petroleum gas. It is produced from a deep well where the temperature and pressure are high. Gas condenses as it rises up the wellbore and reaches the surface as condensate. Similarly, condensate separates out naturally in pipelines or in a separation plant by the normal process of condensation.

CONTINENTAL MARGIN - A zone separating the emergent continents from the deep sea bottoms.

CONTINENTAL SHELF - A broad, gently sloping, shallow feature extending from the shore to the continental slope.

CONTINENTAL SLOPE - A relatively steep, narrow feature paralleling the continental shelf; the region in which the steepest descent of the ocean bottom occurs.

CORE SAMPLE - A solid column of rock, usually from 2 - 4 inches in diameter, taken from the bottom of a well bore as a sample of an underground formation. Cores are also taken in geological studies of an area to determine the oil and gas prospects.

CRUDE OIL - Oil as it comes from the well; unrefined petroleum.

Process Engineering Term - D

DEMONSTRATED RESERVES (API) - A collective term for the sum of proved and indicated reserves. Proved reserves are estimated with reasonable certainty to be recovered under current economic conditions. Indicated reserves are economic reserves in known productive reservoirs in existing fields expected to respond to improved recovery techniques where (1) an improved technique has been installed but its effect cannot yet be fully evaluated, or (2) an improved technique has not been installed but knowledge of reservoir characteristics and the results of a known technique installed in a similar situation are available for use in the estimating procedure.

DEPOSIT - An accumulation of oil or gas capable of being produced commercially.

DERRICK - A wooden or steel structure built over a wellsite to provide support for drilling equipment and a tall mast for raising and lowering drillpipe and casing; a drilling rig.

DEVELOPMENT WELLS - Wells drilled in an area already proved to be productive.

DIAPIR - A mass of rock, usually salt, which has come from a slightly deeper part of the earth's surface by piercing through overlying layers of sediment through a zone of weakness.

DIRECTIONAL DRILLING - The technique of drilling at an angle from the vertical by deflecting the drill bit. Directional wells are drilled to develop an offshore lease from one drilling platform; to reach a pay zone where drilling cannot be done, such as beneath a shipping lane.

DISCOVERY WELL - An exploratory well that encounters a new and previously untapped petroleum deposit; a successful wildcat well. A discovery well may also open a new horizon in an established field.

DOME - A roughly symmetrical upfold of the layers of rock in which the beds dip in all directions more or less equally from a common point; any deformation characterized by local uplift and approximately circular in outline; e.g. the salt domes of Louisiana and Texas.

DOWNHOLE - A term to describe tools, equipment, and instruments used in the well bore; also conditions or techniques applying to the well bore.

DRILL CUTTINGS - Chips and small fragments of drilled rock that are brought to the surface by the flow of the drilling mud as it is circulated.

DRILL PIPE - Heavy, thich walled, hollow steel pipe used in rotary drilling to turn the drill bit and to provide a conduit for the drilling mud.

DRILLING CONTRACTOR - A person or company whose business is drilling wells. Wells are drilled on several contract specifications: per foot, day rate, or turnkey (that is, upon completion). Most major oil companies do not own drilling rigs. Exploration and development drilling is contracted. Personnel manning the rigs work for the contractor.

DRILLING MUD - A special mixture of clay, water, or refined oil, and chemical additives pumped downhole through the drill pipe and drill bit. The mud cools the rapidly rotating bit; lubricates the drill pipe as it turns in the well bore; carries rock cuttings to the surface; serves as a plaster to prevent the wall of the borehole from crumbling or collapsing; and provides the weight or hydrostatic head to prevent extraneous fluids from entering the well bore and to control downhole pressures that may be encountered.

DRY HOLE - A well drilled to a certain depth without finding commercially exploitable hydrocarbons.

DRILLING PERMIT - In states that regulate well spacing, a drilling permit is the authorization to drill at a specified location; a well permit.

DRY GAS - A natural gas from the well free of liquid hydrocarbons; gas that has been treated to remove all liquids; pipeline gas.


Process Engineering Term - A & B

Process Engineering Term - A

ABANDONED WELL - A dry hole in which no producible oil or gas was present, or a well that has stopped producing. Abandoned wells must be plugged to prevent seepage of oil, gas, or water from one formation to another.

ABANDONED WELL - A well no longer in use; a dry hole that, in most states, must be properly plugged.

ACIDIZING A WELL- A technique for increasing the flow of oil from a well. Hydrochloric acid is pumped into the well under high pressure to reopen and enlarge the pores in the oil-bearing limestone formations.

ACID TREATMENT - A refining process in which unfinished petroleum products such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuels, and lubricating stocks are treated with sulfuric acid to improve color, odor, and other properties.

ACOUSTIC LOG - A generic term for a well log that displays any of several measurements of acoustic waves in rocks exposed in a borehole, e.g., compressional-wave transmit time over an interval (sonic log) or relative amplitude (cement bond log).

ACTIVE WELL - A well in mechanical condition for production or service use (i.e., in active production or service use).

AMINE - Organic base used in refining operations to absorb acidic gases (H2S, COS, CO2) occurring in process streams. Two common amines are monoethanolamine (MEA) and diethanolamine (DEA).

AMINE UNIT - A natural gas treatment unit for removing contaminants (H2S, COS, CO2) by the use of amines. Amine units are often skid-mounted so they can be moved to the site of new gas production. Gas containing H2S and other impurities must be cleaned up before it is acceptable to gas transmission pipelines.

ANTICLINE - An upfold or arch of stratified rock in which the beds or layers bend downward in opposite directions form the crest or axis of the fold.

API - The American Petroleum Institute is the oil industry's trade organization. API's research and engineering work provides a basis for establishing operating and safety standard issues; specifications for the manufacturing of oil field equipment; and furnishes statistical and other information to related agencies.

APPRAISAL DRILLING - Wells drilled in the vicinity of a discovery or wildcat well in order to evaluate the extent and the importance of the find.

AREA OF INTEREST - The area immediately surrounding a successful well in which the investors (in the good well) have an implied right to participate in any future wells drilled by the same operator.

ARTIFICIAL LIFT - Pumping an oil well with a rod, tubing, or bottom-hole centrifugal pump may be termed artificially lifting crude oil to the surface or doing so by mechanical means.

ASSIGNMENT - In oil and gas usage, assignment is a transfer of a property or an interest in an oil or gas property; most commonly, the transfer of an oil or gas lease. The assignor does the transferring and the assignee receives the interest of property.

ASSOCIATED GAS - Gas that occurs with oil, either as free gas or in solution. Gas occurring alone in a reservoir is unassociated gas. Gas combined with oil. Known also as gas cap gas and solution gas, it provides the drive mechanism needed to force oil to the surface of a well. Associated gas is normally present in an oil reservoir in the early stages of production.

ATTIC OIL - An unscientific, but descriptive term for the oil above the borehole in horizontal wells; oil in the top few feet of a productive interval which will gravitate or be pressured into the horizontal drain hole.

AUSTRALIAN OFFSET - A humorous reference to a well drilled miles away from proven production.

Process Engineering Term - B

BACK-IN-PROVISION - A term used to describe a provision in a farmout agreement whereby the person granting the farmout (the farmor) has the option to exchange a retained override for a share of the working interest.

BARREL - The standard unit of measure of liquids in the petroleum industry; it contains 42 U.S. standard gallons.

BARREL of Oil EQUIVALENT (BOE) - The amount of energy resource (in this document, natural gas) that is equal to one barrel of oil on an energy basis. The conversion is based on the assumption that one barrel of oil produces the same amount of energy when burned as 5,620 cubic feet of natural gas.

BASIN - A depression of the earth's surface into which sediments are deposited, usually characterized by sediment accumulation over a long interval; a broad area of the earth beneath which layers of rock are inclined, usually from the sides toward the center.

BASKET PRICE - The blanket or average price of crude oil on the world market. For example, the basket price of $18.00/bbl. could mean average price of average gravity. Lower-gravity crude with high-transit cost would bring less than $18.00, and conversely, higher gravity crude with low sulfur and close to market would be a premium - a basket of crude oils of differing gravities, sulfur content, sweet and sour.

BATTERY - Two or more tanks connected together to receive oil production on a lease; tank battery.

BED - A layer of rock, usually sediments, which is homogeneous (the same) in composition. One bed is separated from another by a bedding plane.

BEHIND THE PIPE - Refers to oil and gas reservoirs penetrated or passed through by wells, but never tapped or produced. Behind the pipe usually refers to tight formations of low permeability that, although recognized, were passed through because they were uneconomical to produce at the time. Today, however, with the growing scarcity of oil and high prices, many of these passed-through formations are getting a second look by producers.

B.H.T. - Bottom-hole temperature. In deep wells, 15,000 feet and deeper, bottom-hole temperatures are above the boiling point of water, ranging up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. At these depths and temperatures, water-base drilling muds can not be used, only oil-based.

BID - An offer for an OCS lease submitted by a potential lessee in the form of a cash bonus dollar amount or other commitments as specified in the final notice of sale.

BIOGENESIS - Formed by the presence or the actions of living organisms, for example, coral reefs and atolls. Biogenesis is also the theory that all life is derived from previously living organisms.

BIT, ROTARY - The tool attached to the lower end of the drillpipe; a heavy steel head equipped with various types of cutting or grinding teeth. Some are fixed; some turn on bearings. A hole in the bottom of the drill permits the flow of drilling mud being pumped down through the drillpipe to wash the cuttings to the surface and also cool and lubricate the bit.

BIT, SPUDDING - A bit used to start the borehole; a bit that is some variation of the fishtail or drag bit, one used in soft, unconsolidated, near-surface material.

BLINDPOOL - Money put into a drilling fund that is held by the fund managers until likely prospects for drilling are found or come along. The rationale for the blind fund is that with ready money, the fund managers can act quickly when good opportunities for investment arise. Blind fund money usually is kept in an interest-bearing account while waiting for a hot prospect.

BLOCK - A numbered area on an OCS leasing map or official protraction diagram (OPD). Blocks are portions of OCS leasing maps and OPD's that are themselves portions of planning areas. Blocks vary in size, but typical ones are 5,000 to 5,760 acres (about 9 square miles or 2,304 hectares). Each block has a specific identifying number, area, and latitude and longitude coordinates that can be pinpointed on a leasing map of OPD.

BLOWING A WELL - Opening a well to let it blow for a short period to free the well tubing or casing of accumulations of water, sand, or other deposits.

BLOWOUT - Out-of-control gas and/or oil pressure erupting from a well being drilled; a dangerous, uncontrolled eruption of gas and oil from a well; a wild well.

BLOWOUT PREVENTER - A stack or an assembly of heavy-duty valves attached to the top of the casing to control well pressure; a “Christmas tree”.

BONUS - Usually, the bonus is the money paid by the lessee for the execution of an oil and gas lease by the landowner. Another form is called an oil or royalty bonus. This may be in the form of an overriding royalty reserved to the landowner in addition to the usual one-eighth royalty.

BOREHOLE - The hole in the earth made by the drill; the uncased drill hole from the surface to the bottom of the well.

B.P.M. - Barrels per minute. The pumping rate of small rotary pumps.

BRIDGE PLUG - An expandable plug used in a well’s casing to isolate producing zones or to plug back to produce from a shallower formation; also to isolate a section of the borehole to be filled with cement when a well is plugged.

BUTANE - A hydrocarbon fraction; at ordinary atmospheric conditions, butane is a gas but it is easily liquefied; one of the most useful L.P.-gases; widely used household fuel.

BUTANE SPLITTER - A type of fractionator vessel at a gas reformer plant that produces commercial propane as well as normal and isobutanes. Splitters are fired with natural gas to provide heat for the distillation.



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