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Dictionary of
Oil and Gas

Clifford Jones

Whittles Publishing

Page 148



LB 200 started its pipe laying work at the Sleipner platform in the Norwe-
gian sector of the North Sea, working in the direction of Langeled. Solitaire
began its duty at Langeled and then moved to Nyhmana to commence
pipe laying work there. One effect of the Langeled pipeline when it came
into service in late 2006 was to make the UK for a period a net importer
of natural gas, having previously been a net exporter. (See also Ormen
Lange Field; Scarab and Saffron Fields; Statpipe.)


Gel pig from Aubin Subsea. Its unusual feature is its elasticity. If along its
route there is partial blockage reducing the effective diameter of the pipe,
the pig will, on exiting that part of the pipe, return to full pipe diameter. The
manufacturer’s web pages describe this effect as a ‘gel pig with a memory’.
It has been used in the North Sea in commissioning and decommissioning
of pipelines. MEG Gel, from the same manufacturer, is often placed in front
of L-Gel and carried along by it.

Leighton Eclipse

Newly built pipe laying barge having made its debut at the Mumbai High
Field where it laid 2820 m, comprising 235 sections of 12 m length, in one
day. The pipe so laid is 16 inches in diameter. This is part of a pipeline which
will eventually extend to 80 km so at the rate of the initial lay this will take:

80000 m/2820 m d–1 = 28 d

The pipeline being laid by Leighton Eclipse is a replacement of an existing

Leiv Eiriksson

Semi-submersible rig, built in China and entering service in 2001. It has
been in use off Angola and can operate in water depths of up to 2300 m,
making the claim by its operator Ocean Rig that it is for ‘ultra deep water’
use quite sustainable. In 2011 Leiv Eiriksson was departing Istanbul for
Greenland when Greenpeace ‘activists’ boarded it and placed on its derrick
a banner reading ‘Stop Arctic Destruction’. The rig continued on its way.
The rig is to operate close to Greenland on behalf of Cairn Energy, at the
invitation of the government of Greenland. (See Disko Island.)


Substance intermediate between peat and lignite having a higher content of
humic acids than a lignite would. Occurring in places including New Mexico
USA, it can be used in the production of drilling muds enabling the viscosity

Page 149


of a particular mud to be reduced. Leonardite might be processed for such
use, as with HUMIN P 775. Leonardite and other humic substances can
be used in filtration control. Where leonardite is not available, lignites –
brown coals – can be used to make humic products for drilling fluids and
other applications such as soil treatment. As already noted they are lower
in humic acids than leonardite but not so much so as to preclude such
use. This has sometimes led to synonymous use of the terms ‘leonardite’
and ‘lignite’ and as long as this is understood as only applying to use of
the respective substances in drilling mud manufacture this is acceptable.
The two terms are not of course synonymous in other senses. That lignites
are hydrophilic is clear from the form in which they occur naturally. Some in
bed-moist state are 65% moisture and the term ‘giant sponge’ is sometimes
applied to a deposit of lignite. This property is part of their function in some
drilling muds. Leonardite can be treated so as to make it organophilic. In
this form it is used in oil based drilling muds as a filtration control agent,
for example DURATONE® E.

Leviathan Field

Gas ‘prospect’ in the Mediterranean. It is in Israeli waters, although Lebanon
is vigorously asserting a claim at least to part of it. The water depth is
1634 m. The semi-submersible rig Sedco Express commenced drilling an
exploration well there in October 2010. Results are awaited and might be
disappointing, but of the order of 450 billion cubic metres of natural gas
is hoped for. This is thermally equivalent to 2.5 to 3 billion barrels of crude
oil, the amount at the Tiber Field39. Other Israeli oil fields including the
Tamar Field will add not insignificantly to this. If these finds of gas enable
Israel to become self-sufficient in energy that will affect the very delicate
relationship which the country has with its oil-producing neighbours.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG), manufacture of

LNG is a staple fuel and at any one time there are many LNG tankers on
the oceans. The world’s largest importer of LNG is Japan and the world’s
largest exporter is Malaysia. The USA exports LNG only from Alaska and
that is about to cease. The method of manufacture of LNG is as follows.
Gas (which, if it was associated gas, will previously have been separated
from crude oil) is treated to remove impurities such as carbon dioxide and
hydrogen sulphide using such substances as MEA. It is then cooled by
refrigeration to remove condensate and refrigerated further to −160°C
which is the normal boiling point of methane. At this stage it becomes a
cryogenic liquid in equilibrium with its own vapour at 1 bar, and that is the
product known as LNG. There are a number of technologies for making
LNG and they differ in the details of refrigeration. Mixed refrigerants are

Leviathan Field

Page 296



criterion. The definition probably reflects the fact that permeabilities typical of
many shale natural gas reserves would not be expected at conventional fields.
Approximately synonymous use of the terms represents current usage in the
industry. The permeability figure for tight gas in this footnote is lower than that
given for Green River WY but not by an order of magnitude. (See also Argentina,
unconventional gas plays in, Woodford OK.)

60 The same manufacturer offers a range of downhole motors of power up to
about 10 h.p.

61 Each from from the Teekay web pages.
62 There is also a Skua Field offshore Australia.
63 An SPE conference paper on Brage describes the formation as being ‘streaky’.
64 In the entry for Texas East Transmission, and those to which it is linked.
65 The following is taken from a discourse on natural gas on the web: Typical

conventional natural gas deposits boast a permeability level of .01 to .5 darcy,
but the formations trapping tight gas reserves portray permeability levels of
merely a fraction of that, measuring in the millidarcy or microdarcy range.

The low end of the range given in the main entry converts to 10 microdarcys.
(See also Vernon Field.)

66 For a photograph of one of these four spud cans go to: http://www.lamprell.

67 This is an accepted acronym. Occasionally the same letters are used casually
to denote semi-submersible drilling vessel.

68 ‘Falcon’ in the local language.
69 Denoting ATP Oil and Gas Corporation, founded 1991 with its HQ in Houston.
70 There is also a Sable Field offshore South Africa. (See Glas Dowr.)
71 For a photograph of Tog Mor showing the stinger in the downward position go

72 The term ‘inhibited acid’ should not be confused with ‘retarded acid’, which

means acid containing a thickener to control the rate of diffusion into the
formation. Hydrogen fluoride, in view of its low molecular weight, often needs
to be so ‘retarded’ when used in well stimulation. The term SRH-RHF – slow-
release-hydrogen retarded-hydrofluoric-acid – has been coined by a major well
services company.

73 A reader disposed to do so has enough information to repeat the calculation
for other pipelines including Alliance and GTN.

74 URTM, denoting a tool for under reaming, is a trademark of Halliburton.
75 1 tonne = 1.1023 US ton
76 On Saturday 9 April 2011 there was a gas leak at the Visund field. Occupants of

the platform were evacuated and production suspended until operator Statoil
had had the opportunity to investigate.

77 This has a sad dimension. Having made the discovery of gas described Sea Gem
was being dismantled in readiness for movement to another scene of activity

Page 297


when it capsized with loss of 13 lives. The other 19 occupants were rescued.
78 Not to be confused with the drill ship ‘Discoverer Seven Seas’, which features

in two entries of this dictionary.
79 ‘Lord of the Sea’
80 When Kazakhstan was Kazakh SSR.
81 Psalm 16 verse 6, King James Version.

Dictionary of Oil and Gas Production

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