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Petroleum Abstracts Bulletin Category Topics

GEOLOGY

The Geology category includes articles and patents on:
  • Basic geological knowledge and the fundamentals of petroleum geology.
  • Interpretation of geologic data collected in areas of proven or potential hydrocarbon accumulations.
  • Geological techniques for age determination.
  • Geological exploration methods and equipment.
  • Geologic data processing and mathematical geology, including statistical evaluations and predictions.
  • Igneous petrology and hard rock geology only if the material relates to the structure or development of reservoir rocks.
  • Crystal structure of clay minerals if the study applies to petroleum geology.
  • Invertebrate paleontology and palynology that relate to determining the age, depositional environment, recognition or correlation of stratigraphic rock units.
  • General geological surveys (non-petroleum oriented) if the region is not predominantly a hard rock area, or if it is one for which little information is available.
  • Quaternary geology, including Recent (Holocene), only when the material is considered to be useful for the interpretation and/or correlation of ancient strata such as facies, depositional environments, diagenesis, or sedimentary structures.
  • Geomorphology only if the material contributes to the interpretation of ancient geological or geomorphological structures and processes.
  • Exploration data and statistics from pools, fields, and broad geographic or political divisions, with the exception of monthly statistical compilations which are later compiled on an annual basis.
  • News and current events only if they are of unusual and possibly lasting significance and contain geological information.
  • Aquifer only if material relates to the hydrocarbon reservoir environment.

GEOCHEMISTRY

The Geochemistry category includes articles and patents on:
  • Chemical or microbiological prospecting for petroleum.
  • Methods for and the results of organic and inorganic analyses of natural gases, crude oil, and subsurface water in petroleum reservoirs.
  • Origin and migration of petroleum.
  • Chemical and physical studies of petroleum source rocks such as carbonates, shales, and other sedimentary rocks.
  • Isotopic or other chemical techniques for age determination of natural materials.
  • Distribution, ecology, and metabolism of bacteria in recent sediments and subterranean environments, with emphasis on new techniques, but only when the material is considered to be applicable to the petroleum industry.
  • Techniques used to determine the physical and chemical properties of materials are selected if they are applicable to petroleum exploration and production, including mass spectrometry, gas and paper chromatography, trace element analysis, neutron activation analysis, and differential thermal analysis.

GEOPHYSICS

The Geophysics category includes articles and patents on:
  • Geophysical instruments, methods, and survey results in connection with petroleum exploration and production (field development).
  • Geophysical methods including seismic, gravity, radioactive, geothermal, magnetic, resistivity, electropotential, telluric current, electromagnetic, vertical seismic profiling, and any other geophysical exploration methods.
  • Surveying and location-finding methods only when specific petroleum exploration and production applications are included.
  • Significant new transportation methods for geophysical equipment and crews operating in difficult terrain.
  • Processing and interpretation of geophysical data, including computer techniques.
  • Theoretical articles describing the transmission of sound and other physical properties of rocks and related pure materials, if considered to be of value to research related to petroleum.
  • Sound propagation through water only when specific petroleum exploration applications are included.
  • Earth physics, such as geomagnetism, earth currents, seismology, geodesy, gravity, geothermometry and polar wandering, only when they contribute to the interpretation of exploration geophysical measurements.
  • Geophysical models that pertain to petroleum exploration and production.

DRILLING (WELL)

In general, all publications relating to new technology in the drilling industry are selected for the Drilling (Well) category, with the exception of brief promotional news releases. This includes the following:
  • Significant developments in equipment or technique.
  • Historical articles only if they contain significant data about an area.
  • Annual forecasts and review articles dealing with drilling, as well as comprehensive tabulations of drilling rigs, contractors, etc. Listings of current wells being drilled, completions, etc., are considered transitory and are not selected for abstracting.
  • Drilling rig transportation, design, automation, instrumentation, equipment, etc.
  • Drilling research, such as improved bit design or thermal drilling methods.
  • Drill stem testing.
  • Drilling fluid.
  • Coring operations.
  • Drill stem design.
  • Drilling platform construction, maintenance and repairs.
  • Operations of specific drilling units including problems of logistics and hostile weather.
  • Significant changes in government policies that might affect domestic or foreign operations.
Related topics covered in other categories:
  • Oil mining techniques (tar sands, oil shales, etc.). See Alt Fuels & Energy Sources.
  • Offshore structures in general, such as design and structural mechanics. See Producing Oil & Gas.
  • Related oceanographic topics, such as wave and ice hazards, evaluation of seafloor foundations, diving equipment and techniques, navigation, and use of underwater vehicles. See Science & Engineering.
  • Logging while Drilling. See Well Logging & Surveying.
  • Mud Logging. See Well Logging & Surveying.
  • Core Analyses. See Reservoir Eng & Rec Methods.
  • Drill stem test analysis. See Reservoir Eng & Rec Methods.
  • Drilling-waste disposal and environmental impact. See Health, Safety & Environ.
  • Exploratory rock and sediment coring or sampling. See Geology, Geochemistry, or Geophysics.
Topics not covered:
  • Mining equipment and operations not concerned with petroleum.
  • Water-well drilling.
  • Short-term statistical reports (weekly or monthly).
  • Announcements of offshore lease auctions.
  • Interviews or political commentaries on current drilling activities or government regulations.

WELL LOGGING & SURVEYING

Articles or patents describing well logging equipment, procedures, or log interpretation techniques are selected for this category, including:
  • Down-hole surveys, including not only conventional logging techniques (nuclear, electric, acoustic, etc.) but also physical borehole measurements (temperature, caliper, fluid flow profiling, etc.).
  • Mud logging.
  • Seismic velocity surveys, but only if conducted from a borehole. Otherwise, they are included in the Geophysics section.
  • Logging while drilling and Seismic while drilling.
Related topics covered in other categories:
  • Vertical seismic profiling. See Geophysics or Reservoir Eng & Rec Methods.

WELL COMPL SERV & WORKOVER

Articles and patents relating to well completion, servicing, and workover procedures, tools, and equipment are covered in this category. Workover refers to remedial operations on a producing well to try to increase production. Coverage includes:
  • Casing string design.
  • Tubing string design
  • Completion procedures. For example, cementing and perforating.
  • Stimulation procedures.
  • Workover techniques. For example, acidizing, explosive and hydraulic fracturing, paraffin removal, and scale removal.
  • Abandonment of wells and well plugging procedures.

PRODUCING OIL & GAS

Articles and patents included in this category describe operations and equipment used after production has commenced. Included are:
  • Both surface and down-hole installations.
  • Down-hole equipment, such as pumps, valves, chokes, etc.
  • Artificial lift.
  • Field processing equipment designed to break emulsions and to separate gas or water from the oil.
  • Any oil processing that takes place on, or could take place on, the lease, before the oil is sent to the refinery.
  • Any gas processing that takes place on, or could take place on, the lease, such as dehydration, desulfurization, separation of higher alkanes, recovery of natural gas liquids, liquefaction, or blending.
  • Gas to liquids (GTL) conversion of natural gas, such as stranded or remote gas, to liquid transportation fuels. The Fischer Tropsch process, synthesis gas, and catalysts are covered as related to GTL but not refinery operations.
  • Production platform construction, maintenance and repairs.
  • Offshore structures in general, such as design and structural mechanics.
  • Offshore processing facilities and production operations, including personnel training and transportation, safety equipment and procedures, and process automation and metering instrumentation.
Related topics covered in other categories:
  • Reservoir factors influencing oil or gas production. See Reservoir Eng & Rec Methods.

RESERVOIR ENG & REC METHODS

Articles and patents describing the underground (reservoir) aspects of oil and gas recovery are included in the Reservoir Engineering & Recovery Methods category. Included are:
  • Theoretical articles covering such topics as fluid flow through porous media, phase behavior, and heat and mass transfer relationships, when they bear a close relationship to petroleum recovery techniques.
  • Formation evaluation.
  • Core analyses.
  • Drill stem test analysis.
  • Reserves estimates and methods of estimation.
  • Optimization for maximum recovery.
  • Reservoir modeling.
  • Mathematical analyses of reservoir characteristics and methods of mathematical analysis with direct application to reservoir engineering.
  • Enhanced recovery methods, secondary and tertiary recovery, including in situ combustion, steam or hot waterflooding, gas cycling, chemical injection, and microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR).
  • Low permeability reservoir theory and applications, including tight gas reservoirs and tight formations.
  • Unconventional gas recovery, including tight gas sands, Devonian gas shales, gas hydrates, coalbed methane, deep source gas, shale gas.
  • Unconventional oil recovery, including underground methods to recover viscous crude oil or bitumen from oil sands or tar sands such as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD).
  • Engineering studies of specific areas, especially documented field histories.
  • Conservation techniques, such as unitization.
Related topics covered in other categories:
  • Recovery of tar sands oil and recovery of shale oil. See Alt Fuels & Energy Sources.
  • Reservoir studies for gas storage or crude oil storage in underground storage facilities. See Pipelining, Ship & Storage.

PIPELINING, SHIP & STORAGE

The Pipelining, Ship & Storage category covers the on-lease storage of crude oil and its transportation to the refinery. Articles must include technical data or describe the solution of special problems, not comprise merely news items announcing the planning or completion of a particular project. Included are:
  • Natural gas transportation by pipeline. Main trunklines and transmission lines only; not residential distribution networks.
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or compressed natural gas (CNG) transportation by pipeline or tanker.
  • LNG or LPG storage tanks, receiving and regasification terminals.
  • Transportation and storage of natural gas in the hydrate state.
  • Design and construction of crude oil or natural gas pipelines (gathering lines and trunklines).
  • Design and construction of underwater pipelines.
  • Pipe testing and inspection techniques.
  • Leak detection.
  • Pipeline automation.
  • Pump and compressor stations.
  • Storage facilities (above ground, below ground, underwater). Underground storage facilities for gas storage and crude oil storage include depleted reservoirs, aquifers, and caverns.
  • Flow metering and control equipment.
  • Custody transfer.
  • Marine transportation, tankers and offshore terminals.
  • Corrosion control techniques, such as cathodic protection and coating procedures and materials.
  • Pigging operations.
  • Flaw detection techniques.
  • Patents on valves, flowmeters and liquid level gages are chosen only when they specifically relate to oil or natural gas operations, and represent significant new developments in technology.
  • Tankers, only when they apply to crude oil, LNG, LPG or CNG service. As of 1991, this includes the technologies of tanker cleaning and bilge disposal.
  • Marine corrosion and fouling are carefully evaluated so as to include only highly significant items.
Topics not covered:
  • Product pipelines or other transportation means for a refinery.
  • Storage of gasoline, fuels oils or CNG at marketing outlets.
  • Transportation facilities for propane, butane, or manufactured gases.
  • Transportation of kerosine, fuel oil or other products by tanker.

ALT FUELS & ENERGY SOURCES

Selections under the Alt Fuels & Energy Sources category make no attempt to cover the entire energy field. They are confined to those topics that are related to petroleum exploration and production. Coverage is given to:
  • Oil mining techniques for tar sand and oil shale.
  • Separation processes to extract oil from the rock above ground.
  • Tar sand and shale oil reserves.
  • In situ coal gasification operations are selected due to their close association to in situ combustion and similar thermal recovery processes.
  • Geothermal energy, both exploration and production, when pertinent and applicable to petroleum industry operations.
  • Solar energy, wind power and differential thermal energy from the ocean are selected only as they represent potential power sources for such things as offshore operations or cathodic protection systems.
  • Topics not covered:
  • Refinery operations, such as the manufacture of synthetic gas and crude oil by retorting of coal, or cracking of heavy oil.
  • Nuclear power.
  • Generation of electric power from fossil fuels.
  • General usage of solar or wind energy.

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

This category was added in July 2006. Previously these topics were covered in the Supplemental Technology category.

Selections under the Business & Economics category all have direct application to petroleum exploration, production, and transportation including the following topics:

  • Management-oriented articles, including accounting practices and investment profitability and payout.
  • Supply and demand, imports, potential shortages and predictions of future production.
  • Government regulations and bureaucracy.
No attempt is made to cover management, regulatory, or financial articles comprehensively.

HEALTH, SAFETY & ENVIRON

This category was added in July 2006. Previously these topics were covered in the Ecology & Pollution or Supplemental Technology categories.

Publications primarily dealing with health, safety, environmental pollution, pollution control, emission control, and effluent control are selected for the Health, Safety & Environ category when they pertain to the exploration, production, and transportation of petroleum, tar sand oil, or shale oil; to in situ processing of coal; or to petroleum fractions, for example gasoline or diesel fuel. Subjects primarily covered include:

  • Personnel topics, such as health, safety, and training.
  • Prevention, detection, control, and remediation of pollution effects within the scope of our coverage, including
    • oil spills
    • pipeline leaks
    • storage tank leaks
    • disposal well leaks
    • disposal or treatment of oil field brine, produced water, and waste gas
    • disposal of tanker bilge
    • disposal of drilling waste
    • abandonment of wells
    • abandonment and salvaging operations of offshore structures
  • Toxicity studies on crude oil and petroleum fractions and their effects on living organisms.
  • Environmental impact studies within the scope of our coverage.
  • On-site abandonment of platform jackets, etc., and the study of long-range environmental effects.
  • Geological sequestration of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, for enhanced recovery or storage in aquifers.
Other categories may also include some information about the ecological and environmental aspects of their subject areas.

Related topics covered in other categories:

  • The use of sulfur dioxide as an oxidizing agent for hydrogen sulfide in gas processing plants. See Producing Oil & Gas.
Topics not covered:
  • Disposal of industrial or nuclear power plant waste.
  • Vehicle emission control.
  • Removal of sulfur dioxide from flue gas.
  • Environmental impact of mining for minerals.
  • Spills or leaks at refineries or service stations.

SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

This category was added in July 2006. Previously these topics were covered in the Supplemental Technology category.

The Science & Engineering category includes general chemistry, physics, and corrosion engineering. Selections under the Science & Engineering category all have direct application to petroleum exploration or production and include the following topics:

  • Articles of broad scope.
  • Topics that do not fit comfortably into one of the other categories.
  • General corrosion studies.
  • Laboratory and field instrumentation and procedures.
  • Oceanographic technology with petroleum applications, such as wave and ice hazards, evaluation of seafloor foundations, diving equipment and techniques, navigation, and use of underwater vehicles.
  • Broad statistical compilations which are not confined to a specific category.
Whenever possible, articles are assigned to a specific category rather than to this general category.

Related topics covered in other categories:

  • Offshore structures in general, such as design and structural mechanics.
  • See Producing Oil & Gas.

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