Shallow gas drilling is successful
The Monostorpály hit we visited is the company’s 19th shallow gas well in total, and thanks to modern seismic data processing and interpretation, it is important to know that they work with an extremely high success rate in this area, so far, they have had 16 results out of 18 researches in the recent period. We recently published a detailed article on seismic data processing in connection with the research in AnŁő, which you can read here. At the Monostorpály hit, gas was discovered in several layers, the production of the layers is expected to vary, although this has not yet been confirmed by an investigation. By the way, the drilling equipment is not provided by Mol, but by the oil industry service company Rotary Fúrási Zrt.
Ádám Homonnay, Research and Production Director of Mol Hungary led us around the site, of course, while observing the strictest safety standards. The expert said that the Eastern Hungarian region has been a frequented area for a long time in terms of natural gas exploration and production,
since the end of last year, the Monostorpályi we visited is already the company’s fourth successful shallow gas well drilling in this region.
Starting from a broader perspective, Homonnay explained that although we have luckily got through this year’s heating season without serious supply security problems, we still every opportunity must be seized in order to boost the country’s gas production.
Homonnay emphasized that the gas infrastructure in Hungary is very well developed, thanks to this the wells can be put into production quickly – one of the three drilled wells announced last week is already in production,
according to the plans, the now announced Monostorpályi well could also start production this year.
The shallow gas wells put into production in Hungary so far are approx. They can supply the natural gas needs of 30-40,000 average family homes, this number by putting the new wells into production may soon reach 50,000, was written in last week’s announcement – however, thanks to the two new wells, it is expected to be even larger.
How does production start?
In practice, the continuation looks like the drilling equipment will leave the site so that the well is ready for production, the production director explained to our paper. Before the well is connected to the infrastructure, they test it, and if the gas is really there, connection lines must be built, with these lines the well will be connected to the already existing national infrastructure. And although there are generally high-quality natural gas discoveries in our country, certain materials must be separated from the raw material, for example, all water is always present during gas production (condensate water). The gas must therefore be dried, and a specific quality standard must be met here.
What do you need to know about the current hit?
Emphasizing the importance of the current result, the expert explained that Mol accounted for 90 percent of Hungary’s gas production last year, which was 1.4 billion cubic meters, while the total domestic gas consumption averaged around 10 billion cubic meters. The government’s plan is to increase the domestic production figure of one and a half billion cubic meters to 2 billion cubic meters, in such a situation, every opportunity should be seized, according to Homonnay.
Regarding the 2 billion target, the leader explained to our newspaper in October last year that
the goal is ambitious, but not impossible.
According to him, it is necessary to be aware that the stocks currently in production are constantly being depleted, and if Mol did not initiate any investments or deploy innovative technologies, then the yield of the fields would decrease by even 15-20 percent per year.
It is a big challenge in itself to maintain the current production, and the objective means a further 30% increase in production at the industry level
– formulated. The company is therefore constantly looking for new well drilling opportunities, Seismic data collection is ongoing in different areas (see Üllő neighborhood).
On average, 3-4 such wells are drilled a year, and I would like to speed this up even more in the future.
As for production in numbers, it is expected to be 250 barrel equivalents (boepd) per day at this well in Monostorpály, which is 30-40 thousand cubic meters per day. and it can correspond to 12.8 million cubic meters annually, this represents about 0.91 percent of the Mol group’s production last year.
With this, based on preliminary evaluations, the well can supply 7,000-8,000 households for 2-3 years,
if further tests confirm this.
THE expenditures According to Homonnay, only the drilling part of such a shallow gas well costs the company approximately HUF one billion, and this year’s investment budget at Mol is HUF 45 billion. Finally, some more figures for the end of the block: it takes about 7 days to move a drilling rig that we have seen to the location of the planned well, and approximately 20 people work in the field 24 hours a day. The deepening of the well itself takes 15 days, while the training can be done for another 10 days.
Pictures taken in the drilling area can be viewed here:
About shallow gas wells
In relation to shallow gas production, the expert explained that the gas fields targeted by drilling are located at a shallower than usual depth, typically around 1500-2000 meters, and the available seismic data for natural gas at this depth allow it to be directly demonstrated that natural gas could be the given in the drilling area.
3D seismic can be used for both oil and gas research, the attitude towards the two types of hydrocarbons is irrelevant from the point of view of measurement, the difference is that the presence of gas can be inferred with much more certainty before drilling, so in the end there is a slightly higher chance of finding gas “shooting” exploration with this technology, like projects targeting oil.
Homonnay added that in addition to drilling new wells existing wells are also being retrained: in many cases, geological layers saturated with natural gas are located one below the other, and if one layer is exhausted, wells can be transferred to the next layer.
As a point of interest, the leader explained to our newspaper that there are very few drillings that are done in a purely vertical direction, the drilling we viewed also has sections that are slanted. We are talking about a depth where the steel has a bend, it can be bent, so it can be solved that the drilling goes at an angle in certain sections. It may also happen that concretely, it must be drilled in a horizontal direction, this can represent a significant technical challenge for specialists, but beveling at a small angle does not cause much difficulty.
Cover image and source of images: Márk Kiss, Mol