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How is drilling in the Middle East upstream crude oil industry?

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

The Middle East is full of history and culture, and it is home to some of the world's largest and most productive oil and gas fields, and as such, a variety of drilling techniques are employed in the region's upstream oil and gas industry.


However, the predominant type can be characterized as conventional vertical drilling, although the use of advanced drilling techniques like horizontal and directional drilling has also increased.

  1. Conventional Vertical Drilling: In this traditional method, a well is drilled vertically down into the earth until it reaches the oil or gas reservoir. This is a widely used method, especially when reservoirs are directly beneath the drilling site.

  2. Directional Drilling: This technique is employed when the oil or gas reservoir is not located directly beneath the drilling site. In this case, the well is drilled at an angle from the vertical direction to reach the reservoir. This method is particularly useful in offshore drilling or when there are obstructions at the surface that prevent vertical drilling.

  3. Horizontal Drilling: An extension of directional drilling, horizontal drilling involves drilling a well vertically until it reaches a certain depth, then gradually shifting to a horizontal path to access more of the reservoir. This method can significantly increase the area of reservoir exposure, leading to greater production rates.


It's also worth noting that because many of the oil and gas reserves in the Middle East are found in relatively straightforward geological structures, and have been exploited for a long time, there's a heavy reliance on conventional drilling techniques. However, as these reservoirs become depleted, more complex drilling methods are being adopted.


All these methods often involve the use of mud rotary drilling techniques, which use a mud circulation system to cool the drill bit, carry cuttings to the surface, and maintain the stability of the wellbore. A mud pump is necessary for that process, and we, at American Mud Pumps, are ready to help, everywhere.


The choice of drilling technique depends on a variety of factors, including the location and depth of the reservoir, the geology of the area, and the associated costs.


Energy production in the Middle East

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Middle East energy production decreased by 3% in 2019 (from 86 EJ to 83 EJ).


Oil and natural gas production showed opposite trends, the former dropping by 5% in 2019 to 31% of the world's oil production, whereas the latter grew by 3%, maintaining a 16% share of global natural gas supply in 2019.


Saudi Arabia was still by far the largest oil producer in the region in 2019 with a 39% share, followed by Iraq with 17% and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 14%, surpassing Iran where oil production fell by about one-third in 2019.


Oil and ga indutry in the Middle East
Oil Industry in the Middle East


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