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Throughout our history, Marathon Oil has been recognized as an industry leader in developing and applying technology. We have a proud legacy of achievement, and continue to work on numerous technologies that illustrate the innovative spirit that exists in every successful company.
Our teams focus upon technologies with potential to differentiate and deliver increased value to the Exploration and Production business. We advance technologies with collaborative efforts that offer participants opportunities to develop ideas quickly, effectively and at lower cost. These development efforts are conducted with industry partners, ranging from individuals, universities, service providers, consortia and joint-industry projects; then we compete in how well we apply these efforts within our own businesses.
Developing and applying technology is a shared responsibility. Marathon Oil’s Technology Organization works collaboratively with our Exploration, Production, Drilling and Completions organizations to maximize the value of our global assets.
Areas of specific Technology focus include:
Marathon uses state-of-the-art databases to manage upstream information, and significant efforts are dedicated to provide efficient access to high quality data. Much of our information is proprietary; however, a large portion is also sourced through information vendors to supplement internal data.
Integrated reservoir characterization is one of Marathon Oil’s strengths. We focus on delivering integrated solutions that describe our reservoirs in detail, from broad basin settings to localized variations in individual formations. We emphasize solutions that integrate state-of-the-art technologies in areas ranging from seismic imaging, geologic modeling, petrophysics, reservoir management and production engineering.
Integrated solutions are especially important to formulate development plans for today’s ever-more challenging reservoirs. Examples of ongoing reservoir characterization efforts include deepwater, fractured carbonates and unconventional plays.
Drilling and completions are also Marathon strengths. The majority of ongoing operations incorporate horizontal wells, many with laterals over two-miles in length. Other operations include deepwater and conventional developments. The focus of each of these efforts is to deliver fit-for-purpose wellbores at the lowest possible cost over the life of the lease.
Technology efforts for drilling operations are focused upon managed pressure drilling techniques to improve drilling efficiency and reduce safety and environmental risks. Technology efforts for completions are focused upon multistage fracturing tools to reduce intervention and speed operations, as well as improvements in fluid and proppant systems for hydraulic fracturing.
Once placed on production, every well must be closely monitored to make sure it continues to operate at maximum efficiency. Optimization of production is critical to ensuring recovery of developed reserves and maximizing revenues. Minimizing volumes and handling of produced water is also of utmost importance.
One area of technology focus is upon artificial lift systems to prevent liquid loading in long vertical and horizontal well sections. A second focus area is upon technologies to treat produced water for use/reuse as drilling and completion fluids.
Marathon Oil is also working with joint owners of our Canadian mining assets to develop handling and upgrading technologies associated with oil sands resources. We operate a pilot demonstration facility for the joint owners to demonstrate new technologies such as solvent extractions before field testing in the mining operations.