New Analytical Model Enhances Understanding of Connection Strengths
This paper presents a set of equations that extends the approach of the original single-shouldered equation to account for a second shoulder, and helps to understand connection strengths better.
In my view, we still do not possess a full understanding of oil production in unconventional fractured reservoirs. Our ability to forecast such assets remains elusive, even with copious amounts of analytics, mountains of data, and an arsenal of machine-learning tools.
For this year’s feature, the selected papers provide innovative work flows that assist in determining productivity, reduce the effect of uncertainty conditions, and spark rejuvenation.
In recent years, some effort has been made to use EOR techniques, particularly CO2 injection, to extract additional oil and gas from unconventional resources. This has the potential to change the dynamics (again) of oil production from these tight and difficult reservoirs.
Open-Source Tool Kit Uses 3D Printing for Micromodel Generation
In this paper, the authors present an open-source tool kit for the generation of microfabricated transparent models of porous media (micromodels) from image data sets using optically transparent 3D polymer additive manufacturing (3D printing or sintering).
Limitations for Compositional Modeling in Vaca Muerta Numerical Simulation
In this paper, the authors show the limitation of CEOS for modeling reservoir behavior of liquid-phase black and volatile oil in highly undersaturated reservoirs.
Integrated Asset Model Enables Simulation of Complex, Multifield Asset
Electromagnetic-Based Tool Allows In-Situ Inspection of Multiple Metallic Tubulars
A new pulsed-eddy-current (PEC) electromagnetic (EM)-based tool called an enhanced pipe-thickness-detection tool (ePDT) has been introduced for the corrosion inspection of multiple pipes.
Data Mining Effective for Casing-Failure Prediction and Prevention
This paper is part of an ongoing effort to minimize the likelihood of failure using data-mining and machine-learning algorithms.
Study Uses Wellbore, Reservoir, Fracture Models To Determine Productivity
This paper demonstrates the need to couple the wellbore model to the reservoir-simulation and hydraulic-fracturing model in shale formations to optimize well landing, trajectory profile, and long-term productivity.
Work Flow Uses Vaca Muerta Data To Optimize Asset Evaluation
This paper describes a comprehensive optimization-under-uncertainty work flow that combines a simulation-based approach with semiautomatic work flows and high-speed computers to facilitate the process of decision-making for investors.
Integrated Approach Improves Modeling of Rejuvenation in Unconventional Plays
An integrated understanding of geomechanical effects, fracture propagation, and reservoir dynamics is critical in the efficient and cost-effective application of rejuvenation technologies for unconventional plays.
Laboratory Investigation Targets EOR Techniques for Organic-Rich Shales
This paper involved laboratory experiments introducing miscible gases into core samples to investigate enhanced oil recovery (EOR) mechanisms for Permian Basin shales to provide information to design field tests for a huff ’n’ puff (HNP) recovery process.
Gas Injection Evaluated for EOR in Organic-Rich Shale
In the first paper, a comprehensive experimental evaluation of gas injection for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in organic-rich shale and, in the second, the effect of fluid transport in organic-rich shale on recovery mechanisms under gas injection.
The Feasibility of CO2 Injection for IOR in Shale Reservoirs
Numerical simulation methods of compositional models were incorporated with logarithmically spaced, locally refined, and dual-permeability reservoir models and local grid refinement (LGR) of hydraulic-fracture conditions to investigate the feasibility of CO2 injection in shale oil reservoirs.
Exponential thinking is called the “exponential surprise factor.” These underpinnings are observed on the tubular mechanics side also through data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cognitive processes.
Phosphonate-Based Inhibitor Reduces Scaling Potential of Seawater
In this study, a laboratory analysis was conducted to study the effect of a phosphonate-based scale inhibitor on a mixture of hypersaline Arabian Gulf seawater and formation water under high-temperature/high-pressure conditions.
The coiled-tubing (CT) industry, like other well-intervention segments, has applied lean philosophies to some aspects of its management, operations, processes, and equipment. When it comes to CT application to specific in-well operations, no two wells are the same.
As gas development focuses more on tight and ultratight formations, the challenges to produce economically become diverse and more intense. One main challenge faced while fracturing a well is a high fracture gradient.
One of my best moments is to have made the technical case for polymer flooding and to see the fruits of this several decades later. As is so often the case in our industry, my contribution stands alongside those of many others in the intervening years who have all made the EOR journey possible.
The fourth industrial revolution is taking the oil and gas business by storm. Many companies have increased resources for big-data analytics and machine learning. Though no one sees physical oilfield services as in decline, development in these areas may take a back seat to artificial intelligence.
Factory-Model Approach Improves Performance of Coiled-Tubing Drillout
This paper presents a factory-model approach to improving CT drillout performance that has been used successfully for more than 3 years and has become standard practice.
In-Line Quench-and-Temper Technology Applied to CT Improves Safety and Reliability
This paper discusses the advantages of the in-line quench-and-temper (Q&T) process, which enhances overall CT life and reliability by producing tubing with more-uniform microstructure throughout its entire length, increased material strength, and improved bend-fatigue performance.
Study Explores Mechanisms of Surface Damage on Coiled Tubing
In this paper, the authors study the stress status of CT string held by gripper blocks, the axial force distribution of gripper blocks, and the longitudinal resonance of CT strings in vertical wells.
Real-Time Formation-Face-Pressure Analysis Improves Acid-Fracturing Operations
This paper contains a detailed discussion of methods and a software tool that has been developed to generate information that predicts formation-face pressures in real time with the help of live bottomhole-pressure data.
Seismic and Seismochemical Stimulation Increases Well Injectivity and Productivity
This paper discusses the potential of seismic and seismochemical well simulation in particular within the scope of this recent technology.
Chemical-Diversion Agents Can Aid Acid Fracturing in Openhole Horizontal Wells
This paper presents a newly designed triaxial fracturing system and describes a series of experiments that verified the validity of tool-free chemical diversion for multistage fracturing of openhole horizontal wells.
Computational Model Predicts Breakdown Pressures in Unconventional Plays
This paper presents a newly developed model to predict the breakdown pressures in cased and perforated wells.
Surface Drilling Data Can Help Optimize Fracture Treatment in Real Time
This paper presents a unique work flow that addresses in real time the challenges of perforation and fracture-treatment design while accounting for the lithologic and stress variability along the wellbore and its surroundings.
Largest WAG Pilot in Giant Al-Shaheen Field Reveals Optimization Methods
This paper discusses the operation of the largest offshore high-pressure water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection pilot using hydrocarbon (HC) gas, with a gas-injection capacity of approximately 100 MMscf/D, in the giant Al-Shaheen field offshore Qatar.
Interwell EOR Pilot Proves Advantages of Polymer Flooding
This paper discusses an enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) polymer-flood pilot at the Captain field in the UK North Sea during 2011–2013.
Digital Transformation Increases Value in an Omani Thermal EOR Asset
A thermal asset in Oman is characterized by a large-scale steam-drive/cyclic-steam-soak development project, underpinned by extensive data gathering.
Deepwater capital expenditure has nosedived since the oil-price crash of 2014 and has not quite recovered because of the high level of break-even prices required, but some oil companies maintained their interest in the sector and went ahead with big-ticket projects anyway.
Multilateral and Complex-Trajectory Wells
The oil industry is currently undergoing a technological transformation that will add value, improve processes, and reduce cost. Future drilling engineers will have knowledge of robotics, automation, and organizational efficiency, which is highly appealing for recruitment.
Real-Time Analytics Improves Process Safety in a Drilling-Contractor Operations Center
This paper explains how an ultradeepwater drilling contractor is applying real-time analytics and machine learning to leverage its real-time operations center to improve process safety and performance.
Isolation Barrier Valves Installed Successfully in Deepwater Gulf of Guinea
A major operator manages multiple deepwater projects in the Gulf of Guinea. This paper describes one of these, a recent 44-well project.
40 Years in the Campos Basin Lead to Wealth of Lessons Learned
This paper presents a retrospective of the most-significant technologies developed and deployed in the Campos Basin for more than 80 production systems in more than 30 oil- and gas-field developments.
Integrated Approach Overcomes Depleted-Reservoir Challenges
This paper describes challenges faced in a company’s first deepwater asset in Malaysia and the methods used to overcome these issues in the planning stage.
As you read the examples in this section, you will see that a change is already under way in that the methods that are being used are increasingly not oil-and-gas-specific but instead follow patterns that are being used in other industries.
Cementing and Zonal Isolation
I am encouraged that we, as an industy, continue to refine and tweak our practices to solve zonal-isolation and cementing challenges in every well environment in which we work. As cementing techniques are improved, so, too, are the cement-evaluation methods and work flows.
Analytics Solution Helps Identify Rod-Pump Failure at the Wellhead
This paper presents an analytics solution for identifying rod-pump failure capable of automated dynacard recognition at the wellhead that uses an ensemble of ML models.
Machine Learning Optimizes Duvernay Shale-Well Performance
This paper discusses how machine learning by use of multiple linear regression and a neural network was used to optimize completions and well designs in the Duvernay shale.
Augmented Artificial Intelligence Improves Data Analytics in Heavy-Oil Reservoirs
The authors of this paper propose a novel work flow for the problem of building intelligent data analytics in heavy-oil fields.
Ultrasonic Imaging Technology Evaluates a Lateral-Entry Module
This paper presents the data collected by an ultrasound downhole scanner, demonstrating a novel method for diagnosing multilateral wells.
U-Shaped Re-Entry Drilling Revitalizes Depleted Reservoirs Offshore Congo
Against the background of a low-oil-price environment, a redevelopment project was launched to give a second life to a shallow, depleted, mature offshore Congo oil field with viscous oil (22 °API) in a cost‑effective manner.
Well-Abandonment Solutions Use Bismuth and Thermite Effectively and Safely
This paper demonstrates a new way to create gas-tight seals during well abandonment, overcoming the limitations of traditional methods and reducing the operator’s liability and potential environmental impact after decommissioning has been completed.
New Interactive Cementing System Improves Zonal Isolation in Horizontal Wells
Hydraulic isolation of wells drilled with nonaqueous fluids (NAFs) relies heavily on eliminating mud from the annuli before placing cement.
Activating Shale Can Create Well Barriers
This paper discusses shale creep and other shale-deformation mechanisms and how an understanding of these can be used to activate shale that has not contacted the casing yet to form a well barrier.
Natural Gas Processing and Handling
Most underground gas-storage facilities are depleted reservoirs. What makes depleted reservoirs attractive is the presence of existing wells used to produce the reservoir, plus the geologic and engineering knowledge acquired during the development of the field.
New Gas-Separation Technology Reduces Cost, Weight, and Footprint
Hydrocarbon processing and treating systems often require large and elaborate surface facilities. When operating in challenging locations, such as deep water or the Arctic, these systems can be expensive. This paper discusses a new adsorption-based gas-separation technology platform.
The cost reduction per barrel of oil produced and the extension of sustainable production life by optimization have been two major areas of focus, but the investments in new technologies and recovery-improvement research have not received sufficient attention during the downturn.
History Matching and Forecasting
Machine-learning methods have gained tremendous attention in the last decade. The underlying idea behind machine learning is that computers can identify patterns and learn from data with minimal human intervention. This is not very different from the notion of automatic history matching.
In reviewing abstracts and papers for this feature, many impressive themes were evident—too many to cover in one editorial. I have commented on two: the advancements in unconventional completion design and the use of academia as a source of sophisticated completion analysis.
Integrating Geomechanical Data Optimizes Completions Design
This paper demonstrates how engineers can take advantage of their most-detailed completions and geomechanical data by identifying trends arising from past detailed treatment analyses.
Intelligent Completion in Water-Injector Well Improves Field Development
The operator piloted a new well-completion design combining inflow-control valves (ICVs) in the shallow reservoir and inflow-control devices (ICDs) in the deeper reservoir, both deployed in a water-injector well for the first time in the company’s experience.
Effects of Completion Design on Thermal Efficiency in SAGD
This paper uses a simulation model to evaluate and compare the thermal efficiency of five different completion design cases during the SAGD circulation phase in the Lloydminster formation in the Lindbergh area in Alberta, Canada.
Mature Fractured Reservoirs Can Be Repurposed for Gas Storage
This paper discusses studies conducted on two California offshore fields that may be abandoned in the near future. These studies examined the feasibility of repurposing these fields for offshore gas storage by using their reservoir voidage and existing pipeline facilities.
Novel Approach to Sour-Gas Treatment Lowers Cost and Limits Safety Hazards
This paper investigates novel approaches to sour-gas treatment for use in the Middle East that are outside the common oil and gas market and compares them with traditional techniques.
Two-Wellhead SAGD Scheme Increases Efficiency of Heavy-Oil Development
This paper shares experience gained in the Ashalchinskoye heavy-oil field with a two-wellhead SAGD modification. As a result of a pilot for this technology in Russia, the accumulated production of three pairs of these wells is greater than 200,000 tons.
New Steamflooding Techniques Pay Off in Mukhaizna Field
This paper covers the staged field-development methodology, including analysis and evaluation of various development concepts, that enabled the company to optimize both completion design and artificial-lift selection, reducing downtime and lowering operating costs by nearly 50%.
In-Situ Upgrading Process Offers Potential for Heavy-Oil Recovery
In this work, the authors developed a numerical model of in-situ upgrading (IU) on the basis of laboratory experiences and validated results, applying the model to an IU test published in the literature.
Pattern-Based History Matching Maintains Consistency for Complex-Facies Reservoirs
A challenging problem of automated history-matching work flows is ensuring that, after applying updates to previous models, the resulting history-matched models remain consistent geologically.
Correlation-Based Localization Effective in Ensemble-Based History Matching
To enhance the applicability of localization to various history-matching problems, the authors adopt an adaptive localization scheme that exploits the correlations between model variables and observations.
Novel Forward Model Quantifies Uncertainty of Fracture Networks
This paper presents a work flow to match the history of reservoirs featuring complex fracture networks with a novel forward model.
Of the many steps in the journey toward maximizing run life, the first steps should be to identify the system requirements and communicate those to the vendor. This can be challenging, because operators and suppliers often speak different languages. Fortunately, international standards can help.
Last year saw continued contraction in the seismic data-acquisition industry. With this drop in acquisition business, fewer seismic data-acquisition papers were published. Nevertheless, three very good SPE papers covering important acquisition and processing topics are featured here.
This industry is one often considered reactive and overly tradition-bound. These new technologies, however—and, more importantly, the drive of these researchers to harness their capabilities—prove that petroleum engineers remain at the forefront of innovation and discovery.
High Pressure/High Temperature
We must concentrate our paper selection on technology and operating methods that make HP/HT drilling operations faster, safer, and more cost-efficient. If above-threshold drilling costs shelve a project, the project will not fly. And without projects, HP/HT know-how and equipment quickly disappears.
Gas Lift Operations Require Accurate Predictions of Downhole Annulus Pressure
Downhole annulus pressure is required for any gas lift design. This paper presents several methods of determining annulus pressure at depth and helps determine which method is most appropriate for specific conditions.
Study Evaluates Ability of Tailpipe Systems To Optimize Artificial Lift in Horizontal Wells
The performance of artificial-lift systems on horizontal wells is greatly influenced by both the volume of gas produced and the tendency for gas slugging.
Through-Tubing-Conveyed ESP Technology Overcomes North Slope Challenges
Electrical-submersible-pump (ESP) technology is a proven artificial-lift method for shallow, low-pressure reservoirs such as those found in the West Sak viscous oil field in Alaska.
Permanent Fiber-Optic System Monitors Oil-Rim Movement
In this paper, the authors describe a project to design, field trial, and qualify an alternative solution for real-time monitoring of the oil rim in carbonate reservoirs that overcomes these disadvantages.
Surface-to-Borehole Electromagnetics Hold Promise for 3D Waterflood Monitoring
The authors detail the development of a technique based on surface-to-borehole controlled-source electromagnetics (CSEM), which exploits the large contrast in resistivity between injected water and oil to derive 3D resistivity distributions, proportional to saturations, in the reservoir.
Machine Learning Improves Accuracy of Virtual Flowmetering and Back-Allocation
In this study, the authors investigated a fully data-driven approach using artificial neural networks (ANNs) for real-time virtual flowmetering and back-allocation in production wells.
Managed-Pressure Drilling Used Successfully for Offshore HP/HT Exploration Wells
This paper discusses the successful application of managed-pressure drilling (MPD) in the basin with reduction in risks and well costs.
Managed-Pressure Drilling Solves HP/HT Challenges Offshore Vietnam
This paper discusses how managed-pressure-drilling (MPD) technology led to cost savings in two wells drilled in the Hai Thach gas field offshore southern Vietnam.
Continuous-Circulation Technique Drills Narrow-Margin Deepwater Wells
This paper describes the drilling of high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) deepwater wells through an ultranarrow pore-pressure fracture gradient (PPFG) window by means of technology application and strict procedural control.
Machine-Learning Approach Identifies Wolfcamp Reservoirs
This paper discusses a project with the objective of leveraging prestack and poststack seismic data in order to reconstruct 3D images of thin, discontinuous, oil-filled packstone pay facies of the Upper and Lower Wolfcamp formation.
4D Seismic With Reservoir Simulation Improves Reservoir Forecasting
This paper outlines the value of 4D for reducing uncertainty in the range of history-matched models and improving the production forecast.
4D Seismic Pilot Successfully Interprets Carbonate Reservoir
This paper describes interpretation results of a 4D seismic-monitoring program in a challenging Middle East carbonate reservoir.
Optimization Work Flow Converts Power to Performance for GOM Drilling
Time spent on bottom drilling is only approximately 10% of the time consumed by drilling operations, but this still provides a significant opportunity for savings if it can be reduced.
The papers selected for this issue focus on key factors in achieving a successful well test. They also apply reservoir fundamentals as well as sound engineering judgment, with examples from conventional and unconventional assets.
Drilling Systems Automation and Management
Drilling systems automation requires a digital backbone. One segment of that backbone is the interval between the drill bit and the surface. Wired pipe removes both the bandwidth and latency barriers of the available measurement-while-drilling telemetry systems.
Formation damage: Do we always need to have a high focus on its prevention, or do occasions exist when it really does not matter?
Examples of evolution in well construction during the past several years include new horizontal-well applications, breakthroughs in bit and directional-drilling technology, synthetic fluids, fracture-stimulation advancements, managed-pressure drilling, and the digital revolution.
Revised Drilling Practices Lead to Lateral-Length Gains in Marcellus Shale
A drilling team has focused on increasing lateral lengths in the Marcellus Shale. The team determined which operational practices would need to be revised in order to drill and case laterals in excess of 18,000 ft.
Thailand Joint-Development Project Delivers MWD/LWD Benefits
A joint-development project has delivered a high-temperature measurement-while-drilling/logging-while-drilling (MWD/LWD) suite rated for 200°C. Results to date are compared with previous performance in the Gulf of Thailand (GoT).
Wireless Downhole Gauges Help Maximize Value of Appraisal Test in Abandoned Well
This paper describes the acquisition and interpretation of long-term pressure-buildup data in a plugged and abandoned deepwater appraisal well.
After-Closure Analysis of DFITs Drives Design of Hydraulic-Fracturing Programs
This paper describes a diagnostic fracture injection test-analysis program and the suitability of the results from ACAs for use in hydraulic-fracture design.
Analysis Quality Determines Value of Diagnostic Fracture Injection Tests
Automated Operations and Wired Drillpipe Benefit Arctic Drilling
This paper presents a case history of drilling automation system pilot deployment, including the use of wired drillpipe, on an Arctic drilling operation.
Automation-Adoption Approach Maps Human/System Interaction
This paper describes the progress of directional-drilling-automation systems along the cognitive functions and levels of automation as defined by the Levels of Automation Taxonomy (LOAT) hierarchy introduced by the Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap Industry Initiative.
Automated Real-Time Torque-and-Drag Analysis Improves Drilling Performance
In this paper, the application of a real-time T&D model is demonstrated. The process of T&D analysis was automated, and the time and cost required to run physical models offline was reduced or, in some cases, eliminated.
Study Investigates Formation Damage Induced by Water Reinjection in Unconsolidated Sands
This paper describes a coreflooding program performed with sandpacks at different permeabilities, water qualities, and injection conditions.
Flow-Simulation Model Improves Analysis of Perforated-Rock Cleanup and Productivity
Because of inherent complexities, understanding the characteristics of perforations in downhole environments is a significant challenge. Perforation-flow laboratories have been used to provide insight into cleanup and productivity mechanisms around perforation tunnels.
Study of Carbonate Reservoirs Examines Fines Migration in CO2-Saturated-Brine Flow
A high-carbon-dioxide (CO2) carbonate gas field offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, is scheduled for development. Reservoirs in this region have an average clay content of 8%; more than 50% of this clay content is migratory illite, and 15% is migratory kaolinite.
Phased Pilot Approach Reduces Uncertainty in Carbonate Steamflood Development
The First Eocene is a multibillion-barrel heavy-oil carbonate reservoir in the Wafra field, located in the Partitioned Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. After more than 60 years of primary production, expected recovery is low and provides a good target for enhanced-oil-recovery processes.
Viability of Gas-Injection EOR in Eagle Ford Shale Reservoirs
This paper studies the technical and economic viability of this EOR technique in Eagle Ford shale reservoirs using natural gas injection, generally after some period of primary depletion, typically through long, hydraulically fractured horizontal-reach wells.
As operators and asset owners worked continually to increase efficiency in oil production, they all realized that part of efficiency improvement is increasing recovery factors. Everybody now is extremely focused on recovering more from the reservoirs they have.
Mature Fields and Well Revitalization
Mature brownfields contribute significantly to global oil production. A study of the papers presented during the past year at various SPE conferences reveals continuation of the trend to put in massive effort to minimize decline from mature brownfields.
Experimental Program Investigates Miscible CO2 WAG Injection in Carbonate Reservoirs
This paper provides a robust methodology for miscible CO2 WAG experimental-data acquisition and history matching.
Method Integration Improves Reservoir-Property Prediction in East Siberia
This paper describes a case study of the Chonskaya group of fields to demonstrate an approach to the integration of time-domain-electromagnetic (TDEM) electrical and seismic data when building a geological model for improving reservoir-property and -saturation prediction.
Mechanistic Model Describes Wettability Change in Sandstones and Carbonates
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first surface-complexation-based model that describes fully ionic compositional dependence observed in ionically treated waterfloods in both sandstones and carbonates.
Microchannel Remediation of a Cement Packer Unlocks Mature-Field Potential
Well RXY is located in Cairn’s Ravva offshore field in the Krishna-Godavari Basin in India. One goal for the field was significant crude production by means of a secondary reservoir section.
Best Practices for Waterflooding Optimization Improve Oil Recovery in Mature Fields
This paper presents technologies and best practices to improve oil recovery in mature fields through waterflooding optimization. These technologies have proved practical and cost-effective.
Combined Approach Improves Fault Description for Horizontal-Well Geosteering
This paper presents an interdisciplinary approach to the description of tectonic dislocations made on the basis of interpretation of seismic data, petrophysical analysis of well-logging data in horizontal wells, and inversion of a multifrequency propagation tool.
Model Simulates Gas Kicks in Nonaqueous Drilling Fluids
Nonaqueous drilling fluids, such as synthetic-based and oil-based mud (SBM and OBM, respectively), are used frequently to drill one or more sections of a well to reduce drilling problems such as shale sloughing, wellbore stability, and stuck pipe.
UAE Case Study Highlights Challenges of a Mature Gas-Condensate Field
Three onshore fields in the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, have more than 30 years of production history from more than 50 gas-condensate wells.
Managed-Pressure-Drilling Equipment Augments Deepwater Well Control
This paper describes how a technique known as applied-surface-backpressure managed-pressure drilling (ASBP-MPD) can alleviate the limitations of conventional deepwater well control.
Since the 1980s, many technical works have focused on improving the ability to detect hydrocarbons inside the riser and safely remove them from the system. This trend gained extra momentum with the advent of systems such as riser-gas handlers and managed-pressure drilling.
Clustered-Development Approach Leads to Better Evaluation of Multiprospect Plays
In the clustered-development approach, the geologic dependence between prospects is combined with the aggregation of prospects to determine the economic viability of a grassroots development offshore.
Production and Facilities
Creativity and innovation have long characterized production and facilities, and this year is no exception. The economic challenges of the oil industry clearly have provided a strong stimulus for even more creativity and innovation.
New Approach to Capital-Allocation Modeling Improves Performance Assessment
This new conceptual framework for capital-allocation management, known as advanced risk and capital-allocation management (ARCAM), aims to synchronize risk, strategy, and capital decision modeling to provide better visibility of future performance of capital-investment opportunities.
Any entity assessing project viability at any stage of the exploration-to-production life cycle must ensure an evergreen examination of the commercial likelihood on the basis of an ongoing data analysis, refining development synergies coupled with strategic reframing as required.
Bit Technology and Bottomhole Assemblies
Recent research shows that, in addition to hardness, other rock properties, such as lithology types, heterogeneity, and abrasiveness, have equal importance in bit evaluations. Consequently, the discussion must move from rock-strength analysis to rock-drillability analysis.
Produced water has been an albatross around the neck of operators for a long time. Efforts to solve its challenges have been extensive and continue to evolve. These efforts can have a strong effect on the profitability of an operation.
Predictive-Maintenance Approach Uses Machine Learning To Increase Efficiency
This paper focuses on compressor systems associated with major production deferments. An advanced machine-learning approach is presented for determining anomalous behavior to predict a potential trip and probable root cause with sufficient warning to allow for intervention.
Reframing Exploration Strategy Optimizes Project Value
The objective of this case study is to describe a specific approach to establishing an exploration strategy at the initial stage on the basis of not only uncertainty reduction, but also early business-case development and maximization of future economic value.
Waterflooding With Active Injection-Control Devices Improves Oil Recovery
This paper presents the implementation of an approach for improving oil recovery by water-injection optimization using injection-control devices (ICDs) in unconventional reservoirs.
Stochastic Work Flow Bridges Gap Between Subsurface and Surface Disciplines
This paper presents an unbiased stochastic data-driven work flow in which surface and subsurface uncertainties are accounted for and their effects on facilities design and operational decisions are quantified.
Rock-Strength Analysis and Integrated FEA Modeling Optimize Bit Selection
Using log data from offset wells, a bit-selection software based on unconfined compressive strength (UCMPS) calculations has been used to optimize the bit selection for Well X.
Improved Methods Aid Understanding and Mitigation of Stick/Slip Torsional Vibrations
This paper will show how stick/slip vibration distributions can be used to guide drillstring and parameter redesign to mitigate stick/slip in the next well.
Real-Time Data Analytics Allows for Bit-Wear Monitoring and Prediction
Severe bit damage is an issue in West Texas land drilling because of abrasive sand formation and interbedded hard stringers.
Inverted-ESP Completion Boosts Oil Rate While Disposing of Produced Water
This paper aims to provide an introduction to the early management of downhole produced water in strong waterdrive reservoirs using inverted electrical-submersible-pump (ESP) technology.
Advanced Electrochemical System Desalts Produced Water, Saves Polymer
This paper presents pilot-testing results and economics from a novel electrochemical desalination technology for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) produced water.
Debottlenecking Through Produced-Water Partial Processing Unlocks Production
High-Temperature Water-Based Mud Faces Challenges Offshore Sarawak, Malaysia
The reservoir section of a gas field offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, consists of two massive pinnacle carbonate structures with heterogeneous porosity and permeability and many vugs and faults.
Drilling and Completion Fluids
It is no secret that drilling fluid is crucial in drilling operations. The main function of drilling fluids is to transport drill cuttings from the bottom of the hole up to the surface. Drill cuttings then will be separated on the surface before being recycled back for further drilling.
Horizontal and Complex-Trajectory Wells
With the arrival and development of rotary steerable systems in the late 1990s, the industry thought that drilling a perfectly smooth and controlled trajectory would not be an issue. Two decades later, we’re still talking about wellbore quality, especially with long and complex horizontal wells.
Proposed Steering Mechanism Reduces Tortuosity in Horizontal Wells
This paper describes a new approach to evaluating the effectiveness of the rotary-steerable-system (RSS) steering mechanism on wellbore tortuosity in horizontal wells.
Reynolds Number Is Important in Understanding Wax Deposition
Comprehension of the mechanisms that influence wax deposition in oil-production systems has not yet been achieved fully. This paper investigates the influence of the Reynolds number on wax deposition.
Gas Production Technology
Does better data lead to better outcomes for one or even for all? High-quality data have become a resource in themselves, to be traded and leveraged for personal gain.
Flow Regime Affects Erosion Prediction in Multiphase Flow
Erosion caused by fine solid particles presents one of the greatest threats to oil and gas flow assurance, consequently affecting material selection and wall-thickness design.
Offshore Production and Flow Assurance
Offshore production assurance continues to drive new production technology applications and approaches. The three papers highlighted here focus on developing analytical tools and performing root-cause analyses while providing safe, cost-effective, and reliable operations.
Polymer Replacement for Organophilic Clay Benefits Mineral-Oil-Based Drilling Fluids
Organophilic clays mixed in oil-based drilling fluids (OBDFs) do not exhibit the same viscosity or suspension characteristics as they do in water-based drilling fluids. A new mineral-oil-based drilling fluid (MOBDF) was created by replacing the conventional organophilic clay with a novel polymer.
Modified Rectorite Provides Reliable Rheology and Suspendability in Biodiesel-Based Fluids
The use of organophilic clays as additives to provide proper rheological and filtration properties in nonaqueous drilling fluids (NADFs) has long been a topic of study. This paper introduced a modified rectorite designed for biodiesel-based drilling fluid (BBDF).
Cuttings-Lag Distribution in Directional Wells Affects Depth Resolution of Mud Logging
This paper presents an approach to modeling the cuttings-lag-depth distribution caused by the dispersion of cuttings-transport velocity in directional drilling.
Multiphase-Flow Simulation Helps Find Optimal Lateral Length for Best Production
This paper demonstrates a work flow to determine optimal lateral lengths and trajectories in the Midland Basin by studying the effect of the lateral length and trajectory on well production.
Water-Injection Techniques Increase Recovery in Conventional Gas Reservoirs
This paper evaluates the incremental benefit of water injection in a conventional gas reservoir when compared with gas compression.
Hydrocarbon-Gas Cycling Improves Recovery in the Arun Gas Field
In this paper, past gas-cycling operations were examined to identify subsurface implications and effects on operability aspects for the Arun giant gas field offshore Indonesia in the North Sumatra Basin.
Huff ’n’ Puff Gas-Injection Pilot Improves Oil Recovery in the Eagle Ford
The Eagle Ford formation has produced approximately 2 billion bbl of oil during the last 7 years, yet its potential may be even greater. Using improved oil-recovery (IOR) methods could result in billions of additional barrels of production.
Root-Cause Analysis of Offshore Pipeline Failures
This paper evaluates potential causes of failure for nine pipelines operating in shallow waters (8 to 14 m) in the Gulf of Guinea. The authors develop an analytical method to identify root causes and provide recommendations for pipeline design and placement.
New-Frontier Reservoirs II
With low primary-recovery rates in unconventional reservoirs and the longer-term development prospects for EOR applications on a fieldwide scale, the potential for accelerated completion optimization in new wells and production-enhancement treatments in existing wells is substantial.
Petroleum Data Analytics
Expectations from data analytics in the upstream sector continue to evolve. Although the number and diversity of applications continue to increase, the adoption at the assetwide level faces well-known barriers and challenges.
Field Development Projects
Recent advances in field development are not based on specific technical breakthroughs (although shale oil and gas and deep oil owe a lot to those) but on economic models and scenarios run at the very beginning, before any dollar is invested.
Sand Management and Sand Control
On the technology side, regardless of the oil price, demand persists for cost-saving and value-adding innovations and emerging technologies to bridge gaps in the existing technology portfolio for sand management and control.
Hybrid Sand-Consolidation Fluid Offers Versatility in Treatment of Shallow Reservoirs
In this paper, a new type of sand-consolidation low-viscous binding material, based on a combination of inorganic and organic components, is presented.
Ceramic Sand Screens Applied in Maturing Oil Field Offshore Malaysia
This paper presents the first successful application of ceramic sand screens offshore Malaysia. Ceramic sand screens were considered as a remedial sand-control method because of their superior durability and resistance compared with metallic sand screens.
Simulation of Sand Production Caused by Water-Hammer Events
This paper proposes a new work flow to simulate water-hammer events, the resulting wellbore failure, and sand production in water injectors.
Small-Field Approach Holds Promise for Operators in Southeast Asia
This paper shows how a new approach to small fields could unlock more than twice the net present value (NPV) of larger conventional fields in Southeast Asia at a similar level of capital expenditure (CAPEX).
Machine Learning Overcomes Challenges of Selecting Locations for Infill Wells
The results of numerical simulations for the Lost Hills field were not successful because of the special characteristics of its diatomite reservoirs—low permeability but high porosity, weak rock strength, and strong imbibition.
Data-Analytics Method Helps Engineers Optimize Well Placement Under Uncertainty
Well-placement optimization is one of the more challenging problems in the oil and gas industry. Although several optimization methods have been proposed, the most-used approach remains that of manual optimization by reservoir engineers.
Section-Based Approach Optimizes Unconventional-Reservoir-Fracture Spacing
In this paper, the authors consider the development plan of shale gas or tight oil with multiple multistage fractured laterals in a large square drainage area that they call a “section” (usually 640 acres in the US).
Soaking Flowback With Surfactant Improves Oil Recovery in Unconventional Reservoirs
This paper evaluates the ability of different groups of surfactants to improve oil recovery in unconventional liquid reservoirs (ULRs) by experimentally simulating the fracture treatment to represent surfactant imbibition in a ULR core fracture during a soaking flowback.
Coupled Capillary-Pressure and Three-Phase Flash Models Simulate Liquid Blockage
This paper presents a new approach for more-accurate modeling of liquid blockage in tight oil and gas reservoirs and investigates the use of solvents for blockage removal.
Face-Detection Algorithm Handles Big Data To Help Identify Candidates for Restimulation
This paper demonstrates the viability of a production-data-classification approach adapted from real-time face detection for identifying restimulation candidates.
Simulation Algorithm Benefits by Connecting Geostatistics With Unsupervised Learning
A new geostatistics modeling methodology that connects geostatistics and machine-learning methodologies, uses nonlinear topological mapping to reduce the original high-dimensional data space, and uses unsupervised-learning algorithms to bypass problems with supervised-learning algorithms.
New Method for Predicting Production Boosts Accuracy for Carbonate Reservoirs
This paper proposes a new method of economic prediction on the basis of expert library and oilfield databases. The method takes into account geological factors and the effect of production factors on the economic prediction.
Reservoir Performance and Monitoring
If the industry until recently was lamenting that a global upstream investment slump caused a focus on incremental technology improvements, now a looming oil-supply shortage has reignited discussions about how innovation, digital technologies, and collaborations can accelerate future major projects.
The last 3 years have seen an unprecedented increase in paraffin-related challenges. The featured papers give some insights into the work under way at some companies to elucidate the structure performance relationships between inhibitors and crude oils containing these higher paraffinic species.
Drilling Systems Automation and Management
Signs of maturity in drilling systems automation are evident in the success stories filtering out of technical conferences and in the attraction of top university talent to an annual, international, drilling-systems-automation contest.
Reassessing Operational Strategies for Wax Management Reduces Expenses
This paper presents a case study that is an example of how reassessing a flow-assurance risk-management strategy for operating assets can identify opportunities for optimization.
Hardware innovation will continue to occur, but data analytics, multivariate modeling, and process optimization are emerging as new contributors to completion success.
Model Helps Guide Choke-Management Strategies Under Constraints
In this paper, the authors propose a coupled wellbore/reservoir model that performs dynamic nodal analysis using integrated models for surface-facilities, wellbore, and reservoir simulators and allows an operator to select choke sizes as a function of time.
Extreme Limited-Entry Perforating Enhances Bakken Completions
This paper presents the evolution of a Bakken advanced completion design with the added enhancement of extreme limited entry (XLE) perforating. With this strategy, an operator has consistently stimulated more than 11 perforation clusters per stage.
Optimizing the Deepwater Completion Process Offshore Israel
This paper describes the successful delivery of one ultrahigh-rate gas well (more than 250 MMscf/D) completed in a significant gas field offshore Israel with 7-in. production tubing and an openhole gravel pack (OHGP).
Probabilistic Drilling-Optimization Index Guides Drillers To Improve Performance
This paper proposes a metric for quantifying drilling efficiency and drilling optimization that is computed by use of a Bayesian network.
New Geosteering Work Flow Integrates Real-Time Measurements With Geomodels
This work presents a systematic geosteering work flow that automatically integrates a priori information and real-time measurements to update geomodels with uncertainties and uses the latest model predictions in a decision-support system (DSS).
Real-Time Advisory System Mitigates Drilling Vibrations in a Lateral Section
A real-time drilling-data analysis and recommendation system that leverages surface drilling data was deployed in a lateral section of a well from an artificial island in Abu Dhabi.
Enhanced-Gel-Strength Concept Optimizes Chemical Use in Pipeline for Waxy Crude
Banyu Urip crude contains 26% wax, which can lead to flow-assurance challenges in a crude pipeline exposed to lower temperatures. Injection of pour-point-depressant (PPD) chemicals has been considered an effective method to ensure flow of moderate waxy crude.
Novel Polymer Modifications Lead to Next-Generation Pour-Point Depressants
Current logistics and pipeline-infrastructure limitations make transportation and production of waxy crude oil challenging, necessitating a step change in the chemistry required to mitigate crude-oil-composition issues.
Lessons From 10 Years of Monitoring With Chemical Inflow Tracers
Initial development of inflow tracers was designed to provide qualitative information about the location of water breakthrough in production wells. The proof of concept and application for water detection initiated the development of oil tracers for oil-inflow monitoring.
Knudsen-Like Scaling May Be Inappropriate for Gas Shales
The author writes that the generally accepted Knudsen diffusion in shales is based on a mistranslation of the flow physics and may give theoretically unsound predictions of the increased permeability of shales to gas flow.
Reservoir-Surveillance Data Creates Value in Fractured-Carbonate Applications
The objective of this paper is to illustrate a methodology for identifying the value of information (VOI) in reservoir management—in particular, for deriving the conditional probabilities of success when new and imperfect data are acquired.
Pulsed-Neutron Comparison of Open- and Casedhole Wells: An Alaskan Case Study
This paper compares the results of gas identification and lithology identification using pulsed-neutron spectroscopy in openhole and casedhole environments.
New Automated Work Flows Enhance Formation Evaluation
This paper bridges the gap between operational petrophysicists and FTS specialists, introducing an automated work flow by which petrophysicists can conduct FTS jobs.
Strengths and Weaknesses Guide Choice of Brazilian Subsea-Development Options
The paper provides a fast-track approach to perform screening assessment of multiple subsea concepts.
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Support Marine Mining
Technologies are being developed that have the potential to support marine mining in all stages from prospection to decommissioning. These developments will likely have substantial influence in the oil and gas industry, itself searching for ways to maximize exploitation of assets.
Shift-Work Fatigue in the Petroleum Industry: A Proactive Countermeasure Using Light Cues
This paper presents a scientific method for reducing fatigue risks in oil and gas organizations that operate a slowly rotating shift schedule.
Better Safety Performance Measures Can Lead to Change by Improving Conversations
This paper examines the use of injury rates as a key performance indicator (KPI). It argues that, as a KPI, injury-frequency rate is no longer a valid measure.</p>
Analysis of Environmental Aspects of Exploiting Unconventional Reservoirs
This paper presents an analysis of the environmental aspects of the exploitation of unconventional reservoirs in order to evaluate the risk of the activity.
Community Engagement and Partnership for Successful E&P Operations in Bolivia
Relationships and engagement with communities in direct areas of influence is of paramount importance for successful exploration and production (E&P) operations.
Cybersecurity for Upstream Operations
This paper emphasizes the value gained by investing in cybersecurity for drilling, workover, and completion operations.
Subsea Hardware and Technology
With hard work, the progress outlined in these three papers may help create a better balance between cost, production, and ecological stability in offshore operations. The papers illustrate the interdependence of both technological and environmental systems.
Technical Report Lays Out Path to Zero Harm and Beyond
Getting to Zero and Beyond: The Path Forward, sets the stage for continuing the discussion across the industry of the essential steps the industry must take to sustain zero harm.
Health, Safety, and Environment
Earlier this year, SPE published the technical report “Getting to Zero and Beyond: The Path Forward,” representing the work of hundreds of oil and gas professionals and their thoughts on how we can achieve an injury- and incident-free workplace. The first paper summarizes the report’s findings.
What effects will Industrial Revolution 4.0 have on the upstream oil and gas businesses in general and petrophysics in particular? We should see more intelligence and automation in measurements, processes, work flows, and operations.
Integrated Study Aids Characterization and Modeling of Natural-Fracture Networks
Natural fractures can have a significant effect on fluid flow by creating permeability anisotropy in hydrocarbon reservoirs.
A radical digital revolution is happening all around us (or so we are told). Applying this to reservoir simulation, we apparently need to understand better when and, more importantly, when not to use such technology—to appreciate its bounds, its limitations, its range of validity, and so on.
Reservoir-Modeling Work Flow Introduces Structural Features Without Regridding
This paper proposes a novel work flow for structural-features modeling that allows the introduction of faults and other structural and nonstructural features to any simulation grid without modification.
Saturation Modeling Under a Complex Fluid-Fill History: Drainage and Imbibition
This paper presents a saturation-modeling approach for fields and reservoirs with complex hydrocarbon-charging histories. The model resolves saturation-height functions for the primary-drainage, imbibition, and secondary-drainage equilibriums.
One of the more exciting aspects of artificial lift is the constant influx of new technologies and new ideas that the discipline invites. Inventors appear to be regularly developing “the next new thing” in artificial lift.
Effect of R Ratio on Performance of Injection-Pressure-Operated Gas-Lift Valves
This paper describes the consequences of using an assumed R ratio in a gas-lift design that is not the same as the actual R ratio of the valve.
Artificial-Sump-Pumping System Improves Production in Unconventional Oil Wells
This paper presents a comparison of conventional ESP methods and artificial-sump systems for which free gas and gas slugs are a challenge.
Rod-Pump Optimization: Big Data Helps Accelerate and Improve Operations
This paper presents how a US onshore operator took a three-step approach to optimize more than 100 rod-pump wells. The approach involved data consolidation, automated work flows, and interactive data visualization.
Unlocking Egypt’s Unconventional-Resource Potential
The Apollonia tight-gas chalk play is located in the Abu Gharadig Basin in the Western Desert of Egypt. This has long been ignored as a gas play in the overburden, while the Jurassic and Cretaceous oil fields deeper in the basin have been explored and developed.
New-Frontier Reservoirs I
Recently, a lot of discussion has revolved around the benefits of multilaterals in unconventional reservoirs, but is it truly the next breakthrough for the industry, or is it all hype?
Coalbed Methane Prospects in Indonesia
This paper reviews the efforts to exploit CBM resources in Indonesia, the challenges these efforts have faced, and possible solutions that can make operations more efficient and profitable.
Coalbed Methane Development in China: Challenges and Opportunities
This paper presents a literature review to determine the engineering challenges and opportunities presented by CBM production in China.
In my previous features, I discussed the challenges facing carbon dioxide (CO2), both technical and economic. By far the biggest use of CO2 is in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). In this feature, the focus is on overcoming the biggest challenges facing CO2 EOR—gravity override and mobility.
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09 July 2019