Drilling and Completion Fluids
Recent research has put extensive focus on the magic of graphene in drilling fluids. Graphene, because of its thermal, electrical, chemical, and mechanical properties, improves mudcake stability and minimizes fluid loss that eventually reduces formation damage.
Horizontal and Extended-Reach Wells
Drilling has become a complex operation that requires a multitude of tasks to be managed at the same time. Not surprisingly, then, drilling automation will gain momentum in the near future to deliver consistent execution and performance safely and with good wellbore quality.
The summer of 2019 has been rife with media reports about negative gas pricing in the Permian and, given the propensity of our industry to pick a favorite horse and then all pile on it at the same time, it is not surprising when we create our own boom and bust cycles.
The papers presented here, including the additional reading papers on the potential novel applications of subsea tieback technology, focus on developing new analytical tools and new materials while providing safe, cost-effective, and reliable operations for flow assurance.
Nonaqueous, Nondamaging Fluid Implemented Offshore Abu Dhabi
This paper covers the 7-year history of drilling-fluids application in a reservoir drilling campaign offshore Abu Dhabi, from the early use of a solids-free, brine-/water-based mud to the recent application of nondamaging, nonaqueous fluids (NAFs) with micronized acid-soluble ilmenite.
Low-Toxicity Polymer Fluid Developed for Environmentally Sensitive Offshore Drilling
Reduced-Friction Centralizers Field-Tested for Ultraextended-Reach-Drilling Completions
The complete paper documents the development, laboratory- and field testing, and lessons learned from a project to evaluate coated centralizers.
Permian Basin: Use of In-Situ Mechanical Rock Properties Improves Completions
Optimizing horizontal well placement is not limited to identifying the most-favorable reservoir, but also involves identifying the ideal target window within that reservoir.
Rotary-Steerable System Concept Aims To Increase Efficiency, Reduce Costs
The advent of the rotary-steerable system (RSS) introduced an efficient way to drill both current and future wells. However, current tools still fail to replace positive displacement motors (PDMs).
Intermittent Gas Lift Used in Hydrate Mitigation and Flare Reduction in Algeria
Hassi Messaoud is a mature oil field with more than 1,100 production wells. Approximately half of the wells are natural flow and the other half use continuous gas lift (CGL) with concentric (CCE) strings.
Feasibility of Using Small-Scale GTL Plants To Mitigate Flaring in North Dakota Evaluated
Huff ‘n’ Puff EOR Proves Effective in Gas-Condensate Reservoirs
The objective of the study described in this paper was to investigate the feasibility of huff ‘n’ puff enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in a gas-condensate reservoir.
Predicting Severe Slugging in Toe-Down Horizontal Wells
This paper presents the results of an experimental and modeling study that demonstrates the existence of severe slugging in systems with upward-inclined lateral flow paths, such as a toe-down well.
Surface Treatment Improves Flow Assurance and Throughput in Corroded Pipe
This paper describes a material designed to interact specifically with highly corroded and weathered pipe to enable in-place application and refurbishment.
Software System Enables Effective Flow-Assurance Management
This paper describes a smart management system used for retrieving and evaluating all flow-assurance-related data for more than 700 of the operator’s onshore and offshore wells.
Water-Based Drilling Fluid Using Nanoparticles Proves Effective in Unconventional Shales
This study focus on the design and evaluation of a customized water-based mud (NP-WBM) using silica oxide nanoparticles (SiO2-NPs) and graphene oxide nanoplatelets (GNPs).
Offshore Drilling and Completion
Measured-pressure approaches have offered much promise for some time but have been slow to reach widespread application. A spate of technical developments, deployments, trials, and applications, however, recently has pushed measured-pressure drilling and its nuanced variants to their full potential.
To continue to advance optimization in new-well completions, to cost-effectively restimulate existing wells, and to enhance recovery, will require capacity for laboratory studies and field trial programs and implementation of a range of analytical methodologies.
Digital transformation supported by data analytics and artificial intelligence can be the differentiator that allows the upstream industry to persist in the next 100 years, providing a unique foundation for innovation to enhance general public awareness and life quality.
Managed-Pressure Cementing Provides Zonal Isolation in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico
This paper presents the design considerations, methodology, and results of two deepwater MPC operations conducted to cement production casing strings within a target operating window of approximately three-tenths of a pound.
While sand control in production wells catches much attention, water-injection wells also are subject to sand-control problems triggered by water hammer, cross flow, and backflow. Newly developed screens for water-injection wells have been demonstrated with promising results.
Integrated Deepwater MPD Control System Increases Accuracy, Ease of Use
This paper presents lessons learned regarding design, testing, and installation of a completely integrated managed-pressure-drilling (MPD) control system on a deepwater drilling rig.
Optimization Work Flow Maximizes Value of Unconventional Fields
Well spacing optimization is one of the more important considerations in unconventional field development.
Aggressive Stimulation Design Yields Better Returns
The authors examine methods of adopting an aggressive approach to optimizing stimulation design to lower the break-even level of operations and evaluate the results.
Industry Struggles With Enhanced Recovery for Unconventional Reservoirs
This paper reviews the IOR/EOR technologies currently being applied to unconventional oil reservoirs.
New Model Enhances Flux Management in Sand-Control Completions
This paper discusses a probabilistic flux and erosion model and work flow that extend the ability to estimate inflow through sand screens on a foot-by-foot basis along the wellbore using the well's completion details, production rate, and reservoir and bottomhole flowing pressures.
Frac-Packing Previously Gravel-Packed Well Offers Alternative to Expensive Sidetracking
This paper details the design and execution of what the authors say they believe is the first successful frac-pack operation in a previously gravel-packed well.
Sand-Control Technology for Water Injectors Improves Well Performance
In 2014, a research and development (R&D) project was initiated to increase the life expectancy of Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Miocene and Lower Tertiary water-injection (WI) wells, several of which had suffered a severe loss of injectivity within only a few years of completion.
MPD Monitoring Technique Allows Rapid Redesign, Flexibility
This work focuses on the development of specific methodologies to support managed-pressure-dilling (MPD) operations implemented on real-time diagnostic software.
Data-Driven Analytics Provide Novel Approach to Performance Diagnosis
This work describes a heuristic approach combining mathematical modeling and associated data-driven work flows for estimating reservoir-pressure surfaces through space and time using measured data.
Artificial Intelligence Improves Seismic-Image Reconstruction
Seismic imaging provides vital tools for the exploration of potential hydrocarbon reserves and subsequent production-planning activities. The acquisition of high-resolution, regularly sampled seismic data may be hindered by physical or financial constraints.
Data-Driven Tool Uses Amplitude-Based Statistics To Identify Seismic Fractures
The authors present a novel data-driven tool for fast fracture identification in post-stack seismic data sets.
Improving Temperature-Logging Accuracy in Steamfloods
The objective of this study was to look at factors that can affect a temperature log and steps that can be taken to improve temperature-measurement accuracy.
Integrating Fractional Flow Into Reservoir Surveillance Improves GOM Production
A case study in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico in which pressure transient analysis, fractional flow, and production logging tools were integrated to identify correctly the cause of, and execute an effective remedy for, a well’s productivity deterioration.
Chemical Tracer Flowback Data Help Understanding of Fluid Distribution
This paper presents a data set involving the pumping of multiple, unique chemical tracers into a single Wolfcamp B fracture stage.
Optimization Framework Improves Mariner Field Development
The growing popularity of model-based optimization work flows has resulted in an increase in their application to field cases.
Operators around the world are focusing on lowering their production costs for both conventional and unconventional assets, while oilfield service companies are responding to customers’ cost-saving requests with incremental improvements in technology, supply chains, automation, and collaboration.
Field developers are making bold step-changes to form their optimization strategies on the crests of digital transformation, using massive data analytics, machine learning, cloud computing, and data-sharing strategies for oil and gas fields in all stages of development. This trend will only grow.
What is the definition of offshore-facilities project success in the context of Industry 4.0? Generally, cost, time, and scope are the common project-success indicators. However, I believe we can expand these indicators to the social and environmental areas.
Extra-Long Subsea Tiebacks Reduce Deepwater Development Costs
The complete paper presents and discusses the authors’ technology-development program regarding very-long oil-tieback architectures (50–100 km) and enabling technologies.
Considering Time and Space in Drilling and Completion Can Reduce Well Interference
The complete paper describes a physics-based model of interference and a sensitivity study to propose guidelines for well spacing and a drilling timeline for multiple horizontal wells in the Vaca Muerta shale.
Innovative Design and Execution Lead to Successful Grand Banks Platform Operations
The Hebron platform was successfully installed on the Grand Banks offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in June 2017. It consists of a single-shaft concrete gravity-based structure (GBS) supporting an integrated drilling and production topsides.
Evaluation of a Riser After 10 Years of GOM Service Life
As part of an effort to evaluate existing riser systems, an operator launched an inspection and testing program to investigate risers retrieved following well abandonment after a service life of nearly 10 years in the Gulf of Mexico.
One of the more technologically challenging production-chemistry applications in deep water is the control of gas hydrates. Deepwater subsea flowlines offer an almost perfect hydrate-formation environment, and control measures must be taken.
Benefits of Low-Dosage Hydrate Inhibitors
This paper summarizes historical advancements in low-dosage hydrate inhibitors (LDHIs) over the past 2 decades, discusses their advantages and limitations, and their selection criteria.
Locally Sourced, Ecofriendly Hydrate Inhibitor Effective in Simulated Offshore Environment
The complete paper investigates gas-hydrate inhibition in a simulated offshore environment using a plant extract (PE) as a local inhibitor.
Study Evaluates Hydrate Antiagglomerants
A common hydrate-management strategy involves the use of large volumes of thermodynamic inhibitors (THIs) to operate outside the hydrate-stability region.
Parallel Simulation and Cloud Computing Can Optimize Large-Scale Field Development
The complete paper discusses a study in which the authors propose a joint field-development and well-control-optimization work flow using high-performance parallel simulation and commercial cloud computing.
Work Flow Determines Petrophysical Properties From As-Received Core Samples
This paper introduces a new core-analysis work flow for determining resistivity index (RI), formation factor (FF), and other petrophysical properties directly from an as-received (AR) set of core samples.
Gamma-Ray-Tool Characterization Avoids Traditional Limitations
In this paper, the authors discuss the characterization process for GR tools and how they behave in boreholes different from the one used in the University of Houston (UH) GR characterization pit.
Characterization of Volcanic Reservoirs Requires Comprehensive NMR Tests
This paper discusses a study undertaken to gain better understanding of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) characteristics of volcanic reservoirs with different lithologies.
Formation evaluation drew special attention at the 2019 International Petroleum Technology Conference Education Week in Beijing, 24–28 March 2019. The student team that worked on Integrated Formation Evaluation for Resources Exploration and Reservoir Delineation won the first-place award.
Boosting Uncovers True Value of Subsea Assets
The first subsea multiphase boosting system was installed in 1994. Since then, it has grown into a technology with a global track record.
New Technology Enables Development of Norwegian Sea Field
A new enabling technology known as electrically heat-traced flowline (EHTF) will be used to enable system startup and shutdown and to maintain production fluids outside of the hydrate envelope during steady-state operation.
Study Advocates New Approach Toward Workplace Mental Health
This study incorporates previous learnings, as well as globally collected data, to develop a strategy that can be used to help implement an industry-specific mental health program.
Data Mining of Hidden Danger in Operational Production
The value of hidden-danger data stored in text can be revealed through an approach that can help sort and interpret information in an ordered way not used previously in safety management.
Data-Driven Management Strategy Can Reduce Environmental Effect of Production Plants
This paper highlights the results of a test campaign for a tool designed to predict the short-term trends of energy-efficiency indices and optimal management of a production plant.
Transforming Natural Resource Management for a Sustainable Planet
This paper presents the recent expansion of UNFC guidance to cover social and environmental effects and the further transformation of the system to make it a valuable tool in resource management for governments and businesses.
Focus on Individual Decision Making Drives Safety Journey
This paper discusses ExxonMobil’s focus on the next phase of its safety journey through advancement of individual awareness and decision making to help drive breakthroughs in the operator’s vision of safety.
Health, Safety, and Environment
A critical support role within the upstream sector is played by the thousands who work in HSE and sustainability. The HSE performance of the industry has improved dramatically over the decades because of technological advances and a greater understanding of systems, processes, and human performance.
JIP Prepares for Final Shallow-Water Test of Subsea Power System
The complete paper highlights elements of the technical development and an overview of the primary building blocks of the system, and presents in detail some of the challenges in developing, designing, and testing the control system.
Alternative solutions to traditional subsea production systems received more attention when the oil price was low. During the past few years, more focus has been on how to use existing infrastructure to obtain more oil and gas from reservoirs than originally planned.
The Cloud Offers Opportunity for Oil and Gas Cybersecurity
The author argues that the advent of cloud technology should not be regarded as a further challenge to security but an opportunity to revitalize and improve a company’s defenses dramatically.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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