TOPICS OF INTEREST
COVID-19 and Low Oil Prices—Critical Supply Chain and Procurement Strategies
With oil prices at historic lows and with COVID-19 supply chain disruptions, the time has come to evaluate supply chain and procurement strategies, sourcing techniques, and costs.
Podcast: Discussion on COVID-19 with Johana Dunlop
An expert panel moderated by Johana Dunlop, SPE technical director for HSE and sustainability, covers a wide range of issues facing the double crisis of COVID-19 and historically low crude prices.
Equinor Makes First Discovery in Gulf of Mexico Since 2015
The Monument well represents the Norwegian operator’s first deepwater drilling project in US waters in 5 years.
Further Cuts Announced Due to Low Oil Price, Supply/Demand Imbalance
ExxonMobil and Halliburton made additional cuts in spending and personnel.
In Search of a Flowmeter That Is Sensitive but Tough
Measuring the flow of water, mud, and cuttings from a well is critical, and difficult. A new flowmeter design that promises to be both accurate and durable is one of three technologies featured in a JPT series on drilling measurement innovation.
Whiting Bankruptcy Opens a New Frontier for Executive Payouts
Golden parachutes typically pay executives big money if they are fired without cause. Whiting Petroleum executives found a way to collect theirs for staying on board after the company they led filed for bankruptcy.
There’s More to Dull Drill Bits Than Meets the Eye
The best way to know how drilling affects drill bits is to visualize the bits. A device that creates high-resolution images for precise measurements is one of three technologies being featured in a JPT series on drilling measurement innovations.
2020 Offshore Technology Conference Has Been Canceled
Amid continued health and travel concerns, the OTC Board of Directors felt this decision was the most feasible and responsible.
US to Consider Leasing Space in Strategic Petroleum Reserve
The potential leasing of space in the SPR comes after the DOE’s plans to buy crude oil were suspended. US oil inventory stockpiles stand at a 10-month high.
Whiting Files for Bankruptcy
The Denver-based shale producer is the first to cite the ongoing price war and COVID-19 pandemic as the triggers for its insolvency.
Analysis of Athabasca Oil Sands Investigates SAGD Performance Variability
Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) performance in bitumen-recovery projects in Alberta is affected by geological deposits, reservoir quality, and operational experience.
Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensors Characterize Flow-Control-Device Performance
The complete paper describes piloting the collection and analysis of distributed temperature and acoustic sensing (DTS and DAS, respectively) data to characterize flow-control-device (FCD) performance and help improve understanding of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) inflow distribution.
Reviewing a myriad of papers presented at different conferences during the past year, I can group the current trends in heavy-oil operations and research into two major categories: Process optimization and use of chemicals as additives to steam and water.
History Matching and Forecasting
Most history-matching studies have fixed resources—that is, the team of engineers and geoscientists is predetermined. Moreover, the deadlines are always very strict. This constrained scenario often leads to an unfortunate result: The quality of the study suffers.
Integrated Design Assessment Optimizes Layout and Engineering of Timor Gas Field
The complete paper presents an integration of geology, geohazards, geophysics, and geotechnical assessments for a design of an offshore gas production facility and an associated export pipeline.
Model Error Estimation Improves Forecasting
The results of the authors’ research showed a promising benefits from use of a systematic procedure of model diagnostics, model improvement, and model-error quantification during data assimilations.
Multilevel Strategies Improve History Matching of Complex Reservoir Models
The complete paper explores the use of multilevel derivative-free optimization for history matching, with model properties described using principal component analysis (PCA) -based parameterization techniques.
Natural Gas Processing and Handling
In 2019, the US experienced the lowest natural gas prices since 2016. This was despite natural gas consumption increasing in the residential and commercial sector by 2% (between October and December) according to the US Energy Information Administration.
New Modeling and Simulation Techniques Optimize Completion Design and Well Spacing
Proper lateral and vertical well spacing is critical for efficient development of unconventional reservoirs. Much research has focused on lateral well spacing but little on vertical spacing, which is challenging for stacked-bench plays such as the Permian Basin.
Polymer-Flood Field Pilot Enhances Recovery of Heavy Oils on Alaska’s North Slope
Although polymer flooding has become a promising enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technique, no field tests have been performed to date in Alaska’s underdeveloped heavy-oil reservoirs.
Prescriptive Analytics Aids Completion Optimization in Unconventionals
This paper discusses a prescriptive analytics framework to optimize completions in the Permian Basin.
Rapid Forecast Calibration Using Nonlinear Simulation Regression With Localization
The industry increasingly relies on forecasts from reservoir models for reservoir management and decision making. However, because forecasts from reservoir models carry large uncertainties, calibrating them as soon as data come in is crucial.
Sealed Wellbores and the Unlikely “Breakthrough” Behind Cheap, Accurate Fracture Diagnostics
When engineers went searching for clues on how fractures move beneath the surface, they expected to uncover important learnings. They did not know they were on the path to a new invention.
Study Correlates Hydrate Blockage Risk and Gas/Liquid Flow Pattern in Horizontal Pipelines
This paper analyzes the risk of hydrate formation and blockage, aiming at various gas/liquid flow patterns and considering the phase distribution and interface distribution characteristics of different flow patterns.
Subsurface Compression Lifts Liquids, Increases Gas Production in Unconventional Well Trial
A downhole compressor solution based on advanced magnetic technologies completed its first field trials in an unconventional gas well. It resulted in a 62% increase in gas production and significant increase in liquid production compared to using a rod pump previously in the well
Upstream Digitalization Is Proving Itself in the Real World
For the upstream industry, where improvement in efficiency or production can drive significant financial results, there is no question that the size of the digital prize is huge. So are the challenges.
Well-Completion System Supported by Machine Learning Maximizes Asset Value
In this paper, the authors introduce a new technology installed permanently on the well completion and addressed to real-time reservoir fluid mapping through time-lapse electromagnetic tomography during production or injection.
What Role Will LNG Play in Balancing Gas Demand in the MENA Region?
The complete paper analyzes the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in balancing the natural gas demand in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region.
A Drilling Automation Idea a Driller Could Appreciate
A group of people who really care how drillers code the memos added to the daily drilling report is the data scientists—who find that the coded tags do not match the activity. A program that helps drillers code is one of three technologies featured in a JPT series on drilling measurement innovation.
Russian Government Buys Venezuelan Assets From Its Own Oil Company
US sanctions appear to have prompted a change in ownership. It is unclear how the new arrangement will impact Venezuela’s diminishing ability to export crude oil.
Spending Cuts First, Job Cuts Are Next
Oil exploration and production jobs globally are at about the level they were after deep cuts following the 2014 crash. Now companies need to find more to cut.
UPDATE: Oil Industry Budget Cuts Adding Up Across the Globe
The list of companies that are slashing millions and sometimes billions from their annual spending programs is growing longer as the ripple effects of a price war and pandemic spread across the globe.
Chevron Hits the Brakes on Permian, Cuts $8 Billion Across Company
The international major has lowered its output forecast in the world’s most prolific unconventional basin by 20%.
Global Upstream Industry Moves Into Survival Mode
As the fallout deepens from the coronavirus pandemic and the global collapse in oil and gas prices, oil- and gas-producing regions around the world are feeling the pain.
Industry Faces Long Road to Recovery
Leaders of Rystad Energy went online recently to talk about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the oil and gas industry, and the prognosis isn’t good.
Is Depression-Era Production Regulation What OPEC Really Wants To See?
The notion that the state of Texas could help oil producers by limiting production at a time when the market is glutted has a real history in Texas, but an iffy future.
Oil Prices Look Worse This Week, Time for Companies To Cut Deeper
US shale operators are cutting deeper, with some eliminating drilling and completions activity altogether.
Halliburton Issues Mandatory Furloughs at Headquarters
The world’s second-largest service firm has seen its share price tumble by 75% as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a brutal price war. Workers at Halliburton’s main campus are among the first to feel the impacts.
Interest in US Gulf Lease Sale Sapped by Price Crash
Oil and gas operators played it safe in the latest offshore auction by placing about half the high bids typically made. As a result, the total dollar commitment for the round was the lowest since 2017.
Historic Oil Glut May Linger for Years
Oil prices got bad fast, so when will they get better? Don’t bet on a quick recovery.
Facts and Figures: US To Fill Strategic Petroleum Reserves Amid Historic Price War
In its first response to the Russia-Saudi Arabia price war, the US government will purchase up to 78 million bbl of crude to protect domestic producers.
E&P Spending Cuts Spur Requests for Reduced OFS Fees
The shale industry could shoulder 65% of $100-billion 2020 global E&P spending cut. Can oilfield services providers afford to cut their fees further to prop up hard-hit operators?
Drilling Automation Is the Future, But ExxonMobil Finds Gaps To Fill
ExxonMobil’s rig automation experiment is accelerating, with plans to push the number of rigs in the system from three to nine. Drilling efficiency was improved by use of an automated pipe-handling system, which reduced the median time required for connection at one location by 20%.
Oil Price Crash Triggers Decisions To Slow Drilling
The prescribed treatment for market- and virus-induced oil price collapse is to quickly slow production growth. Two US shale companies moved swiftly to cut the pace of drilling and completions, but it is too soon to know if that will have any impact.
Don’t Tell Them You Are Using Excel
Engineering career tip of the day: If you are using Microsoft Excel at work, don’t leave it open on your computer when your boss is nearby.
ExxonMobil Shares Blueprint for Stricter Regulations of Methane Emissions
The largest oil and gas major in the US is calling for tighter rules around methane monitoring, wellhead venting, and the replacement of equipment components with “high-leak potential.”
Podcast: Highlights from SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference
In this episode, we discuss some of the latest research and emerging techniques that were shared at the industry’s leading hydraulic fracturing gathering earlier this year.
Record US Production Topped 12 Million B/D in 2019, Will Climb Slower This Year
Led by Texas and New Mexico, year-over-year crude output jumped by 11% according to the US Energy Information Administration. Going forward, new records will be set but at a slower pace.
Equinor Strikes Oil at New North Sea Discovery
Because the greenfield can use existing infrastructure, the Norwegian operator says it will count as a low-carbon development.
Just as the unconventional revolution has transformed our industry during the past decade, it has also dominated the world of artificial lift. In fact, it can be difficult to find an artificial lift paper these days that does not address, in some way, artificial lift systems in unconventional wells.
Cost-Effective Validation of HP/HT Subsea Equipment Using Seawater Hydrostatic Head
The complete paper presents a practical approach for validating design-verification analysis for subsea equipment, using a representative pressure valve block to correlate finite-element analysis (FEA) predictions for strain changes with actual measured changes.
Dynamometer-Card Classification Uses Machine Learning
The complete paper explains the steps taken to improve surveillance of beam pumps using dynamometer-card data and machine-learning techniques and reviews lessons learned from executing the operator’s first artificial intelligence project.
Expandable HP/HT Liner Hanger Increases Pressure Integrity
This paper describes a high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) expandable liner hanger product that offers metal-to-metal and elastomer sealing capabilities at the liner top in the host casing.
High Pressure/High Temperature
One would think that, in these challenging times, high-pressure/high-temperature technology and projects would be put on the back burner, with everybody chasing zipper-fractured barrels from shale. Well, it is not so.
Innovators Seek To Transform Flaring Into Money and Power
Instead of burning money, why not make electricity? This is the big pitch being made by a growing number of technology companies who see green every time they see a red-hot flare burning associated gas.
Least-Squares Migration Technique Improves Imaging and Inversion Offshore China
In this paper, the authors propose a least-squares Q migration (LSQM) method that combines the benefits of both LSM and Q prestack depth migration (QPSDM) to improve the amplitude fidelity and image resolution of seismic data.
Machine-Learning-Based Early-Warning System Maintains Stable Production
This paper describes an accurate, three-step, machine-learning-based early warning system that has been used to monitor production and guide strategy in the Shengli field.
Maintaining Seismic-Focused Exploration During Downturn Yields Benefits
This paper demonstrates how maintaining investment in high-quality 3D seismic during the last downturn, together with selective exploration, quality geoscience, application of new technologies, and efficiently maturing discoveries to early cash flow, was successful in sustaining future production.
Mass Implementation of Ultrahigh-Speed ESP Systems Increases Reliability, Savings
This paper presents the results of a 3-year project aimed at mass field implementation of ultrahigh-speed (UHS) electric submersible pump (ESP) systems in western Siberia.
Production-Logging Technologies Enhance Inflow Profiling in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico
This paper discusses the effectiveness of third-generation (Gen3) production-logging-tool (PLT) technology, which uses co-located digital sensors for simultaneous acquisition of flow data to provide the most accurate characterization of the flow condition at each depth surveyed.
Production monitoring requires heightened degrees of precision and efficiency as operations are streamlined and projects are evaluated continuously. This month’s feature focuses on innovative technologies that have been implemented in environments ranging from the Gulf of Mexico to China.
Quantitative Seismic Interpretation Identifies Sweet Spots in Organic-Rich Mudrocks
In this study, the authors use a quantitative seismic interpretation work flow (QSI) based on a rock-physics template in estimating the uncertainty of the geochemical properties of organic mudrocks of the Shublik formation of the Alaskan North Slope.
Happily, in this past year, we witnessed several examples of marriage between two themes—exciting technology advances and the recent economic downturn. In other words, necessity for survival in hard times provided the impetus for innovation.
Succeeding at Petroleum Engineering in a Digital Age
Digital advances allow computers to do many of the tedious tasks once done by engineers, which frees them to focus on more interesting tasks.
Technique Overcomes Scarcity of Solubility Data in Scale Prediction for HP/HT Conditions
The complete paper describes the generation of additional fundamental solubility data under HP/HT conditions and comparison of the obtained values with several existing models.
Transient Plunger-Lift Model Improves Prediction of Liquid Unloading From Gas Wells
Natural-gas wells suffer from liquid loading if the gas-flow rate is insufficient to carry liquids to the surface. Because of the technique’s many advantages, plunger lift has been used widely in gas wells for the removal of liquid columns and the rescue of dying gas wells from liquid loading.
Virtual Metering Tool Brings Real-Time Benefits to Production Monitoring
This paper describes a virtual metering tool that can monitor well performance and estimate production rates using real-time data and analytical models, integrating commercial software with an optimization algorithm that combines production and reservoir information.
Saudi Aramco Set To Make $110-Billion Investment in Tight Gas
The first of three major unconventional developments in Saudi Arabia has been given the green light. The project will underpin the country's goal to become a top gas exporter by 2030.
Texas Flaring Volumes Expected To Increase Alongside Oil Volumes
Texas Railroad Commissioner releases state's first flaring report.
Transocean's Backlog Signals A Deepwater Revival
Transocean reported a long list of reasons why the deepwater drilling business is coming back strong. Making money is still not one of them.
Eni Makes Another Discovery Offshore Mexico, Expects Several More
The Italian oil and gas company has found its second big well offshore Mexico and is setting its sights on several more in the near future.
Saudi Oil Basins Rich and Complex
Saudi Arabia offers a seemingly bottomless supply of oil and an equally deep array of exploration challenges as well.
Enverus Acquires RS Energy Group and Q Engineering
The provider of subscription-based analytics services for the North American oil and gas sector continues its streak of purchasing data-focused firms.
BP Aims for Net-Zero Emissions, Oxy To End Flaring
BP says it is firmly committed to achieving the ambitious target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years—even if that means producing less oil and gas.
Why Shell Drilled a “Horseshoe” Well in the Permian Basin
Sometimes problems turn out to be an opportunity to try something new. In this case, the result was a well design unlike anything most in the shale sector have seen before.
SPE Launches “Energizing Our Lives”
The aim of the new site is to report the positive stories about how our industry is having a beneficial impact on people’s lives.
Operators Seeking Faster, Cheaper Ways to Screen Fracturing Ideas
High-tech testing is playing a bigger role than ever in helping shale producers reduce the time needed to screen out bad ideas.
Federal Investigators Probe Central Texas Blowout
The US Chemical Safety Board will investigate the blowout that killed three workers at a Chesapeake Energy well in central Texas.
Addressing Challenges in Rig-Based Drilling Advisory System Deployment
The complete paper presents a process used to successfully implement a rig-based drilling advisory system (RDAS) across a mixed group of rig contractors.
Don't miss out on the latest technology delivered to your email weekly. Sign up for the JPT newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
27 March 2020