TOPICS OF INTEREST
RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION AND DYNAMICS
Saltwater Disposal Optimization Drives Water Midstream Sector
Operators of unconventional plays face a conundrum—how to dispose of produced water economically without risking seismicity or aquifer contamination. A recent paper and virtual forum offer ideas for optimizing saltwater disposal.
New Fracture Diagnostic Test Delivers Tight Reservoir Data in 2 Hours or Less, Bolsters Future of Engineered Completions
Unconventional producers around the world have been hamstrung by expensive and cumbersome options when it comes to obtaining reservoir data. Among the latest ways to break past these barriers is a new method developed by Canadian researchers and field tested in Australia’s unconventional frontier.
While the ongoing trends in data science and engineering analytics are going to show more benefits in lowering production costs and increasing efficiencies, the well-established reservoir and production engineering disciplines will continue to be critical for reservoir performance improvements.
Seismic Provider SAExploration Files for Bankruptcy Protection
The proposed restructuring plan aims to eliminate about $74 million of the company’s debt.
Formation-Fluid Microsampling While Drilling Enables Complete Reservoir Characterization
The complete paper presents a technical discussion of a new microsampling technique for LWD and a corresponding wellsite technique to provide compositional interpretation, contamination assessment, reservoir-fluid compositional grading, and reservoir compartmentalization assessment.
An opportunity now exists to further develop the way we solve problems by adopting agile work flows. Originating from software development in 2001, agile work flows will be a key part of driving the oil and gas industry to its next level of efficiency.
The Chow Pressure Group: Shut-In Wells Offer Case for a New Approach to Interference Testing
As wells across the US shale sector are brought back onto production, they may want to do so strategically to learn about the connectivity of their wells. One challenge will be in selecting a model that delivers the most insight.
Devon Makes Sealed Wellbore Pressure Monitoring Available to Entire Shale Sector
Developed by the large shale producer, its new way to monitor interactions between horizontal wells is now available as a commercial software. The concept is considered a stepping stone toward real-time fracture design.
Reservoir Commentary: Potential Implications of Long-Term Shut-Ins on Reservoir
New commentary from the SPE Reservoir Advisory Committee (RAC) provides key high-level insights on the potential consequences of long-term shut-ins on conventional and unconventional reservoirs.
Leveraging the Combined Benefits of RTA and PTA During Market-Induced Production Shutdown
The silver lining for those overseeing the unprecedented shut ins of tight-oil wells is the potential to acquire a wealth of reservoir data. But first, petroleum engineers need to monitor these wells and use the right analysis toolbox.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SPE Technical Directors’ Outlook: Tearing Down the Walls Among Disciplines
Merging new knowledge and technological capabilities among the disciplines—and beyond—will be crucial to sustaining the industry for the long term.
Questions Over Permeability Prompt Producer-Led Group To Rebuild Key Fracture Diagnostic
For the past 20 years, the diagnostic fracture injection test has been used across the frontlines of the shale revolution to paint a picture of what cannot be seen. However, that picture has not always been so clear in the eyes of subsurface engineers.
Shale Producers Adopt Geochemistry Fingerprinting to Quantify Cross-Well Production
Knowing which horizon crude oil flows from and in what proportions has been a major challenge for shale producers. Increasingly, they are turning to new technology to find the answer.
Colombia’s New Ambitions Include Caribbean and Shale Development, But Are They Achievable?
Colombia is walking a thin line between becoming another fading petroleum province and Latin America’s next big success story. Its aces in the hole: unleashing its nascent offshore and unconventional sectors.
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.
Zama Appraisal Program Offshore Mexico Ends With Positive Results
Operator Talos Energy now believes Zama’s gross recoverable resource lies in the upper half of its pre-appraisal estimate of 400–800 million BOE. The consortium is working toward a 2020 final investment decision on the project.
US DOE To Fund 12 R&D Projects To Boost Unconventional Characterization, Recovery
Twelve organizations—universities and private technology companies—will conduct research and development on emerging shale plays and technologies covering everything from digital pressure-sensing to smart microchip proppant.
China’s Shale Dream Rests Atop Chaotic Geology
As the country pushes for higher output from its emerging unconventional sector, nature is pushing back. To get better results, operators there are increasing their reliance on technology.
Industry Dives into UK’s New Oil and Gas Data Hub
Some 3,000 people and counting intrigued by UK oil and gas data have signed up for access to the country’s new National Data Repository. What motivated the OGA to make the data available to the public, and what can the public do with the data?
OTC Event Selects 10 Startups Worth Watching
The results are in. Here are this year’s “Most Promising” startups as decided by upstream investors and oil company innovation teams
Shale Pioneer: Hard Ceiling on Production Growth Coming
The complicated parent-child relationship in US shale fields is emerging as a turning point in the US shale revolution. One of the first executives to exploit tight oil says the issue will reverse the sector’s cumulative growth rate by 2025.
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.
Permian Basin Production Will Grow as Long as Well Productivity Allows It
Production growth in the Permian Basin requires drill rigs running at a high pace. That is challenging companies to push well productivity.
To Solve Frac Hits, Unconventional Engineering Must Revolve Around Them
The struggle to overcome the challenge of frac hits has led to a critical dialogue about which pathway the shale sector should take. One idea is to simply put the problem at the center of every major decision.
Fighting Water With Water: How Engineers Are Turning the Tides on Frac Hits
If the shale sector’s most complex problem can be solved, it will require companies to use their wells as a team. Newly detailed field work shows that a good defense is the key to success.
BP and Startup Beyond Limits Try To Prove That Cognitive AI Is Ready for Oil and Gas
BP has invested more than $100 million into nine different startup companies in the past 2 years—but only one of them wants to turn your brain into a piece of its software.
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.
Equinor To Employ Permanent Reservoir Monitoring at Arctic, North Sea Fields
The technology will provide Equinor a continual feed of updated reservoir information from its Johan Castberg and Johan Sverdrup fields with the aim of improving well placement, production, injection, and—ultimately—recovery.
Can You Measure Reservoir Depletion While Drilling?
Shale explorers run very few logs into horizontal wells, making it difficult to understand the effects of reservoir depletion in tightly spaced wells. This new technology is trying to change that.
New Modeling Code Sees Deep Inside Fractures, May Change Thinking on Well Spacing
Operators are working with a young startup company to overhaul how the unconventional sector has traditionally interpreted one the most common tests used to influence well completion designs.
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.
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?
Old CaTS Technology Learns a New Trick
Acquiring data from an abandoned subsea well has been done before, but never quite like this.
Total, Google Cloud to Team on AI for Upstream
Total is expanding its development and use of artificial intelligence to bolster its exploration work, collaborating with Google Cloud—which is stepping up its presence in the oil and gas industry.
Doctrines vs. Realities in Reservoir Engineering
The appreciation of empirical realities permits the improvement of commercial depletion planning and enables a greater number of projects. This paper reviews the evidence for and against three doctrines in current use to develop depletion plans.
Fracturing Plans and Reality Often Look Really Different
Good diagnostic testing is often painstaking, time-consuming, and costly, but recent studies suggest that a lack of knowledge can be even costlier.
In the onshore world, one of the big advances for addressing increased sampling requirements has been to go to 24-hour shooting with continuous recording of simultaneously sweeping vibrators. This has been enabled by innovations in both acquisition and processing.
Production Optimization in Waterfloods: A New Approach to Interwell-Connectivity Modeling
In the complete paper, the authors present a novel methodology to model interwell connectivity in mature waterfloods and achieve an improved reservoir-energy distribution and sweep pattern to maximize production performance by adjusting injection and production strategy on the well-control level.
Formation Evaluation: A Critical First Step
Emerging technologies have helped bring about multilateral, maximum-contact, and smart-completion wells, allowing reservoirs to be developed and produced much more efficiently and economically. In this, formation evaluation plays a critical role.
New-Frontier Reservoirs I
You want to know how to immediately make a step change in your business and improve your own promotion prospects. You want to know the key technologies you should be implementing now. To develop your longer-term strategy, you want an awareness of future trends now. Consider your wish granted.
Advancement of the integration of seismic with other oilfield disciplines has been fueled by two factors. First, advances in seismic technologies naturally led to more-powerful integration. Second, developments in seismic were motivated in direct response to the needs of interpreters and engineers.
History Matching and Forecasting
Nowadays, there is a wealth of history-matching methods. As a result, we observe that it is becoming a common industrial practice to generate multiple history-matched models, even for fairly complex problems with thousands of uncertainty variables and a large amount of data.
Modeling of EOR in Shale Reservoirs Stimulated by Cyclic Gas Injection
This paper focuses on the effects of injected-gas composition and fracture properties on oil recovery, concluding that cyclic gas injection in hydraulically fractured shale oil reservoirs is feasible for improving oil production substantially over primary production.
Tengiz Field Sector Model for IOR/EOR Process Evaluation
This work presents a methodology to construct a sector model for the Tengiz field that covers one-sixth of the field area to evaluate improved-/enhanced-oil-recovery (IOR/EOR) processes to increase oil recovery through the life of the field.
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