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Advanced Chemicals and Fluids for the Oilfield

30 September– 5 October 2012 :: The Algarve, Portugal


Technical Agenda

Session 1: Industry Challenges

Session Manager: Glenn Penny

The oil and gas industry faces many chemical challenges in the life of wells around the world. A constant challenge is to provide environmentally responsible solutions with improved performance under harsh conditions at a reduced price. These challenges are addressed in this session by recognised experts in the fields of well construction, completions, production and enhanced oil recovery. Each speaker will show how each area has benefited and/or can benefit from advanced chemicals and fluids.

Session 2: Industry and Environmental Regulations

Session Manager: Denise Tuck

Environmental and regulatory controls on chemicals and fluids used in the oilfield present many challenges. Regulations are very specific to the area where the chemical or fluid is being used, which makes it difficult to determine the regulations in place and the compliance level needed. This session will discuss the challenges of complying with regulations and feature information on UN GHS Regulations. Scorecard compliance systems used by service companies and operators to show challenges in progress toward compliance will also be covered. Finally challenges and solutions from other industries including personal care and agrochemicals will be presented.

Session 3: Extreme Conditions Challenges

Session Managers: Hans Oschmann and Kay Cawiezel

The continual global search for more oil and gas has forced the oil industry to operate in areas where extreme conditions are found. Wells in remote locations with wide temperature variations, high temperature/high pressure and ultra-deep wells all present performance and application challenges to the chemicals and fluids used in these wells. This session presents the extreme condition challenges associated with temperature, pressure and ionic strength effects in the use and application of oilfield chemicals and fluids. Challenges in fluids viscosity optimisation and chemical stability/solubility performance will be discussed. Depositional challenges resulting from temperature, pressure and ionic strength effects and compatibility of chemicals and fluids under extreme conditions will also be discussed.

Session 4: Advanced Chemistry Solutions

Session Managers: Lorenz Siggel and Glenn Penny

This session examines the processes and philosophy which companies use to design and optimise products or formulations for a variety of applications from consumer products or industrial applications. Starting with modern computational chemistry tools, to understand the interactions at the molecular level, to coarse graining computational methods that span the gap between molecules to finite elements and correlate laboratory results with theory. Large databases can be searched for millions of structures, reactions, as well as properties to steer ideas for the design of new chemistries. Consumer goods companies design high performance products based on targeted properties coupled with material availability and end costs. Can these approaches be applied to the design of oilfield chemicals and advanced fluids? Can targeted design be applied for the complex subsurface environment?

Session 5: Chemistry Solutions 1 – Smart Chemicals and Fluids

Session Managers: Satya Gupta and Hartley Downs

In many oilfield applications, it is important for chemicals and fluids to exhibit different levels of performance at different times but also to be present in different locations throughout the production system. As a result, having the capability of controlling viscosity, biocidal activity and surfactancy is vital—viscosifiers, biocides and foaming agents are just three examples of chemicals for which this would be particularly useful.

Smart chemicals and fluids are designed to have at least one physical property that can be significantly changed in a controlled and usually reversible manner by external stimuli. Properties such as density, solubility, oil-water partitioning, rheology and surfactancy can be controlled by stimuli such as temperature, salinity, pH, trace compounds and electromagnetic fields.

This session will explore potential future chemical and fluid technologies and how these technologies may be applied in the oilfield. We also aim to discuss magneto-rheological fluids (MRF), electro-rheological fluids (ERF), switchable chemicals, self-healing fluids and functional surfactants. These applications may include fluids with controllable rheology and chemicals whose functionality can be intentionally turned on or off depending on changes in the environment.

Session 6: Smart Chemistry 2 – Sensing Chemicals and Fluids

Session Managers: Sandy Berry and Glenn Penny

A properly engineered well completion programme and good execution of that plan is a key component in successful hydrocarbon production from a completed well. Numerous completion challenges exist during the drilling, stimulation and completion stages that can result in an inadequate fracturing process or mixing of incompatible multiple stage fluids that can dramatically impact hydrocarbon production. The goal of this session is to identify improved recovery techniques by the application of advanced chemicals, such as ionic liquids and universal fluids, to improve the completion process, to prevent decreased production due to chemical incompatibility between multiple stage fluid systems and to improve primary production by enhancing hydraulic fracturing technologies with constant rheological fluids.

This session will focus on the emerging advanced chemical technologies of universal fluids, ionic liquids, constant rheological fluids and other advanced chemicals which could be utilised in the completion process to address some of the technical challenges.

Session 7: Smart Chemistry 3 – Controlled Release/Coatings

Session Managers: Satya Gupta and Roland Reichenbach-Klinke

Controlled release and delivery of chemicals is one of the technological challenges in creating smart materials for the oil industry. Other industries like agrochemicals and pharmaceutical already have extensive experience in this area. There are even some examples from oilfields where smart materials had been developed by encapsulation techniques or controlled/demand release. Currently there are more challenges than solutions and the controlled release of chemicals is interesting for all oilfield operations ranging from wellbore construction, drilling and stimulation operations to enhanced oil recovery and production services.

This session will explore the controlled release/delivery of chemicals by discussing various controlled release techniques including encapsulation and microfluidics. This will include a presentation of existing examples from the oil and other industries. Another part of this session will be new coating technologies. Future coating technologies that improve flow, minimise adhesion and have improved resistance to acids or solvents will be discussed.

Session 8: Accelerating Nanotechnology Commercialisation

Session Managers: Gaurav Agrawal and Jimmie Baran

This session will focus on the potential of using nanotechnology in creating "advanced chemicals". In the US alone, over 60,000 journal papers and 9,000 assigned patents in nanotechnology have been published in the last 12 years. What does the E&P industry need to do to extract value from this cumulative knowledge and accelerate commercialisation? Smart metal composites based on nanoscale coatings for intervention-less fracturing technology is now commercial. Laboratory prototypes with nanocarbon based sensor elements have been tested. Nano-particles of silica have been proposed as additives for rheology control, leak-off control and well stability, EOR and other applications. As a result, nanotechnology is migrating from paper concepts to lab prototypes to commercial use. In this session, starting with subject matter presentations, attendees are invited to build a collective voice of experience to articulate the nanotechnology development and adoption accelerators for E&P "advanced chemicals" applications.

Session 9: Forum Review and Way Forward

Session Manager: Kay Cawiezel

This session will review the key technical points from the previous sessions focusing on what the current and future oilfield challenges are and what the possible solutions are using advanced chemicals and fluids. Short reviews of focused discussions between the potential users of a technology and the chemical and material specialists with potential solutions will be highlighted. Additional discussions will solicit participant recommendations on specific tasks to initiate and implement “advanced” chemistry technology transfer from business areas in which it is currently being utilised to the oilfield.