SPE logo

Water Management: Is an Ounce of Prevention
Worth a Pound of Cure?

22-26 October 2012 :: Carlsbad, California, USA

Technical Agenda

Session I: What Are the Issues?

Session Managers: Kern Smith and Dwyann Dalrymple

Session II: Technologies for Identifying and Diagnosing Unwanted Fluid Production

Session Managers: Leonard Kalfayan and Julio Vasquez

One of the keys to success in water and gas shutoff treatments is the proper identification of the problem. However, current technologies often present limitations due to reservoir conditions, completion of the wellbore, and/or flowing conditions of the well. This session will focus on the most effective diagnostic technologies as well as emerging technologies that enable proper and effective mechanical or chemical treatments.

Session III: Water Control at the Reservoir – Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

Session Managers: Leonard Kalfayan and Julio Vasquez

There are many technologies and methods currently used to reduce or control excessive water production, from mechanical to chemical systems. However, more often than not, these treatments are limited to near-wellbore interval coverage. This session will present and discuss creative methods and applications for in-situ water shutoff as well as deep chemical conformance for improved sweep efficiency.

Session IV: Minimization of Water Footprint / Closed Loop Systems

Session Managers: Rick McCurdy and Jeff Dahl

In the majority of the secondary recovery efforts in the world’s oil operations, produced water is brought to surface, separated from produced crude, then often mixed with make-up waters and re-injected into the producing reservoir to maximize production. How can the industry improve the efficiency and recovery efforts of this process? As potable water from underground aquifers is occasionally utilized as make-up water, what steps can the oil industry take to minimize or eliminate this use?

Session V: Mitigating Adverse Water Reactions

Session Managers: Peter King, Matt Miller, and Ann Smith

The reaction between water and the formation, water and the hydrocarbons in the reservoir, and water with the wetted structural parts of the well and surface facilities is often unwelcome. Corrosion, scale deposition, formation of stable oil-water emulsions, hydrate plugs, asphaltene precipitation, conveyance of NORM to the surface are a few of the reactions that are battled on a daily basis through a combination of chemical and engineering approaches. What is the role of advanced coatings, automated sampling and analysis, and new mechanical designs in the efficiency of problem mitigation and the effectiveness of eliminating adverse reactions altogether?


  • Prioritization of adverse reactions
  • Chemical mitigations
  • Sampling and analysis automation
  • Alternative strategies for adverse reactions

Session VI: Future Wastewater Treatment Technologies

Session Managers: Rick McCurdy and Jeff Dahl

In many of the world’s oil and gas plays, the cost to treat and reuse the wastewater produced with the oil and/or gas is far greater than the cost of traditional disposal methods. This session will focus on the step-changes needed in this area to make beneficial reuse more attractive to an operator from an expense standpoint. In addition, the session will also include discussions on what alterations can be made to existing hydraulic fracturing additives to allow for reuse of produced brine with the minimal amount of treatment.

Session VII: Alternative Beneficial Reuse Applications and Disposal Methodologies

Session Managers: Peter King, Matt Miller, and Ann Smith

Wastewater from hydrocarbon production operations may be a reliable feedstock for other applications and industries. Disposal should be the method of last resort. What treatment processes are required to prepare oilfield water sources for new applications or to prepare external water sources for use in oil and gas operations? What techniques and methods from other industries may improve the economics, logistics, and social acceptance of water disposal? This session explores potential water reuse markets and disposal alternatives.

Session VIII: Regulations-Assistance or Challenge?

Session Managers: Ann Smith and Pam Sbar

What can industry expect in new regulations and how can they influence what regulators choose to regulate and how it is regulated?

As the methods and technologies for the management of water sourcing, use and disposal change and mature to meet industry demands, so do public and regulatory scrutiny. Industry can be reactive in addressing proposed regulatory modifications, or proactive in influencing what and how practices are regulated. This session will explore government and industry perspectives on the regulatory planning and development process, including how regulators, NGOs, academia and other industry members can work collaboratively to meet the needs of all.

Session IX: Wrap-Up

Session Managers: Ana Djuric and Ken Knox

The wrap-up session will open the discussion on future strategies, technologies and programs to address water challenges identified throughout the course of this forum. We will document how SPE and its members can best develop these action plans to support environmental and business sustainability.

  • Part 1: Defining sustainability and how business and environmental sustainability differ or are related.
  • Part 2: Summarizing technologies, programs and strategies discussed during the week and what other gaps can be identified.
  • Part 3: Thinking 30 years from now; predicting the challenges pertaining to water and considering utopia. What technologies, programs and strategies should we be planning for? What will drive change (regulations, public, energy needs, business, cost, etc)?