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Flow Assurance: Challenges and Integrated Solutions for Mature and Green Fields

28 – 29 October 2013

Abu Dhabi, UAE | Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Technical Agenda

MONDAY, 28 October, 920-1050

Session 1: Mature Fields and Lessons Learnt

Session Chairs: Tariq Al Daghar, ZADCO; Xavier Illa, Weatherford

Although there is no universal definition of a mature field, the industry considers a field mature once its production begins to decline. Increasing water production, decreasing pressure, formation damage, and ageing equipment are other indicators of maturity. About thirty giant fields comprise half of the world’s oil reserves and most of them are categorised as mature field.

Production-enhancement techniques such secondary and tertiary recoveries, horizontal and multilateral drilling, improved perforation and stimulation methods, new completion techniques, artificial-lift optimisation, and sand/water control can boost the recovery from these mature fields.

As cost of the project increases while the revenue gained from additional oil recovery decreases as field ages, the right technique to develop the field must be accurately chosen. In this session, we will learn about some experiences on prevention and remediation of formation damage, sand control, stimulation, fines migration, organic/inorganic deposition or other recovery efforts to increase production on mature fields.


Session 2: Chemical Inhibition and Remediation

Session Chairs: Julie Excoffon, Nalco Champion; Myles Jordan, Nalco Champion

Production chemistry issues occur as a result of chemical and physical changes to the well stream fluid as it is transported from the reservoir to wells, flowlines, and processing facilities. Inorganic/organic deposition and material integrity are amongst the main issues affecting the production and process systems in a project life cycle. The resolution of these problems can be carried out by the application of non-chemical techniques and through the use of properly selected and applied chemical additives. Two general chemical strategies can be implemented to control and manage these issues: Inhibition or Remediation.

Chemical inhibition strategy will prevent or delay phenomenon such as scale, wax, naphthenate or asphaltene fouling by the use of continuous injection of so called “inhibitors”. Batch treatments of inhibitors to the reservoir are also applied to control deposition most commonly of scale that forms upstream of the location of continual injection. Mitigation of inorganic and organic fouling may not be 100% effective due to a number of factors which include incorrect selection and application strategies. In this case, remediation becomes unavoidable. Chemically, remediation is carried out by the use of batch treatment of so called “dissolver/remover” formulations.

This session will focus on the pros and cons of both chemical approaches in relation to solid deposition, the total cost of operation of each strategy, and field case histories.


Session 3: Chemical Deployment

Session Chairs: Gordon Graham, Scaled Solutions; Myles Jordan, Nalco Champion

The correct selection of inhibitors in terms of performance to control a flow assurance issues is only the first step to control disposition within the production system.  The products must also be compatible with materials of construction under application conditions and the location of that application relative to the onset of the flow assurance challenge are also critical to effective control.

This session will evaluate the current chemical deployment options covering all forms of batch and continual treatment with presentations focused on case studies and lessons learnt from operators and service companies. There will also be group exercise to evaluate the challenges within a model field as a way of illustrating the technical challenges that can face mature and green field developments.


Session 4: Integrated Production Modelling

Session Chairs: Amir Alwazzan, OneSubsea (Cameron-Schlumberger Co.) ; Mohammed Ali Bin Brek, ADCO

With the significant increase in flow assurance challenges being experienced in both brown and green fields, a key element to successful field development optimisation is considering the integration of the different parts of the production system especially surface and subsurface. With this approach, changes along the trip of the produced fluids from pore to the delivery point will be captured in one single integrated model.

This approach is applicable to both onshore and offshore developments during different phases of design and operations. In addition to ensuring safe, reliable, and optimised production operations; operators can save tremendous CAPEX and OPEX costs via investigating and optimizing significant number of system permutations.

In this session, we will exchange knowledge and discuss the latest state-of-art developments pertaining to data acquisition and assessment, integrated production modelling and analysis of multiphase flow from pores to delivery points, benchmarking techniques, aspects of debottlenecking studies, and economic benefits.

Tuesday, 29 October, 0925–1100

Session 5: Green Fields and New Challenges

Session Chair: Amir Alwazzan, OneSubsea (Cameron-Schlumberger Co.); Mohammed Ali Bin Brek, ADCO

Oil and gas fields which are previously discovered but undeveloped are called green fields. They are characterised by existing proven hydrocarbons which require further delineation and infrastructure and contain significant potential exploration activities. Some of the green fields may have current production or near-term production. Developing these fields require fit-for-purpose technologies to address the potential challenges and develop the appropriate engineering solutions up front. In this session, we will discuss field development planning and execution, drainage strategies and challenges, effects of increased water production, implementation of intelligent completions, supply chain management, risked services, and lessons learnt.


Session 6: Chemistry versus Engineering Solutions

Session Chairs: Karen Kozielski, CSIRO; Xavier Illa, Weatherford

A constant focus on production chemistry and more precisely on flow assurance is crucial to the success of all producing assets, particularly in sub-sea developments where produced fluids are exposed to HP/HT conditions, and where mitigation treatments can be very expensive. It is also essential in mature fields where new developments may be tied back to a single processing facility. Fouling of inorganic or organic materials and corrosion related concerns are amongst the main issues encountered in the transmission of produced fluids from the reservoir to the delivery point.

The resolution of these problems can be made through the use of properly selected chemicals additives or by applications of non-chemical techniques: Insulation, Heating, Use of resistant materials and coating, Use of electric fields, Pigging, etc. are few of the engineering solutions used to secure the production operations, minimising the down times, and reducing the  production costs whilst minimising operating expenditure (Opex) associated with production chemical usage and any health, safety and environmental (HS&E) impact.

This session will highlight recent advances in new engineering approaches tackling flow assurance issues such as inorganic and organic deposition, hydrates or corrosion. Experts from the industry and university will present and discuss on the pros and cons of the chemical versus engineering solutions and the profitability of each strategy.


Session 7: Research and Development

Session Chair: Mutaz Daas, Saudi Aramco; Amir Alwazzan, OneSubsea (Csameron-Schlumberger Co.)

For the past decade, the subject of flow assurance has been an active research area, with respect to all of its three domains of production chemistry, production engineering, and production operations and surveillance.  The outcomes have created significant differences in our industry and provided novel solutions to many complex issues. They also changed the patterns of industry decision-making.

As industry pursues more challenging targets and resource types, a demonstrated key success factor is new technologies to improve productivity and deliverability of the assets. As such, there is a lot to be expected from R&D programmes in the next decade. 

In this session, we will discuss the latest leads in R&D, know-how initiatives, key research challenges and horizons and ways to promote communication and collaboration between academia and industry.


Session 8: Breakout Session