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SPE Marginal Fields: Challenges and Opportunities

17 – 18 September 2014

Cairo, Egypt

Technical Agenda

Wednesday, 17 September

Session 1: Marginal Fields—Challenges and Opportunities (Panel Session)

Session Moderators: David Talbott, Apache; Ahmed Hassan, Pico International Petroleum; Mohamed Ghareeb, Lufkin

Session 2: Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir Engineering

Session Chairs: Leonardo Salvadori, Dana Gas; Ahmed Aly, Technical Petroleum Services

Around 30-40% of the total oil produced in the world comes from contributions of marginal fields. Despite the challenges in developing these kind of fields economically, it is largely recognized that if properly managed, marginal fields can offer excellent opportunities for production improvement and profit for companies of any size. A substantial amount of hydrocarbons can be unlocked in many areas of the world if the appropriate exploration and engineering technology is applied. New geological concepts, appropriate well logging acquisition and interpretation techniques, specifically designed geophysical surveying and processing methodologies, followed by sound reservoir engineering work are the keys of success in order to maximize the value of marginal fields.

Integrated solutions, multidisciplinary studies, proper exploration and reservoir project management can also materially contribute in enhancing the hydrocarbon potential of marginal fields. More synergy between international and national oil companies and contractors will contribute to make a step change in this emerging sector.

Thursday, 18 September

Session 3: Reservoir and Production Management

Session Chairs: Sayed Fadel, Rashpetco; Anil Mathur, Schlumberger

Marginal fields have long been recognized as the step-child in the oil and gas industry with the larger share of E&P expenditure geared towards known prolific fields and more recently into shale gas plays in North America and other parts of the world. However, with current oil prices and energy scenarios it behooves the industry as a whole to direct attention to marginal fields which still hold a large potential for incremental production. Revitalizing mature fields embraces multiple objectives, especially maximizing production while minimizing capital expense, reducing the inevitable decline rate and minimizing operating expenses.

Recognition of key technologies is vital to rejuvenating mature fields and providing solutions and assessment of existing resources. Some of these could encompass newer technologies in the areas of reservoir monitoring and surveillance, reservoir characterization, latest drilling & completion technologies for horizontal wells, production enhancement and optimization, new stimulation and fluid technologies, and sand and water management solutions. A vast, bypassed resource still remains to be tapped in marginal fields.

Session 4: Drilling and Well Intervention

Session Chairs: Gamal Gouda, Eni; Osama Abdalla, Enventure Middle East Limited; Osama Sanad, Halliburton 

Marginal fields comprise of small and abandoned fields, which have remained undeveloped. When sidetrack operations are executed, hole reduction is inevitable while using consecutive casing strings. Sidetracking often constrains the ID available while drilling the drain hole with slimhole tools that drastically reduce the flow area and limit logging and drilling equipment availability and finally the well completion size. Keeping the ID as large as possible is often the deciding factor of the project’s viability. An expandable liner system addresses this issue and facilitates maximum ID to maximise the completion 
string size. By combining solid expandable tubulars with sidetracking technology into projects that capitalise on existing infrastructure, operators globally are harvesting significant advantages and benefits by mitigating troublesome formations and reaching additional reserves with sufficient hole size. 

Maintaining adequate hole size provides better steering capacity in the reservoir and enables the operator to run logs otherwise not possible in slimhole wells. This approach is an attractive alternative for a new drill to access reserves previously out-of-reach. The technology has enabled operators to use an existing well in fields where new infill wells are uneconomical with other existing technologies. Window exits and solid expandable tubulars—two complimentary applications—have the potential to significantly reduce operators’ capital expenditures during the life of a field.