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Sour Field Development: Value and Demand for Integrated and Collaborative Approach

22 – 24 April 2013

Muscat, Oman

About this Workshop


The world-wide development of sour oil and gas resources (hydrocarbons contaminated by varying levels of H2S and CO2) is moving ahead at a fast pace. Much of the early learnings were gained from projects where the levels of H2S were relatively small (less than 1.0%). In many cases, the H2S and other contaminants were negligible on start-up but became an issue once production commenced (reservoir souring associated with EOR/water flooding etc). Corrosion and facilities’ damage were encountered requiring costly retroactive plant facilities repair/re-design. Cognisant of these learnings and with anticipation of souring in fields in later field life, up-front design changes are now being incorporated, along with operations procedural changes to manage these fields in production.

In today’s new world, there are several high profile sour oil and gas projects that are in the construction/development drilling phase and early stages of production. In these fields, the H2S levels are significantly higher (above 5.0% and up to 40%). Initial inputs into the development plans and FEED/plant design are often based on limited appraisal data. As these projects are being matured into full field developments, even more information is coming to light (during the development drilling phase) on issues such as: reservoir fluid compositional variance; reservoir temperature; reservoir pressure and depletion profiles; condensate blocking and heavy minerals contamination. There is always the potential that the range in compositional variance is different to the initial FEED design. If on the low side then facilities could be over-designed and the Project costs unnecessarily expensive. However, if on the high side, this could lead to a need for re-design (with inherent project schedule delays and increased costs) or more likely a need for operational constraints and/or procedures to be put in place to keep the exposure levels to the same as input to FEED and retain operational HSE ALARP status.

Collaboration between operators of sour hydrocarbons (oil and gas) is valuable and necessary to face the tremendous technical and operational challenges that if tackled individually could result in prohibitive costs and significant development risks and threats. Additionally, close cooperation between operators and service companies is of high value and necessity to progress technology and services that are essential for successful and effective development, management, and operating sour hydrocarbon fields. Areas of direct involvement and criticality (drivers for R&D and product development etc) include well logging in harsh conditions; productivity tests (PLT’s) and fluid sampling; reservoir stimulation and coil tubing; CRA materials and corrosion monitoring; well flow test design; dispersion modeling, well integrity and cementing.

Lastly, with the increasing number of developed sour fields, sulphur management and/or re-injection of sour gas components pose significant challenge to deal with much larger issues than previously experienced. Such projects require leading-edge technology and up-scaling to manage the high volumes of sour gas. There are needs to assess the implications of liquid or solids sulphur transportation and fit for purpose market product/value stream and/or the significant technical questions that surround effective reservoir sequestration of acid gas.

It is the intention of this latest SPE sour gas workshop to focus on the value and need for integration and forward planning. It is to bring technical experts from the operator subsurface, drilling, project and operations teams together with the various related service company specialists and share learnings and ideas. The overall aim is to build on past SPE workshops and forums and truly establish a networked, sour gas community that will provide the focus for communication, learning and development optimization of sour gas fields in the future.

Visa Information

SPE Middle East, North Africa, and India will assist in providing a visa invitation letter, upon request in writing, to confirmed registrants after receiving full payment of registration fees. Visa invitation letters take five days to issue from the date of request and it is the delegate's responsibility to obtain their own visa. SPE cannot issue the visa nor can we guarantee it will be obtained.

Workshop Guidelines


Two (2) days of informal discussions prompted by selected keynote presentations and discussions. Workshops maximise the exchange of ideas among attendees and presenters through brief technical presentations followed by extended breakout sessions and Q&A periods. The majority of the presentations are in the form of case studies, highlighting engineering achievements, and lessons learnt.


  • Proceedings will not be published; therefore, formal papers, and handouts are not expected from speakers.
  • Work in progress, new ideas, and interesting projects are sought.
  • Professionally prepared visual aids are not required; handwritten view graphs are entirely acceptable.
  • Note-taking by participants is encouraged.


Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Steering Committee encourages attendance from those who can contribute to the workshop most effectively either in discussions or with posters. A mix of attendees in terms of geographic origin, companies, and disciplines will be encouraged.

Workshop Deliverables

  • The Steering Committee will appoint a “scribe” to record the discussions and to produce the full workshop report for SPE.
  • This report will be circulated to all attendees as the workshop deliverable within 4–6 weeks following the workshop. The copyright of the report is with SPE.
  • PowerPoint presentation materials will be posted on a specific SPE URL address after the workshop Provision of the materials by the speakers will signify their permission for SPE to do so.


In keeping with ATW objectives and the SPE mission, commercialism in posters or presentations will not be permitted. Company logos must be limited to the title slide and used only to indicate the affiliation of the presenter and others involved in the work.

Attendance Certificate

All attendees will receive an attendance certificate attesting to their participation in the workshop. This certificate will be provided in exchange for a completed Workshop Questionnaire.

Continuing Education Units

Attendees at this workshop qualify for SPE Continuing Education Units (CEU) at the rate of 0.1 CEU per hour of the workshop.