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

22 – 24 April 2013

Muscat, Oman

Technical Agenda

Monday, 22 April, 1030–1230

Session 1: Reinjection and Containment of Acid and Sour Gas

Session Chairs: Faleh Al-Shutair, Chevron; MaxPrins, Shell

This session will explore the key considerations and challenges of re-injecting acid/sour gas. For long term sequestration as well as shorter term storage for re-use of gas, containment is paramount and needs to be assured to avoid harm for people and environment. This involves study on focus areas like reactive transport/chemical modeling and risk assessment. Re-injection of acid/sour gas for EOR purposes also will bring other challenges. During this session, the issue of in-situ generation of sour gas during waterflood operations will also be addressed.


Session 2: Reservoir Characterisation and Data Acquisition

Session Chairs: Richard Singleton, Al Hosn Gas; Abdullah Al Hadhrami, PDO

Reservoir characterization in sour oil and gas fields possess several additional challenges related to handling of corrosive and toxic fluid from the high concentration of H2S and CO2 in addition to presence of non-conventional components, e.g.  Mercaptans, Chlorides, Wax, COS. This requires an improvement on well testing and fluid analysis procedures to ensure a good definition of project design and robust materials selection. Additional unique aspects of reservoir characterisation in sour fields are the understanding of complex reservoir rock and fluid phase behaviour as well as interaction of rock and fluid with H2S and CO2.

Data acquisition in highly sour oil and gas fields requires specialized equipment and services. The development of the wireline and LWD logging tools is well advanced (for static reservoir data evaluation) although there are only a limited number of expert service providers.

This is largely because the tools are essentially the same but have more advanced metallurgy appropriate for the harsh wellbore conditions. The premise for these tools is also that they are not exposed to the H2S due to inhibitors run in the mud. However, the area where deficiencies in tool development exist is with obtaining flowing well/dynamic data. Wireline or slickline tools run in flowing wells whether it is fluid sampling tools (such as MDT) or PLT’s where wellbore differential contributing flow is being assessed, the risk is significantly higher. Advances in elastomers and seals have helped but, at this time, the Contractor service companies have some way to go in research and technology and field trials to be in position to effectively operate and market these industry required tools.

In respect to well testing services (stimulation, coil tubing operations, fluid sampling, well flow testing, flaring etc) this is a key area where the techniques themselves are relatively well known but where their application in highly sour conditions would benefit from the open sharing of experiences (+/-). This could significantly enhance risk management evaluations and increase Operators confidence. The ideal would be to provide input to the formation of new industry standard practices (specifications and operations). This to be used to reduce risk and to provide supporting material to: Contract Tenders; Flaring dispensation submissions (dispersion modeling, H2S and SO2 monitoring & flare mitigation); HSE and SIMOP planning and well test planning in general.

Tuesday, 23 April, 0830–1030

Session 3: Material Selection (Tubulars, Seals, Completion, Impact of Complex Well Design, CRA, Fluid Interactions)

Session Chairs: Ahmed Hassan, Petroleum Development Oman; Kamal El Bachiri, VAM Drilling

Material selection for drilling products, OCTG and downhole equipment to be used in sour gas wells mainly depends on the level of H2S and other impurities, reservoir conditions, and also well profile & design. This key selection process is often very complex, due to the lack of international regulations and industry guidelines regarding material selection for such products; in particular, when it comes to select Corrosion Resistant Alloys or alternatives.

Besides, selecting the right pipeline cladding and equipment for surface gathering systems also require specific attention.


Session 4: Operational Planning for Different Phases (Development Drilling and Production Operations) (SIMOPS)

Session Chairs: Andreas Rosener, Wintershall; Severino Simeone, SRAK

This session will explore the complex issues for managing the overlap of HSE relevant zones relating to a wide variety of operations. These SIMOPS (Simultaneous Operations) will also include interactions of various parties such as the local community, the stakeholders themselves with the engineering operations. Questions that will be discussed will centre on choices between totally automated/unmanned operations with detailed complex intervention and labor-intensive operations. This will lead into discussion on SMART field operations and reservoir management strategies. Areas of focus for the discussion will be centered around SIMOPS procedures, barrier philosophy (buried gathering lines and safety nets), minimization of flaring and well clean up and testing strategies.


Session 5: Technology, Competency, Collaboration

Session Chairs: Juan Bonilla, Schlumberger; Sultan Al Shidhani, Petroleum Development Oman

New technology, and the human capital required to leverage it, are critical to unlocking contaminated gas fields and making commercially attractive sour gas operations possible. However, cultivating human capital while also developing and responding to technological advances is not a simple task. The next generation of sour-gas fields are of an unprecedented scale and complexity; involving numerous HSE risks and sophisticated production facilities. Staff competencies are scarce and cannot be effectively obtained through the efforts of individual developers and operators alone. Industry collaboration is required with new ways of working and broad participation of operators, technology organizations, service providers, educators, and trainers. Professional bodies such as the SPE and academia are also called upon to effectively contribute to achieving this goal. The challenges are real and imminent; therefore the industry must take serious steps to address both the technology and the competency needs. What are these? How are they different from typical oil and gas technologies and competencies? How can we as professionals lead the way to timely deliver these needs?

Join us for an interactive session to address some of these questions, explore answers, identify possible ways forward, and reflect on the current and desired state of both sour technology and competency.

Wednesday, 24 April, 0800–1200

Session 6: Workshop Learnings / Wrap-Up and Development of the Sour Field Community

Session Chairs: Sultan Al Shidhani, PDO; Richard Singleton, Al Hosn Gas