This session covers how world energy changed into the new era of unconventional resources. Nowadays, heavy oil, tight oil, coalbed methane (CBM), shale gas, and natural gas hydrate (NGH) are generally recognized as the five unconventional resources. The game-change in North America has awakened the world to seeking heavy oil and shale potential elsewhere in Europe and Asia. These reserves are now unconventional, but in not too many years, it will soon become conventional. Topics include the use of new emerging technologies to unlock the world unconventional reserve, improve reserve estimates, adding flexibility to drilling and completion and maximising long-term production, environmental concerns and politics, economic, and market outlook.
It is well known that understanding of business principles by engineers along with enhancing entrepreneurial tendencies is the road to economic growth and success for any company. Engineering is valuable in solving technical problems. Problem solving alone, however, is insufficient to create new-to-the-world products. Engineering requires heavy math and science skills, while business requires heavy communications and entrepreneurial skills. If we value each other, we can bridge the gap between the diverging focus and the diverging behavior which is what we need nowadays to succeed in this changing and challenging environment. It is important to allow this transition, being an engineer alone presently is not enough, how do we change this mindset in our population? What are the key skills that an engineer needs to develop to become successful?
Since early days, data acquisition is a prime well objective especially in exploration and appraisal wells. The challenges of data acquisition multiply manifold under the extreme environment of HPHT wells.
This session will explore the latest technology available in the industry that had successfully delivered reliable and accurate data in HPHT wells.
Another key topic that will be discussed in this session is the issue of well integrity assurance in HPHT well design. HPHT environment places a different set of challenges from conventional wells, with higher risks, and far more costly consequences in the event of failures. Fortunately, the industry also has progressed tremendously in recent years, with the latest engineering and technology capable of assuring well integrity not only while drilling, but the entire lifetime of the well.
The role of competency development has become a key for enhancing the success of the employees and organizations. Nowadays it’s not only the responsibility of the organizations to create a continuous development for their employees, but it’s also the employee’s responsibility to create their own career success. How do you define the skills, behaviors, and attitudes that workers need to perform their roles effectively? How do you know they're qualified for the job?
Some people think formal education is a reliable measure. Others believe more in on-the-job training, and years of experience. Still others might argue that personal characteristics hold the key to effective work behavior. All of these are important, but none seems sufficient to describe an ideal set of characteristics needed for any particular role. A more complete way of approaching this is to link individual performance to the goals of the business. To do this, many companies use ‘competencies.' These are the integrated knowledge, skills, judgment, and attributes that people need to perform a job effectively. By having a defined set of competencies for each role in the business we make sure that we align the employees ‘profiles with the market needs.
Compared to conventional offshore drilling methods, deepwater presents unique technical challenges related to greater water depths, higher pressures, manipulating the extra long riser pipe connecting the wellhead to the rig, extreme temperature gradients, and added costs. Nonetheless, the ultimate objectives are to maximize well productivity and enable a reduction in well numbers. The challenges found in deepwater and ultra-deepwater drilling have forced the oil industry to develop new significant technologies and techniques. The characteristics of the deepwater environments have pushed the design criteria that normally used in onshore and shallow water wells and to values beyond their traditional limits. Techniques such as large-bore completions, multilateral, and highly deviated wells and "smart" wells offer great prospects. Surveys of oil company research and development interests show deepwater flow assurance as a major area of concern.
The recent scientific drilling operations have proved that wells as deep as 6000-ft. from ocean bottom can be safely drilled with small riserless drill ships. However, the problem is that the weight of the drilling fluid must be occasionally increased from the sea water density to 9 -11 ppg. The problems encountered while using weighted polymer drilling fluids are wellbore instability, stuck pipe induced by lost circulation, and insufficient cutting transport problems.
The main party responsible for delivering a safe drilling operation varies within different regulatory regions. In the UK sector, through the Safety Case regime, the responsibility is placed on the drilling contractor to manage all the major risks to which personnel on the rig are exposed. While conceptually this delivers clear accountability, in practice the nature of a typical drilling operation is such that it is extremely difficult for the drilling contractor to deliver the full intent of the legislation.
The million dollar question is how could we develop a knowledge store to ensure lesson learns are being captured effectively and disseminated globally for it to become common knowledge.
Health and safety of workers as well as environmental concerns are the most current and prominent challenges facing unconventional oil and gas operators. Hence, it is important for operators to find ways to maximize worker health and safety, shale resource assessments and developments, set and meet goals between the government and operators, exceed on standards for air quality and frack water treatment, and largely ensure a safe working environment while mitigating risk in capital and operational expenditures.
One of the major concern was that an increasing occurrence of incidents related to catastrophic failure of well tubulars and hangers were highlighted. In most of these cases the failed equipment was manufactured from premium steels or alloys. In most—but not all—cases the root cause of the failure has been attributed to metallurgical flaws. The hazard related to well integrity failures of HPHT production wells is very significant. The number of people at risk on production platform is usually substantial and the hazard is aggravated by the presence of hydrocarbon processing facilities and other live wells. The extreme production conditions of HPHT wells place exceptional demands on the well components. This will not only lead to the use of exotic, less commonly applied materials, but it may also increase the probability of mechanical equipment failures, and hence, may increase the potential for double jeopardy as encountered in one of the incidents.
Worldwide, the oil and gas industry faces a potential knowledge vacuum from a soon-to-retire workforce and the rising demands on/for capable employees. As companies embark on massive recruitment drives, more experienced employees are persuaded to delay their retirement while the young engineers are expected to inherit knowledge from the seasoned experts in a short time and to rise above as the leaders of the next generation. This panel session will consist of speakers from various age groups, each discussing their experience and how they turn their challenges inherent in such a large age gap environment into opportunities for greater work productivity, knowledge sharing, and mutual understanding.
Participants will be part of a management group of a company that is considering to invest in emerging opportunity. Each group will be given a list of investment opportunities, and manage the fund by deciding on the best opportunity to invest in and the benefit towards the company. Each opportunity comes with its own set of potential returns of investment, the risk associated to the investment, and challenges of the opportunity.
The objective is to create and present a business management decision within predetermined cost/time constraints. Part of the challenge will be to convince JV partners for approval to proceed with the investment.