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SPE Workshop: The Journey to 70% Reservoir Recovery—Multiple Disciplines, Different Methods, One Goal

15 – 17 December 2014

Abu Dhabi, UAE | Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Technical Agenda

Monday, 15 December 2014, 0900–1000

Panel Session 1: Advances in Reservoir Technology to Target 70% Recovery

In the energy outlook for the next sixty years, various international oil companies and independent organisations continue to forecast that hydrocarbons will remain the most important source of energy. This growing demand requires new and unconventional ideas for our conventional reservoirs due to the decreasing number of large oil resource discoveries, and continuous depletion. Increasing the recovery from what we may call mature fields and pushing the envelope to 70% economic oil recovery, will be the challenge of this and the next decade. The objective of this panel session is to set the scene for the entire workshop and to underline the importance of our future challenge which is a sustainable energy supply.

1030–1300 hours

Session 1: Latest Innovations in EOR Technologies

Session Chairs: Ali Al-Sumaiti, The Petroleum Institute; Mohamed I. Al-Hammadi, ADCO; Shahin Negahban, ADCO

The rapid global demand for oil, combined with fewer discoveries of new fields, requires developing innovative methods to take advantage of existing mature reservoirs. IOR methods to develop existing fields have been exhausted and are about to reach their economic limits. Therefore the fields will soon require immediate rejuvenation using EOR methods to achieve ultimate recovery. Luckily, current oil prices have made it feasible to implement different EOR methods in the fields. Meanwhile, researchers are continuously developing new techniques to improve the physical behaviour and economics of these methods.

This session focuses on unfolding the potential for innovative techniques to improve current EOR methods or offer new ones. Examples are chemical flooding, nanoparticle fluids, bio-surfactants and bio-polymers, microbial injection, gas and CO2 injection, foam CO2, smart waterflooding and carbonated waterflooding, or any combination of these methods. The session will also offer ample opportunity for the attendees to exchange ideas and network with their peers in the same discipline.

1400–1630 hours

Session 2: Piloting: Screening, Design, Execution, and Lessons Learnt (From Lab to Field)

Session Chairs: Julio Herbas, Xodus Group; Mustafa B. Biterge, Schlumberger

EOR screening is based on ranges of reservoir parameters applicable for specific methods. Laboratory experiments define the effectiveness of a pre-screened method whereas pilots and simulation studies are used to design the projects and address uncertainties. The difficulty is compounded by reservoir features such as fractures, stratification, compartments, etc. as well as multiple phases occurring in the lab and the reservoir.

Today, EOR is considered not only for brown fields but also for green fields. Options such as miscible gas injection, CO2 and N2 injection, carbonate water, thermal, chemical flooding, low salt and smart water, are considered based on reservoir characteristics and available injection fluids. Chemical flooding has a large variety of injection fluids, but it also needs screening to search for the best chemicals. Finally, project economics drive the implementation decision.

EOR can improve production and final recovery, but is complex and costly. Therefore a pilot test to assess an EOR process would be crucial to evaluate the economic potential. Designing and analysing a pilot is an important step before commercial implementation. It requires careful planning and defining of objectives. The objectives should address specific risks/uncertainties, data acquisition, monitoring strategies, facilities and operational procedures. Finally, results need to be interpreted for fullfield implementation. Generally, well-designed pilots facilitate transition to full field, but weak designs would yield incomplete information and difficulties for expansion to field scale. Associated risks including environmental impact also need to be identified and mitigated.

Implementing full-field EOR is a critical decision, and usually involves high capital investments and high operational costs associated with technical difficulties. Lessons from both successful and unsuccessful cases can help operators improve designs and reduce associated risks. This session will focus on field cases.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014, 0900–1100

Session 3: Technology Enablers and Innovations—Recent Technologies, Modelling, Drilling, Completion and Smart Fields

Session Chairs: Kourosh Khadivi, PETRONAS; Luis Gonzalez, Weatherford

Achieving 70% oil recovery is quite challenging and requires advance technologies and innovations. Data acquisition and modelling are essential requirements for planning different activities such as production enhancement, infill drilling, EOR, etc. In addition, reducing the costs of drilling and well completion is one of the major challenges to sustain oil production that is economically feasible. A better understanding of reservoir behaviour can be achieved by implementing new technologies such as fibre optics, DTS, DAS, real-time multi-phase metering, water cut metering, micro-seismic, etc. Moreover, intelligent completion is an advanced and cost-effective technology for real-time data acquisition and production surveillance. Multidisciplinary drilling, well completion, data acquisition and modelling can potentially improve oil recovery, reduce risk exposure, and add value to the business.

This section will discuss various actual field examples, best practices, lessons learnt together with the proposed effective guidelines, workflow, and the quantitative results of implementing new technologies in drilling, well completion, data acquisition, and modelling which enable targeting 70% oil recovery.


Session 4: Development Planning (Strategy, Road Map, and Subsurface-Surface Integration)

Session Chairs: Ahmed Y. Al Baloushi, ADCO; Sameer Khan, ZADCO/ExxonMobil

Careful development planning with a holistic approach is essential for achieving target oil recovery economically. The task involves a long step-by-step process ranging from primary depletion, IOR (pressure maintenance, pattern injection, and infill drilling), EOR screening, EOR process selection and piloting to field-wide implementation, appropriate surface-subsurface integration and techno-economic feasibility. Several critical decisions are involved in development planning such as production plateau rate, well count, locations and spacing, selection and timing of recovery process, appropriate short and long-term strategy for improved aerial, vertical, and displacement sweep efficiency, drilling and completions, and facility design. A clearly defined strategy reflected in an elaborate road map is the key to success. This session will focus on field cases demonstrating a comprehensive development planning process in a field’s life cycle.


Session 5: Field Case Studies

Session Chairs: Hamdy Helmy Mohamed, ADCO; Mikhail Tanakov, ADNOC; Samir Walia, Emerson

EOR field case studies intend to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Sharing case studies from a variety of oil fields across the globe would provide attendees with valuable information that would help bridge the gap between the plan and the reality.

The field case studies cover a brief history of field development, progression through various phases, business decisions taken, field performance, current status, and future outlook. The recovery processes can include but are not limited to IOR, gas and CO2 injection, chemical flooding, smart water injection, microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR), foams, steam flooding, and in-situ combustion. Theoretical and modelling methods, sensitivity studies, pilots and full-field implementation, operational problems, and
performance optimisation can also be included in the discussions.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 0900–1030

Session 6: Business Decision-Making—Strategy, Risk Mitigation and Economics

Session Chairs: Ali Al-Khatib, Saudi Aramco; Peter Brunhuber, ZADCO/ExxonMobil

The foundation for achieving a target of 70% oil recovery includes several components. Some important components are of a technical nature, i.e. availability of and advances in the right technology, pilot screening and execution, and the lessons learnt which need to be implemented in development planning. The other important component focuses on making the right business decisions. 70% recovery requires a long-term commitment with significant investment and several risks and uncertainties, i.e. oil price, political situation, etc. The dynamic change of market considerations, advances in technology, and the time span of EOR projects, set the scene for a very complex business environment.

This session focuses on the following questions:

  • What does the EOR road map, to achieve 70% oil recovery for an area of interest, look like?
  • Do we have the complete information available to support business decisions?
  • What is the value of any additional information?
  • Which strategy and risk mitigation measures do we have in place to make the project a success?
  • What kind of economic environment is required, from a NOC’s and IOC’s perspective, to fund required EOR projects?


Panel Session 2: Business Decision-Making—Strategy, Risk Mitigation, and Economics

The previous sessions of this workshop covered the latest innovations in EOR technologies, the piloting of EOR methods, the identification of technology enablers and innovations, as well as field development planning and field case studies. All these topics are a requirement to make sound business decisions. However, economic considerations, like oil price forecasts, and boundary conditions such as political situations as well as the definition of risks, may be different for international oil companies
(IOC) when compared to those of national oil companies (NOC). The objective of this panel session is to enable participants to discuss and reflect on business decision-making, the main risks involved, and the strategy for mitigation, from both IOC and NOC perspectives.