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SPE Specialty Oilfield Chemicals I: Development, Applications, and Opportunities

14 – 15 December 2014

Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Technical Agenda

SUNDAY, 14 DECEMBER , 0900–1030

Session 1: Oilfield Chemicals Development—Philosophy and Process

Session Chairs: Abeer Al-Olayan, Saudi Aramco; Flaiyh Al-Anazi, SABIC

Developing chemicals for upstream operations such as for drilling and completion fluids, stimulation, lost circulation, water management, etc. is very crucial. The oil and gas industry faces many challenges in field applications that need a quick and cost effective chemical solution. In addition, we need to be an agent of change to assist Saudi Arabia’s transformation into knowledge based industrialised nation and to stimulate local economy by fostering chemical pilot manufacture in the Kingdome. Looking at where we are in the kingdom, we are certainly taking care of research and just a little bit of in house development through strengthening collaboration with the industry and academia. Our key opportunity is to bring chemical development in the region. Manufacturers and service companies have been focusing their R&D efforts on identifying more economical resources for basic chemicals and developing innovative chemicals for challenging field applications. Developing unconventional gas, drilling more complex wells and penetrating challenging reservoirs need more specialty chemicals for fracturing and HT stable drilling additives. Our efforts in developing alternative and innovative chemicals should be aligned with the global technology trend with emphasis on our local field applications and wells conditions.

All these challenges will be addressed in this session by recognised experts in chemical and oil industry to show how to explore the potential of applying new product development in oil and gas applications, as well as speeding up the process of adopting new technologies from other industries. In addition, we need to show how we could utilise local resources to accelerate the advanced chemical industry locally.


Session 2: Chemical Interactions at Subsurface, Behaviour, and Understanding

Session Chairs: Bilal Zoghbi, Halliburton; Matthew Snape, Nalco Champion

Understanding the effect of chemical reactions between fluids and rocks under subsurface conditions are critical for optimum field developments. Laboratories and field studies indicate that almost every operation in the field: drilling, completion, workover, production, and stimulation are affected by the fluid rock interaction process. Exploration and development of complex and challenging reservoirs, more emphasis and research is invested to study, understand and manipulate fluid rock interaction toward economical and successful oil and gas production. Examples of chemical-rock interaction effect on stimulation, formation damage, wettability alteration, and unconventional resources will be discussed.

This session will explore how fluid rock interaction is of high effect to tackle and the importance of this process on every aspect of oil and gas operation. The increased challenges faced due to this issue in unconventional (shale, tight gas, tar sands, and heavy oils), high temperature and high pressure, and deep wells reservoirs as well new emerging chemical technologies and methods that confront this topic will be deliberated.


Session 3: Well Integrity Fluid Systems—New Trends and Developments in Oilfield Chemicals

Session Chairs: Nelson Alfonzo, M-I SWACO; Jaafr Almutawah, Halliburton

The well construction has a growing importance for oilfield developments due to its increasing contribution in overall asset or concessions costs, and as a feasibility factor on wells delivery. Thus, the oil and gas drilling industry has kept evolving in a significant manner in the last decades enabling to deliver more complex and challenging wellbore designs. This trend has sustained the pressing need to continue bringing solutions to preserve wellbore integrity while drilling, completing, and during its production lifetime. The challenges to preserve wellbore integrity have come from conventional and non-conventional applications. Whereas, the main goal is to guarantee stable wellbore capable to withstand significant pressure differential, exposure to multiple fluids while drilling or in production stages, temperature variations, injection of secondary recovery fluids, and further wellbore interventions.

This session intends to showcase the current advances on wellbore integrity assured through drilling, completion and cementing specialty additives and systems. Thus, global and regional experts would share proven solutions, design tools, and execution alternatives currently deployed in conventional and non-conventional wellbore construction operations.


Session 4: Breakout Session

MONDAY, 15 DECEMBER, 0900–1030

Session 5: Performance Evaluation and Standards for Oilfield Chemicals

Session Chairs: Saleh Al-Mutairi, Chevron; Victor Wang, ExxonMobil

The performance of oilfield chemicals depends on the type of chemical, its chemical and physical properties and conditions at which it is being used. The chemical manufactures and service companies produce and blend these chemicals in a complex manner to meet certain objective or to respond to a certain challenge. For chemical manufactures, experts envision standards and best practices as self-assessment, benchmarking technique and baseline for continuous improvement. However, the oil industry is short of best practices for testing these chemicals and standards for gauging and benchmarking their performances.

This session will discuss how we could establish best practices and standards for measuring the performance of oilfield chemicals to improve field operations. In addition, addressing currently available standards and procedures that are developed internally by each company and discuss methods to share and disseminate so other organisations can use and improve.


Session 6: Role of Nanotechnology in Chemical Design and Property Enhancement

Session Chairs: Andrew Boucher, Schlumberger; Mohammed A. Bataweel, Saudi Aramco 

Increased demand of oil and gas, and reduced access to easy hydrocarbons has driven a recent need to exploit more challenging fields and reservoirs. This moves to working in harsher conditions than most other industries and a need for large volumes of specialty chemicals has led to a call for the development and commercial availability of ever more environmentally responsible chemical solutions with improved technical performance and value. Major advances in nanotechnology in recent years has led it to being explored as a solution to many of the major themes that will be key to success in the oil field in the years to come, including exploration and production from more remote locations (deep water), harsh conditions (HPHT formations, scarce water supply, and high salinity brines) and unconventional reservoirs (heavy oil, shale gas & oil, and tar sands). Nanotechnology gives the ability to manipulate matters at the atomic or molecular scale to design and build chemicals that provide superior performance with pre-defined specifications and properties to meet current and future challenges. Currently, most nanotechnology-assisted fluids are in the research stage with slow introduction to field operations. Nanotechnology in the oil industry can have several applications, including emulsion stabilisation, wettability alteration, proppant and fines migration stabilisation, and improved delivery, to mention a few. All these applications and more can be achieved by nanotechnology to address some of the critical challenges in the industry that have not yet been resolved in a satisfactory manner.

This session will explore how nanotechnology applications in other industries and science areas can be adapted and altered to fit the needs and requirements of the E&P industry. It will also review examples of available nano-materials that are currently being used or a nearly ready for field deployment. 


Session 7: Enhancing Production Chemistry, Well-Stimulation Technologies, and Recent EOR Developments

Session Chairs: Abdullah Al-Sultan, King Fahad University; Mohammad Areeb Siddiqui, AkzoNobel

Enhancing oilfield production and flow-assurance are ever-developing fields of work where success is largely dependent on chemical solutions and the use of effective production chemistries. Chemistries need to evolve to allow efficient production in challenging environments where a variety of factors such as difficult scales, high H2S and CO2 concentrations along with precipitation of organic deposits (asphaltenes, waxes, and hydrates) pose a threat. Furthermore, well productivity is largely dependent on stimulating reservoirs to remove damage and enhance permeability across tight zones. Acidizing, hydraulic fracturing and acid fracturing are all commonly used but choices become limited as temperatures and pressures reach higher levels with deeper wells. Water and gas shut-off, scale removal, hydrate prevention are another examples for chemicals applications. Another key focus is the use of various chemistries to combat the challenges faced in effective EOR. This includes the design and application of more effective surfactants, polymers and various other chemicals that are added to assist with reservoir heterogeneity, salinity, and high temperature.  

The session will discuss the applications and new development of oilfield chemicals for near wellbore production enhancement, water/gas shut-off, scale and hydrate prevention as well as EOR. The session will address new frontiers of oilfield chemicals in HPHT environments and sever reservoir conditions.


Session 8: Breakout Session