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SPE Tracer Technology for Improved Reservoir Management

8–10 September 2014

Dubai, UAE | The Address Dubai Marina Hotel 

Technical Agenda

Session 1: Tracers for EOR

Session Chairs: Helber Cubillos, CEPSA; Olaf Huseby, Restrack

Increasing the recovery factor from known petroleum reservoirs by application of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques is important to meet the world’s increasing demand for energy. Tracer technologies are highly relevant for EOR that target, immobile oil as well as mobile but un-swept oil. EOR techniques, ranging from chemical flooding to more recently developed low-salinity flooding all require that the potential for EOR can be verified and also benefit from assessment of any EOR process. This session will include discussion that share lessons learnt and best practices for current EOR-tracer methodology applications and stimulate discussion on innovative use of tracers for EOR.

Specific topics to be covered include:

  • Passive and partitioning inter-well tracer tests (PITTs)
  • Single-well chemical tracer tests (SWCTTs)
  • Compatibility of EOR chemicals
  • Evaluation of EOR-displacement process using tracer data

Session 2: Tracers and Unconventional Resources

Session Chairs: Jon Spencer, Tracerco; Sumil Verma, Cairn India

The Industry is typically using radioactive and water phase chemical tracers in unconventional resources, specifically to get answers to some of the questions on hydraulic fracture stimulation and performance such as what was stimulated, what is productive, and fracture propagation measurements.

Radioactive proppants as tracers added during the stimulation and measured after the fracture treatment with gamma ray logging and imaging tools are used to measure the radioactivity within 1-2 feet of the wellbore. Multiple isotopes can be used to help define the placement of various proppant stages.

Previously chemical tracers were limited to the water phase, providing tracer concentrations in water flowback samples utilised to compute the flowback efficiencies for each traced stage’s frac fluid as a function of flowback time.
This session will focus on how current tracer technologies can be applied to unconventional resources, particularly with the advances in the new oil and gas chemical tracer technologies tagging oil and gas phases to provide production measurements of the other two phases of production, bringing tracer technologies to the level of production logging for wellbore measurement technology.

Service providers/user companies and discussion leaders will share their experience on use of tracers in unconventional resources.

Session 3: Inflow Profiling Methods

Session Chairs: Fridtjof Nyhavn, ResMan AS; Ibnu Hafidz Arief, Statoil ASA

The knowledge of reservoir inflows in wells is a key factor in reservoir management. In the industry, the inflow profiling is normally achieved from production logging test (PLT) or from permanent wire-based monitoring equipment such as optical fibers and electrical gauges.

Despite their wide use in industry, PLTs are not a preferred solution in some wells such as highly deviated or subsea wells because of the cost and practical considerations with associated high risk.

Over the last ten years tracers have become an option in profiling reservoir inflows. The advantage over other techniques  are their flexibility and easy  installation in many completion types, the safe operation as it does not require well interventions or permanent wires and the cost-effective solution. Inflow tracers may also offer a quantitative evaluation of zonal production.

This session will focus on how to optimally place tracers in wells and how to extract information from the tracer signals. It involves the topic of both qualitative and quantitative interpretation of the tracer signals. The discussion will also be supported by different field cases.

Session 4: IWTT/SWTT Interpretation Techniques

Session Chairs: Stephen Sayfritz, IFE; Matthew Myers, CSIRO          

Tracer interpretation is not presently utilised to its full potential. The reasons are partly lack of data due to sparse sampling, and partly due to limitations in interpretation procedures. This session will overview the diverse methods of tracer test interpretation, including quantitative, analytical, and numerical methods. 

Each interpretation method offers both strengths and weaknesses; the panel discussion will attempt to identify these. We also explore the potential of coupling analytic methods and simulation in order to condition the numerical models. By introducing a simulation element, more complex behaviour of flow in the near well zone may be taken into account when interpreting the results.

Session 5: Value of Information for Tracer Testing

Session Chair: Majdolin H. Jasser, ADCO

Tracer testing has been used for various monitoring applications for decades and has proven to provide a valuable tool for improving reservoir description and understanding reservoir dynamics in addition to production optimisation.  How is the information used to obtain value? How is the value calculated?

With increasingly complex production due to mature fields and demanding reservoirs the need for information is huge. Tracer technology has some advantage over other technologies in being wireless and beneficial to reduce cost and risk.

This session will be focusing on how information can give valuable information by presentation of case studies. The participants are encouraged to highlight how data is used and which actions information has caused. The discussion will also be concerning how to communicate value to decision makers to increase the spread of technology and contribute to drive technology forward. 

Session 6: New Technologies

Session Chairs: Allan Poulsen, DTI Enhanced Oil Recovery; Oleg Ishkov, Heriot-Watt University

Oil companies pursue ambitious improved oil recovery programmes. Faced with complex, open-ended, ever-changing challenges, oil operators, and service companies may realise that constant, ongoing innovation is critical to stay ahead of the competition also in order to introduce new technologies that can increase the oil recovery factor in an economically feasible and environmentally friendly way.

In this session we will be looking for new ideas that can drive innovation and lead to new methods and technologies. This workshop will provide an opportunity for a discussion in an open environment with the aim to facilitate knowledge transfer and stimulate further collaborations between academia, oil operators, and service companies in the field of latest tracer developments.

This session will highlight processes, opportunities, and challenges encountered in development of new technologies for tracer applications. The main objective is to introduce the latest developments in tracer technology to participants.