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Exploitation of Tight Carbonates

1–6 June 2014 :: San Diego, California, USA

Technical Agenda

Session I: Reservoir Characterization—Production Drivers and Importance

Session Managers: Ernie Gomez and Donna Venable

This reservoir characterization session will discuss which production drivers are important in these challenging reservoirs and how to improve inter disciplinary integration to address measurement of the important parameters. It will address current technologies/measurements that contribute to successful characterization as well as those that do not contribute.

Session II: Characterization Methods and Advancements

Session Managers: Jim Gilman and Doug Peck

The second reservoir characterization session will examine specific production drivers including pores/matrix, stress/fractures, mechanical rock properties, and fluid distribution/wettability.

The goals of this second session are

  • to identify the largest gaps between needs and current technologies available to characterize these production drivers and
  • to discuss necessary advancements to improve their characterization.

Session III: Recovery Fundamentals

Session Managers: Valerie Jochen and Erdal Ozkan

Recovery from tight carbonate reservoirs is impacted by a variety of heterogeneities, such as fractures, nano, micro, and inter-aggregate pores, and the conglomerations of organic matter. Although conventional wisdom emphasizes production from mostly fractures, observed recoveries in the field imply access not only to the fractures but also to the tight, nanoporous matrix. Therefore, establishing recovery fundamentals and maximizing production from these reservoirs call for a multi-scale understanding of dynamics of fluid flow coupled with phase behavior starting from the fundamental nanopore level.

Some fundamental issues to be explored are the potential mechanisms of flow and transport in nanopores, fluid phase behavior in extreme confinement, effect of surface forces, membrane characteristics of nanoporous carbonates, etc.

Session IV: Improved Recovery

Session Managers: Jairam Kamath and Mukul Sharma

Much of the success in commercializing tight reservoirs has come from increasing primary production rates using drilling and stimulation technologies. What will it take to make increasing recovery profitable?
This session will explore the future of heat, chemicals, nanotechnology, and innovative schemes such as combined cyclic, flooding, and designer wells to improve recovery.

Session V: Reservoir Access

Session Managers: Craig Cipolla and Rick Dean

This session will discuss current and future techniques for accessing the reservoir, estimating the extent of the volume accessed, and maintaining access during production. The following questions ill be explored:

  • In light of the depositional, diagenetic, and mineralogical differences between carbonates and siliciclastics, in what ways would best practices differ from those applied in other unconventional reservoirs for drilling, completion, and stimulation?
  • Can we predict which strategies will work best, and if so, in what situations?
  • Can we take advantage of the strong fluid-rock interactions characteristic of most carbonates?
  • How do we compare or estimate the effectiveness of various completion and stimulation strategies such as production data, microseismic, and well-to-well communication?
  • How do various drilling, completion, and stimulation strategies affect short- and long-term well performance such as initial production (IP) versus estimated ultimate recovery (EUR)?

Session VI: Reservoir Monitoring 

Session Managers: Hilko de Jong and Mariano Gurfinkel

This session will cover the estimation and monitoring of production from stimulated tight carbonates.  Well interference during production and opportunities for infill drilling as a key driver for value will be the focus as well as production monitoring through diverse techniques (production logs, tracers/nanoparticles, 4-D Microseismic, observation wells, cross well tomography). Finally, the session will also touch on opportunities for enhanced recovery as they may apply to tight carbonates.

Session VII: Production Forecasting

Session Managers: Tom Blasingame and Olivier Houze

In this session we explore the analytical, numerical, and empirical methods to extrapolate production for tight carbonate reservoirs. Our focus is two-fold—to establish industry needs for the next 10–15 years and to assess current and emerging tools as mechanisms for establishing production forecasts.

Discussion leaders are anticipated to be subject matter experts and industry practitioners who will have broad experience in production forecasting and reserves estimation. Discussion leaders are will provide orientation via case histories and technical developments and provide "challenges" and "stress points" in the forecasting/reserves estimation processes.

Session VIII: Improved Recovery Forecasting

Session Managers: Cameron Rempel and Jairam Kamath

This session will highlight methodologies for predicting the response from improved recovery processes, and will build on Sessions IV and VII which deal with improved recovery processes and production forecasting. We will explore the following questions:

  • What new models or technologies are needed for tight carbonates? Can one take primary production data and make forecasts for a new recovery process?
  • What is the role of pilots in reducing forecast uncertainties?
  • Are there useful analogs?
  • Is there value in sophisticated simulation technologies when we have little data on a new process?

Session IX: Conclusions

Session Managers: Omer Gurpinar and Nick Fetta

The week of discussions about key aspects of the proposed challenge will be reviewed with their interdependencies as well as the priorities. The final session is expected to lead to clarifying possibilities for improving the performance of the tight carbonate fields.