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SPE Application of Fit-for-Purpose Smart Technology to Improve Mature Assets Workshop

3 – 5 February 2015

Leoben, Austria | Falkensteiner Hotel Leoben

Technical Agenda

Session 1: Introduction

Session Chairs: Siegfried Müssig and Reinhard Pongratz

Managing oil fields in the best way possible has always been at the centre of interest for oil companies; production maintenance and optimisation, deferment minimisation, efficient monitoring of well, reservoir and facility performances, fit-for purpose technology application, cross-function collaboration, and many other related issues, all represent the building blocks in a successful and efficient field management structure.

The aim of this session is to set the scene for mature field operations by using best practices, lessons learnt, and applied technologies that can help surface and subsurface engineers, asset managers, solutions and technology providers, and operators in management of wells and reservoirs in mature assets and thus maintain the production and utilise the reserves in an optimal manner.

Session 2: Understanding the Challenge

Session Managers: Jonathan Abbott and Rob Hull

Understanding the reservoir over time is critical to ensure that the development and production strategies are current to meet the production goals and properly manage the life of an asset. Over the life of a reservoir hydrocarbons can migrate to other parts of the reservoir, waterfloods can lose their sweep efficiency and artificial lift systems can lose their effectiveness if the current reservoir is not well understood. Developing and maintaining this understanding is a key challenge in mature assets, often due to a lack of data, old data, correlating new data with old, budget restrictions and economic conditions to name but a few. The goal of this session is to address this challenge with the help relevant case studies, open discussion and healthy knowledge sharing.

Topics can include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. New techniques and technologies for the efficient surveillance of mature assets with proven examples.
  2. Examples of data integration of new and old datasets to improve reservoir understanding which have in turn resulted in value added to the mature asset in terms of production optimization or life extension.
  3. Work identifying what data is important for the long-term surveillance and production optimization of a mature asset with examples.

Session 3: Improved Oil Recovery (IOR)

Session Managers: Helge-Christian Beuthan and Saša Blazekovic

With mature and aging fields, which are in decline or approaching their economic cut-off, Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) methods present an opportunity to increase production – or lower the decline – improve economics and raise the ultimate recovery. However IOR methods are often technically challenging and capital intensive; hence their incorporation in to redevelopment options, needs careful consideration and planning from numerous sides. This session will discuss IOR methods which can be applied, includingfield examples, with the aim of stimulating ideas and discussions.

Session 4: Flow Assurance

Session Manager: Dwyann Dalrymple

Flow assurance deals with the reduction/control of unwanted water, prevention of scales, hydrates, asphaltene and paraffin deposits and other problems that could hinder flow of hydrocarbon from the subsurface to the wellhead. What compounds the flow assurance task even further is that these deposits can interact with each other and can cause catastrophic blockages and result in flow assurance failure. This session will target this extremely diverse topic, encompassing many discrete and specialized subjects and attempt to bridge across the full gamut of engineering disciplines. 

Session 5: Posters

Session Manager: Dwyann Dalrymple

This is a poster session that will showcase the changes and impacts that environmental conditions and regulatory requirements have on mature fields.

Session 6: Artificial Lift

Session Managers: Greg Jackson and Siegfried Müssig

A significant portion of operating costs in brown fields is related to lifting costs and maintenance of artificial lift equipment.

In this session we will explore two keys to success: 1. the analysis of available technologies along the production chain, the identification of advanced materials and the development of stringent processes all directed to extend the lifetime of the equipment. 2. A dedicated team from all disciplines working with the asset to create tailor-made solutions for the particular applications in the field.

This session will provide detailed insight of the basket of technical solutions and the commercial impact to improve artificial lift performance.

Session 7 & 8: Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)

Session Manager: Greg Jackson (7)

Session Managers: Helge-Christian Beuthan and Jan Lillie (8)

Bringing the oil recovery factor beyond the average by improving the sweep for enhanced drainage, tertiary methods can be very advantageous in oil fields.

However, with the given complexity and uncertainty of the reservoirs combined with the challenging fluid properties and significant associated costs, the implementation and accomplishment of the individual methods can be intricate.

EOR techniques extend over the lifecycle of the field but undoubtedly need thorough planning and convincing arguments.

Unlocking the remaining oil with the application of chemicals, surfactants or other innovative techniques have gained renewed interest in the industry, with a strong focus on -but not limited to- mature assets.

This session should serve as a forum to present field cases, sharing experiences with applied EOR techniques, or discuss boundary conditions in their execution.

Due to the broad and comprehensive topic, EOR will be arranged into two separate sessions.

Session 9: Asset Integrity

Session Managers: Peter Benjamins and Jan Lillie

Mature fields account for the vast majority of the total oil production today.
Enhancing asset integrity and extending the lifespan of aging infrastructure is key to maintaining or even increasing production form mature fields

Typical challenges are:

  • Reducing operating costs while maintaining high HSE standards
  • Adapting facilities to flow-rates and fluid compositions for which they have not been designed
  • Improving asset integrity against the background of long years of corrosion, maintenance backlogs, lack of data and rising environmental awareness
  • Securing licence to operate
  • Proving that wells do not pose a risk during production

An optimal strategy covers enhancement, replacement, maintenance and operations of assets and requires an integrated view from the well to the delivery point.

Wrap up

Session Managers: Peter Benjamins, Helge-Christian Beuthan and Pieter Kapteijn

The previous sessions will have demonstrated just how many challenges exist when it comes to getting more barrels out of mature fields. Success requires a well concerted effort by various engineering and G&G disciplines and the deployment of leading edge technology. Despite the complexity of the subject we will try to capture some of the key learnings and we will also boldly attempt to identify future trends and developments.”