SPE Workshop: Unconventionals in the Middle East: Potential, Challenges and Opportunities 9 - 10 May 2018 Manama, Bahrain


Wednesday, May 09

08:00 - 09:00
09:00 - 09:10
09:10 - 09:30
09:30 - 11:00
Session 1: What are Unconventionals for the Middle East?
Moderator(s) Mehaboob Abdul Azeez, Saudi Aramco; Hisham Zubari, NOGA

Any oil and gas basin in the world that has produced large volumes of hydrocarbons from conventional reservoirs over the past 100 years should have order of magnitude where more oil and gas in unconventional reservoirs are waiting to be discovered and developed both from the tight sands and shale source rock. Based on this, the unconventional miracle is not limited to North America and it could be replicated in many other oil and gas basins in the world. Unconventional crude oil and natural gas reserves are those that are trapped in the pores of sediments rocks such as shale or tight formations. Lacking a clear definition; the categories ‘conventional’ and ‘unconventional’ are not fixed, and over time, as economic and technological conditions evolve, unconventional resources could migrate into the conventional category.

In this panel session industry experts will share their perspectives on what constitutes unconventional resources and how they differ in the Middle East.

11:00 - 11:30
11:30 - 13:00
Session 2: Case Histories I
Session Chairpersons David Brown, Core Laboratories; Stewart Bruce Duncan, Kuwait Oil Company

Unconventional resources have developed from industry castaways, meters of challenging log responses, useful cap rock and more. Advancements in understanding and technology have seen these formations turn from effective seals to prolific reservoirs that combined, represent approximately 10% of the world’s crude oil and as much as 32% of the world’s natural gas reserves*.  These advancements came through trial and error, with many successes but equally as many failures.  In this case history session we will share some of these successes and failures and the learning that was achieved from each of them.

*US Energy Information Administration

13:00 - 14:00
14:00 - 15:00
Session 3 Supply Chain, Logistical and Environmental Challenges
Session Chairpersons Humair Shaikh, Saudi Aramco

Unconventional resources represent an exceptional opportunity for the Middle East Region having unique requirements for the supply chain. The oil and gas we produce will serve the demand for energy, and will bring economic development to new regions and industries. Unconventional resources have already transformed the oil and gas sector in North America and sparked massive investments in downstream industries. The North American experience has shown that the economics of unconventional resources are important, and that supply chain can make a strong contribution to the overall economics of the program. Some of these challenges, which are faced by operators worldwide, derive from the fundamental characteristics of unconventional resource extraction, intense drilling activity (low productivity per well), uncertain subsurface characteristics (low predictability of production profile) and rapidly evolving business (changing geographic footprint and technology). Other challenges stem from the unique business and physical environment such as the local supply-market being immature, existence of long lead-times for imports from abroad and operations will be in remote and previously undeveloped environments. These challenges combine to create pressure on operating margins and require a lean, cost-focused operation that effectively promotes cross-functional collaboration and leverage the capabilities of its suppliers. To address these challenges, a fit-for-purpose supply chain has to be developed that is flexible, efficient, and supports continuous learning.

Supply Chain challenges span from master data acquisition/creation through planning, procurement to customer fulfilment and management of inventory of critical equipment and materials.

15:00 - 15:30
15:30 - 16:45
16:45 - 17:00

Thursday, May 10

08:30 - 08:50
08:50 - 09:00
09:00 - 09:30
09:30 - 11:00
Session 4 Resource Evaluation and Reservoir Characterisation
Session Chairpersons Ali Shehab, Tatweer Petroleum; Tristan Euzen, IFP

The evaluation and assessment of unconventional opportunities requires more than the typical methods used for conventional resources. A requisite for a successful unconventional play is the right combination of rock, fluid and completion properties. Therefore, the development of a multidisciplinary approach is essential in exploring, appraising and developing such resources. This session explores and discusses the concepts and methodologies in evaluating and characterizing unconventional reservoirs. It focuses on developing the regional geological understanding of the emerging unconventional plays in the Middle East. The discussions include best practices in geological and geophysical workflows to delineate sweetspots in conjunction with petrophysical, geochemical and geomechanical analysis for identification of potential pay-zones.

11:00 - 11:30
11:30 - 13:00
Session 5 Completions and Production/Advances in Technology
Session Chairpersons Sohrat Baki, Saudi Aramco; Nihat Gurmen, Schlumberger

The future production from oil and gas reservoirs will more and more rely on unconventional resources to satisfy world’s energy needs.  One key characteristic of unconventional resources is that they are relatively abundant in subsurface, but they are harder to develop leading to more expensive projects.  Therefore, unconventional resources requires fast adaptation of completion and production practices and integration of advanced technologies. Advances in technology have the potential to improve the entire well completion and production sequence in unconventional reservoirs reducing the cost of projects.  This session aims at bringing speakers on latest technological developments in completion practices including hardware, well/stage spacing, cluster density, hydraulic fracturing materials, techniques and modeling as well as artificial lift equipment and production optimization operations aided by digital platforms.

13:00 - 14:00
14:00 - 15:30
Session 6 Case Histories II
Session Chairpersons Abdullah Al-Shuhail, KFUPM; Ahmed Fateh, Tatweer Petroleum

This session provides insights from unconventional reservoirs in the form of case studies that would potentially cover the various stages from exploration to completing and production. Furthermore, it aims at providing the audience with a practical understanding of the various processes involved in unconventional resources development. Speakers share with the audience methodologies, challenges, success, non-success as well as lessons learned in developing unconventional reservoirs. Topics covered might include prospect identification, risk and economical assessments, reservoir characterization, operation and logistics, drilling and hydraulic fracturing, completion and production, and environmental impact.

14:00 - 15:30
15:30 - 16:45
16:45 - 17:15