SPE logo

Technical Program

Tuesday, 7 June 2011, 0830–1200

Royal B and C

Session 1: Opening Session: Trends in Research & Development—Where is the Money Being Spent Worldwide?

Chairs: Ram Shenoy, Schlumberger; Wafik Beydoun, substitute for Bernard Seiller, Total

The opening session of the symposium will provide an update on the macrotrends in economics, industry and science and innovation for the audience. Industry experts will outline their views on the key directions for the exploration and production (E&P) industry in the next few years. Experts on innovation, from both academia and industries outside of the oil and gas industry will share their insights on lessons concerning how to accelerate the technology curve, based on the latest R&D innovation.


Keynote Address - Innovation and R&D
Scott Tinker, Bureau of Economic Geology, Professor University of Texas Austin

Macroeconomics - Oil and Gas Outlook
Candida Scott, IHS CERA

Executive Panel Discussion

  • Carlos Tadeu de Fraga, Executive Manager, Petrobras R&D
  • Scott Parent, VP of Drilling and Evaluation, Baker Hughes
  • Vianney Koelman, Chief Scientist, Petrophysics, Shell
  • Nabeel Alafaleg, Manager, Southern Area Reservoir Management for Saudi Aramco
  • Marco Rasi, VP Well Engineering Exxon Mobil Upstream Research, ExxonMobil


Royal B and C • Track 1

Session 2: Status and Outstanding Research Issues on Carbon Capture and Storage

Chair: Peter Cook, CO2CRC; Lynn Orr, Stanford University; T.S. Ramakrishnan, Schlumberger


  • Bill Carey, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Tom Daley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Jim Johnson, Schlumberger
  • Kamlesh Kumar, Shell
  • Saikiran Rapaka, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Hamdi Tchelepi, Stanford University

For the past decade, the subject of carbon capture and storage has been an active research area, both with respect to fundamental issues of separation of carbon dioxide, and subsurface storage physics and chemistry. For the SPE audience, the latter topics are particularly relevant and will contribute to improved understanding of enhanced gas and oil recovery (EGOR) processes.

In this session we shall review the status of simulation and migration of the injected carbon dioxide in saline aquifers, coal-bed methane, and oil fields. Particular emphasis will be placed on the fundamental physico-chemical mechanisms of migration.

Since verification is an important component of storage, we will cover subsurface CO2 monitoring methods. We will include thermodynamics of CO2-rich fluid systems in this session. Integration of the diverse topics, necessary for a successful storage project, will be emphasized.


Royal A • Track 2

Session 3: Increasing Recovery Factor

Chairs: Pacelli Zitha, Delft University of Technology; Jenn-Tai Liang, University of Kansas; David Curry, Baker Hughes; Abdulaziz Kaabi, Saudi Aramco


  • Syed M. Farouq Ali, University of Calgary
  • Gary Pope, University of Texas at Austin
  • Ali Yousif, Saudi Aramco
  • Mazen Kanj, Saudi Aramco
  • Birol Dindoruk, Shell
  • Danielle Morel, Total
  • Rustom Mody, Baker Hughes

Despite a turbulent economic climate and the volatility of the oil prices, the reliance on conventional and unconventional oil to meet global energy demand is bound to increase in the next few decades. Innovative and cost effective technologies are critically needed to expand the recovery envelope of oil fields under development.

This session will discuss state-of-the-art oil recovery technologies, highlight advances made in the last few decades and spur initiatives for further basic research to maximize profitable recovery. The session will focus on emerging areas in improved recovery, including the use of designer water, with emphasis on the underlying mechanisms. The application of nanotechnologies to improve reservoir characterization and to boost the performance of enhanced oil recovery based on surfactants, polymers and other chemicals will be discussed.

The session will consider complex well architectures as a way to maximize reservoir contact of injected fluids. It will also consider thermal oil recovery technologies and new sensors and control technologies that could enable novel reservoir management strategies. Emerging research ideas and topics that are deemed capable of impacting the oil industry in the next decade will be considered.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011, 0830–1200

Royal B and C • Track 1

Session 4: Water Management Challenges

Chairs: Hartley Downs, Baker Hughes; Tom Knode, Halliburton


  • Kent Dawson, Baker Hughes
  • Stephen Hester, 212 Resources
  • Frederique Michaud, Total
  • Sudir Parab, ConocoPhillips
  • Joe Smith, ExxonMobil
  • Roberta Wasylishen, RW Project Consulting
  • Mark Wilson, GE Power & Water

Water is a finite resource and is becoming scarcer. In the last 100 years, water usage has grown at two times the rate of population growth. Today, the world’s six billion people are appropriating 54 percent of all the accessible freshwater contained in rivers, lakes and underground aquifers. Water withdrawals are predicted to increase by 50% by 2025 in developing countries. This impending shortage has prompted water legislation on a massive scale and sharpened the industry’s focus on effectively managing this valuable resource.This session will examine the challenges of managing water over the lifecycle of the water (from source water to reuse/beneficial use) and the lifecycle of the well (from predevelopment planning to abandonment) in markets as divergent as deepwater, oil sands and shale gas.


Royal A • Track 2

Session 5: Molecular Manipulation

Chairs: Jaime Jimenez, Shell International E&P Company; Chris Buckingham, Southwest Research Institute; David Zornes, ConocoPhillips Company


  • John Karanikas, Shell
  • Alan Burnham, IDT/AMSO
  • Carolina Avendano, Rice University
  • Jeff Harwell, University of Oklahoma
  • Gaurav Agrawal, Baker Hughes
  • Tom Jack, University of Calgary

The expected growth in energy demand over the next few decades have led both the industry and governments to stimulate the recovery of complex resources such as sour oil and gas, bitumen and extra-heavy oil, oil shale, and to look for alternatives to common enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The development of these resources can be complex, challenging, environmentally demanding and expensive. Technologies to manipulate the properties of hydrocarbons at the surface or directly in the subsurface, are one of the more promising alternatives. These technologies make these energy sources viable from a technical, environmental and economical perspective. This session will discuss the R&D challenges and statuses of some of these novel technologies to help unlock, and improve productivity, and add-value to heavy oil, oil shale, and sour gas.


Royal B and C • Track 1

Session 6: Imaging

Chairs: Michel Dietrich, IFP Energies Nouvelles; Jack Neal, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; Carlos Eduardo Abreu, Petrobras


  • Craig Beasley, Schlumberger
  • Wafik Beydoun, Total
  • Philippe Doyen, CGGVeritas
  • Sergey Fomel, University of Texas at Austin
  • Paulo Johann, Petrobras
  • Alex Martinez, ExxonMobil
  • Martin Poitzsch, Schlumberger
  • Michael Wilt, Schlumberger

As industry pursues more challenging targets and resource types, a demonstrated key success factor is new technologies to improve reservoir imaging. Technologies are being developed and tested today that aim to provide clearer pictures of the reservoir distribution. They use improved seismic imaging in areas of highly faulted or complicated velocity structure, 4D and multi-component seismic, and non-seismic methods like electromagnetic sources or electron microscope imaging of nanometerscale shale gas porosity.

This session will discuss emerging research to enhance reservoir imaging in complex geologic settings, unconventional resources, and improved hydrocarbon recovery efforts, using the latest developments in seismic data modeling, acquisition, processing and interpretation, as well as a variety of non-seismic methods.


Royal A • Track 2

Session 7: Environmental Research and Development

Chairs: Kate Baker, BP America (retired); 2004 SPE President; Emmanuel Garland, TOTAL; Mary Jane Wilson, WZI Inc.


  • Tim Nedwed, ExxonMobil
  • James Pappas, RPSEA
  • Brandon Southall, Southall Environmental Associates and UC Santa Cruz
  • Win Thornton, Chevron Environmental Management Company

This session will address two main environmental R&D issues - reducing the environmental footprint of normal operations, and oil spill prevention and response. Topics to be discussed under "reduced environmental footprint of normal operations " range from the effect of sound on marine mammals to biodiversity offsets. Topics to be discussed under "oil spill prevention and response" will include rate estimation, fate and effects of hydrocarbons, as well as specific gaps in capping and containment fabrication, process or deployment knowledge.