Among the tools and techniques being used to exploit hydrocarbons efficiently are real-time geomechanics to avoid wellbore instability, multistage openhole or plug-and-perforate completions to induce multiple independent fractures, high-strength proppants to overcome fluid damage and sustain conductivity, clean fluids to ensure permeability stays high and fractures clean up quickly, and pump-stage pulsing to induce open channels to enhance fracture conductivity further.
Technology is improving continuously to help us with production optimization through new approaches, including downhole multiphase-flow measurement, wireless data gathering, wireless power-transfer methods, and new fluids technology. And we have become more efficient at using existing technology to improve performance in mature fields and in full-field management strategies for new developments.
With the decline in oil price and typical product differentials, the current year will be particularly challenging for heavy-oil operations. However, as in the past, these conditions also create opportunities for technology development and deployment to improve operational performance and efficiency, and this should remain a priority for the industry.
The coming year will be challenging for the global geophysical industry and for seismic-acquisition companies in particular. Integrated geophysical service companies that made timely investments in technology upgrades as well as in operational safety and efficiency should be better positioned to weather the coming period.