Featured this monthThe Tantalizing Promise of Oil ShaleAs much as 6 trillion bbl of in-place resources of oil shale are estimated to exist worldwide. With world proved reserves of crude oil estimated at 1.3 trillion bbl, why does oil shale remain a scarcely touched resource?
Guest Editorial Baker Hughes’ new CEO Martin Craighead writes about how the oilfield service industry of the future must be built on the bedrock of effective risk management.
Reducing the Hidden Costs of Subsea Well Completions Subsea completions tied back to platforms have allowed marginal fields to be put into production, but maintaining that production long enough to reach the industry average for recoveries is an unsolved problem. A small group of companies are working to change that.
Unconventionals, Future Challenges Highlight Annual Conference Coverage of the 2011 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Denver, which featured presentations on shale and other unconventional reservoirs, long-term global energy strategy, environmental considerations, remote operations, and other important regional and discipline-focused topics.
Management Real-time data is not about well control, it is about well control avoidance. Recent catastrophic blowouts have underscored the value of real-time data and have also underscored the value of having the right kind of experience to understand well data interpretation in real time.
EOR Performance and Modeling
Baojun Bai, SPE, Associate Professor of Petroleum Engineering, Missouri University of Science and TechnologyIn spite of continued investment and advances in exploiting alternative-energy sources, oil and natural gas will continue to be a significant portion of US and global energy portfolios for decades. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) uses unconventional hydrocarbon-recovery methods that target the approximately two-thirds of the oil volume remaining in reservoirs after conventional-recovery methods have been exhausted.
Storing CO2 With Next-Generation CO2-EOR Technology Carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) has potential for storing significant volumes of CO2 emissions while increasing domestic oil production. The causes of suboptimal CO2 storage and oil-recovery efficiencies by current CO2-EOR practices were examined to determine how a group of advanced or "next-generation" CO2-EOR technologies could increase CO2-storage volumes and oil recovery. Introduction A [...]
Rheology of a New Sulfonic Associative Polymer in Porous Media For hydrophobic associative polymers (APs), incorporating a small fraction of hydrophobic monomer into a partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) polymer can promote intermolecular associations and, thereby, enhance viscosities and resistance factors. The behavior of a new AP in porous media was investigated. Introduction In polymer or chemical floods that use polymer for mobility control, the cost [...]
EOR Potential in the Middle East: Current and Future Trends The number of enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) projects in the Middle East (ME) has increased over the past decade. This is a review of current ME EOR projects, from full-field developments to field trials. The option of advanced-secondary-recovery, or improved-oil-recovery (IOR), technologies before full-field deployment of EOR can be a better first option before deployment of capital-intensive [...]
Steamflooding To Enhance Recovery of a Waterflooded Light-Oil Reservoir Steamflooding can improve upon performance of a waterflooded light-oil reservoir and enhance its oil recovery. In the Cy reservoir of the Daqing oil field, a steamflooding project is enhancing oil recovery after waterflooding. The mechanisms, strategies, barriers, and difficulties of reaching high recovery are discussed for steamflooding in a waterflooded light-oil low-permeability reservoir. A detailed [...]
Mature Fields and Well Revitalization
Syed A. Ali, SPE, Research Advisor, SchlumbergerRevitalizing mature fields embraces multiple objectives, especially maximizing production while minimizing capital expense and reducing the inevitable decline rate and minimizing the operating expense. The collective approach to meet these objectives is application of practical and focused engineering and geology tied with the application of enabling technologies.
Seria Field, Brunei: 80 Years On–Near-Field Exploration Going Strong The onshore Seria oil field in Brunei was discovered in 1929 and has produced more than 1.1 billion bbl. The field still has a large near-field-exploration (NFE) portfolio of undeveloped reservoir blocks on the northern flank. These blocks, under the shallow marine surf zone, have been difficult to access because of the very shallow water [...]
Doubling Production From a Mature North Kuwait Reservoir Sabiriyah Lower Burgan (SA LB) is a clastic reservoir in northern Kuwait that has been on continuous production for 45 years. The reservoir, with an active waterdrive, suffers from a rapid increase in watercut. Production performance of the wells declines dramatically after the water cut reaches 40%. The formal strategy for production had been focused [...]
Marlim Field: Mature-Field Optimization Giant fields provide a significant portion of the total hydrocarbon production in Brazil. Most of these fields are in advanced exploitation stages. A drainage-optimization study was performed on the Marlim field, a giant and mature field in the Brazilian Campos basin. Reservoir-flow simulations were used to optimize the methodology and increase the recoverable-oil volume by [...]
Jerome Schubert, SPE, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M UniversityProcrastination: Is it too many things going on at once that causes us to rush to meet deadlines, or makes us forget to complete important tasks in a timely manner, or even try to do too many things at once, resulting in nothing getting done correctly? You probably are wondering how this relates to well control. In our work schedules, we all are faced with situations in which we are required to complete multiple concurrent tasks.
Kick Mechanisms and Well-Control Practices in Deepwater Vugular Carbonate Standard well-control training that drillers receive prepares them to respond to an influx that occurs during underbalanced conditions. The mechanism by which hydrocarbons may enter the wellbore following a vugular loss can be different. One potential result is that the influx may not be detected as early as during conventional underbalanced conditions. A model was [...]
Kick-Tolerance Misconceptions and Consequences for Well Design Kick tolerance defines the appropriate number and setting depths of casing strings required to achieve drilling objectives. It also is used during drilling to determine whether it is safe to continue drilling or if there is a need to run a casing string. Alternatively, it is used to indicate whether it is safe to circulate [...]
Kick Detection and Well Control in a Closed Wellbore Closing the wellbore at the top with a rotating control device (RCD) for some kind of managed-pressure-drilling (MPD) operations raises a number of issues with regard to well control and kick detection. The use of an RCD provides drillers with an additional level of comfort because it is a pressure-management device, but it does not [...]