Featured this monthCompanies Strive to Better Understand Shale WellsCompanies involved in the major US shale plays are constantly trying to understand what makes for a better well.
Guest Editorial E&P projects are complex and tend to underperform because of poor project definition, poor uncertainty management, and poor decisions. There is no silver bullet, but a structured approach and quality thinking time in an early phase eventually deliver better, faster, and more valuable projects.
OTC Spotlight on New Technology Awards Shines on Industry Innovators Winners of the annual OTC Spotlight on New Technology Awards, to be presented at this year’s conference.
Under Pressure: Diving’s Impact on the Offshore Petroleum Industry Pipeline, wellhead, platform, and drillstring technology operating in waters whose pressures are well beyond human endurance drive a safe and profitable offshore industry. Without pioneers diving where no one had gone before, offshore oil and gas would not be the robust industry it is today.
Management Apache’s George E. King offers a reasoned analysis of the risks posed by hydraulic fracturing.
Drilling Performance is a Function of Power at the Bit and Drilling Efficiency An examination of a simple, intuitive means of quantifying the magnitude of parasitic losses of power at the bit and drilling efficiency caused by well geometry and the downhole environment.
Future of Energy Debated at Fifth IPTC A review of the fifth International Petroleum Technology Conference, including reports on panel sessions, the winner of the Excellence in Project Integration Award, and an interview with Total’s president of E&P.
The Yarega Heavy Oil Field – History, Experience, and Future A discussion of one of the most important fields in Russian oil history.
SPE Board Nominees Announced: 2014 SPE President and Slate of Directors Nominees for 2014 SPE president and Board of Directors.
History Matching and Forecasting
Régis Kruel Romeu, SPE, Senior Consultant, Petrobras Research Center (CENPES)Many reservoir engineers dislike the very idea of automatic history matching applied to real full-field studies. They believe there is no artificial substitute for experienced reasoning, deep understanding of the reservoir mechanisms, and attention to real-life practical aspects of the problem. Some use terms such as art and intuition. For them, even if computers long ago learned to play chess, computers will never be able to perform real-case history matching on their own or at least they are still too far from this achievement.
Stochastic Data Integration: History Matching Production and Time-Lapse-Seismic Data Quantitative integration of spatial and temporal information provided by time-lapse (4D) -seismic surveys into dynamic reservoir models requires efficient and effective data-integration algorithms. The particle-swarm-optimization (PSO) method emerged as more effective compared with the neighborhood algorithm (NA) and very-fast-simulated-annealing (VFSA) methods in the Imperial College Fault Model (ICFM) problem. The PSO method was also effective [...]
Improved History Matching and Uncertainty Characterization With the use of the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) for assisted history matching, the approximation of covariance matrices from a finite ensemble of states and a finite ensemble of predicted-data vectors can lead to a large underestimation of uncertainty in the posterior probability-density function (PDF) for the state vector. Regardless of whether covariance localization is [...]
Estimating Facies Fields Using the Ensemble Kalman Filter and Distance Functions The ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is a promising tool for assisted history matching of reservoir models, and it works well for cases in which petrophysical properties are modeled by use of Gaussian random fields with variogram models. Many reservoirs have complex geological structures, which can have rapid spatial variations in the petrophysical properties (e.g., permeability [...]
Offshore Drilling and Completion
Helio Santos, SPE, President of Safekick LimitedIn the 2 years since the Macondo incident, we have seen a lot of action toward new regulations, procedures, and norms to be implemented in an attempt to reduce the risks of those tragic events happening again. But the industry did not stop working; wells were drilled and completed, even in the Gulf of Mexico after the long period of inactivity.
Software-Based Deepwater-Blowout-Preventer Testing To advance the technology of blowout-preventer (BOP) leak detection through a softwaredevelopment initiative, operators, service providers, and drilling contractors established an industry consortium in early 2009. The initial development focused on testing BOPs in deep water. Upon completion of the pilot program on five deepwater rigs, the results exceeded original expectations. The test results proved [...]
Post-Macondo BOP Safety Upgrades Before the Macondo blowout, the offshore industry had an impressive safety record, especially considering the complexity and magnitude of the work performed in relatively harsh conditions. The failures and spillages of Macondo indicated that several safety areas have not experienced appropriate progress, in large part because there had never been a major failure of a [...]
Santos Basin, Brazil: Successful Drilling Campaign 2008–2010 The evolution in well design and continuous-improvement actions are reported for the execution of five shallow-water and deepwater wells drilled by Repsol using a thirdgeneration semisubmersible rig during 2008–2010. As part of the continuous-improvement approach, the quality-assessment/quality-control (QA/QC) procedures were tightened throughout the campaign. The proper use of after-action reviews at the completion of each [...]
Natural Gas Processing and Handling
George Hobbs, SPE, Director, Strategic Chemistry Pty. Ltd.In 2010, natural-gas reserves were approximately equivalent to 75% of the oil reserves (including oil sands). Unconventional gas sources continue to make up an increasingly important part of the natural-gas supply, particularly shale gas and coalbed methane (CBM), which contribute approximately 40% to US natural-gas reserves.
Managing an Export Manifold To Ensure Gas Deliverability The Badak Export Manifold (BEM) is a complex system for gathering all gas delivered from upstream fields and for delivering hydrocarbons to a liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) plant and to commercial sites for the manufacturing of fertilizers and chemicals. The export manifold must maintain pressure, distribute gas flow, implement off take logic during shutdown, and coordinate gas [...]
Effluent Treatment in a Gas-To-Liquid Plant In a gas-to-liquid (GTL) plant, a large amount of reaction water is produced and various chemicals are used as intermediate treatment chemicals. The reaction water is contaminated by these chemicals. A laboratory-scale effluent neutralization unit for pH control was designed and built to demonstrate the feasibility of the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by [...]
Sustainable Development With First CDM Project in Thailand A clean-development-mechanism (CDM) project takes aim at recovering and then using associated gas from the oil wells of Sao Thian-A field in Sukhothai Province, Thailand. Without a CDM project, this associated gas would continue to be flared. The CDM project involved the installation of a gas-treatment system to filter out hydrocarbon droplets from the associated [...]
High Pressure / High Temperature Challenges
Mike Payne, SPE, Senior Advisor, BPExciting operations are ongoing on the shallow-water US offshore continental shelf (OCS) that will influence the entire high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) community going forward. McMoran and their operating partners are actively drilling, evaluating, testing, and bringing to production several deep HP/HT plays. These prospects are named in the Treasure Island theme with identities such as Davy Jones, Blackbeard, and Lafitte.
Successful Discovery of Light Oil From an Unsuccessful Well Through Re-Entry An exploratory well, the second deepest in Kuwait, had been drilled in the Mutriba field to 22,094 ft. Two formations, Kra-Almaru and Khuff, were perforated and tested. The tests revealed the presence of sparse gas, and it was decided to test and complete this well in the Jurassic formation through re-entry. The re-entry in this [...]
Well-Testing Operations in High-Temperature Environments – Experiences and Best Practices High-temperature (HT) wells are classified as those with bottomhole temperatures in excess of 300°F. New technologies and advances in the industry (e.g., gauges, downhole equipment, and samplers) have been applied to improve decision-making capabilities and to increase well-testing-evaluation success, even in extreme and challenging environments. These enhancements enable improved economics and operational efficiency along with [...]
Managed-Pressure Drilling: Beyond the Conventional Limit in a Deepwater HP/HT Well Managed-pressure drilling (MPD) was used successfully on an offshore high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) well. Wells in this field and other offset wells in the area had faced many problems including inadequate mud management resulting from depleted or overpressured zones, influxes, mud losses, and differential sticking. This well was drilled with a proprietary MPD system that is a [...]