Featured this monthApps and the Digital Oil fieldThe oil and gas industry tends to be resistant to marketing fads. This may be why, of the hundreds of thousands of apps now publicly available, only a few dozen are devoted to the industry.
China’s Shale Gas Potential Looks Bright, But Development Raises Questions China ranks first in the world in shale gas in the ground, based on two massive basins. But the estimate is based on what is technically possible, not when, or if, anyone will produce that gas.
R&D Grand Challenges The energy industry faces a massive communications challenge in persuading the public all over the world that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing can be conducted safely.
Deepwater Spill Control Devices Go Global Two years after the first capping stack was quickly developed to shut off the flow of oil from the Macondo well, the industry has more than 15 capping stacks in service and on order to use worldwide today.
Young Technology Showcase A new technology may have a huge impact on reducing the cost of gas drilling and improving drilling performance.
Guest Editorial If a potential new source of energy called low-energy nuclear reactions comes to fruition, it will change how the world uses energy.
Industry Focuses on Operational Integrity, Safety Issues at OTC Improving offshore safety and operational integrity through both technology and processes weaved its way through many of the panel and technical sessions at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference, held in May in Houston.
Martin Crick, SPE, Chief Petroleum Engineer, Tullow OilThis year, there were approximately 200 papers on simulation to select from—and that is after a separate feature on history matching. So, the discipline continues to be active. A noticeable feature is the growing number of simulation papers that use different technology, in the broadest sense of the term—for example, using concepts from signal processing and electrical engineering to model subsurface flow or related phenomena.
Fayetteville-Shale Production: Seismic-to-Simulation Reservoir Characterization A comprehensive workflow was developed that incorporates geologic, seismic, and production data in an effort to understand and predict the performance of gas wells in the Fayetteville shale play. A reservoir model was developed by integrating all available well, log, petrophysical, sonic, image, core, stimulation, production, microseismic, and processed surface-seismic data. This static reservoir model [...]
High-Resolution Reservoir Simulation Constrained to Complex Clastic Rock Bodies An unconventional state-of-the-art reservoir-simulation study was performed for an offshore field in the Arabian Gulf. The conventional history-matched model was valid at wellbores; however, clastic reservoirs usually present challenges for infill-drilling prediction at interwell locations because of complex geometries of curvilinear sandstone bodies. A rock-body-based simulation model was used for history matching and was investigated [...]
Ormen Lange Hydrodynamic-Aquifer Model Simulation showed that hydrodynamically tilted/stepping contacts depend on the rate of water flow across the aquifer, stratigraphic baffling and faulting, effective aquifer area, and reservoir quality. The role of sealing faults over geological time was downplayed in terms of justifying the fluid distribution. However, baffling during production is expected. At Ormen Lange, the hydrodynamic aquifer [...]
Shauna Noonan, SPE, Staff Production Engineer, ConocoPhillipsCalling all technology champions! A few years ago, I ran across the seven steps to stagnation, which was a list originally compiled by Erwin M. Soukup. I got a feeling of déjà vu reading through this list because I had heard these same words spoken from many managers and peers over my career.
Reciprocating Submersible Pump Improves Oil Production Submersible pumping by use of a linear motor is crucial for oil production in a low-permeability reservoir, especially in China. However, improving the life, reliability, and performance of the submersible linear motor and reducing energy consumption are challenging. Several novel designs for lubrication, hydraulic buffer, floating suction device, automatic motor drive, and control methods were [...]
Offshore ESP-Selection Criteria: An Industry Study Most offshore wells that require artificial lift are gas lifted because gas typically is readily available and, compared with other lift systems, gas lifting is relatively inexpensive and low maintenance. However, electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) can increase oil production and reserves recovery efficiently and economically under the appropriate operating conditions. ESPs can lower the abandonment [...]
Pressure Distribution in Progressing-Cavity Pumps: Performance and Run Life Conventional thought has assumed that pressure builds linearly along the length of progressing-cavity pumps (PCPs). Rotor sizing and pump-lift selection have been based on this assumption. A series of laboratory tests investigated the buildup of pressure and temperature along the length of a PCP. The test results help explain common field-failure modes and can be [...]
Simon Chipperfield, SPE, Team Leader, SantosUnderstanding the best way to develop an unconventional reservoir requires an understanding of the rocks and a close interaction between the geosciences and engineering. Without this base understanding and creative tension, unlocking the full potential of any play will not be achieved.
Exploration Tries To Answer Questions About the Lower Silurian Longmaxi Shale in China Shale-gas exploration in China is already under way and rapidly increasing in activity level. The Sichuan basin, one of the most prolific petroleum basins in China, is at the forefront. However, exploration and assessment of an untested shale-gas play is typically lengthy and expensive. Compared with conventional oil and gas projects, shale-gas projects may require [...]
Economics and Technology Drive Development of Unconventional Oil and Gas Reservoirs Advances in technology and better economics have supported the exploitation of unconventional reservoirs in the United States. The concept of the energy-resource triangle put forth by J.A. Masters in 1979 explains that unconventional oil and gas are abundant but the exploitation of these resources is particularly sensitive to both technology and commodity prices. Here, the [...]
New Estimation Technique Shifts Assessment of Global Unconventional Gas Resources As the world reserves of liquid hydrocarbons from conventional reservoirs peak and begin to decline, natural gas will play an increasingly important energy supply role. Most estimates of the original gas in place (OGIP) reported for world unconventional gas start with Hans-Holger Rogner’s 1997 top-down study. That global estimate is most likely quite conservative because [...]
John D. Rogers, SPE, Vice President of Operations, Fusion Reservoir Engineering ServicesCreating a technical lead in CO2 EOR and other usage technologies establishes an opportunity to commercialize the technologies that could be in high demand in the years to come, particularly in coal-reliant developing countries such as China and India.
Real-Time Evaluation Sheds Light on CO2 Production and Sequestration in a Gas Field Production of a substantial fraction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in any hydrocarbon-gas stream poses a significant challenge in terms of separation and sequestration. Both environmental concerns and economic incentives motivate operators to search for safe, cost-effective ways to dispose of CO2. A case study examines CO2 separation at surface and its disposal in a saline [...]
Program Considers What Is Needed for the Future of Carbon Sequestration The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched its carbon capture and storage (CCS) program in 1997 after holding a stakeholders workshop to obtain feedback from the technical and commercial sectors on its draft research plan. Consistent with administration and congressional priorities, CCS continues to be a key element of the DOE’s research and development (R&D) [...]
CO2 Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Project Injects New Life Into Madison Reservoir in Wyoming The Madison reservoir, located in the Beaver Creek field, 14 miles south-southeast of Riverton, Wyoming, (Fig. 1) is found at an average depth of 11,235 ft, making it among the deepest CO2 enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) projects in the United States. The Beaver Creek Madison project is the most recent CO2 EOR project in Wyoming. With a preproject oil [...]