Featured this monthA Warehouse of Defective Pipe, A Wonderland for EngineersWhat looks like a rusty collection of old pipes in a Houston warehouse is a repository of carefully selected objects cared for as if they were part of a research library.
Guest Editorial Tom Whalen, vice president of water management for Baker Hughes, explores why the oil and gas industry has been slow to embrace reusing produced and flowback water.
Young Technology Showcase A modern oleophilic sieve removes bitumen and oleophilic minerals from the fluid tailings of mined oil sand tailings ponds.
Salary Survey Compensation in the petroleum industry in 2012 is continuing to follow the growth trend of recent years, with professionals reporting an overall increase in total compensation of 9.3%, according to the annual SPE Salary Survey.
Stress Management Could Change Tune for Shale Completions New research is shedding light on the most productive ways to handle stages and spacing in hydraulic fracturing.
Switch: The New Documentary on Energy's Future What will the future of energy look like? Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, explores this issue in the new film Switch.
IOCs, NOCs Discuss Common Challenges, Developing Local Content How resource-rich countries can build sustainable economies through partnerships with the oil and gas industry was the focus of a recent industry/government summit in Dubai.
Conference Review: New Challenges for HSE Coverage of the 2012 SPE International Conference on Health, Safety, and the Environment in Perth.
University R&D Roundup The latest R&D projects at leading petroleum engineering universities worldwide.
Talent and Technology Oil and gas companies today are more challenged than ever to develop innovative strategies to find and train new talent and are trying a variety of approaches, from poaching from other industries to canvassing for job seekers among returning veterans.
Gas Production Technology
Scott J. Wilson, SPE, Senior Vice President, Ryder ScottThis months’ Gas Production Technology feature may provide solutions to problems that have plagued our industry for years. It has always been impossible to unequivocally answer, "Where should I set the tubing tail in a long vertical completion?" or "Should I drill a horizontal well toe up or toe down?" because one cannot isolate the effect of one parameter from all others in a real well.
Shale-Gas Reserves Estimation: Multiple Decline-Curve-Analysis Models Recent interest in the Marcellus and Utica plays has renewed attention to the problem of reliably estimating recoverable reserves from low-permeability shale-gas formations. Over-optimistic results obtained from the commonly used Arps’ hyperbolic model have led to development of alternative decline-curve-analysis models that are based on empirical considerations (e.g., the Duong power-law model) or mechanistic considerations [...]
Investigating Liquid Loading in Tight Horizontal Gas Wells Liquid loading occurs in gas wells when production declines to a rate that is insufficient to lift the associated liquids to the surface. Liquid holdup in the horizontal section may impair production before liquid loading in the production tubing becomes evident. Holdup in the horizontal section can lead to slug flow at the tubing and to early onset of liquid [...]
Lowered Tubing Offsets Field Production Decline Declining reservoir pressure and rate in the Jonah field in the upper Green River basin in west-central Wyoming led to the common problem of liquid loading. Lowering the end of tubing (EOT) in more than 100 gas wells in the Jonah field enabled an average sustained production increase of approximately 105 Mcf/D, with an undiscounted [...]
Long-Term Gas-Hydrate-Production Test, North Slope, Alaska To investigate the technical feasibility of gas production from hydrate deposits, a long-term field test (lasting 18 to 24 months) is under consideration in a project led by the US Department of Energy. A candidate deposit involving the C-Unit in the vicinity of the PBU-L106 site on the North Slope, Alaska, was evaluated. The results [...]
Horizontal and Complex Trajectory Wells
Jon Ruszka, SPE, Field Career Development Manager, Baker Hughes Africa RegionAlthough horizontal wells were used sporadically in Europe and elsewhere for many years, the technique was not widely employed in oil and gas developments until the Austin chalk oil boom in Texas from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. As the Austin chalk activity subsided, so did application of horizontal wells in the US. However, the industry took the lessons learned and applied them to an increasingly wide range of reservoirs around the world.
Directional-Drilling Technology for Remote Intersection Between Two Wells In China, the pressure and penetration of and the water production from coalbed-methane wells generally are low. An extra vertical well is connected to the horizontal well to use a pump to remove water and to collect and produce the coalbed methane. The intersection target of the vertical well is less than 0.5 m in [...]
Integrated Completion Design for Horizontal Wells in Unconventional Reservoirs An integrated workflow was tested for designing completions for a heavy-oil-recovery process that involves injection and production through the same wellbore. To capture the effect of variations or uncertainties in reservoir and fluid-flow characteristics over time, the transient effects are particularly important while analyzing the long-term performance for these types of completions. The proposed integrated [...]
Pressure-Sink Mitigation for Horizontal Completions in the Haynesville Shale Pressure sinks caused by production from an initial well can impair future completion effectiveness unless steps are taken to mitigate the effects. Pressure sinks exist in an area that was stimulated previously or has a reduced pore pressure, which then creates a path of least resistance for a subsequent nearby stimulation. Pressure-sink-mitigation (PSM) techniques are [...]
Real-Time Distributed-Temperature and Downhole-Pressure Surveying To Quantify Skin Fiber-optic-enabled coiled tubing (FOECT) has been used recently to evaluate reservoir-matrix chemical treatments qualitatively in real time. Attempts have been made to transform qualitative evaluations into quantitative ones. Pressure-transient analysis yields the skin value as a direct output, while the cooling-down/warming-up distributed-temperature-survey (DTS) profile identifies where treatment fluids went into the formation, hence identifying damaged [...]
Drilling and Completion Fluids
Badrul Mohamed Jan, SPE, Researcher and Academic Lecturer, University of MalayaIt has been a busy year for me; I definitely played less golf. I was appointed as the deputy chief of commercialization in the University of Malaya Center of Innovation and Commercialization (UMCIC) about a year ago. My tenure has just been extended for another year. UMCIC is a special unit within the university that spurs and elevates innovation and commercialization of academic research activities and output.
Preliminary Test Results of Nano-Based Fluids Reveal Benefits for Field Application The oil and gas industry is looking for small, chemically and thermally stable, biologically degradable, environmentally benign material to use in the design of smart fluids. Because of highly enhanced physiochemical, electrical, thermal, and hydrodynamic properties, nanomaterials are considered a promising material. Recently developed nano-based fluids were formulated to study the rheological and filtration properties [...]
Novel Nanoparticle-Based Drilling Fluid Reveals Improved Characteristics A new class of nanoparticle lost-circulation material (LCM) has been developed. Two different approaches of nanoparticle formation and addition to oil-based drilling fluid have been tested. All nanoparticles were prepared in house, either within the oil-based drilling fluid (in situ) or within an aqueous phase (ex situ), with the latter being eventually blended with the [...]
Field Trials of Reservoir Nanoparticles Reveal Stability, High Rates of Recovery The promise of nanotechnology becomes limitless with the possibility of having functionalized molecular agents to illuminate the reservoir and intervene to alter adverse oil recovery conditions. The future reality of the reservoir nanoagents concept was laboratory and field demonstrated with the industry’s first building block nanoagents’ template. The industry’s first proven reservoir nanoagent template is [...]
Nanoparticle Use in Drilling Fluids Can Effectively Reduce Permeability in Shale The potential to apply water-based drilling fluids confidently in unconventional shale formations has been studied using engineered nanoparticles to minimize shale permeability by physically plugging the nanometer-sized pores. Nanoparticle technology and testing protocols were developed using the Marcellus and the Mancos as shale candidates. Nanoparticles in this study are specifically designed to plug the nanometer-sized [...]