While Surfing – A blog by Ahmed Abou-Sayed

If you are here then, like me, you must be curious on what is the P&O community is up to? Well that is the idea of this place (page) and its linked websites. As the Production and Operations Technical Director, it pleases me to welcome you to your window on the production and operation world of activities. The P&O Discipline Page, as we will refer to this website, belongs to you, the P&O members and is administered by the SPE staff. We hope you will make it your gateway to explore and discover what is new in technology, where the upcoming events are and who authored the latest papers on your favorite subjects.

We encourage you to make it an active and viable website so as to spread the knowledge and share the benefits. I hope to be able to update this blog every month and whenever new or important happenings take place. I expect and solicit your input, and look forward to your feedback; please keep your contributions coming.

Finally, please watch this space as work is underway to update and roll the new P&O Technical Section community site with its attempt to provide a more focused technical feed to you, our members, on several main work tracks of the P&O community. We intend to link the technical section seamlessly to your P&O Discipline Page. Happy web-surfing everyone.

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SPE Economics & Management

View the January 2012 issue

153117-PA – Decision Criteria for Climate Projects
P. Osmundsen, University of Stavanger, and M. Emhjellen, Petoro A/S

139716-PA – Perspectives on CCS Cost and Economics
H.S. Kheshgi, SPE, and H. Thomann, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company; N.A. Bhore, Exxon Mobil Corporation; R.B. Hirsch, ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing Company; M.E. Parker, ExxonMobil Production Company; and G.F. Teletzke, SPE, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company

158241-PA – Geologic Heterogeneity and Economic Uncertainty of Subsurface Carbon Dioxide Storage
J.E. Heath, SPE, P.H. Kobos, J.D. Roach, T.A. Dewers, SPE, and S.A. McKenna, Sandia National Laboratories

139616-PA – Unique CO2-Injection Experience in the Bati Raman Field May Lead to a Proposal of EOR/Sequestration CO2 Network in the Middle East
S. Sahin, U. Kalfa, and D. Celebioglu, Turkish Petroleum Corporation

133246-PA – How Significant Is the P90 Value as a Measure of the Reserves’ Downside?
S. Gupta, SPE, University of Western Australia; R. Gupta and J.F. van Elk, Curtin University of Technology; and K. Vijayan, University of Western Australia

143950-PA – Implementing i-field-Integrated Solutions for Reservoir Management: A San Joaquin Valley Case Study
A. Popa, SPE, K. Horner, SPE, S. Cassidy, SPE, and S. Opsal, SPE, Chevron Corporation

Welcome to the Drilling and Completion discipline page

Technical Director Joseph Ayoub

Welcome to the Drilling and Completion discipline page, your home for news, links to recent articles and events of interest to drilling and completion professionals. Consistent with our society’s mission for collecting and disseminating technical information, this page is intended as a hub giving quick overview of happenings in the Drilling and Completion area. Links to relevant Technical Sections allow quick access for professionals wishing to join communities pursuing special topics such as drilling automation, wellbore positioning, and well integrity. The Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section and Wellbore Positioning Technical Section are now well established and have large vibrant communities. The Well Integrity Technical Section is much more recent, but is gaining momentum.

In a post-Macondo world, well integrity has become a hot topic and many separate events organized by SPE and other organizations have taken place in 2011. One of my goals in 2012 was to define and plan future SPE actions with respect to well integrity and, together with the Technical Section officers, increase the Well Integrity Technical Section visibility and member participation and make it the natural hub for all well integrity professionals. A Global Integrated Workshop series addressing well integrity issues was launched in Brazil in October 2012 and will be followed by workshops in Qatar and Europe in early 2013.  Subsequent workshops will be held in Canada, Russia, and Malaysia/Indonesia. With “Value Proposition of Well Integrity” as a collective theme, an outline of required competencies and a ‘good practices’ manual is anticipated.  If you have an interest in this area, I encourage you to join the Well Integrity Technical Section to network with your peers, learn and/or contribute. The scope of well integrity is multidisciplinary going beyond simply the phase of drilling and completing the well as it encompasses the full well life cycle from design to abandonment.

In 2012, a series of webinars were staged covering technical topics of interest to the Drilling and Completion community.  The speakers and topics were well received, attracting an average of over 150 participants per event.  New webinar announcements will be posted in early 2013.  In the meantime, please feel free to join one of the past web event archives at SPE Web Events.

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Well Testing

The value of information has a ubiquitous and sometimes pervasive role in modern well testing. From exploration to field management to surveillance, well-test practitioners deal with a wide array of measurements (e.g., pressure, flow rates, temperature, and fluid analysis) that, more often than not, encompass large amounts of data. This is particularly true for long-term-production-data analysis of established fields, and one can argue the same for any current pressure-transient analysis that also has benefited from improved and more-robust data-acquisition available today. Likewise, dynamic information through downhole testing equipment can be acquired in real time—wirelessly and at sampling frequencies that were not possible only a decade ago.

Yet what seems to be a relative abundance of data often is challenged by the complex environments in which we operate and by our need to assess its value against associated costs and business risks. One way to look at this is under the premise that, while “perfect” information is beneficial to have, it also is costly to acquire and economically inefficient. Is there a unique answer in our choice of type curves, material balance, or specialized graphs? Should we account for multiphase flow or rock compaction? More importantly, what is the value of the next-best substitute for the information we require? And can this substitute information still allow us to meet our testing objectives? Herein lies the delicate balance between our choices of risk and uncertainty, which brings us to the message of this feature: We should not look for data-rich, but information-rich, content that meets our testing needs.

The papers selected for this feature describe exciting advances and opportunities in well testing. They also show that the proper use of advanced techniques can lead to maximizing the value of the information at hand, even in hostile and unconventional situations.

Read the synopses in the February 2012 issue of JPT.

Renzo Angeles, SPE, is a Senior Engineering Specialist with ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company. His 12 years’ experience includes technical consulting in North and South America, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Angeles works with the unconventional-resources integrated project, and his areas of interest include well testing, formation testing, hydraulic fracturing, and near-wellbore modeling. Angeles holds MS and PhD degrees in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and has published 16 papers. He serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.

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Drilling Technology

Since the first downhole electric measurement was made in 1927 by the Schlumberger brothers (first electrical-resistivity well log), the oil/gas industry has been striving to develop and improve new tools and sensors for downhole measurements. Indeed, these sensors aim at measuring many parameters, such as physical properties of rocks and fluids (formation evaluation), wellbore position (inclination and azimuth), or downhole drilling-mechanics conditions. Over the last 12 months, I have been impressed by the number of papers and news articles dealing with drilling mechanics and with vibration-data measurement, transmission, processing, and interpretation. Dynamics and vibration events still are responsible for high nonproductive time (NPT) (e.g., tool failures in many cases) and suboptimal drilling performances. With advances in electronics components, tool reliability, battery technology, and sensors, many companies have begun to develop their own memory-based drilling-measurement tools and to offer the associated service (data processing and interpretation) to operators to maximize drilling efficiency and, thus, reduce NPT.

These downhole drilling-mechanics-measurement tools, rated up to 150°C, generally integrate the following sensors: bending moment, vibration (three-axis accelerometers), weight on bit, torque on bit, annular pressure, temperature, and magnetometers (downhole rotational speed). Data are stored in a memory-based subassembly powered by a lithium-based battery (capacity up to 200 hours), or are transmitted to the surface (by use of mud-pulse, electromagnetic, or wired-pipe telemetry). The latest developments include ingenious sensors placed in the pin of the drill bit (avoiding an extra subassembly in the bottomhole assembly). Though measurements originally were captured close to the bit in the bottom portion of the drillstring, the industry has identified the need to have multiple sensors deployed all along the string (from the bit to the topdrive) to monitor continuously and anticipate any drilling event.

This outbreak of downhole-sensor technology is good news for the industry because it will probably accelerate the understanding of what is happening downhole even more, thus improving the overall drilling efficiency. Downhole drilling measurements should not be limited to only high-cost environments, but should be used in the early stage of the field development to accelerate the learning curve and, thus, optimize the drilling process for the next wells. Even though some downhole drilling and dynamics tools were developed in the 1980s, the industry now has more-accurate sensors, better physical models, and more computational power to process and analyze this huge amount of drilling data.

Read the synopses in the February 2012 issue of JPT.

Stéphane Menand, SPE, is Managing Director of DrillScan US. Previously, he held a research position at Mines ParisTech University. Menand has 14 years of experience as an R&D project manager in drilling engineering–more specifically in directional drilling, drillstring mechanics (torque, drag, and buckling), drilling dynamics, and drill-bit performance. He has authored several SPE and other technical papers and holds several patents. Menand earned a PhD degree in drilling engineering from Mines ParisTech University. He serves on the JPT Editorial Committee, the SPE Books Development Committee, and the SPE Drilling and Completions Advisory Committee.

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Offshore Facilities

Last year, we reviewed some of the more-prominent examples of how the industry continues to respond to the need for safe and cost-effective production facilities in ever-more-challenging environments. We also highlighted the increasingly important role that constructive collaboration can play in facilitating the desired outcomes for all parties.

This year, we illustrate how this same theme of constructive collaboration has been applied effectively at the other end of an offshore facility’s life span, in the major decommissioning program for the Frigg field. Most of us are very familiar with the term offshore hookup, but soon we may become equally familiar with what offshore “hookdown” really involves.

We also take a look at an approach for safely extending the useful life of aging offshore- production infrastructure, in locations where the subsea tieback of new fields warrants the associated investment.

Our focus is not entirely on end-of-life scenarios though. New offshore-platform concepts continue to evolve to suit the changing needs of operators. Some of these aim to offer the reduced well cost of fixed structures with the redeployment advantages offered by floating structures.

One of the most challenging new frontiers for the offshore industry and for society at large is the Arctic region. More specifically, it is development of underwater hydrocarbons where the presence of ice affects the nature of the development. Moving into any new frontier first requires gathering sufficient environmental data to be able to predict quantitatively the character and envelope of conditions at that location throughout the field’s production lifetime. We take a look at how these issues are being addressed in the specific case of the proposed Shtokman-field floating production facility.

As we return for this annual JPT Focus on the technology associated with offshore oil/gas facilities, it is timely to mention the launch of the new SPE magazine Oil and Gas Facilities, primarily geared toward the whole offshore-facilities sector. This effort represents a significant initiative to broaden the appeal and relevance of SPE to the wider oil/gas community, and any feedback that you may have in this regard would be welcomed warmly.

Read the synopses in the February 2012 issue of JPT.

Ian G. Ball, SPE, is Technology Director with Intecsea (UK) Ltd. Previously, he was retained by Reliance Industries Ltd Bombay, and was with Shell with assignments in Norway, the UK, and the US Gulf of Mexico. Ball earned a BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He serves on the JPT Editorial Committee and chairs the Editorial Committee of SPE’s new Oil and Gas Facilities magazine, the inaugural edition of which is available this month.