“Big data combined with smart people and smart software is proving to be very powerful.” (Jeff Spath, 2014 SPE President; JPT January 2014)
What is “big data”? The term “big data” refers to more than simply a large volume of different types of data, both structured and unstructured, with varying degrees of accuracy. It also includes a suite of applications providing solutions and analysis — a data-centric method adept at uncovering otherwise invisible patterns and connections by linking disparate data types.
Large volumes of data are nothing new to the oil and gas industry. With the continued world-wide expansion of Intelligent Digital Oilfield (DOF) assets and projects, coupled with the exponential growth in the volume and complexity of acquired data, the industry needs to rapidly adapt to a new generation of technology and processes.
Find out more about Big Data in the following SPE resources:
Management: Using Big Data Analysis Tools To Understand Bad Hole Sections on the UK Continental Shelf
Joe Johnston, CGG, and Aurelien Guichard, Teradata (Journal of Petroleum Technology, October 2015).
Next Generation of Smart Reservoir Management: The Eminent Role of Big Data Analytics, SPE Forum Series, 18-21 January 2016, Dubai, UAE.
Transforming E&P Applications through Big Data Analytics, SPE On-Demand Web Event, 9 July 2015.
Permeability is one of the most fundamental reservoir-rock properties required for modeling hydrocarbon production. However, the ultrafine pore structure of shale-gas reservoirs (pore-throat radii in the range of 1 -200 nm) cause the violation of the basic assumptions behind Darcy’s law. Depending on a combination of pressure-temperature conditions, pore structure and gas properties, non-Darcy flow mechanisms such as Knudsen diffusion, and/or gas-slippage effects will affect the matrix apparent permeability. Additionally, formation compaction and the release of the adsorption gas layer will affect the matrix apparent permeability during reservoir depletion.
The authors of this paper propose a unified matrix apparent-permeability model for shale-gas formations, which unifies non-Darcy flow / gas-slippage mechanisms, adsorption gas layer release, and geomechanical effects into a coherent global model, as shown below.
Mechanisms that alter shale-matrix apparent permeability during production
The fully coupled unconventional reservoir simulator developed in this study provides a comprehensive tool to investigate the combined real-gas nanoflow mechanisms and rock deformation effects on the matrix apparent-permeability, as well as the long-term productivity of hydraulically fractured shale-gas formations.
Conclusions from this research work are:
- Matrix apparent permeability in a shale formation is not only determined by the non-Darcy flow / gas-slippage behavior but also by the intrinsic permeability within the nanopore structure.
- Shale-matrix permeability derived from core samples at laboratory conditions needs to be correlated to reservoir conditions cautiously due to the extreme sensitivity of factors to the pore radius.
- While geomechanical effects (formation compaction) can temporarily dominate the matrix apparent-permeability evolution during the early-production stages, these will be offset by non-Darcy flow / gas-slippage behavior and gas-desorption effects and matrix apparent-permeability will start to increase due to pressure depletion.
- Impaired productivity in fractured shale formations during depletion is most-likely caused by reduction in fracture conductivity, rather than reduction in matrix permeability.
- The gradual release of the molecular adsorption layer has a significant impact on the matrix apparent-permeability evolution for small pore radii.
- Matrix apparent-permeability evolution during production can make a difference in well performance and long-term shale-gas production – even with the presence of a conductive natural-fracture network.
This summary, written by Special Projects Manager Nancy Musick, contains highlights of the following paper: Wang, H. Y. and Marongiu-Porocu, M. 2015. Impact of Shale-Gas Apparent Permeability on Production: Combined Effects of Non-Darcy Flow / Gas Slippage, Desorption, and Geomechanics. SPE Res Eval & Eng. SPE-173196-PA (in press; posted 7 October 2015).
What is an SPE Forum?
SPE Forums are unique, by-invitation-only SPE events that bring together top technologists, innovators, and managers to address a specific industry challenge. Participation in a forum builds a professional network that will enhance a career for a lifetime. Participants are encouraged to come prepared to contribute their experience and knowledge, rather than be spectators or students.
The objective is to create a collaborative, idea-generating arena that stimulates new ideas and innovation about future challenges facing the E&P industry.
Who should participate?
- Experienced professionals who want to exchange ideas with others in your area of technical expertise. Forums offer an exclusive opportunity to interact with innovators, seasoned professionals, and leading technologists.
- Young professionals with relevant experience and knowledge of the forum topic. Forums are a window on the future that belongs to the next generation of professionals.
Participants at SPE Forums are selected by the Forum Steering Committee based on the ability to contribute to the discussion of the topic. Attendance is limited to maximize each person’s opportunity to contribute. For more details: SPE Forums
SPE sponsors Faculty Enhancement Travel Grants that provide financial support for university faculty to attend SPE conferences, workshops, and forums.
Selected faculty may use the funds for event registration fees, and travel costs.
The application deadline is 15 November.
The SPE Research and Development Technical Section will host a special topical luncheon at ATCE 2015 on Tuesday, 29 September, to facilitate focused dialogue on new materials, techniques, and their applications to oil and gas. In a series of informative and thought-provoking presentations, a panel of industry experts will discuss current uses and future opportunities for these technologies as well as outline the various R&D challenges and needs that must be addressed to overcome their present limitations. A panel question-and-answer session will follow the presentations. Learn more about ATCE and register here.
On Sunday, 27 September at ATCE, join us for this special dinner event, “Manufacturing for Oil and Gas,” featuring keynote presentations followed by an intimate discussion about modern materials and manufacturing technologies, their revolutionary impact on rapid prototyping, and their application to oil and gas development. The keynote speaker will be Sha-Chelle Manning of Pioneer Natural Resource. Learn more about ATCE and register here.
The start of this year saw most oilfield companies cut back significantly their spending plans in response to the dramatic drop in the oil price. The SPE Technical Directors have arranged a special session titled “Managing the Future Impact of Current Cost Cutting” to explore what the industry could and should be doing to minimize the impact this cost cutting will have both now and in the future. Plan to attend this special session at ATCE on Tuesday, 29 September. Register today!
Hear a web event on “Proposed Technologies to Address E&P’s Growing Energy Challenges” on 8 September. The oil and gas E&P industry faces big challenges to meet the world’s fast-growing energy needs and we don’t have all the answers. To address these situations, SPE held a Research & Development Competition specifically to encourage researchers from the basic sciences and other engineering disciplines to engage in our challenges. This webinar will feature the three winning projects that address these challenges. The featured speakers will be Vaihab Bahadur (first place) and Omar Laghrouche (third place).
Join a web event on “Strategies for Global Communication in the Oil and Gas Industry” presented by Lori Dalrymple on 3 September. As companies expand across the globe, challenges to communications grow as well. To work effectively with others from different cultures, the first step is to recognize and understand differences, then deal sensitively with people from other backgrounds. This presentation will teach effective strategies for global communication in the industry.
In an effort to assist authors in their paper presentations at conferences, SPE is offering the Web Event “How to Present Your Paper” with member and host Byron Haynes, Jr., P.E. Byron will take the author from preparation to delivery within the presentation process and will field questions from participants following the Web Event.