SPE Technology Updates

Industry and Society news grouped by SPE technical discipline

SPE Awards

Congratulations to the 2012 International Award Winners: Projects, Facilities, and Construction

Please join SPE in congratulating the 2012 SPE International Award recipients. The SPE Board of Directors approved the 2012 International Award recipients at their recent meeting. Seventeen international award committees recommended these winners to the board because of their outstanding and significant technical, professional, and service contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry. The winners were chosen from a pool of first rate candidates. SPE President Ganesh Thakur will present the awards to the winners at ATCE in San Antonio Texas.

Projects, Facilities, and Construction Award
Carlos F. Mastrangelo, Petrobras, Katy, Texas, USA

View a full list of 2012 International Award Winners »

Learn more about SPE International and Regional Awards »

SPE Awards

Congratulations to the 2012 International Award Winners: Reservoir Description and Dynamics

Please join SPE in congratulating the 2012 SPE International Award recipients. The SPE Board of Directors approved the 2012 International Award recipients at their recent meeting. Seventeen international award committees recommended these winners to the board because of their outstanding and significant technical, professional, and service contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry. The winners were chosen from a pool of first rate candidates. SPE President Ganesh Thakur will present the awards to the winners at ATCE in San Antonio Texas.

Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award
Robert A. Wattenbarger, Texas A&M, College Station, Texas, USA

Formation Evaluation Award
Leif Larsen, Kappa Engineering, Royenberg, Norway

View a full list of 2012 International Award Winners »

Learn more about SPE International and Regional Awards »

SPE Awards

Congratulations to the 2012 International Award Winners: Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility

Please join SPE in congratulating the 2012 SPE International Award recipients. The SPE Board of Directors approved the 2012 International Award recipients at their recent meeting. Seventeen international award committees recommended these winners to the board because of their outstanding and significant technical, professional, and service contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry. The winners were chosen from a pool of first rate candidates. SPE President Ganesh Thakur will present the awards to the winners at ATCE in San Antonio Texas.

Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility Award
Clarion E. Johnson, ExxonMobil, Fairfax, VA, USA

View a full list of 2012 International Award Winners »

Learn more about SPE International and Regional Awards »

SPE Awards

Congratulations to the 2012 International Award Winners: Production and Operations

Please join SPE in congratulating the 2012 SPE International Award recipients. The SPE Board of Directors approved the 2012 International Award recipients at their recent meeting. Seventeen international award committees recommended these winners to the board because of their outstanding and significant technical, professional, and service contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry. The winners were chosen from a pool of first rate candidates. SPE President Ganesh Thakur will present the awards to the winners at ATCE in San Antonio Texas.

Production and Operations Award
John C. Patterson, ConocoPhillips, Houston, Texas, USA

Completions Optimization and Technology Award
Hazim H. Abass, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

View a full list of 2012 International Award Winners »

Learn more about SPE International and Regional Awards »

SPE Awards

Congratulations to the 2012 International Award Winners: Management and Information

Please join SPE in congratulating the 2012 SPE International Award recipients. The SPE Board of Directors approved the 2012 International Award recipients at their recent meeting. Seventeen international award committees recommended these winners to the board because of their outstanding and significant technical, professional, and service contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry. The winners were chosen from a pool of first rate candidates. SPE President Ganesh Thakur will present the awards to the winners at ATCE in San Antonio Texas.

Management and Information Award
William J. Haskett, Decision Strategies, Houston, Texas, USA

Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal
Claudio Descalzi, ENI, San Donato Milanese, Italy

View a full list of 2012 International Award Winners »

Learn more about SPE International and Regional Awards »

 

HSE Now − Beginning in Early 2013!

Collecting news, updates, and technical information needed by oil and gas professionals working in health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility (HSSESR), HSE Now will be published every month specifically for the web and mobile devices.

By scouring SPE and other key resources from around the globe, we do the research, so you don’t have to. You’ll get the information you need to stay up-to-date through fresh content that is relevant to you.

HSE Now will be free for SPE professional members who pick HSSESR as one of their technical disciplines. Subscriptions are also available for purchase.

JPT Online Technology Briefs

Multifunctional Handling tool launched

Weatherford International recently announced the launch of its UniSlips all-in-one handling tool, the industry’s first rotary-mounted, multifunctional slip for casing, tubing, or drillpipe operations. Read more »

New subsea system launched for jack-up drilling units

Argus Subsea has recently introduced the AZ-15J subsea tree and wellhead system, specially designed for jack-up mobile drilling units. The company states that the new system is the world’s first purpose-built system that allows operators to drill and complete wells at up to 15,000 PSI working pressure without special riser systems or temporary abandonments. Read more »

New drilling motor promises performance boost in challenging environments

Mpact Downhole Motors has introduced a new proprietary downhole drilling motor that promises significant increases in performance and reliability. Designated Model 775 7822 HTS, the drilling motor’s ultralow speed and robust design have helped reduced drilling downtime in field trials in Texas and Louisiana. Read more »

Higher Resolution Subsurface Imaging

[Download the Higher Resolution Subsurface Imaging white paper.]

It is hard to read road signs if you have poor eyesight, which is why driver’s licenses are issued with restrictions requiring that corrective lenses must be worn. Likewise, it is hard to find and exploit subsurface resources if you can’t clearly see your targets or monitor the movement of fluids in the reservoir.

Engineers now have powerful tools to precisely model subsurface reservoir production behavior, but a precise answer is still wrong if it is derived from an inaccurate subsurface description. Geoscientists make maps and rock property models of the subsurface by interpreting images that are produced from remote sensing data. Analogs from modern depositional environments and outcrop exposures guide subsurface data interpretation to predict ahead of the bit, then postdrill geostatistics are used to fill in stratigraphic details between wellbore control points. Selection of the right depositional model, facies distribution, and geostatistical analog depends on having the sharpest, most detailed and accurate image of the subsurface possible—the Grand Challenge of Higher Resolution Subsurface Imaging.

Over the past century, the industry has relentlessly sought ways to improve subsurface imaging of hydrocarbons. Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden first patented the use of the seismic method to infer geology in 1917. A decade later, Schlumberger lowered an electric tool down a borehole in France to record the first well log. Today, advances in seismic and gravity data acquisition, electromagnetics, signal processing and modeling powered by high-performance computing, and the nanotechnology revolution are at the forefront of improved
reservoir imaging.

In this paper, we will examine the challenges of getting higher resolution subsurface images of hydrocarbons and touch on emerging research trends and technologies aimed at delivering a more accurate reservoir picture.

CO2 Applications

Last year in this focus on CO2 applications, I (as others have) connected enhanced
oil recovery (EOR) as an enabling business foundation and a possible way forward
to accomplish carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a business investment. This year,
in an address to the CCS conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US Department of
Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy Charles McConnell encouraged the
CCS industry to help operators establish a salient business case between CO2 EOR and
usage and sequestration. Creating 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.

The technologies needed to accomplish carbon capture, utilization, and storage
(CCUS) require expertise in science and engineering that, in some cases, are not completely
matured or, at least, require a different focus and commitment in science and
business to affect CCUS. An acceptable return on investment will depend on economic
CO2 capture and largely on regulatory stability.

Administratively, the US Environmental Protection Agency proposed a carbon
pollutions standard for new power plants, which will have to meet 1,000 lbm
of CO2 per electrical megawatt-hour produced. Older coal plants average approximately
1,768 lbm of CO2 per megawatt-hour but are exempt from the standard, as are
plants permitted to begin construction within a year. A typical natural-gas electricitygeneration
plant emits 800 to 860 lbm of CO2 per megawatt-hour.

Legislatively, the proposed US Senate Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 would
implement a credit system to reduce CO2 emissions. A study by the DOE and the Energy
Information Agency (EIA) to evaluate the effects of this policy concluded that virtually
no electrical generation will occur in 2035 from US coal plants that use CCUS
technology even though CCUS is awarded nearly a full credit under the proposed policy.
The policy predicts a significant shift in the long-term electricity-generation mix
in the US by 2035, with coal-fired generation falling to 54% below the reference-case
level. Combined heat and power generators fired by natural gas increase substantially
through 2020, and nuclear and nonhydropower renewable generation plays a larger
role between 2020 and 2035. The proposed policy could reduce US electric-power-sector
CO2 emissions to 44% below the EIA’s reference case in 2035. National average
delivered electricity prices could increase gradually to 18% above the reference case
by 2035. However, there will still be a need to use the CO2 from the gas-powered plants
in the US and coal-powered plants worldwide by CCUS or other methods. These conclusions
concur with recent reports published by some major oil and gas entities on
the future of natural gas for electrical generation in the US.

The need for pure CCS in developed countries such as the US may not be as great
as in developing countries; but, the US and other developed countries have the ability
and capability to implement CCS through CCUS.

Read the paper synopses in the July 2012 issue of JPT.

John D. Rogers, SPE, is vice president of operations for Fusion Reservoir Engineering Services. With 30  years of experience, he previously worked as a production/operations engineer for Amoco, as a research scientist for the Petroleum Recovery Research Center of New Mexico Tech, and for the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the DOE. Rogers holds BS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from New  Mexico State University and an MS degree in petroleum engineering from Texas Tech University. Rogers has  contributed to more than 30 publications and has served on several SPE editorial and conference committees. He  currently serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.

Unconventional Resources

“Geology drives technology,” and “the best solutions are multidisciplinary.”

Understanding 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. Some of the greatest results in my career
have come when working in a cross-functional team where all members were sufficiently
aware of the geology to then apply the most appropriate technology for extraction.
Interaction was open, robust, and balanced, and amazing results were produced.

The most successful field developments that are being proposed today in unconventional
gas use this model. For example, horizontal wells with multistaged stimulation
that use image logs to identify and target existing rock fabrics highlight the close
working relationship between drilling, geology, stimulation, and geomechanics.

“Geology drives technology,” and “the best solutions are multidisciplinary”—
this has never been more true than when developing and appraising on the challenging
unconventional frontier.

Read the paper synopses in the July 2012 issue of JPT.

Simon Chipperfield, SPE, is team leader of central gas exploitation at Santos. During the past 15 years, he has  held positions in petroleum engineering (drilling, completions, and stimulation) and reservoir engineering. Chipperfield previously worked for Shell International E&P. He was awarded the 2007 SPE Cedric K.  Ferguson Medal. Chipperfield has authored more than 20 technical publications in the areas of hydraulic  fracturing, reservoir engineering, completion technology, and sand control. He holds a petroleum engineering degree with honors from the University of New South Wales. Chipperfield serves on the JPT Editorial Committee and the SPE International Awards Committee and has served as a reviewer for the SPE Production &  Operations journal.