In 2015, more papers were devoted to well construction in shale plays than in any prior year. Those shale topics also covered a diverse range of subjects within the sphere of optimizing construction efficiency and performance. Our industry’s demonstrated ability to innovate and continually improve well-construction technology will be all the more valuable to all plays if low oil prices persist, but especially so for shale and other high-cost-per-barrel plays. With rig counts decreasing, smart, effective workovers of existing wells will be even more important to maintaining production levels. Some examples of effective construction and workover techniques are provided within the papers provided here. I hope you find them of interest.
In paper SPE 170789, I was surprised to see the level of production improvements achieved with the use of wireline stackable straddle systems. This was accomplished in an openhole gravel-packed completion without external casing packers or consolidation of the gravel pack, a significant simplification.
Paper SPE 171015 is a good example of the widespread, innovative efforts to improve cost efficiency in shale wells. Case histories demonstrate the successful use of biodegradable, temporary diverting agents, rather than cement squeezes or mechanical tools, to simplify and reduce the cost of fracturing and refracturing operations. With fewer new wells being drilled, refracturing may offer a viable option to slow the decline of existing shale wells.
The industry has been working to relate cement mechanical properties to success/failure with annular isolation in the actual well for approximately 20 years; however, there are still no American Petroleum Institute standardized cement-testing and -evaluation protocols for cement mechanical properties, and there is much room for improvement. The investigative paper SPE 168650 relates how anelastic-strain and impact-resistance testing may enhance real-world predictive abilities.
Recommended Additional Reading
SPE 169514 Effect of Well Downspacing on Estimated Ultimate Recovery for Shale Oil Formations by Susrut Gautam Bharali, University of Houston, et al.
SPE/IADC 170480 Challenges of Casing Design in Geothermal Wells by Angelito Torres, Chevron
SPE 170712 Cement Evaluation—A Risky Business by Glen Benge, Baker Hughes
Bob Carpenter, SPE, Research Consultant, Chevron Energy Technology Company
01 May 2015
Norwegian Exploration and Development Picks Up, But More is Needed
Norway hopes for a continued rise in offshore exploration and development activity to ensure steady oil and gas production through the next decade.
UK’s Latest Licensing Round Aims for Offshore Frontiers
Just 2 months after issuing more than a hundred licenses, the Oil and Gas Authority begins the process again for a whole new set of blocks.
BP Launches Caspian’s First Subsea Development
The $28-billion Shah Deniz Phase 2 project off Azerbaijan will supply gas to Europe through the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline system.
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