TOPICS OF INTEREST
USGS’s Largest-Ever Assessment of Continuous Oil Potential: Permian’s Wolfcamp-Bone Spring
Production and proved reserves in the Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation are reaching new heights, and a new assessment from the US Geological Survey indicates the industry is just scratching the subsurface when it comes to what may be technically recoverable.
Natural Gas is Up, Except Where It’s Down
Natural gas prices have risen in the US but not in west Texas. The contrast is a sign of the growing pains that come with explosive growth changing this increasingly competitive market.
Mexico’s Giant Zama Discovery Gets New Interest Owner
DEA Deutsche Erdoel is buying Sierra Oil & Gas, giving the German operator stakes in six new blocks off Mexico—including the Zama discovery, where appraisal drilling is now under way.
ExxonMobil Makes 10th Discovery Off Guyana, Lifts Resource Estimate by Another Billion Barrels
The Pluma-1 discovery could turn the southeast portion of Stabroek Block off Guyana "into a major new development area," the company says.
Clustered-Development Approach Leads to Better Evaluation of Multiprospect Plays
In the clustered-development approach, the geologic dependence between prospects is combined with the aggregation of prospects to determine the economic viability of a grassroots development offshore.
Reframing Exploration Strategy Optimizes Project Value
The objective of this case study is to describe a specific approach to establishing an exploration strategy at the initial stage on the basis of not only uncertainty reduction, but also early business-case development and maximization of future economic value.
Any entity assessing project viability at any stage of the exploration-to-production life cycle must ensure an evergreen examination of the commercial likelihood on the basis of an ongoing data analysis, refining development synergies coupled with strategic reframing as required.
New Approach to Capital-Allocation Modeling Improves Performance Assessment
This new conceptual framework for capital-allocation management, known as advanced risk and capital-allocation management (ARCAM), aims to synchronize risk, strategy, and capital decision modeling to provide better visibility of future performance of capital-investment opportunities.
Permian Pulse: Using Satellite Imagery Analytics To Track the World’s Busiest Oil Play
Companies are bringing satellite monitoring to the unconventional oilfield—namely the Permian Basin—where they are training machine learning models to track and predict drilling and completions work.
Predictive-Maintenance Approach Uses Machine Learning To Increase Efficiency
This paper focuses on compressor systems associated with major production deferments. An advanced machine-learning approach is presented for determining anomalous behavior to predict a potential trip and probable root cause with sufficient warning to allow for intervention.
Stochastic Work Flow Bridges Gap Between Subsurface and Surface Disciplines
This paper presents an unbiased stochastic data-driven work flow in which surface and subsurface uncertainties are accounted for and their effects on facilities design and operational decisions are quantified.
Fighting Water With Water: How Engineers Are Turning the Tides on Frac Hits
If the shale sector’s most complex problem can be solved, it will require companies to use their wells as a team. Newly detailed field work shows that a good defense is the key to success.
Rock-Strength Analysis and Integrated FEA Modeling Optimize Bit Selection
Using log data from offset wells, a bit-selection software based on unconfined compressive strength (UCMPS) calculations has been used to optimize the bit selection for Well X.
Real-Time Data Analytics Allows for Bit-Wear Monitoring and Prediction
Severe bit damage is an issue in West Texas land drilling because of abrasive sand formation and interbedded hard stringers.
Bit Technology and Bottomhole Assemblies
Recent research shows that, in addition to hardness, other rock properties, such as lithology types, heterogeneity, and abrasiveness, have equal importance in bit evaluations. Consequently, the discussion must move from rock-strength analysis to rock-drillability analysis.
Improved Methods Aid Understanding and Mitigation of Stick/Slip Torsional Vibrations
This paper will show how stick/slip vibration distributions can be used to guide drillstring and parameter redesign to mitigate stick/slip in the next well.
Waterflooding With Active Injection-Control Devices Improves Oil Recovery
This paper presents the implementation of an approach for improving oil recovery by water-injection optimization using injection-control devices (ICDs) in unconventional reservoirs.
Production and Facilities
Creativity and innovation have long characterized production and facilities, and this year is no exception. The economic challenges of the oil industry clearly have provided a strong stimulus for even more creativity and innovation.
Produced water has been an albatross around the neck of operators for a long time. Efforts to solve its challenges have been extensive and continue to evolve. These efforts can have a strong effect on the profitability of an operation.
Inverted-ESP Completion Boosts Oil Rate While Disposing of Produced Water
This paper aims to provide an introduction to the early management of downhole produced water in strong waterdrive reservoirs using inverted electrical-submersible-pump (ESP) technology.
Advanced Electrochemical System Desalts Produced Water, Saves Polymer
This paper presents pilot-testing results and economics from a novel electrochemical desalination technology for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) produced water.
Debottlenecking Through Produced-Water Partial Processing Unlocks Production
US Oil, Gas Reserves Hit All-Time Highs
Proved oil and gas reserves in the US have spiked to levels not seen before, the EIA reports, and one of the main drivers is the Permian’s Wolfcamp-Bone Spring Shale.
How Close is too Close? Well Spacing Decisions Come With Risks
The ideal well spacing is in the eye of the beholder. The decision depends on so many factors that machine learning is now trying to determine the best combination of ingredients.
BP, Chevron Bring Two More Offshore Projects on Stream
Majors BP and Chevron have overcome development challenges and delays to launch their respective Clair Ridge and Big Foot projects.
Three Trends Shaping Global Production: US Well Spacing, Argentine Shale, and Middle East Conventionals
For the next several years, supplies of crude will depend on several macro factors. Some are easier to forecast than others.
SPE Agreements Will Promote Social Responsibility, Sustainability
SPE signed agreements with two leading industry associations to promote knowledge sharing and best practice in social responsibility.
Refined Business, Software Platforms Drive Helmerich & Payne’s Drilling Evolution
Helmerich & Payne’s first 100 years have required constant reinvention. Now the company hopes its new drilling software platform built on the acquisitions of two startups will propel it through the next century.
JPT Technology Minute Poll: Which Technology Would You Choose for Offshore Compression?
If you could only choose one of these technologies with which to optimize your next offshore compression, which would it be?
GE Speeds Up Plan To Sell Stake in Baker Hughes
The deal would raise nearly $4 billion for GE, which plans to reduce its stake in the oilfield services company from 62.5% to at least 50.1% after the transactions. It had previously announced in June its intention to sell its stake over a 2- to 3-year period.
IEA Warns of Global Oil Supply Deficit, Leaning Too Heavily on US Output
US crude oil production is expanding at an unprecedented rate, but much faster growth will be needed in the next few years to meet the world’s demand if global investment in conventional supply doesn’t pick up, an IEA report indicates.
ADNOC Announces Integrated Gas Strategy, Oil Production Boost
The Abu Dhabi government approved a $132.3-billion capital expenditure increase that will fund, among other things, a plan that could enable the country to sustain LNG production through 2040.
Total, ADNOC to Explore for Unconventional Gas in Abu Dhabi
The French major will become operator of the Ruwais Diyab concession, and ADNOC says additional companies are lining up to partner on the emirate’s other unconventional areas.
New Oil Sands Development Gets Green Light
Imperial Oil has made a final investment decision on its 75,000-B/D Aspen oil sands project, the first new oil sands development to be approved in 5 years.
Setback Rule Defeated in Colorado, But Industry There Remains Threatened
Colorado voters soundly defeated a measure 6 November that would have restricted the vast majority of new development in the country’s fifth largest oil-producing state. The outcome was a big relief for the oil and gas industry, but its existential fight in the state hasn’t ended.
Frac Hits To Take Center Stage at SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Conference
The upcoming event will provide the shale sector with a venue to share new learnings and approaches meant to overcome one of its greatest subsurface challenges.
Gas Begins Flowing From UK Shale Well
Small quantities of gas and water are flowing to the surface from the UK’s first horizontal shale well—just days after operator Cuadrilla paused injection work for a second time amid earthquakes.
Israel Launches New Bid Round
Israel is launching a new offshore bid round for gas-bearing blocks in the Eastern Mediterranean.
US Shale Consolidation Heats Up as Firms Mull Long-Term Survival
With big shale mergers dominating the headlines, some of the industry’s most influential financial players gathered to discuss what’s driving the shift in operational and fiscal priorities.
Can Machine Learning Mitigate Frac Hits?
BHGE is developing an analytics and machine-learning approach that offers descriptive and predictive insights on frac hits, with the aim of eventually offering a real-time monitoring capability to be deployed during frac jobs.
Looking Inside the Well: An Interview With Visuray CEO Kambiz Safinya
Visuray is using its unique X-ray technology to improve downhole imaging.
BP’s Lower 48 Unit Becomes BPX Energy
The rebrand follows the completion of BP’s $10.5-billion purchase of BHP’s assets in the Permian, Eagle Ford, and Haynesville.
Liquids-Rich Permian Showcased as a Model Basin
The SPE Liquids-Rich Basin Conference in Midland, Texas, merged topics that have dominated recent industry discussions: technologies centered on big data, interwell communication, and Permian Basin production.
Drilling and Completion Fluids
It is no secret that drilling fluid is crucial in drilling operations. The main function of drilling fluids is to transport drill cuttings from the bottom of the hole up to the surface. Drill cuttings then will be separated on the surface before being recycled back for further drilling.
Horizontal and Complex-Trajectory Wells
With the arrival and development of rotary steerable systems in the late 1990s, the industry thought that drilling a perfectly smooth and controlled trajectory would not be an issue. Two decades later, we’re still talking about wellbore quality, especially with long and complex horizontal wells.
Proposed Steering Mechanism Reduces Tortuosity in Horizontal Wells
This paper describes a new approach to evaluating the effectiveness of the rotary-steerable-system (RSS) steering mechanism on wellbore tortuosity in horizontal wells.
Multiphase-Flow Simulation Helps Find Optimal Lateral Length for Best Production
This paper demonstrates a work flow to determine optimal lateral lengths and trajectories in the Midland Basin by studying the effect of the lateral length and trajectory on well production.
Polymer Replacement for Organophilic Clay Benefits Mineral-Oil-Based Drilling Fluids
Organophilic clays mixed in oil-based drilling fluids (OBDFs) do not exhibit the same viscosity or suspension characteristics as they do in water-based drilling fluids. A new mineral-oil-based drilling fluid (MOBDF) was created by replacing the conventional organophilic clay with a novel polymer.
High-Temperature Water-Based Mud Faces Challenges Offshore Sarawak, Malaysia
The reservoir section of a gas field offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, consists of two massive pinnacle carbonate structures with heterogeneous porosity and permeability and many vugs and faults.
Modified Rectorite Provides Reliable Rheology and Suspendability in Biodiesel-Based Fluids
The use of organophilic clays as additives to provide proper rheological and filtration properties in nonaqueous drilling fluids (NADFs) has long been a topic of study. This paper introduced a modified rectorite designed for biodiesel-based drilling fluid (BBDF).
Cuttings-Lag Distribution in Directional Wells Affects Depth Resolution of Mud Logging
This paper presents an approach to modeling the cuttings-lag-depth distribution caused by the dispersion of cuttings-transport velocity in directional drilling.
Water-Injection Techniques Increase Recovery in Conventional Gas Reservoirs
This paper evaluates the incremental benefit of water injection in a conventional gas reservoir when compared with gas compression.
Huff ’n’ Puff Gas-Injection Pilot Improves Oil Recovery in the Eagle Ford
The Eagle Ford formation has produced approximately 2 billion bbl of oil during the last 7 years, yet its potential may be even greater. Using improved oil-recovery (IOR) methods could result in billions of additional barrels of production.
Reynolds Number Is Important in Understanding Wax Deposition
Comprehension of the mechanisms that influence wax deposition in oil-production systems has not yet been achieved fully. This paper investigates the influence of the Reynolds number on wax deposition.
Flow Regime Affects Erosion Prediction in Multiphase Flow
Erosion caused by fine solid particles presents one of the greatest threats to oil and gas flow assurance, consequently affecting material selection and wall-thickness design.
Offshore Production and Flow Assurance
Offshore production assurance continues to drive new production technology applications and approaches. The three papers highlighted here focus on developing analytical tools and performing root-cause analyses while providing safe, cost-effective, and reliable operations.
Root-Cause Analysis of Offshore Pipeline Failures
This paper evaluates potential causes of failure for nine pipelines operating in shallow waters (8 to 14 m) in the Gulf of Guinea. The authors develop an analytical method to identify root causes and provide recommendations for pipeline design and placement.
Hydrocarbon-Gas Cycling Improves Recovery in the Arun Gas Field
In this paper, past gas-cycling operations were examined to identify subsurface implications and effects on operability aspects for the Arun giant gas field offshore Indonesia in the North Sumatra Basin.
Gas Production Technology
Does better data lead to better outcomes for one or even for all? High-quality data have become a resource in themselves, to be traded and leveraged for personal gain.
Aramco Hires More Women in March Toward Gender Diversity
The world’s largest oil company says it has doubled the number of women working for it in the last decade and is spearheading a number of initiatives to grow the trend.
Small Earthquakes Pause Fracturing of UK’s First Horizontal Shale Well
Cuadrilla has encountered its first bumps in the road while fracturing its Preston New Road shale gas well, with two quakes already temporarily halting injection operations.
Hilcorp Gets Approval for First Oil Production Facility in Alaska’s Federal Waters
The green light comes 4 years after the privately-held firm filed its development and production plan. Liberty Island would consist of gravel, stretch 9 acres, and sit just a few miles offshore.
Petrobras, Shell Start Production From Eighth Lula Field FPSO
The unit is flowing oil and gas from the Lula Extremo Sul area, 290 km off Rio de Janeiro state in 2150 m of water.
Schlumberger and Halliburton Warm on Global Market, Cooler on US Shale
The two biggest oilfield services providers are enjoying a rebound in international activity but continue to struggle with a softening US shale completions market. While takeaway constraints will be temporary, steep shale production declines may emerge as a longer-term challenge.
Shell Picks a Digital Platform To Build Its AI Future Upon
The international major has been playing with intelligent programs for years, but this new deal shows that it is now ready to scale those efforts up to cover hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment.
New Hires: Bridging the Gap Between Academics and Needs in the Oil Field
An ATCE special session featured a range of perspectives on the importance of training beyond academic education in preparing new industry hires to develop long-term, sustainable careers.
Seeq’s Focus on Time-Series Data Draws in Chevron, Shell, and Pioneer
The 5-year-old software startup is getting noticed by the oil and gas industry for its ability to accelerate analytics projects by taking care of all the tedious work involved with data wrangling.
Using Microseismic To See Where Fracturing is Happening
When it came to decide where to collect a critical sample of fractured rock, a new method for turning microseismic data into a heat map designed to display the most intense fracturing activity was considered.
Oil Prices Float in a “Fragile Equilibrium”
Oil prices appear to have stabilized during the past year, and speakers at the annual Energy and the Economy Conference at the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank say they expect prices to remain level, at least for a little while.
Petrobras, Murphy Oil Form 75,000-BOE/D US Gulf Partnership
The new venture will operate several deepwater assets—including the Cascade, Chinook, Medusa, and Thunder Hawk fields.
So Many Wells, So Few Engineers—Scaling Production Engineering for All Those Shale Wells
Fast-declining, older, unconventional oil wells require artificial lift experts to deal with and explore a population of miles-long horizontal wells that do not follow the established rules of thumb.
Merger of Ensco and Rowan Jacks Up Their Market Share
The merger of Ensco and Rowan creates a company with growing cash flow from the biggest fleet of jackup rigs, and growth potential as deepwater drilling comes back.
Eni, BP To Team in Hopes of Boosting Libyan Oil and Gas Exploration
Eni plans to buy a portion of BP’s interest in Libya’s Ghadames and Sirt Basins in an effort to relaunch exploration activity there next year.
BHGE To Buy Stake in ADNOC Drilling as Firms Form UAE Partnership
The union marks the first time an international company has taken a direct equity stake in one of ADNOC’s service companies. BHGE will expand its presence in UAE, while ADNOC will gain access to BHGE technological expertise and proprietary equipment.
Company To Fracture First UK Horizontal Shale Wells
Cuadrilla Resources will test the two wells over the next 6 months to determine how much gas it can initially recover from the Bowland Shale.
Outlook Optimistic, but Concerns Over Permian Takeaway and Steel Tariffs Linger
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ quarterly survey of operators and service companies shows an industry still confident in its near-term growth prospects. However, concerns remain about a number of issues, ranging from the steel tariffs to crude oil price differentials in the Permian.
Fracturing Wells in Pairs Creates Strong Links
Fracturing two or more wells at the same time creates connections. While fracturing fluids reach out further, those ties create a stronger link, though not forever.
Small-Field Approach Holds Promise for Operators in Southeast Asia
This paper shows how a new approach to small fields could unlock more than twice the net present value (NPV) of larger conventional fields in Southeast Asia at a similar level of capital expenditure (CAPEX).
It May Be Boom Time for the Oil-Rich Powder River Basin
The Powder River Basin has emerged over the past year as the latest source of oil production growth for the Lower 48. Companies ranging from a reborn Samson Resources to US onshore mainstays Devon, Chesapeake, and EOG are now betting on the basin to become a long-term core asset.
Simulation Algorithm Benefits by Connecting Geostatistics With Unsupervised Learning
A new geostatistics modeling methodology that connects geostatistics and machine-learning methodologies, uses nonlinear topological mapping to reduce the original high-dimensional data space, and uses unsupervised-learning algorithms to bypass problems with supervised-learning algorithms.
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