SPE Workshop: Hydraulic Fracturing in the Middle East - Lessons Learnt, Challenges, and Opportunities 12 - 13 Dec 2017 Habtoor Grand Resort Dubai, UAE


Monday, December 11

08:00 - 16:00
Hydraulic Fracturing Optimisation
Instructor(s) Ahmed Abou-Sayed

This course presents the fundamentals of fracturing pressure analysis. This includes design parameters that can be determined, uses and limitations of such analysis for on-site design, and field examples. Sessions include real-world examples from a variety of environments, from "tight" gas to high permeability, offshore, and "frac-pack" treatments.

Tuesday, December 12

07:30 - 08:00
08:00 - 08:30
Opening Remarks and Keynote Speech

Keynote Speaker:

Ali Al-Gheithy
Petroleum Engineering Function Director
Petroleum Development Oman

08:30 - 10:00
Session 1: Drivers for Regional Operators for Hydraulic Fracturing
Session Chairpersons Ahmed Neaimi, ADNOC Offshore; Zillur Rahim, Saudi Aramco

Hydraulic fracturing has been in the oil and gas industry around the globe for a long period of time. Driven by the high domestic energy demand, fracturing technology is gaining the strength and momentum in its design and application in the Middle East to tap into resources that are otherwise difficult to produce. Execution of hydraulic fracturing treatments requires undergoing certain procedures, from the approval of local authorities to design, management, implementation, and evaluation. A thorough assessment of the ultimate gain achievable from fracturing, suitable candidates, well completions, fracturing procedure, reservoir modelling, fracture design, and economics, are some of the many criteria to be carefully considered and evaluated for the success of hydraulic fracturing treatments. This session will showcase the preparations experienced in the local region and how preparations are managed and tasks are to be executed. 

10:00 - 10:30
10:30 - 12:30
Session 2: Addressing and Managing Regional Challenges
Session Chairpersons Juan Chavez Florez, PDO; Mohamed Khalifa, Halliburton
Speaker(s) Arathi Mahesh, Schlumberger

It is well recognised that hydraulic fracturing is a key technology enabler for the development of conventional and unconventional resources in the region. However, its implementation is accompanied with significant challenges across design, implementation, monitoring and diagnostic areas, strongly influenced by the complex nature of the geological environments. With the presence of all potential environments covering clastic, carbonates and shales, High Pressure and High Temperature (HPHT), Multilayer Differential Depleted (MDD) environments, as well as, vertical and horizontal wells, the region provides an excellent platform for knowledge-sharing and technology development.

In this session, we will discuss not only the challenges we face for the successful implementation of this technology, but the strategies we are following, from well construction to final completion, in order to address the current challenges and improve further field development.

12:30 - 13:30
13:30 - 14:30
Session 3: Geomechanics to Optimise Fracturing Design
Session Chairpersons Tony Addis, Rockfield; Ahmed Ouenes, FracGeo
Speaker(s) Angelica Riosalvarez, Saudi Aramco; Paul Weddle, Liberty Resources

Hydraulic fracture design used for stimulating conventional reservoirs relies on knowledge and input on the reservoir properties, in-situ geomechanical conditions, fracturing fluid properties and proppant selection, as well as the pumping equipment and well design. The economics being an overriding input to assess the optimum design and size of the fracturing job.

Most hydraulic fracturing stimulation now occurs in naturally fractured shale and tight gas reservoirs, and laminated source rocks, which focus on creating multiple, parallel, transverse fractures placed along a horizontal wellbore. Exporting these techniques to compressive regions with high minimum stress magnitudes and high tensile strengths such as MEAP/MENA[JI1] , will require higher horse power. In these regions, the higher minimum stress that approaches the vertical stress magnitude, and complex interaction with natural fractures, creates fracture geometries not adequately represented by current pseudo 3D planar fractures assumed in standard fracturing design models. The presence of existing or future depleted wells and their impact on current reservoir stress magnitude and orientation adds another level of geomechanical complexity. Geomechanical engineering tools are contributing to a more realistic frac design for an optimal and modern fracture stimulation adapted to the geologic reality of the MEAP/MENA region.

The role of geomechanics in modern fracture stimulation applicable to the MEAP/MENA region will be discussed, as a part of the design and diagnostic workflows.

14:30 - 14:45
14:45 - 16:45
Session 4: Design and Implementation for Success
Session Chairpersons Chris Fredd, Schlumberger; Oumer Taher, Hunting Energy Services
Speaker(s) Mohamed Munawar, NOV; Patrick Mogenhan, Packers Plus; Tomislav Bukovac, Schlumberger

Success in tight reservoirs and unconventional plays typically requires implementing a completion strategy that mitigates challenges related to surface constraints, resource limitations, and/or the subsurface environment. In the Middle East and North Africa region, local challenges such as reservoir proximity to water zones, high breakdown pressures, basin complexity, active tectonics, offshore environments, and access to fresh water necessitate new solutions for successful hydraulic fracturing. The industry has responded with multidisciplinary teams applying innovative technologies and processes to improve efficiency and enhance well productivity.

This session will highlight the challenges and associated solutions implemented for successful hydraulic fracturing in tight reservoirs and unconventional plays. Example themes include:

  • Completion requirements for efficient hydraulic fracturing operations
  • Open-hole versus cemented cased hole completions based on subsurface
  • Geomechanical evaluation for optimised completion design
  • Staging methodologies for subsurface heterogeneity
  • Proppant selection, volume optimisation, and placement methodologies
  • Fracture monitoring and surveillance for design optimisation
  • Production impact: expectations versus reality

Wednesday, December 13

07:30 - 08:00
08:00 - 08:30
08:30 - 10:30
Session 5: Evolution and Application of Fracturing Technologies
Session Chairpersons Oscar Alvardo, OilSERV; Mark Watson, Packers Plus
Speaker(s) Farid Farid, Packers Plus; Juan Chavez, PDO; Pedro Saldungaray, Carbo Ceramics; Zillur Rahim, Saudi Aramco

Hydraulic fracturing technologies have evolved from a single service solution into an integrated multidisciplinary solution strategy that, coupled with drilling, completions, geology and reservoir engineering, have enhanced and expanded its application in a wide range of conventional and unconventional complex reservoirs. This interdisciplinary approach has been the enabler to identify, characterise and understand the reservoir sections with the highest production potential as well as has focused the chemistry efforts to create the new generation of fracturing products, fluids, and proppants, tailored to overcome the challenges faced in different basins around the world.

Furthermore, hydraulic fracturing placement techniques have also evolved to open the door for the application of highly efficient multistage completions and diversion techniques with the objective of enhancing treatment distribution performance across targeted formations.

In this session, we will discuss case studies that involve the evolution and application of fracturing technologies that have contributed to maximise well production and, at the same time, optimised the stimulation strategies applied to outperform current and future reservoir challenges. 

10:30 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:30
Session 6: Fracturing for Production Enhancement and Sustainability
Session Chairpersons Christine Ehlig-Economides, University of Houston; Dan White, BP
Speaker(s) Ahmed Abou Sayed, Advantek Waste Management Services LLC; Frank Chang, Saudi Aramco

This session focuses on sand control, waterflooding, and EOR applications, for hydraulic fracturing, and the risks of fracturing near water zones. 

12:30 - 13:30
13:30 - 15:00
Session 7: Unlocking Opportunities for the Middle East
Session Chairpersons Francisco E Fragachán, Weatherford; Mark Pearson, Liberty Resources LLC

The economic viability of the successful story associated with fracture stimulation of unconventional resources in North America (NAM), has motivated and encouraged other areas in the world to explore their own unconventional resources with the Middle East taking a leading interest.

This session will drive a discussion of the key aspects associated with costs, utilisation, volume of sand/proppant, and efficiencies, among others, that have enabled the NAM commercial success story; as often, these drivers are overlooked. We will drive for deep discussions on the criticality of these aspects and the direct impact they have on unlocking unconventional resources in the Middle East. 

Finally, a roundtable comparing NAM with the current trends in the Middle East, will take place with the goal of defining important milestones that must be reached to achieve an economic success story.

15:00 - 15:15
15:15 - 16:00
16:00 - 16:10