Sunday, November 04
Monday, November 05
The opening session will discuss why production paradigms from wellbore through to surface facilities differ in unconventional developments.
Slugging wells with steep declines challenge us with high rates at initial production (IP) followed by low rates at the tail end reserves. The ever-changing production situations are challenging us to rethink overall approach to the production optimization problem in the future.
This session will explore challenges as they apply to artificial lift in horizontal unconventional wells in the future.
Production in horizontal unconventional wells brings many challenges across aspects of the entire application. Understanding flow patterns in the laterals is only one of the critical challenges. The need for complex completions such as multi-laterals, and understanding how they affect the selection, installation and operation of artificial lift methods, often necessitate a fit-for-purpose solution. Off-the-shelf solutions most often do not work.
Tuesday, November 06
This session will begin with an overview of the production profile of sand, water, and gas in horizontal unconventional wells compared to traditional vertical wells.
The discussion will focus on the challenges of this unique profile on traditionally designed and constructed facilities. The objective will be to generate ideas for improved methods and designs that will minimize manpower and cost of handling high water and sand during early production, and gas slugging throughout the life of the well.
In this session, we will separate fact from fantasy and discuss what is wishful thinking and what could become game-changing new technology. The following questions will be examined:
- Do competing hardware offerings and a lack of standardized programming languages discourage or delay operators from pursuing options?
- Have good production and facility applications been developed and vetted, or is this a “buy it and they will come” situation?
Wednesday, November 07
Unconventional wells targeting liquids-rich zones are producing high API gravity crudes with high initial production rates and steep decline curves.
This discussion will focus on future opportunities for:
- Process parameters and conditions that affect crude Reid vapor pressure (RVP).
- Emerging regulatory trends that may affect RVP design considerations.
- Technology solutions and operational ideas for capturing and harnessing large volumes of low-pressure flash gas, managing high RVP crude oils during the brief initial production period and throughout the life of the well.
This session deals with the development of novel and unconventional approaches and tools that will enable effective knowledge sharing and collaboration among disciplines for the production optimization of unconventional assets in the future.
The economic value derived from effective workflow and collaboration when managing unconventional wells production uncertainty cannot be over-emphasized. Our traditional “factory line approach“ of moving sequentially between disciplines seems inadequate to mitigate the challenges found in unconventional assets.
The level of uncertainty and the rapid rate of changes experienced at early stages of field development make it critical to accelerate the learning curve. This advanced learning can be accomplished by effectively using updated well and field production performance data to steer key decisions related to wells and facilities design and field operational philosophy.
Thursday, November 08
Finding the right balance between capital efficiency, safety, and production optimization is particularly challenging in unconventional horizontal wells. It is essential to make the right decisions at the early stages of the project so wells and facilities can handle high initial rates and rapid declines during the first years of operation. At the same time the solution should offer enough flexibility to enable future enhanced oil recovery (EOR) potential and to optimize operating costs during the full life of the asset.
In this session, the future of in-situ management and handling of large amounts of gas, sand, and organic and non-organic solids will be discussed.
Most artificial lift methods are expected to function properly as long as their operating envelopes are honored. Unconventionals present unique challenges deriving from high gas/liquid ratio (GLR) fluids, fracturing sand, and fluid inherent precipitants such as scales and waxes. Proper in-situ (downhole) management would assure longer successful operation of the employed artificial lift methods, and prevent several other issues downstream.
Friday, November 09
To close the forum, the session leaders will discuss
- What were the key learnings from the week?
- What are the industry initiatives we must pursue going forward?
- What are the further discussions on the technologies and industry synergies are needed to improve operations of unconventional wells?