SPE Forum: Late Life Unconventionals – Unlocking Incremental Value 10 - 15 Nov 2019 Phoenix, Arizona, USA


Sunday, November 10

17:30 - 19:00

Monday, November 11

07:00 - 08:00
07:00 - 08:00
08:00 - 11:30
SESSION I: Optimal Depletion Execution - Without Major Well Intervention
Session Chairpersons Damon Bennett, Continental; Nathan Meehan, Baker Hughes, a GE company

Unit developments with and without parent wells require different considerations for development and depletion planning. This session addresses the challenges of staying above saturation pressure and/or maximizing recovery of the most valuable components for as long as possible, for the entire unit. Additionally, the strategy must include data acquisition and be executed within the confines of reasonable capital requirements, and without significant well intervention.
a. Draw-down management
b. Artificial lift
c. Reservoir & well pressure management issues
d. Use of stripper wells technologies

09:30 - 10:00
11:30 - 13:00
13:00 - 16:30
SESSION II: Restimulation
Session Chairpersons Brandon Rogers, Murphy; Stephen Ingram, Halliburton

Mature unconventional production wells experience substantial production declines and were likely stimulated less optimally than newer wells. Rather than simply drilling more wells, this has led operators to look to restimulation of wells with reduced production rates and lesser stimulated reservoir volume. Restimulation includes refracturing as well as stimulation methods applying reactive fluids, surfactant treatments, repressurization, etc. This session includes discussion of cost-effective restimulation applications for unconventional wells. 
a. Well treatments
b. Refracturing of existing producers
c. Completion design techniques
d. Diversion of the future

15:00 - 15:30

Tuesday, November 12

07:00 - 08:00
08:00 - 11:30
SESSION III: Infill Session – Deciding Well Spacing Strategies
Session Chairpersons Leonardo Cruz, Equinor; Travis Black, Devon

How close can we get? How to plan for grandchildren? Can we complete for the future generations? As an industry, unconventional plays have begun to transition from single wells to full infill development, which has introduced several challenges both today and in the future.  This session will focus on:

  • Fracture Driven Interactions – prevention/mitigation
  • Infill Drilling Development – Successful child well development 3rd generation redevelopment (grandchildren wells)
  • Completion Design – Infill vs. parent designs integrated with spacing and accounting for possible depletion. EOR/IOR – current completion designs are mainly focused on primary recovery; need to look to designs that would optimize EOR as well 
09:30 - 10:00
11:30 - 18:00
18:00 - 21:30
SESSION IV: Gas Injection EOR – Subsurface
Session Chairpersons Sriram Doraiswamy, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; Alena Grechishnikova, Chevron

Cyclic gas injection has shown to be effective at recovering additional oil from unconventional reservoirs, but there continues to be considerable unknowns with the process. What is causing additional oil to be produced (mechanisms)? How efficient is the process (utilization)? How to keep gas where it needs to be (containment)? How to effectively describe the subsurface (characterization)? And how to optimize the process (cycle time management)? These and other issues will be addressed in this session.
a. Cycle time management
b. Flood design: Huff & puff, well-to-well, stage-to-stage, frac-to-frac
c. Gas containment
d. Choosing the right target
e. Reservoir characterization and AI application for “impact on production” analysis, risk/uncertainty management
f. Monitoring & Surveillance

20:00 - 20:30

Wednesday, November 13

07:00 - 08:00
08:00 - 11:30
SESSION V: Gas EOR - Surface Considerations
Session Chairpersons Mathias Carlsen, Whitson; Maki Ikeda, Baker Hughes

This section expands on the surface considerations related to implementing gas EOR once the subsurface upside opportunity is identified. Gas sourcing, facility design and modification, hazard and environmental risk mitigation are just some of the aspects critical for successful EOR operations. We will expand on those aspects as well as discuss how surface considerations evolve with the maturity and scale of an EOR development.

09:30 - 10:00
11:30 - 18:00
18:00 - 21:30
Session Chairpersons Hossein Kazemi, Colorado School of Mines; Ryosuke Okuno, University of Texas at Austin

Primary production by depletion drive is the main method in producing liquid-shale reservoirs. The average oil recovery is about 6%. Waterflooding, being a displacement process, will not work in shale reservoirs because the shale matrix is too tight for waterflooding. Gas injection is the only process that has shown promise to obtain about 30% additional oil. Thus, we leave behind a large amount of oil in shale reservoirs. There is another major issue is defining the producible oil in place! Only a small fraction of the oil in place can be produced legitimately because what we produce is not exactly of the same composition as the composition of the oil that resides in the pores. Given this background, any EOR innovation beyond gas injection EOR (the list below) seems economically questionable, which we will address in this session. 

20:00 - 20:30

Thursday, November 14

07:00 - 08:00
08:00 - 11:30
SESSION VII: Full Life-Cycle Field Management
Session Chairpersons Mohammad Tabatabaei, Encana; Stephen Ingram, Halliburton

Unconventional oil and gas plays are relatively young and have not gone through their full life-cycle yet, however it is expected that these plays go through multiple phases over their life just like conventional fields. This session will provide a high level overview of the main development phases from exploration, HBP and delineation, as well as full field development. This session will discuss ideas on how to maximize recovery by planning ahead and taking proactive field management approaches. This session address the following topics:

  • Identify future opportunities and challenges
  • How to be proactive and planning today for tomorrow
  • Time management, i.e.
    • When is the best time to start full field development?
    • When is the time to start re-development?
    • When should we consider IOR/EOR?
  • Land, HSE and regulatory considerations through entire life-cycle
  • Abandonment and reclamation
09:30 - 10:00
11:30 - 13:00
13:00 - 16:30
SESSION VIII: Opportunity Identification
Session Chairpersons Birol Dindoruk Shell; Sebastien Matringe, Hess

This section is positioned to look at all possibilities covered earlier in a coherent way and highlights some of the key elements that can effect the choices to be made. This includes the use of the information already in hand and as well as what we might have in the future (i.e., due to new sensors, devices, data frequency etc.).
In terms of full cycle management (including HSSE and regulatory requirements) current and future opportunities need to be identified. While current standing/status has impact, the future still the future can be treated as the unknown in terms of what options/combinations of options can be selected. Viability of those opportunities will require the use of both conventional and new methods. Identification (or enhancing) may require use of data science (we assume that every day is a plus to get more data), physics-based models and new monitoring methods and sensors. Where we have gaps for opportunity identification or project design, experimental work and scale up methods can augment the decision systems.
a. How and when do you choose the right redevelopment option?
b. Role of experimental work & scale up challenges
c. Role of data science
d. New monitoring methods

15:00 - 15:30
17:30 - 20:00

Friday, November 15

07:00 - 08:00
08:00 - 11:30
SESSION IX: Roadblocks to Implementation
Session Chairpersons Nathan Meehan, Baker Hughes, a GE company; Joe Lima, Schlumberger

This session will explore non-technical aspects of late-life unconventional developments. Discussions will cover important considerations from the financial, regulatory, environmental, health and safety domains, including topics such as flaring and unitization.
a. EHS – Flare
b. Regulatory (North American & others) – Unitization
c. Partners
d. International considerations

09:30 - 10:00