Sunday, February 24
Falling between conventional and shale gas in the reservoir permeability spectrum, tight gas reservoirs are important sources of energy. Their characteristics and development approach are different than the other two categories of gas resources. In this one-day short course, the emphasis is on understanding what is unique about tight gas reservoirs. The seminar covers reservoir characterisation including routine core analysis, special core analysis and open hole logs. Dynamics characterisation of tight gas reservoirs including pre- and post-fracturing pressure transient analysis, data-fracs, rate transient analysis, and decline curve analysis will be presented. The course will also cover reservoir and geomechanical considerations in selecting well geometry and stimulation. Well and fracture spacing and their impact on field development will be highlighted.
Monday, February 25
H.E. Salim Al-Aufi
Ministry of Oil and Gas
Sultanate of Oman
With the global and regional economy increasingly shifting into a more natural gas-dependent economy, the demand for finding and developing more gas reservoirs is becoming more vital.
As supply from conventional gas resources will continue declining, tight gas developments are becoming a priority into assuring sustained energy supply. Rapid expansion in tight gas market has brought forward many unique opportunities and hence more associated challenges. It is important that all stakeholders understand the challenges and are well aligned in order to identify strategies to tackle them efficiently.
New technologies with innovative approaches incorporating cutting edge drilling and completion technologies in sync with varied commercial models are being deployed across the industry enabling efficient development and therefore, lower development costs.
This executive panel session will focus on exchange of different insights on faced development challenges, innovative ideas being implemented, and debate on how to fulfill the increasing gas demand efficiently at both regional and world stage while tacking the engineering challenges being faced by the community.
The high natural gas demand has driven the E&P companies to explore and develop tight gas reservoirs. These reservoirs are typically characterised by deep, low permeability and potentially of high-pressure and temperature nature.
The exploration phase relies on a good understanding of the regional stratigraphic framework that incorporates different datasets. Improvements in seismic imaging coupled with regional play understanding have paved the way for reservoir sweet spotting and hence higher success rates in exploration. This is apparently more important, when targeting stratigraphic trapping configurations, which leads to the discovery of large quantities of natural gas.
Reservoir characterisation and formation evaluation is also a key challenge in tight gas reservoirs. Reservoir characterisation has a big impact on GIIP calculations, perforation (and fracking) intervals, and consequently leads to sweet spotting for well placements.
This session will cover case studies of play-based exploration and the use of seismic quantitative interpretation in sweet spotting for tight gas reservoir exploration. It will also cover improvements in tight reservoir evaluations.
The importance of tight gas reservoirs as a global energy asset, continues to grow together with its contribution to the energy matrix of many countries around the world. These reservoirs provide unique challenges related to their complex geology features, geomechanics in-situ properties as well as their reservoir storage capacity and flow mechanisms. The subsurface stress conditions and the rock mechanical properties are profoundly important to drill, complete and stimulate tight gas reservoirs. The in-situ stress contrast at the boundaries between pay-zones and non-reservoir rocks are crucial to accurately predict fracture containment and proppant placement. The understanding of the stress shadow improves the successful stage location along the horizontal section. Finally, complex fracturing simulations predict reliable and accurate fracture geometry. This session will discuss the challenges and solutions related to geomechanics and how it adds value to the production optimisation and life cycle of the tight gas fields.
Tuesday, February 26
Tight gas frac has evolved. The industry has surpassed its learning curve and is facing current challenges head-on and bridging the technology gaps. Monitoring and surveillance of existing frac-ed wells is pinpointing target areas to optimise the well construction and completion design and max drainage mechanisms. Engineers are designing wells with most optimum efficiency levels (from well construction to frac placements/orientations/frequency) while still delivering the wells with multi reservoir access and minimal skin/formation damage. Advancements are being made to address wells with low-pressure pay zones. Quality control in overall well operations from drilling to fracturing is of utmost importance. New frontiers in horizontal drilling, UBD, MPD are pushing technology providers to their limits. This session will cover all aspects of modern-day optimum well design for tight gas frac.
Tight gas is produced by the application of hydraulic fracturing to achieve economic rate, sustained production, and maximum recovery. Careful design in drilling, completions, fracturing strategy (fluids, proppants, stages) are key factors that need optimisation for a successful well. Proper diagnostics such as evaluation of pumping pressure, test data, long-term production, microseismic, tracers, acoustic and temperature surveys are conducted to understand operational effectiveness and treatment success. Post-treatment flowback techniques are important to clean up fluids pumped without negatively impacting fracture conductivity. Use of energised or foamed fluids with CO2 and N2 is important for efficient flow back in low pressure reservoirs. Gas condensate reservoirs are extra challenging due to hydrostatic load or change in gas relative permeability near wellbore. Chemicals are used to mitigate such effects. Actual field examples are presented and comparison made in this session showing the success of fracturing technology in the development of tight gas.
Technology is one of the key cornerstones to unlock tight gas reserves all across the world. Innovative approaches and applications have been developed using legacy products or new developments and implemented successfully in the industry. With increased demand for natural gas growing all across the world; spotlight is on the industry to identify and address the technology gaps and drive towards higher recoveries from the tight gas development.
Such technology gaps, includes but not limited to, advance seismic acquisition and processing techniques to map prosperous tight gas plays, technologies related maximising reservoir contacts and accessibility. Other gaps also include surface/subsurface techniques related to sourcing and disposal of hydraulic fracturing fluids. A clear identification and understanding of gaps in technology and its application is needed by the community to develop actionable roadmap.
The technical panel session will focus on having an informed debate on the technology gap that currently exists in the tight gas development realm and how the industry is rising up to the challenge.
Wednesday, February 27
The main challenge in tight gas development is to unlock the hydrocarbon reserve using optimum expenditures. The challenges increase with uncertainty of project deliverability, especially when successful hydraulic fracturing or stimulation is required to produce hydrocarbon above the economic rate. These uncertainties affect the Full Field Development (FFD) plan, strategy, efficiency and the economics.
A workflow includes modelling, monitoring and surveillance which are critical to evaluate the uncertain behaviour and overcome the challenges. Modelling sets a baseline with the data available in the early stage. In addition, monitoring provides the calibration between the model output and actual result. Extensive deployment of surveillance is required to evaluate treatment placement and well performance.
This session will discuss the latest technologies, practices and lesson learnt in the modelling, monitoring and surveillance of tight gas development. It includes hydraulic fracturing design, post flowback technique, well performance, and the technique in condensate banking challenges.
A distinctive challenge to implement unconventional resources projects in the Middle East is the very limited existing infrastructure needed to develop these resources. Unlike North America, most active and prospective developments lack access by road or rail, hydrocarbon production facilities flow, export pipelines and access to fresh water. The problem is compounded the intense drilling activity and very large water and proppant consumption which are fundamental characteristics of unconventional resource extraction and put an extra strain on the surface facility and infrastructure requirements for such developments. The need to build the support infrastructure from scratch puts the entire burden on the new project challenging their economic viability.
This session will look into the strides taken in flagship projects in the Middle East, which solutions could be imported from other regions and which could not, current and emerging challenges and needs for a fit-for-region solution to achieve the economic development of unconventional resources in the area.