Featured this monthDownhole Electronic Components: Achieving Performance ReliabilityReliability of electronic components used in hostile drilling environments depends on myriad factors that mitigate the effects of temperature, vibration, and shock.
Guest Editorial Risk management continues to evolve to reflect changing challenges in the industry. Weatherford shares how adopting a behavior-based safety culture helped minimize risk and stop unsafe practices.
Talent and Technology – New Challenges Demand New Energy Leadership Skills New challenges are cause for a heightened demand for more leadership skills. Three cutting-edge approaches to leadership development are presented alongside five methods to maximize their value.
Saudi Aramco Expands Reach Through New Technology Centers Saudi Aramco’s new R&D centers in the US will help bridge international scientific expertise and technology.
Annual Conference Emphasizes Technology and Innovation for the E&P Industry The Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, held 30 September–2 October, highlights emerging technologies, innovation, and updates from leading-edge companies and organizations.
2013–2014 SPE Distinguished Lecturer Program Unveiled Twenty-eight peer-selected lecturers from various disciplines and professions share emerging trends, challenges, and technologies.
Shell Deploys Next-Generation TLP for Extended Field Development in GOM The new Olympus tension leg platform (TLP) is the largest in the US Gulf of Mexico, with more than twice the displacement of the neighboring Mars TLP. It marks a leap forward in safety, improved operation time, and increased production capacity.
Finding Pathways to Produce Heavy Oil From Canadian Carbonates The Grosmont pilot project uses heating expertise, carbonate knowledge, and computer modeling to tackle the challenge of producing bitumen from carbonate deposits.
Gas-to-Liquids Comes of Age in a World Full of Gas The discrepancy between crude and natural gas prices and estimates of increasing natural gas reserves are driving companies to study small-scale gas-to-liquids plants that can tie in multiple sources or stranded gas for a greater profit.
Bob Harrison, SPE, Consultant Petroleum EngineerWhen interviewing potential senior-petrophysicist recruits, we exchange pleasantries to break the ice and then I ask an easy, yet fundamental technical question: "How would you explain Archie’s law to an inexperienced colleague?" Then, I sit back in expectation of a slick answer from the candidate.
Core-Analysis Elephant in the Formation-Evaluation Room The variable data quality of core analysis, the sensitivity of results to different test methods, poor reporting standards, and the reluctance of some vendors to share experience and expertise have contributed to basic mistakes and poor data quality. In many cases, an inconsistent or inappropriate approach to the design, management, and interpretation of the core-analysis [...]
Relative Permeability Hysteresis: Water-Alternating-Gas Injection and Gas Storage Accurate determination of relative permeability hysteresis is needed to predict water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection reliably. Two series of gas/water relative permeability hysteresis curves were obtained from corefloods under mixed-wet conditions. The results revealed that none of the widely used hysteresis models (e.g., Carlson and Killough models) is able to predict the observed cyclic relative permeability hysteresis [...]
Advances in Special-Core-Analysis Data Interpretations of Multiscale Measurements The evaluation of complex carbonate reservoirs is a challenging task, and a detailed understanding of reservoir heterogeneity is still lacking. In this study, the effect of static rock type and sample size was investigated on special-core-analysis laboratory (SCAL) data derived from capillary pressure and resistivity-index experiments at reservoir temperature and net confining stress. Whole cores [...]
Reservoir-Fluid Characterization From Tests on Tight Formations Drillstem testing of low-permeability reservoirs is challenging because high-pressure drawdown around the wellbore lowers fluids below saturation pressure and creates two-phase flow into the wellbore. The fluids produced at surface no longer represent the original reservoir fluid. This paper shows the benefits of a careful methodology of data selection and equation-of-state (EOS) modeling to validate [...]
Brian Skeels, SPE, Emerging Technology Manager, FMC TechnologiesMy, what a difference a year makes as I look back at last year’s interest vs. this year’s. Improved-oil-recovery (IOR) technology and remotely-operated-vehicle support were in the forefront last year. This year, the buzz is around high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT). This is not to say that IOR technology has vanished or become passé; far from it.
HP/HT Pipelines Designed for Lateral Buckling in the South China Sea Gas production in the South China Sea has seen an increasing trend of pipelines operating in high-pressure, high-temperature (HP/HT) conditions. This has led operators to look beyond the conventional stress-based design and move into strain-based design using the lateral-buckling-design approach. This paper presents both construction challenges and operational works post-startup, aiming to provide operators with [...]
Design-Guideline Strategies for High-Pressure/High-Temperature Equipment As the need for oil and gas equipment working in hotter and higher-pressure environments continues to mount, the effort to develop an adequate set of design, material, and validation practices continues to be challenging. More-rigorous stress analysis and design methods that more closely model fast-fracture burst conditions are needed to achieve safe, reliable, and cost-effective [...]
A Design Combining API and ASME Codes for Subsea Equipment in HP/HT Conditions The design of subsea equipment for pressures greater than 15,000 psi and temperatures more than 250°F is a substantial challenge. The current standard from the American Petroleum Institute (API), Specification 17D, for designing subsea equipment provides little guidance on conditions exceeding these measurements. This work has been performed to demonstrate the acceptance of existing methods [...]
Fatigue Testing of Shrink-Fit Couplings for Joining High-Strength-Steel Riser Pipe The shrink-fit connection is a method of joining pipes to couplings or flanges by thermally expanding the coupling or flange over the pipe; sealing and static capacity are achieved by the contact pressure and friction between the components once they have cooled. This method enables the manufacture of high-pressure deepwater riser systems when traditional pipe-join [...]
Health, Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility
Emmanuel Garland, SPE, Special Advisor to the HSE Vice President, Total Exploration and ProductionIf there is a field where human thought is necessarily joined to action, it is health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility (HSSE-SR). It is critical to develop the technology, the skills, and the culture needed to achieve no harm to people, no damage to the environment or the assets, and an overall benefit to society, in particular to the local people...
Extensive Environmental-Monitoring Project Relies on Integration of Several Networks A comprehensive environmental-monitoring project in the Agri Valley in southern Italy has been developed to ensure continuous management of the environmental effects of Eni’s oil treatment center there. This project is able to control the environmental effects of exploration and production in a large area around the plant (100 km2). It is characterized by a [...]
Review of Water Use at Canada’s Oil Sands Points Toward Environmental Sustainability Concerns have been expressed and published about the amount of water used in Canada’s oil-sands industry. The oil-sands deposits are geographically separated from population and agricultural centers in the province of Alberta and are within some of the most prolific river basins. Analysis shows that the amounts of water used by oil-sands operations are low [...]
Legislation, Commerce, and Ethics Drive Design of Quieter Facilities in Australia Legislation, economics, and ethics are major drivers behind the adoption of engineering noise controls during offshore-facility design in Australia. The global challenge facing noise advisers is to understand how these factors influence the adoption of engineering noise controls and to work closely with project teams to ensure that operational-noise risk is as low as reasonably [...]
An Integrated Noise-Protection Program in Angola An epidemiological study was developed to take into account specific employee habits while measuring the possible prevalence of hearing problems arising from earlier occupational exposure. During 30 years of war, Angolans were exposed to high levels of noise, a factor exacerbated by the offshore environment many workers now share. A population of nonexposed staff, largely [...]
Company’s Revised Approach to Safety Strives To Make Standards More Natural ExxonMobil has traditionally used industry standards driven by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to classify safety events on the basis of the treatment or restrictions provided. However, this treatment-based approach has limitations. With its focus on administrative reporting and incident-escalation management, the approach does not naturally resonate with workforce members to enable [...]
Safety-Management Leading Indicator Results in Unintended Consequences A metric based on a corrective-action-classification system initially appeared to be a valuable leading indicator for management purposes. However, after trial applications, it became clear that, when this metric was used to define performance goals, it had unanticipated consequences that cumulatively and insidiously caused more damage than the accidents it was intended to prevent. Category [...]
Experiments on Large-Scale Fires Reveal Benefit of Greater Water Deluge A series of 56 large-scale fire experiments in the range of 40–120 MW has been carried out in a generic offshore module. The effect of deluge fire-water application has been measured for different setups. Both deluge nozzle type and water-application rate have been varied in the experiments. Introduction The use of water-spray systems for firefighting is [...]
Management System Approach Aims To Meet Human Rights Expectations A range of external expectations exists for companies to demonstrate how they respect human rights, including having business processes in place to prevent or mitigate human rights issues caused by the company’s projects or operations. The International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) has responded to the emergence of external guidelines in connection to implementing human [...]