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© 2017 Schlumberger. All rights reserved. 17-OSS-273292

Volume 69 • Number 10


To overcome challenges of perception and attract young people to the talent
pool, the oil and gas industry should publicize its technological achievements
rather than take them for granted.
2018 SPE President Darcy Spady shares the goals for his presidency and
his strategies to steer the Society through the downturn and changing
demographics in the industry.
When EOG disclosed it had found a way to significantly add shale oil reserves
with gas injections, it set off a race among competitors to figure out how to
do it and, more importantly, how to do it on a really large scale.
Tiny soil samples may contain as many as 300,000 species of microbial life,
and a Netherlands-based startup has figured out that between 50 and 200 of
them can tell an operator if a drilling location will hold oil and gas reserves. The wellhead on this old North
46 ADDING THE HUMAN TOUCH TO OILFIELD APPS Dakota well was modified for a test
to see if carbon dioxide injection
ChaiOne builds custom apps for the oil and gas business by sending
could extract more oil out of the
out teams of psychologists, anthropologists, and software engineers to Bakken, which it did. Source:
understand how to get technicians and engineers to actually use the product. University of North Dakota Energy
ANGOLA: DOES RECENT CHANGE MEAN ECONOMIC and Environmental Research Center.
Angola’s oil and gas industry has enabled the country’s rapid growth, but an
overreliance on those revenues has posed major challenges.
A panel of scientists examines how emerging technologies from other
industries could have a disruptive effect on oil and gas operations. 6 Performance Indices
OUTCOMES 14 Technology Applications
The SPE Soft Skills Committee established a task force to map the American 18 Technology Update
Association of Engineering Societies’ Engineering Competency Model to SPE’s
competency models and drive the integration of both. 22 E&P Notes
109 People
AT ANNUAL MEETING 110 Professional Services
Winners of the 2017 SPE International Awards will be recognized during the 111 Advertisers’ Index
Annual Reception and Banquet at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and 112 SPE Events
Exhibition in San Antonio.
The University of Tulsa Drilling Research Project celebrates 50 years and is
poised to continue its tradition for another 5 decades.

An Official Publication of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Printed in US. Copyright 2017, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
FuchsRohr® AluDrill™
The innovative aluminum drill pipe.
Your reliable solution for more drilling efficiency.

• High strength-to-weight pipes for demanding drilling

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• Up to 50% weight advantage compared with steel pipes
• Suitable for standard pipe-handle equipment (API connections)
• Higher buoyancy: More efficient weight transfer to bit
• Substantial ROP increase in sliding and rotary mode


ofm_pm_anz_drillingsolutions_JPT_inch.indd 1 24.08.17 15:30

Mohawk Energy
your Wellbore
MetalPatch™ restores integrity in a
single trip solution.

70 FIELD DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS MetalPatch seals off the problem

Maria A. Capello, SPE, Executive Adviser, Kuwait Oil Company area with minimal loss of inner
diameter, providing maximum
71 Field Life Extension in Abu Dhabi Through Hybrid Development Concept production and wellbore access.
74 3D Full-Field and Pad Geomechanics Models Aid Shale Gas Field MetalPatch applications include:
Development in China
• Perforation shut off
77 Approach Redefines Ideal Project Scope and Facilities Size • Connection / Collar leaks
for Field Development • Parted casing
• Casing corrosion
79 NEW-FRONTIER RESERVOIRS II • Leaking or failed sliding sleeve
Leonard Kalfayan, SPE, Global Production-Engineering Adviser, • Lateral re-completion
Hess Corporation

80 Water-Injection Operations and Gas-Injection Sensitivities

in the Bakken Formation

83 Enhanced Sweep Efficiency by Use of Smart Water in Tight Oil Reservoirs

85 Imbibition Oil Recovery From Tight Rocks With Dual-Wettability Networks
in the Montney
Parted Casing


Luigi Saputelli, SPE, Senior Reservoir Engineering Adviser,
ADNOC, and Frontender

88 Technique Blends Dimensionless Numbers and Data Mining

To Predict Recovery Factors

92 Proxy-Based Metamodeling Optimization

of Gas-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage Process

96 Natural-Language-Processing Techniques for Oil and Gas

Drilling Data


Xiuli Wang, SPE, Senior Adviser, Baker Hughes, a GE Company Re-Frac Zone

99 Downhole Sand-Ingress Detection With Fiber-Optic Distributed

Acoustic Sensors

102 Advancement in Openhole Sand-Control Applications

With Shape-Memory Polymer

106 One-Trip Multizone Sand-Control-Completion System Depleted Zone

in the Gulf of Mexico Lower Tertiary


The complete SPE technical papers featured in this issue are available
free to SPE members for 2 months at www.spe.org/jpt. Mohawk Energy
expanding the limits


There’s more out there. The only questions are
where and how much. Built with the world’s
largest detector array, the Raptor 2.0 cased-
hole evaluation system reveals exactly what’s
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Working in a mature field, our customer used
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correct the historical openhole data. They then
verified the saturation results by production
testing the three wells. Each one produced
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Discover what you’ve missed at
© 2017 Weatherford. All rights reserved.

Weatherford products and services are subject to the Company’s standard terms and conditions, available on request or at weatherford.com.
For more information contact an authorized Weatherford representative. Unless noted otherwise, trademarks and service marks herein are
the property of Weatherford and may be registered in the United States and/or other countries. Weatherford products named herein may be
protected by one or more U.S. and/or foreign patents. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Weatherford sells its products and
services in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the applicable contract between Weatherford and the client.

© 2017 Weatherford. All rights reserved. 9799.00



Anelise Quintao Lara, Petrobras
2017 President
Janeen Judah, Chevron

2016 President
Matthias Meister, Baker Hughes


We have the
Nathan Meehan, Baker Hughes

2018 President
Darcy Spady, Broadview Energy
Salis Aprilian, PT Badak NGL


Vice President Finance
Roland Moreau, ExxonMobil Annuitant
Libby Einhorn, Concho Oil & Gas


to see inside
Andrei Popa, Chevron


Adeyemi Akinlawon, Adeb Konsult

Jeff Moss, ExxonMobil And like all good
Cam Matthews, C-FER Technologies
superheroes, we’ll be
Joe Frantz Jr., Range Resources
Trey Shaffer, ERM right there when you
J.C. Cunha
need us.
J. Roger Hite, Inwood Solutions
COMPLETIONS VISURAY’s revolutionary VR90®
Jennifer Miskimins, Colorado School of Mines
Chris Jenkins, Independent Energy Standards downhole X-ray diagnostic service is
MIDDLE EAST PRODUCTION AND FACILITIES now available in Europe, the Middle
Khalid Zainalabedin, Saudi Aramco Hisham Saadawi, Ringstone Petroleum Consultants
East, and North America. In the North
Karl Ludvig Heskestad, Aker BP Tom Blasingame, Texas A&M University
has been qualified by a major operator.
Phongsthorn Thavisin, PTTEP
Wherever your well and whatever its
Dan Hill, Texas A&M University condition, you can count on us to see
Erin McEvers, Clearbrook Consulting AT-LARGE DIRECTORS what’s happening and deliver quality
RUSSIA AND THE CASPIAN Khaled Al-Buraik, Saudi Aramco
images 100% of the time. A quick call
Anton Ablaev, Schlumberger Helena Wu, Santos Ltd. to us is all it takes to put your well
back into operation. You save time and
money, while VISURAY saves the day.

JPT STAFF The Journal of Petroleum Technology® magazine is a visuray.com

registered trademark of SPE.
SPE PUBLICATIONS: SPE is not responsible for any Visit us at OWI 2017 in Abu Dhabi from
Glenda Smith, Publisher statement made or opinions expressed in its publications. October 9-10, and at SPE ATCE in San
John Donnelly, Editor Antonio from October 9-11.
EDITORIAL POLICY: SPE encourages open and objective
Pam Boschee, Senior Manager Magazines discussion of technical and professional subjects per-
tinent to the interests of the Society in its publications.
Chris Carpenter, Technology Editor Society publications shall contain no judgmental remarks
or opinions as to the technical competence, personal
Trent Jacobs, Digital Editor character, or motivations of any individual, company, or
group. Any material which, in the publisher’s opinion,
Anjana Sankara Narayanan, Editorial Manager
does not meet the standards for objectivity, pertinence,
Joel Parshall, Features Editor and professional tone will be returned to the contribu-
tor with a request for revision before publication. SPE
Stephen Rassenfoss, Emerging Technology Senior Editor accepts advertising (print and electronic) for goods and
services that, in the publisher’s judgment, address the
Stephen Whitfield, Senior Staff Writer technical or professional interests of its readers. SPE
reserves the right to refuse to publish any advertising it
Adam Wilson, Special Publications Editor
considers to be unacceptable.
Craig Moritz, Assistant Director Americas Sales & Exhibits COPYRIGHT AND USE: SPE grants permission to make
Mary Jane Touchstone, Print Publishing Manager up to five copies of any article in this journal for personal
use. This permission is in addition to copying rights grant-
David Grant, Digital Publishing Manager ed by law as fair use or library use. For copying beyond
that or the above permission: (1) libraries and other users
Laurie Sailsbury, Composition Specialist dealing with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) must
pay a base fee of USD 5 per article plus USD 0.50 per X-RAY VIS
Dennis Scharnberg, Proofreader page to CCC, 29 Congress St., Salem, Mass. 01970, USA
(ISSN0149-2136) or (2) otherwise, contact SPE Librarian
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more than five copies or for any other special use of
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sion notwithstanding, SPE does not waive its right as
copyright holder under the US Copyright Act.
Canada Publications Agreement #40612608.


Algeria 1340 1316 1306 1306 4
Angola 1688 1630 1700 1660
Ecuador 535 531 528 533
Gabon 185 190 210 200 2
Iran 4300 4544 4544 4554
Iraq 4445 4431 4426 4476












Kuwait1 2770 2763 2763 2763
Libya 690 590 535 780
Nigeria 1869 1730 1780 1900
Qatar 1467 1507 1512 1517
Saudi Arabia1 10040 9992 10022 10073
UAE 3047 3028 3008 3028
Venezuela 2090 2090 2080 2080 2017
TOTAL 34466 34342 34414 34870
Brent 54.58 54.87 51.59 52.31 50.33 46.37 48.48 51.70

THOUSAND BOPD WTI 52.50 53.47 49.33 51.06 48.48 45.18 46.63 48.04

Canada 4137 3682 3484 3614
China 3929 3903 3891 3829

Egypt 489 489 487 486

Mexico 2051 2052 2045 2053 2017

Norway 1709 1750 1730 1651
US 744 789 853 893 931 953 947
Russia 10713 10654 10603 10543
Canada 342 253 108 85 150 198 217
UK 944 945 915 930
USA 9070 9131 9110 9169 Latin America 179 185 182 190 192 196 191
Other2 13428 13221 13129 13219 Europe 107 94 91 95 91 82 91

TOTAL 46470 45827 45394 45494 Middle East 382 386 389 391 397 397 391

Africa 77 80 89 84 86 89 84
Total World 80936 80169 79808 80364
Asia Pacific 196 198 205 197 194 195 195

TOTAL 2027 1985 1917 1935 2041 2110 2116
Numbers revised by EIA are given in italics.
Figures do not include natural gas plant liquids.
Includes approximately one-half of Neutral Zone production.
Additional annual and monthly international crude oil production statistics WORLD OIL SUPPLY AND DEMAND‡
are available at http://www.eia.gov/beta/international/.
† Source: Baker Hughes.
‡ Source: EIA.
Quarter 3rd 4th 1st 2nd

SUPPLY 97.03 98.37 96.99 97.77

DEMAND 97.55 97.87 97.14 98.06
Supply includes crude oil, lease condensates, natural gas plant liquids, biofuels, other liquids,
and refinery processing gains.

6 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


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interpretation analyses. Muruk-1 is operated with the use of new seismic technology.
by Oil Search, which holds a 37.5% stake The technology generates a 3D picture of
◗◗ Hyperdynamics said that drilling of in the project; ExxonMobil represents the rock structure for several kilometers,
its Fatala-1 exploration well offshore 42.5% and Santos the remaining 20% of but it also reveals physical characteristics
the Republic of Guinea has proceeded the investment total. of the rock, such as fluid saturation and
successfully, with completion of the initial density. A large team is exploring an area
portion of the well anticipated soon. of more than 15,000 km2 around Turayqa,
Company officials said a 36-in. conductor a region already explored after its 2013
casing was set into the seabed at a water ◗◗ Statoil and several partners announced discovery. Previous joint-venture efforts
depth of 2897 m. As of the last week of the discovery of a noncommercial gas to explore the area of the Empty Quarter
August, the hole for the surface casing deposit in the southeast Barents Sea. The were unsuccessful.
had been drilled 723 m to a water depth of Korpfjell well is the first exploration well
3620 m. The goal is to set a 20-in. casing drilled in the Norwegian portion of a region NORTH AMERICA
once drilling to a depth of 3814 m has once disputed between Norway and the
been accomplished. The company holds a Russian Federation. While the discovery, ◗◗ Sacgasco Limited, a natural gas
50% interest in the Fatala-1 venture with estimated at containing between 40 and developer and producer focused upon
South Atlantic Petroleum, a privately- 75 million bbl of recoverable oil equivalent, California’s Sacramento Basin, advised
held exploration and production company does not hold commercial potential, it that drilling of the company’s over-1-Tcf
focused on African assets. indicates future potential for additional Dempsey 1-15 well is proceeding according
exploration and drilling. Korpfjell is the to schedule. The 13⅜-in. surface casing
◗◗ Cairn Energy announced successful fourth well in Statoil’s 2017 efforts in the was set and cemented to a depth of 552 m.
results for its SNE North-1 exploration well Barents, where July saw the discovery The rig is presently developing tools to
90 km offshore Senegal, located in the of the Kayak and Blåmann deposits, and drill in 12¼-in. hole. Company officials said
Sangomar Deep Offshore block in 900 m the Gemini deposit in August. Partners reservoir sands will be drilled through at
of water. At a total depth of 2837 m, oil and include operator Statoil, with a share of field-production levels in the next stage of
gas was found in the primary objective, 30%; Chevron with 20%; Petoro with the well, which is planned to be drilled in
as well as oil in the deeper secondary 20%; Lundin Norway with 15%; and three sections to depths of approximately
objective, in a separate accumulation ConocoPhillips with 15%. 600, 2000, and 3200 m, respectively.
to Cairn’s existing development in SNE Sacgasco has identified seven target
field. The preliminary analysis projects ◗◗ Frontera Resources has mobilized reservoir levels. Individual prospective
resources including approximately 24 m of a workover rig to its Ud-2 well onshore resources of recoverable gas for the
gross hydrocarbon column spanning three Block 12 in Georgia. The rig will carry out primary targets range from 116 to 352 Bcf.
intervals, and a net of 11 m oil in a good- operations to clean the well, retrieve the If the stacked reservoirs prove to be full
quality reservoir in the secondary objective packer, and set the bridge plug, thereby of gas, the prospect’s cumulative unrisked
of the play. Cairn’s Senegalese offshore making three intervals accessible for recoverable prospective resources could
operations involve a joint venture with a perforation and extended testing. The be greater than 1 Tcf.
40% interest for Cairn, 35% for Woodside, well is located in the Mtsare Khevi Gas
15% for FAR Limited, and 10% for Petrosen, Complex, a 950-km2 area. Two of the area’s SOUTH AMERICA
the national oil company of Senegal. reservoirs, the Miocene-aged Gareji and
the Oligocene-aged Maykop, are estimated ◗◗ Petrobras has announced the first
to hold 8.3 Tcf of gas in place, with over commercial discovery of oil accumulation
6 Tcf believed to be recoverable. Frontera in the Campos Basin’s presalt layer in the
◗◗ Oil Search has identified four major plans to connect the Ud-2 well with the area of the Marlim Sul field during drilling of
exploration projects for natural gas on the Mtsare Khevi gas-processing facility, which Well 6-MLS-233-RJS (Petrobras), informally
heel of its recent Muruk Field discovery in is located 18 km from the well itself. The known as Poraquê Alto. At a final depth of
Papua New Guinea. Two liquefied natural facility is directly linked with the Georgian 4568 m, the well is located 115 km off the
gas pools in the play are believed to gas-distribution infrastructure. coast of Rio de Janeiro State at a water
contain reserves of 1 to 3 Tcf. Gas in the depth of 1107 m. Profile data, gas detection,
geologically complex region was found formation testing by cable, and fluid samples
in both a hanging wall and a footwall verified the discovery. Current data indicate
reservoir. The Muruk-1 well is to be joined by ◗◗ Saudi Aramco has announced new carbonate reservoirs of good porosity and
several other wells throughout the next 2 efforts to explore the Empty Quarter, the permeability at a depth of 4420 m and a
years, depending on the findings of seismic world’s largest contiguous sand desert, 45-m oil-presence thickness. JPT

8 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

PP-17-015_JPT-AD.pdf 1 2017-09-13 9:56:13 AM

The HEAL System™:

The Foundation for Efficient

Artificial Lift in Horizontal Wells


Horizontal wells are known to have production challenges
as a result of inconsistent flow, damaging solids, and gas
interference. Maximizing drawdown through the lifecycle
K of these wells often requires complex and expensive
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Follow us on
Bernt Aadnøy, University of Stavanger

Syed Ali—Chairperson, Consultant

Tayfun Babadagli, University of Alberta

Mexico Builds Momentum William Bailey, Schlumberger

Mike Berry, Mike Berry Consulting

John Donnelly, JPT Editor Maria Capello, Kuwait Oil Company

Frank Chang, Saudi Aramco

Simon Chipperfield, Santos

In August, Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission Alex Crabtree, Hess Corporation

delayed the date of its next deepwater auction by a month to Gunnar DeBruijn, Schlumberger
January 2018 to give companies more time to study the acre- Mark Egan, Retired
age on offer. Although postponing bid rounds is usually taken Mark Elkins, Retired
as a sign of lack of interest by private firms, the opposite is true
Alexandre Emerick,
in Mexico. Discoveries announced over the past few months Petrobras Research Center
have validated Mexico’s historic energy reform effort and may Niall Fleming, Statoil
propel the oil industry there to reverse years of decline.
Ted Frankiewicz, SPEC Services
In a sector hampered by the downturn in oil prices, Mexico’s offshore has emerged
as a bright spot. In July, US independent Talos Energy, Sierra Oil and Gas of Mexico, Stephen Goodyear, Shell

and Premier Oil of the UK announced one of the largest shallow-water finds of the Omer M. Gurpinar, Schlumberger
past 20 years. The block, located off the coast of Tabasco state, holds an estimat- A.G. Guzman-Garcia, Retired
ed 1.4 billion to 2.0 billion bbl of oil. The find, which came with Talos’ first explo- Greg Horton, Retired
ration well, was the first since Mexico began auctioning off onshore and offshore
John Hudson, Shell
properties in 2013. The block found up to 650 ft of oil-bearing reservoir of light
Morten Iversen, Karachaganak Petroleum
crude around 28–30 °API. That same month, Italian major Eni announced the dis-
covery of the shallow-water Amoca field in the bay of Campeche, which it said holds Leonard Kalfayan, Hess Corporation

1.3 billion BOE, of which 90% is oil. It is fast-tracking the development with hopes Thomas Knode, Athlon Solutions
to produce from 30,000 to 50,000 B/D of 25–27 °API crude in early 2019. Consul- Sunil Kokal, Saudi Aramco
tancy PIRA Energy expects the discoveries to add up to 200,000 B/D of crude pro- Marc Kuck, Eni US Operating
duction, and believes they are economic at a $50/bbl oil price, but not for at least
Jesse C. Lee, Schlumberger
another decade.
Douglas Lehr, Baker Hughes
Although deepwater and perhaps unconventional reserves hold the most prom-
ise for reviving Mexico’s oil sector, the country does not have a lot of time. Years Silviu Livescu, Baker Hughes

of blocking the private sector out and underfunding the state oil company Pemex Shouxiang (Mark) Ma, Saudi Aramco
have taken their toll. The country’s oil and gas output is down 40% from its peak; John Macpherson, Baker Hughes
oil production is 2.0 million B/D compared with its peak of 3.4 million B/D in 2004. Stéphane Menand, DrillScan
That led the government to finally open the entire oil and gas sector to private
Graham Mensa-Wilmot, Chevron
money, but the reform launch could not have come at a worse time. Oil prices soon
Badrul H. Mohamed Jan, University of Malaya
lost more than half their value, severely curtailing companies’ exploration budgets.
But the discoveries of Talos and Eni have breathed new life into Mexico’s upstream Zillur Rahim, Saudi Aramco

and attracted the interest of independents and supermajors. That is in contrast to Eric Ringle, FMC Technologies
the early bid rounds, which attracted only light participation. To date, seven auc- Martin Rylance, BP plc
tions have been held—three covering onshore, three for shallow offshore, and one Robello Samuel, Halliburton
for deep water. Pemex has also negotiated farmout agreements with private firms.
Otto L. Santos, Retired
Another three are scheduled for next year. The key will be interest in the January
Luigi A. Saputelli, Frontender Corporation
auction. Thirty deepwater oil and gas blocks will be up for bid in areas thought to
be potentially lucrative. Mexico’s deep water has been off limits to private firms and Sally A. Thomas, Retired

barely explored by Pemex. If resources there are anything like those found in the Win Thornton, BP plc
neighboring US Gulf of Mexico, the country’s upstream sector may become one of Xiuli Wang, Baker Hughes
the globe’s offshore bright spots. JPT Mike Weatherl, Well Integrity

Scott Wilson, Ryder Scott Company

Jonathan Wylde, Clariant Oil Services

Robert Ziegler, Weatherford

To contact JPT’s editor, email jdonnelly@spe.org.

10 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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We Need To Celebrate Our Successes

if We Want the Next Generation
To Be Part of Our Future
Alistair Geddes, Executive Vice President, Expro

The prolonged downturn in commodity prices that started without a set career path found jobs in the industry appeal-
in the summer of 2014 has seen more than 350,000 people ing. A surprising 39% of teenagers actually ranked it as “very
globally lose their jobs in the oil and gas industry to date. unappealing.” Two out of three believed the industry causes
However, as BP’s mantra “lower for longer” evolves into problems rather than solves them and just 36% thought it
Shell’s phrase “lower forever” and we adapt to the reality of had a positive effect on local and global communities. Fur-
working with an oil price around $50/bbl, signs of recovery thermore, the majority from the younger generation per-
are beginning to occur. ceived oil and gas jobs to be blue collar, dangerous, and physi-
The US shale sector, with its relatively low operational cally demanding, and just 39% thought it provided long-term
expenditure costs and rapid rig up time, has led that revival, financial stability.
and it is anticipated that deepwater projects, which have also Such assumptions do not extend to every corner of the
experienced cost reductions over the past 3 years, will fol- world (there is generally considerable interest and enthu-
low in time. siasm in Africa and Asia, for example), but one could argue
However, in line with every other time this cyclical sector that a perception challenge toward the benefits of working in
has come out of a downturn, the anticipated increase in activ- oil and gas does exist within societies in Western Europe and
ity is matched by concerns over how and where the indus- North America.
try will find the recruits required to fuel a resurgence, either As an industry, our efforts to promote the positive and
through attracting former employees back or encouraging exciting aspects of our job have often fallen short of convinc-
new, young people to join. ing the wider public of the crucial role oil and gas plays in
Attempts to attract new employees can be hampered by sustaining the global economy and modern life. As a result,
negative perceptions of oil and gas in some parts of the world. compared with other industries, we do have to work harder
This challenge was reinforced recently by a poll from Ernst & to recruit for some roles. Maybe we take for granted the tech-
Young (EY) among 1,200 consumers and 100 industry execu- nical achievements that many companies make to overcome
tives in the US. Held in the first quarter of this year, the US ever-more-complex challenges and that often astound the
Oil and Gas Perception poll found that only 26% of Gener- outside world when it hears of them?
ation Z (aged 16–19) and 45% of millennials (aged 20–35) We have to remind people that the days of the oil rig
as a dirty and inhospitable place are no longer the norm.
New-generation rigs are equipped with increased automa-
tion, digitalization, highly sophisticated control rooms, and
Alistair Geddes is executive vice president a safe and clean environment with a near-personless rig
of Expro. He has 30 years of experience in floor. It is important they also recognize our status as a
the oil and gas industry, starting his career global industry that fuels the world, offering the opportu-
with BP and holding senior management nity to work and travel in many locations, providing high-
roles at Mobil/Exxon Mobil, BG Group, and ly rewarding long-term careers and personal develop-
Weatherford International. Geddes joined ment benefits.
Expro from Weatherford and, in 2012, To attract new talent, we have to reach out to it at the
became president for strategy, resource earliest opportunity. As an example, Expro supports the
development, and support, where he was responsible for
Offshore Technology Conference Houston schools activity,
mergers and acquisitions; business enhancement projects; and
group support functions, including supply chain, human
and, following success at Offshore Europe (OE) in 2015, we
resources, learning and development, marketing, com- once again committed to OE 2017’s Inspire schools engage-
munications, and information technology. Most recently, he ment program, working with young people aged from
was appointed executive vice president, responsible for 13–14 and from 15–17. This program proved to be an excel-
product lines, technology, and business development. Geddes lent way for them to test their perceptions, learn more
holds a BS degree in chemical engineering from Heriot-Watt about oil and gas, and hear about the genuinely exciting
University, Edinburgh. career opportunities that exist. We were hugely impressed

12 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

by the enthusiasm and willingness to engage from pupils
and teachers.

With potential industry recruits having been excited and
alerted to the opportunities in oil and gas, it is the respon-
sibility of individual companies to retain that talent and to

maintain continuous engagement with it. Many companies,
including our own, have established comprehensive and
structured development programs that give motivated indi-
viduals the opportunity to multiskill and realize their ambi-
tions. In return, the industry looks to attract people who
can enhance a culture of self-motivation, drive, and deter-
mination, with openness to adaptability and a desire for
personal development. Terminal
Importantly, those in the EY poll concerned about the
effect of oil and gas on communities should consider the
vast strides the industry has taken over the years to improve
its quality, health, safety, and environment record, and the
active part the sector is playing in the transition to low- and
no-carbon energy adoption. They should be encouraged to Our vast terminal network is ready
think of energy in its entirety and how they can help the
oil and gas industry continue to improve its environmental to meet your proppant demands quickly
record from within, rather than watching (or judging) it from and efficiently. Operating over 45
the sidelines. After all, some of the technology developments terminal locations in all key basins,
in offshore wind have come from solutions deployed within we ensure better proppant when you
oil and gas, specifically steel-jacket structures as opposed to
concrete monopiles. need it, where you need it.
Far from being a dying industry, oil and gas will con-
tinue to reinvent itself, overcome ever-greater technical
challenges, and carry on doing amazing things, whether
that is in new areas such as frontier exploration and aban-
donment or in simply getting better at the things we have Partner with the Proven Proppant
always done. Our significant advances in drilling technol-
ogy—including extended-reach drilling depths of 12 km
Resource at SPE ATCE Booth #1671.
(Sakhalin, offshore Russia)—are just one example that per- FMSA.com/JPT
haps we have taken the achievement for granted rather than
recognized it.
In his opening address at OE 2015, Professor Brian Cox,
who came from the nuclear power sector, said that he had
never come across an industry that apologized for itself
as much as oil and gas and that we should be proud of our
achievements. He was right. It is time that we made our next
generation more aware of our success if they are to be part of
our future. JPT

Proppant Solutions



Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor

Well-Service Pump Production-Optimization lenges by preventing sand production

Gardner Denver introduced the Thun- Software entirely. The platform eliminates the fail-
der Series well-service-pump plat- IntelliStream, from Baker Hughes, a GE ure mechanisms associated with water-
form, which comes in two basic models: company, is an upstream enterprise soft- injection wells, providing operators with
a 3,000-BHP quintuplex (Fig. 1) and a ware that focuses on reducing nonpro- improved injectivity, recovery, and well
2,550-BHP triplex, both with high rod- ductive time and improving production life. The technology provides a unique
load and 11-in. stroke length. The 11-in. optimization through a single system. solution to water hammer, crossflow, and
stroke provides the advantage of gener- Purpose-built on Predix, GE’s platform backflow, which is accomplished by iso-
ating more flow per cylinder per rotation for the industrial Internet, and leverag- lating fluid in the completion annulus
of the pump than conventional 8-in. and ing a foundation of asset-performance- and locking injection water into the for-
10-in. stroke pumps: 37% more vs. 8-in. management capabilities, the software mation to eliminate the transport mech-
and 10% more vs. 10-in. This reduc- provides analytics-driven visibility and anism for sand production entirely. Cas-
es the pump speed required to achieve insights across a variety of resources cade3 can be radially mounted in the
the same flow and pressure output of including reservoirs, wells, networks, screen base pipe, with no effect on outer
conventional shorter-stroke pumps. That facilities, and people. Enabling orga- or inner diameter and without altering
means these pumps accumulate fewer nizations with topline revenue growth completion geometry. The technology
cycles over time, which decreases over- insights and cost-reduction metrics, the provides up to 10,000 BWPD injection
all wear and tear. The result is longer software tracks and trends the health per screen joint at low pressure drop and
time between scheduled maintenance of oil and gas equipment, production unit velocities. With a simple and unob-
intervals, which are now aligned with the flow, and well patterns. It also aims to trusive design, Cascade3 is compatible
engine and transmission, and a reduced learn constantly by use of digital twins, with both gravel packs and standalone
rate of consumable part use. The Thun- self-learning models, correlation analy- screens. In addition to boosting produc-
der Series could also be run at similar sis, multiaxis well history, and interac- tion, Cascade3 reduces the need for inter-
(higher) speeds than comparable pumps tion and dependency analysis. With an ventions and redrills, significantly lower-
in order to gain additional output per integrated view of upstream data, rang- ing long-term operational costs.
unit and potentially reduce the required ing from a lost-production heat map to ◗◗For additional information, visit
number of pumps needed onsite, signif- lift analysis, this software provides oil www.tendeka.com.
icantly affecting cost savings. Service is and gas companies with the information
simplified by easy removal of key parts needed to increase efficiency and profit- Dry Additive Mix Unit
for reduced handling weight, while struc- ability, reduce cost, manage resources, National Oilwell Varco has introduced a
tural security is provided by Nord-Lock and optimize production. new dry additive mix unit to its Rolligon
washers. The Thunder Series performs ◗◗For additional information, visit product line. The new unit is designed
well on older retrofitted conventional www.bhge.com. to address the challenges that operators
trailers as well as newer trailers. face on their fracturing sites, providing
◗◗For additional information, visit Sand-Control Technology greater flexibility in additive selection to
www.gardnerdenverpumps.com/ Tendeka introduced its Cascade3 technol- reduce costs and improve performance.
thunder/. ogy, which overcomes sand-control chal- Traditional gels, which were slurried
in diesel or mineral oil, have previous-
ly been used on the basis of their ease
of metering. However, efforts to reduce
costs have led to the rise of accurate
dry gel additive systems. The elimina-
tion of the mineral oil reduces both the
product cost and the volume of prod-
uct transported to the job site, thereby
reducing truck traffic, improving logis-
tics efficiencies, and reducing logistics
cost. The new mix unit uses a custom-
engineered mixer to premix the dry addi-
tive with water for optimum mix qual-
Fig. 1—The 3,000-BHP quintuplex well-service pump from Gardner Denver. ity. The unit is designed to handle the

14 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


Welcome to the future of downhole single-point fracturing. The SC Bowhead II, Stage Completions’ latest innovation in downhole single-point
fracturing technology, helps you finish extended reach wells by achieving higher rates, deeper depths, and unlimited stage counts -- boasting a
truly limitless capacity and unparalleled efficiency.

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Fig. 2—National Oilwell Varco’s new Rolligon dry additive mix unit.

high feed rates needed for gel applica- Stream PDC bit developed by Varel Oil components of standard bridge and frac-
tions but can be easily adapted to accom- and Gas Drill Bits is designed to over- turing plugs. Building on the SlipStream
modate much lower feed rates for addi- come drillout challenges presented by roller-cone model, the PDC bit exhib-
tives such as dry friction reducer. The the metal, composite, and elastomer its similar improvements in efficiency
unit also includes on-board bulk hop- and wear while providing the inherent-
pers, which can be pneumatically filled, ly greater reliability of a solid-body bit
and a dust-collection system to filter the (Fig. 3). The PDC design improves effi-
hopper exhaust during the filling process ciency and minimizes torque with shock
(Fig. 2). Additionally, automated mixing studs located strategically around the
controls allow for minimal interaction by bit shoulder and gauge. The studs limit
operator personnel. interaction with the fracturing plug to
◗◗For additional information, visit achieve a more efficient cutting struc-
www.nov.com. ture with reduced torque. Passive cutter
back rake also helps reduce torque gen-
Fracturing Plug Bit erated when cutting. Bit life is enhanced
In a series of Bakken formation multi- by a longer gauge to enhance stability
zone completions, a polycrystalline dia- and durability. The cutting structure is
mond compact (PDC) bit for fracturing- a six-blade, 9-mm PDC design plural set
plug drillout has averaged a 40% for redundancy, with cutters on different
increase in plugs drilled with 40% more blades located on the same radius from
Fig. 3—Varel’s SlipStream PDC bit
total drill time, while improving the drill- builds on fracturing-plug drillout the center. JPT
ing rate to an average 5.5 min/plug com- success of the SlipStream roller-cone ◗◗For additional information, visit
pared with standard mill bits. The Slip- model. www.vareloilandgas.com/index.php/en/.

16 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Conventional nitrogen actuated pop-off valves operate with significant pressure variance,
and create costly Non-Productive Time (NPT). But the KLX Frac Relief Valve System
automatically engages at pre-set levels, then resets immediately after pressure has been
relieved. And each unit comes with on-site support and remote monitoring to keep your
frac on track. The result is less pressure variance and the elimination of 1–2 NPT hours
daily—maximizing efficiency while protecting your crew, wellbore and equipment.



Tool Enables Complete Cased-Hole Formation

Evaluation, Reservoir Saturation Modeling
Rahul Grover, SPE, Schlumberger

For more than 40 years, the indus- This next generation in pulsed neu- environments such as those with hydro-
try has used pulsed neutron logging to tron logging integrates multiple detec- gen sulfide or carbon dioxide.
determine hydrocarbon and water sat- tors and a high-output pulsed neu- The engineered architecture of this
urations behind casing for reservoir tron generator (PNG) to significantly new advanced tool and the use of self-
management. Multiphase saturation improve measurement precision, data compensating algorithms provide a
measurements over time are useful for acquisition accuracy, and logging wealth of information in a single log-
tracking reservoir depletion, planning speed. The measurements are comple- ging run: traditional cased-hole mea-
workover and enhanced recovery strat- mented by powerful algorithms that surements; an expanded suite of ele-
egies, and diagnosing production prob- compensate for variation in the bore- ments, including total organic carbon
lems such as water influx and injection hole fluids and completion in deliver- (TOC); and the new fast neutron cross-
fluid breakthrough. Cased-hole logs also ing robust, representative answers in section (FNXS) measurement.
serve as a contingency when openhole complex conditions. Unlike the hydrogen index (HI) mea-
logs cannot be run or are not considered The PNG and four detectors are surement that dominates convention-
for reservoir characterization. housed in a 1.72-in.-outside-diameter al cased-hole logging, FNXS is direct-
Although the cased-hole measure- (OD) tool that is designed for through- ly sensitive to the volume of gas in the
ment suite has been greatly improved tubing access and logging through formation to differentiate and quantify
over many tool generations, the intrin- most completion restrictions. gas-filled porosity from liquid-filled and
sic physical measurements remained The detector adjacent to the PNG is tight zones without any openhole input.
unchanged, which meant that opera- the compact neutron monitor, which It has a functionality similar to the bulk
tors could not obtain a complete pic- is primarily sensitive to fast neu- density log, although it is not a cased-
ture of the rock and fluids behind cas- trons to provide accurate and pre- hole density measurement. The combi-
ing. Input from openhole logs was cise output measurement. There are nation of sigma, HI, and FNXS measure-
required from a porosity or bulk den- three scintillation gamma-ray detec- ments computes complex multiphase
sity measurement for combination tors for near, far, and deep detec- fluid saturations without an externally
with the neutron porosity. Absent tion. The near and far detectors use supplied porosity curve.
this input, primary formation evalua- cerium-doped lanthanum bromide The high-fidelity determination of
tion in cased wellbores can be ambig- (LaBr3:Ce) scintillators, and the deep mineralogy by the new tool revolution-
uous. An additional challenge with detector, farthest spaced from the izes gamma-ray spectroscopy by direct-
cased-hole logging is correctly com- PNG, has an yttrium aluminum  perov- ly measuring the majority of the ele-
pensating for the effects of borehole skite scintillator. ments that constitute the Earth’s crust.
fluids and the presence of comple- The three gamma-ray detectors are The multifunction spectroscopy system
tion hardware. coupled to high-temperature-rated enables the acquisition of quantitative
photomultiplier tubes, and their puls- elemental concentrations downhole at
Next-Generation Logs es  are counted with specialized elec- reservoir pressures and temperatures in
To meet the need for accurate surveil- tronics matched to the high rate and both open and cased holes.
lance in cased holes, Schlumberger resolution of the LaBr3:Ce scintillators. The tool architecture greatly improves
recently introduced the Pulsar multi- Detector resolution is only mini- spectral carbon/oxygen ratio (C/O) mea-
function spectroscopy system. The sys- mally degraded at high temperatures surement for a highly accurate satura-
tem builds on innovative technologies to 350°F, which avoids the need for a tion answer obtained at faster speeds.
originated by the company to provide conventional flask that would increase An alternative to using the C/O for com-
the first complete cased-hole forma- tool OD and limit downhole operating puting oil saturation is combining the
tion evaluation and reservoir saturation time. The housing is corrosion resistant inelastic and capture elemental yields
monitoring capability with openhole- and NACE-MR0175-compliant, which to compute the formation’s elemen-
equivalent measurements. enables deployment in corrosive well tal concentrations expressed in dry-

18 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

weight percentages to produce quanti- cement thickness of the completion than possible with conventional cased-
tative lithology fractions and estimate exceeding 2 in. hole logging tools.
the TOC. The quantitative elemental The shaly sand formation had alter- The FNXS measurement reliably dif-
concentrations enable data interpreta- nating low-porosity, gas-filled zones ferentiated gas-filled porosity from
tion in terms of mineral fractions, ker- and very-low-porosity zones. Although liquid-filled porosity and tight zones.
ogen content, and hydrocarbon type openhole logs were run, the operator Logging the shaly sand with a sin-
and content. needed greater insight into the forma- gle run revealed two zones of inter-
With TOC logging a reality for uncon- tion and its fluid contents. est. However, the environmentally cor-
ventional resource plays such as shale The new spectroscopy system unique- rected FNXS curve showed that only
gas, shale oil, and in-situ thermal pro- ly provided the operator with a stand- the lower zone contained gas—unlike
cessing of oil shale, operators can eas- alone petrophysical volumetric inter- the very-low-porosity upper zone
ily move from one shale play to anoth- pretation that incorporated robust, that conventional cased-hole logging
er while building tangible workflows to high-fidelity quantified mineralogy and would have also assumed to be gas-
evaluate these challenging reservoirs, lithology. No openhole logging data bearing (Fig. 1).
long before the results of core analysis were necessary for complete, single-run The standalone volumetric interpre-
are available. formation evaluation. tation performed by means of a linear
In addition to obtaining highly accu- solver with the tool’s sigma, FNXS, and
Case Study rate elemental concentrations, includ- neutron-porosity measurements was
A US land well was drilled with an ing TOC, the tool acquired tradition- validated by the previously obtained
8¾-in. bit and completed with 4½-in. al cased-hole sigma, porosity, and C/O openhole logs.
casing. The difference between the hole measurements but at a higher resolution With this single-run, single-tool sys-
and casing diameters resulted in the and significantly faster logging speed tem for logging cased wells, the opera-

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Fig. 1—The new multifunction spectroscopy tool’s FNXS measurement was environmentally corrected for the large
volume of light cement in the annulus to differentiate the gas-filled porosity zone at X,160–X,180 ft from the dry zone at
X,270–X,330 ft. A conventional cased-hole pulsed neutron log, as approximated by the near/deep count ratio in Track 5,
would read gas in the upper tight zone. Source: Schlumberger.

tor was able to streamline operations compensated sigma and thermal neu- higher-quality information is being
to a single log obtained in more stable tron porosity brings new robustness to obtained from standalone pulsed neu-
cased wells. pulsed neutron measurements. In com- tron logging than previously possi-
bination with introduction of the new ble, while less external input and fewer
Conclusions FNXS measurement and an expand- assumptions are required.
The advent of the new multifunc- ed set of high-quality spectroscopy An important modeling advantage
tion spectroscopy system’s self- elemental concentrations, more and is that these independent measure-
ments follow linear mixing laws, so
they can be entered into simultaneous
equations to compute the various min-
eral and fluid volumes, including oil,
water, and gas fractions. From these
fractions, multiphase saturations are
obtained (Fig. 2).
Another advantage in using the new
tool’s formation properties is that
complex nuclear models are no longer
required to interpret raw data, such as
count ratios during or after the PNG
bursts. Instead, the same method and
interpretation software used to analyze
Fig. 2—The evaluation workflow for the new multifunction spectroscopy
openhole logs can be consistently
system can be adapted to any situation to solve for fluid saturations and other
important unknowns for the reservoir from the tool’s simultaneously acquired applied to formation properties mea-
independent measurements. Source: Schlumberger. sured through casing. JPT

20 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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· © 2017 All Rights Reserved · 1594

Researchers Gain Insights Into Microbial

Succession in Offshore Wells
Joel Parshall, JPT Features Editor

Researchers from Shell and Newcastle That can lead to the formation of hydro- substances injected through wells into
University in the United Kingdom, in gen sulfide, which is very toxic and cor- microbial populations deep beneath the
collaboration with the US Department rosive and can negatively affect the quan- earth’s surface can perturb those previ-
of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute tity and quality of oil production. ously isolated communities.
(JGI), have obtained valuable insights into The research team used data-analysis
the succession of microbial populations tools that were developed by DOE JGI More Diversity Than Expected
in multiple oil wells drilled in a North Sea and are publicly accessible through the Overall, the results point to a greater diver-
field. Findings from the research could Integrated Microbial Genomes and Meta- sity and dynamism in drillsite microbial
influence future industry practices. genomes system. DOE JGI is a user facility populations, and a greater than expected
Microbes play an important part in of the DOE Office of Science. responsiveness to drilling activity.
maintaining the earth’s biogeochemical The team did a genetic analysis com- “For the first time, we are able to
cycles and are known to have displayed paring samples from the microbe com- shed light into this remote and large-
a very successful adaptive capability in munities in 32 wells as deep as 6,560 ft ly unexplored ecosystem” said Nicolas
extreme subsurface conditions when beneath the seafloor in Denmark’s Half- Tsesmetzis of Shell International Explo-
they are relatively stable. dan field. Shell holds an interest in the ration and Production, senior author of
The Shell-Newcastle University re- consortium that owns the field. the study. “The largely heterogeneous
search focused on the response of Sequencing the samples and analyz- and highly diverse microbial communi-
microbes to the disruption of their envi- ing the data, the researchers investigat- ties recovered from the different oil wells
ronment caused by well drilling and ed microbe population compositions of the same oil field was rather unexpect-
production-related activities and the and how they change over the time a ed and brings about a paradigm shift in
microbial impact on reservoir production. well remains in production. The Halfdan our standard microbial monitoring prac-
wells had been drilled at various times tices of petroleum systems.”
Injection Brings New Microbes over the past 15 years. The research results could help the
Water injection, for example, brings new The data obtained have provid- industry design new techniques to man-
microbes into the indigenous population. ed insights into the ways that foreign age microbiological problems.

New Study Shows Stanching of Decline in Oil Reserves,

Stephen Whitfield, Senior Staff Writer

With the release of Ernst & Young’s (EY) in recent history and volatility in price Fig. 1 shows the exploration and devel-
2017 US oil and gas reserves study, the ser- is somewhat subdued. Capex totaled opment spend in the US by the 50 largest
vices firm hosted a presentation in which $85.7 billion in 2016, 27% lower than in companies based on 2016 US end-of-year
a panel of its analysts discussed trends 2015 and 57% lower than in 2014. The oil and gas reserve estimates from 2012
among independent and integrated com- study said that the oil price has stabilized to 2016. James Bowie, senior manager of
panies within the industry. Along with at a “new normal,” and that this stabili- the financial advisory assurance services
oil and gas reserves, the panel examined zation has helped limit the flow of rat- group at EY, said there was a significant
trends in capital expenditures (Capex) for ings downgrades and reserve revisions drop in Capex and the number of net
exploration and development activities as from 2015 to 2016. The US Energy Infor- wells drilled: exploratory wells saw a 15%
well as other performance metrics. mation Administration (EIA) expects the drop, from 1,005 in 2015 to 859 last year,
A key takeaway from the EY study country to see a 4% growth in oil produc- and developmental wells saw a 51% drop
was that prices are trending lower than tion in 2017. from 10,579 to 5,194. The study conclud-

22 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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ed that growth in proved and unproved 140.0
property acquisition costs was more than
offset by significant reductions. 120.0
Bowie said companies were being
more strategic in how they’re develop-
ing reserves, placing a greater emphasis

Billions, USD
on areas where they can see immediate
return. In some cases, he said, companies
are delaying the development of assets
until they see stronger signs of economic 40.0
recovery. But despite the drop in activity,
he said there was a positive story behind 20.0
the numbers, namely that capital expen-
diture dollars are going farther as US pro- 0.0
ducers become more efficient in uncon- Exploration Development
ventional drilling and as oilfield service
companies see an increase in pressure 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
on prices.
Fig. 1—EY’s study showed a slight drop in exploration Capex from 2012 to 2016
“Even though we’re seeing that decline and a dramatic drop in development Capex from its peak in 2014.
in Capex for development, that doesn’t
necessarily mean that we’re going to see 250 60
a corresponding decline in production,
200 50
because each of those developing Capex
dollars is going farther than it did last 150 40
year,” Bowie said. 30


Billions, USD

Herb Listen, EY US oil and gas assur- 20
ance leader and moderator of the discus- 50
sion, said that while some Capex reduc- 0
tion is due to an increase in operational 0
efficiency, service companies had still –50
felt significant downward pricing pres- –100 –20
sure that is not sustainable over the long
–150 –30
term. As a result, industry should expect 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
to see further consolidation. Mitch Fane Net income (left axis)
Revenues (left axis)
called the merger between Baker Hughes Revenue per BOE (right axis) Net income per BOE (right axis)
and GE Oil and Gas last month a “trans-
formational” deal in that regard. Fig. 2—Revenues and net income from the 50 largest companies regressed to
“I think a lot of other oilfield service the mean in 2016 after a significant decrease the previous year.
companies were waiting for that [deal]
to clear the market, and then they could on two bases: the lines represent an abso- “Unfortunately, it is still a net loss,
react from there,” said Fane, southwest lute number while the bars represent a so that is why we talk about this being
region energy leader in transaction advi- per barrel basis, which Bowie said helps less bad but still not good,” Bowie said.
sory services at EY. “We’ve seen an uptick analysts see trends in terms of an overall “But we’re starting to head back in the
in activity and interest with all the other price decline. right direction.”
players in the market trying to figure out The decline in oil price drove the drop Oil reserves showed a modest decline
how to react and move forward. I would in revenue from 2014 to 2015. Bowie said of 2% last year as extensions and dis-
expect that that’s another bit of a renais- the drop noted in Fig. 2 was a “double coveries helped offset a 3% drop in
sance there where some of the stron- whammy” in that these drops led to a production, while substantially lower
ger players will come out and they’ll be drop in price expectations, which led to downward revisions were recorded
more efficient in the market, which in reserve revisions and subsequent impair- compared to 2015. Oil reserves were
turn should help a lot of upstream clients ment of assets. Last year, EY saw a signif- 24.4 billion bbl in 2015 compared to
that we work with moving forward from a icant reduction in the number of impair- 23.9 billion bbl in 2016. End-of-year
pricing and efficiency standpoint.” ments, which caused revenue and income gas reserves dropped by 1% in 2016 to
Fig. 2 shows revenue and income from to revert to the mean. Bowie said that 149 Tcf, compared to a 21% drop in 2015
exploration and production activities while not ideal, this reversion is a posi- that was largely due to significant down-
from 2012 to 2016. The totals are shown tive sign. ward reserve revisions. 

24 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


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Total Acquires Maersk Oil in $7.5-Billion Deal,
Boosts North Sea Presence
Pam Boschee, Senior Editor

Total will acquire Maersk Oil for gan in July. Production is expected to the deal with Total that “it has been
$4.95  billion in Total shares and will start in 2019. seeking sustainable structural solutions
assume $2.5 billion of Maersk’s debt. The deal will make Total the second- for its energy-related businesses that
The deal will expand Total’s global hold- largest operator in the northwest Europe will enable it to separate them from
ings to approximately 1 billion BOE of offshore region with its more than the group” and that this is a “major
2P/2C reserves, of which more than 80% 0.5 million BOE/D gross production. first step in this separation agenda.”
are in the North Sea. Total said that the Patrick Pouyanné, Total chairman and In April, Maersk signed a sale and pur-
combination of its and Maersk’s assets CEO, said that in addition to the UK, chase agreement for the acquisition of
in the North Sea is expected to “generate Norway, and Denmark assets, “Interna- Oetker Group’s Hamburg Süd, a Ger-
operational, commercial, and financial tionally, in the US Gulf of Mexico, Alge- man shipping line, which the company
synergies” of more than $400  million ria, East Africa, Kazakhstan, and Angola said was “meaningful progress towards
per year. Closing of the deal is expected there is an excellent fit …” between the achieving” their strategic plan.
in 1Q 2018. companies’ businesses. He added that Acquisitions and mergers, consoli-
Included in the Maersk North Sea Total “will become a 3 million BOE/D dations, and joint ventures are shak-
holdings are interests in Johan Sver- major by 2019.” ing out as companies with more finan-
drup (8.44%) and the Culzean gas Lower oil prices have put the squeeze cial resources, and looking for bigger
condensate field (49.99%). At the on across the industry, including opera- rewards by weighing risks, are flexing
end of 2Q, Culzean’s project comple- tors, drillers, and service companies. their muscles. Among the deals recent-
tion rate was 55%, ahead of the expect- In assessing their strengths (and weak- ly announced: Centrica and Bayern-
ed 48%. Maersk reported in July that nesses), some have concluded that a gas Norge formed a joint venture; GE
the gas export and condensate pipe- change in strategy is warranted. In Sep- acquired Baker Hughes; Transocean is
lines had been laid and all three tember, Maersk announced its strate- acquiring Norwegian-based Songa Off-
jackets installed on the field. High- gy to focus on its transport and logis- shore; and offshore drilling contractor
pressure/high-temperature drilling be- tics divisions. The company said about Ensco is set to buy Atwood Oceanics.

Demand for Raw Fracturing Sand Set for Healthy Growth

Joel Parshall, JPT Features Editor

Demand for raw fracturing sand is fore- at a market share of 88% in 2016, the suppliers Hi-Crush, Unimin, and
cast to increase by more than 4% per study said. US Silica have made recent invest-
year to almost 100 billion pounds in ments in newly discovered west Texas
2021, according to a recently released New West Texas Sand Sources sand sources.
study by industry research firm, the Healthy growth is forecast for all As oil prices have appeared to sta-
Freedonia Group. In value terms, raw types of raw fracturing sand, although bilize and drillers continue to achieve
fracturing sand is expected to grow at a Northern White and Brady sand are new efficiencies, well completion activ-
10% annual rate to more than $3 billion expected to see competition from new ity has been recovering and is projected
in 2021, which reflects substantial gains mines opening in west Texas. Growth to grow through 2021. While the number
in average prices and volume levels. will be driven by robust gains for of completions is not expected to reach
The study, Proppants in North Amer- this other raw sand, which is expect- levels seen before the price collapse,
ica, presents historical data from 2006, ed to show increases of 12% per year sand demand is getting a boost from
2011, and 2016. It forecasts to 2021 by through 2021. increased proppant loadings per well,
type—including raw fracturing sand, Although other sand has been the study said.
resin-coated sand, and ceramic prop- mined in states such as Arizona and
pant—and market location in pounds Ohio, sand  mined in west Texas has Volume, Density Increase
and US-dollar values. The study also recently shown strong market growth The volume and density of proppants
evaluates key industry players. among major suppliers because of used in hydraulic fracturing contin-
Raw sand demand is expected to the source’s proximity to US uncon- ue to rise, with technology improve-
grow in the United States and Canada, ventional development activity in the ments frequently calling for higher
with the US being the principal user Permian Basin. The study noted that proppant levels. Unconventional wells

26 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

are now seeing an average of 10 mil- With the low oil price and greater
lion lbm of proppant pumped per well. proppant volumes needed in today’s
In transport capacity, that is equiva- completions, customers are seeking the
lent to delivery loads of 100 rail cars cheapest proppants available that can
and 400 trucks of sand, according to meet the standards and characteristics
the study. needed under expected well conditions.
Raw fracturing sand continues to gain
market share from resin-coated sand,
Raw fracturing sand, the study said,
is by far the most economical prop-
ceramic proppants, and other specialty
proppants, the study said.
pant for the majority of wells likely to
be drilled. Simply look
Bidding Interest Drops for Gulf
of Mexico Leases BOHRIS offers:
• Comprehensive well data management
Joel Parshall, JPT Features Editor
• Standardized visualization of well logs
Oil industry interest in obtaining new The sale’s second-highest bid was • Detailed well barrier schematics
offshore acreage in the US Gulf of Mexi- $10.8 million by ExxonMobil for • Precise MAASP calculations
co (GOM) showed a significant decline in deepwater block Mississippi Canyon according to ISO 16530
the mid-August federal outer continental 779, one of seven high bids made by
shelf lease sale, compared with the previ-
ous sale in March.
the company.
US GOM regionwide Lease Sale 249, Shell, Chevron Lead Bidding more at
held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Man- Shell was the most active participant www.innogy.com/
agement in New Orleans, drew 99 bids with 19 high bids, followed by Chevron esk/BOHRIS
from 27 participating companies, with with 15 and Anadarko with 10. Chev-
high bids totalling $121 million. ron ranked No. 1 in the total value of
The value of all bids received was high bids ($27.9 million), followed by
$137  million for 90 blocks, a decline Shell ($25.1 million) and ExxonMobil
of 57% in bid value and 45% in block ($20.3 million).
acreage from Central Lease Sale 247 on Commenting on the results of the
22 March. That sale reflected the first lease round, Senior Research Analyst
increase in industry leasing activity in William Turner of Wood Mackenzie said,
federal GOM waters in 5 years. “Deepwater blocks won the day today,
with 76 blocks receiving 98% of high-
Deepwater Bids Dominate bid value at $118 million. The deepwater
In all, 14,177 blocks representing industry is emphasizing short-cycle,
75.94  million acres were offered in low-risk prospects above high-impact,
August, with the 90 blocks receiving bids wildcat drilling.
amounting to 508,000 acres. More than “Today,” he added, “we saw operators
84% of the bids were for acreage in at continue to focus on areas near exist-
least 2,625 ft of water with the highest ing infrastructure, with a majority of
concentration, 42 bids, for acreage in at bids close to existing hubs or appraised
least 5,249 ft of water. developments. However, bids from
The highest bid came from Total at Chevron, Shell, and Total near pre-FID
$12.1 million for deepwater block Garden [final-investment-decision] discover-
Banks 1003, which is adjacent to Cobalt’s ies, Guadalupe and North Platte, were a
appraised North Platte discovery that is vote of confidence in higher-risk, stand-
actively being marketed. It was one of six alone developments with potential for
high bids made by Total. higher rewards.” JPT


“ We are in an era
in which the public
is going to watch
our environmental
habits as much as our
economic successes.

2018 SPE President
Darcy Spady, the 2018 SPE president, is the first North America in its wireline and pressure pumping
Canadian to have been elected to this position. Spady, segments, as well as with Columbia Natural Resources/
who works with Calgary-based Broadview Energy, Triana Energy group in the Appalachians, and Atlantic
has been an active SPE member since graduating Canada. He has also served as CEO of Calgary-based
from university. Most recently, he served on the SPE Contact Exploration and more recently as head of
International Board as regional director for Canada; sales for Sanjel Corporation.
he is also a member of the Vancouver and Calgary
sections. Spady has held officer positions in the He is an active independent director, serving as
Calgary, Illinois Basin, and Appalachian sections. In board chairman for Green Imaging Technologies,
2012, he won a Regional Service Award for his work Crestwynd Exploration, and as a board member of
in the Canada region. MNP Petroleum. He previously served on the boards
of Edge Resources, Contact Exploration, Guildhall
Spady has an extensive background in the natural Minerals, and Poplar Point Exploration. Spady holds
gas, oil, and heavy oil segments of the industry, a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the
having worked a decade for Schlumberger across University of Alberta.

What are the main goals you ◗ The third goal is something I have that the larger, better-established
would like to accomplish? been talking about in the past sections receive. I think equality in
I have five main goals: year since I was nominated: the what SPE delivers is very important.
◗ The first one is revising the SPE importance of increasing awareness We need to grow equitably in a
Strategic Plan, which has not about the need for community global sense as well, making sure
been updated in 5 years, and which consensus and corporate social we are a diverse organization that
charts the course of SPE. Times responsibility. Previous SPE reflects our membership.
have changed dramatically, and presidents have talked about it, but ◗ The fifth is to represent and
it is a different industry and a my flavor is a little different. I am support the independent and small
different SPE. actually a farmer and do field work producers around the world. My
◗ The second comes from my around wellheads, so I look at the experience on the producer side
background in the industry and issue from a landowner point of view. has been with small companies,
the company I am with, Broadview ◗ The fourth is to ensure that SPE’s and I sit at some board tables
Energy. I have a special interest in new sections and sections that may with small companies, so I feel
heavy oil technology and would like be in remote areas receive the same an obligation to ensure better
to promote the importance of that. quality of programs and services attention from SPE to this group.
How can SPE promote community Surgut, they live in Surgut, their dachas,
consensus? their summer homes, are on the out­
We need to continue to increase aware­ skirts of Surgut, and all the wells are
ness of the importance of community nearby. I think this is a great example of
consensus and turn that back to the indi­ people who live, work, think, and under­
vidual member. How can “I” be a better stand what the industry does and how
SPE member? Number 1, think of what it affects the environment around us. In
you are doing to others—the old golden many places, there is a corporate deci­
rule. Look in the mirror and be the best sion maker, say, in Houston or London or
possible corporate citizen you can be, as Calgary, and the field they are in charge of
if you were the user of your products or might be hundreds or thousands of kilo­
services or engineering. Number 2, be meters away. Sometimes we isolate our­
better technically. Both of those things fit selves in our little glass towers and don’t
completely back into community aware­ ever think about that farmer, fish, blade
ness and the idea of social responsibility. of grass in our day­to­day work. Maybe
I spend many hours in the spring and we need a moment of silence at the coffee
the fall on the seat of a tractor or com­ pot every morning and every afternoon
bine, and have wells and pipelines on the to think about how what we do affects
land that I work. So as I am driving over people. We have safety moments—why
a pipeline or nearby a well, I think, ‘Okay, not a community moment?
how do we as an industry treat the blade
of grass, the moose, the fish that is next At the Offshore Technology Regarding the SPE strategic plan:
to our operations and have we forgotten Conference in Houston in May. to the average member, what is its
that little guy in the process?’ If I were an importance?
engineer with 5 years of experience, how SPE has not done one in 5 years and
would I design a pipeline or wellhead or are surprised when folks stand up with industry conditions have changed dra­
what type of drilling string would I use placards protesting what we do; we think matically. Put yourself back 5 years ago:
and how would that impact the environ­ we have done a great job but we have SPE was in growth mode, adding new
ment? Our industry has moved to such failed to talk to the community and let programs and services, and the oil price
a technical area of expertise that some­ them be part of the process. was $100/bbl. Contrast that to today
times we forget we are partners with peo­ Recently, I was in Surgut in Siberia where oil is at $40–50/bbl. Prioritiza­
ple and nature. Every now and then, in and Surgutneftegas is the big oil com­ tion of staff time and prioritization of
the more traditional oil and gas areas, we pany there. The oil industry staff work in program spending has become criti­
cal, and members have strong opinions
about whether SPE is serving the right
areas. So the strategic plan amounts to
efficiency planning in a down market,
and planning our programs and services
in a way that best serves our member­
ship. The plan should be rolled out in
early 2018.

How has the downturn affected

Membership retention has been solid,
which signals that SPE remains of great
value to our members. On the other side,
the downturn has been tough from a
services­provided point of view. SPE did
a very good job of quickly reacting to the
downturn, but we have had to make tough
decisions at the board level and SPE staff
was reduced, which was very difficult.
In mid­2014, SPE management put
At the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi with, from left, Hadi Belhaj, Murray out a document titled, “What do we do
Gray, Spady, Thomas Hochstettler, president, and Ali AlSumaiti. at SPE if oil hits $60/bbl?” And I would

30 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

At the 2017 Middle East Oil Show with, from left, Nabeel Al-Afaleg, MEOS
chair; Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco; and Ali Al-Naimi, retired Saudi
Minister of Petroleum.

like to highlight the fact that SPE was ing that the world needs hydrocarbons
at least 6 months ahead of most of the and technology is going to quadruple
industry on that. I put that document in hydrocarbon-­extraction industries,
on the side table in my office, and peo­ and they are proudly embracing the
ple came in and looked at it and had a future. That shift will change the demo­
funny look on their face like, could it be graphic of the industry and will affect
that oil could fall to $60? But SPE was SPE as well. The fact that we now have
proactive in being ready for the down­ more than 20 SPE sections in Russia,
turn, much more than a lot of oil com­ growing rapidly and embracing SPE and
panies and service companies. So mem­ new technology, says something very
bership wasn’t hit that hard, and we were strong to me.
quick to carefully and strategically cut
costs. So we have thus far weathered the
downturn well.

One thing that has changed

over the past several years is
SPE’s demographics. How will
that affect SPE and the types of
programs and services it offers?
The Great Crew Change is over, and how
it will affect us is that the younger gen­
eration is more involved in SPE, which is
awesome! This change, which is through­
out the industry, means that a younger
group is part of the decision making and
they are the future.
The geographic demographic is really
fascinating because the Western petro­
leum countries are increasingly under
a magnifying glass; there are protests
about resource industries in countries
that we would not have expected. But the
“newer” countries involved in oil and gas At Seoul National University meeting
are rushing ahead with the understand­ with student chapter.


we have developed and sold one heavy
oil prospect in Saskatchewan and we
are now working full speed ahead on
a second small footprint SAGD project
in Saskatchewan.
I also sit on corporate boards, includ-
ing Green Imaging Technologies, Crest-
wynd Exploration, and MNP Petroleum.
Green Imaging specializes in cutting-
edge nuclear magnetic resonance imag-
ing for special core analysis, which is
valuable in reservoir characterization.
By sitting on boards and doing adviso-
ry work, it allows me to be a consensus
builder. And that is what I will try to do at
the SPE international level.

How did you get involved in SPE?

Ironically, my first SPE card said that I
was a member of the non-section sec-
tion. So I had no privilege and no rights
and no section, because at the time the
Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) was
the owner of the space in Canada paral-
lel to the American Institute of Mining,
Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers
(AIME), which was SPE’s original par-
ent organization. I joined in 1976 as a
member of the non-section section based
in Alberta. I had just graduated with a
degree in petroleum engineering, oil was
$9.80 a barrel, my future was bleak, and
I had the warm hug of not even being part
of a section.
One person influential to me was
S.M. Farouq Ali, who has won many SPE
Planting a tree at the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun. awards and was a key professor when
Behind Spady is engineering student Chandan Purohit. I was at the University of Alberta. He
signed me and other students up as SPE
members upon graduation, and he and a
One thing we certainly are in this What is your current position number of us started the SPE Edmonton
industry is cyclical. We should never in the industry? Section a few years later.
be surprised even though every single I am a managing director at Broadview I joined Schlumberger Wireline and
time we are. This is a resource industry Energy Asset Management in Calgary, a worked in various places in western Can-
and that is inherently the way resource small, independent, private oil and gas ada, and eventually wound up in Mount
industries go. Thank goodness we producer, where I run the energy asset Carmel, Illinois, which was part of the
have both national oil companies and management part of the company, doing old Illinois Basin. There was a small sec-
forward-thinking companies that bal- third-party consulting work from the tion there and I was asked to become the
ance the publicly traded ones that have framework of a heavy oil producer, not section chair. This was my start in getting
a very short window. This industry will a third-party consultant. Broadview has involved in SPE.
see more downturns, although this one been around since 2011 and I was one After transferring to Charleston, West
has been particularly steep. But we have of the initial shareholders of the com- Virginia, I joined the Appalachian Sec-
weathered it and that means we have pany and rejoined them about a year tion board, and then one day, because
younger incoming decision makers in and a half ago. Broadview’s primary area I was the publicity chair on the board,
the industry now but that excites me. has been producing in western Cana- spent the day with this Italian guy who
That doesn’t scare me in the least. da, in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but happened to be SPE president (2005

32 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

SPE President Giovanni Paccaloni). It changed my life! I came
away thinking, “Wow, this is a really big organization and
it’s really international. I’ve now been on the board of the
Edmonton, Mount Carmel, and Appalachian sections, this
is really neat.”
Because of a slowdown at our company, I had time to write
my first technical paper, on coiled tubing, which was later ref-
erenced in other technical papers. So for the young SPE mem-
bers out there, if work is slow or you want to influence a promo-
tion or be known technically, don’t just think of SPE as a place
to socialize. Get involved on the technical side. Write a paper.
Present a paper. That teaches all kinds of skills, from presenta-
tion and editing to good writing. And these papers, if written
early in your career, can spawn into multiple papers because Deeper perforation penetration in
they are referenced. concrete does not produce deeper
So here I was stuck in this pre-shale environment, with not- penetration in stressed rock.
so-great oil prices, wondering where on Earth I’d be working
next. Things were not good from a career point of view, but
from an SPE point of view, they were great.
In 2005, Chesapeake came and bought our little company,
and I moved back to Calgary. We had just sold 8,000 shale
wells and the industry thought we were geniuses because Charge performance in
shale was so popular. I became chair of the Calgary Section concrete
and eventually became the Canadian Regional Director on
the SPE International Board and then was nominated for SPE
president. Half my career has been on the service company
side and half my career on the small operator side, so I repre-
sent a large part of the SPE membership in that regard. I hope
I can represent the average member who may not know if their
job is going to be there next year, who isn’t sure which way
is up or down, and needs SPE to provide them with the best
technical information.
Mine is a bit of a story of hope. Every time I turned the cor-
ner there was hope, and a lot of the hope came from participat- Same charge performance
ing in SPE. in downhole formation

As you talk to members around the world, both

professionals and students, what issues are they
most concerned about?
The first thing that comes to mind is that a lot of people are
unsure about the future direction of the industry because of
That’s the HOLE TRUTH.
oil prices. Most technical people, younger members especially, API 19B Section 1 perforations may not
know that there are years and years of need on the hydrocarbon reflect downhole performance.
consumption side and it is a matter of keeping the technology Call or go to perf.com/media.html
ahead of the need. So there is a lot of optimism about the long- to see how it’s done.
term existence of our industry. But the oil price is always at the
forefront of everybody’s thoughts. Your well performance is at stake.
One thing that is pleasantly surprising is how engaged our
members are over this theme of community consensus and cor-
porate social responsibility. It is now part of the DNA of our
industry. I’ll quote Prime Minister Trudeau, who said that Cana-
dians will “no longer choose anymore between economy and
environment.” That message is now global. It is not a matter of
choosing economy or environment, we now choose both. We
are in an era in which the public is going to watch our environ-
mental habits as much as our economic successes. JPT
10400 W. Interstate 20 Millsap, TX 76066
817.341.5300 | www.perf.com
Shale EOR Works,
But Will It Make a Difference?
Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

Testing to see if a mix of gas

and a surfactant can extract
more oil are, from left, Texas
A&M University students Nicole
Bhatnagar, Imad Adel, and Han
Park. Source: Texas A&M.

W hen EOG Resources disclosed

that it had found a way to get
from 30 to 70% more oil from Eagle Ford
ed David Schechter, a petroleum engi-
neering professor at Texas A&M Univer-
sity, to equip his lab that has been used
wells, and use it on a far larger scale to
increase overall recoveries in unconven-
tional formations where more than 90%
shale wells, it set off a race among com- to test carbon dioxide (CO2) for EOR to of the resource is left behind.
petitors looking for a low-cost way to add safely observe how natural gas affects Companies would like to understand
reserves by injecting natural gas. reservoir rock. “Basically everyone with and simulate it and, most important-
It has been little noticed because few a substantial acreage position is work- ly, they are looking for clues on how
companies have said anything publicly ing on unconventional oil EOR now,” EOG did it. “A whole bunch of folks are
about it. But university researchers and said Schechter. watching what other people are doing,”
service companies are seeing widespread “This is the name of the game. Every- Devegowda said.
interest from companies that are try- body is talking about EOR and pumping Companies and researchers are using
ing to figure out how EOG uses gas injec- money into trials of EOR,” said Deep- statistical analysis to determine patterns
tion to increase production and whether ak Devegowda, an associate engineering in production data filed with the Texas
those gains can be sustained long enough professor at the University of Oklahoma. Railroad Commission to try to figure out
to add reserves. The question facing EOG and its com- how EOG is using natural gas injection.
Research interest in gas injection petitors is, can they take a method that Among those looking is Todd Hoff-
enhanced oil recovery (EOR) persuad- improves results from some of its best man, an associate professor from Mon-

34 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

tana State, who was initially skeptical of Eagle Ford Enhanced Oil Recovery
EOG’s claims. After studying the data, Cumulative Oil Production per Well
Hoffman said that EOG clearly is “seeing 600
huge increases in added oil production.” 1.3x–17x
He is now working on a paper based on Enhanced Oil Recovery
the disclosures. 500 Response ≈3 Months
As for how he figured out which of After Injection
EOG’s more than 7,000 Eagle Ford wells 400
to study, he said, “I really had to dig 1.0x

(Net Mbo)
around to find it. I talked to a number of
companies planning pilots, doing pilots, 300 Primary Recovery
in the planning stage, trying to do the
same thing,” he said. 200
Competitors are also following the
compressors. Another observer said
100 Produce 2–5 Years
competitors are tracking trucks moving
Before EOR Injection
the heavy equipment into work sites, and
studying satellite images. The location 0
and size of the heavy machinery offer
clues as to where and how much EOG EOG’s prediction for how gas-injection EOR will increase output. The company
is injecting. did not provide a time scale. Source: EOG Resources.
One of the few companies talking
about testing is BHP Billiton, which is
working with its partner Devon in the EOG on EOR
Eagle Ford. EOG is the first company to say it has significantly increased oil production from
“BHP has two enhanced oil recov- an unconventional play using gas injection.
ery pilot projects operating in the Eagle Field tests since program started in 2013:
Ford, one involving gas injections and ◗ The production increases on 15 wells indicated from 30 to 70% reserve gains.
the second involving the injection” of a ◗ A 32-well test in 2016 added 300,000 bbl of oil at $6/bbl finding cost.
chemical blend, Alex Archila, president ◗ Work is ongoing on 100 wells in six areas in 2017.
of North American shale for BHP, said
Inputs and Outputs
at the recent Unconventional Resources
◗ Additional capital costs average about $1 million per well.
Technology Conference.
◗ The process uses associated gas from its wells.
The partners are expecting to begin ◗ Production response is in 2–3 months.
getting results in October. The company ◗ $1 invested adds $2 to net present value.
is looking at multiple approaches for
different targets. It Works if:
“I believe that miscible hydrocarbon ◗ The formation is able to contain high-pressure gas injection near the well.
gas injection, aqueous-based chemical ◗ Wellbores contact the most productive rock.
injection, or a combination of these will ◗ The completion maximizes the fractured area within a restricted zone around
provide uplift in the current depressed the wellbore.
price environment,” said Matt Honar- Source: EOG.
pour, a principal reservoir engineering
advisor at BHP, adding that “there are
challenges and high risk because of the
complexity of these reservoirs.” Core Laboratories recently started a well and flows back, or shows up in near-
Marathon Oil has reportedly done gas injection EOR joint industry proj- by wells.
a pilot project and plans to do more, ect in the Eagle Ford, said David Hume, Mike Flecker, vice president of Core’s
according to other observers who have vice president for Core’s reservoir divi- production enhancement division,
studied its work in production records. sion. The partners will share the cost and would not name the companies working
The company is also a member of a gov- information from rock and fluid samples on it, but described them as innovative
ernment-backed consortium work- they provide. Its production enhance- operators with the scale and expertise
ing on enhancing production in North ment division is also doing rock and fluid to take on the challenge. They need to
Dakota—the Bakken Production Opti- work and running tracers during injec- be willing to invest in acquiring data and
mization Program—along with seven tion tests for individual companies to see have an understanding of how gas EOR
other companies. if injected gas treats the rock around the works at a time when there is not much

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 35

science on which to draw. The available tion in contact with the targeted reser- Eagle Ford is more uniform than the
technical papers are based on lab testing voir,” Helms said. Bakken’s complex geology,” Hume said.
data that are commonly used for simula- He said EOG’s results last year in the The Permian Basin is the most heteroge-
tions because field data are scarce. Eagle Ford gave the company “further neous of the three so generalizations are
The strongest evidence that the meth- confidence of the applicability of EOR not useful.
od does work is EOG’s growing test- across major areas of the field.” The problems with gas-injection frac-
ing program. At the time of the first But he warned that containment “may tured Bakken wells are consistent with
announcement last May, the company not exist in most horizontal oil plays.” the lessons learned in convention-
said its 15 initial wells performed con- That could include the Bakken, where al formations, where “one of the oldest
sistently, adding from 30 to 70% to EOG tried the method first and where rules is you never fracture the injector,”
reserves. It added 32 wells to the program those doing tests have been frustrated said Schechter.
last year, which produced an average of by their inability to contain the gas long The failed tests in the Bakken led the
80 B/D per well for an average finding enough for it to penetrate the reservoir’s EERC and its partner XTO Energy, part
cost of $6/bbl. It has not yet reported on dense matrix. of ExxonMobil, to try CO2 injection in the
this year’s 100-well program. Based on lab results, natural gas injec- Bakken this year using an old vertical well
As for how it developed the technique, tion should be able to extract more oil that had pierced an unfractured spot in
Billy Helms, exploration and production from Bakken rock. Small samples from the Middle Bakken. After three periods of
executive vice president for EOG, said various parts of the Middle Bakken were injection, lasting a total of 80 hours, and
that “results from lab experiments indi- tested by the University of North Dako- two shut-in periods giving the gas time to
cated that the process was technically fea- ta’s Energy and Environmental Research diffuse in the tight rock, there was a spurt
sible, but the economics and operational Center (EERC). When exposed to natural of oil production, with 9 bbl produced
execution were going to be challenged gas or CO2, the chips produced more than over 45 minutes before it stopped.
without some creative problem solving.” 90% of the oil in the rock samples within Hoffman said the problems with gas
24 hours (SPE 184414). injection into fractured wells got him
Containment Limits But in field tests, the “CO2 moves so thinking about using gas injection in an
A broad look at gas injection EOR shows quickly through fractures that it did not unfractured well, but soon realized that
that it can work, but not always. It has have enough time, or became too dis- misses the point. “When we talked to
been a hit in the Eagle Ford and a flop in persed, to interact with stranded oil in partners they said there are tens of thou-
the Bakken. the matrix” rock in the reservoir, James sands of wells drilled and they need a
The difference appears to be contain- Sorensen, principal geologist for EERC, solution for those wells,” Hoffman said.
ment. For gas injection to be effective, said in a recent EERC report to the US The failure of conventional methods
and affordable, the formation must allow Department of Energy, which funded the in the Bakken suggests to Sorenson that
the operator to pressure up the reservoir, project. As a result, “past pilot scale CO2 unconventional approaches are required.
keep the gas in there long enough to have injection tests into horizontal, hydrauli- “The industry needs to think differently
an effect, and get it back for reuse or sale. cally fractured Bakken wells have shown about these plays. Specifically, the mech-
“The Eagle Ford formation allows little to no effect on oil mobilization,” anisms that control fluid movement
some completions to be vertically con- he said. within them, and recognize that each one
tained, a unique feature that also plays a When it comes to containment, is most likely going to require its own
significant role in keeping the gas injec- beware of reservoir complexity. “The twist,” he said.

Initiation of Test First Gas Cycle Second Gas Cycle Third Gas Cycle

Repeated gas injection cycles increased the hydrocarbon output from this core sample. Source: Core Lab.

36 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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1.4 14 EOG talks about rolling out its meth-
Oil Produced od in clusters of wells, some as close as

Production Wells, thousands

1.2 12
Producing Wells
200 ft apart. “Now the 32-well pattern
Oil Rate, million bopd

1.0 10 is probably a good indication of maybe

what we will look at in the future,” Helms
0.8 8 said during an investor briefing. Develop-
ing clusters of wells on pads would allow
0.6 6
compressors to serve multiple wells. If
0.4 4 injected gas migrates to a nearby well, it
could be captured for reuse, cutting the
0.2 2 gas cost and possibly aiding production.
The production added by gas injection
0.0 0
Jan-05 Jan-07 Jan-09 Jan-11 Jan-13 Jan-15 Jan-17 appears directly related to how the well
was fractured.
The wells that will work are those in
An old vertical well was used to inject CO2 into an unfractured part of the which the initial fracturing job even-
Bakken as part of a program to reverse production decline from older wells. ly stimulated the most productive rock
Source: Energy and Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota along the wellbore, Flecker said. The
(SPE 184414). many wells that do not meet that stan-
dard could be candidates for refracturing.
100 The surface area created by fractur-
ing matters because the gas in the frac-
tures does work deep into the rock, said
Derek Beckett, director of technology
C2H6 development for Core Lab. He said the
Oil Recovery, %

depth of the producing rock “may be an

inch” or so.
60 85/15 CH4/C2H6 “The key is really to get those devel-
CH4 oped with the drilling and the com-
N2 pletions in the most optimal spacing
40 and to connect as much rock through
the primary process and that really
enhances the EOR effectiveness,” said
20 William Thomas, chairman and chief
executive officer of EOG, during an
investor briefing.
While EOG said it has successfully
0 4 8 12 16 20 24 tried its method on wells that are as
much as 5 years old, more often it is talk-
Time, hr ing about adding production to relative-
Natural gas and CO2 recovered most of the oil in a rock sample from the ly new wells using the latest methods for
Middle Bakken, but not nitrogen. Source: SPE 184414.
targeting the most productive rock and
effectively fracturing it.
What Works no one wants to interrupt production. “Certainly, economically there might
EOG has not disclosed how it uses EOR But at this point, soak time appears nec- be an advantage to doing it earlier than
in the Eagle Ford. Others who have stud- essary in ultratight rock. later. But more importantly, the advanced
ied the up and down production pat- Schechter said the numbers he stud- completions are driving probably incre-
terns in disclosures say it looks like it ied show the ups and downs of a huff mentally more success to start with,”
is using a huff ‘n’ puff method. That is, ‘n’ puff well, with production starting Thomas said, adding that gas injection
gas is pumped into the well—the huff— low, a period with no production, and would likely be applied “in that first cou-
and it is shut in for several weeks to then a significant gain. He has studied ple years.”
diffuse into the tight rock around the the work of other researchers who have
fractures—and then it is opened up for spent a lot of time trying to isolate single What’s Happening?
production—the puff. well performance in production disclo- Early work on unconventional EOR
While huff ‘n’ puff has been around a sure reports commonly covering multi- quickly showed that widely used men-
long time, it is not widely used because ple wells. tal models—such as a waterflood push-

38 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

ing a bank of oil freed by a CO2—do not
describe what is happening there.
“We are not pushing liquid through
rock. We are engaging liquids with gas
and producing it back out with the gas,”
said Lawrence Bruno, president of petro-
leum services for Core Lab.
Engaging is an apt word for a process
that draws liquids out rather than forcing
them to move.
“It is the damnedest thing. I tried to
inject it (gas) directly into cores. The
pressure builds up and builds until” it
reaches the limit of the equipment cham-
ber, Schechter said. In contrast, he said
when a shale sample is left to soak in
a sealed vessel with gas or surfactant,
eventually “oil starts dribbling out.”
There are long-accepted explana-
tions for how the natural gas engages
the liquids, and more are being offered
as researchers look deep into pores
so tiny they are studying new ways to
image them.
The accepted benefits of injecting gas
into oil reservoirs were described in a
paper from the EERC (SPE 184414) as:
reducing oil viscosity, swelling the oil
volume, and vaporizing and extracting
hydrocarbons from oil.
Beckett described how the interaction
of oil and gas causes lighter molecules in
the rock to become volatile. These light-
er hydrocarbon molecules are stripped
out of the oil by the injected gas, which
is a solvent, and combine with the gas to
create a hydrocarbon mist. Imad Adel, a student at Texas A&M, is running a laboratory analysis that is
Those working on unconventional being adapted to test natural gas injection in unconventional rock. Source:
Texas A&M University.
EOR are trying to understand why heavi-
er hydrocarbons are left behind. “Frank-
ly, we do not know why we are leaving Diffusion and vaporization data are tunately, we do not know it,” Devegowda,
behind stuff,” said Devegowda. required to simulate the pace and effec- said. The problem is that “after 5 years of
A better understanding may ultimately tiveness of the injected gas. Engineers production you do not know what is in
suggest ways of moving molecules small need that to determine what is effective the ground.”
enough through the tight pathways in and when the value added by shutting in
this rock, or how other molecules too big a well is more than the revenue lost by Other Theories
to make that trip are creating blockages. extending it. There are also unanswered questions
For now they need accurate measures Another elusive measure is the mini- about how long to produce before the
to simulate the process so they can figure mum miscibility pressure—the level at next injection cycle, how many cycles are
out what is likely to work. which the injected gas mixes freely with possible before the benefit wanes, and
“One of the challenges that everybody the oil allowing it to be most effective. the volume of gas required.
has is forecasting performance,” Honar- The goal is to pump enough gas to reach “You got to go big or it will be a waste
pour said. “Additional reliable laboratory that level without going much beyond, of time. Small gas injections will do lit-
data such as diffusion and vaporization in which can get costly. tle for you,” said Richard MacDonald,
nanopore systems are needed. That takes “The calculation is straightforward, if an engineering advisor for EP Energy.
effort to obtain.” you know the fluid composition. Unfor- That advice is in line with convention-

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 39

50 Now he is more hopeful that an
EOR method will be developed for the
Original Oil
Bakken but “it may require a differ-
40 ent solution.”
Residual Oil
Mole Percentage, %

Dogged persistence will be required.

“There are going to be a couple dozen
failures before they figure out how to do
it right,” Schechter said.
While an early failure can kill a new
idea, the industry desperately needs a
way to add lower-cost barrels and extend
10 the life of unconventional wells to deliver
a return on the huge investments being
made to develop them.
0 It will take an awful lot of wells pro-
CO2 N2 CH4 C2H6 C3H to IC5 to C08 to C13 to C25 to
NC4 C07 C12 C24 C36
ducing from 30 to 70% more to move
the industry average rate for ultimate
Oil Component
recoveries. Particularly since many will
The heavier oil molecule left behind in a Bakken rock sample. be at the low end of the range. “We
Source: SPE 184414. believe that 30% uplift is closer to real-
ity than 70% for lean gas injection in
black oil or even in volatile oil,” Honar-
al experience, but EP blazed its own when these organic-rich shale samples pour said. JPT
path to it. were cleaned using a strong solvent.
It developed a simulator with Schlum- A large difference was shown in the Further Reading
berger, which models how expanding gas surface area after cleaning in the oil- SPE 180270 Improved Oil Recovery
expels oil within the nanoscale dimen- rich shales. This suggests that injecting IOR Pilot Projects in the Bakken
sions of the organic pores where oil and a solvent may open many pores that had Formation by Todd Hoffman and
gas are created. It was used to predict been blocked. John Evans, Montana Tech.
how these pores would react if gas was There may be value in early EOR treat- SPE 184414 Utilization of
injected in to recharge that drive, which ments “from day one” using solvents to Produced Gas for Improved Oil
is detailed in a recent technical paper try to open up those passages, and keep Recovery and Reduced Emissions
(URTEC 2671283). It is now expanding those obstructions from becoming per- from the Bakken Formation
that to simulate how gas injections will manent, Devegowda said. by Lu Jin, Steve Hawthorne, and
affect the total system. James Sorensen, Energy and
That was a first step in a long-term Economic Imperative Environmental Research Center,
project looking at how that process will Based on what EOG has said about its University of North Dakota.
affect liquid flow in the inorganic pores program, gas injection EOR can work. URTEC 2671283 Dynamic Flow
that provide storage and flow paths. But will it be like conventional CO2 EOR, Behavior in Shales Described via
A recent study by the University of which works well in the few places it Digital Rock Modeling Provides
Oklahoma (URTEC 2668849) offered a has been widely used, or something far Insight into Gas Injection
novel explanation for the hydrocarbons bigger, further increasing the impact of by Richard M. MacDonald and
left behind. The research investigated shale on world oil markets? Steve Isaac Geetan, EP Energy;
whether many pore openings are clogged “I am still optimistic, enthusiastic is and Denis Klemin, Schlumberger.
when production begins and large hydro- too strong a word,” Hoffman said, add- URTEC 2668849 Impact of Solvent
carbon molecules, such as asphaltenes, ing, “It is such a big prize, eventually we Extraction on Surface Area
try to move through pore throats a frac- will figure it out. There is so much oil Measurements in Organic-Rich
tion of their size. at stake.” Shales Using Nitrogen Adsorption
“Asphaltenes cannot flow through the A lot of the positive energy goes back by Ankita Sinha, Son Dang, Carl
pore throat but they can plug them quite to EOG’s success in the Eagle Ford. Sondergeld, and Chandra Rai,
effectively,” Devegowda said. But shortly before EOG’s May 2016 University of Oklahoma.
The paper measured this indirectly announcement, Hoffman had delivered SPE 185034 CO2 EOR Simulation in
by comparing the pore surface area in a paper (SPE 180270) on the frustrating Unconventional Liquid Reservoirs:
rock samples as received by the Univer- results from the Bakken and was wonder- An Eagle Ford Case Study
sity of Oklahoma laboratory, and then ing if “maybe gas EOR is not the method by Tuan Phi and David Schechter,
observed how much that area increased we will use.” Texas A&M University.

40 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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Finding Your Next
Sweet Spot
Using Dirty DNA
Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor

Differing populations of
microbes that live on the
surface as calculated through
DNA analysis and machine
learning offer oil and gas
producers a new exploration
tool. Source: Biodentify.

B iodentify is a Netherlands-based
startup that wants to help oil and
gas explorers zero in on sweet spots
“Many say it’s too good to be true—
what’s the link between the surface and
what’s down there,” said Chris Te Stroet,
Validation Study Hits Close
to the Mark
Despite a limited track record, the com-
using microbial DNA. Unlike another the director of technology and opera- pany is confident in its accuracy thanks
new DNA analytical method, which uses tions at Biodentify. “The causal link is in part to a blind study it performed
drill cuttings as samples to learn about that you have a hydrocarbon accumu- with an unconventional operator in the
unconventional productivity drivers, the lation—the sweet spots—and a highly Haynesville Shale of western Louisi-
approach this firm is focused on uses soil mobile area, probably because of a good ana. The work was done in a producing
samples taken just a foot below the sur- natural fracture network.” field and was 72% accurate in predicting
face to search for good drilling locations. Te Stroet, who has led commercializa- sweet spots.
The company’s technology is bor- tion efforts of new oil and gas technolo- When actual production data were
rowed from a still emerging medical sci- gies since the mid-1990s, said a single included in a final modeling exercise,
ence breakthrough that uses saliva to test sample may contain as many as 300,000 that figure jumped to 86% and 31 “vir-
for tumors as opposed to a much more microbial species—most of which are tual” drilling locations were identified
invasive biopsy. In looking for alterna- newly discovered. But Biodentify has within a sweet spot where the operator
tive uses, it was thought the same pro- found that only 50 to 200 of them serve had drilled 27 high-producing wells.
cess could be used to predict oil and gas as key indicators of a positive or nega-
deposits based on microbial reactions to tive signal. A New Possibility
micro-seepages of gas molecules. With hundreds of samples in hand a The concept being leveraged here would
Through oxidation, certain microbes map is then produced to help explorers have been unfeasible just a decade ago.
will thrive on gas seepages, while others derisk potential drilling locations. The For one thing, such large batches of DNA
will find the rising gases to be toxic and company says its analytical method is tests would have been far too expensive
die. Either outcome provides a usable 70–90% accurate; the high end of that for a single project. But recent advanc-
signal that a machine learning model range is achievable if information can es have driven down the cost of DNA
can turn into an easy-to-interpret pre- be gleaned from existing wells in the analysis so much that the typical proj-
diction map. target area. ect would represent a fraction of what it

42 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

These images come from a blind validation study and include a map of producing well locations in Louisiana’s
Haynesville Shale (left), where about 360 soil samples were taken for DNA analysis (middle). The map on the right was
generated through DNA analysis and indicates a highly productive area in the upper-right-hand corner—matching the
operator’s production history map. Two areas in the lower right are shown as false predictions, generating a map that
was determined to be 72% accurate. Source: Biodentify.

costs to drill a new well or run a seismic analysis. DNA analysis results are then tions as identified through its DNA-
survey today. run through a machine learning program based map.
DNA analysis itself has also improved that the company has been training for In a separate onshore project in the
in resolution, “which exposes an incred- more than 2 years. Netherlands, the company helped anoth-
ibly rich signal of diversity in the micro- er operator decide against one of its shale
bial ecosystem,” said Te Stroet. That sig- Pilots Influence Real Decisions drilling prospects. DNA analysis showed
nal, he added, gets clearer when the A pilot done for a mid-sized operator in that one location had a high probability
differences in microbial populations are 50 m water depths offshore the Nether- of sweet spots while the other area had a
greater. And with new machine learn- lands serves as another one of the com- zero chance of holding reserves. “There
ing approaches, it is possible to find pany’s early validation studies. was a huge debate on whether gas could
very small differences within terabytes Te Stroet said the operator had com- have been formed there due to bad matu-
of sample data. pleted a 3D survey of an area domi- ration conditions and the group of skep-
For a 250-sq-mile area the company nated by salt domes but after drill- tics was right,” said Te Stroet.
says that two field technicians would ing a few costly dry holes it turned to Biodentify believes these pilots are just
need 3½ days to take 360 samples, each using the new DNA technology. When scratching the surface and is eager to
about a mile apart. The samples mea- the explorer resumes drilling the area attract more work in the North Ameri-
sure 1 mm3 and are overnighted to the next year the company said it may be can unconventional market. The firm has
company’s facility in the Netherlands for targeting the highest probability loca- compiled a profile of six major uncon-
ventional basins including the Permian
Basin, Bakken Shale, and Marcellus Shale.
As the company eyes areas around the
rest of world where its technology may
be applicable, which also includes south-
east Asia and offshore Africa, questions
remain if it will work for deep water. The
cost of taking samples is not the hurdle
since soil samples are routinely taken
for mooring lines. The unknown fac-
ing the company in this arena is that no
one is quite sure how much microbial
life exists at the mudline a mile or two
beneath the waves. JPT

For Further Reading

URTEC 2671117 Predicting Sweet Spots in
This single well-plate contains 96 soil samples from which DNA is extracted
Shale Plays by DNA Fingerprinting and
using a proprietary process that involves beads and shaking. The plates also Machine Learning by Chris Te Stroet,
help keep large numbers of samples organized. Source: Biodentify. et al., Biodentify, TNO.

44 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


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Adding the Human Touch
to Oilfield Apps
Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor Source: Getty Images.

A s time goes by, an increasing num-

ber of new processes that oil and
gas companies want to push to their
improvements to the oil and gas business,
a lot of ChaiOne’s efforts are centered
around reducing how much time is spent
When a worker is on his way back from
a repair job, it is not unusual for anoth-
er problem to arise at a wellsite just 10
workforce will come in the form of an on regular working hours and overtime. minutes away. In the past, Khandelwal
app. This is true for field technicians as “When we take the user-experience- said that the technician would likely be
well as production engineers. driven approach, and send people into unaware of a nearby failure, and because
But just as with anytime change is the field to study a process, often we find dispatch did not know they were close
introduced, the improvements these tremendous amounts of waste in the way by, an additional crew would be sent out.
apps are intended to deliver may not things are being done,” explained Khan- With the CygNet app, the reverse is
be lasting—or realized at all—without delwal, adding that, “In 4 to 6 weeks, we now true for its users. When a repair
strong internal acceptance. can find millions of dollars in savings in team is out on location and a nearby well
ChaiOne is a Houston-based app devel- these companies.” sets off an alarm, CygNet sends a geo-
oper that has built its business around this targeted notification. And just as impor-
conundrum. In its 9 years, the company Smarter Field Repair tant, the app can also help them decide
has worked for several of the upstream Many of the software products that if the issue needs to be attended to at all.
industry’s most recognizable names ChaiOne has created cannot be discussed
including ExxonMobil and Schlumberger. thanks to the industry’s penchant for Dim the Lights
Chief Executive Officer Gaurav Khan- nondisclosure agreements. But among Khandelwal emphasized that the design
delwal said the company’s success lies those that it can speak freely about is of such apps also needs to keep in mind
in its bottoms-up strategy, which begins CygNet, which was developed for inter- how things such as the time of day can
with the end user and “understanding national service company Weatherford. affect user experience. “When you have a
their problems, stresses, frustrations, This iPhone app connects with oilfield guy waking up in North Dakota at 3 a.m.
and emotions.” SCADA systems to show engineers produc- because some SCADA system alarm is
This work relies on teams of behavioral tion trends or to relay important alarms. going off, let’s not design an app that
psychologists, anthropologists, and soft- Khandelwal said operators who use the has white backgrounds and blinds them
ware interaction engineers who are tasked app—12 of which supplied input to steer when they wake up,” he said.
with figuring out new ways for workers its development—are now using fewer The smarter alternative is to keep the
to save time and money for their compa- field technicians to deal with routine oil- app’s interface dark during those pre-
nies. Like others who promise efficiency field problems. dawn hours—a feature known as night

46 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Designed by ChaiOne for
Weatherford, CygNet is a mobile
mode. The app should also use a font
app that puts critical production
size big enough for a waking person activity and trends, along with
with blurry eyes to read. It also needs alarm notifications, right into an
to make it easy to switch an alarm off engineer’s pocket. It includes map
if the user sees it is a nuisance alarm controls and can help set routes
for technicians to repair wellsite
vs. a real concern.
ChaiOne also scrutinizes how apps
are physically used. For one iPad
app created for an offshore produc- ing a well plan—possibly preventing
er, the company made it compatible someone from having to open and sort
with a screen protector so workers through a spreadsheet, for example.
could use it without removing their Khandelwal said this technology is
greasy gloves. “Little things like that equally justifiable for those working
allowed our application to become in the office. Any task related to call-
successful,” Khandelwal said. is certified to develop software tools for ing someone with a question, running
The theme behind all of these use cases GE’s industrial Internet-of-things plat- a routine calculation, or waiting on a file
is that apps which introduce a new way of form called Predix and is also working on attachment may in the near future be
doing things must not burden personnel apps for Apple’s new augmented reality done just by talking to a small Internet-
with too many extra tasks or add stress to store, which launched in September. connected device.
their usual routines. Khandelwal said the Also of interest for the firm is how “All of this repetitive work can be done
emergent term for this strategy is “radi- upstream companies can take advan- in the cloud and it can all have a voice
cal simplification.” tage of the burgeoning category of voice-­ interface—such that you may not even
controlled computer assistants, such as have to build an app for certain things,”
Your Voice Will Matter the popular Amazon Echo. These large- he said. “Having an app means you have
Looking to the future, ChaiOne sees sev- ly domestic devices could be installed to download something and open it
eral new business opportunities that go on a rig to record a driller’s daily report when you want to use it, and maybe you
beyond mobile phone apps. The company or to read out critical data sets concern- can just do that with your voice.” JPT

We Can.
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your solution should be too.

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gas industry that get to the root cause
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reduced operating costs, asset
integrity, and safe & successful system

Luanda is the center of
Angola’s burgeoning oil
industry as well as its
administrative capital.
Source: Getty Images.

Does Recent Change
Mean Economic Development?
Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor

I f it is a truism that the nations of the

developing world are engaged in the
process of developing, it is also clear
and social course that the nation has
charted in its often-tumultuous 42 years
of independence.
future, Angola joined the Organiza-
tion of the Petroleum-Exporting Coun-
tries (OPEC) in 2007. Its proven crude
that, for a variety of reasons, not all The waters off the nation’s Atlantic reserves stand at 9.5 billion barrels (at
nations experience the process at the coast hold enormous exploration and least 1–2 billion more barrels may also
same rate. In the case of Angola—the production potential, a fact that has rest in its presalt blocks), with another
populous southern African republic allowed Angola to compete with heavy- 308 billion cubic meters of natural gas
described in some quarters as a dynam- weight Nigeria as the continent’s top oil reserves. At its peak in early 2010, its
ic, emerging powerhouse, and in others producer, even surpassing the Federal crude oil production reached over 2 mil-
as a would-be success story stymied Republic for several months in late 2016. lion B/D (as of June 2017, its produc-
by cronyism—the oil industry waits to After years of working to impress upon tion stood at 1.66 million B/D after the
see whether the effect of recent polit- the rest of the world that it was prepared early-2017 OPEC effort to cut production,
ical shifts will change the economic to take on a major role in the continent’s while crude oil exports reached 1.67 mil-

48 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


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lion  B/D). Table 1 provides Angola’s oil TABLE 1—ANGOLA’S YEARLY OIL sents an example of organized leader-
production in recent years. PRODUCTION SINCE 2010 ship change to which many observers
Angola is the second-largest African Production attach some expectation of diversified,
supplier of oil to China, and is a top- Year (thousand B/D) Shift wide-ranging development.
10 global producer of vented and flared 2010 1,899.00 2% Although Angola hopes to expand a
natural gas. But Angola has, naturally, number of other economic sectors in
2011 1,746.00 –8%
been subject to the same effects of low oil order to make diversification a reality,
prices and market instability that have 2012 1,777.00 2% these efforts have thus far been chal-
wrought recent havoc on all oil-based 2013 1,831.00 3% lenged. Recent efforts to fund major agri-
economies, especially in light of the fact 2014 1,741.60 –5% cultural projects have been hampered
that Angola’s production is highly depen- 2015 1,841.90 5% by an underdeveloped infrastructure,
dent upon cost-intensive deepwater pro- despite a concerted campaign to mod-
2016 1,670.10 –11%
duction. As the price crash settled into ernize its railway system, and challenges
Source: US Energy Information Administration.
its deepest ebb in 2016, the influx of for- posed by nonperforming loans issued by
eign money from its oil exports dropped the national development bank. Its eco-
a staggering 55%. nomic mainstays were diamonds and nomic apparatus therefore remains ori-
Its famously expensive capital Luanda agriculture, both sectors long atrophied ented firmly toward oil, with the national
continues to erupt into towering walls of by the ravages of the civil war. The Ango- Sonangol. The national oilfield fabrica-
glass and the cranes that hoist them, but lan government has announced efforts to tion company, Sonamet, is a joint venture
skeptics believe that Angola’s growth may prioritize diversification in a drive remi- between Sonangol and several multina-
be too hollow and one-dimensional to niscent of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. tional shareholders. Based in Lobito Bay
project long-term economic growth. The The fact remains, however, that for the south of the capital, Sonangol fabricates
question now is whether a recent change vast majority of Angolans, the promise the equipment and facilities needed for
in leadership, in which longtime Presi- of development has remained limited to the many major offshore fields current-
dent José Eduardo dos Santos stepped the streets and high-rises of the capital; ly in production (including Dalia, Giras-
down after legislative elections, means estimates place the number of Angolans sol, Hungo, Chocalho, and Acacia, among
a genuine onset of economic diversifi- living below the poverty line between 36 several operational areas). The nation-
cation and social development for the and 68% of the total population. al entities have increasingly focused on
nation’s 28 million people, and what such In the political sphere, it is the gov- issues of health, safety, and social respon-
a transformation might mean for the ernment and its decades of immovabil- sibility along with operators and service
industry in Africa. ity that have made investment in Ango- companies of all kinds in recent years,
Angolan oil was first exploited onshore lan operations a complex proposition for but resources provided to allow these oil
in the 1950s near the capital, but begin- multinationals. Dos Santos, a leader of industry reorientations only pose further
ning in the late 1960s, major offshore the war of independence against Portu- obstacles to diversification.
discoveries began to drive heavy multi- guese colonial rule in the 1970s, guided The Atlantic waters are simply too
national investment. Such producers as his Marxist People’s Movement for the laden with the promise of a stable and
Chevron, BP, Total, and Eni are involved Liberation of Angola (MPLA) to victory economically viable prosperity for Ango-
in operations all along the northern half over both colonial forces and, then, a la for its many investors to reverse course,
of Angola’s coastline and offshore Cabin- host of domestic and foreign opponents although some have wholly (Vaalco) or
da, the 2,800-square-mile exclave sepa- in the 25-year civil war that followed. partially (BP) sold off Angolan assets in
rated from the rest of Angola by a strand Final victory in that conflict in 2002 the past 2 years. To complicate matters,
of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. allowed dos Santos to officially position US operator Cobalt International Ener-
Before the recent drop in oil pric- the MPLA as a political rather than a gy is currently locked in a legal battle
es, Angola thrived as petrodol- military force, and set the stage for last with Sonangol over licensing extension
lars drew southern Africans and August’s unprecedented legislative elec- guidelines. Nevertheless, dozens of rigs
multinational-company personnel to tions, in which dos Santos agreed to step and drillships ply and dot the waters of
Luanda by the hundreds of thousands; down to make way for a new state leader. the republic’s 50 offshore blocks. But as
Luanda enjoyed the highest growth rate While the results surprised few—the vic- the nation prepares to welcome its first
of any city on the continent by 2015, by tor was the MPLA’s João Lourenço, dos new occupant in the Presidential office
which time it had gained notoriety as the Santos’ chosen successor—the MPLA since independence, observers world-
world’s most expensive city for expats. posited the results as a genuine mandate wide hope that, for a variety of reasons,
Despite the appearances of growth, ana- of rule among Angolans, while oppo- political change might be a prompt for a
lysts both outside Angola and within sition parties charged the regime with long-awaited development that will ben-
its state oil organization, the Sonangol vote-tampering. As skeptical as some efit both Angola’s people—and the many
Group, recognized the need for diversi- are of the scope of change represented investors whose success is bound up in
fication in a nation whose second eco- by the election, it nevertheless repre- their own. JPT

50 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Technology developed to help
paralyzed patients regain movement
could help operating companies
manage large amounts of data.
Battelle’s NeuroLife Neural Bypass
Technology creates an electronic neural
bypass that circumvents disconnected
pathways in the nervous system.
Source: Getty Images.

Drive for Innovative Medical Science Crossovers

Olga Koper, oil and gas market leader at
Battelle, discussed some of the projects

Technologies the science research firm has developed

in the medical field that could provide sig-
nificant benefit to operating companies.

Leads Industry to One such device, the NeuroLife Neu-

ral Bypass Technology, helps paralyzed
patients regain conscious control of

Unconventional Sources their fingers, hands, and wrists. The

system uses a neuroprosthetic micro-
chip that, when implanted in the brain,
Stephen Whitfield, Senior Staff Writer forms an electronic neural bypass that
circumvents disconnected pathways in
the nervous system. Battelle applied

I nnovation is a hallmark of oil and gas operations. As companies look machine-learning algorithms to decode
neuronal activity in the brain and con-
to survive in the new economy created by the oil price downturn,
trol the use of a person’s forearm mus-
the need to find new, cost-efficient technology for manufacturing, data cles. The chip picked up signals from
processing, or even overall project management, is greater than ever, so the brain and transmitted the data to a
computer with Battelle’s decoding soft-
much so that the industry is examining other industries for products and ware installed. The decoded data were
processes that may have crossover appeal. then transmitted to a proprietary neu-
romuscular electrical stimulation sys-
That examination was the topic of a panel discussion at the
tem that provided isolated finger move-
Unconventional Resources Technology Conference in July, where a ments, essentially allowing a person to
panel of scientists from firms and laboratories spoke about emerging control a paralyzed hand by translating
his thoughts.
technologies and new uses for old technologies outside the sphere of Battelle partnered with surgeons at
traditional petroleum that could have a disruptive impact on the industry. The Ohio State University to implant
the system in the brain of a man para-

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 51

Unconventional Resources

out, it’s a matter of having people under-

stand that this can be useful. It doesn’t
replace physics, but it’s a tool in the tool-
kit. With all the data collection and the
computing applications, it’s a real tool for
E&P companies to leverage these big data
sources,” Koperna said.
Like Koper, Koperna pointed to the
medical industry as a source of innova-
tion, though he said the oil and gas indus-
try could benefit from using older tech-
nologies in a new way. He referenced a
paper (Zahasky and Benson 2016) that
proposed the use of positron emission
tomography (PET) to provide direct
imagery of dynamic single-phase and
The use of additive manufacturing to create metal alloy components may
multiphase fluid flow in porous media.
reduce the need for the storage and production of spare parts. It may also
help reduce transportation costs. Source: BP. First utilized in 1961, the PET scan is
an imaging test in which a special dye
lyzed from the chest down. The sur- comes in hospital treatment. The com- with radioactive tracers is injected intra-
geons implanted a 4×4-mm chip into pany had previously done research to venously and absorbed into a person’s
the motor cortex area of the man’s flag early indicators of risk for heart organs and tissues, after which a scanner
brain, the area responsible for volun- failure in asymptomatic patients, and highlights the tracers to measure such
tary movements. Two years into the with Battelle’s clinical predictive analy- functions as blood flow, oxygen use, and
trial, he is able to transfer objects, stir tic software, these efforts have now been metabolism. The PET scanner used in the
liquids, and swipe a credit card, among expanded to include early warnings of study is different from a traditional scan-
other actions. kidney failure and diabetes. Koper said ner in that it has a significantly small-
Koper said the algorithms behind the similar algorithms could be used to help er system diameter, which Zahasky and
NeuroLife technology could apply to oil operators analyze operational data such Benson wrote gave it a higher resolution
and gas projects, where owners, opera- as flow rates. It may also help them make of the imagery.
tors, project managers, and on-site per- optimal decisions about what type of The authors wrote that one of the
sonnel consistently engage in real-time equipment they may need for a project. advantages PET scanners provide in
decision making while stringing togeth- “The algorithm to predict kidney fail- quantifying flow is that the tracers do not
er large amounts of data. The micro- ure is a very similar algorithm to deter- measurably change the fluid’s properties.
chip used in the medical case is capa- mine what type of electrical submersible Even renewable energy sources may
ble of collecting 30,000 samples/sec pump you might need on a site,” Koper be a valuable tool for E&P activities.
across 96 electrodes, producing a total said. “Sometimes a diverse application Koperna cited a joint industry project
of 2.88 million data points/sec, making could very much impact oil and gas.” (JIP) launched in 2015 by DNV GL devel-
it potentially useful hardware for a vari- oped to use a floating wind turbine to
ety of management systems. New Ideas in Old Places power water injection in a standalone
“There’s a lot of data, and it has to be George Koperna said that, over time, the system to maximize oil recovery. The JIP,
filtered, you have to see machine learn- amount of time between the introduc- titled WIN WIN (Wind-Powered Water
ing of the right data transferred into tion of a new technology and its applica- Injection), has three partners outside of
specific motions,” Koper said. “With big tion in industry has shrunk considerably, DNV: ExxonMobil, ENI, and the Norwe-
data, the real-time decision making, this and that the key to quick adoption of a gian Research Council. Previous partners
is what’s happening right now in the oil new technology is often having the right included Statoil and Nexen Petroleum.
and gas industry. We have the technolo- people at a company or in an industry In the first phase of the project, the
gy, but there is not yet that direct type of understand its value. Koperna, vice pres- partners determined the technical fea-
application. We have to start thinking, ident at Advanced Resource Internation- sibility of the WIN WIN concept, as well
how will we do this 10, 20, or even 50 al, said that the increasing influence of as whether the concept was capable
years down the road? Where are some data analytics in exploration and produc- of meeting performance targets while
of the new areas where this will be a tion (E&P) activities is a product of the remaining cost-competitive compared to
useful technology?” increased awareness of its utility among traditional water injection systems. After
In 2014, Battelle acquired Health- company decision makers. the completion of the initial phase in
care Colloquium, a company founded “They have been doing this for a long April, the partners moved on to the sec-
to improve patient and financial out- time, but it’s just a matter of bringing it ond phase, which will focus on physical

52 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Unconventional Resources

lab testing of the electrical systems. The regulations would change. Also, some with Quadriplegia. Nature 533: 247–250.
phase is expected to run over the course 3D-­ printing techniques are not fool- doi.10.1038/nature17435
of 1–2 years and will lead to the publi- proof. The EY report said that direct Camisa, J.A. and Verma, V. 2014. Additive
cation of an application guideline docu- metal laser sintering and electron beam Manufacturing and 3D Printing
ment. If the testing proves successful, melting can produce rough finished sur- for Oil and Gas—Transformative
DNV said a full-scale prototype could be faces, and that additive manufacturing as Potential and Technology Constraints.
available by 2020. a whole has been criticized for poor sur- International Ocean and Polar
Engineering Conference, Busan, Korea,
“Electricity costs are going up. It’s face quality.
15–20 June 2014. ISOPE-I-14-595.
pretty expensive. If you can come up with While it is still an emerging technol-
a new technology that’s cost-effective ogy, Polsky said additive manufacturing
Zahasky, C. and Benson, S.M. 2016.
and helps you with production, deliver could help further streamline the sup-
Phase Saturation Validation and
more energy, and at least offset some of ply chain. Tracer Transport Quantification
the [carbon dioxide], that’s beneficial,” “People like to talk about additive Using MicroPET in a Heterogeneous
Koperna said of the WIN WIN concept. manufacturing as a disruptive technol- Sandstone Core. International
ogy that’s going to replace conventional Symposium of the Society of Core
Additive Manufacturing methods in a manufacturing system, but Analysts, Snow Mass, Colorado,
Yarom Polsky, group leader for the Sen- if you think about it, that may not always 21–26 August 2016. SCA2016-028.
sors and Embedded Systems group at the be the case. Sometimes what you’re going https://gcep.stanford.edu/pdfs/
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said he to be doing is replacing an inefficient or TechReport2016/2.3.2%20Benson%20
believed the interaction between subject costly step in a conventional manufactur- (s&p).pdf
matter experts and creative minds will ing process, and that by itself will change Ernst & Young. 2016. If 3D printing has
ultimately drive innovation in the energy how things are done,” Polsky said. JPT changed the industries of tomorrow,
sector, primarily in the additive manufac- how can your organization get ready
turing of materials. For Further Reading today? EYG no. 02810-163GBL. http://
Defined by ASTM standard F2792-10 Bouton, C.E., Shaikhouni, A., et al. www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/
as “the process of joining materials to Restoring Cortical Control of ey-3d-printing-report/$FILE/ey-3d-
make objects from 3D model data, usually Functional Movement in a Human printing-report.pdf
layer upon layer,” additive manufacturing
for oil and gas operations is not an entire-
ly new concept. In 2014, researchers at
ExxonMobil published a paper (ISOPE-
I-14-595) exploring the topic. Additive
manufacturing began as a method to
quickly produce component prototypes,
but in other industries such as aerospace,
it is now being used to manufacture metal
alloy components with complex geom-
etries that traditional manufacturing
methods cannot  replicate.
Ernst & Young’s 2016 report on addi-
tive manufacturing identified some
immediate benefits for industry. It may
reduce the need for the storage and pro-
duction of spare parts, some of which
may never be used. It could help reduce
transportation costs by allowing opera-
tors to manufacture more parts on site,
and it may allow for the faster production
of parts that are tailored to the require-
ments of a specific site. But there are
issues with its adoption. Real-Time Drilling Analytics: Engineered for Lower Well Costs
The EY report cited concerns about
quality and liability. By moving man-
ufacturing to users, it is unclear who www.petrolink.com
would be accountable for product func-
tionality and potential hazards, or how

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 53


Drawing on Collective Engineering Sentiment

To Improve Learning Outcomes
Michele Lawrie-Munro, Executive Director, AIME, and Lori Dalrymple, Chief Executive Officer,
Architecture of Communication

With many engineering disciplines pro- a webinar, a survey, and an in-person ◗ Competency Management Tool
jected to have a shortage of workers review session. The team built the model (CMT), launched 2015
in the next 10 years and the impend- to provide a universal standard for the The lion’s share of SPE’s efforts is
ing retirement of many senior-level knowledge, skills, and abilities neces- in the technical categories while AAES’
employees, there has been an empha- sary not only for entering the engineer- competency model is more soft-skills
sis on identifying job competencies ing profession but also for maintaining focused. The objective is to bridge SPE’s
and skills gaps. SPE, and others, have proficiency during one’s career. It is also work in discipline-specific technical and
developed a variety of tools to iden- helpful to employers, educators, associ- nontechnical skills with the more gener-
tify and address these and help mem- ations, and economic developers. ic competency model work released
bers ready themselves for the emerging While the Department of Labor has by AAES to create a holistic lifelong-
realities of the future workplace, fur- used this pyramidal template to devel- learning roadmap for SPE members.
ther their careers, and meet employ- op models for 23 industries, engineer- Other groups who have actively and
ers’ expectations. ing was the first profession for which broadly engaged in soft skills training
As the SPE Soft Skills Committee this was used. Additional detail can be for several years include the American
reported in the February 2016 issue found at https://www.careeronestop. Chemical Society, American Institute of
of JPT (Fig. 1), the American Associ- org/CompetencyModel/. Chemical Engineers, and the Emerging
ation of Engineering Societies (AAES) Leaders Alliance (ELA). The ELA is a
released an Engineering Compe- Bridging the Engineering partnership among leading engineer-
tency Model (CMT) in July 2015. The Competency Model ing and science-based organizations
group engaged subject matter experts With SPE’s Competency Work that provides high-quality leadership
from its 17 member societies to devel- The ECM competencies are laid out in training. Recognizing the importance
op the model in conjunction with the pyramidal fashion to display founda- of providing soft-skills training to pro-
US Department of Labor Employment tional skills typically learned earlier in pel its young professionals to quickly
and Training Administration over a life underneath those skills acquired in occupy the emerging leadership oppor-
2-year period. The administration part- later stages of educational and work- tunities, SPE annually sponsors eight
ners with industries and professions to place achievement. But it stops short promising members to the ELA work-
develop and maintain dynamic models of identifying competencies for specific shop; however, this single workshop
of the foundational and technical com- engineering disciplines and jobs. This is clearly will not meet industry demand.
petencies that are necessary in econom- where most of SPE’s technical compe- Additional details can be found at
ically vital industries and sectors of the tencies come in. www.EmergingLeadersAlliance.org.
American economy. SPE’s parent orga- SPE has been at the forefront of the
nization, the American Institute of Min- engineering community in competency SPE Soft Skills Committee
ing, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engi- development with its: Competency Mapping Work
neers (AIME) participated as a member ◗ General Engineer Competencies AIME 2014 president and SPE Soft
society. AIME interfaced with SPE (developed by the SPE Minimal Skills Committee charter member
training staff during development of Competency Task Force, 2001) Behrooz Fattahi asked AIME’s execu-
this model. ◗ Soft Skills Matrix (Behrooz Fattahi, tive director, Michele Lawrie-Munro,
The creation of the competency Susan Howes, Giovanni Paccaloni, to introduce this model to SPE’s Soft
model included an examination of exist- and Ford Brett article in JPT, Skills Committee. The committee was
ing bodies of knowledge, as well as the October 2014) impressed by the work and agreed that
inclusion and involvement of the stake- ◗ Graduating Engineer Competencies it would be worthwhile to establish a
holders within the engineering commu- (industry survey initiated by the task force to map AAES’ model to SPE’s
nity, including associations, industry, SPE Engineering Professionalism competency models and to drive the
and academia. The tool was vetted via Committee, 2011) integration of both models. It includ-

54 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Monitoring Work
Supporting Others
Motivating & Inspiring
Developing & Mentoring
Strategic Planning/Action
Preparing & Evaluating Budgets
Clarifying Roles & Objectives
Managing Conflict & Team Building
Developing an Organizational Vision
Monitoring & Controlling Resources

Fig. 1—Engineering competency model. Courtesy of US Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration.

ed a three-fold purpose, to see if SPE neering Competencies and 75% (31 because these are mainly technical com-
might adopt the AAES competency of 41) of the components of SPE’s Soft petencies, there is no need to map to
model to: Skills Matrix (Fig. 2) to the AAES com- them at this time.
1. Reduce or eliminate duplication of petency model. Upon reviewing the competen-
effort Because AAES will periodically update cy model in detail and the mapping,
2. Enhance soft skills curriculum the competency model, this task force the task force recommended consider-
development and assessment will also provide feedback to AAES to ing adopting of the competency model
(by using learning outcomes consider adding detail for additional because it provides detailed learning
such as the Accreditation Board items found in SPE’s Soft Skills Matrix, outcomes that would be helpful to aca-
for Engineering and Technology specifically excellence, dialogue, cultur- demic members as well as soft skills
model for universities) al mental models, conversation, estab- trainers in delivering effective curricu-
3. Prioritize soft skills training lishing direction, imagination, volun- lum to produce related competencies.
development going forward teerism, mental models, perseverance, As an example, if an aspiring engineer
The Competency Mapping Task Force and patience. Mapping the AAES’ com- wished to understand what could be
put the AAES’ competencies in a tiered petency model to graduating engi- expected of their critical and analyti-
Excel format. It was able to map all soft neer competencies and the CMT was cal thinking skills in their future work-
skills elements of SPE’s General Engi- more difficult. The group decided that, place, they could use Tier 2, Section 2.6

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 55

Level of Mastery Attributes Division of Soft Skills


Leadership, dialogue, • Leveraging

leveraging differences/ Differences/Inclusion
inclusion, excellence, • Dialogue
Integration strategic agility, • Mentoring
business acumen • Leadership
• Strategic Agility
• Business Acumen

Culture System Networks

Cultural mental models,
awareness, teamwork, • Diversity • Systems Thinking • Teamwork
Organizational system thinking, system • Cultural Mental • Systems • Networking
structure/process, Models Structure/Process
networking • Professional

Professional conduct, Boundaries Interactions Adaption Resolution

communication, • Awareness • Interpersonal • Conversation • Conflict
persuasion, interpersonal • Diversity Skills • Persuasion Resolution
Interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, • Professional • Communication • Establishing • Negotiation
negotiation, diversity, Conduct Direction
establishing direction,
conversation, negotiation

Creativity, innovation, Social Intellectual Emotional


imagination, critical
thinking, ethics, integrity, • Awareness • Critical Thinking • Stress
persistence, resilience, • Diversity • Creativity Management
Individual patience, volunteerism, • Innovation • Resilience
awareness, stress • Mental Models • Perseverance
management, diversity, • Self-Confidence and Persistence
mental models • Patience

Fig. 2—Progression in people capabilities and actions.

2.6 Critical and Analytical Thinking: Using logical thought processes to analyze information and draw conclusions.

2.6.1 Reasoning Possess sufficient inductive and deductive reasoning ability to perform job successfully. Critically review, analyze, synthesize, compare, and interpret information. Draw conclusions from relevant and/or missing information. Understand the principles underlying the relationship among facts and apply this understanding when
solving problems. Use logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions or approaches to
a problem.
2.6.2 Mental agility Identify connections between issues. Quickly understand, orient to, and integrate new information.

Fig. 3—Detail from ECM Tier 2-Academic Competencies.

of the engineering competency model to ensure a smooth transition from an Next Steps
(Fig. 3). In this section, the future engi- academic environment into the future The group will present its work with
neer would find the expectations of the work place. Likewise, educators can use future SPE training stakeholders and
desired reasoning and mental agility the model to identify gaps in future ultimately to the SPE Board of Directors.
skills needed. If lacking, SPE and other engineers’ training and create a tai- The subcommittee would like to thank
educators could then help them iden- lored education program to address the SPE staff for generous support of
tify coursework to obtain those skills those gaps. these efforts. JPT

56 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


SPE Honors 2017 International Award

Recipients at Annual Meeting
Stephen Whitfield, Staff Writer

Each year, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) honors members whose outstanding
contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry merit special distinction during its Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE). Recipients of the 2017 SPE international
awards will be recognized at the Annual Reception and Banquet held on Tuesday,
10 October. The 2017 SPE ATCE will be held in San Antonio, Texas.

Technology and helped found the institute’s Petroleum Recov-

Honorary Membership ery Research Center. Kumar has worked in senior positions at
Gulf Oil, Chevron, Mobil, Devon Energy of Indonesia, and Petro
Honorary Membership is conferred on individuals for out- China International Jakarta. As a senior vice president at Reli-
standing service to SPE and/or in recognition of distinguished ance Industries, he built a 60-member subsurface team for
scientific or engineering achievement in fields encompassed India’s first deepwater development in KG Basin Block-D6. He
in SPE’s technical scope. Honorary Membership is the highest has published numerous papers, supervised theses, and
honor SPE confers upon an individual and is limited to 0.1% coauthored several books, including Gas Well Test Analysis
of SPE’s total membership. Under Water Drive Conditions.
Kumar is a recipient of the SPE Reservoir Engineering award
Akhil Datta-Gupta is a professor of petro- in 1997, the SPE Formation Evaluation award in 2013, and the
leum engineering at Texas A&M University. SPE/AIME Anthony F. Lucas award in 2015. He received SPE Dis-
He worked for BP Exploration and Research tinguished Membership in 2001 and served as a Distinguished
from 1986 to 1990 and the Lawrence Lecturer in 1995–1996. He has served on the SPE board, the JPT
Berkeley National Laboratory from 1992 to editorial board, and on numerous SPE committees and events
1994 before joining Texas A&M in 1994. boards as chairman, co-chairman, member, and as a keynote
Datta-Gupta was elected to the US National speaker. Kumar has presented numerous technical short cours-
Academy of Engineering in 2012 for “developing the theory es for SPE and PetroSkills.
and practice of streamline simulation for fluid flow in Kumar holds a BSc with top honors from the Indian School of
heterogeneous reservoirs.” Mines (now Indian Institute of Technology), an MS from Loui-
Datta-Gupta received SPE Distinguished Membership in siana State University, and a PhD from Stanford University, all
2001 and several other honors from SPE, including the John in petroleum engineering.
Franklin Carll and Lester C. Uren awards. He was named an
SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 1999–2000, a Distinguished Robert G. Moore is a professor of chemi-
Author in 2000, an outstanding technical editor in 1996, and cal and petroleum engineering at the Uni-
was awarded the Ferguson certificate in 2000 and 2006. He has versity of Calgary. A faculty member at the
published more than 100 peer reviewed technical papers and 4 University since 1970, Moore’s teaching
books, including an SPE textbook. Datta-Gupta holds a PhD in primarily involves first- and second-year
petroleum engineering from the University of Texas. engineering thermodynamics, and his
research interests are predominantly in
Anil Kumar is the founder and president of the area of thermal recovery with an emphasis on air injection
Omak Technologies, which provides petro- processes. He has been the principal of the In Situ Combustion
leum engineering consulting services. He is Research Group (ISCRG) since it performed its first combus-
a pioneer of pressure derivative technology, tion tube test in 1974 and was a founding partner in Hycal
which has become a significant technology Energy Research Laboratories (now Weatherford Laborato-
platform in transient well testing. He served ries) from 1978 to 1992. Based primarily on research per-
as chairman and associate professor of formed in the thermal laboratory, Moore has published more
petroleum engineering at the New Mexico Institute of Mining than 500 technical reports, journal, and conference papers,

58 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

and has supervised more than 80 graduate students at the ager. Smith joined Conoco in 1968 as a gas lift expert in their Pro-
master’s and PhD levels. duction Engineering Services Group. While at Conoco, he worked
Moore is an SPE Distinguished Member, served as an SPE in several other capacities, including engineering support and
Distinguished Lecturer in 2002–2003, and is an SPE IOR Pio- supervision, construction, field supervision, and management in
neer. Prior to the Canadian Petroleum Society’s amalgamation Houston, Dubai, and Jakarta, until his retirement in 1993.
with SPE, he was chairman of the Calgary Section, a member of In 60 years as an SPE member, Smith has served in numerous
the Board of Governors, and a Distinguished Member. Moore leadership roles, including director and chairman of the Gulf
holds a BSc and PhD in chemical engineering from the Univer- Coast and Jakarta Sections and Southeast Asia regional director.
sity of Alberta. He also spent 12 years on the SPE Gulf Coast Section (GCS) Pro-
duction and Operations Study Group, 20 years in GCS board-
Alexander Neyin is CEO of GACMORK level positions, and 7 years in Indonesia Section board-level
Nigeria. He worked at Chevron Nigeria for positions. He received an SPE Distinguished Member award
28 years before retiring, after which he in 1989, the DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal in 1998,
served briefly at Addax Petroleum Develop- Legion of Honor membership in 2007, the SPE Public Service
ment. Neyin pioneered the first seawater award in 2008, and the Legends of Artificial Lift award in 2016.
reservoir injection project in Nigeria Smith holds a BS in petroleum engineering from the Univer-
through a case study of Chevron’s Meren sity of Louisiana at Lafayette.
field and led a team of engineers and earth scientists to under-
take the first gas utilization study with then-Gulf Oil acreages Dongxiao Zhang is the dean of the College
in Nigeria. of Engineering, director of the Institute of
Neyin received SPE Distinguished Membership in 2011 and Ocean Research, and director of the Insti-
was chairman of the SPE Nigeria Council’s board of trustees in tute of Clean Energy at Peking University in
2012. He was elected SPE International Board Africa regional Beijing, China. Zhang has also worked as a
director in 2003 and was appointed as chairman of career guid- senior scientist at Los Alamos National
ance and student development for SPE from 2002 to 2003. He Laboratory and as a professor at the Uni-
was elected as chairman of the SPE Nigeria Council from 1998 versity of Oklahoma and the University of Southern Califor-
to 1999 and has authored several technical papers. nia. He has authored 2 books and published more than 160
Neyin holds a BS in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M peer-reviewed papers.
University and an MS in petroleum engineering from the Uni- Zhang has been an associate editor for SPE Journal, Water
versity of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette. Resource Research, Advances in Water Resources, SIAM Multi­
scale Modeling and Simulation, the Journal of Computational
Dean Oliver is a principal researcher at Uni Geosciences, and the Vadose Zone Journal. He is a member of
Research CIPR. He previously served as the US National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the
senior reservoir engineer and staff research Geological Society of America. Zhang holds a master’s degree
scientist at Chevron, a professor of petro- and a PhD in hydrology and water resources from the Univer-
leum engineering at the University of Tulsa, sity of Arizona.
and director of the Mewbourne School of
Petroleum and Geological Engineering at
the University of Oklahoma. He is the coauthor of the book SPE Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award
Inverse Theory for Petroleum Reservoir Characterization and
History Matching. The SPE Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award recog-
Oliver served for 11 years as an associate editor of SPE Jour­ nizes contributions to SPE and the exploration and produc-
nal, 4 years as editor-in-chief of all peer-reviewed SPE jour- tion (E&P) industry that exhibit such exceptional devotion
nals and, in addition, has served on numerous SPE commit- of time, effort, thought, and action as to set them apart from
tees. He received the SPE Distinguished Service award in 2010, other contributions.
SPE Distinguished Membership in 2008, and the SPE Reservoir
Description and Dynamics award in 2004. Oliver holds a BS in Amin Nasser is president and CEO of Saudi
physics from Harvey Mudd College and a PhD in Geophysics Aramco and is a member of the company’s
from the University of Washington. board of directors. In more than 30 years
with the company, Nasser has served in a
Sidney S. Smith Sr. is retired from Conoco number of leadership positions including as
and currently serves as an executive director senior vice president for upstream. He is a
of Urban Outreach, a faith-based nonprofit. longtime SPE member and has served on the
He joined Camco in 1958 and coauthored the SPE Industry Advisory Council since 2008. In 2015, he received
company’s Gas Lift Manual and became its the SPE Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal for distinguished
gas lift technical director and products man- achievement in mining administration, including metallurgy

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 59

and petroleum. Nasser holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum sions of engineering and/or geology, and to the petrole-
engineering from the King Fahd University of Petroleum um industry.
and Minerals.
Sameh Macary is a senior petroleum engi-
neer at Dragon Oil. Over the course of more
Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal than 35 years, Macary has worked for aca-
demic institutions, service companies, and
The Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal, established in 1936, recog- operating companies. He previously
nizes achievement in improving the technique and practice of worked as a production engineering advi-
finding and producing petroleum. sor for Chevron Kazakhstan and as a petro-
leum engineering advisor for Chevron Australia. He also spent
Karen Schou Pedersen is the founder and more than 2 years as a consultant to Schlumberger. Macary
managing director of Calsep, a company served as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2007–2008 and
specializing in software and consulting ser- was named Best SPE Section Chairman in the Russian/Caspian
vices to the oil industry within PVT simula- region in 2015. He chaired the SPE Atyrau-Kazakhstan Section
tions for petroleum reservoir fluids. An SPE from 2012 to 2015 and chaired the technical program of the
member since 1984, she has served as a SPE Caspian Conference and Exhibition in 2014. Macary
committee member for SPE workshops in received the SPE Regional Service Award for Reservoir
Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam and is the author of 2 textbooks on Description and Dynamics in the Middle East in 2006. He
phase behavior of petroleum reservoir fluids, as well as more holds a BSc (Hon.) in petroleum engineering from Cairo Uni-
than 50 articles on oil and gas properties. Schou Pedersen holds versity, and an MSc and PhD in petroleum engineering from
a BS in financing from the Copenhagen Business School, an MS the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University.
in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Den-
mark, and a PhD in physical chemistry from the Technical
University of Denmark. Lester C. Uren Award

The Lester C. Uren Award recognizes distinguished achieve-

John Franklin Carll Award ment in the technology of petroleum engineering by a member
who made the contribution before age 45.
The John Franklin Carll Award recognizes contributions of tech-
nical application and professionalism in petroleum develop- Quoc Nguyen is a professor of petroleum
ment and recovery. and geosystems engineering at the Univer-
sity of Texas at Austin, and the Foundation
Mukul Sharma is a professor of petroleum CMG industrial research chair in reservoir
and geosystems engineering at the Univer- engineering. His most recent research pro-
sity of Texas, where he has worked for the gram focused on enhanced oil recovery and
past 32 years. He served as chairman of the hydrocarbon recovery in unconventional
Department of Petroleum and Geosystems reservoirs. He has published more than 140 papers, a book
Engineering from 2001 to 2005. Sharma has chapter, and he holds 6 patents. In 2016, Nguyen received the
published more than 400 journal articles SPE Southwestern North America Region Award for Reservoir
and conference proceedings, and he holds 21 patents. He found- Description and Dynamics. He has spent 15 years as an SPE
ed Austin Geotech Services in 1996 and cofounded Layline technical reviewer. Nguyen holds a BS in chemical engineering
Petroleum and Karsu Petroleum in 2006. Sharma received the from the Vietnam University of Technology, an MS in environ-
Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal in 2009, the Lester C. Uren award mental sciences from Wageningen University, an MBA from
in 2002, and the SPE Faculty Distinguished Achievement award Thailand Asian Institute of Technology, and a PhD in petro-
in 2004. He served as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer. Sharma leum engineering from Delft University.
holds a bachelor of technology degree in chemical engineering
from the Indian Institute of Technology, as well as an MS and a
PhD in chemical and petroleum engineering from the University Robert Earll McConnell Award
of Southern California.
The Robert Earll McConnell Award recognizes beneficial ser-
vice to humanity by engineers through significant contribu-
DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal tions that tend to advance a nation’s standard of living or
replenish its natural resource base.
The DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal recognizes dis-
tinguished and outstanding service to SPE, to the profes-

60 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Charles R. Williams II is the executive was involved in the founding and establishment of the Center
director of the Center for Offshore Safety. of Excellence in Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering at the
He assumed this position following his University of Benin. Matemilola was the 2016–2017 chairman
retirement from Shell, where he worked for the SPE Nigeria Council and secretary of the Nigeria Coun-
for 40 years. He began work with Shell as cil in 2011–2012. He was chairman of SPE Section 103 Port Har-
a production engineer but ultimately court in 2011–2012, leading the section to win SPE’s Most Inno-
served 14 years in various vice presidential vative Section award. Matemilola holds a BSc and MSc in
positions, including vice president of global research and mechanical engineering from the University of Ibadan-Nigeria
development. At the time of his retirement he was global and a PhD in applied mechanics from the University
chief scientist at Shell. Williams has served as chairman of of Cambridge.
the SPE Artificial Lift Forum and served on the Engineering
Professionalism Committee and the Oil and Gas Reserves
Committee. He has also been a part of several SPE Special Distinguished Service Award
Projects, including Human Factors and Worst Case Dis-
charge. He is a recipient of the SPE Health, Safety, Security, The SPE Distinguished Service Award recognizes contribu-
Environment, and Social Responsibility Award. Williams tions to the society that exhibit such exceptional devotion of
holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University time, effort, thought, and action as to set them apart from
of Tennessee. other contributions.

Colin A. Black is managing director of

Charles F. Rand Memorial Award Carjon-NRG. In his 35-year career, he has
worked in offshore drilling, logging, and
The Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal recognizes distin- well testing, serving as operations manager
guished achievement in mining administration, including met- at Petroleum Engineering Services and vice
allurgy and petroleum. president of Optima. Black joined the SPE
Aberdeen Section in 1993 and has helped
Nasir Al-Naimi is the vice president of organize technical programs as well as student career guidance
petroleum engineering and development at and Energy4me education events in locations such as the Unit-
Saudi Aramco. He has served the company ed States, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Ghana, Angola, Nigeria, Norway,
in various leadership capacities, including Australia, and the United Kingdom. He is a member of the SPE
executive director of pipelines, distribution, Global Energy Information and Energy4me committees, and he
and terminals. In 2012, he was appointed as served as a director of SPE Europe from 2011 to 2017. He
the vice president of northern area oil oper- received the SPE North Sea Region Service award in 2010 and
ations, overseeing oil and gas fields in the northern part of 2016. He holds an SVQ Level 5 and an MSc in management from
Saudi Arabia and the Shaybah field in the Empty Quarter. Al- Robert Gordon University.
Naimi has served as chairman of the board of directors for the
SPE Saudi Arabia section and has served on various executive Maria Angela Capello is an executive advi-
committees for MEOS, ADIPEC, and IPTC. He holds a bachelor’s sor for the Kuwait Oil Company, with expe-
degree in petroleum engineering from the University of South- rience in field development and transfor-
ern California. mational management strategies. She
began her career at Petroleos de Venezuela
(PDVSA) as the first female supervisor of
Public Service Award geophysical field operations in the country,
and she ultimately became an oil asset general manager for
The SPE Public Service Award recognizes distinguished public PDVSA. She then worked for Halliburton as subsurface prac-
service to a country, state, community, or the public through tice and operations manager for Latin America and the Middle
excellence in leadership, service, or humanitarianism, provided East. Capello is an SPE Distinguished Lecturer for 2017–2018
the service is above the requirements of employment. and the associate editor of field development for JPT. She
received the SPE Regional Service award in 2014 and Distin-
Saka Matemilola is the chief petroleum guished Membership in 2015. She has authored more than 50
engineer at FIRST Exploration and Petro- papers in peer-reviewed and industry journals and coauthored
leum Development in Lagos, Nigeria. He the book Learned in the Trenches: Insights on Resilience and
previously worked with Shell in various Leadership. She holds a degree in physics from Universidad
roles, including reservoir engineering coach Simon Bolivar and an MS in geophysics from the Colorado
and consultant, hydrocarbon resource man- School of Mines.
agement, and development planning. He

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 61

Frédéric Jean-Bernard Guinot is the drill- Lu Chi is a research scientist and US repre-
ing and completion manager at Geo- sentative at iRock Technologies. She has
Energie Suisse (GES) and a part-time senior more than 10 years of experience in research
production technologist at IS-56. He has and development, with a present focus on
29 years’ experience in drilling and com- digital rock physics, nuclear magnetic reso-
pletion activities. Prior to joining GES and nance petrophysics, and log and core analy-
IS-45, Guinot worked for Addax Petroleum sis. She has been a technical reviewer for
in a variety of positions, including sand control expert, techni- various journals, including SPE Journal and Petrophysics, and
cal auditor, and production technologist. Previously, he the organizer and assistant editor of a special section for SEG
worked for 16 years at Schlumberger. Guinot founded the SPE interpretation from 2015 to 2017. Lu holds a BS in physics from
Swiss Section in 2005 and has been secretary, program chair, Peking University, an MS in material science from the Univer-
and chairman of the section. He is active in the SPE mentoring sity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a PhD in petroleum
program for students and young professionals. He has also engineering from Texas A&M University.
served for 4 years in the SPE International Standing Commit-
tee for membership and received the 2012 SPE Regional Ser- Zoya Heidari is an assistant professor of
vice award for South and Central Europe. Guinot has authored petroleum and geosystems engineering at
and coauthored 10 technical papers and holds 3 US patents in the University of Texas at Austin. Before
the field of well completion. He holds a degree in mechanical joining UT-Austin, she was an assistant pro-
engineering from INSA Lyon. fessor of petroleum engineering at Texas
A&M University. She was the founder and
Anuj Gupta is a team lead for reservoir director of the Texas A&M joint industry
engineering research at the Aramco research program on multiscale formation evaluation and
Research Center-Houston. In this role, he unconventional and carbonate reservoirs from 2012 to 2015.
leads a team of researchers focused on She founded and has been the director of the UT-Austin
development of unconventional gas reser- industry-affiliated research program on multiscale rock physics
voirs. Prior to joining Aramco, Gupta since 2016. An associate editor for the SPE Reservoir Evaluation
served on petroleum engineering faculties and Engineering Journal, Heidari has published more than 100
at various institutions for 21 years, including the University papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.
of Oklahoma, Missouri University of Science and Technology She received the SPE Regional Formation Evaluation award
(formerly University of Missouri-Rolla), Louisiana State Uni- from the Gulf Coast North America and Southwest North Amer-
versity, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Petro- ica regions in 2016 and the SPE Petroleum Engineering Junior
leum Institute, and Texas A&M University in Qatar. Gupta is a Faculty Research Initiation award. She also received the SPE
25-year SPE member, during which he served as a member Innovative Teaching Award in 2015. Heidari holds a PhD in
and chairperson of the committee for the Distinguished petroleum engineering from UT-Austin.
Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty; and
a member of the Continuing Education Committee, the Edu-
cation and Accreditation Committee, and the Engineering Young Member Outstanding Service Award
Professionalism Committee. Gupta holds a BEng in mechani-
cal engineering from Delhi University and an MS and PhD The Young Member Outstanding Service Award recognizes
in  petroleum engineering from the University of Texas contributions to and leadership in the public and community
at Austin. arenas, as well as SPE, the profession, and the industry, by a
member under age 36.

Cedric K. Ferguson Medal Mohamed Abd El-Rahman has been an

SPE volunteer since 2008 through SPE
The SPE Cedric K. Ferguson Medal recognizes professional Suez Canal University student chapter,
achievement in petroleum engineering. The medal is presented where he has moved between several aca-
for the paper written by an SPE member age 35 and under at the demic and organizational committees to
time the paper was peer-approved. The paper being recognized serve the chapter activities in the universi-
is titled “Directional-Permeability Assessment in Formations ty. After his graduation from Suez Canal
With Complex Pore Geometry With a New Nuclear-Magnetic- University, he joined the SPE Egypt Young Professionals as a
Resonance-Based Permeability Model.” student chapter liaison and Energy4me team member, after
which he became technical manager for the SPE Egypt Young
Professionals and, ultimately, was elected vice-chairperson of
the chapter for 2015–2016. In 2015, he received the SPE
Regional Young Member Outstanding Service award for the

62 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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Middle East region. El‑Rahman was appointed as a judge in Augustina Ovuema is a production tech‑
the SPE Student Chapter Award and Section Award Commit‑ nologist in the Department of Petroleum
tee. He holds a BSc in petroleum engineering from Suez Canal Engineering at the Federal University of
University and is currently enrolled in Cairo University for a Petroleum Resources in Nigeria, as well as
master’s degree. a registered engineer with the Council for
the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria.
Ali Alkhatib is currently working with the She is a member of the Center for Research
production planning division in the and Innovation at the university and is a supporting lecturer in
Upstream Development Strategy and drilling courses, maintenance, and calibration of equipment/
Reserves Department at Saudi Aramco. He apparatus, and is involved in the planning of field trips. From
previously worked for Saudi Aramco in a 2013 to 2014, Ovuema served as student affairs liaison officer
variety of roles, including petroleum engi‑ for SPE Warri Nigeria Section and as a member of the planning
neer in reservoir management, researcher committee of the SPE Nigeria Council. She also served on the
at the Advanced Research Center, and coordinator of Saudi council’s Young Professional Planning Committee as a volun‑
Aramco’s Young Leaders Advisory Board in corporate plan‑ teer in 2014. In 2015 and 2016 she was on the committee for
ning. Alkhatib has authored or coauthored 26 technical publi‑ planning and executing the SPE Student Technical Conference
cations, including 7 peer‑reviewed publications. He chaired and Exhibition. She was appointed the Young Professional
the 2016 Saudi Arabia SPE Annual Technical Symposium and chairperson for the Warri Nigeria Section for 2016–2017 and
Exhibition event courses and workshops committee, and he as a co‑chairperson of the SPE Nigeria Council Young Profes‑
served as an organizing member of Saudi Aramco’s participa‑ sional committee. She holds an ND and an HND in petroleum
tion at the 2016 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibi‑ engineering and geosciences from the Petroleum Training
tion. Alkhatib holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineer‑ Institute, a BEng in petroleum and gas engineering and an
ing with management from the University of Edinburgh, and a MSc in production in operations from the University of
master’s and PhD in petroleum engineering from Imperial Port Harcourt.
College London.
Babatunde Yusuf is a project engineer
Alexey Borisenko is a senior technical with Nalcor Energy, having recently transi‑
sales support engineer at Schlumberger. tioned to the position after 5 years as a res‑
He has worked with the company for more ervoir engineer. An SPE member for 14
than 10 years, previously serving as a fluid years, he has made extensive contributions
technical engineer specializing in fractur‑ to SPE at the sectional, regional, and inter‑
ing for Russia and Central Asia, and in national levels. He was a session chair for
cementing for North America. Borisenko the 2015 SPE Deepwater and Harsh Environment Workshop in
was a secretary and president of the SPE Student Chapter, and St. John’s, a committee member of 2017 SPE Production Opti‑
later a program chair and chairperson of the SPE Tyumen Sec‑ mization and Forecasting Workshop in Calgary, and he will
tion, leading it to the 2014 SPE International Award for Out‑ chair one of the sessions during the 2017 SPE Well Integrity
standing Student Support, the 2015 SPE International Award Life Cycle Management for Subsea Field Developments Work‑
for Innovation, and the 2016 and 2017 SPE President’s Awards shop in St. John’s. He founded the Young Professionals Com‑
for Section Excellence. He was a jury member of the Student mittee for the SPE Atlantic Canada Section, where he served as
Paper Contest at the SPE Russian Petroleum Technology Con‑ the pioneer Young Professional Chair. Yusuf is currently the
ference and Exhibition. He received the 2015 SPE Russian and chairperson for the Atlantic Canada section. He received the
the Caspian Region Service Award. Borisenko holds a degree Canadian Region Young Member Outstanding Service Award
in petroleum engineering from the Tyumen State Oil and in 2015 and is also a recipient of the 2017 Canadian Region
Gas University. Service Award. He earned a BEng in petroleum engineering
from University of Benin and an MEng in oil and gas engineer‑
Pringle Egbe is a petroleum software engi‑ ing from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
neer at CypherCrescent and serves as the
2016–2017 Internet chairperson for the
SPE Port Harcourt Section. He developed 4 Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum
activities for SPE, including Energy4Me’s Engineering Faculty
“Train the Trainer.” Egbe holds an MSc in
oil and gas computing from Robert Gordon This award recognizes superior teaching, excellence in
University and a BEng in electrical/electronic engineering research, significant contributions to the petroleum engineer‑
from the University of Port Harcourt. ing profession, and/or special effectiveness in advising and
guiding students.

64 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Ramona Graves is the dean of the College of management. He is a co-principal investigator of the Offshore
Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering Energy Safety Institute (OESI) and cofounded two startup com-
and a professor of petroleum engineering at panies: Genesis RTS and R5 Automation. He is also the CEO of
the Colorado School of Mines. She has an EVO Energy Consulting. At UT-Austin, van Oort is the director of
extensive background in multidisciplinary the Rig Automation Performance Improvement in Drilling
reservoir characterization, rock mechanics, (RAPID) consortium. He received the SPE Drilling and Comple-
environmental issues in petroleum develop- tions Best Paper award in 1996 and was an SPE Distinguished
ment and production, and high-power laser-rock-fluid interac- Lecturer for 1996–1997. Van Oort holds a BS in chemistry and an
tion. Graves received SPE Distinguished Membership in 2009 MS and PhD in chemical physics, all from the University
and began a 3-year term as SPE Director for Academia in 2017. of Amsterdam.
She is a member of the SPE Academic Advisory Committee and
the SPE Research and Development Committee. She also served Formation Evaluation Award
on the SPE International Nominating Committee for president Mark Proett is a senior petroleum engi-
and board members and the SPE Education and Accreditation neering consultant for Aramco Services
Committee. Graves holds a BS in math and physics from Kear- Company, Upstream Group. Prior to join-
ney State College and a PhD in petroleum engineering from the ing Aramco 4 years ago, Proett worked at
Colorado School of Mines. Halliburton for 33 years, holding various
roles in technology including global tech-
nical advisor for formation testing and
SPE Technical Awards sampling. He is best known for his publications advocating
the viability of formation-testing-while-drilling, which was
These awards recognize outstanding achievement or contri- introduced in 2002. He is also known for developing new
butions to the advancement of petroleum engineering in the methods of pressure transient analysis, such as the oval probe
areas of the technical disciplines. and focused sampling that improve sample quality while
reducing rig time. Proett is a former chair of the SPE Pressure
Completions Optimization and Technology Award Transient Testing Committee. He has also served on the SPE
D.V. Satya Gupta is a Baker Hughes, a GE Reservoir Description and Dynamics Committee and on
Company, Technology Fellow and previous-
ly served as business director of technology
for pressure pumping. He has more than 38 Purchase Your Copy Today
years’ experience in oilfield chemical prod-
uct development and applications, and he
has helped develop several technologies Low-Energy Processes for
including encapsulated breakers, polymer-specific enzyme Unconventional Oil Recovery
breakers, and ultralightweight proppants. He has coauthored
by Mohammad Reza Fassihi and Anthony R. Kovscek
chapters on fracturing fluids in the book Modern Fracturing as
well as the SPE monograph on hydraulic fracturing and 70 pub-
lished papers. He is on the SPE editorial board and an SPE Dis- This monograph addresses
reservoir engineering, low-energy
tinguished Lecturer for 2014–2015. Gupta was a member of the recovery processes, and resource
2012 SPE Forum Series in Europe Committee (“Advanced Chem- access challenges for abundant
icals and Fluids for the Oilfield”), received SPE Gulf Coast Sec- unconventional oil. This includes
tion Volunteer of the Month honors in April 2013, and co- bitumen, shale, heavy, and viscous oil.
chaired the 2017 SPE Forum on waterless fracturing. He holds a It works through the easier to
doctor of science degree in chemical engineering from Wash- implement options such as heavy-oil
ington University in St. Louis. solution gas drive, mobility control,
and solvents to the more difficult to
design and engineer processes.
Drilling Engineering Award
It also emphasizes the application of new technologies for
Eric van Oort is a professor of petroleum
frequently occurring challenges when seeking environmentally
engineering at the University of Texas at friendly processes.
Austin. He previously worked at Royal Dutch
Shell in a variety of senior technical and www.spe.org/go/LowEnergy
managerial roles over a 20-year period,
including research scientist; deepwater
drilling advisor on f­luids and cement; and
manager of unconventional well technology associated with
drilling automation, improved hydraulic fracturing, and water

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 65

numerous SPE Advanced Technology Workshops throughout since 1988, at Heriot-Watt. His current research focuses on
his career. He was designated an SPE Distinguished Lecturer the fundamentals of multiphase flow through porous media;
for 2006–2007 and 2017–2018. In 2013, he received the SPE oilfield chemistry, particularly mineral scale formation and
Gulf Regional Formation Evaluation award. Proett holds a BS control; and enhanced oil recovery both by gas injection and
in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland chemical methods. Sorbie was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer
and an MS from Johns Hopkins University. for 2000–2001 and received the SPE Improved Oil Recovery
(IOR) Pioneer Award in 2008. He holds a first degree in
Health, Safety, Security, Environment, chemistry from Strathclyde University and a PhD in theoreti-
and Social Responsibility Award cal chemistry and applied mathematics from the University
J. Jack Hinton is the chief health, safety, and of Sussex.
environment (HSE) officer of Baker Hughes,
a GE Company. Prior to joining the company Projects, Facilities, and Construction Award
in 2005, he spent 2 years as a dean and pro- Jean-François Saint-Marcoux is an indus-
fessor at the Kazakhstan Institute of Man- try consultant. He spent 40 years working
agement, Economics, and Strategic Re- in engineering and engineering manage-
search. Hinton previously spent 26 years at ment, with a specialty in flow assurance
Texaco serving in leadership roles that included director of envi- and hydrodynamics, contributing to the
ronment, health, and safety, and vice president of international design of deepwater riser systems. After 2
petroleum. Hinton started his career as a field engineer with years with Cameron as a wellhead engi-
Procon, a subsidiary of Universal Oil Products, building a vacu- neer, he joined ETPM first as a topsides project engineer and
um pipe still at the Texas City Refinery. He currently serves on later as manager of engineering. He chaired numerous in-
the SPE HSSE-SR Advisory Committee and was a member of the house project expert committees, including Total Girassol,
SPE International HSE Conference Executive and Program Com- Pazflor and CLOV, ExxonMobil Ehra, Shell Bonga, BP Greater
mittees in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017. He co-chaired the 2014 Plutonio, and Petrobras Guara Sapihnoa. Saint-Marcoux has
SPE International HSE Conference Management Committee and served as a member of the board of SPE-France and a member
has been actively affiliated with the committee and the confer- of the OTC programming committee. He holds an ingénieur
ence since 1998. He holds a BS in biology and chemistry from degree from Ecole Centrale de Lyon, an MS in Mechanical
Trevecca Nazarene University, an MS in environmental sciences Engineering from Caltech, and a docteur-ingénieur degree in
and a doctorate in occupational health from UT-Austin. physical oceanography from UPMC Sorbonne Universités.

Management and Information Award Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award

Reidar Bratvold is a professor of invest- Tayfun Babadagli is a professor of civil
ment and decision analysis at the Univer- and environmental engineering for the
sity of Stavanger and the Norwegian Insti- School of Mining and Petroleum Engineer-
tute of Technology. His research interests ing at the University of Alberta, where he
include decision analysis, project valua- holds an NSERC Industrial Research Chair
tion, portfolio analysis, real-option valua- in Unconventional Oil Recovery. Babadagli
tion, and behavioral challenges in decision previously served on the faculty at Istanbul
making. Prior to joining academia, Bratvold spent 15 years in Technical University in Turkey and Sultan Qaboos University
the industry in various technical and management roles. He is in Oman. He was an executive editor for the SPE Reservoir
a coauthor of the SPE book Making Good Decisions and has Evaluation and Engineering journal from 2010 to 2013 and
served as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on three occasions. was named an SPE Distinguished Member in 2013. Babadagli
He is the executive editor for the SPE Economics and Manage- currently serves on the JPT editorial board. He received SPE
ment Journal. Bratvold holds a PhD in petroleum engineering Outstanding Technical Editor awards in 2002 and 2008, and
and an MSc in mathematics, both from Stanford University, an Outstanding Service award in 2010, and SPE’s “A Peer Apart”
MSc in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, award in 2013. He holds BS and MS degrees from Istanbul
and has business and management science education from Technical University and MS and PhD degrees from the Uni-
INSEAD and Stanford University. versity of Southern California, all in petroleum engineering.

Production and Operations Award

Kenneth Sorbie is a professor for the Distinguished Members
Institute of Petroleum Engineering at
Heriot-Watt University. He has worked in SPE Distinguished Membership recognizes SPE members
oil-related research for more than 37 years, whose achievements and/or service to the society are deemed
first with the Department of Energy (now worthy of special recognition. SPE members become Dis-
DECC) Laboratory at AEE Winfrith and, tinguished Members once they become a past president of

66 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Abu-Khamsin Al-Afaleg Balhoff Bashbush Black de Wardt Edet

Flew Hanson Honarpour Guinot Gupta Liu Macary

Matemilola Mody Morita Nguyen Ogedegbe Ortwein Paul

Reed Pedersen Sur Weijermars Williams Zhang Ziauddin

SPE or the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Anuj Gupta, Saudi Aramco, Katy, Texas, USA
Petroleum Engineers; an SPE Honorary Member; a recipi- Hui-hai Liu, Aramco Research Center, Houston, Texas, USA
ent of the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal, John Franklin Carll Sameh M. Macary, Dragon Oil Ltd,, Perth, Western Australia
Award, Lester C. Uren Award, Charles F. Rand Memorial Saka Matemilola, First Exploration & Petroleum Development
Gold Medial, Robert Earll McConnell Award, DeGolyer Dis- Company, Lagos, Nigeria
tinguished Service Medal, Public Service Award, or Distin- Rustom Mody, BHGE, Houston, Texas, USA
guished Service Award; or if they are elected by the SPE Board Nobuo Morita, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas,
of Directors. USA
Quoc Nguyen, Universtiy of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas,
Sidqi Abu-khamsin, King Fahd University, Dhahran, USA
Saudi Arabia Okurerie Ogedegbe, Shell Petroleum Development Nigeria,
Nabeel Al-afaleg, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Matthew Balhoff, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, Sara Ortwein, XTO Energy, Ft. Worth, Texas
USA Donald Paul, University of Southern California, Los Angeles,
Jose Bashbush, National University of Mexico, Mexico City, California, USA
Mexico Teri Reed, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Colin Black, Carjon NRG Ltd., Inverurie, UK Karen Schou Pedersen, Calsep A/S, Lyngby, Denmark
John de Wardt, De Wardt and Company, Steamboat Springs, Sidhartha Sur, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Ahmedabad,
Colorado, USA India
Effiom Edet, Baba Energy Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria Ruud Weijermars, Texas A&M University, College Station,
Steve Flew, Petrofac Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Texas, USA
Barrett Hanson, Sproule, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Charles R. Williams II, Center for Offshore Safety, Cypress,
Mehdi Matt Honarpour, BHP Billiton, Houston, Texas, USA Texas, USA
Frédéric J. Guinot, Geo-Energie Suisse AG, Zürich, Dongxiao Zhang, Peking University, Beijing City, China
Switzerland Murtaza Ziauddin, Schlumberger, Sugar Land, Texas, USA

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 67

Fifty Years of TUDRP
Gail Banzet-Ellis, The University of Tulsa

a low-pressure flow loop, advanced cut-

tings transport facility, drillpipe/coiled
tubing buckling facility, full-scale testing
rig, drillpipe fatigue testing facility, fluids
characterization laboratory, small and
large indoor flow loops, shale-fluid inter-
action test cell, triaxial rock mechan-
ics testing facility, and others. The con-
sortium team includes eight TU faculty
members as well as research technicians,
several consultants, and research assis-
tants. To date, 170 projects have been
completed, and 14 are in progress.
“We can call on mechanical engineer-
ing, electrical engineering, or other
departments from TU’s College of Engi-
neering when we need help,” Miska said.
Stefan Miska (left) passed “We’re not just by ourselves, and we have
on the directorship to Evren full support around the campus.”
Ozbayoglu in July 2017.
James R. Sorem Jr., dean of TU’s Col-
lege of Engineering and Natural Sciences,

M any professionals in today’s drill-

ing engineering industry can trace
their careers back to a historic research
ing that specialized in drilling while also
promoting academics,” Azar said.
TUDRP grew to more than a dozen
has collaborated with TUDRP in the past.
“One of our biggest strengths is the
synergy of our scientists and engineers,”
facility in Tulsa. One of the oldest drill- members with worldwide recognition, Sorem said. “We’re a part of one unit,
ing consortia in the world, The Univer- and by the late 1980s, more than 25 com- and there are significant opportunities
sity of Tulsa Drilling Research Project, panies were involved. among all of our disciplines.”
TUDRP, is celebrating 50 years and is Azar led TUDRP for 22 years while TUDRP is not immune to the challeng-
poised to continue its tradition for anoth- teaching drilling courses to hundreds es of today’s industry, but Miska said the
er 5 decades. of students and helping them publish organization respects oil’s cyclical nature
TUDRP is the concept of legendary technical papers as a direct result of the and keeps pushing harder to advance
TU professor Kermit Brown who initially research at TUDRP. drilling technology and minimize costs.
established the consortium. A nonprof- Professor Stefan Miska, who initially “This makes our industry relationships
it cooperative between industry part- taught at New Mexico Tech, joined TU in even stronger during these challenging
ners and university associates, TUDRP 1992 and succeeded Azar as TUDRP direc- times,” he said.
conducts basic and applied research to tor in 1996. Miska continued to focus on TUDRP membership currently includes
advance drilling technology. Students Azar’s priorities while also expanding the 15 oil and service companies from the US
gain experience in the industry while part- research. The development of a flow loop and abroad. Members visit TU’s North
ners benefit from the research developed. system by Azar provided a location for Campus biannually for advisory board
Professor B.J. Livesay was the group’s first new experiments, and Miska was eager to meetings. Updates on current projects are
director and welcomed a small group of implement additional applications. presented, and members provide valuable
industry partners. Livesay left the pro- “I wanted to do more for the drilling feedback and improvement suggestions.
gram in 1972, and John Day served as industry,” he said. “I wanted to devel- “We listen to our members, and we
interim director until J.J. Azar accept- op something that would be unique act accordingly,” Miska said. “We’re
ed the permanent role. Azar arrived at and useful.” focused on optimization and automa-
TU in 1965 as an assistant professor in TUDRP began looking at all aspects of tion. We are aiming for the future of the
aerospace engineering. As director, he drilling mechanics and introduced new drilling industry.”
reached out to major oil corporations, tools such as the Rock Mechanics Facil- According to Senior Associate Director
independents, contractors, and suppliers. ity to better understand factors affecting Nicholas Takach, research projects are
“We were the only existing cooperative the drilling rate and ultimately drilling validated and prioritized through a strict
research program in petroleum engineer- costs. Current TUDRP resources include vetting process.

68 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

The faculty, research technicians, and assistants
of TUDRP at TU’s historic North Campus.

“Members are aware that our proj- nies hiring our past students are always On 1 July, Evren Ozbayoglu became the
ects provide tangible deliverables,” he impressed with the level of skills and new director of TUDRP. Miska retired
said. “Each project starts with a state- knowledge they have of the oil industry.” from the directorship but will continue
ment of the problem, and members J.C. Cunha, technical director of man- teaching. Ozbayoglu received his doctor-
know the expected results at the end of agement and information for the Soci- ate from TU in 2002. After teaching in
the project.” ety of Petroleum Engineers, was Mis- Turkey for a few years, he returned to
TUDRP requires research assistants to ka’s first doctoral student at TU. He has TUDRP in 2009.
meet the academic challenges of theo- enjoyed a long career with Petrobras, the “Looking back on the past 50 years, we
retical development while also under- University of Alberta, Ecopetrol, and the are well-known around the world for our
standing practical research principles US Bureau of Safety and Environmen- drilling research,” Ozbayoglu said. “My
of the industry. The consortium focus- tal Enforcement while keeping a close major goal is to maintain that.”
es on long-term research ideas deemed relationship with TUDRP. Cunha helped Much like Miska, Ozbayoglu plans to
beneficial to its members. Hundreds of build the consortium’s horizontal buck- promote TUDRP to current and future
graduate students conducted research ling facility and published several papers members. He understands the importance
on TUDRP projects while successfully on the technology. of tackling hot topics in today’s industry.
acquiring masters and PhD degrees in “It’s hard in academia to attract sup- Challenges that arose 20 years ago still
petroleum engineering. port from companies, but TUDRP has are researched today but with new meth-
“We knew we could count on their per- always provided one of the best cost/ben- odologies and technologies. Representa-
formance, and it was easy to show con- efit relationships when you consider the tives from each member company serve
tinued success with TUDRP,” said Rhonda relatively small annual membership and as champions of TUDRP—professionals
Jacobs, a past employee of the US Depart- the fantastic results provided,” he said. who are TU alumni and strengthen the
ment of Energy National Energy Technol- Robello Samuel, a Halliburton Re- consortium’s business relations.
ogy Laboratory who worked closely with search Fellow, also earned his doctorate TUDRP has made essential contribu-
TUDRP for several years. under the mentorship of Miska. Samuel tions to the oil and gas industry in the past
“They knew how to transform students has written several books and received 50 years, and Ozbayoglu said the organi-
into future experts and keep stockholders SPE’s Drilling Engineering Award zation will continue to adapt and directly
engaged,” Jacobs said. in 2016. serve the world’s energy companies.
Associate Director Mengjiao Yu has “TUDRP provided a platform to net- “We focus on developing projects that
worked for TUDRP at the North Campus work and gave me a head start in the are applicable in the field to answer ques-
for 15 years. industry,” he said. “I gained a more in- tions in industry,” he said. “That’s what
“We are proud of our results and our depth understanding of research, and I made our past successful. That’s what will
research assistants,” Yu said. “Compa- found my love for teaching.” direct our future.” JPT

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 69


Field Development Projects

Maria A. Capello, SPE, Executive Adviser, Kuwait Oil Company

The new dynamics and strategies of field Interweaved forces same time or with environmentally chal-
development are marked more than lenged production systems.
ever by the profitability considerations of precarious equilibrium The papers selected typify this new
imposed by an extended period of low affect field development trend and exemplify several of the chal-
oil prices. The new market scenario has lenges experienced in new and mature
apparently cornered producers from the
and redevelopment plans. oil fields. Paper SPE 181598 showcases
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting challenges for offshore redevelopment in
Countries to maintain their production the Middle East to extend production for
volumes because reducing production to has acquired prime weight. Early assess- 25 years. Paper IPTC 18984 accounts for
raise oil prices would trigger profitability ments of the future reservoir response to an incipient shale development in China,
levels for shale oil and nonconventional enhanced-recovery systems need more- and paper SPE 182269 departs from the
producers. Interweaved forces of precar- detailed, -reliable, and -precise fore- conventional net-present-value maximi-
ious equilibrium affect field development casts to enable decisions of ever-more- zation and capital-expenditure minimi-
and redevelopment plans. demanding investors and stakeholders in zation to explore alternative options for
The papers presented at main SPE international and national oil companies. subsea-production-systems design.
conferences are grounded in this real- Development/redevelopment plans for The industry is evolving to a more
ity, and I found that a staggering num- new and established oil fields of any kind factual approach to profitability, with
ber of articles by researchers and service undergo a detailed screening of future emphasis in modeling the long-term
and producing companies are related performance in low-price scenarios, and scenarios with detail. And this applies
to theoretical and real-data economic further challenges to cost arise when pro- for developments in both mature and
modeling, with approaches rarely seen ducing from frontier areas or from reser- new fields. JPT
before, where the long-term profitability voirs with different maturity levels at the

Maria A. Capello, SPE, is an executive adviser with the Kuwait Oil Recommended additional reading
Company (KOC) for the North Kuwait Asset, advancing strategic at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
initiatives in reservoir-management best practices for all assets SPE 182632 Model-Based Well-Location
of KOC and diversity for all companies upstream and down- Optimization—A Robust Approach
stream of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation holding. She is an by B.A. Ramirez, Shell, et al.
experienced consultant for the oil and gas industry and an OTC 27592 Johan Sverdrup—Creating a
expert in field-development and -monitoring strategies. Capello Unique Environment for Successful Drilling
has worked in Latin America, the United States, and the Middle Operations in an Accelerating Spotlight
East. She holds a licentiate degree in physics from Simon Bolívar University and an Project by Jákup Øregaard, Statoil, et al.
MS degree in geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines. Capello holds an honor- SPE 184848 Optimizing Well Spacing and
ary lifetime membership from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and has Well Performance in the Piceance Basin
received its Distinguished Member and Regional Service awards. She serves on the Niobrara Formation by N. Li, Black Hills
JPT Editorial Committee and can be reached at mcapello@kockw.com. Exploration and Production, et al.

70 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Field Life Extension in Abu Dhabi
Through Hybrid Development Concept

F ield A, a giant field consisting of

many subreservoirs, is offshore
Abu Dhabi and has produced for
ing surface facilities and pipelines, and
challenging drilling circumstances.
These complexities differentiate the
nologies. Additional water-injection
reinforcement is planned in the middip
area for further pressure support.
50 years, mainly through peripheral development project from other off-
water injection. A long-term shore projects, and an appropriate se- Development-Plan Overview
development plan (LDP) for the field lection of drilling centers is one of the and Challenging Environment
aims to extend the production plateau more important keys to project success. Overview of LDP. Because of the dif-
by 25 years through infill drilling and ferent natures of the reservoirs and the
waterfloods. This paper describes an Field and Development History different maturity levels with respect to
approach for optimizing the number The field of carbonate reservoirs is in the ongoing development, Reservoirs
and type of drilling centers required shallow water. The field is 40×20 km, L1 and L2 are developed with differ-
to enable the development plan to be and different reservoirs have been de- ent schemes. Reservoir L1 development
flexible in design to accommodate veloped by two different operators. The continues the peripheral water injec-
infrastructure, facilities, drilling, and stack of reservoirs is divided into shal- tion, with a line of water injectors at
subsurface constraints. lower reservoirs (U Reservoirs) and the middip area dividing the field into
deeper reservoirs (L Reservoirs). two parts and enhancing pressure sup-
Introduction The L Reservoirs are geologically di- port. Gas injection from the crest will
Field A, a giant carbonate field, has vided into two major reservoirs, L1 and be reinforced with an increasing injec-
been developed for 50 years. As the field L2, which have been developed similar- tion rate using existing wells and facili-
reaches maturity, it moves to another ly. The development began with natu- ties. Reservoir L2 will be developed ini-
phase of development. Design of the ral production with original reservoir tially with a five-spot water-injection
next development phase, the LDP, began energy. Beginning in the 1970s, pres- pattern, followed by an inverted-nine-
in the early 2010s. The LDP assessment sure maintenance through dump flood- spot pattern of water injection with full
stage, which screened the surface and water injection by connecting the tar- gas lift.
subsurface development concept, was get reservoirs with a shallow aquifer This development plan requires new
recently completed, and the develop- was conducted for 10 years. For fur- infill drilling of 180 wells, both oil pro-
ment planning team is preparing for ther reservoir-pressure maintenance, ducers and water injectors. Pipelines,
the selection stage. The assessment- powered peripheral water injection water-injection-capacity upgrade, gas
stage conclusion was for drilling from was started, and the development lift equipment installation, and 
artificial islands (AIs), wellhead towers scheme has been continuous, with re- processing-facility construction are
(WHTs), or a combination of both and inforced pressure maintenance through also needed. These 180 wells can be
leaves a degree of freedom. This paper immiscible gas injection from the drilled from AIs or from steel structures
describes the optimization approach of top structure. such as WHTs. Deciding the optimal
the drilling-center options. Currently, the field development calls number and type of drilling centers is
The LDP is just the first phase of a for increasing the density of peripher- the focus of this paper.
large-scale long-span offshore reservoir al water injectors and infill producers,
redevelopment that aims for a further with improvements in injectivity and Challenging Circumstance for Rede-
50 years of production. The complexity productivity achieved through well hor- velopment. To implement the devel-
of the field is significant because of lim- izontalization and control of fluid distri- opment plan successfully, the following
ited seabed space, the age of the exist- bution with advanced completion tech- challenges must be managed properly:
◗ Seabed space is already occupied by
pipelines, and the available space for
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
future development is limited.
of paper SPE 181598, “Prospective Unlocking of Future Reserves in Offshore Abu Dhabi: ◗ Aging facilities need to be replaced.
Field-Life Extension Through Hybrid Development Concept,” by T. Nakashima, SPE, ◗ The U Reservoirs have been and will
D. Ouzzane, SPE, G. Dudley, SPE, and M. Al-Marzouqi, ADMA-OPCO, prepared for be developed differently than the L
the 2016 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dubai, 26–28 September. Reservoirs because of their different
The paper has not been peer reviewed. natures.

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 71

Don’t Related to the first and second points,
the seabed needed for surface-facility de-
ber of candidates. At this stage, three op-
tions out of seven were eliminated be-

let your velopment is already quite occupied with

many pipelines, steel structures, and AIs
from previous development.
cause of seabed obstruction or conflicts
with existing facilities.
The drilling-feasibility study provides
SPE member Empty slots remain, however, on the
existing WHTs, and those 180 new wells
opportunities to eliminate other drilling-
center options. Technical drilling limita-
could be drilled from there. Maximum tions constitute the first screening crite-
benefits use of existing WHTs is a preferable op-
tion purely from a short-term econom-
ria, and a few options are expected to be
dropped at this stage. The study also pro-

run dry. ic point of view. The option, however,

is not encouraging because the existing
WHTs are already aged (the majority of
vides an estimate of drilling duration and
cost for all of the wells. Drilling duration
is used to evaluate the effect on produc-
those towers were constructed in the tion profile. The production profile and
1980s) and their continued use for an ad- drilling cost are then included in an eco-
ditional 50 years without integrity issues nomics calculation.
seems unlikely. The final stage of the work flow is the
Membership in the Creating new drilling centers (WHTs selection of the optimal drilling-center
or AIs) would be a more-realistic op- options. All outcomes from drilling fea-
Society of Petroleum tion. Nevertheless, the number and type sibility, production profiles, and proj-
of drilling centers must be decided care- ect economics are integrated, and a few
Engineers is a fully because seabed space is already ­drilling-center options continue to the
continuous well of quite limited. selection stage.
With respect to the third point, dif-
career-enhancing ferent reservoir characteristics require Drilling-Feasibility Study. Drilling Dif-
different development concepts. The U ficulty. The first two drilling-center op-
opportunities for Reservoirs consist of tight reservoirs and tions were analyzed by creating trajec-
require smaller well spacing and more tories and designing well structures for
E&P professionals. reservoir contact. This results in dense each well. The hybrid options were eval-
well drilling and longer well trajectories. uated on the basis of lessons learned
Whether you want to enhance your The LDP wells must avoid intersecting from the first two options.
knowledge, expand your network, or existing wells and faults. Ideally, drilling As a representation of drilling diffi-
develop your leadership skills, it pays centers should be distributed sufficiently culty, the directional difficulty index is
to remain engaged with SPE. to cover all the target points with as few used. This index is an empirical index
departure wells as possible to minimize based on industry experience and rep-
Stay connected to all that SPE the risk of intersection. resents well complexity computed using
has to offer: the trajectories.
Integrated Drilling-Center Drilling Duration. Drilling duration
Publications and Journals
Optimization was also estimated for all the scenarios.
Events and Training Courses The assessment phase concluded that the Wells were placed in one of seven classes
following three options are technically on the basis of departure, and drilling du-
Local Section Activities and economically robust: ration for each well was estimated using
◗◗ 27 WHTs (WHT option) historical drilling experience.
Volunteer Opportunities
◗◗ Three AIs plus two WHTs (AI
Online Communities and Resources option) Drilling-Center Effects on Production
◗◗ Combination of WHTs and AIs Profile. Reservoir simulation was per-
(hybrid option) formed to evaluate the effect on produc-
The locations of the drilling centers tion of each drilling-center option. Inde-
Keep your SPE member benefits are chosen considering subsurface target pendent reservoir models were used for
producing for you. locations so that the distance from the Reservoirs L1 and L2.
drilling center to the well is as small as Drilling is assumed to start 1 year
Renew today at possible. Fig. 1 shows well and drilling- before the first oil from the LDP. The
www.spe.org/go/17Renew. center locations for the first two cases. drilling sequence is based on rig loca-
It is assumed that 100 slots are available tion (not to allow rigs to move from
on each AI and 12 slots are available on one drilling center to another without
each WHT. completing all wells) and is consistent
Before the drilling-feasibility study, with the estimated duration from the
preliminary screening reduced the num- drilling-­feasibility study.


Target of oil producer Target of water injector WHT AI

Fig. 1—Drilling-center options for 27 WHTs (left) and three AIs plus 2 WHTs (right). Black solid lines connecting well
target and drilling center represent well/drilling-center relation but not trajectory. Well target locations are common for
both drilling-center options.

Selection of Optimal Drilling-Center field-development concepts and ◗ Flexibility should be built in for
Options. The options with more drill- production profiles is an important expandability of surface facilities
ing centers are more advantageous for step in the optimization loop. to extend field life. JPT
drilling feasibility and oil production;
however, other aspects such as ease of
workover, logistics, expandability, and
capital expenditure should be consid-
ered. For this, a dedicated team was
established that consisted of reser-
Lenzing OptiFil®
voir engineers, drilling engineers, and
Automatic Filtration in Oil & Gas
planning engineers. The team had sev-
eral discussions regarding the findings
of the drilling-feasibility study and the
reservoir-simulation work to summarize
technical advantages and challenges.

The work flow discussed in this paper
has been used to optimize the number
and type of drilling centers. By integrat- Filtration of completion fluids Filtration of produced water
ing outcomes from the drilling-feasibility
study, reservoir simulation, economics, Prefiltration of nano-filtration or RO Filtration of fracking water
and net-present-value evaluation, optimal
drilling-center options can be selected. Oil production Refinery Oil platform
The approach followed in this project
study revealed the following lessons:
◗ Integration of different functions
and disciplines early in the project
phase is paramount in field-
development planning before Sugar cane / beets White sugar
project sanction. Lenzing Technik GmbH ▪ 4860 Lenzing, Austria ▪ Tel.: +43 (0) 7672 701-3479
◗ A study of the feasibility of complex Fax: +43 (0) 7672 918-3479 ▪ E-Mail: filter-tech@lenzing.com ▪ www.lenzing-technik.com

trajectories and their effect on

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 73

3D Full-Field and Pad Geomechanics Models
Aid Shale Gas Field Development in China

T he oilfield-development plan
(ODP) for a shale gas field at the
southern edge of the Sichuan Basin
shown in Fig. 1. Drilling pads for shale
gas developments are commonly lo-
cated in narrow valleys that are often
geomechanics and its role at various
scales during the progress of the ODP
is vital. This paper describes the devel-
in China started in early 2014. The home to farmland and residential vil- opment of 3D full-field geomechanics
first wells drilled in the field and its lages with dense populations. Differ- models and high-resolution 3D pad geo-
adjacent blocks experienced significant ences of elevation among neighboring mechanics models and their engineer-
challenges, such as severe mud losses, pads can be from several hundred me- ing applications.
stuck tools, losses in the hole, high ters to more than 1000  m. To speed
treating pressure, and unexpected up development of marine shale gas Geomechanics-Modeling
screenout. Because an accurate in the Sichuan Basin and its adjacent Approach
understanding of geomechanics and areas with a minimized learning curve, A topographic and geological survey of
its roles at various scales is vital, 3D a geoscience-to-production integration the study field and its adjacent blocks
full-field and pad geomechanics models of research, engineering, and opera- suggests that this area may have been
were developed for achieving efficiency tion with its associated research and de- affected significantly by four major
and effectiveness in implementing velopment, methodologies, and work tectonic movements, which resulted
the ODP. flows must be applied. This geoscience- in extreme structural complexity and
to-production integration aims to opti- natural-fracture systems.
Introduction mize both efficiency and effectiveness Dense faults, which can be seen in
The Ordovician-Silurian Wufeng-Longmaxi dynamically at single-well, pad, and seismic data, are just some of the struc-
hot shale is an emerging shale gas play field scales with systematic and con- tural complexities. Numerous subseis-
in China. tinuous optimization of technologies mic structures, or microfolds, and rich
Currently, the major exploration and and solutions and the accumulation of multiscale natural fractures complicate
development activities of the play are knowledge and experience to enhance the structure further.
in the Sichuan Basin and its adjacent well productivity. To achieve reasonable geomechanics
areas. For shale gas development in the One shale gas field, which is the study models with increasing accuracy and
Sichuan Basin and its adjacent areas, area of this paper, is in the mountainous reliability, this study takes an approach
using the megascale, high-density, and area at the southern edge of the Sich- that includes the following procedures:
continuous and regular pad drilling as uan Basin. The first wells drilled in this ◗ An extensive characterization
is used in North America is difficult field and its adjacent blocks experienced of mechanical properties was
because surface and subsurface condi- significant geomechanics-associated conducted by the evaluation of
tions are significantly different from challenges, such as severe mud losses, cores and well logs and integration
those of the well-known North Ameri- tools or drillingpipe sticking, losses in with seismic data.
can shale plays. the hole, high treating pressure while ◗ Multiscale geomechanics modeling
The strong environmental and so- hydraulic fracturing, and unexpected was conducted at the full-field,
cial constraints that typify the Sich- screenout of fracturing stages. Having pad, and single-well scales
uan Basin and surrounding area are reliable yet evolving understanding of with different resolutions and
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains ◗ Live modeling was performed with
highlights of paper IPTC 18984, “Three-Dimensional Full-Field and Pad iterative updating and validation.
◗ Systematic quality control was
Geomechanics Modeling Assists Effective Shale Gas Field Development, Sichuan
performed with all available data
Basin, China,” by Liang Xing, PetroChina; Xian Chenggang, SPE, Schlumberger;
continuously and promptly.
Shu Honglin, PetroChina; Chen Xin, Schlumberger; Zhang Jiehui, PetroChina;
The geomechanics-modeling efforts
Wen Heng, Schlumberger; Wang Gaocheng, PetroChina; and Wang Lizhi, Guo began with high-resolution structur-
Haixiao, Zhao Chunduan, Luo Fang, and Qiu Kaibin, SPE, Schlumberger, al, geological, reservoir-property, and
prepared for the 2016 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Bangkok, multiscale natural-fracture models.
Thailand, 14–16 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2016 A live modeling approach was applied
International Petroleum Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission. for Earth modeling. Three-dimensional

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

74 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Fig. 1—Typical geography and surface conditions in the mountainous area of the southern Sichuan Basin. Both images
show farmlands and dense population in valleys and limited infrastructure. The selection of pad locations for shale gas
development presents huge challenges technically, economically, and environmentally.

full-field, high-resolution pad geome- progressed. This paper focuses on the surements were used to estimate pore
chanics modeling was part of the Earth geomechanics modeling. pressure in shale. A 3D sonic veloc-
modeling. Multiscale models for the One very important parameter for ity model, built using a velocity ver-
full field, a pad, and single wells were geomechanics modeling is the pore ticalization process for horizontal
used for drilling, completion, and pro- pressure of this shale formation. In wells, supplies crucial information for
duction applications as development this study, logs from acoustic mea- the creation of a pore-pressure model.

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In the studied field, anisotropic sonic shut-in pressures, flowback data, and Simulations of wellbore stabilities and
measurements were acquired for four well shut-in pressures. a safe mud window that integrated the
pilot wells before the first version of In this study, real-time drilling data 3D pore-pressure-prediction model and
the geomechanics modeling was con- for all drilled wells were referenced to geomechanics stress results enabled
ducted. More acoustic logs were mea- help identify the changes in pore pres- incorporating optimized mud weight into
sured from logging-while-drilling sonic sure in response to drilling mud weight. well planning and drilling development.
tools in horizontal wells. Although only Together with total-gas observations, In this study, the 3D geomechanics
monopole sonic was measured, com- key evidence was supplied for the inter- models were widely used in engineered
pressional slowness, especially its mea- pretation of the relationship between completions such as staging, perfora-
surement in the horizontal section of mud weight and pore pressure. tion clustering, and pumping schedules;
wells, revealed the horizontal compres- Finally, an advanced finite-element real-time monitoring and adjustments
sion characteristic of the formation and simulator was used to compute 3D stress of hydraulic fracturing; engineered
could be used in building the 3D sonic distribution and multiscale natural- flowback and testing design; post-
velocity model. fracture models. The large model fracturing review and analysis of
Sonic logs indicate that the (80×80-m cells) covers the full field, hydraulic-fracturing operations; and
Wufeng-Longmaxi shale formation is and the pad model (20×20-m cells) cov- hydraulic-fracturing-effectiveness anal-
overpressurized. ers a 15- to 20-km2 area. All have 0.5-m ysis and fracturing-design optimization
Considering the limitation of using vertical resolution of the targeted sweet calibrated by production data.
acoustic measurements for pore- section to capture vertical heterogene-
pressure prediction in the Wufeng- ities measured from logs. Large-scale Conclusions
Longmaxi hot shale formation, which parallel-computing technology was used Three-dimensional geomechanics mod-
has complex overpressure mechanisms, to perform the massive geomechanical els for the full field and for well pads,
multiple methods were used for qual- modeling. The models were calibrated with different scales and resolutions,
ity control. These efforts were based on or constrained by all available data. were established in a shale gas field.
thorough analysis of different data re- The live-model method was used to im-
sources, including mud pressures and Field Applications prove the accuracy and reliability of
mud-gas logs, drilling events, prefrac- Computed stress models match the high- those models continuously by using all
turing injection tests, instantaneous ly compressive background and current available data sources during field de-
understanding of the dominant tectonic velopment. The computed stress mod-
movements of the Sichuan Basin. They els match the highly compressive back-
are sufficient to reveal orientations, ground and current understanding of
magnitudes, anisotropies, and hetero- the dominant tectonic movements of
Technical Papers geneities of in-situ stresses. Large varia-
tions of in-situ stresses can be quantified
the Sichuan Basin. They are sufficient
to reveal orientations, magnitudes, an-
The complete SPE technical among pads and wells and along later- isotropies, and heterogeneities of in-
papers synopsized in this als. Such variations correspond to or situ stresses. Large variations of in-situ
issue are available free to align with changes in texture and com- stresses can be quantified among pads
SPE members for 2 months at position at various scales. The full-field and wells and along laterals. Such varia-
www.spe.org/jpt. model was used to optimize pad and tions align with changes in texture and
well locations and well trajectories and composition at various scales.
to assess geological integrity, resources At the same time, 3D geomechanics
in place, and instability of natural frac- models were used for different applica-
Subscriptions tures. The full-field and high-resolution tions at different scales, from the full
pad models were used for near-wellbore- field to a single well. The full-field model
Address Change:
stability analysis, real-time drilling man- was used to optimize pad and well loca-
Contact SPE Customer Service at:
agement, and hydraulic-fracturing de- tions and well trajectories and to assess
• Email: service@spe.org
sign and monitoring. geological integrity, resources in place,
• Telephone: +1.972.952.9393 A critical drilling issue in the study and instability of natural fractures. The
• +1.800.456.6863 (toll-free) field was the severe mud loss in some high-resolution pad models were used
wells. Considering initial learnings from for near-wellbore-stability analysis, real-
offset fields and with the first drilled time drilling management, and hydraulic-
pad being in the region of highest pore fracturing design and monitoring. The
pressure, a mud weight as high as approach was determined to be capable
2.2  g/cm3 was selected to control drill- of being integrated effectively into the
ing risks in high-pressure zones. This in- drilling-and-completion process. This is
¨ troduced a series of drilling issues—in the first time such multiscale 3D geo-
particular, severe mud losses near faults mechanics models have been built for
and fractures and tool failures in wells. China’s shale gas development. JPT

76 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Approach Redefines Ideal Project Scope
and Facilities Size for Field Development

T his paper investigates how decisions

made through reservoir evaluation
and drilling-and-completion planning
dent, but still convincing, is the fact that
several subsea tiebacks, successfully con-
ducted over the past decades across the
not realize the effects of their decisions
regarding the design of production in-
frastructure—for example, reposition-
affect the design of subsea production world, were possible only because a host ing the tophole location of subsea wells
systems and, in turn, the design of already existed nearby that had available or modifying well flow rates or compo-
production hosts. Practical alternatives process or storage capacity. sitions. Typical key decisions a project
are explored by challenging the current Sometimes, overdesigning a host may team has to make are
approach to project framing and not be avoidable because of the limited ◗ Quantity and types of required
definition. Rethinking the requirements time the operator has to develop and pro- subsea and surface facilities
of deepwater-field development will duce the offshore fields. If contracts were ◗ Size of processing equipment,
help define the proper size of the subsea structured in a different way and the op- host structure and topside, and
and surface facilities, the optimal erators had the chance to operate the off- subsea-production-system main
design life, and the possible need for shore field for a longer period, it might components
staged developments. have been possible to use smaller hosts ◗ When facilities will be needed and
and subsea production systems, thus re- expected duration of service
Introduction ducing both Capex and operational ex- When the wells begin depleting and
During the past 2 years, the offshore in- penditure (Opex). overall production begins declining,
dustry has looked with increasing inter- secondary- and tertiary-oil-recovery
est, and undeniable concern, to practical Project Framing methods may be required to sustain pro-
and effective ways to reduce the capital ex- and Host Sizing duction and to ensure that the process-
penditure (Capex) of deepwater projects. Overview. Before a deepwater project ing equipment on the host topside can
Looking at the three main components starts its life cycle, and then periodically operate within the predetermined opera-
of a deepwater-field production infra- during the cycle, reservoir engineers and tional parameters. Subsea tiebacks may
structure—host, subsea production sys- drilling-and-completion engineers study be considered as a way to use the exist-
tem including export, and subsea wells— and determine the optimal way hydro- ing, unused processing or storage capac-
the host offers the greatest opportunity carbons can be recovered. Subsequent- ity. Because these subsea tiebacks are not
for Capex reduction. Cost reduction is ly, wells and completions are designed originally planned, extensive brownfield
achievable by optimizing the subsea pro- to achieve this goal. The decisions made work may be required to ensure new sub-
duction system and by adopting new within these disciplines become part of sea wells are connected to the host safely.
technologies and practices for the con- the basis-of-design document that is the Usually, brownfield work at topside and
struction of subsea wells, but a more rel- starting point for other disciplines tasked subsea is quite expensive. In addition,
evant cost reduction is possible in prin- with the design of the host and the subsea brownfield work might require interrupt-
ciple by properly sizing the host. This, in production system. ing production, which, in turn, would re-
turn, requires rethinking the way deep- Engineers working on the design of a sult in financial losses for the operator.
water projects are sanctioned and con- host or a subsea production system may An aging host requires the implemen-
tracts between local governments and not be aware of the reasons dictating tation of a proper integrity-management
operators are negotiated. given oil or gas throughputs or expect- process. Inspections are needed periodi-
The fact that over capacity exists in off- ed water-production levels. At the same cally. Engineering work and repairs may
shore hosts is well-documented. Less evi- time, reservoir and well engineers may be required to ensure that the host re-
mains fit for purpose during its intended
field life. Field operations are typically
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
concluded when it is no longer profitable
of paper SPE 182269, “An Investigation of the Optimal Definition of Project Scope,
to produce hydrocarbon from the field.
Facilities Sizing, and Design Life for Truly Sustainable Deepwater Field Development: This happens mostly because the volume
Technical Aspects and Economic Considerations,” by Francesco Beltrami, SPE, of produced hydrocarbon diminishes
Energo Engineering, and Andrew Gifford, Shiladitya Basu, and Andre Berardi, over time, while the amount of produced
Granherne, prepared for the 2016 SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and water and produced gas to be handled in-
Exhibition, Perth, Australia, 25–27 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed. creases. When Opex exceeds the value of

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 77

the produced hydrocarbons, production project and in sizing host and subsea in- accelerated production is achieved by
usually is shut down. frastructure are a relatively short field means of large processing units installed
life and a large processing (and stor- on sizeable floating platforms.
Staged Projects. Developing offshore age, as applicable) capacity for the host. Assuming that new contracts may be
fields in two or more stages a few Challenging these well-established crite- signed with local governments and with
years apart is a practical way to re- ria may not be easy, but reducing the size contractors, and accepting a reduction
duce the risks associated with a large of a host and producing for a longer time in the host size, it can be seen how lon-
full-field development. are likely to bring the following benefits: ger field lives are possible. So far, longer
To further reduce the initial Capex, a ◗ Project Capex is smaller for both design lives have been associated with
subsea architecture may be adopted in host and subsea production systems. very large projects. In the future, smaller
which standalone drill centers are added ◗ The reuse of part of the subsea projects might also have very long field
independently, one or more at a time. production system in future stages lives. The offshore industry should look
The first stage of a deepwater project is possible, thus reducing overall at the small, low-productivity onshore
might use an early-production system Capex. wells that produce very limited amounts
(EPS) with reduced processing and stor- ◗ Opex is lower because the host to of oil over time.
age capability. This is beneficial to the be maintained is smaller.
project because it hastens arrival of the ◗ Longer production time is possible Conclusions
first-oil date and allows the operator to because of the lower Opex, so This paper challenges the common ideas
begin learning about the reservoir’s fea- greater recovery from the reservoir and practices ingrained in the offshore
tures and performance. This informa- can be achieved. industry. The objective is to start rethink-
tion enables a better and more-informed ◗ Risks are reduced. Before ing the way deepwater projects are de-
decision on the subsequent stages of the sanctioning a subsequent stage, fined, sanctioned, and executed. The cur-
project. An EPS is financially effective be- necessary information is available rent approach may not be viable, and
cause of its limited size. In general, small- to make an informed decision. alternatives may have to be explored. The
er hosts may be a more sustainable way financial, technical, and environmental-
to develop deepwater fields. Late-Production System. A late- sustainability objectives of deepwater
production system may be a novel con- projects might be met by reducing the
Benefits of a Smaller Host. The criteria cept to be investigated further because it size of the hosts and keeping them in op-
typically adopted in framing a deepwater appears to provide the following benefits: eration for longer. The main conclusions
◗ A tailored processing capability of this study are
is defined on the basis of the data ◗ Capex and Opex reduction may be
collected during the earlier field life. more achievable and more relevant
◗ A smaller oil-treatment section is by focusing on the host rather than
required with larger—and possibly on the subsea production system or
expandable—water and gas the subsea wells.
sections. ◗ Operating smaller offshore facilities
◗ Less oil-storage capacity is needed. will result in a longer field life that,
◗ The number of personnel on board in turn, will require operators to
is reduced. rethink how production-sharing
◗ Opex is lower. agreements are structured.
◗ Greater recovery of hydrocarbons ◗ Timed replacement of the host might
from the reservoir would result have to be considered as a possible
from a reduced Opex sustaining way to produce larger amounts of
operations longer. hydrocarbons in better operational
Ideally, the subsea production system conditions. In particular, the
should be designed for a rapid replace- feasibility of late-production systems
ment of the full-field-development host should be investigated further.
with the late-production system. Both ◗ Hosts might have to be leased rather
the subsea field layout and the design of than purchased by the operator,
risers and umbilicals need to take this to ensure that the host is removed
late-life activity into account. from the field when its intended life
is concluded.
Longer Field Life. The size of the pro- ◗ The new approach is not free of
duction facilities and the field life of the risk. In light of potential benefits
offshore development are strongly relat- associated with smaller hosts
ed. The link may not be evident because producing for longer, measures to
past and current deepwater projects identify and mitigate these risks
tend to have a limited life, during which should be studied. JPT

78 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


New-Frontier Reservoirs II
Leonard Kalfayan, SPE, Global Production-Engineering Adviser, Hess Corporation

A year ago, this feature noted the contin- A year ago, this feature forward, recent studies, including field
ued languishing of crude-oil prices and trial programs, have shown that appli-
the low margins in tight and very tight noted the continued cations such as gas injection and water-
reservoir asset developments and the languishing of crude-oil flooding, including smart water injection,
resulting substantial reduction in new- have the potential to create significant
well drilling and completion. Little has
prices and the low margins improvement in oil recovery.
changed since then. In the meantime, in tight and very tight The three papers featured this month
technology advancements have enabled a reservoir asset are from Canada. All address the impor-
greater number of hydraulic fractures in tance of wettability and wettability alter-
long horizontal completions in such res- developments and the ation in improving sweep efficiency and
ervoirs, for example, resulting in more- resulting substantial oil extraction by use of gas injection or
cost-effective completions and great- water injection. Both laboratory stud-
er initial oil-production rates. But low reduction in new-well ies and field application, in the case of
primary oil recovery and steep initial- drilling and completion. waterflooding, are discussed. Each, with
production-rate declines still present their unique perspectives and approach-
overriding limitations. These tight and
Little has changed es, provides understanding of EOR fluids;
very tight oil-bearing reservoirs are typi- since then. formation interactions; and the benefits
cally characterized by oil-recovery fac- and present limitations of gas injection,
tors of approximately 10%. However, on enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) methods in conventional waterflooding, and smart
a positive note, in addition to improve- such reservoirs. water injection. JPT
ments in completion efficiencies, recent While enhancing oil production from
advancements also have been made in multizone, hydraulically fractured com-
the understanding and application of pletions in tight reservoirs is not straight- Recommended additional reading
at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
Leonard Kalfayan, SPE, is a global production-engineering SPE 185037 EOR in Tight Reservoirs—
adviser with the Hess Corporation in Houston. He has 35 years of Technical and Economic Feasibility
experience in the industry, working with a major operator and a by K. Joslin, Computer Modelling Group,
major pressure pumping company and as an independent con- et al.
sultant before joining Hess in 2009. Kalfayan’s background is in SPE 185680 Compositional-Simulation
conventional and unconventional oil and gas, geothermal pro- Evaluation of Miscible-Gas-Injection
duction enhancement and stimulation, new-technology devel- Performance in Tight Oil Formation
opment and deployment, and business development. He was an by Ahmed Mansour, Texas Tech University,
SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2005 and has served on numerous SPE program and et al.
technical committees. Kalfayan is author or coauthor of more than 30 publications SPE 180284 The Use of Propellants
through SPE and other technical societies, serves as a technical reviewer for SPE To Stimulate and Enhance Productivity
Production & Operations, and is coeditor of the SPE monograph Acidizing From Tight, Damaged, and Low-Quality
Fundamentals. He is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee. Reservoirs by J. Gilliat, Baker Hughes, et al.

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 79

Water-Injection Operations and Gas-Injection
Sensitivities in the Bakken Formation

A lthough improvement in
hydraulic-fracture properties
and infill drilling remains the focus
cial laboratory on 12 surface-separator
oil and gas samples. Recombina-
tion of fluids at reservoir temperature
tical grid resolution of the simulation
model, these properties were averaged
and scaled up to the grid resolution (ap-
of recovery enhancement from the (156.2°F) yields a final gas/oil ratio of proximately 3  ft). It is known that the
Bakken, low oil recoveries and steep 810 scf/STB. Subsequently, a series of initial pressure in the Viewfield Bak-
initial decline rates are experienced constant-composition-expansion and ken is approximately 2,600 psi, which
in primary-recovery operations, even differential-liberation tests was con- is well above the oil-saturation pres-
after application of multifractured- ducted on the recombined fluid to de- sure of 1,480 psi, so the only remain-
horizontal-well technology. Therefore, termine oil-saturation pressure, oil- ing parameter to evaluate is the initial
many pilots have been executed to formation-volume factor, oil density, water saturation.
determine the viability of waterflooding and oil and gas viscosity as a function of The Bakken reservoir in the study
for maintaining oil rates and improving pressure. The Peng-Robinson equation area is overlain by the Lodgepole aqui-
recoveries through reservoir-pressure of state and modified Pedersen viscosity fer. To account for this, two layers are
maintenance and sweep-efficiency correlation were tuned to replicate the added to the top of the model. Unfortu-
enhancement. This paper presents PVT properties of oil and gas as a func- nately, only sparse data are available for
the performance results from one tion of pressure. the rock properties of the aquifer, so an
of the waterflood pilots in the assumption has been made that those
Viewfield Bakken. Reservoir Grid Model. On the basis of properties are similar to those of the
the well tops and reservoir net-pay val- target reservoir, with the exception of a
Numerical-Model Setup ues, reservoir structure for the study water saturation of 100%.
A section of the Bakken reservoir (the area was generated. It is known that the Horizontal wells in the pool have been
geology of which is described in detail minimum horizontal stress is aligned in typically completed with liners and
in the complete paper) deemed to be the northwest direction and at approxi- therefore are in contact with the reser-
representative of the waterflood per- mately 50° with respect to the east/west voir through hydraulic-fractured stag-
formance in Viewfield is considered for horizon. Therefore, reservoir gridding es only. In the study area, six wells out
modeling. This section has been devel- is rotated at this angle to mimic the of eight have been fractured at 230-ft
oped by use of multifractured horizontal hydraulic-fracture orientation along the spacing between 16 stages, while the
wells completed in the Middle Bakken horizontal-well laterals. Grid size in the spacing of the other two wells (Wells A
(main target reservoir) with a well spac- horizontal direction is 65×65 ft, and and C) is increased to 460 ft between
ing of 200  m (eight wells per section, the total thickness of the reservoir is ap- eight stages. It was assumed that the
named A through H). All eight wells proximately 28 ft, which is divided into fracture planes cover the entire verti-
started oil production within a similar nine layers of equal thickness. cal height of the model, including the
time frame, and, after approximately High-resolution (inch-by-inch) mea- top aquifer layers (this assumption is
1  year of production, every other well sured profile permeability and poros- based on the water production of the
was converted to a water injector. ity values of Bakken core extracted wells during the primary-recovery pe-
from the study area were used to model riod). The fracture half-length is corre-
Reservoir-Fluid Model. Convention- the vertical variations in these prop- lated with injection tonnage used in the
al pressure/volume/temperature (PVT) erties. Because the measurement reso- fracture operations and ranges between
analysis was conducted by a commer- lution cannot be reflected in the ver- 295 and 360 ft.
To capture the physics of the fluid
flow within the fracture pathways, log-
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights
arithmically spaced local grid refine-
of paper SPE 185030, “Improved Oil Recovery in Tight Oil Formations: Results of
ment is used (Fig. 1). With this arrange-
Water-Injection Operations and Gas-Injection Sensitivities in the Bakken Formation ment, the middle fine grid designated
of Southeast Saskatchewan,” by S.M. Ghaderi, C.R. Clarkson, and A. Ghanizadeh, for the fracture plane is assigned a high
University of Calgary, and K. Barry and R. Fiorentino, Crescent Point Energy, permeability and the grid sizes in-
prepared for the 2017 SPE Canada Unconventional Resources Conference, Calgary, crease on both sides of the fracture
15–16 February. The paper has not been peer reviewed. plane symmetrically.

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

80 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Well H
Grid Top (ft) Well Well G
Well Well Well E F
4,991 Well B C D

Well H 4,981

Well G
Well F
Well E
Well D

Well C 4,920

Well B 4,910

Well A 4,900


(a) (b)

Fig. 1—(a) Top view of the reservoir displaying the location of individual wells and local grid refinement used for
building hydraulic fractures along the wells; (b) 3D view of the model.

History Match of Produced/ primary tuning parameters affecting achieve a history match, this study in-
Injected Fluids ­ istory-match quality, at the field and
h corporated original and detailed data
Once the fluid and geological mod- individual-well levels. While it is com- to replicate actual reservoir conditions
els were prepared, a few sensitivity mon practice to manipulate permea- better. After a few trials, it was realized
runs were performed to identify the bility data, locally or even globally, to that the following parameters have a

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profound effect on the results and hence up to 85 md-ft, with the wells with high- formance in this part of the Bakken.
were used as tuning parameters: er water cuts having higher conductivity That discussion establishes that car-
◗ Conductivity of the hydraulic values. In other words, higher conductiv- bon dioxide (CO2) flooding outperforms
fractures ity of the fractures in these wells increas- immiscible-gas flooding in all cases. In
◗ Relative permeability of the matrix es the contribution of the aquifer, and comparison with CO2, at Bakken reser-
◗ Relative permeability of the hence water production, in these wells. voir temperature and pressure, the im-
hydraulic fractures By the end of primary production, miscible gas studied has a much small-
The final results of the history match and with eight active producers, oil er density and viscosity, which leads to
at the field level demonstrate that, even recovery factor reaches a value close inferior results.
under the unusual and complex arrange- to 6%. With the well conversion and
ment of fluids in this reservoir (i.e., an waterflood operation, the rapid decline Conclusions
overlying aquifer instead of the typi- in oil-production rates ceased and rates In this study, details of the numerical-
cal configuration of bottomwater), an stabilized at approximately 200 STB/D simulation history match of a water-
acceptable match within a reasonable at the field level, which is indicative of flood pilot are provided. The primary
number of iterations was accomplished. waterflood success in this region. At the conclusions of the modeling efforts are
Further scrutiny reveals that the sim- end of the entire production period (in- ◗ Incremental recovery by use of
ulated water-production rate between cluding waterflood), the recovery factor waterflood operations is confirmed
Day 600 and Day 800 is less than the improved to 11% and the average reser- through simulation.
actual production rates. voir pressure increased to approximate- ◗ Satisfactory history matching of
It is well-known that fracture con- ly 2,000 psia. primary and secondary waterflood
ductivity is variable between wells. Be- operations can be achieved fully
cause the fracture planes (middle fine Application despite the limitations of some
grid of the local grid refinement) all of the History-Matched Model model inputs, such as those
have a constant width of 1.64 ft, the con- Once a calibrated (history-matched) associated with homogenization
ductivity (fracture width times fracture model has been obtained, it can be used of horizontal parameters.
absolute permeability) value becomes a to answer a variety of what-if questions ◗ The accurate and detailed
function of absolute permeability. The that aim at optimizing current opera- characterization of permeability
range of conductivity values is 40 md-ft tions or can provide insight into de- and porosity variability in the
velopment planning in analogous sec- target zone (Middle Bakken) with
tions in the same pool. For instance, experimental measurements
the model can be used to evaluate how improves confidence in the model’s
the major design elements—well spac- ability to evaluate flood sweep
Changing Your ing, fracture spacing, and fracturing- efficiency. No permeability and
Address? job tonnage—can be changed to maxi- porosity adjustments were made
mize value. during the history-matching
Let SPE know. The calibrated model is used to as- process.
+1.972.952.9393 or sess the long-term performance of pri- ◗ The simulation-model results

+1.800.456.6863 (toll-free)
mary and waterflood recovery in the confirm the breach of the hydraulic
Bakken. Furthermore, the effect of fractures into the Lodgepole
enhanced-oil-recovery schemes is illus- aquifer on top of the Bakken,
trated. It should be noted that neither consistent with produced-water
operational constraint (e.g., infrastruc- trends.
Update Your ture for handling high water or gas vol- ◗ Although hydraulic-fracture

Member Profile umes) nor economic constraint (e.g., penetration into the Lodgepole
initial capital investment) is considered aquifer on top of the Bakken has
http://www.spe.org/ in these scenarios. a detrimental effect on primary-
members/update The Bakken has not been considered depletion performance, waterflood
by some operators as a candidate for operations are affected to a much
waterflood until recently, mainly be- lesser extent.
cause of its perceived low injectivity ◗ Because of the strong effect of
as a result of low permeability. How- gravity segregation in gasflooding
SPE Benefits ever, this study, which incorporates re- operations, more-accurate
alistic permeability and other reser- modeling of the Lodgepole
Discover the possibilities.
voir data, suggests a clear and distinct Formation is required to quantify
http://www.spe.org/ production advantage with the use of the gas leakage into the top aquifer
members/benefits waterflooding operations. and its effect on the performance
The complete paper contains a de- of both miscible and immiscible
tailed discussion of gasflooding per- processes. JPT

82 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Enhanced Sweep Efficiency
by Use of Smart Water in Tight Oil Reservoirs

I n the literature, improvement

of oil recovery in smart-water-
injection schemes has been shown to
alteration. Although tight oil reservoirs
have limited flow capability, high CEC
values in these reservoirs facilitate the
spar at the end of the production pe-
riod are summarized in Table 5 of the
complete paper. Even though the stat-
be mediated by wettability alteration. wettability-alteration process. The ob- ic model is a homogeneous reservoir,
This process reduces residual oil jectives of the complete paper are to ex- there is some variation in oil recov-
saturation, which, in turn, affects amine the smart-waterflood potential ery and water cut. The mineral changes
microscopic sweep efficiency and in tight and very tight oil reservoirs, of calcite, dolomite, and feldspar, how-
leads to subsequent enhancement and to identify the CEC effect on smart- ever, illustrate significant variation. All
of overall waterflood performance. water-injection performance. The com- three cases have a simulation material-
Currently, there are few studies on plete paper provides a discussion of the balance error of less than 10–5. Mineral
smart waterflooding in tight and very methodology (procedures and strate- changes (moles) can affect the porosity
tight oil reservoirs. This work examines gies) of the study. and permeability.
smart-waterflood opportunities in The interpolant, aqueous-phase Ca2+
such reservoirs. Discussion concentration, alters smart-waterflood
The literature contains evidence of performance by changing relative per-
Introduction smart-waterflood performance, with meability. The interpolant value direct-
Residual-oil-saturation reduction im- some works demonstrating that smart ly affects the smart-waterflood process
proves microscopic sweep efficien- water improves oil recovery by reducing because it alters the effective permea-
cy and, therefore, overall waterflood residual oil saturation. Furthermore, it bility of each phase. This is one possible
performance. Furthermore, decreas- decreases the endpoint water relative explanation for the results in Table 5 of
ing endpoint water relative permea- permeability. Smart water also improves the complete paper, which prove that
bility diminishes mobility of the water microscopic sweep efficiency, leading to CEC value affects smart-waterflood be-
phase such that water production is overall waterflooding efficiency. havior. Incorporating these results with
similarly reduced. Though these cir- There is a distinct effect of porosi- those indicating that the porosity mean
cumstances improve oil-production be- ty mean and porosity variance on CEC; and variance influence CEC value, the
havior, the primary parameters that there is furthermore a profound effect authors conclude that the porosity mean
lead to this improvement are still not of CEC upon smart-water performance. and porosity variance can also alter
well-understood. Simulation properties relevant to the smart-waterflood performance.
Among the statistically significant CEC effect are shown in Table 3 of the From results of further experimen-
parameters that can influence smart- complete paper. There are two main tal scenarios, it can be seen that smart
waterflood performance is clay con- types of fluid composition: in-situ fluid water improves production behav-
tent. One plausible explanation for the composition, which is the initial fluid ior in three ways: by increasing oil re-
strong correlation between clay content in the reservoir at timestep zero, and covery, decelerating water production,
and oil recovery is the positive corre- the injected-fluid composition, which and requiring less water injection. All
lation between cation-exchange capac- is the fluid that is forced into the res- three of these developments will im-
ity (CEC) and clay content. With higher ervoir at timestep greater than zero. prove project revenue while concomi-
CEC values, more rock surface may be Three homogeneous-reservoir cases tantly decreasing environmental impact
charged. This results in either the ex- with varying CEC values are considered. by limiting water usage. Thus, a smart-
pansion or compression of the double Oil recovery, water cut, and mineral water-injection scheme has strong po-
layer, which also induces a wettability changes of calcite, dolomite, and feld- tential in tight oil reservoirs. However,
rapid pressure drop and the multiphase
flow that the pressure drop incurs must
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights
also be considered.
of paper SPE 185032, “Enhance Microscopic Sweep Efficiency by Use of Smart
Water in Tight and Very Tight Oil Reservoirs,” by T. Kadeethum, H.K. Sarma, Microports Result. In a different sce-
and B.B. Maini, University of Calgary, prepared for the 2017 SPE Canada nario involving three cases, a micro-
Unconventional Resources Conference, Calgary, 15–16 February. The paper has not ports reservoir was used. The situation
been peer reviewed. presents a porosity distribution with

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 83

mean of 7% and variance of 0.01. The Interestingly, water cut is not devel- fect of rock property (porosity vari-
flooding pattern was line drive, with oped until 3,000 to 4,000 days (more ation related to clay content) on
two producers and two injectors. In this slowly than in the mesoports scenar- smart-waterflood behavior was de-
scenario, there are two low-salinity- io), which means that pressure support scribed and shown. Furthermore, the
water cases: the low-salinity case and is unproductive at the beginning of the factor of smart water that causes wetta-
the optimized low-salinity case. Fig.  11 pressure-maintenance scheme. To con- bility alteration, residual-oil-saturation
of the complete paper displays wet- sider this observation, the average res- reduction, and endpoint water rela-
tability alteration from more oil- ervoir pressure is analyzed. All cases tive permeability reduction was inves-
wet to more water-wet with decreas- have a material-balance error of less tigated, because change in residual oil
ing salinity. than 10×10–4, which indicates reliable saturation directly affects microscopic
The high-salinity-water case has simulation results. sweep efficiency and overall waterflood
the lowest oil recovery, while the opti- Reservoir pressure drops sharply, performance. Finally, a smart-water-
mized low-salinity-water case has the from 1,430 to 700 psi, in the first 500 injection scheme in tight and very tight
highest. These results align with the days. As stated previously, only the oleic oil reservoirs was presented. The fol-
mesoports-reservoir scenario. Residu- and aqueous phases exist in the reser- lowing conclusions were drawn from
al oil saturations of two low-salinity voirs of this hypothetical model. How- the investigation:
cases are reduced by 4 to 20%, which ever, this pressure drop may release ◗ Experiments have shown that
improves the microscopic sweep effi- the dissolved gas from the oleic phase smart water could improve oil
ciency of the waterflood process. Fur- in a real situation, resulting in three- recovery in tight oil reservoirs by
thermore, smart water decelerates the phase flow and significantly reduced wettability alteration. Residual oil
water-cut trend by reducing endpoint liquid relative permeability. There ex- saturation is reduced by 5% when
water relative permeability by 15 to ists a contradiction between the meso- low-salinity water is used.
35%. As a result, water cut for the opti- port and microport outcomes regard- ◗ The mean and variance of
mized low-salinity case develops much ing average reservoir pressure. In the porosity could influence CEC
more slowly than for the high-salinity- microport scenario, the optimized low- distribution in the system.
water case. salinity-water case has the same av- Furthermore, each static-model
erage reservoir pressure as the high- realization should be examined
salinity-water case by the end of the carefully before performing
simulation and requires the highest cu- dynamic simulation.
mulative water injection. In the com- ◗ Smart waterflooding has the
plete paper, mineral-precipitation and potential to improve oil recovery
-dissolution results are used to explain by up to 3% while decreasing
Check out this behavior. the water production in tight
the new JPT website These results show that smart water oil reservoirs, as shown in the
and sign up for the improves production behavior through mesoport and microport cases.
three mechanisms: the increase of oil ◗ Smart water could reduce residual
eNewsletter. recovery, the deceleration of water pro- oil saturation and endpoint water
duction, and the improvement of effec- relative permeability by wettability
• Expanded Coverage tive porosity and permeability. Two of alteration.
the three mentioned benefits can im- ◗ High-salinity water displays earlier
• Daily Updates
prove project revenue. Higher water- water breakthrough than does low-
• Mobile Friendly injection requirements may affect prof- salinity water.
• Improved Navigation it and environmental effect negatively. ◗ Smart waterflooding requires
This could be mitigated by fine-tuning less cumulative water injection
the injection/production pressure and but yields more oil production
All of this and more at controlling the intake fluid volume. than high-salinity waterflooding.
Thus, while a smart-water-injection However, with high levels of
www.spe.org/jpt scheme has strong potential in very mineral dissolution, this might not
tight oil reservoirs, the pressure-drop- entirely be the case.
induced multiphase-flow problem and ◗ Pressure-maintenance efficacy
the water-injection requirement still should be considered. Severe
must be considered. pressure drop could lead to gas-
phase liberation and, subsequently,
Conclusion a decrease in the liquid relative
To determine oil-recovery-improvement permeability.
¨ opportunities in tight and very tight ◗ Smart water could improve
oil reservoirs, a smart-waterflood nu- effective permeability through the
merical study was conducted. The ef- mineral-dissolution process. JPT

84 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Imbibition Oil Recovery From Tight Rocks With
Dual-Wettability Networks in the Montney

P revious studies demonstrate that

Montney rock samples present
a dual-wettability pore network.
repellent pores within or coated by solid
bitumen or pyrobitumen. In the com-
plete paper, the authors focus on imbibi-
air contact-angle results are consistent
with the results of water- and brine-
imbibition tests in air-saturated samples,
Recovery of the oil retained in the tion oil recovery of samples cored from and that the liquid/liquid contact-angle
small hydrophobic pores is uniquely the Montney Formation and investigate results are consistent with the results of
challenging. In this study, the authors the role of rock-fabric complexities, such soaking tests that show oil production
applied dual-core-imbibition (DCI) as dual-wettability characteristics, in from the oil-saturated samples by spon-
methods on several Montney core oil recovery by water imbibition. A de- taneous water imbibition.
plugs and introduced the imbibition- tailed discussion of materials used in the
recovery (IR) trio to investigate the spontaneous-imbibition and oil-recovery Spontaneous-Imbibition Tests. By
recovery mechanisms in rocks with tests, including rock and fluid properties, comparing imbibition curves for both oil
dual-wettability pore networks. is included in the complete paper. and brine, the authors observed consis-
tently that the oil curves reached equi-
Introduction Methodology librium later than the brine curves and
Spontaneous imbibition of aqueous The authors conducted three sets of com- that the total imbibed volume of oil was
phases (water, brine, or surfactant solu- parative tests on five twin core plugs, significantly higher than that of brine. In
tions) in fractured sandstone has been which were dry cut from Montney cores. general, brine imbibes faster than oil for
studied as a possible mechanism for en- The samples are characterized by mea- all samples, but brine curves plateau ear-
hanced oil recovery. Extensive experi- suring mineral concentration, total- lier than oil curves. If one regards porous
mental and mathematical investigations organic-carbon (TOC) content, porosity, media as a bundle of tubes, the liquid
have been conducted for relating the im- and permeability. The methodology is flow is slower in pores with smaller diam-
bibition rate and total oil recovery to the fully described in the complete paper. eters. Brine imbibition stops after 200 to
capillary and gravity forces and geomet- 300 hours for all samples, while oil im-
rical parameters. However, rock/fluid in- Results and Discussions bibition continues for more than 1,000
teractions in tight and shale reservoirs Contact-Angle Tests. Oil and brine drop- hours for all samples. This behavior sug-
are more complicated than those seen in lets were equilibrated on the surface of gests that there is a significant number of
conventional reservoirs. In addition to a Montney core plug. Oil droplets com- small pores that have low affinity to brine
capillary forces, organic materials and pletely spread on all samples, while brine and high affinity to oil. The rock matrix
reactive clay minerals can influence the droplets equilibrated with a nonzero comprises organic matter and inorganic
fluid flow and storage in the small pores contact angle. Similar trends were ob- minerals such as quartz, feldspar, dolo-
of low-permeability rocks. The affinity of served for all five plugs. In a liquid/liquid mite, plagioclase, and clays.
reservoir rock to a particular fluid in such system, the affinity of the sample to brine There are two general observations
formations depends especially on rock is higher than its affinity to oil, and simi- from the results: (1) Oil imbibition con-
mineralogy and properties of the organic lar trends were observed for all samples. tinues, suggesting that oil imbibes into
matter that coats and fills the pores. According to the results of air/liquid con- small-scale pores that have low af-
Previous comparative imbibition tests tact-angle tests, the samples are fully oil- finity to water and high affinity to oil;
show that the affinity of the Montney wet and partially brine-wet. However, (2) scanning-electron-microscope (SEM)
samples to oil is significantly higher than according to liquid/liquid contact-angle images show that there are small-scale
their affinity to water. This behavior tests, the samples are brine-wet. The re- pores within large-scale pores. It can
was explained by the presence of water- sults of imbibition tests show that liquid/ therefore be concluded that the Mont-
ney core plugs show dual-porosity and
dual-wettability behavior and small-scale
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of
pores have a higher affinity to oil than to
paper SPE 185076, “Imbibition Oil Recovery From Tight Rocks With Dual-Wettability brine. Although TOC content of core plugs
Pore Networks: A Montney Case Study,” by Ali Javaheri and Hassan Dehghanpour, is small (less than 1%), organic materials
SPE, University of Alberta, and James Wood, SPE, Encana, prepared for the 2017 SPE cover the surface area of pores. Organic
Canada Unconventional Resources Conference, Calgary, 15–16 February. The paper matter is known to have high affinity to
has not been peer reviewed. oil, while inorganic matter is mostly hy-

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 85

Produced-oil droplets
Rock surface along lamina In this study, the authors applied the DCI
technique to five sets of twin plugs cored
from the Montney Formation. First,
contact-angle tests were performed.
Next, spontaneous-imbibition tests were
conducted; in these, one plug of each
pair was placed in oil and the other was
placed in brine; the weight gain of each
was measured during the spontaneous-
imbibition process until equilibrium was
reached. Finally, the oil-saturated sam-
ples from the previous stage were placed
in brine and the volume of recovered oil
was measured with respect to time. The
oil-recovery profiles were compared with
Fig. 1—Recovered oil (yellow droplets lined up at the surface of the sample)
the imbibition profiles of oil and brine
is observed along the depositional laminations of an oil-saturated sample
immersed in brine. obtained from the imbibition tests. The
results can be summarized as follows:
drophilic, especially in the presence of of recovered oil is always less than the ◗ According to air/liquid contact-
clay minerals. The total clay content of all amount of brine imbibed during the im- angle tests, the samples are fully
samples is 9 to 14%, and the majority of bibition tests on dry samples. oil-wet and partially brine-wet,
inorganic material is quartz. All five IR trios for the five sets of consistent with the results of
twin plugs were studied. The authors ob- imbibition tests on dry core plugs.
Imbibition Oil-Recovery Tests. The au- served three similar trends for all sets of According to liquid/liquid tests, the
thors place the oil-saturated samples in twin plugs: samples are brine-wet, consistent
imbibition cells filled with brine. The ◗ Brine-imbibition curves reach with the results of countercurrent
oil expelled by brine imbibition is col- equilibrium faster than oil- imbibition tests on oil-saturated
lected at the top of the cells. The volume imbibition curves, and the final samples.
of produced oil is measured at different imbibed volume of brine is lower ◗ In general, brine imbibes faster than
times. Brine-saturated samples were also than that of oil. oil into the dry samples, but the
immersed in oil, but brine production ◗ Oil-recovery curves reach brine-imbibition profiles reach the
for all samples was not observed. This equilibrium almost at the same time equilibrium state faster than the oil-
observation is consistent with liquid/ as brine-imbibition curves for all imbibition profiles. Furthermore,
liquid contact-angle tests. Fig. 1 shows samples. the final imbibed volume of brine is
recovered-oil droplets for Rock Sam- ◗ The final volume of recovered oil in significantly lower than that of oil,
ple MT4. As the imbibition process con- oil-recovery tests is always less than suggesting that a significant part of
tinues, oil droplets detach from the the final volume of imbibed brine in the pore network is water repellent.
rock surface and accumulate at the top imbibition tests. Analysis of the imbibition profiles
of the cell. In order to obtain accurate These observations suggest that the oil and SEM images indicates that the
data, cells need to be shaken to help the produced during the soaking tests main- water-repellent pores are smaller
recovered-oil droplets to detach from the ly comes from the hydrophilic part of the than water-wet pores.
rock surface or prevent them from stick- pore network. The nonrecovered oil may ◗ In general, the shape of imbibition
ing to the bottleneck of the cell. be trapped in small-scale pores that tend oil-recovery profiles is similar to
To analyze the oil-recovery results, the to be water repellent on the basis of the that of water-imbibition profiles
authors introduced IR trios. Each IR trio imbibition-test results or in parts of the for dry samples. This indicates
consists of three curves: oil- and brine- hydrophilic pores because of the snap- that the oil recovered during water
imbibition curves related to dry samples off mechanism. The similarities between imbibition into oil-saturated
and oil-recovery curves related to oil- oil-recovery and brine-imbibition curves samples comes from the water-wet
saturated samples immersed in brine. suggest that capillarity is the main driv- part of the pore network, which
One immediate observation was that oil- ing force for oil recovery. Fluid displace- can be accessed by water when
recovery curves follow the trend of brine- ment during spontaneous imbibition is the samples are soaked in water.
imbibition curves. Brine curves reach dominated by two main driving forces: In addition, the results suggest
equilibrium at 200 to 300 hours. Re- capillary force and gravity force. that there is an approximate
covery curves reach equilibrium almost A discussion of parameters affecting porosity threshold of 0.025 below
at the same time, unlike oil-imbibition recovery, such as porosity, permeability, which oil can hardly be produced
curves, which reach equilibrium at 1,000 and wettability, is provided in the com- by spontaneous imbibition
to 2,000 hours. Moreover, the amount plete paper. of water. JPT

86 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


Petroleum Data Analytics

Luigi Saputelli, SPE, Senior Reservoir Engineering Adviser, ADNOC, and Frontender

While many other industries have expe- preventive-maintenance tasks; increas- sources and exist in unstructured for-
rienced tremendous benefits over the ing equipment availability of well, sur- mats. Once data are placed in proper tab-
last few decades, adoption of data-driven face, and drilling systems; optimiz- ular forms and relationships are estab-
analytics is still young in the oil and ing reservoir recovery on the basis of lished, then data are ready for analysis,
gas sectors. Benefits captured across injector-to-producer allocation factors; which may include exploratory visual-
industries involve improving the qual- and many others. izations, model order or dimensionality
ity of decisions, improving planning and Machine learning is a collection of reduction, clustering, regression, classi-
forecasting, lowering costs, and driving techniques, both supervised and unsu- fication, pattern recognition, cross vali-
operational-efficiency improvements. pervised, that gives computers the ability dation, model validation, prediction, and
However, many challenges for full adop- to learn and adapt without being explicit- optimization. Insights and syntheses are
tion exist in our industry. In addition ly programmed. This ability to learn pro- derived along the analysis process.
to the outdated data-management chal- vides capabilities for describing past and Text mining and natural language pro-
lenges, key gaps exist in the under- current operating conditions, predict- cessing (NLP) allows the possibility of
standing of basic principles concern- ing, and prescribing. efficiently extracting valuable informa-
ing how and when to use different Supervised learning includes regres- tion from text documents and reports.
data-analytics tools. sion and classification methods in which These methods enable an unexploited yet
Data-analytics benefits are being a relationship is established between powerful source of insights about oper-
demonstrated through the efficient the input and a known output. Unsuper- ational transactions (e.g., recommen-
exploitation of data sources to derive vised learning includes clustering, which dations, success/failure) that are cap-
insights and support making decisions. addresses problems with no prior knowl- tured in unstructured text. In the drilling
An exponential increase in the num- edge on the output, automatically group- area, NLP has been used successfully
ber of applications in recent years has ing a large number of data variables into to describe and predict nonproductive-
been observed for enhancing data qual- a smaller variable set. time and invisible-lost-time causes from
ity during/after acquisition by automati- Most data-driven projects may follow a massive amount of unstructured data
cally removing noise and outliers; bet- a similar approach during implementa- collected from the drilling-operation
ter assimilating new and high-frequency tion. In the majority of these, large efforts reports. Major contributions will also
data into physics-based models; opti- are made in collecting and preparing the occur in reservoir management and pro-
mizing calendar-based inspections for data, which typically reside in scatter duction optimization. JPT

Luigi Saputelli, SPE, is a senior reservoir engineering adviser with

ADNOC. During the past 25 years, he has held positions as reser- Recommended additional reading
voir engineer, drilling engineer, and production engineer. Saputelli at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
previously worked for 3 years with Hess Corporation, for 5 years SPE 181015 Natural Language Processing
with Halliburton, and for 11 years with Petróleos de Venezuela. He Techniques on Oil and Gas Drilling Data
is a founding member of the SPE Petroleum Data-Driven Analytics by M. Antoniak, Maana, et al.
Technical Section and the recipient of the 2015 SPE International OTC 27577 Assessment of Data-
Production and Operations Award. Saputelli has authored or Driven Machine-Learning Techniques for
coauthored more than 70 technical publications in the areas of digital oil field, reser- Machinery Prognostics of Offshore Assets
voir management, reservoir engineering, real-time optimization, and production by Ping Lu, American Bureau of Shipping,
operations. He holds a BS degree in electronic engineering from Simon Bolívar et al.
University, an MS degree in petroleum engineering from Imperial College London, and SPE 181037 Big Data Analytics for
a PhD degree in chemical engineering from the University of Houston. Saputelli serves Prognostic Foresight by Moritz von Plate,
on the JPT Editorial Committee, the SPE Production and Operations Advisory Cassantec
Committee, and the Reservoir Description and Dynamics Digital Oil Field subcommit-
SPE 185695 A Novel Adaptive Nonlinear-
tee. He has served as a reviewer for SPE Journal and SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Regression Method To Predict Shale Oil
Engineering and as an associate editor for SPE Economics & Management. Saputelli Well Performance on the Basis of Well
also serves as managing partner at Frontender, a petroleum-engineering-services firm Completions and Fracturing Data
based in Houston. He can be reached at lsaputelli@frontender.com. by Amol Bakshi, Chevron, et al.

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 87

Technique Blends Dimensionless Numbers
and Data Mining To Predict Recovery Factors

U sing attributes from a database

of 395 deepwater Gulf of Mexico
oil fields, a set of dimensionless
work flow, which suffers from a draw-
back: the need for accurate representa-
tion of subsurface geology. Data mining,
plication of the data-mining process. In
order to be successful, any data-mining
technique relies on three qualities: clean
numbers is calculated that helps in on the other hand, provides an alter- data, a well-defined target to predict,
scaling attributes for all the oil fields. native top-down intelligent-reservoir- and good validation to avoid overfitting.
On the basis of these dimensionless modeling approach, which uses mea-
numbers, various data-mining sured reservoir properties as the basis Step 1: Prior Knowledge and Objective
techniques are used to classify the for modeling. Question. The Gulf of Mexico oilfield
oil fields. Subsequently, partial-least- Using publicly available informa- data set consists of 84 attributes. Most
square (PLS) regression is used to relate tion—including information on ge- critical attributes are grouped in four
the dimensionless numbers to the ology, geophysics, reserves, produc- classes—geological, reserves and pro-
recovery factor. This study shows that tion, and infrastructure—the complete duction, petrophysical, and pressure/
dimensionless numbers, together with paper applies various data-mining and volume/temperature (PVT) and reser-
data-mining techniques, can predict predictive-analytics algorithms to es- voir. While most of the geological attri-
field behavior in terms of recovery timate recovery factor. Classical reser- butes are the result of seismic interpre-
factor for sparse data sets. voir engineering assumes that recovery tation, the engineering attributes (i.e.
factor is dependent on rock proper- reserves, petrophysical, and PVT and
Introduction ties, fluid properties, geological struc- reservoir) are reported by operators to
The digitization of information and the tures, and mode of production. In- the federal government.
rise of inexpensive sensor technologies stead of using traditional deterministic The objective goal that the study at-
have ushered in a new era of computing methods, such as material balance or tempts to reach with data mining is a
in which acquired data are used to show numerical simulation, this study uses field’s classification and a prediction of
hidden patterns and trends. This meth- data-driven analytics to estimate the the recovery factor by use of histori-
od of computing is very efficient in solv- recovery factor. cal data from deepwater Gulf of Mexico
ing inverse problems where parameters oil fields.
affecting system characteristics are not Data-Mining Methodology
completely known. Hydrocarbon res- The Bureau of Ocean and Energy Man- Step 2: Data Preparation and Explor-
ervoirs provide a classic case of a natu- agement has published geological and atory Data Analysis. Data Prepara-
ral system where engineers have limit- geophysical properties of 1,300 deep- tion. It is important to prepare data
ed control on the design of the system water fields in the Gulf of Mexico, out to suit data-mining algorithms. For ex-
that they work with; thus, they have to of which 633 are depleted. Classify- ample, decision trees can handle miss-
rely on indirect measurements to de- ing fields with gas/oil ratios less than ing values while principal-component
termine properties of the reservoir and 9,700  scf/STB as oil producers results analysis (PCA) will not process missing
use these properties for prediction of in 395 oil fields and 905 gas fields, indi- values; hence, data types (e.g., numeric,
future trends. Performance prediction cating that the Gulf of Mexico is mainly binomial, nominal) for each attribute
is usually accomplished with either an- a gas-prone basin. Gas volumes are con- need to be checked and low-quality en-
alytical material-balance equations or verted to barrels of oil equivalent and tries needs to be removed. Reducing
numerical reservoir simulation. How- are used in the calculations. Data for the number of attributes, without cre-
ever, both methods use a bottom-up deepwater oil fields are selected for ap- ating a significant loss in the perfor-
mance of the model, is known as fea-
ture selection. This can be achieved by
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
ranking attributes in order of their sen-
of paper SPE 181024, “Recovery-Factor Prediction for Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Oil
sitivity toward the objective function.
Fields by Integration of Dimensionless Numbers With Data-Mining Techniques,” The complete paper used dimension-
by Priyank Srivastava and Xingru Wu, SPE, University of Oklahoma, and Amin less numbers for scaling and dimen-
Amirlatifi, SPE, Mississippi State University, prepared for the 2016 SPE Intelligent sionality reduction of deepwater Gulf of
Energy International Conference and Exhibition, Aberdeen, 6–8 September. The Mexico oilfield data sets. Dimensionless
paper has not been peer reviewed. numbers lead to scaled attributes that

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

88 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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Log-Log Plot of Dimensionless Attributes tionship with density number (Dn). It
1 10 1000 5 10 15 also shows distinct clusters for the Npc
and Ng relationship with recovery fac-

ORF 2 tor, while clusters overlap in the scatter
plot for Rl and Dn.

0.01 0.05
To determine the correlation between
recovery factor and the aforementioned
dimensionless numbers, PLS regression

is applied to the dimensionless num-
bers. This technique was chosen be-
1 10

cause of the multicollinearity of the di-

1e+04 1e+06 1e+08

mensionless data points. PLS regression
Ng identifies the latent factors, which ac-
count for most of the variation in the
response, similar to PCA. It incorpo-
rates dimension reduction by linearly
extracting relatively few latent factors
10 15

that are most useful in modeling the re-
sponse. PLS regression finds the pre-
dictors (dimensionless numbers) that

are relevant to target variables (recov-

0.02 0.10 0.50

R1 ery factor). This is in contrast to PCA, in
which the principal component explains
only the predictors. This study uses uni-
variate PLS regression because there is
0.01 0.05 0.20 1e+04 1e+06 1e+08 0.02 0.10 0.50 only one target variable, recovery fac-
tor, with Dn being the next important
Fig. 1—A scatter plot for dimensionless numbers according to K-means variable influencing the model for pre-
clustering. ORF=oil recovery factor; Npc=capillary number; Ng=gravity
diction of recovery factor. By identify-
number; Dn=density number; R1=aspect ratio.
ing factors that affect recovery-factor
calculations, it is possible to narrow
are based on which reservoir perfor- ent characteristics. These numbers de- data-acquisition plans to collect critical
mances from a wide variety of fields can liver insight into the relative importance information for expensive deepwater as-
be compared. of driving forces such as viscous, gravi- sets that can help in making informed
Exploratory Data Analysis. A scat- ty, and capillary forces for the fluid flow decisions and mitigating risk.
ter plot of reservoir and fluid properties in porous media. Four dimensionless
illustrates the complexity of the basin numbers based on forces controlling the Conclusions
where various geological, reservoir, displacement process (i.e., gravity, vis- This paper shows the integration of di-
completions, and operating constraints cous, capillary, and dispersion) are used mensionless numbers with data-mining
interact, resulting in definite behavior in this study. techniques for successful classification
of fields in terms of production. This be- of reservoir performance from fields ex-
havior is quantified by physical quanti- Step 4: K-Means Clustering and Pre- hibiting a wide assortment of reservoir
ties such as production rates of liquids dictive Modeling. After generation of and geological properties. K-means clus-
and gases. A wide variation in reported dimensionless numbers, data-mining tering on dimensionless numbers was
recovery factors is seen for reservoirs algorithms are used to mine for hidden able to classify oil fields. Dimension-
having comparable porosity, permeabil- patterns and generate correlations from less numbers helped in reducing a mul-
ity, sand thickness, and fluid properties. the multidimensional data set. The ob- tidimensional data set to characteristic
While data are highly multicollinear and jective goal of data mining in this step features that can be used to predict re-
scattered, data-mining algorithms are is to cluster fields on the basis of char- covery factor. Through application of
likely to show patterns and clusters for acteristic attributes to describe behav- PLS regression, a correlation-coefficient
reservoirs with identical characteristics. ior of recovery factor among the 395 value of 0.76 was obtained for 395 oil
oil fields. A K-means distance-based fields in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico,
Step 3: Generation of Dimensionless clustering technique was used to ob- which suggests an acceptable accuracy
Numbers. Dimensionless numbers pro- tain clusters on the basis of dimension- for the predications. Higher coefficients
vide a way to scale data from different less numbers (Fig. 1). Fig. 1 shows that of Dn and Rl suggest strong influence of
reservoirs for comparison and, there- higher capillary number (Npc) leads to reservoir-fluid characteristics and res-
fore, act as scaling variables to compare higher gravity number (Ng), while as- ervoir geometry, respectively, in estima-
field performance of fields with differ- pect ratio (Rl) shows a nonlinear rela- tion of the recovery factor. JPT

90 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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Proxy-Based Metamodeling Optimization
of Gas-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage Process

U nlike continuous gas injection

and water-alternating-gas
injection, gas-assisted gravity drainage
Produced Fluids

(GAGD) takes advantage of the natural

segregation of reservoir fluids to provide Vertical Injectors
gravity-stable oil displacement. The
feasibility of carbon dioxide (CO2)
GAGD was investigated for immiscible
injection through equation-of-state
compositional reservoir simulation with
design of experiments (DOE) and proxy
modeling to obtain the optimal future-
performance scenario. After history -
matching, Latin-hypercube sampling
(LHS) was used as a low-discrepancy and
more-uniform DOE approach to create
hundreds of simulation runs to construct
a proxy-based optimization approach.

Many enhanced-oil-recovery studies
have been conducted for CO2-flooding
optimization in real oil fields; however,
Fig. 1—Schematic of the GAGD process.
to the best of the authors’ knowledge,
no study has been made for GAGD im-
plementation and optimization in a real the operational decision factors affecting top of the formation. Because of gravity
oil field. To implement the optimization GAGD. Four proxy models were adopt- segregation resulting from the distinct
process, a full compositional reservoir ed and validated as metamodels for the fluid densities at reservoir conditions,
simulation was constructed to evaluate compositional reservoir simulator: poly- the injected gas accumulates at the top
the reservoir performance through CO2- nomial proxy model, multivariate ad- of the pay zone to form a gas cap, provid-
GAGD flooding for 10 years of future ditive regression splines (MARS), fuzzy ing gravity-stable oil displacement that
reservoir prediction. Then, proxy-model logic/genetic algorithm, and generalized drains down toward horizontal produc-
optimization was conducted through boosted modeling (GBM). ers and leading to better sweep efficiency
manipulating the operational decision and higher oil recovery. Fig. 1 illustrates
factors that influence the CO2 flooding GAGD the basic concepts of GAGD.
through GAGD by means of DOE. More The GAGD concept involves placing hori-
specifically, DOE and proxy modeling zontal producers at the bottom of a pay GAGD Simulation
were combined to create a simplified al- zone. Then, gas is injected in a gravity- The main-pay reservoir in the South Ru-
ternative (metamodel) to the composi- stable mode, either immiscible or mis- maila oil field was selected for a full, de-
tional reservoir simulation to optimize cible, through vertical wells from the tailed compositional reservoir simulation
to enhance oil recovery through GAGD.
The main pay has only three lithology
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
types—sand, shaly sand, and shale—
of paper SPE 185701, “Proxy-Based Metamodeling Optimization of the Gas-Assisted- with distinct areal permeability distri-
Gravity-Drainage Process in Heterogeneous Sandstone Reservoirs,” by Watheq J. butions. A high-resolution geostatistical
Al-Mudhafar and Dandina N. Rao, SPE, Louisiana State University, prepared for reservoir model was reconstructed for
the 2017 SPE Western Regional Meeting, Bakersfield, California, USA, 23–27 April. lithofacies and petrophysical properties
The paper has not been peer reviewed. considering multiple-point geostatistics.

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

92 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

The geostatistical reservoir model was then upscaled for
GAGD flow simulation. The upscaled reservoir model was ex-
ported to build the compositional reservoir-flow simulation. HOST

For future-field-development evaluation, excellent history

matching was obtained through trial and error with respect to
field cumulative oil production, water injection, and fluid-flow
rates. Production and injection matching is a good indicator of
reservoir and fluid behavior because it reflects the matching
of water cut and saturation distributions. The entire produc- Supported By Knowledge Partner

tion history for the simulation period in this study is approxi-

mately 56 years.

Optimization Approaches One global industry. One city. One meeting place.
DOE is a systematic statistical tool that creates a proper set FORGING TIES, DRIVING GROWTH
of experiments for simulation. DOE is used for the purpose
of identifying the most sensitive factors that affect the re-
sponse through the sensitivity-analysis procedure. For this REGISTER TO HEAR FROM GLOBAL
study, LHS was adopted with proxy modeling to determine the
optimal values of the operational production decision factors OIL & GAS BUSINESS LEADERS
for GAGD optimization.

LHS. LHS is a statistical sampling tool that is used to create AT ONE OF THE WORLD’S
samples from input factors to construct many computer experi-
ments from a multidimensional distribution. To capture many
levels of variation for each factor with minimum experiments, CONFERENCES
the sampling techniques provide limited data points through

the design domain in a uniform distribution through the space- OPENING CEREMONY
filling design. LHS is an efficient design that produces uniform KEYNOTE & FEATURED SPEAKERS

and low-discrepancy observations.

LHS generates more-efficient experiments for K param-
eters than simple Monte Carlo sampling. More specifically,


it provides a regular spread-points design because it main- GLOBAL BUSINESS LEADER
tains the maximum distance between each design point and SESSIONS
all other points. Sampling K variables in LHS is performed by • DRILLING AND COMPLETION
dividing each factor into many equal partitions. LHS is also an GLOBAL DOWNSTREAM
augmentation procedure that generates a new set of experi- TECHNOLOGY
ments in a random manner if the original data set does not NEW
represent the problem. There is no exact procedure to deter- 9 C-SUITE DIALOGUES

mine the number of experiments that can be created.

Proxy Modeling. Adding the proxy model to the LHS meth-



od enables design-quality optimization by incorporating the MANAGEMENT

training data obtained from the LHS-designed simulations. 14 SECURITY IN ENERGY

More specifically, the training data are the simulation jobs • GAS TECHNOLOGY
created from LHS-designed experiments, and they are used
to build the proxy model. To increase the chance of reaching 8 WOMEN IN ENERGY

global optima and to improve prediction accuracy of the proxy
model, the training data need to be validated by verification-
simulation jobs. These verification-simulation jobs are creat-


ed iteratively to ensure a 95% confidence interval between the YOUNG ADIPEC
proxy-predicted and simulation-actual objective functions. ANNUAL YOUTH FORUM
The proxy model is updated frequently after adding a new
set of simulation jobs (verifications) to obtain the true op-
timal solution. The LHS-plus-proxy model was adopted for
optimization of production-control parameters through the
www.adipec.com/confreg +971 2 697 0500
GAGD process.
adipec.delegate@dmgeventsme.com +971 2 444 4383
The resulting polynomial proxy model then is included in
the response-surface methodology (RSM) for modeling the re- HostfiCfity fiOffififififififififififi fiTfifihnfififififiConffirfinfifi fiADIPEC
Pfirtnfir Orgfinfisfir OrgfinfisfififiBy


SPE Canada sponse factor as a function of input vari-
ables. Unlike the linear models, the RSM
Fuzzy logic/genetic algorithm is an
evolutionary algorithm of fuzzy-systems
Unconventional considers either the polynomial or the population, which is randomly generat-
ordinary Kriging model to obtain the ed by the genetic algorithm, to be used
Resources Conference ­expected value of the response factor. as a prediction model.

Additional Validation GBM. GBM is a powerful machine-­

www.spe.org/go/18URC and Comparison learning tool derived to capture com-
From the DOE and polynomial proxy plex nonlinear function dependencies.

modeling, 643 simulation jobs were cre- GBM has been adopted efficiently in
ated for training and validation runs. many data-driven tasks with high ac-
These runs then were adopted for the curacy in modeling and prediction of
comparison of three other proxy mod- response variables. In GBM, accurate
SPE Canada els: MARS, fuzzy logic/genetic algo- modeling is obtained by consecutively
rithm, and GBM. fitting new models to reduce the vari-
Heavy Oil ance between predicted and observed
MARS. MARS is a nonparametric regres- responses. The main idea of GBM is to
Technical Conference sion procedure that automatically fits learn the data to achieve maximum cor-
the relationship between variables, tak- relation with the negative gradient of
ing into account nonlinearity by use of the loss function. The idea behind loss
www.spe.org/go/18CHOC piecewise linear segments called splines. functions in GBM is to penalize large
In MARS, a set of coefficients and basis deviations from the target outputs and
functions, which are driven for the ex- ­neglect small residuals.
periments data, is used to build the re-
lationship between response param- Conclusions
eter and predictors. MARS is suitable The first proxy-modeling work flow in-
for high-dimensional predictors because cludes generating simulation jobs as
the basis functions partition the input training runs to build the proxy model,
data into regions, each with its own coef- which was iteratively validated through
ficients set to get rid of possible outliers. four sets of validation tests. To cre-
ate an accurate proxy model that truly
Fuzzy Logic/Genetic Algorithm. Fuzzy models the compositional reservoir
logic is a form of knowledge representa- simulator, polynomial regression and
tion suitable for notions that cannot be three other approaches were used to
defined precisely but that depend upon construct the proxy models. The four
their contexts. Fuzzy logic is a conve- models are polynomial (quadratic) re-
nient way to construct a fuzzy model of gression, MARS, fuzzy logic/genetic
the input and output data. A fuzzy-logic algorithm, and GBM. The GBM model
system consists of three stages—fuzzi- was the most accurate metamodel for the
Two great events, one low price. fier, fuzzy inference system, and de- GAGD process. The fuzzy-logic/genetic-
Register now! fuzzifier. The mechanism of fuzzy-logic algorithm proxy model was the second-
systems is as follows. The crisp inputs to best-matching model. The polynomial
the system are transformed into fuzzy and MARS proxy models showed signif-
inputs in the fuzzifier stage. Then, fuzzy icant mismatch between the cumulative
inputs are propagated to the inference oil production calculated by the simu-
Showcase your company system where the actual computation lator and predicted by the two proxy
to a targeted audience. is performed. The rule base, where the models. Additionally, the simulator- and
Become an exhibitor or sponsor! expert knowledge is contained, is com- proxy-based cumulative-oil-production
bined with fuzzy inputs and the infer- outputs from the GBM and fuzzy-­logic/
ence engine to produce fuzzy outputs genetic-algorithm models have bet-
for each rule in the rule base. These ter scatter-point matching than those
13–14 March 2018 fuzzy outputs form a fuzzy set, which is from the polynomial-­ regression and
transformed into a crisp value in the de- MARS models. Consequently, GBM and
Calgary, Alberta, Canada fuzzifier stage. The genetic algorithm, fuzzy-logic/­genetic-algorithm models
however, is a random search tool to can be used as a simplified alternative
Calgary Telus
generate potential solutions that com- metamodel to the full-­resolution com-
Convention Centre pete with each other in order to find an positional reservoir simulator through
optimal solution. GAGD evaluation and prediction. JPT



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Natural-Language-Processing Techniques
for Oil and Gas Drilling Data

R ecent advances in search, machine

learning, and natural-language
processing have made it possible to
come these issues, though doing so re-
quires a unified view of both prior risk
assessments and prior issues encoun-
Risk Assessment Database. The Risk
Assessment data set contains all of the
risks anticipated for a well or set of wells
extract structured information from tered. Chevron maintains both data sets in free-text form. The text usually con-
free text, providing a new and largely in disparate systems. The Risk Assess- sists of short phrases containing techni-
untapped source of insight for well and ment database contains descriptions of cal jargon.
reservoir planning. However, major risks from historical risk assessments, Unlike the Well Operations data set, the
challenges are involved in applying and the Well Operations database con- Risk Assessment data set is not labeled
these techniques to data that are messy tains descriptions of unexpected events with unexpected-event codes. The codes
or that lack a labeled training set. This and associated unexpected-event codes, are automatically extracted for a set of
paper presents a method to compare which categorize the unexpected events. approximately 1,400 risk-assessment in-
the distribution of hypothesized and Leveraging both, a system has been stances by use of handwritten rules. This
realized risks to oil wells described created that allows a project drilling en- data set is referred to as the Risk Assess-
in two data sets that contain free-text gineer to enter a risk in natural language, ment Auto data set. In order to validate the
descriptions of risks. return drilling codes related to this risk, results on the Risk Assessment data set, a
produce statistics showing how often random set of approximately 700 instanc-
Introduction these types of events have happened in es was hand labeled from the Risk Assess-
In the oil and gas industry, risk identifica- the past, and predict the likelihood of the ment data set. This data set is referred to
tion and risk assessment are critical. This problem occurring in certain fields. as the Risk Assessment Gold data set.
holds particularly true during the drilling
stages, which cannot begin before a risk Data Comparison. Although the Well Oper-
assessment is conducted. While these Well Operations Database. The Well ations and Risk Assessment data sets
risk assessments are typically conduct- Operations data set contains free-text were created for the same wells by peo-
ed in a group setting, the project drilling descriptions of unexpected events that ple from the same organization on the
engineer usually has a predetermined list occur during the lifetime of the well. same topics of unexpected events, signif-
of risks and likelihood scores that are the As events occur on the well, engineers icant differences exist between the two.
focus of the conversation. create log entries describing the events First, the vocabulary and style used in
One problem with this approach is that and categorizing them. Each unexpected the Risk Assessment data set differ from
drilling engineers are inherently biased event includes a free-text description and the vocabulary and style used in the Well
by personal experiences, which can affect two unexpected-event codes, Type and Operations data set. The Risk Assessment
their view on how likely an event is to hap- Type Detail. data set is cleaner and more formal than
pen. For example, if a project drilling en- The unexpected-event codes Type and the Well Operations data set. Drilling en-
gineer recently encountered well-control Type Detail provide category and subcat- gineers usually create the risk-assessment
issues, the engineer will likely overesti- egory classifications for the event. This data, while rig crews create the Well Op-
mate the chance of future well-control is- project focused only on five combina- erations data. The Risk Assessment data
sues. On the other hand, if the engineer tions of the Type and Type Detail labels, set is standardized, while the Well Opera-
has never encountered a well-control so Type and Type Detail were concate- tions descriptions are inconsistent in vo-
issue, it may be unintentionally omitted nated into a single label for each event. cabulary, structure, and spelling.
altogether from the risk assessments. All other labels were grouped into a sixth Second, the distribution of event types
Using historical data as a barometer category, Other, which includes the ma- in the Well Operations data set does not
could help the drilling engineer over- jority of the instances. match the distribution in the Risk As-
sessment data set. The Risk Assessment
data set is a list of potential events, so
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights costly events such as stuck pipe or lost
of paper SPE 181015, “Natural-Language-Processing Techniques on Oil and Gas circulation are more common, while the
Drilling Data,” by M. Antoniak, J. Dalgliesh, SPE, and M. Verkruyse, Maana, and Well Operations data set is a list of events
J. Lo, Chevron, prepared for the 2016 SPE Intelligent Energy International Conference that actually occurred, so the majority
and Exhibition, Aberdeen, 6–8 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed. are common events.

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

96 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Methods Operations test set and the Risk Assess-
An application was created that receives a ment Gold data set. The best results were

free-text risk assessment from an engineer found when the class weights were rebal-
and displays relevant events from past anced and the training data were supple-
operations. Historical data are searched mented with the Risk Assessment Auto
from the Well Operations data set to de- data set.

termine how many wells were drilled and Rebalancing the class weights was only
how many were labeled with the problem slightly helpful for the Well Operations
described in the input risk assessment. test set but was very helpful for the Risk
This allows users to determine the likeli- Assessment Gold data set.
hood of the risk occurring and helps the
engineer make accurate predictions.
To compare the input risk assess-
Supplementing the Well Opera-
tions training data with the automati-
cally labeled Risk Assessment instances
is a
ment with the historical data, the risk improved the results on the Risk As-
assessments are enriched with the sessment Gold data set even more than
unexpected-event-code labels from the rebalancing the class weights.
Well Operations data set. Once both data The large improvement caused by the

sets are labeled, users are able to compare supplemental Risk Assessment Auto data
a new risk assessment to the historical set is particularly interesting because the
data and to determine the accuracy of the distribution of the labels in the Risk As-
risk-assessment predictions by comparing sessment Auto data set varied signifi-

the distributions of the Risk Assessment cantly from the Well Operations or Risk
database’s risk assessments to the Well Assessment distributions. This improve-
Operations database’s unexpected events ment demonstrates that the investment of
for particular wells and well groups. a small amount of additional data (hand-
To obtain the unexpected-event-code written rules to get Risk Assessment Auto
labels for the risk assessments, a statis- data) can yield substantial improvements.
tical classifier is trained on the labeled The results allowed for building an ap-
data in the Well Operations data set. The plication through which drilling engi-
Well Operations instances are split into neers can predict risks to wells better by
60% training, 20% development, and viewing the historical risk assessments,
20% test sets, and the Risk Assessment the encountered unexpected problems,
database descriptions are treated as an and a unified view of the two.
unlabeled test set. A series of preprocess-
ing functions is applied to the free-text Conclusion Nominate a colleague for
descriptions: The text is made lowercase, Natural language is the primary means outstanding work
numbers and punctuation are removed, n- of human-to-human communication, but in the E&P industry.
gram features are extracted, and features it can pose potential problems during
that occur fewer than five times in the Well analysis with nonmanual means. In the Now until 15 February, the
Operations training set are removed. The world of drilling operations, enormous
Society of Petroleum Engineers
remaining features are used to convert amounts of historical data are captured in
each instance into a sparse-feature vector. this format, often stored in free-text de- is accepting nominations
To address the differences in style and scriptions of events. These historical data for outstanding work in the
vocabulary between the Risk Assessment can be very useful if they can be mined E&P industry.
and Well Operations data sets, a set of and presented to engineers when they
Visit www.spe.org/awards
labeled instances was automatically ex- are planning a similar drilling operation.
tracted from the Risk Assessment data This paper presents some techniques to for more information on
set. A series of simple queries was written navigate between and connect indepen- nominating a colleague today.
that captures unambiguous unexpected- dently created free-text databases and
event-code matches. These instances were shows how to supplement unstructured
added to the Well Operations training data with labels so that these data can
set, and the combined Well Operations/ be compared with and used alongside
Risk Assessment Auto data set was used structured data. These natural-language-
to train the classification model. processing techniques allow unstruc-
tured data to be searched, organized, and
Results mined, allowing engineers to leverage
The classifier is evaluated by running the underlying insights without having to
the model against both the held-out Well read through entire databases. JPT



Sand Management and Sand Control

Xiuli Wang, SPE, Senior Adviser, Baker Hughes, a GE Company

More than half of all existing wells are To ensure successful revitalization of existing wells in order to
estimated to require sand control or sand squeeze more production from deplet-
management throughout their lifetime, sand management, ed reservoirs. The same holistic sand-
including unconsolidated sandstone in a multidisciplinary management tactic should be applied to
conventional reservoirs or flowback in remedial sand control.
unconventional reservoirs. The majority
engagement In summary, production from sand-
of recent major hydrocarbon discoveries, is necessary. prone reservoirs is a daunting task,
from Africa (Mozambique, Angola, and with formidable challenges. Sand
Tanzania), transcontinental countries control barriers. In a worst-case scenar- management and control remain
(Egypt), North America (US and Cana- io, this can lead to dangerous uncon- as an old problem but with new chal-
da), to Far East Asia (Malaysia), are off- trolled production. lenges because of the suppressed
shore with high-permeability soft forma- To ensure successful sand manage- oil and gas prices. Cost-saving and
tion sands. Approximately half of them ment, a multidisciplinary engagement value-adding solutions are vital now
are gas-bearing reservoirs. is necessary. The teams should be able more than ever.
High-flow-rate gas wells are partic- to predict sanding tendencies, detect For more information, read the fea-
ularly susceptible to sand production. the sanding locations, select appropri- tured papers, recommended addi-
High-velocity or turbulent fluid flow ate downhole sand-management and tional reading, and other publications
generates large drag forces, dislodging -control devices, and implement the best at OnePetro. JPT
unconsolidated sand particles. The free- operating practices for the life of the well.
flowing particles can erode downhole Because of the current downturn,
and surface equipment, including well- operators are shifting their efforts to the Recommended additional reading
at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
Xiuli Wang, SPE, is a senior adviser with Baker Hughes, a GE SPE 181596 Defining Sand Control in an
company. Previously, she was vice president and chief technol- Uncharted Frontier: A Case Study on the
ogy officer for XGas, focusing on natural-gas monetization. Zawtika Field Development in Myanmar
Wang also has 8 years of operational experience with BP, spe- by Graham Grant, PTTEP International, et al.
cializing in oil and natural-gas production, completion, and sand SPE 181360 Case History: Integrated
control. She holds a PhD degree in chemical engineering from Approach to Sand Management and
the University of Houston, a BS degree from Dalian University of Completion Evaluation for Sand Producer
Technology, and an MS degree from Tsinghua University. Wang in a Mature Field, North Sea by M. Ruslan,
was the associate editor in chief of the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering Dong Oil and Gas, et al.
during 2008–11 and currently serves on the JPT Editorial Committee. In 2007, she was SPE 182511 New Criteria for Slotted-Liner
named the United States Asian American Engineer of the Year by the Chinese Design for Heavy-Oil Thermal Production
Institute of Engineers—USA. Wang was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2013–14 and by Mahdi Mahmoudi, University of Alberta,
was named an SPE Distinguished Member in 2014. et al.

98 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Downhole Sand-Ingress Detection
With Fiber-Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensors

T here is currently no proven

technology available in the market
that accurately identifies downhole
production to improve future
fingerprint of sand ingress into
hydrocarbon-producing wells (i.e., to
have a description of what sand ingress
sand-ingress locations in real time. Sand Detection into a production tubing “sounded” like
In this paper, the authors present While conventional surface acoustic on DAS optical fiber). This acoustic pat-
results from use of a new technology sand detectors provide a delayed indi- tern of sand ingress was derived em-
that uses in-well-conveyed fiber-optic cation of onset of downhole sanding pirically with the help of experimental
distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) for events, they do not provide information data from a multiphase flow-loop ex-
the detection of sand-ingress zones about the zones in the reservoir that periment. The results have now also
across the reservoir section throughout are producing sand. A successful sand- been modeled through first principles
the production period in real time. shutoff operation, however, requires to obtain a clearer understanding of the
knowledge and definitive identification underlying physics. The flow loop com-
Introduction of the zones (or depth sections) in the prised a test section with multiple fluid
Mechanical sand-control systems are reservoir contributing to sanding and and sand-ingress ports. The fiber was
not always fully effective. The end re- their relative concentrations. attached to the outside of the test pipe
sult may be high sand production, which DAS has been viewed as a potential to simulate the case in which the fiber is
results in choking back the well and candidate technology for downhole installed as part of the downhole com-
reducing hydrocarbon production sig- sand detection in recent years. DAS sys- pletion. Known concentrations of sand
nificantly. In most cases, the precise tems are intrinsic optical-fiber-based were then injected along with known
sanding interval is unknown, making acoustic-sensing systems that use the quantities of multiphase fluids, to sim-
sand-remediation operations (such as backscatter component of the light ulate reservoir conditions better. The
remedial plug placements) often ineffec- injected into an optical fiber to de- DAS data were then gatherered across
tive. A successful remediation requires tect acoustic perturbations along the the entire test section to analyze the
identification of locations of sand entry length of the fiber. The fiber itself acts characteristics of the acoustic data spe-
to inform targeted sand-shutoff oper- as the sensing element, with no addi- cifically at the sand-entry points and to
ations. However, no proven technolo- tional transducers in the optical path, compare these with zones where there
gy accurately identifies sand-ingress and measurements are taken along the was no sand injection but only multi-
locations during well production in length of the entire fiber, allowing for phase fluids. These experiments formed
real time. a true distributed measurement using the basis for uniquely identifying and
The technology described in this a single fiber. The technology provides extracting the sand-ingress fingerprint.
paper has now been used successfully sensitivity to strain variations by moni- This was followed by experiments to
◗ To monitor sand ingress during toring changes in the length and index quantify the performance limits of the
production (in real time) to inform of refraction of the fiber induced by im- DAS system by varying the concentra-
and optimize oil production pinging acoustic pressure waves. tions of injected sand at different loca-
◗ To inform and implement a tions across the test section.
targeted sand-shutoff operation to Technology Development Specific tests were also conducted
increase hydrocarbon-production Flow-Loop Experimentation. The first to examine the variability of the sand-
rates step in developing a real-time sand- ingress acoustic pattern with respect
◗ To assess the reliability of the detection system was to develop a to variations typically observed during
sand-control equipment during physical understanding of the acoustic production, to simulate reservoir con-
ditions better. The data were also ana-
lyzed to distinguish sand transportation
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of
acoustics from sand-ingress acoustics.
paper SPE 183329, “Downhole Sand-Ingress Detection With Fiber-Optic Distributed
Acoustic Sensors,” by Pradyumna Thiruvenkatanathan, Tommy Langnes, Field Trials. Following the flow-loop
Paul Beaumont, Daniel White, and Michael Webster, BP, prepared for the trials, the performance of the DAS sys-
2016 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, tem and the real-time sand-detection
7–10 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed. algorithm was tested with field data

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 99

SPE Artificial 0

Lift Conference


and Exhibition—

Measured Depth (m)

Slug Flow



28–30 August 2018 3000 Surface sand sample

The Waterway Marriott taken during
3500 highlighted interval
and Convention Center
The Woodlands, Texas, USA 22:50 23:05 23:20 23:35 23:50 00:05 00:20 00:35 00:50 01:05 01:20
Time Stamp
Surface flowline acoustic-sensor data

Call for Papers Fig. 1—DAS-system sound field filtered to monitor sand transport.

is Now Open! acquired on a well with a history of

sand production. The candidate well
signals were then averaged through time
to construct a sand log across the entire
had openhole-gravel-pack completions, reservoir section.
Submit your proposal by and a fiber-optic cable was preinstalled The DAS-system sand log presents
24 October 2017 across the reservoir interval. Three con- the acoustic amplitude (filtered for sand
secutive field trials were conducted at ingress) as a function of depth across
6-month intervals. the reservoir interval. Reviewing the
Field Trial 1. The acquired data were log indicates five distinct zones of sand
“Share your technical depth calibrated to ensure data align- ingress, with relatively higher sand-
advancements and ment with the wellbore measured depth ingress noise observed in Zones 3 and 4.
gain exposure for (MD) before commencement of data ac- The DAS data were then further an-
your work among key quisition for sand-monitoring purposes. alyzed to study the transportation of
players in the E&P The DAS data were acquired from the en- the sand from the point of entry all the
industry.” tire length of the fiber that was installed way up to the surface. Fig. 1 displays
permanently within the downhole com- a DAS sound field, filtered to moni-
Greg Stephenson, ConocoPhillips pletion assembly. The well was initially tor sand transportation over the en-
Program Committee Chairperson operated at a steady production rate and tire well depth, acquired for a period of
then ramped up to higher drawdown several hours during well ramp up. The
pressure before being brought back to sound field displays the calibrated mea-
initial production conditions. The data sured depth along the y-axis and the
were then manually processed to check time stamp along the x-axis; the acous-
and analyze the data gathered across tic intensity is shown by a color scale
the reservoir section, to identify zones (with red being high acoustic intensity
with acoustic signals with characteris- and blue being low). The plot also over-
tics similar to those of the sand-ingress lays the surface flowline acoustic-sensor
pattern as modeled and experimental- data (red data trace at the bottom of the
ly observed during the flow-loop trials. illustration) aligned in time with the
This indicated multiple depth zones DAS sound field.
with acoustics with characteristics simi- A few observations can be made from
lar to those of the sand-ingress pattern, the sound field shown in Fig. 1:
and these zones of interest were then ◗ Filtering the DAS sound fields to
investigated further to verify confor- pick up sand-transport acoustics
mance with the sand-ingress pattern. indicated sand slugs originating
The data were later reprocessed to filter from approximately 3000-m MD
out the background flow and instrumen- and reaching the surface with
tation noise. The filtered sand acoustic velocities increasing at shallower


depths. Correlating the DAS well was brought back into production. The results show a substantial reduc-
measurements at times when the The DAS system was then reconnected tion in the overall sand production (by
sand slugs reach the surface with to the optical fiber, and the data acquisi- more than 70%) after remediation, in-
the data captured on the surface tion commenced. The complete end-to- dicating a successful treatment. This
acoustic sensors at the production end technology solution incorporating was also confirmed through physi-
flowlines indicates a good match the real-time sand-detection algorithm cal samples taken on the surface. The
between the filtered DAS data and was installed and tested as part of the lower sanding rates have also en-
the surface sensor data. field trial. Sand logs were also computed abled further ramp up of the well, con-
◗ A red carpet of high-intensity in real time to evaluate and compare the sequently leading to a significant in-
acoustics is observed near sanding behavior observed downhole crease in oil production by more than
the surface. This is because of post-remediation. 2,000 B/D. JPT
contamination by surface noise
(caused by mechanical equipment
on the surface) that may be filtered
and removed through further
processing. Visit CARBO at SPE ATCE Booth 1345
Field Trial 2. To check the repeatabil- Proppant pack
ity of the measurement, a second field consolidation
trial was conducted in the candidate technology
well, 6 months after the first field trial.
This time, the well was initially shut in
and then ramped up in steps, holding
the production rates stable for several
hours at each choke setting. As part of
the field trial, data-processing and real-
time data-handling infrastructure was your
developed to enable real-time stream-
ing of processed acoustic data. Back-end
visualization systems were also built to
visualize and manipulate the processed
acoustic data in real time.
Sand logs were computed at each of
the production rates (under stable draw-
down conditions), and the computed
logs were then integrated through time
to construct drawdown-lapsed sand
logs. These sand logs allow for a better
representation of the temporal behavior Conventional proppant FUSION technology
Unconsolidated pack Consolidated pack
of sand ingress across the sanding inter-
vals identified downhole.
The first data trace, as seen in Fig. 5
of the complete paper, shows the sand Now you can create a bonded, high integrity
log computed at a relatively low draw- proppant pack without closure stress
down (of nearly 160 psi). When com-
paring these results with those of Field FUSION® proppant pack consolidation technology
prevents proppant washout from the non-compressive
Trial  1, it may be observed that many
annulus and near-wellbore areas to protect critical
of the sand-producing intervals identi- well integrity.
fied in Field Trial 1 remain consistent
in Field Trial 2. As the drawdown is in- The technology forms a high-integrity, high-permeability
creased progressively, more zones are proppant pack so you can inject and produce at the
ultra-high rates required to improve well economics and
seen to produce sand.
increase EUR.
Field Trial 3. The results from Field
Trials 1 and 2 were then used to ex- FUSION technology has been successfully deployed in
ecute a DAS-informed targeted sand- GOM deepwater injection wells, and can be applied for
remediation operation. Selected sand- frac and pack sand control applications.
ingress zones as identified in Field
Trials 1 and 2 were isolated with
mechanical-patch technology, and the

JPT • OCTOBER 2017 101

Advancement in Openhole Sand-Control
Applications With Shape-Memory Polymer

C onventional openhole sand-

control techniques include
standalone screens, expandable
to the Tg of the polymer. Then, a me-
chanical force is applied to compact it to
a smaller diameter and onto a retainer
screens, and openhole gravel cartridge. The condensed SMP is then
packing (OHGP). In some cases, cooled below its Tg, and the force is re-
the uniformity, size, and level moved. The SMP retains its compacted
of compressive strength of the size until the surrounding temperature
formation dictate the use of an OHGP of the SMP reaches the Tg, at which point
completion. However, OHGP is not shape recovery begins.
always feasible or practical for some The bottomhole temperature (BHT)
reservoirs and geographic locations. of the candidate reservoirs needs to be
Shape-memory-polymer (SMP) lower than the Tg to ensure that the SMP
technology can fill the gaps that is rigid under the downhole conditions Openings in Cells Cells
exist with current OHGP techniques. during the production phase. After the Fig. 1—Multiple opened and
This paper summarizes a technology SMP sand-control system is installed in connected cells/slits shown on the
using SMP to provide downhole sand a wellbore, to expand the SMP under a surface scan of the SMP sample.
control in openhole environments. BHT that is lower than the Tg, an activa-
tion fluid must be introduced. This acti- ferent particle-size distributions (PSDs)
Introduction vation fluid serves as a catalyst and tem- have been tested by measuring the pres-
The SMP conformable sand-control sys- porarily reduces the Tg below the BHT sure drop across a layer of sand and the
tem consists of an engineered polymer so the SMP will be recovered to its ini- SMP specimen as well as measuring the
material compacted onto a retainer car- tial shape. After the SMP is deployed, amount of effluent that passed through
tridge (outer shroud, plain Dutch-weave the activation fluid is flushed out. The the tested media. Test results show that
mesh, and inner shroud). The assembly is SMP retains its recovered shape that con- the total particles in the effluent of each
then installed onto a perforated base pipe forms to the wellbore, and it is ready test are less than 10% of the total sand
by mechanical means to provide a sim- for production. used in the test. More than 90% of the
ple modular system for openhole sand- produced-sand particles are less than
control applications. SMP Sand-Retention 44 µm, regardless of the uniformity co-
and Filtration Capabilities efficient, the sorting coefficient, and the
SMP Principle and Engineered Behav- To evaluate the SMP sand-retention and fines percentage.
iors. The SMP typically has two differ- filtration capabilities, besides the stan- These sands are very different in
ent states: the glass state at low tem- dard prepack tests and slurry tests, ad- terms of sand-particle sizes, sorting,
peratures and the rubber state at higher ditional tests were conducted to simu- uniformity, and fines percentage. How-
temperatures. The point of change of late the effect of reservoir compaction ever, with the same size/type of SMP,
state (the transition from the glass state on the performance of the SMP. These the sand-filtration performances from
to the rubber state), and the associated tests applied a dynamic load through the these tests are satisfactory, with no in-
temperature, is referred to as the glass simulated formation sand and the sand- dication of plugging or undesirable
transit temperature (Tg). control media. sand production.
The engineered SMP has a defined
Tg—the point where shape recovery Dynamic Filtration Tests and Re- Performance Comparisons
starts. The initial SMP is first heated sults. Many formation sands with dif- Between the SMP and OHGP
The SMP is made up of irregularly shaped
cells with multiple openings (slits) for
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights cell-to-cell connectivity and flow path
of paper SPE 181361, “Advancement in Openhole Sand-Control Applications With (Fig. 1). This unique structure enables
Shape-Memory Polymer,” by Xiuli Wang and Gbenga Osunjaye, Baker Hughes, a GE the SMP to achieve sand control by al-
company, prepared for the 2016 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, lowing particles less than 44 µm in size to
Dubai, 26–28 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed. pass through, regardless of the formation

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at www.spe.org/jpt.

102 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

PSD. It is a one-size-fits-all sand-control duces the Tg of the SMP to a level below of surfactants and other solvents that
medium. To examine the sand-retention the BHT, enabling the BHT to activate disperse filter cakes and remove other
capability of the SMP and OHGP sys- the SMP expansion at reservoir condi- organic depositions such as asphaltene
tems and compare them, three simulated tions. As a result, a wellbore-completion that can ultimately reduce effective per-
formation sands with low, medium, and design using a SMP conformable sand- meability. Stated simply, breaker fluids
high uniformity coefficients, respective- control system requires a review of the are used to improve productivity. To save
ly, were tested. Results indicated that, for candidate-reservoir BHT and design of rig time and to avoid multiple trips, it
a given formation sand, it is necessary to an activation fluid to deploy the SMP is advantageous to combine the break-
size the OHGP gravel/screen on the basis after installation. er fluid with the activator needed for
of the formation PSD to effectively con- The suitable BHT to use the SMP con- SMP deployment. In fact, studies have
trol the sand. formable sand-control system is between shown that some breaker fluids are com-
The test results indicate a lower sand 100 and 200°F. Recent research-and- posed of organic compounds that are
production for a smaller-sized gravel sys- development studies also indicated that similar to the SMP activator, in which
tem (40/60-US-mesh gravels) but higher SMP field application in reservoirs with case the breaker fluid can, on its own,
pressure drop across the tested media temperatures as low as 40°F is also possi- deploy the SMP.
and, conversely, higher sand produc- ble. Deployment in such low-temperature
tion for larger gravel sizes (12/20-mesh reservoirs requires the use of a noncon- Openhole Preparation
gravels) with lower pressure drop. These ventional activator. and Operational Procedures
analyses also show some variation in per- Similar to conventional sand-control-
formances between wire-wrap screens Activation-Fluid Design. The reservoir screen deployment, wellbore cleanliness
and mesh screens when the same gravel with a higher BHT requires a lower con- is very important for SMP applications.
sizes were used. centration of activator in the activation To ensure successful application, it is
The SMP, in comparison, has a fluid to achieve SMP expansion to the highly recommended to implement in-
pressure-drop profile similar to the reservoir gauge hole and beyond. Con- dustry best practices (discussed in the
20/40-US-mesh gravel-pack test, but it versely, the lower the BHT of the reser- complete paper) in openhole preparation
maintains a better sand-control efficien- voir, the higher the concentration of ac- before installation.
cy by producing less formation sand and tivator needed in the activation fluid to
keeping the particle size of the produced bring about the SMP expansion. Operational Procedure. The SMP con-
sands to less than 44 μm. An activation fluid comprises the formable sand-control system can be de-
base completion fluid and the SMP ac- ployed using conventional installation
SMP-Application BHT Range tivator. The concentration of the ac- techniques for standalone screens cou-
and Activation-Fluid Design tivator depends on the reservoir BHT pled with the following criteria:
Deployment of the SMP is primarily and the type of base fluid (such as com- ◗ The completion bottomhole
dependent on the variation of the sur- pletion brine, conditioned mud, or assembly (BHA) must be
rounding temperature with respect to filter-cake-breaker fluid). configured to enable a full-bore
the inherent Tg of the SMP material. Ac- Typically, the activator concentration flow path to the shoe. This is
tivation of the SMP expansion occurs if is less than 9% by volume of the activa- critical so that the activation fluid
the surrounding temperature is higher tion fluid, to ensure that the flash point can be pumped in a manner that
than the Tg of the SMP; otherwise, no of the activation fluid is kept in a low- enables displacement to start from
activation occurs. The transition of the risk category during field operation. An the shoe (at the bottom of the
SMP varies on the basis of its surround- analysis of the SMP-expansion rate was assembly) to the surface.
ing fluid. It requires higher temperature performed with varying activator con- ◗ The completion-tool BHA must be
to commence activation in a dry environ- centrations and water-based mud and equipped with features that prevent
ment (such as in air) than in a wet envi- potassium chloride brine as base fluids. accidental liftoff (swab) of the filter
ronment (such as in a liquid). Each test was carried out at 195°F to en- cake. During tubing movement in
Before wellbore installation of the sure that the observable differences in and out of the packer sealbore,
SMP, the candidate well should have activation duration were caused only by the system must have a uniform
a BHT that is below the Tg to ensure the different fluid environments. hydrostatic communication at
that the SMP remains rigid and will not The results of these studies verify that, all times. This is also a critical
change shape. Consequently, to acti- in conjunction with the temperature of requirement because accidental
vate the SMP in bottomhole conditions, the test environment, the type of fluid liftoff of the mud filter cake can
the bottomhole fluid would have to be also affects the expansion rate. result in loss of the activation
an activation fluid. The activation fluid fluid. Techniques for installation
comprises the wellbore completion fluid Activation-Fluid Design With Filter- can be deployed by a liner-hanger
with an addition of a smaller fraction Cake-Breaker Fluid. Breaker fluids are configuration or by a sand-control-
of solvent, called an activator in this typically pumped downhole to cover the packer configuration. These
paper. The activator in the activation entire openhole region and break down procedures are outlined in the
fluid acts as a catalyst. It temporarily re- the mud filter cake. These fluids consist complete paper. JPT

104 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Paper Proposal
Submission Deadline:
29 January 2018

Learn more and

submit your proposal
online at

Society of Petroleum Engineers

Annual Technical
Conference and
24–26 September 2018 È Dallas, Texas, USA
Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
One-Trip Multizone Sand-Control-Completion
System in the Gulf of Mexico Lower Tertiary

T his paper provides perspective

on the current state of multizone
completion technology and issues
yond merely the water depth and the well
depth required to reach the reservoirs.
These exploration plays depend on
with downhole flow control. Accomplish-
ing downhole control requires interval
control valves (ICVs) rated to 15,000 psi.
encountered in the industry with understanding the updip fluvial/deltaic Because of the outside diameter of the
developing a system that offers stratigraphic architecture and the poten- large-bore valves, the two valves are run
increased capabilities to meet the tial for partitioning of reservoir-quality in tandem (with the lower valve shroud-
increasing challenges presented by the sandstones across the depositional shelf ed) and both are placed above the sand-
Lower Tertiary in the Gulf of Mexico into the slope and basin floor environ- face assembly. This ICV configuration
(GOM). The multizone technology ments. The Lower Tertiary is estimated provides interval selectivity for two pro-
has proved to be an enabler for cost- to contain up to 15 billion bbl of oil. ducing intervals. In the Lower Tertia-
efficient completions in the shallow- ry, the tandem ICV configuration allows
well environment and in the high- Current State separation and control of the lower and
cost ultradeepwater environment of Multizone Technology upper Wilcox Formation. Qualified ICVs
requiring high-rate fracture- The Generation IV multizone system has rated to the 15,000-psi working pressure
stimulation treatments. been deployed successfully in the Lower are nearing commercialization.
Tertiary by multiple operators. To the
Lower Tertiary GOM authors’ knowledge, the multistage com- Lower Tertiary Challenges
The Lower Tertiary play is south and pletion system and enhanced single-trip One of the initial challenges of the
west of the Miocene area in the GOM multizone fracturing systems had been Lower Tertiary was to deliver a single-
and is, consequently, in deeper water. installed in 10 wells as of the summer trip 10,000-psi-rated multizone com-
The Lower Tertiary is located approxi- of 2015, with additional well installa- pletion system that met the follow-
mately 175 miles offshore and is estimat- tions planned. These systems are rated to ing requirements:
ed at 80 miles wide and up to 300 miles 10,000 psi, and the enhanced single-trip ◗ Deployed through the long
long. Water depths are from 5,000 to multizone tool system offering an open- perforated interval and at well
10,000  ft. Production targets are at hole variant was installed in one five- depths approaching 30,000 ft
depths of 10,000 to 30,000 ft subsea. zone completion. ◗ Capable of isolating and fracturing
The Tertiary trend is from 66 million One of these systems was qualified up to five individual intervals
to 38 million years old. Within the Lower with a fracturing rating of 45 bbl/min ◗ Able to locate and maintain tool
Tertiary, the Lower Wilcox portion pres- and a proppant volume per inter- positions during treatment stages
ents sheet to amalgamated-sheet sands val of 750,000  lbm or a maximum of ◗ Able to fracture five to six intervals
considered to be part of a regional basin 3,750,000 lbm for five intervals. The ma- without tripping the service tool
floor fan system. jority of intervals pumped, to date, have ◗ Ensures that lower-completion
The Late Paleocene to Early Eocene been placed in the 35-bbl/min range, components (ported closing sleeves,
(Wilcox equivalent) reservoirs are con- while proppant volumes continue to in- modular screen, production sleeves,
sidered to be laterally extensive sheet crease, with more than 2,000,000 lbm fracturing circulation sleeves) can
sands that were deposited in deep water. placed in one three-zone completion. effectively isolate each interval after
These reservoirs are distributed across The initial completion focus was on stimulation
an area largely covered by the allochtho- the immediate challenges of the sand- ◗ Maintains well control during
nous Sigsbee salt canopy. It is this cano- face completion. Operators are now try- deployment of the intermediate-
py that causes additional problems be- ing to maximize hydrocarbon recovery completion string containing the
inner internal string for opening
sleeves and isolating the ported
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of
closing sleeves for commingled
paper OTC 27183, “Current State of the One-Trip Multizone Sand-Control-Completion production
System and the Conundrum Faced in the Gulf of Mexico Lower Tertiary,” by Bruce The initial sandface challenges
Techentien, Tommy Grigsby, and Thomas Frosell, Halliburton, prepared for the were resolved with the first successful
2016 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 2–5 May. The paper has not been peer multizone-system deployments. As op-
reviewed. Copyright 2016 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission. erators began to explore future develop-

The complete paper is available for purchase at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.

106 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

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used or, in well production, if the produc-
tion sleeve and fracturing sleeve are left
closed in an interval and adjacent pro-
ducing intervals are depleted.
Fig. 1—Multizone completion system. The conundrum facing current comple-
tion designers consists of several issues:
ment prospects in their lease portfolios, assembly (from below), a collapse pres- ◗ Meeting the higher pressure
additional challenges were identified. sure will be applied on the completion kit requirements while maximizing
The new challenges will require an in- from the gravel-pack ported sleeve to the the multizone system ID to enable
creasingly robust multizone system. top of the screen. This could lead to a col- maximum fracturing rates and
lapse of the external components, result- maximum production and injection
Lower Tertiary Casing ing in either a breach in pressure integri- rates.
Design and Challenges ty or the item collapsing around the inner ◗ Balancing the conflicting
The current predominant Lower Ter- string and causing sticking of the service- requirements of a 50% increase in
tiary casing design places 8.5-in.- tool assembly. pressure rating, increased flow rates,
inner-diameter (ID) drift heavyweight The second criterion is caused by pres- and sandface monitoring, all while
casing across the reservoir. Alterna- sure depletion of the reservoir. In the installing the system in the same
tive completion designs include plac- current completion scenario (Fig. 1), all casing drift ID.
ing 6.5-in.-ID drift heavyweight cas- zones are flowed to an inner string in a ◗ Optimizing modular screen systems
ing across the reservoir or completing commingled flow pattern. The comple- to provide the required pressure
in an 8.5-in. openhole section through tion is not designed with the ability to rating, an acceptable production flow
the reservoir. This paper focuses on the shut off one interval while producing the area, and a casing-to-screen annular
8.5-in.-cased-hole completion. remaining intervals. In this configura- area that allows for successful gravel
Optimally, a larger-ID casing would tion, differential pressure between pro- packing.
be installed across the reservoir. This ducing intervals is not an issue. The addi-
would allow equipment designers the tion of an intelligent-well kit that enables Conclusion
latitude necessary to meet higher pres- flow control of two or more intervals Designing the next generation of multi-
sure requirements with the desired burst highlights the issue of pressure depletion zone systems (Generation V) will be chal-
and collapse safety factor at temperature between intervals. In a tandem ICV con- lenging, from not only a drilling perspec-
while maintaining the desired fracturing- figuration, the valves are placed above tive but also a completion perspective. An
rate capability, increased proppant vol- the top sand-control packer to control operator or a group of operators should
ume, and increased production and in- two intervals. The differential forces will clearly define the requirements of the
jection rate. Instead, the 8.5-in.-ID drift act against the internal string and sting- next-generation system to the service
casing requires equipment designers to er seals, the isolation-packer assembly, providers. This definition should include
use a balanced design approach to meet and the ICVs in a two-zone system. When mandatory and optional features, with
the Lower Tertiary requirements with a ICVs are installed adjacent to each pro- the understanding that not all features
minimum number of trade-offs. ducing interval, the differential forces act can be included in a single system.
The following factors, described in de- against the stinger seals, the ICV, and the Generation V multizone systems will
tail in the complete paper, should be con- inner isolation string. require time to develop. They could be
sidered when designing or evaluating the The third criterion is related to frac- included in the new high-pressure/high-
next-generation multizone systems for ture geometry. If the fracture treatment temperature annex if the tools are rated
the requirements of the Lower Tertiary: does not create vertical height growth, at greater than 15,000 psi, and this will
◗ Pressure requirements and it is possible that the reservoir section necessitate additional testing, validation,
metallurgy adjacent to the unperforated casing be- and lead time. The requirements estab-
◗ Temperature degradation tween zones will remain at original pres- lished at the beginning of the design pro-
◗ Safety factors sure. This will result in future drilling is- cess will have to be acceptable for several
◗ Zonal control sues when additional in-field wells are years to accommodate rigorous develop-
◗ Well geometry drilled. An openhole multizone comple- ment activities. As requirements for the
◗ Fracture stimulation tion could be considered as a viable com- Lower Tertiary change and become more
◗ Running technique pletion methodology that would poten- challenging, the industry should revis-
tially eliminate the virgin-pressure issue. it every aspect of the well, from spud to
The Lower Tertiary Conundrum In the first two scenarios, the screen landing the tubing hanger.
Several criteria drive the requirement for does not experience differential pressure It is not unreasonable to consider a
a 15,000-psi-rated multizone sandface as long as the fracturing circulation sleeve 3-year development time for these sys-
assembly. The first is experienced during remains open for annular pressure moni- tems, which would mean that an estab-
installation of the fracturing stimulation. toring during the fracturing treatment. lished set of parameters in mid-2016
If a hard screenout exceeds the maxi- Screen differential pressure will occur if would result in equipment deliveries in
mum pressure limit of the gravel-pack a squeeze fracturing treatment method is late 2019 or early 2020. JPT

108 JPT • OCTOBER 2017


STEVE GILBERT, SPE, was appointed direc-

tor of asset management and decommis- In Memoriam
sioning at Lloyd’s Register. He will be based
This section lists with regret SPE members who recently
in Aberdeen. Gilbert has more than 25
passed away. If you would like to report the passing of a
years of experience working with major in-
family member who was an SPE member, please write to
ternational operators and contractors. His
previous senior management positions in-
clude vice president of operations at LR Senergy, director of Richard B. Banks, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
operations at Transocean Solutions, and country manager at Johnny F. Boggs, Meadows Place, Texas, USA
GlobalSantaFe. Gilbert holds a BEng in mining engineering Ralph D. Burks, Dallas, Texas, USA
from Camborne School of Mines in UK. Eugene H. Fletcher, Houston, Texas, USA
Rick George, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
TAMÁS SZAKÁL, SPE, vice president of MOL E&P, and chair- John C. Minter, Austin, Texas, USA
man of the Hungarian Mining Association, was decorated Michael T. Olanson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
with the Hungarian Silver Cross of Merit based on the deci- Samuel D. Powers, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
sion of Hungarian President János Áder. Szakál received his Jack M. Pugh, Highland Village, Texas, USA
award in recognition of outstanding professional work in the Raymond J. Watkins, Houston, Texas, USA
field of hydrocarbon exploration and production for the safe-
ty of Hungary’s energy supply, and for activities undertaken
at MOL Group. Hungary’s Minister of National Development
Miklós Seszták presented the award.

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2. Publication No. 0028-1960. 3. Date of filing, August 24, 2017. 4. Frequency of issue, monthly. 5. No. of issues published annually, 12. 6. Annual subscription price,
$4.50. 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication, SPE, 222 Palisades Creek Drive, Richardson, TX 75080-2040, Dallas County. 8. Complete mailing
address of the headquarters or general business offices of the publishers, SPE, 222 Palisades Creek Drive, Richardson, TX 75080-2040. 9. Name and address of pub-
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security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities (none). 12. The purpose, function, and nonprofit status
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Waterflood & EOR Studies 909 Fannin St., Ste. 1300 Fax: (713) 654-9914
• Environmental studies Houston, TX 77010 e-mail: mail@millerandlents.com
Geological & Petrophysical Analysis
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Austin • (512) 425-2000 Houston • (281) 560-4560
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Technologies, Inc.
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Phone (972) 385-0354 www.wmcobb.com Seismic Interpretation & Modeling Fractured Reservoir Characterization/Modeling
FAX (972) 788-5165 office@wmcobb.com Stratigraphy & Petrophysics Gas Storage • Unconventional • EOR • CO2 CCS Black
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COUTRET AND ASSOCIATES, INC. Enhanced Oil Recovery Studies
Petroleum Reservoir Engineers Well Test Design & Analysis Provider of LYNX®, MatchingPro®,
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www.irt-inc.com IRT_Information@irt-inc.com www.NITECLLC.com

110 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Curtis H. Whitson
PetroTel Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska, LLC
Alaska’s Oil and Gas Consultants
Leaders in Oil and Gas Technology Geology, Geophysics, and Engineering
& Associates FIELD DEVELOPMENT PLANS | RESERVOIR www.Petroak.com
3601 C Street (907) 272-1232 voice
CHARACTERIZATION & SIMULATION | Suite 1424 (907) 272-1344 fax
EOS Fluid Characterization WATERFLOODING | ENHANCED OIL Anchorage, AK 99503
Gas Condensate Specialists MAPPING & ANALYSIS | WELL TESTING | Tarek Ahmed & Associates Ltd.
Compositional Simulation Expertise DRILLING | RESERVES AUDITS | TRAINING Taking Petroleum Engineering Training
Pipe-It Integrated-Model Optimization Worldwide Offices: to a New Level
USA | UAE | Malaysia | Oman | Russia For dates & descriptions
Skonnertveien 7, 1st floor • 7053 Ranheim Norway of courses held worldwide, please visit us at
Phone 47 7384 8080 / Fax 47 7384 8081 Ph: +1-972-473-2767
whitson@pera.no / www.pera.no contact@petrotel.com | www.petrotel.com www.TarekAhmedAssociates.com

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BJ Services National Oilwell Varco Rock Flow Dynamics U.S. Water Services, Inc.
Page 49 Page 91 Cover 3 Page 47

C&J Energy Services NCS Multistage, LLC Saudi Aramco Visuray

Page 57 Page 95 Page 41 Page 5

Cameron, a Schlumberger Nissan Chemical America Schlumberger Weatherford

company Corporation (NCA) Cover 4 Pages 4, 45, 81
Page 7 Page 21
Sintex International Wellbarrier AS
CARBO Ceramics, Inc. OMV Aktiengesellschaft Page 43 Page 89
Page 101 Page 75
Stage Completions Inc. WFR Tools
Denham Capital OneSubsea, a Schlumberger Page 15 Page 25
Page 37 company
Cover 2 TAM International WPN
Enventure Global Technology Page 23 Page 103
Page 19 Otto Fuchs Drilling Solutions
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Fairmount Santrol
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GEODynamics, Inc. Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East, Russia,
Page 33 South Asia and Africa
Companies (A–L) Tel: +44 (0) 1227.266.605
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JPT • OCTOBER 2017 111


WORKSHOPS 4–6 December ◗ Kuwait City—SPE 27–28 March 2018 ◗ The Woodlands—SPE/
Production Optimisation—Smart Strategies ICoTA Coiled Tubing and Well Intervention
18 October ◗ Calgary—SPE The Duvernay and Innovation Conference and Exhibition
Liquids Rich Shale—What Makes It 6–7 December ◗ Dubai—SPE Lost
Different and How Do We Optimize It? Circulation: Natural and Induced
23–24 October ◗ Kuala Lumpur—SPE Fractures—Carbonates and Other
Formations 4–6 October ◗ Lexington—SPE Eastern
Decommissioning—Innovative Approaches
Regional Meeting
to Shallow Water Platforms and Wells
CONFERENCES 7–8 November ◗ Kuala Lumpur—SPE
24–25 October ◗ St. John’s, Newfoundland
Production Enhancement and Cost
and Labrador—SPE Well Integrity Life
9–11 October ◗ San Antonio—SPE Annual Optimisation
Cycle Management for Subsea Field
Technical Conference & Exhibition
Development 28–30 November ◗ Banff—SPE Thermal
15–18 October ◗ Kuwait City—SPE Kuwait Well Integrity and Design Symposium
30–31 October ◗ Kuala Lumpur—
Oil and Gas Show & Conference
SPE/NACE Corrosion Management for 27 February 2018 ◗ Aberdeen—SPE
Upstream Oil & Gas Production Assets 16–18 October ◗ Moscow—SPE Russian International North Sea
Petroleum Technology Conference
6–8 November ◗ Dallas—SEG/SPE
Injection Induced Seismicity 17–19 October ◗ Bali—SPE/IATMI Asia
Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition
7–8 November ◗ Calgary—SPE Unlocking 5–9 November ◗ San Antonio—SPE
the Montney, Success Through Change 24–26 October ◗ Rio de Janeiro— Waterless Fracturing—Reducing Fresh
OTC Brasil Water Use for Reservoir Stimulation in a
7–8 November ◗ The Hague—SPE North
Sea & Europe Area Stimulation 1–3 November ◗ Baku­—SPE Annual Future Water-Constrained World
Caspian Technical Conference and 5–10 November ◗ San Antonio—SPE
9–10 November ◗ The Hague—SPE Gas
Exhibition Enhanced Oil Recovery in Unconventional
Well Deliquification
13–16 November ◗ Abu Dhabi—The Abu Reservoirs
13–14 November ◗ Bangkok—SPE/EAGE
Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition
Integrated Project Management—Building
Resilient Projects in a Volatile Environment
23–25 January 2018 ◗ The Woodlands—
13–14 November ◗ Kuala Lumpur—SPE
SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology SPE Europec featured at 80th EAGE
Resources Estimation, Definition, and
Conference Conference and Exhibition ◗ Copenhagen
Production Forecasting
Deadline: 11 October
29–31 January 2018 ◗ Abu Dhabi—SPE/
20–21 November ◗ Brisbane—SPE
IADC Middle East Drilling Technology SPE International Oilfield Scale
Unconventional Resources—Tools and
Conference and Exhibition Conference and Exhibition ◗ Aberdeen
Practices for Optimal Exploration,
Deadline: 11 October
Appraisal and Development 7–9 February 2018 ◗ Lafayette—SPE
International Conference and Exhibition on SPE International Oilfield Corrosion
20–21 November ◗ Kuala Lumpur—SPE
Formation Damage Control Conference and Exhibition ◗ Aberdeen
Floating Production Systems—Enabler and
Deadline: 11 October
Solution for Development 6–8 March 2018 ◗ Fort Worth—IADC/SPE
Drilling Conference and Exhibition SPE Artificial Lift Conference and
29–30 November ◗ Austin—SPE Learning
Exhibition—Americas ◗ The Woodlands
From Reservoir Response—History 13–14 March 2018 ◗ Calgary—SPE Canada
Deadline: 24 October
Matching and Data Analytics Heavy Oil Technical Conference
SPE Trinidad and Tobago Section
4–5 December ◗ Kuala Lumpur—SPE 13–14 March 2018 ◗ Calgary—SPE Canada
Energy Resources Conference ◗
Process Safety and Technical Risk Unconventional Resources Conference
Trinidad and Tobago
20–23 March 2018 ◗ Kuala Lumpur— Deadline: 30 November
4–6 December ◗ Austin—SPE Performance OTC Asia
SPE Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference
and Design of Water Injectors Requiring
26–28 March 2018 ◗ Muscat—SPE EOR and Exhibition ◗ Brisbane
Sand Control
Conference at OGWA Deadline: 15 January 2018

Find complete listings of upcoming SPE workshops, conferences, ­symposiums, and forums at www.spe.org/events.

112 JPT • OCTOBER 2017

Plug GPU and Play tNavigator


Optional GPU acceleration is available, free of charge, in all new tNavigator releases,
starting March 2017. Blackoil, compositional, thermal compositional models are supported,
as well as every industry-standard input keyword formats. Specific acceleration factors
are model and hardware dependent. TNAVIGATOR.COM/GPU

RFD-023 _JPT.indd 1 2/3/17 4:10 PM


10 zones, one CT run. Immediate results.

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ACTive OptiFIRE JPT Sept 17-CT-293217 AD.indd 1 7/14/17 10:43 AM