Sie sind auf Seite 1von 104



Maximize reservoir productivity in three taps.

Download our new PERF charge and gun selector appavailable for iPhone and iPadto conveniently select
the best gun design for your well and reservoir environment.

Find out more at

PERF, PowerJet Nova, and PowerJet Omega are marks of Schlumberger. Copyright 2016 Schlumberger. All rights reserved. 16-PE-95867
Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
Volume 68 Number 5


Capturing flared gas presents an opportunity to reduce
environmental impact and generate an additional revenue stream.
DNV GLs study shows that economically viable solutions for
carbon abatement and development of flared gas for societal use
are possible.


An array of new in-well testing methods involving drill bit
geomechanics and DNA sequencing are coming to the market.
These new technologies provide unconventional producers with
low-cost rock property data from the wells they fracture.


For innovators, the oil price crash offers an opportunitycustomers
willing to try new methods they would not have in better times.
By analyzing the DNA make up of
The downside is, they can only sell to the survivors. microbes living in shale reservoirs
along different points in the
44 SEISMIC SHIFTS IN OKLAHOMA LEAD TO STRICTER wellbore, operators may be able
REGULATIONS to generate production profiles for
Oklahoma officials have ordered their tightest restrictions yet on a lower cost and improve future
completion designs. Image courtesy
disposal wells, ones that may impact production, in an effort to of Biota Technology.
reduce the high rate of earthquakes rattling residents.


Highlights from the OTC Asia conference recently held in
KualaLumpur. The conference reflected Asias position as a
globalprovider of E&P technology. More than 15,000 energy DEPARTMENTS
professionals representing 2,500 organizations and 60 countries
attended theconference. 6 Performance Indices
8 Regional Update
18 Technology Applications
In the current downturn, operators and service providers alike are
rethinking the way they work. Companies can no longer afford 22 Technology Update
business as usual. It takes a conscious decision and strategic vision 26 E&P Notes
to improve operator margins sufficiently to survive, indeed, thrive. 96 People
98 Professional Services
99 Advertisers Index
100 SPE Events

An Official Publication of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Printed in US. Copyright 2016, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Solutions for the Life Cycle
of Your Well
Completions Remedial
Drilling Abandonment
Production Stimulation

TAM has solutions:

For almost half a century, TAM has provided solutions for the countless challenges
operators encounter during the life cycle of a well. TAMs proven EPIC solutions for
drilling use our swellable packer, Casing Annulus Packer, and Port Collar for cement
integrity during primary and secondary cementing operations. The versatile TAMPlug
effectively isolates lost circulation zones.

Unique completions products include the PosiFrac HALO frac seat and PosiFrac
Toe Sleeve. TAMs extensive suite of swellable packers is available in multiple
elastomer compounds to fit the specific application.

We provide the exclusive TAM-J Multi-Set Inflatable Packer and the PosiFrac
Straddle System tools for selective production testing, acid stimulation, and sand
fracturing placement. Our Single-Set Inflatable Packers can be used as production
Excellence at the Wellsite
packers, bridge plugs, and scab liners. If P&A operations are needed, our Single-Set,
Cement Retainer, TIP, TAMPlug, and TAM-J packers present reliable solutions.

Whether companies are planning, drilling, completing, producing, remediating, or

abandoning wells, TAM solutions are effective, efficient, and flexible. PosiFrac HALO is a HydraWell, Inc. technology licensed exclusively to TAM International.


TAM-195_SolutionsLifeCycle_rv3_0210.indd 1 2/10/16 3:20 PM


Morten Iversen, SPE, Well Integrity Section Head, BG

59 Advancing Deepwater Kick Detection

62 CLOV Project: Overview
64 Riser-System Design in Water Depths Greater Than 3000 m
67 Subsea Production Optimization in Field BC-10 Offshore Brazil


John Hudson, SPE, Principal Production Engineer, Shell

71 Flow-Control Optimization Maximizes Accuracy of Multiphase-Flow

RateAllocation MAKING
74 Geology-Driven Estimated-Ultimate-Recovery Prediction With
76 Machine Learning Applied to Multiwell-Test Analysis and Flow-Rate

Bernt S. Aadny, SPE, Professor of Petroleum Engineering,
University of Stavanger COUNT.
80 Innovative Tool Improves Hole-Cleaning Efficiency in Extended-

83 New Rotary Shouldered Connection Expands Capability of ERD Operation

ZeroTime is a game-changing
86 Magnetic Referencing and Real-Time Survey Processing Enable Tighter logging-while-working solution
Spacing of Wells
that eliminates stand-alone
diagnostic surveys by adding
88 CEMENTING/ZONAL ISOLATION intelligence to routine trips
Gunnar DeBruijn, SPE, Standards and Knowledge Development Manager,
in hole. ZeroTime enables
operators to plan their next
89 New Approach Tests Cement-Sheath Integrity During Thermal Cycling move in total confidence with
zero-added rig time.
92 An Integrated Approach to Solving Sustained Casing Pressure in the
Cana-Woodford Shale

94 Design Procedure for Cementing Intercalated Salt Zones - Minimise risk

- Maximise efficiency

- Minimise costs
The complete SPE technical papers featured in this issue are available
free to SPE members for two months at
Smart Solutions for
Complex Drilling Challenges

As the offshore industry reaches new frontiers, Franks International leads

the way with breakthrough technologies that help lower the total cost of
ownership throughout the life of the well, even in the most challenging
deep and ultra-deepwater basins worldwide.

With more than 75 years in the industry, Franks is a recognized leading

provider of innovative tubular solutions and pioneering technologies that
help our customers increase drilling efficiency and reduce downtime. Let
Franks unlock that value as you anticipate your next big challenge.

Unlocking Complexities |
Anelise Quintao Lara, Petrobras

We give
2016 President
Nathan Meehan, Baker Hughes
John Hoppe, Shell
Helge Hove Haldorsen, Statoil

2017 President
Matthias Meister, Baker Hughes


you the
Janeen Judah, Chevron Salis Aprilian, PT Badak NGL


Libby Einhorn, Concho Oil & Gas
Roland Moreau, ExxonMobil Annuitant

Andrei Popa, Chevron youve
Adeyemi Akinlawon,
Adeb Konsult
dreamed of.
David Curry, Baker Hughes
Bob Garland, Silver Creek Services
Trey Shaffer, ERM
Introducing the worlds
J. Roger Hite, Inwood Solutions
J.C. Cunha first X-Ray technology
Jennifer Miskimins, Barree & Associates
for oil wells.
Michael Tunstall
MIDDLE EAST Howard Duhon, GATE, Inc.
Khalid Zainalabedin, Saudi Aramco not only finds downhole blockages
RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION AND DYNAMICS faster, it lets you see 2D and 3D
NORTH SEA Tom Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Carlos Chalbaud, ENGIE reconstructions of the obstruction.
NORTHERN ASIA PACIFIC DIRECTOR FOR ACADEMIA Well illuminate the problem, youll
Phongsthorn Thavisin, PTTEP
Dan Hill, Texas A&M University eliminate the problem. Better yet,
Erin McEvers, Clearbrook Consulting AT-LARGE DIRECTORS youll eliminate downtime and
RUSSIA AND THE CASPIAN Khaled Al-Buraik, Saudi Aramco increase profitability.
Liu Zhenwu, China National Petroleum Corporation
Anton Ablaev, Schlumberger
Contact us for a
JPT STAFF The Journal of Petroleum Technology magazine is a
registered trademark of SPE.
Visit us at OTC stand 5053
SPE PUBLICATIONS: SPE is not responsible for any
Glenda Smith, Publisher statement made or opinions expressed in its publications.
John Donnelly, Editor
EDITORIAL POLICY: SPE encourages open and objective
Alex Asfar, Senior Manager Publishing Services discussion of technical and professional subjects per-
tinent to the interests of the Society in its publications.
Pam Boschee, Senior Manager Magazines Society publications shall contain no judgmental remarks
or opinions as to the technical competence, personal
Chris Carpenter, Technology Editor character, or motivations of any individual, company, or
group. Any material which, in the publishers opinion,
Trent Jacobs, Senior Technology Writer
does not meet the standards for objectivity, pertinence,
Anjana Sankara Narayanan, Editorial Manager and professional tone will be returned to the contribu-
tor with a request for revision before publication. SPE
Joel Parshall, Features Editor accepts advertising (print and electronic) for goods and
services that, in the publishers judgment, address the
Stephen Rassenfoss, Emerging Technology Senior Editor technical or professional interests of its readers. SPE
reserves the right to refuse to publish any advertising it
Stephen Whitfield, Staff Writer
considers to be unacceptable.
Adam Wilson, Special Publications Editor COPYRIGHT AND USE: SPE grants permission to make
Craig Moritz, Assistant Director Americas Sales & Exhibits up to five copies of any article in this journal for personal
use. This permission is in addition to copying rights grant-
Mary Jane Touchstone, Print Publishing Manager ed by law as fair use or library use. For copying beyond
that or the above permission: (1) libraries and other users
David Grant, Electronic Publishing Manager dealing with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) must VISURAY ION
pay a base fee of USD 5 per article plus USD 0.50 per X-RAY VIS
Laurie Sailsbury, Composition Specialist Supervisor page to CCC, 29 Congress St., Salem, Mass. 01970, USA
Dennis Scharnberg, Proofreader (ISSN0149-2136) or (2) otherwise, contact SPE Librarian
at SPE Americas Office in Richardson, Texas, USA, or
e-mail to obtain permission to make
more than five copies or for any other special use of
copyrighted material in this journal. The above permis-
sion notwithstanding, SPE does not waive its right as
copyright holder under the US Copyright Act.
Canada Publications Agreement #40612608.


Algeria 1370 1370 1370 1370 5 USD/million Btu
Angola 1890 1910 1800 1810 4
Ecuador 538 537 539 538
Iran 3300 3300 3300 3300
Iraq 4375 4275 4425 4275 2
Kuwait* 2550 2550 2550 2550
Libya 400 360 375 415












Nigeria 2270 2320 2320 2370
Qatar 1537 1537 1537 1537
Saudi Arabia* 10290 10290 10190 10140
UAE 2820 2820 2820 2820 WORLD CRUDE OIL PRICES (USD/bbl)
Venezuela 2500 2500 2500 2500

TOTAL 33840 33769 33726 33625 2016

Brent 46.52 47.62 48.43 44.27 38.01 30.70 32.18 38.21
THOUSAND BOPD WTI 42.87 45.48 46.22 42.44 37.19 31.68 30.32 37.55
Argentina 532 529 529 535
Australia 361 360 335 330 WORLD ROTARY RIG COUNT
Azerbaijan 867 867 867 872
Brazil 2466 2547 2395 2406 2016
Canada 3821 3912 3412 3581
US 848 791 760 714 654 532 478
China 4263 4278 4317 4259
Canada 183 184 178 160 192 211 88
Colombia 947 968 1009 1030
Latin America 321 294 284 270 243 237 218
Denmark 154 157 154 157
Europe 109 108 108 114 108 107 96
Egypt 524 511 510 509
Middle East 396 403 419 422 407 404 397
Eq. Guinea 250 250 250 250
Africa 96 93 90 91 94 88 91
Gabon 215 215 215 215
Asia Pacific 218 213 208 198 193 182 183
India 754 768 757 758

Indonesia 801 777 800 801 TOTAL 2171 2086 2047 1969 1891 1761 1551

Kazakhstan 1592 1593 1594 1595

Malaysia 599 591 652 619
Mexico 2308 2291 2306 2314
Norway 1611 1599 1581 1685 MILLION BOPD 2015 2016
Oman 1001 990 985 980 Quarter 2nd 3rd 4th 1st
Russia 10200 10180 10150 10140
SUPPLY 95.50 96.39 96.52 95.47
Sudan 257 254 255 257
DEMAND 93.11 94.81 94.21 93.76
Syria 30 30 30 30
UK 838 788 862 912
USA 9433 9407 9460 9347
Vietnam 343 307 348 333 + Figures do not include NGLs and oil from nonconventional sources.
Yemen 22 22 22 22 * Includes approximately one-half of Neutral Zone production.

Other 2496 2479 2517 2509 1 Latest available data on

2 Includes crude oil, lease condensates, natural gas plant liquids, other hydrocarbons for refinery feedstocks,
Total 46685 46670 46312 46446 refinery gains, alcohol, and liquids produced from nonconventional sources.

Total World 80525 80439 80038 80071 Source: Baker Hughes.

Source: US Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration.

6 JPT MAY 2016


Reduce fracturing costs by replacing more than

50% of proppant with local sand.
Salik local-sand-enabled flow-channel fracturing service provides unprecedented cost reduction by using local sand as
an inexpensive alternative to conventional proppant. Because it requires less imported proppant, the service also
decreases transportation expensesall while maximizing production and fracture conductivity.

Find out more at

*Mark of Schlumberger. Copyright 2016 Schlumberger. All rights reserved. 16-ST-121508

Salik full page for JPT April, May, June 2016 16-ST-121508 AD.indd 1 3/7/16 9:35 AM

LNGexports from the Gorgon Project on

Barrow Island offshore Western Australia.
Tullows Cheptuket-1 well in Block The USD 54-billion project produces gas Enis Zohr 2X well in the Zohr field
12A ofnorthern Kenya has encountered from the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields off oftheShorouk Block offshore Egypt
goodoilshows over an almost 2,300ft Australias northwest coast. Gorgons hasdelivered up to 44 MMscf/D of
interval, the company reported. The major facilities include a Barrow Island naturalgas during production tests.
first well to test the Kerio Valley Basin, LNG plant with 15.6 million metric tons of Thewell, which was constrained by
Cheptuket-1 was drilled to a final annual capacity, a CO2 injection project, surfacefacilities, has an estimated
depth of10,114 ft. The results indicate and a domestic gas plant. Chevron, the production capacity of 250MMscf/D
the presence of an active petroleum fieldoperator, holds a 47.3 % interest in (46,000 BOE/D), the company said.
system with significant oil generation, Gorgon. Other participants are Exxon Mobil Eni,thesole interest holder of the block
the companysaid.Post-well analysis (25%), Shell (25%), Osaka Gas (1.25%), license, plans to drill three additional
now underway will affect future basin Tokyo Gas (1%), and Chubu Electric Power wellsin the field this year.
exploration decisions. Tullow is the block (0.417%). Gorgon is Australias largest
operator with a 40% interest. Delonex single resource development ever. With NORTH AMERICA
Energy (40%) and Africa Oil (20%) are production from Gorgon and other projects,
theother participants. Australia will surpass Qatar as the worlds Northcote Energy said that the
largest LNG exporter in 2018, the Australian LutcherMoore (LM) No. 21 well at the
Petroleum Production & Exploration Shoats Creek field in southwestern
Association said. Louisiana will be spudded May 16 as part
Rosneft has spudded the PLDD1X a fully funded work program. Following
exploration well in Block 06.1 of Vietnams completion operations, the LM No. 22
Nam Con Son Basin, the first Rosneft- well will be drilled. Preparations are under
operated international offshore drilling Eni has started production from the way to drill the LMNo. 23 well in the third
project. Lying in 532 ft of water, the Goliat field on Production License 229 in quarter. Potentially five Shoats Creek wells
well hasa design depth of 4,528 ft. the Barents Sea offshore Norway. The first will be producing by year-end, the company
The company said the PLDD geological oil field to produce from the Barents Sea, said. Northcote is also doing geophysical
structure is expected to hold recoverable Goliat was developed through the use of and engineering work in preparation
reserves of 444.9 Bcf (12.6 Bcm) of the worlds largest floating production, for high-grading drilling prospects in
natural gas and 0.6 million metric tons storage, and offloading (FPSO) system the deeper Cockfield formation in the
(5.4millionbbl) of gas condensate, which with a storage capacity of 1 million bbl. samevicinity.
can be developed by subsea completion Field output will reach 100,000 B/D from
and tiedback to the Rosneft-operated 22 subsea wells, of which 17 are now SOUTH AMERICA
LanTay platform. The company has a completed. Goliats reserves are estimated
35%stake in the block with Petrovietnam at 180 million bbl. Eni is the operator with Petrobras reported that its early
(20%) and ONGC (45%) holding a 65% interest in the license, with Statoil production system in the Sepia area
theremainder. holding the remainder. (formerly the Nordeste de Tupi area) has
begun operations in the Santos Basin pre-
UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) salt layer offshore Brazil. The FPSO vessel
said that the Horse Hill-1 onshore Cidade de Sao Vicente is set to produce
Mosman Oil and Gas said that its discovery wellin Petroleum Exploration about 20,000 B/D of oil during the test
Amadeus Basin project in Australias and Development License (PEDL) 137 in period. Deployed in 7,218 ft (2200m)
Northern Territory holds trillions of southern England has shown North Sea- of water, the FPSO system is connected
cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. A like oil flows. Located in the Weald Basin to the 1-RJS-691 well and will remain at
report by SRK Consulting on the basins near Gatwick Airport, the well flowed at itscurrentlocation for 180 days.
resourceprospects within permit EP 145, a stable rate of 323 B/D of oil in its latest
in which Mosman holds the sole interest, production test. With the inclusion of Shell plans to launch a new exploration
highlights the potential for conventional earlier results, the well has achieved a phase of the BC-10 project in the Campos
gas in proven reservoirs of the West Walker total aggregate stable dry oil flow rate of Basin offshore Brazil, where the company
Anticline and unconventional gas in the 1,688 B/D from three tested zones. In an operates the deepwater Parque das
Horn Valley Siltstone. According to the independent study, Schlumberger has Conchas oil and gas development. Despite
report, there are unrisked prospective reported that a mean of almost 11 billionbbl market uncertainties, Shell wants to
recoverable resources of 12.44 Bcf of oil in place is embedded within the keep investing in Brazil because of its
of conventional gas and 1.4 Tcf of PEDL 137 and PEDL 246 Horse Hill licenses. viable oil reserves, said Andre Araujo, the
unconventional gas within both plays. UKOG and Solo Oil hold 20.163% and 6.5% chief executive officer of Shell Brazil in
stakes in PEDL 137, respectively. Horse a recent presentation. The company has
Chevron began liquefied natural gas Hill Development, the operator, holds the invested more than USD 1 billion in the
(LNG) and condensate production and remaining stake. BC-10Block.JPT

8 JPT MAY 2016

Introducing a new controlled optimization
process for multistage completions






Recorded downhole data describes every frac





> d


Learn from every frac.

2015, NCS Multistage, LLC. All rights reserved. Multistage Unlimited and Learn from every frac. are trademarks of NCS Multistage, LLC.

Hope Is Not a Strategy But Without Hope,

There Is No Strategy
Nathan Meehan, 2016 SPE President

A great benefit of being the SPE president We are currently at less than 25% of the prior peak activity
is the chance to interact with students level and at an all-time low for the Baker Hughes reported US rig
and young professionals around the count dating to 1944. Compare this with the 1980s. In late 1981,
world. Many are anxious about the future, rig activity peaked at 4,530 rigs and in the subsequent ice age,
but not panicked. I have been asked if this the rig count dropped to 663, less than 15% of the peak. While
is the worst time ever in the oil business, this was a steeper drop from the peak level, current rig activity
a question that made mesmile. is now approximately 70% of that ice age bottom, and future
For some reason, it is natural to try and drops are certainly possible. Current rig activity is lower than
scale a current calamity with past ones. For example, finan- what the US has seen in a very long time.
cial recessions are compared with the Great Depression of the
1930s during which the worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) Is the Current US Rig Count the Lowest Ever?
dropped 15% in 3 years. In comparison, the recession of 2008 I have been looking at historical rig activity measures. The Baker
2009 saw a 1% drop in worldwide GDP but certainly felt huge. Hughes rig count data from 1944 include only rotary rigs. Before
WTI crude oil prices dropped from USD 145.31/bbl on 3 July 2008 the 1950s, cable tool rigs accounted for a significant portion of
to USD 30.28/bbl in less than 5 months. The US rig count followed drilling activity. Cable tool drilling dates to 1806 with horse-
suit, dropping from 1,987 in August 2008 to 895 by mid-2009. It powered rigs. These were replaced in the 1830s by steam engines
certainly was not good, but it was relatively short-lived. to provide rig power, and in 1860 when J.C. Rathbone used a
Fig. 1 compares US rotary rig activity during the four most steam-powered cable tool rig to drill a 100-B/D producer in West
recent significant downturns. Leo Tolstoys quote about fami- Virginia, cable tool activity took off. During the US Civil War,
lies may be paraphrased to apply to downturns: Each oil price many hundreds of cable tool rigs were drilling, primarily in West
downturn is unhappy in its own way, and each downturn and Virginia, California, and Pennsylvania. If we include cable tool
recovery had different causes. In Fig. 1, I have started with the rigs, total US rig activity has exceeded 500 rigs since Abraham
peak US rig activity immediately prior to the beginning of the Lincoln was the US president, making the rig activity of 464 as of
downturn and normalized subsequent weekly activity to this 24 March this year a truly historic low.
peak. Each prior downturn recovered to about 80% of peak ac-
tivity within approximately 2 years after dropping from 45% to When Will It Come Back Up? Is There Hope?
55% of peak activity. In a recent article in The Way Ahead (TWA 2016), I wrote about
the assumption that we are riding the storm out and pretty
125 soon things will return to normal. It is impossible to know how
long the status quo may last, or when an upswing will occur.
Rigs Operating as Percentage of

100 Hoping that prices will recover soon is not a strategy to deal
Pre-Downturn Level

with low oil prices. While the TWA article dealt with individuals
strategies for responding to the downturn, I am also concerned
about companies and SPEs strategies.
Few companies took very long to resort to familiar actions.
50 19972001 Capital expenditures were cut and then cut again. Service com-
20012004 panies were required to lower prices multiple times. Headcount
25 20082012 reductions now exceed 300,000. Projects are shelved and com-
2014March 2016 pany efforts focus on lowering costs. While few companies have
0 reduced salaries, bonuses and other benefits have been lowered
0 50 100 150 200 250
or eliminated. Many companies have cut or eliminated divi-
Weeks From Beginning of Downturn
dends. Research and development budgets have been lowered
Fig. 1The relative US rig count vs. number of weeks for larger companies, shifting the focus to technologies with
from peak rig activity. near-term payoffs. Training and travel budgets were slashed.

To contact the SPE President, email

10 JPT MAY 2016

Service companies reacted early and most dramatically.
Oily independents and highly leveraged companies were
next, followed by larger independents, and then by integrated
companies. National oil companies often had significant capital
contraction even if they had few (if any) layoffs. Every company
is focused on lowering costs and increasing efficiencies.
No company could just hope for the best and keep doing
what they had been doing. This is also true for SPE.
Taking a trip down memory lane, I reviewed copies of JPT
from the downturn in the late 1980s. Noel Rietman, 1987 SPE
president, focused on how SPE was responding, member ben-
efits, company support, and the relevance of SPE to members
who had been laid offall very familiar topics from the past
year of SPE Board of Directors discussions.
SPE has a reserve fund for rainy days like these, to allow us
to maintain continuity in our services for members. However,
since we do not know how long current conditions will last, we
cannot simply continue with business as usual and hope that
conditions improve before funds are exhausted.
SPE receives a large portion of its revenue from attendance
at conferences, workshops, and training courses. Training bud-
gets slashed by operators have led to course cancellations. At-
tendance at our events has been affectedmore in some locales
than othersso we have relocated many events to major oil and
transportation hubs to facilitate ease of attendance. Sponsor-
ships and, to a lesser extent, exhibitions have been affected by
the financial difficulties of the companies who support SPE ac-
tivities. Despite these difficulties, SPE continues to offer events
and training in which members can network, share, and learn.
While times were good, we invested our profits into growing
the portfolio of services offered to our members. Recently, the
Board has had to prioritize services and make cuts in several
areas. SPE offered a voluntary severance package to staff, fol-
lowed by an involuntary severance. The resulting 12% reduction
in the number of SPE employees was a sad first in ourhistory.
Nonetheless, there are many reasons for hope. At SPE, the
number and quality of technical papers remain high and the
brand is solid. This reflects in no small measure our greatest as-
sets, the members whose voluntary service and participation has
never been greater. With more than 165,000 members and vast
technical resources available through OnePetro (
and PetroWiki (, we continue to be the most
significant place where upstream energy professionals collect,
disseminate, and exchange technical information.
Most importantly, SPE remains focused on supporting our
members through good times and bad. We provide eMentoring
services, free web events, dues waivers for up to 2 years for
members in transition, a competency management tool, health
insurance, networking opportunities, free admission on one
day of many conferences, and most importantly, a way to stay
current with evolving technology. JPT

Meehan, N. 2016. Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Way Ahead.
12(1): 45.

JPT MAY 2016

Bernt Aadny, University of Stavanger
Syed AliChairperson, Schlumberger
Tayfun Babadagli, University of Alberta

Technologies of the Future

William Bailey, Schlumberger
Mike Berry, Mike Berry Consulting
Maria Capello, Kuwait Oil Company
John Donnelly, JPT Editor
Simon Chipperfield, Santos
Nicholas Clem, Baker Hughes
Alex Crabtree, Hess Corporation
The future of technology in the global energy industry will be Gunnar DeBruijn, Schlumberger
driven by cost pressures, the scope of government regulation, Mark Egan, WesternGeco
and increased digitization. DNV GLs Technology Outlook 2025
Mark Elkins, ConocoPhillips
report, released last month, lists six emerging technologies
Alexandre Emerick,
that it predicts will have a significant impact on the upstream Petrobras Research Center
sector over the next decade. Niall Fleming, Statoil
While the technologies are not necessarily new to oil and gas,
Ted Frankiewicz, SPEC Services
they are likely to be adopted at an accelerated pace and more
Stephen Goodyear, Shell
broadly than currently. The report predicts these technologies will be increasingly in
Omer M. Gurpinar, Schlumberger
use over the next several years because of economic, regulatory, and environmental
factors, and continued strong demand for hydrocarbons. A.G. Guzman-Garcia, Retired

The first technology, fully automated drilling operations, has the potential to Greg Horton, Consultant
improve the speed and safety of drilling operations and greatly reduce costs. But its John Hudson, Shell
widespread adoption will require a complete redesign of drilling processes in order Morten Iversen, Karachaganak Petroleum
to gain all of the benefits. It will also require the use of related technologies such as Leonard Kalfayan, Hess Corporation
automated drillpipe handling, managed-pressure drilling, single-trip drilling, and bet- Tom Kelly, FMC Technologies
ter monitoring and diagnostic capabilities. Automated drilling could cut both drilling Thomas Knode, Statoil
time and costs by up to 50% compared with conventional operations, the report says.
Sunil Kokal, Saudi Aramco
Smart completions, including better monitoring and more precise control of pro-
Marc Kuck, Eni US Operating
duction zones to maximize recovery, should be heavily adopted by the industry. Low-
Jesse C. Lee, Schlumberger
cost smart completions, reconfigured without a rig, could potentially boost addition-
al output from complex reservoirs, such as thin oil pay zones. Silviu Livescu, Baker Hughes

Subsea systems will rely more on monitoring and data analytics to enhance pro- Shouxiang (Mark) Ma, Saudi Aramco
duction stability. That will help better predict flow-related problems and ensure con- John Macpherson, Baker Hughes
tinuous flow from the well. Improved monitoring and analytics, with more sensors Casey McDonough, American Energy Partners
and higher computing power, will drive simpler field development through the use Stephane Menand, DrillScan
of longer tie-ins and simpler designs, said Pierre Sames, DNV GLs group technology Badrul H Mohamed Jan, University of Malaya
and research director. This will improve leak detection, inspection, maintenance, and Lee Morgenthaler, Retired
repair, all contributing to uninterrupted flow and better integrity, he said.
Michael L. Payne, BP plc
Rigless plugging and abandonment could be a particular boon in the North Sea,
Zillur Rahim, Saudi Aramco
which has 8,000 wells that need attention. Current practice for plugging and abandon-
Martin Rylance, BP GWO Completions
ment involves costly permanent plugging, accounting for up to half of the total decom- Engineering
missioning expenses. Plugging without the use of a rig would require that plugging and
Otto L. Santos, Petrobras
abandonment be performed with the well tubing in place, according to thereport.
Luigi A. Saputelli, Hess Corporation
Autonomous inspection of pipelines and the use of biodegradable polymers for
Sally A. Thomas, ConocoPhillips
enhanced oil recovery also should be in full operation by 2025. Autonomous under-
water vehicles are more efficient than remotely operated vehicles in performing reg- Win Thornton, BP plc

ular pipeline inspection and will be equipped with sonars, cameras, and sensors. Xiuli Wang, Baker Hughes
Unmanned aerial vehicles will be used for onshore pipelines, but regulations will need Mike Weatherl, Well Integrity, LLC
to clarify their further use in civil airspace. Rodney Wetzel, Chevron ETC
DNV GL forecasts the world to be consuming up to one-fifth more energy by 2025 Scott Wilson, Ryder Scott Company
than it does now. With operational cost pressures and oil price volatility, there will be Jonathan Wylde, Clariant Oil Services
a need to drill new wells more efficiently, highlighting the need for such technologies Pat York, Weatherford International
as fully automated drilling and smart completions, Sames said. JPT

To contact JPTs editor, email

12 JPT MAY 2016


Creating Value From Flared Natural Gas

Martin Layfield, Global Segment Leader Gas Value Chain, DNV GL

Approximately 5% of world annual on real locations and field conditions as approach for assistance with the quali-
gas production is being flared or vent- most flaring occurs at either aging and/ fication process to help establish tech-
ed. This is equivalent to approximately or remote locations. nologies in the market. The North Dako-
110140 billion m3 (Bcm) of gas, and ta Petroleum Council has set targets to
equates to the combined gas consumption Understanding the Challenges reduce flaring. These were set to 26%
of Central and South America in2013. A number of factors can affect the drive by the fourth quarter of 2014, 23% by
The World Bank estimates that flar- and desire to undertake a reduction in the first quarter of 2015, 15% by the first
ing 140 Bcm would cause more than gas flaring. Existing solutions are mature quarter of 2016, and 10% with the poten-
350 million tonnes of CO2 release into for large-scale applications, but fewer tial for 5% by the fourth quarter of 2020.
the atmosphere. If this could be har- technologies have been used commer-
nessed for power, for example, it could cially at a small scale. This is perhaps due Technology Solutions
produce 750 billion kW-hr/year, more to uncertainty in the industry about the Gas flaring releases toxic components
than Africas entire annual consumption. technical and economic viability of cap- and greenhouse gases into the atmo-
Capturing the flared or vented gas turing the gas at these levels. sphere that can have harmful effects on
presents an opportunity for operators Retrofits and transportation of recov- the health and wellbeing of local com-
to reduce the environmental impact as ered gas to processing facilities can be munities as well as contributing to
well as provide an economic opportu- costly. Without a global cost penalty for climatechange.
nity to generate an additional revenue emitted carbon there is seen to be little Proposed technology solutions are
stream. The World Banks Zero Rou- benefit to capture the flared gas, particu- largely dependent on the flow rate, gas
tine Flaring by 2030 initiative is call- larly in countries with developing econ- compositions, and distance to market,
ing on governments and companies to omies. Similarly, different geographies and the viability of different technologies
achieve this target within the next 15 conjure various technical, regulatory, will vary accordingly. During the con-
years. To address both the need to end and economic drivers and limitations. ceptual study, our company considered
routine gas flaring and tackle climate Access to funding to develop projects the technoeconomic viability of 19 dif-
change concerns, DNV GL has conducted and the implementation of technologies ferent conversion methods. These were
research titled Natural Gas Capture is also a major factor. considered at different flow rates, gas
Clean and Economic, which examines Where there are carbon emissions reg- composition, and the distance to mar-
the viability of alternative solutions and ulations in place, there is obviously more ket. More than 150 suppliers/vendors
their revenuepotential. incentive to capture the waste from gas and their technologies/methods were
The conceptual study looked at four flaring. In the US, there are limits in researched. By examining the most cost-
existing oil and gas facilities, onshore place for gas flaring that penalize opera- effective ways of transporting and con-
in North Dakota, Algeria, and Russia, tors through the curtailment of produc- verting the gas into products of a higher
and offshore Vietnam, which provided tion for missing targets. As a result, new value, they were able to identify opportu-
a variety of volumes and rates of gas technologies are emerging with a variety nities to produce valuable product alter-
being flared. This enabled the model- of solutions. Since issuing its research, natives like ammonia, ethanol, gas-to-
ing of a range of diverse technologies DNV GL has had a number of companies liquids, and hydrogen.
More novel techniques examined how
to bring the market closer to the source
Martin Layfield is the global segment leader of the gas value
of the flaring and the opportunities to
chain for DNV GL. He has more than 25 years of commercial
experience in industry and more than 10 years with DNV GL in the capture in-situ. These included water
oil and gas industry, developing solutions and securing and desalination, gas-to-power, liquefied-
managing contracts and relationships with a range of major petroleum-gas and natural-gas-liquids
international clients. He holds a degree in business administration recovery, and carbon black. The technol-
from Coventry University. ogy solutions and means of transporta-

14 JPT MAY 2016


Water cut
Fluid flow rate
Water cut Temperature
Fluid flow rate

Increase production and manage inflow with

real-time information and control in every zone.
With patented inductive coupler technology that provides power and telemetry, the Manara* production and reservoir
management system can be deployed in conventional or extended-reach wells, in two or more sections, or across any
number of lateral junctionsall with a single control line. Using the Manara system to monitor and control previously
unattainable zones, operators can now immediately identify problematic areas, pinpoint the cause, and make the
necessary adjustments to maintain the well at optimal production.

Find out more at

*Mark of Schlumberger. Copyright 2016 Schlumberger. All rights reserved. 15-CO-87356

Select suitable
products from CNG,
gas-to-wire, LPG/
NGLs, and batteries

Assess gas Assess technology Assess technology Assess Capex,

Source of Select technology
flow rate and solutions and maturity, safety, Opex, NPVs, and
associated gas solution
product demand distance to market and reliability economic viability

Selected suitable
Onshore products from the

CNG Compressed natural gas NGL Natural gas liquids Opex Operational expenditure
LPG Liquefied petroleum gas Capex Capital expenditure NPV Net present value

Fig. 1Technology selection methodology flow chart.

tion explored can also be applied to the capture of natural gas, are maturing well opments are focused on reducing carbon
following. in the US. Many are at the pilot stage at emissions, rather than using the flared
Monetization of small-scale least. However, few are yet to be adopted gas to benefit society.
stranded gas fields elsewhere. Innovation is largely driven by If the industry is serious about ending
Monetization of associated gas from the US shale industry, where many of the routine gas flaring and addressing climate
extended well tests wells in North Dakotas Bakken Basin are change concerns, it also needs to over-
Resolving demands at remote areas already implementing affordable alter- come the nontechnical hurdles such as
where there is no infrastructure natives to flaring through connections to financial investment, time and resource
Capturing vented gas existing gas-gathering networks. These commitment, and the requirement for
handle associated liquids-rich gas from regulatory and legal frameworks.
In some North American shale regions more accessible drilling areas which are Major political forces will be a vital
that experience a lack of infrastructure being used to produce propane, meth- component to progress. Although crit-
and remote exploration and production ane, butane, natural gasoline, and indus- ics of the Obama administrations cli-
activities, as much as 30% to 40% of trial feedstock ethane. mate change plan are determined to
gas is being flared. Installing transpor- By using the four case studies with oppose it, the US has already made prog-
tation infrastructure is often costly and small-scale gas flow rates, the study ress toward reaching its emissions tar-
so looking at more economic and flex- proved that economically viable solu- gets. Obamas plan proposes a 32% cut
ible solutions is highly attractive. As well tions to assist in carbon abatement and in carbon emissions from power plants
as generating a valuable revenue stream, the development of flare gas for soci- by 2030 on 2015 levels. However, emis-
converting the gas can be highly ben- etal use are possible. It is a complex sions from power plants have already
eficial to local populations. The fractur- process to determine suitable technol- fallen by 15% between 2005 and 2013
ing process used in onshore shale gas ogy solutions as alternatives to flaring without regulatory incentive. There has
extraction generates a great deal of pro- and the flow chart (Fig. 1) shows the been some criticism of the emphasis
duced water. Desalinization can clean methodology used in carrying out the that Obama has placed on renewables,
that water and make it useable for local conceptualstudy. given that natural gas still has much fur-
communities as a water source. Although ther to go to displace coal as a friend-
some solutions might be immature for Future for Gas Flaring lier carbon-based energy source. How-
near-term implementation, current Though support for the World Banks ever, this emphasis on renewable growth
applications such as micro liquefied nat- Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative should only serve to increase the envi-
ural gas, compressed natural gas, natural is gaining momentum, greater aware- ronmental and sustainable credentials
gas hydrates, and conversion methods ness and understanding of the technical of natural gas given the improvements
can deliver significant benefits, and are and economic possibilities for gas flar- being made to reduce emissions in gas
key in shale gas regions where regula- ing, beyond operational modification, is production. Tapping into the opportuni-
tions will drive flaring reductions. needed to encourage commitment from ties to create value from flared gas will
Many of the novel techniques explored operators and policy makers. Many of drive emissions targets further, both in
in the study, particularly for small-scale the existing policy and technology devel- the US andglobally. JPT

16 JPT MAY 2016

AP_PumaFlow_206x276_Bis:Mise en page 1 17/03/2015 15:08 Page1


Looking for your new all-in-one

Reservoir Simulator?
as your multi-blade tool
Black Oil Uncompromized
& Compositional Dual Medium
simple to Best-in-class
complex uids linear
Uncertainties Management
& Assisted History Match

Modern input
interface and

with all third-party
input decks
Chemical EOR
Versatile pre and Thermal EOR
post processing Water and gas injection

PumaFlow is part of the OpenFlow suite

of E&P software

Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor

Production-Measurement Vibration-Monitoring Platform

System The ClampOn LPHP vibration-
Production logs have been an industry monitoring platform combines high
standard for many years, but by them- sensitivity with low power consump-
selves they are not a reliable way to evalu- tion, resulting in a standalone vibration-
ate the complicated flow regimes in mod- monitoring and data-logging system that
ern multistage wells. Production logs can run continuously for weeks using
work well at determining the phases of only a small battery pack. At the core
flow in horizontal or vertical wells, but of the LPHP platform are three state-of-
determining from which stage or cluster the-art microelectro-mechanical-system Fig. 2Weatherfords ComCAM-
the production is originating is more of a (MEMS) accelerometers in a three-axis 20/160-SL bucking machine.
challenge. The Refrac Road Map Focused configuration. The platform includes sev-
Production Measurement System from eral other sensors, such as a three-axis Bucking Machine
Tech-Flo measures fluid entry and the gyroscope, a three-axis magnetometer The ComCAM-20/160-SL bucking
phases of flow while in the hole (Fig. 1). It that can be used as a compass, and an machine from Weatherford enables fully
uses the flexibility of a hydraulic jet pump additional low-power accelerometer for rotational, high-torque makeup and
to produce and stabilize the well while longer battery life. MEMSs are tradition- breakout operations of tubulars. It can
each zone or stage is isolated between al mechanical systems on a microscopic be controlled remotely, which enhances
straddle packers. It is movable and reset- scale. An MEMS accelerometer consists safety by reducing the number of per-
table. It increases and measures a flowing of a system of springs and masses, and sonnel and avoiding manual tubular han-
wells production, produces and measures uses capacitive sensing to measure the dling. The open-head design enables
a dead wells production, and can produce position of the proof mass. MEMS accel- side loading to minimize space require-
a zone or stages absolute openhole poten- erometers offer several advantages over ments (Fig. 2). With only three sets of
tial. It measures three-phase flow, tem- traditional piezoelectric accelerometers, easily interchangeable clamping jaws, the
perature, static bottomhole pressure, and including small size, low power consump- machine reduces the number of required
flowing bottomhole pressure to deter- tion, and low price. Together, all the sen- jaw changes and enhances operational
mine a wells in-flow performance. It can sors can be used for so-called inertial efficiency. It can reverse from makeup to
be run in real time or memory mode. Con- navigation. Inertial navigation is accu- breakout mode instantly, and the grip-
veyance methods include jointed pipe, rate for small movements, but the meas- ping force can be adjusted on the basis
coiled tubing, or fiber coiled tubing. Sug- ured absolute position will tend to drift of tubular material. During makeup or
gested uses of this system include post- over time. Combined with knowledge breakout, the free-floating backup sys-
fracturing evaluation, pre-refracturing about expected movements, or other sen- tem design compensates for bending
evaluation, and evaluation of vertical sor inputs, the position measurements and shearing forces to reduce strain. The
wells with stacked pay. can still become very precise. bucking machine can be used for all types
For additional information, visit For additional information, visit of tubulars, including premium connec- tions, with diameters ranging from 4.5
to 22 in. It is capable of generating torque
up to 160,000 lbf-ft. According to ATEX
regulations, the system can operate safe-
ly in Zone-2 hazardous areas. This unit
operates in conjunction with a Weath-
erford integrated pipe-transport system,
and the combined equipment is compact
enough to fit within limited pipe deck
space. The machine is compatible with
the companys TorkPro3 torque/turns
analyzing software, which records, ana-
lyzes, and evaluates data from premium
connections in real time.
For additional information, visit
Fig. 1Schematic of the Refrac Road Map from Tech-Flo. Left inset: jet pump;
right inset: pup joint with Doppler production-logging tool.

18 JPT MAY 2016


Based on field-proven components and designed for

operational flexibility to reduce life-of-field costs.
The HyFleX* subsea tree system provides benefits of both vertical and horizontal conventional trees without the usual compromises.
Designed so that the tubing hanger and tree can be installed and recovered independently of each other, the HyFleX subsea tree system
can provide significant cost savings with multiple installation and recovery options.
Based on field-proven components, the patented HyFleX subsea tree system offers functional flexibility and the ability to batch set wells,
mitigates risk, and can help deliver operators significant cost savings in field development over the life of the field.

Learn more about our leading technology at

All referenced trademarks are owned by or licensed to Schlumberger. 2016 Schlumberger. All rights reserved. OSS-1062
Fig. 4The Wraith Frac Ball
dissolvable fracturing ball from

Fig. 3Self-propelled transport trolley from Protea. properties and specific bottomhole tem-
peratures. Phenom offers two versions
Pneumatic Trolley tain integrity and isolation during high- of the Wraith Frac Ball, solid and hollow,
Over the past 15 years, Protea has sup- pressure fracturing. The Wraith Frac Ball each currently available in five different
plied a range of pneumatically driven dissolves at controllable and predictable formulations to accommodate a variety of
winches, predominantly for use on off- rates, to allow production from all treat- operatorrequirements.
shore drilling rigs and floating produc- ed zones. Cast and machined from an alu- For additional information, visit
tion units. The Protea pneumatic-drive minum base, the Wraith Frac Balls high
system ensures precise and reliable load shear strength is suited for high-pressure/
control and that the equipment can be high-temperature applications and hori- Reservoir Simulator
used in hazardous areas per ATEX regula- zontal and extended-reach operations. Stone Ridge Technology has introduced
tions. Previous projects include a coiled- The Wraith Frac Ball requires only expo- ECHELON, an ultrafast extended black-
tubing-handling system comprising an air sure to fresh, salt, or produced water oil reservoir simulator supporting major
winch, transport trolley, and control sys- at temperatures greater than 100F to engineering features. ECHELON runs on
tem that was installed on the Aseng float- begin dissolving; however, faster dissolve graphics processing units (GPUs), the
ing production, storage, and offloading rates may be achieved through the addi- current generation of which provides 5X
vessel currently on charter to Noble Ener- tion of corrosive fluids or an increase in or more memory bandwidth than cen-
gy. Protea has recently developed a self- temperature. Phenom has developed an tral processing units and a similar advan-
propelled transport trolley with an inte- empirically proven equation that accu- tage in computing throughput, both crit-
grated pneumatic-drive system (Fig. 3). rately and reliably predicts the dissolve ical to a simulators performance. By
A self-propelled trolley is a versatile solu- rate of the Wraith Frac Ball in water on combining the extreme computation-
tion because it can be used at multiple the basis of its (compound and physical) al power and bandwidth of GPUs with
locations, requires less deck space, and is
simpler to commission, because there is
no need to install a separate winch system
complete with tow lines. The new trolley
incorporates a proven pneumatic-drive
system and can transit loads of up to 50 t
at an average speed of 12 m/min. The first
unit is currently completing a program of
extensive testing at Proteas production
facility in southern Poland.
For additional information, visit

Dissolvable Fracturing Ball

Phenoms patent-pending Wraith Frac
Ball is a metallic dissolvable fracturing
ball designed to provide zone-successive
isolation for fracturing plugs, fracturing
sleeves, and static-isolation subs (Fig. 4).
Its high shear strength allows it to main- Fig. 5Graphic of Stone Ridge Technologys ECHELON reservoir simulator inuse.

20 JPT MAY 2016

recent advances in solver algorithms and
modern software design, ECHELON is
able to achieve unprecedented run times
with only a modest hardware footprint
(Fig. 5). With ECHELON, models up to
35 million active cells can now be run
on a single desktop with turnaround
10 to 50 times faster than that of exist-
ing solutions that require big clusters.
The ability to simulate very large mod-
els allows the use of highly detailed geo- Fig. 6Baker Hughes BASTILLE HP/HT removable production packer.
logic descriptions without the need for
upscaling. The fast run times and capabil- pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) leaves the outer packer wall intact. When
ity to handle very large models provide a removable production packer creates a the production tubing is pulled uphole,
powerful and cost-effective tool for engi- reliable seal between the casing and tub- the inner mandrel follows. This action
neers to handle multiple realizations for ing while the well is flowing, and just as releases the bottom slips and relaxes the
uncertaintyquantifications. reliably disengages when well interven- elastomer. As pulling continues, specially
For additional information, visit tion is needed (Fig. 6). The BASTILLE designed segments break loose, the pack- chassis has been engineered specifical- er wall flexes inward, and the upper slips
ly to separate from the casing wall when pull free from the casing wall. This reduc-
Removable Packer released, even after prolonged exposure es friction and separates the packer from
Removable production packers can elimi- to temperatures up to 400F (204C) the casing. On its way uphole, shoulders
nate nonproductive time, costs, and risks and differential pressures as high as on the mandrel catch the outer packer
during well-intervention operations, 17,500psi (1207 bar), an industry first at wall, and the entire assembly is retrieved
but can become permanently set when these ratings. When intervention is need- with the production tubing. JPT
exposed to high pressures and tempera- ed, a mechanical pipe cutter severs the For additional information, visit
tures. The Baker Hughes BASTILLE high- inner mandrel below the bottom slips, but

SameDrift. A More Efficient Way

To Get Through Trouble Zones.
Enventures SameDrift lets you extend a casing string to
isolate trouble zones, while keeping the same ID. You can
either tie back to the previous casing or simply clad the zone
or both. This ground-breaking technology will help you get
through trouble zones more efficiently than ever before.
The results?

s Youll reduce NPT.

s Youll start production sooner.
s Youll increase production rates.

To find out more about Enventures ground-breaking

SameDrift technology, visit us at OTC booth 9053.

Mature Flood Surveillance Using Streamlines

Rod P. Batycky, SPE, and Marco R. Thiele, SPE, Streamsim Technologies

With the recent drop in oil prices, oper- powerful solution to define injector pat- need to calibrate the model to the past.
ators are shifting to optimization of terns and associated key production met- Using measured historical produced and
existing assets with minimal costs. For rics. Advances in streamline-based flow injected total rates implies that the veloc-
mature floods (water, chemical, and modeling since the early 1990s allow ity field will properly reflect the influ-
CO2), one low-cost optimization strat- streamlines to be traced in 3D, account for ence of wells relative to each other in
egy is the intelligent adjustment of well- complex geological descriptions, include terms of production/injection volume
rate targets. While it is easy to identify all well geometries, and incorporate a and spatiallocation.
high-water-cut or high-water-rate pro- wide range of flow physics. However, An often overlooked detail is that his-
ducers, it is not obvious to identify which applying streamlines for surveillance torical well data implicitly contain infor-
injectors are contributing to oil produc- requires only a subset of these extensions mation about reservoir connectivity
tion or fluid cycling. This makes setting and is much simpler toimplement. high injection/production volumes are
injection targets a guessing game at best Most floods are driven by pressure gra- usually indicative of good pay and sup-
without a calibrated reservoir (simula- dients rather than absolute pressure, and port compared with low injection/pro-
tion) model. at reservoir conditions, it can be assumed duction volumes. This is the reason why
However, detailed calibrated reservoir that the fluids are nearly incompressible. bubble plots are popular among engi-
models require simulation expertise, are This is certainly true for water/polymer/ neers looking for clues to the spatial
time-consuming to build, and can even chemical floods. Even CO2 at high pres- quality of a reservoir. By using historical
be considered overkill for short-term res- sure behaves like a liquid. measured rates to solve for the current
ervoir management. Reservoir surveil- For surveillance purposes, the calcu- spatial pressure gradients, the result-
lance techniques sidestep this problem lation for the total velocity field needed ing velocity field will implicitly reflect
by using measured well data combined to trace the streamlines can be signifi- suchconnectivity.
with simpler models to create a feedback cantly simplified. Specifically, the veloc- It is possible to add a spatial descrip-
loop that is informative and valuable for ity is solved conditioned to a) measured tion of geological properties such as per-
reservoir management. (historical) total injected and produced meability, porosity, or net to gross, etc.,
The starting point for any improve- volumes at the wells; b) a description of as well as transmissibility barriers, such
ment of an ongoing flood is the proper the subsurface geology, including faults as faults and shale barriers, to further
identification of well patterns and reli- and flow barriers if available, and if not, condition the velocity field. Special con-
able pattern metrics. Which patterns a homogenous box can be used; and c) an sideration should be given to flow barri-
have historically outperformed and assumption of in-situ fluid distributions ers, as these will radically affect the flow
which have underperformed? How much if available, and if not, a uniform satura- field and tracing of streamlines. Local
oil is being recovered from each pat- tion distribution will do. permeability/porosity modifications, on
tern for each unit of volume injected into Although these assumptions seem sub- the other hand, are a lesser factor.
thepattern? stantial, they are reasonable for surveil-
Being able to answer these questions lance because the primary objective is to Defining Injection Patterns
with confidence enables target rates to identify current well pairs and allocation Once the total velocity is known, tracing
be set that will improve sweep and reduce factors rather than forecasting. streamlines from injectors to produc-
fluid cycling. And as new production/ ers automatically defines patterns and
injection data are collected, rate targets Model Calibration Not Needed injector/producer pairs. For example, a
are realigned to ensure that field recov- The assumption of fluid incompressibil- pattern may be defined as an injector
ery remains close to optimum. ity implies that the past spatial pressure (light blue bubbles displaying injection
distribution and gradients are immate- rates in Fig. 1) and all the producers
Streamlines as a Solution rial to the solution of the current velocity connected to that injector by stream-
Streamlines, which represent flow from field, and so streamlines can be extract- lines. Alternatively, one can define a
injectors or aquifers to producers, offer a ed for any moment in time without the pattern as being centered on a produc-

22 JPT MAY 2016

p opl
po d
The power of our resources means
nothing without the energy of our
people. Their focus and expertise make
our energy more dependable, more
sustainable, and more useful.

We are looking for experienced

petroleum engineering professionals to
join our team.

Apply now.
Fig. 1(left) Injector-centered well allocation factors (WAFs) and (right) producer-centered WAFs, determined by the
streamlines and displayed using a patented flux pattern map, where connection thicknesses can be used to display
each wells production allocation factor in addition to using a label. The bubbles represent injection (light blue) and
production (water=dark blue, oil=green) rates. All images courtesy of Streamsim Technologies.

er with associated injectors connected allocation factors (WAFs) as the ratio of observed well ratesfrom the derivation
by streamlines. There are usually fewer the total rate of an injector/producer pair of the streamlines to the final calculation
injectors than producers, and because to the total well rate of either the injec- of the WAFsgiving a summary plot of
the goal of a flood is to produce oil by tor or producer on either end of the con- good vs. poor use of injected fluids based
sweeping it with injected fluid toward nection (Fig. 1). Furthermore, as produc- on measured data.
the producers, centering patterns on tion history changes, the streamlines are It is also possible to estimate the
injectors has proven to be a good, prac- updated, the WAFs are recomputed, and cumulative oil produced by each pattern
tical choice. the patterns evolve through time. (injector) by properly accounting for the
To extract pattern metrics, it is useful changing production rates and WAFs
to consider each streamline as being the Estimating Pattern Efficiency over time (as shown in the right frame
center of a streamtube carrying a frac- With WAFs in hand, it is straightforward of Fig. 2). The plots in Fig. 2 are a power-
tion of the total flow rate of the wells to to estimate the efficiency of each pattern ful diagnostic view of the flood, quanti-
which it is connected. The sum of all the (injector), which is simply the oil pro- fying the relative efficiency of each pat-
streamlines ending or starting in a well is duction rate of all the connected produc- tern historically (right) and currently
therefore expected to equal the total flow ers weighted by the respective produc- (left). This is what makes the stream-
rate of that well. er WAFs and then divided by the water line-based surveillance model so unique
Similarly, summing up the rates of the injection rate. In other words, it is pos- and useful.
streamlines between any injector/pro- sible to associate oil production with an The final goal is to estimate future well
ducer pair will quantify the total rate injector (as shown in the left frame of target rates based on the streamline-
between the well pair (Batycky et al. Fig. 2). It should be reiterated that all based pattern metrics. A crucial value is
2008). That allows estimation of the well the calculations are based on historical the efficiency of each injector/produc-

Cumulative Oil Produced (rm3/d)

200 1.2106
Rate Oil Produced (rm3/d)

180 0.30 1.0106

140 8105
120 0.20
100 6105
0.10 4105
40 2105
0 0
0 100 200 300 400 500 0 1106 2106 3106 4106 5106
Rate Water Injected (rm3/d) Cumulative Water Injected (rm3/d)

Fig. 2(left) Each triangle represents one injector with current water injection rate on the x-axis and allocated offset
oil production on the y-axis. The diagonal lines represent efficiency thresholds. (right) Cumulative oil production
associated with each injector as a function of cumulative injected (water) volume, gives a historical rank of pattern

24 JPT MAY 2016

er pair, the fraction of oil produced at a Summary rics, such as WAFs and efficiencies, and
well due to a fraction of volume inject- Mature pattern floods can benefit sig- (4) being applicable to water, CO2, and
ed by the associated injector. With this nificantly from streamline-based sur- chemicalfloods. JPT
information, well rates can be modified veillance-type workflows, allowing engi-
to promote higher efficiency connec- neers to make decisions quickly and References
tions and demote lower ones (Thiele and efficiently to manage short-term oil pro- Batycky, R.P., Thiele, M.R., and
Batycky 2006), which amounts to a data- duction. Surveillance models are easy to Baker,R.O. et al. 2008. Revisiting
driven approach to improve sweep. build and can be used in real time, rather Reservoir Flood-Surveillance
than requiring months to assemble and Methods Using Streamlines. SPE
Connection Efficiency calibrate as with classic reservoir simula- Res Eval & Eng 11(2): 387394.
The ability to identify efficient vs. inef- tion models. The limitation of a surveil- SPE95402-PA. http://dx.doi.
ficient connections across the injector/ lance model is that it cannot be used for org/10.2118/95402-PA.
producer networkthe flux pattern forecasting, but the wealth of informa- Kornberger M. and Thiele M.R.
map (Fig. 1)is what makes stream- tion on injector patterns, well pairs, and 2014.Experiences With an
line-based surveillance unique. Opera- allocation factors can be used in a real- Efficient Rate-Management
tors know not only which producers are time feedback loop to continuously man- Approach for the 8th Tortonian
high-water-cut or high-water-rate wells, age the reservoir. Reservoir in the Vienna Basin.
but now which injectors are contribut- Streamline-based surveillance is an SPERes Eval & Eng 17(2): 165
ing to the offset oil production and the alternative to other surveillance work- 176. SPE 166393-PA. http://dx.doi.
efficiency of this contribution. It is a flows and distinguishes itself by (1) org/10.2118/166393-PA.
fundamental improvement over the clas- defining patterns automatically from Thiele, M.R. and Batycky, R.P.
sic rate-target management workflow of the production/injection data through 2006. Using Streamline-Derived
predefined fixed patterns and the adjust- the use of streamlines that connect Injection Efficiencies for Improved
ment of rates to maintain the fixed pat- injectors and producers; (2) accounting WaterfloodManagement. SPE
tern voidage replacement ratio, which for the dynamic nature of fluid flow and Res Eval & Eng 9(2): 187196.
usually does little to promote sweep or allowing patterns to change in time; (3) SPE 84080-PA. http://dx.doi.
avoid fluid cycling. extracting per-injector/-producer met- org/10.2118/84080-PA.
As well rates and water cuts change
over time with updated well-rate tar-
gets, the patterns and injector efficien-
cies will also change. Because there is
no assumption about fixed patterns, the
streamline-based surveillance metrics
should be updated routinely, resulting
in new rate targets. Using this feedback
loop, the field is nudged toward improved
sweep as the good injector-producer con-
nections are promoted and the bad ones
are demoted, subject to operational con-
straints, such as injection volumes and
pump capacities.
Operators have shown that using a
streamline-based surveillance approach
to update rate targets can lead to incre-
mental oil production increases above
base decline rates, ranging from 1% to
10% of fieldwide daily oil rate, with mini-
mal effort. In Oman, an operator has seen
a 2% increase in the fieldwide oil rate for
a heavy oil flood as a result of the intel-
ligent redistribution of injected water.
In Austria, OMV has achieved a 30%
increase in oil rate for a three-pattern
portion of a waterflood (Kornberger and
Thiele 2014). The improvements in both
cases came at minimal cost.

JPT MAY 2016 25


Drilling Down On Particle Size Analyzers

Trent Jacobs, JPT Senior Technology Writer

Automated particle-size analyzers are als that might damage a rock crusher, ation is running smoothly, or running
something you will not see on most forinstance. intotrouble.
drilling rigs, but some think this out- On a rig, particle size analyzers would Directly measuring these particles
side-the-oil-field technology will play generate value by making drilling under would give rig crews and engineers an
a big role in the future of the drill- difficult conditions significantly easier, unprecedented ability to quickly deter-
ingsector. and they may also help move automated mine how the well is really holding up
They are routinely used in a number drilling efforts forward. and react if things head south. Fully
of industrial processes for quality con- As drilling fluids circulate thousands automated analyzers would go one
trol, including agricultural plants and of feet through a wellbore, the bits of step further by acting on the data to
mines to measure things such as the size material that flow back up to the sur- make precise adjustments to the fluid
of corn kernels or to identify materi- face can be a telltale sign that the oper- mix, creating a savings opportunity on
Eric van Oort, a professor of petro-
leum engineering at the Universi-
ty of Texas (UT) in Austin, believes
the adoption of such technology is in
the early stages, but he sees immedi-
ate benefits for operators and con-
tractors who commit to using it. He
coauthored a technical paper on the
subject that was presented in March at
the SPE Drilling Conference and Exhi-
bition in Fort Worth, Texas, which out-
lines the capabilities of various analyz-
er technologies.
Van Oort, also the director of UTs
automated drilling research consor-
tium, explained that analyzers will
improve upon how drillers currently
monitor and make decisions in main-
taining the quality and size of lost con-
trol materials (LCMs)substances used
to plug fractures in wellbore walls that
may lead to the partial or total loss of
the drilling fluid, otherwise known as a
loss circulation event.
Addressing these areas could help
avoid or mitigate lost circulation events,
which still account for billions of dol-
lars in [nonproductive time] annually
across the industry, van Oort said.
A critical characteristic of LCMs is
Particle-size analyzers deliver precise measurements of drilling fluids, which allow drillers that they tend to break down inside the
to quickly determine wellbore conditions and avoid problems. Photo courtesy of J.M. Canty. well, a process known as shear degra-

26 JPT MAY 2016

Flow Control
Technology Leadership

High-pressure large-bore BOPs in the Gulf of Mexico

Drilling Technology Sets the Standard

The only large-bore BOPs rated 20,000 psi and 25,000 psi in the field today were designed, manufactured and installed by
Cameron in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, Cameron has the largest installed base of BOPs in the world. Today, Cameron offers
fully automated drilling technologies for onshore and offshore operations all backed by full life cycle support, from conceptual
design to installation and commissioning.
Now, as part of Schlumberger, we look forward to extending our leadership in flow control technology.

Find out more at

All referenced trademarks are owned by or licensed to Schlumberger. 2016 Schlumberger. All rights reserved. CAM-1007
dation, which ultimately renders them plants, and demonstrate a strong per- operation. Setting up the analyzer has
less and less effective. Industry stan- formance in the oil field and be easy to also been simplified. Once installed, the
dard methods to deal with shear degra- use and maintain. Otherwise, the ben- device is calibrated and the user just has
dation involve the manual use of sieves efits of the technology evaporate quick- to press start.
for measurement and a sacks per hour ly, van Oortsaid. The critical components include a
criteria for mitigation. Simply put, Among the systems studied by UT, LED backlight, a flow cell, and a micro-
such imprecise methods are not suffi- top marks for accuracy went to a device scopic lens attached to a high-perfor-
cient for automated drilling operations built by J.M. Canty, a Buffalo, New York- mance camera that captures images of
and as mentioned above, have a severe based firm that develops process tech- the fluids passing by. As the software
financialimpact. nology for a number of industries. detects changes, it can alert a remote
The longer-term objective is much Whereas other systems depend on monitoring center via the Internet or it
bigger, van Oort went on to say, adding lasers to gather their measurements, can take action by sending commands to
that he predicts analyzers will eventu- Cantys relies on high-resolution cam- an operational system on the rig.
ally enable the automation of key mea- eras. We see whats there and measure By adding a hard drive to the system,
surements including how much fluid is exactly whats there, thats why were the images can be recorded and ana-
being lost into the formation. spot on, said Miles Priore, a business lyzed later. Priore said that in the event
Future systems, he said, will allow us development leader with Canty. of a problem, You can look at the video
to fine-tune [particle size distributions] In the UT study, the Canty device footage of the particles at that exact
for optimum fluid loss control and tai- used was a laboratory model and since time and see if there is a correlation.
lor them to the requirements of any par- then, the company has developed One of the unique features about the
ticular well, in a way that is much more a field-hardened version that is fully companys device is that the flow cell
appropriate than the current, high- automated. But due to the down mar- that allows the fluid and particles to
ly indirect fluid loss measurement that ket, only one of the new devices has be observed is built by fusing glass to
uses paper as a filtration mediumand been installed on a working rig for an metal, a process that allows glass to be
how much paper do we drill around undisclosedcontractor. used at extreme pressures. Canty says it
theworld? Priore said the system is equipped has used the technology to develop the
One caveat is that the analyzers must with automated valves controlled by sight glasses on space shuttle fueling
be able to leave the laboratory and software which eliminates the need for lines and is the only company using it in
the static environments of processing much human involvement in the devices the oil and gas industry.

Simplification Key To Delivering Efficient Projects

in Low-Oil-Price Climate
Stephen Whitfield, Staff Writer

To survive in the current low-price Than USD 50/bbl. He is the direc- If we want to achieve efficiency,
environment, exploration and produc- tor of the E&P practice at Independent weve really got to attack complexity, he
tion (E&P) companies must better han- ProjectAnalysis. said. We have to attack it everywhere
dle the complexities inherent in their Nandurdikar said that while simpli- we see it, and all aspects of complexity
projects through practices that pro- fication is key to developing efficient that we see. The reason is because com-
mote capital effectiveness and col- projects, the task itself is harder for plexity, or specialization, creates the
laboration. Owners and operators E&P companies now because they do illusion that we are headed in the right
must emphasize the long-term viabil- not engage in enough cross-disciplinary direction. We think were solving the
ity of their assets over high returns, an collaboration. In addition, with nation- right problems, but oftentimes, until the
expert said. al oil companies (NOCs) and service fog clears, we dont know whether this is
In a presentation hosted by the SPE companies managing their own proj- the best project to do.
Gulf Coast Section Projects, Facilities, ects, and NOCs partnering with spe- Nandurdikar said there are three
and Construction Study Group, Neer- cialists in other countries outside of types of complexities that E&P com-
aj Nandurdikar discussed the collec- their home base, the role of a tradi- panies face in their operations: techni-
tive actions the industry should take to tional multinational E&P company is cal, political, and organizational. Tech-
improve project efficiency. Nandurdi- in flux. Nandurdikar said these com- nical complexities typically revolve
kars presentation, Journey Towards panies can only determine the ways in around the geological aspects of a project
Efficiency, was the fourth install- which they can simplify their opera- such as water depth and reservoir pres-
ment of the study groups Spring Event tions after they determine their roles in sures and volumes. He said the indus-
Series, Delivering Projects at Less a low-priceenvironment. try has learned how to handle most of

28 JPT MAY 2016

these issues, but areas remain in which ture shift is necessary in the current on government issues or local content
it can improve. An example he gave is economicenvironment. issues, trying to make sure projects are
technological redundancy on facilities, Yes, you are all competitors working done safely. Were going to bring that
such as the use of unnecessary valves for different goals. Chevron, Shell, BP, same culture that drove safety to now
orseparators. and Exxon are competitors, but guess drive costs, and thats not going to hap-
Political complexities arise when what? Theyre also working together, pen unless competitors are willing to
dealing with the local conditions of a or they should be working together, cooperate, hesaid. JPT
given project. These include local con-
tent requirements, government regu-
lations, and the requirements of other
stakeholders such as joint industry proj-
ect partners. Organizational complex-
ities are the additional departments, Basic Emulsifiers
functions, and specializations present
in companies that did not exist in pre-
vious years.
Nandurdikar said organizational
complexities may not have a particularly
negative impact by themselves, because
adding functions and departments cre-
ates additional jobs. However, when
combined with technical and political
complexities, they may wreak havoc
To solve organizational complexi-
ties, Nandurdikar suggested that E&P
companies not think of themselves in
a transactional manneras operators
putting out projects and dictating needs
to the supply chainand start thinking
of themselves as part of a larger, symbi-
otic ecosystem with service companies,
subcontractors, and suppliers. WHEN ALL YOU NEED IS THIS?
There is no single company, no sin-
gle supplier, that can do a project any-
more, Nandurdikar said. There are
these divisions. Any ripple effect cas- The same goes for your emulsifier purchases.
cades down the line, and you create XPLORTM Basic emulsifiers offer an economic alternative by meeting
problems down the entire supply chain. rudimentary performance requirements combined with the quality you
Until we start thinking of this as an eco- expect from the emulsifier experts, Georgia-Pacific Oilfield Chemicals.
system, I doubt were going to get the
kind of innovation we need.
Political complexities require the
adoption of a concept called co- Meet the requirements, meet the budget.
opetition, or competitive competition. Get the job done. Dont pay for unnecessary features.
He said it is possible for companies to Available for both mineral oil and diesel solvents.
embrace a collaborative spirit on issues
like local content requirements in a
region while still being mindful of their
competinginterests. Contact us at 1-866-447-2436 or
Nandurdikar used safety as an exam- visit
ple. The industrys push for increased
safety in its operations in recent years
is the result of a cultural shift that was XPLOR, the XPLOR logo and the Georgia-Pacific logo are trademarks owned by or licensed to Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC.
accepted by owners, operators, and 2016 Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC All rights reserved.

the supply chain. He said such a cul-

JPT MAY 2016 29

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

ne of the biggest ways to lower It is competing with another newcom- to design completions for gas wells in
the cost of production from er, Fracture ID, whose website describes theMarcellus.
shale would be to identify what it does as drill bit geomechanics. The methods vary, as do the scale,
zones that are productive, or not, before Both are selling rock property analysis options, and prices, but they share some
fracturing them. methods that are lower-cost alternatives common traits. They are offering ways
There is a growing group of companies to accepted methods, such as well logs, to gather information that do not affect
selling new ways of cutting the cost and whose price limits their use in unconven- operations at a price and pace that allow
time required to gather data while drill- tional plays. But the cost, data-gathering targeting the most productive spots dur-
ing, which will allow completion engi- method, and output of these two methods ing fracturing.
neers to reduce the number of stages pro- differsignificantly. Ingrain, which is the most established
ducing little or nothing. Others are relying on readily available, of the group but still a young technology
I think better placement is where alternative sources of data: cuttings, fluids, company, sells a competitively priced ser-
the money is, said Vikram Rao, execu- or well pressure readings. They are hitting vice analyzing rock cuttings with chemi-
tive director of the Research Triangle the market at a time when low oil prices cal and elemental analysis testing to mea-
EnergyConsortium. have created an appetite for newideas. sure total organic content, mineralogy,
While the methods and data points Definitely we are exploring lots of and brittleness, as well as scanning elec-
vary, these new ventures are all seeking technology options right now. Anything tron microscopic (SEM) imaging down to
to gather data or samples during normal to drive down our dollar per foot comple- the pore scale.
operations that can be quickly turned tion cost, said Kevin Wutherich, direc- Biota is doing DNA analysis of drill cut-
into a report on a limited number of data tor of completions for Rice Energy. We tings and produced oil to identify sourc-
points, which can be used to improve are even looking at stuff that could save es of oil along the wellbore. Each well
fracturing productivity. USD 20,000 a well. We have a program can generate more than 50 million data
Customers want it cheap, want it fast, that might yield 70 wells a year, so that points that can be used to decide where
and want to see a return quickly, said is about USD 1.5 million. That might not fracture stages should be placed and
Chuck Matula, a board adviser for Drill- have been too big a deal (when oil was at which stages in an existing well should
2Frac, a startup company created by USD 100/bbl) but these days we will chase be refractured.
Vorpal Energy Solutions, that uses data that down. The technology used has only recent-
recorded while drilling to compare rock Based on favorable tests, Rice Energy ly become affordable enough to use on
hardness along a wellbore. is moving toward using Drill2Frac data a large scale. If you were to do a DNA

30 JPT MAY 2016

Three stages, each with three perforations spaced
50 ft apart, will encounter different stresses based on 1 4 7
sequence of a cup of coffee it would have Poissons ratio, which is a rock mechanical property
cost you USD 100,000 5 years ago that affects stress.
today its a hundred bucks, said Moji
Karimi, the business development man-
2 5 8
ager at Biota.
A spinoff from Statoil, Reveal Energy
Services, is looking at the fractures pro-
duced. It is taking what it learned from
converting available pump pressure data 3 6 9
during fracturing to map fracture net-
works and working to turn it into a busi-
ness. All are aimed at answering ques-
tions that can be answered in other ways Fracture modeling, based on rock property data gathered during drilling by
using tools such as well logging, micro- Fracture ID, shows how the performance of three stages will likely vary due
to distinctly different rock properties. The nine figures on the right predict
seismic testing, or core samples.
how fracs will develop at each of the perforations. The numbered pictures on
A growing part of Ingrains unconven- the right predict what is likely at the numbered locations along the yellow
tional rock business is testing drill cut- horizontal well shown on left. Courtesy of Fracture ID.
tings to see if they can be readily bro-
ken when hydraulic pressure is applied which now are obtained using logging Much of the testing was done in the
and if they have the organic content tools that are too expensive for regular Bakken Shale. Darren Schmidt, a princi-
that can make them likely to fracture. use and present risks, such as getting pal engineer in Statoils shale oil and gas
What makes it different is its analysis stuck in a horizontal wellbore. research and technology group, said, It
of a select group of samples using a New rock testing methods are hitting is a simple, quick, relatively inexpensive
SEM to see if kerogen is found in the the market at a time when the industry way to come in and verify your model as
pores, and the geometry of the pore net- has slowed to a crawl and is reconsider- to what is happening.
work, which help determine if it will ing how it completes its wells. All of the companies mentioned are
be productive. Prior to the crash they never slowed working on field tests comparing their
Almost every well we look at is sur- enough to do any science, Matula said. results with standard diagnostics to con-
prising in some way. The amount of The erratic results from designs stim- vince users of the value of their informa-
heterogeneity in a lateral wellbore can ulating regularly spaced spots along a tion. The ultimate endorsement would
be really, really high, said Joel Walls, wellbore, known as geometric fractur- be a paper from an operator laying out
director unconventional technology at ing, has led to a lot of energy put into how data from one of these diagnos-
Ingrain. He said some layers of the how to do the best placement of perfora- tic methods were used to significantly
Wolfcamp shale play in the Permian tions, he said. improveproduction.
Basin, for example, are so thin that the The value of the new methods will Those sorts of details are hard to come
rise and fall of the wellbore along a lat- hinge on the willingness of companies to by. Statoil said fracture images based on
eral can put it in multiple zones with diverge from their habit of using geomet- pressure data led it to makes changes
differentcharacteristics. ric designs, and the ability of fracturing such as altering the size mix of the sand
crews to precisely target stages. used, but did not provide further details
The Point There is an increasing number of ref- it says are proprietary.
The value of these ventures will depend erences in the literature of companies In the real world of unconventional
on their ability to increase production. doing geological spacing of fractures, development, the alternative is often no
Our whole goal here is to provide Walls said. It will become more common testing at all.
information that allows operators to as we move forward. The trends are in the Cost has long been a barrier. Well log-
optimize fracturing at each stage by right direction. The data are more widely ging costs have been sharply discounted
matching rock properties with the stim- available. The penalty for doing it wrong since the oil price downturn. Matula said
ulation design, said Chris Neale, presi- is quite high. There is such a small margin logging, which once cost USD 350,000
dent of Fracture ID. in these wells at these prices. a well for the service and rig time need-
The business plans assume that the As with the drill bit data companies, ed to deploy it, now costs half that
industry needs diagnostic systems that Reveal is commercializing a lower-cost much, but in this market that is still a lot
can be used regularly while drilling in diagnostic method for unconventional ofmoney.
formations prone to abrupt changes from formations using readily available data. No one is logging a well anymore
well to well. Selling it will require convincing users because of the expense and risk of run-
The products need to be reliable, cost- that significant insights can be gained ning a tool into a long horizontal well,
effective, and high resolution, Neale from using this new method in conjunc- Matula said. These are little technolo-
said. The goal is to offer detailed data, tion with other data. gies fit for the times.

JPT MAY 2016 31

Getting a Feel for the Rock
Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

T he force required to drill through a

rock is a direct test of its strength
and stiffness. Anyone who has ever used
pretation of the changes in microseismic
data gathered around a well, said Chris
Neale, president of Fracture ID, which
las dating back to the late 1960s and
That approach is based on the theory
a power drill to drill through plaster uses downhole drilling data for imaging. that the energy spent at the bit to remove
and then hit a wooden beam can feel When I was deep in the microseismic a volume of rock is a function of the
thedifference. world I was very frustrated. I could not differential pressure (wellbore pressure
Turning those feelings into a reliable tell them what microseismic was telling minus pore pressure) that a rock is sub-
measure of the properties of rock based them. There was no in-well data to corre- jected to while drilling, the paper said.
on the force required to drill a long lat- late the microseismic, said Neale, who A key measure in that approach and
eral is a large challenge. was a cofounder of MicroSeismic Inc. others is mechanical specific energy
Two startups, Drill2Frac and Frac- We needed an inexpensive data stream (MSE). It is a number calculated using
ture ID, are selling services that do that, that could give us high-resolution rock measurements such as the torque, rev-
though their methods vary based on the properties for every well drilled. olutions-per-minute, weight on bit, and
sources of the inputs and the outputs Data gathered while drilling offer a the penetration rate while drilling.
offered to customers. Both are offering measure that avoids the time and logisti- Drillers use it as a measure of how effi-
an option that can become a routinely cal challenges of running a sonic logging ciently they are working, and to measure
used diagnostic method by those design- tool into a horizontal wellbore or setting the efficiency of various combinations
ing fractures by providing information up surface receivers for microseismic. of hardware and settings while drilling.
comparable to that from a sonic log, but These companies are building on Experts in geomechanicswhich apply
at a significantly lower price. work going back decades on formulas mechanical engineering techniques to
Rock property information was also to quantify rock properties based on rocksuse it as a measure of the force
often a missing piece for those doing data gathered while drilling and rock required to break up those rocks.
microseismic testing, which images the propertyanalysis.
impact of fracturing based on the sound In a recent paper (SPE 178842), BP Mechanical Factors
produced during certain types of frac- described a formula that it developed The changing condition of the rock and
turing. Users wanted better rock prop- to estimate pore pressures using drill- the drill bit both affect these measures.
erty information to improve the inter- ing data. The work improved on formu- For example, as the bit wears, the rate of
Trajectory Plot


Total Vertical Depth (ft)








10,800 12,000 13,500 15,000 16,300
Lateral Length (ft)

Based on data gathered while drilling, Drill2Frac creates a wellbore map showing variations in hardness along a
wellbore. Image courtesy of Drill2Frac.

32 JPT MAY 2016

penetration will slow as if it were cutting which offer an estimate of the force at the a newer version of the software with sig-
through stronger rock. The challenge for drill bit. It also uses proprietary formu- nificant changes, Matula said.
those measuring the rock properties is to las to estimate the impact of bit wear and The tool attracted the interest of Rice
tell one from the other. identify when the bit is sticking or slip- Energy as a possible lower-cost alterna-
Another obstacle is that the drilling data ping, which affects the readings. tive to sonic logs, which it uses to identify
gathered are different based on where the To avoid the challenges that come with spots with similar rock properties to tar-
measurement is done. This becomes par- correcting surface data, Fracture ID gath- get during fracturing.
ticularly difficult in horizontal wells. ers downhole data using sensors located Based on data and logs from old wells
For example, measures of torque done directly behind the drill bit in a 12-ft- long the tool appeared to offer data which
at the surface are often considerably carrier sub. Placing sensors right behind are comparable to the sonic logs. The
higher than measures done near the drill the drill bit allows us to directly measure company plans to test how it performs
bit. The difference is due to the energy the forces on the bit, rather than estimat- on a four-well pad compared to a sonic
lost to friction as the drillpipe comes in ing them from surface data, Neale said. log, with two wells fractured based on
contact with the surrounding hole, and Its equipment records data with every log data and two based on drilling data,
the force required to twist a pipe that is turn of the drill bit to detect changes said Kevin Wutherich, director of com-
miles long. Maneuvers required for drill- in rock strengthYoungs modulus pletions at Rice Energy.
ing a curved well also affect the output. and its ductilityPoissons ratio. Abrupt Fracture ID reports it has worked in
Drill2Frac gets its data from the sur- changes in the rock properties are used four unconventional basins, and it has
face drilling data recorder, including as an indicator that fractures are present. been doing tests comparing its results
units sold under the Pason and NOV Fracture IDs analysis is designed to with dipole sonic logging in horizontal
Totco brands. The data are transferred adjust the data to filter out differences wells. Those tests will help validate the
into a cloud computer system that can caused by changes in the tool condition, output, but their goal is to convince users
return a report within hours. To gather a which can quickly go bad during short- to make these tests a regular part of the
downhole measure of torque, it uses the lived incidents. The data are retrieved process when planning completions.
differential pressure and standpipe pres- from the sensors when the drillstring The cost is low compared with the
sure as well as the mud motor pressure, ispulled. alternative, with Drill2Frac charging
Both companies are offering reports USD 10,000. The output shows differ-
on well sections after they have been ences in the strength in the rock along
Hardness Index drilled, and are working on ways to deliv- the wellbore.
Color Hardness MSE er reports in real time. Real-time drill- For Fracture ID the cost per well is about
ing data could serve double duty, because USD 30,000, which Neale describes as
HD1 015K MSE can also be used by drillers to maxi- well within the noise level of drilling and
HD2 15K30K mize drilling efficiency and monitor the completion costs on wells. The report
condition of the bit. looks at changes over much shorter spans
HD3 30K50K On the drilling side, the idea of using than Drill2Frac, and offers added detail,
HD4 50K75K downhole information to improve the including locations of significant frac-
rate of penetration and monitor the con- tures intersecting the wellbore.
Hardness Increases

HD5 75K100K dition of the bottomhole assembly is get- The drilling data analysis companies
HD6 100K125K
ting a lot of uptake in this environment, are hitting the market at a time when
Neale said. there are numerous theories as to why
HD7 125K150K performance varies widely from stage
HD8 150K175K
Checking Value to stage. More data may help answer the
Selling drill bit geomechanics will require question Why do results vary so much?
HD9 175K200K convincing users it generates reports as The initial sale process is to the 10%
HD10 200K225K
accurate as the established methods, and to 15% of the companies leaning forward
offers valuable insights. and using more science, Neale said.
HD11 225K250K Drill2Fracs methods have been used to At this stage the users are looking
HD12 250K300K
evaluate about 200 wells for 25 operators for correlations between the data gath-
over the past 18 months, Matula said. ered and their fracturing results. If users
HD13 300K400K Some of those jobs were by C&J Energy find ways to turn drill bit rock-property
Services, which was an early partner in reports into even modest gains, it could
HD14 400K500K
development of the software that Matula catch on.
MSEMechanical specific energy said is no longer involved. It still shares On a completion, if we can help them
ownership of the first version of the soft- get just a 3% to 4% increase in the ulti-
Drill2Frac measures the hardness of
the rock along the wellbore. Image ware, which was used for work covered mate recoveries everyone is a hero,
courtesy of Drill2Frac. in paper SPE 174839. Drill2Frac is using Neale said.

JPT MAY 2016 33

DNA Sequencing: A New Diagnostic
Tool for Shale Wells
Trent Jacobs, JPT Senior Technology Writer

F or the past 2 decades, the use of

DNA sequencing technology has
largely been relegated to the domains
place the wells, and how they should
We are addressing questions that our
producers. Its novel approach involves
analyzing the DNA of tiny microbes that
coexist with the oil, water, and rock in
of criminal forensics and the health- customers cant answer today across mul- the subsurface. There are hundreds of
care industry. The company betting that tiple scales: Where are the sweet spots thousands of different microbes living
the shale industry soon will join that and producing intervals for each stage, inside a formation but certain species
list is Biota Technology, a California- what is the fracture height for each well, are associated with hydrocarbons tend
based startup. and what is the connectivity between to stand out.
Founded in 2013, Biota says DNA multiple wells? said Ajay Kshatriya, Their unique signatures and locations
sequencing technology can help max- chief executive officer of Biota. along the wellbore allow Biota to gener-
imize production in horizontal shale Biota so far has used its technology ate a production profile which can then
wells by directing operators where to on 60 wells operated by six different US be used to design engineered comple-
tions in subsequent wells, or to identify
refracturing opportunities.
Think of the DNA as a tracking
device, said Kshatriya. It is a high-
resolution data source that provides 4D
analysis across the production life cycle,
which doesnt introduce environmental
risk or require downhole tools.
During a drilling operation, as many
as 600 samples may be taken from a sin-
gle well. These samples come from drill-
ing mud and cuttings and provide base-
line data needed to characterize the well
as production begins and comingles all
of the microbial DNA.
More samples are taken during com-
pletion operations and then from pro-
duced oil and water during production.
To screen for contamination, Biota sam-
ples several sources of DNA, including
the humans working on the job and any
Mean Production

dirt at the drillsite that may be swept

into the well duringoperations.
All this information is com-
piled and sifted through by the com-
panys data scientists and its machine
learning software to find the most
Among Biotas largest investors is a
Biotas DNA-Based Oil Potential Score multibillion dollar company called Illu-
Oil Frac Tracer % Contribution mina, a leading DNA technology devel-
oper that credits itself as a pioneer in
the effort to drive down sequencing
For the application of production profiling, same-well comparisons have shown
costs from around USD 100,000 per
that microbial DNA sequencing is about as accurate as chemical tracers, and sample to about USD 100 in just 5 years.
it provides usable data over the life of the well, not just the life of the tracer. As it continues to build a track record
Graphic courtesy of Biota. and demonstrate its value proposition

34 JPT MAY 2016

to the industry, Biota has yet to disclose We are addressing output is geochemistry testing. DNA
its pricing structure. sequencing and geochemistry tests can
But the company notes that it was questions our customers be run at any point in time to analyze the
founded on the idea that the new and cant answer today across makeup of a wells production stream
dramatically lower price point meant and depend on the presence of organic
shale producers could now afford to
multiple scales. materials to generate usableinsights.
use DNA sequencing as a diagnostic Biota says its DNA data line up with
Ajay Kshatriya,
technology in each and every wellan geochemistry tests, per independent
Chief Executive Officer, Biota
aspect that the company hopes will dis- studies. But the company points out that
tinguish it from the established technol- DNA sequencing provides 1,000 times
ogies it is competing against. Biota is also putting its technolo- more data than a geochemistry test,
Production logs are generally viewed gy next to downhole fiber-optic sys- which allows it to detect much smaller
as expensive and they require wells to tems which have gained wide accep- variations in production behavior.
be shut in for a period of time until the tance in the industry for their ability to The company has also explored DNA
tool run is completed. Biotas sampling deliver high-resolution data. Like DNA sequencing applications for convention-
process is done at the surface, from a sequencing, fiber-optic systems provide al wells and offshore production facili-
shale shaker or a flowline for instance, data for months after installation, if the ties. In the short term, Biota has goals
and requires no shut-ins or anything to fiber remains intact, but their biggest to integrate DNA data with other sub-
be sent downhole. downside is cost. At around USD 1 mil- surface data sets that companies rou-
Tracers and microseismic are also lion per installation, fiber-optic systems tinely use. Farther down the road, it
great tools, noted Kshatriya. But you are generally used only on pilot projects hopes to develop new ways to analyze
cant get that 4D snapshot along the life and science wells. the DNA data in real time. Current lead
cycle of the wellyou get an initial point Perhaps the most similar technolo- time from field to laboratory results is
in time and thats their reallimitation. gy to DNA sequencing in terms of data about 23weeks.

Unlike other removable packers,

the VO-rated BASTILLE production

Stuck with a packer you packer stays removableeven after

maintaining a gas-tight seal for years

thought was removable? in a 400F, 17,500-psi well.

Visit to
learn more about this industry-leading
HP/HT removable production packer.

2016 Baker Hughes Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 44216 04/2016

Grinding Out Big Data
From Tiny Samples
Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

W hen describing what Ingrain does

for oilfield clients, the rock-test-
ing companys director of unconvention-
using better diagnostic testing at a time
when drilling has greatly slowed.
The asset teams and technology that
tored science wells to establish a standard
design for the many wells thatfollowed.
Wide performance variations made a
al technology, Joel Walls, points out that remain in these (operating) companies case for the value of adding individual
it is not just forscience. are some of the best in the industry, well data. But there is a limit on the time
He brings it up repeatedly because the Walls said. With the slowdown there is and money available to do so.
company, known for being a pioneer in time to consider what they need to do, The objective is to do it relatively inex-
methods built on imaging ultratight rock plan, and do more testing. The testing pensively on every well drilled, he said.
at the core level, has built a business test- is guided by the realization that produc- To deliver on that Ingrain had to develop
ing drilling cuttings to help identify pro- tion performance varies widely from well a system to scale up that process to deliver
ductive, fracturable rock to help opera- to well, and from stage to stage due to results in time to be used to adjust com-
tors design bettercompletions. unpredictable variations in the rock. pletion designs based on field-scale data.
The pricing and turnaround time is Before the oil price crash, companies The trend is doing it quickly and
designed to fit into the industrys need to commonly would optimize a drilling doing it in a repeatable fashion on a com-
sharply increase the productivity of wells program by doing a few heavily moni- mercial scale using current technology,
Walls said.
The turnaround time can be days, but
it is normally about a week, for a price
that he said is in the same range with
other new testing methods costing less
than USD 100,000 per well.
The cutting testing program uses min-
eral and elemental tests to measure brit-
tleness, which can highlight if sections
can be effectively broken using hydraulic
pressure, and a look at pore-scale imag-
ing to quantify the hydrocarbon-filled
pores, which provides a good estimate
Vertical Direction

Everyone is interested in drill cuttings,

Walls said, adding the qualification, They
may be doubtful we can get information
they want from rock samples so small.
That points to the toughest challenge
facing those selling wide area analysis
based on testing tiny rock chips drawn
from cuttings gathered every 30 ft in lat-
erals often 10,000 ft long. To select 10 to
20 representative samples, Ingrain has
developed a machine learning algorithm
capable of recognizing patterns along
the wellbore and identifying which spots
could offer a view of the big picture.
1 m The data from these high-resolution
scanning electron microscope imag-
es, and similar observations from other
An image of a microscopic rock sample shows the different sources of oil and
wells in the area, are used to spot trends
gas. There is kerogen (green) making up 22% of the volume, while pores with
kerogen in them (red) make up 8.6%, and water filled pores (blue) 0.2%. The and relationships in the rock properties
permeability is from 0.3 to 0.9 microdarcy. Courtesy of Ingrain. and estimate the reservoirvolume.

36 JPT MAY 2016

The 2016 generation Anti Stick-Slip Tool (AST) uses a new
counterforce solution for balancing the load on the PDC cutters
in both axial and angular directions. This makes it possible to land
any PDC drill-bit on hard rock without risk of impact damage.


The better protection of the PDC cutters in the first contact 3D & LAYOUT: RENDER.NO
with the bottom of the hole has already delivered impressive
results. An operator in South-Eastern Europe recently drilled
a deep 6.0 inch section in one bit-run with excellent ROP.
The bit drilled for 235 hours to a local TVD record of 5350m
(17500). Back on surface, the bit was graded 1-3-WT.

A similar result was obtained by a major operator drilling on

the UK shelf where the planned turbine and impregnated bit
The counterforce upgrade enables the new XC-AST to
was replaced by a conventional PDC bit and the AST solution. continuously balance the loading on the cutters. This
prevents the onset of damaging vibrations when the
Contact us: cutters are lowered to fast on to hard rock or when the
bit bites too deep in to a new formation layer.
Aberdeen: +44 1224 561313
Houston: +1 713 557-7542
Stavanger: +47 51 95 11 70
Rio de Janeiro: +21 3497-5083
Mapping Fracturing
With Pressure Change
Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

A service using pressure data from a

few nearby unconventional wells to
map fracturing will soon be for sale.
them from the fractures growing from
the well to be stimulated, ensures that the
measurements are of the pressure pro-
When Statoil researchers asked engi-
neers in the field if they could try the test
during fracturing in the Bakken, there
Statoil developed the method, and has file in the stimulated fracture, he said. were questions about how much it could
used it to improve how it completes wells With multiple surface measurements complicate fracturing.
in three US unconventional plays, said of pressure changes during fracturing It really turned out to be not very dif-
Matt Dawson, investment manager at data from at least two wells are required, ficult to accommodate into normal oper-
Statoil Ventures, which created a com- and more is betterDawson said it is ations, said Darren Schmidt, a princi-
pany to market the method, called Reveal possible to measure the largest fractures pal engineer in Statoils shale oil and
Energy Services. length, height, and angle. gas research and technology group. The
The approach assumes that in forma- The method developed to track fluid method requires setting plugs at certain
tions where most of the hydrocarbons flows through fractures has been used to times while fracturing, but if you are
are trapped in a dense, nearly imper- evaluate Statoil wells in the Bakken, Eagle zipper fracturing a well, you can fit this in
meable matrix with a limited number Ford, and Marcellus shales, and Daw- normally on a multiwell pad and then get
of fractures, the pressure of the flow son said we are confident it will work in some good information, said Schmidt,
through those pathways can be measured those three. who was then doingcompletions.
in nearby wells. More than one-third of the companys Fracture analysis based on pressure
The signalsa poroelastic pressure wells in the Bakken were tested over a readings has been compared by Statoil
responsecan be 10100 psi, said Daw- 12-month period, he said. Within a year against 11 other diagnostics, includ-
son, who also helped create the method. he said they hope to be able to gather and ing tracers, shut-in interference tests,
The extremely limited flow in the for- interpret the data quickly enough for it and production rate transient analysis.
mation, and the fact the monitoring wells to be used by crews as they are fractur- Reveal is currently running a field test
are pressurized with water to protect ing the well. for an operator comparing its results
with microseismic imaging, fiber optics,
and electromagnetic imaging, he said.
The service, which has been used by
several customers already, will likely be
priced at the high end of the range from
USD 10,000 to USD 90,000, Dawsonsaid.
The method requires a pressure re-
sponse from a limited number of frac-
tures. It will not work in a conventional
reservoir or in unconventional ones with
extensive natural openings for fluid flow,
such as the Barnett. A strong fracture hit
into an adjoining well means data from
that stage cannot be used.
Adding what has been learned about
fracturing using pressure analysis to other
observations led to changes in fracturing
methods, from a shift in the sand size mix
to better prop smaller openings to earlier
deployment of diverter to more effectively
limit growth of the largest fractures.
Fracture mapping is another tool to
help us better understand our fracture
This rig is drilling in the Eagle Ford for Statoil, which has been using a method
it developed to track the impact of hydraulic fracturing using wellhead
geometry with minimal cost incurred,
pressure data at several nearby wells. It is now marketing the test to others. said Wesley Zurovec, a completions engi-
Photo courtesy of Statoil. neer for Statoil in the Eagle Ford.JPT

38 JPT MAY 2016

for E&P Innovation
Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

il prices are so low that the oil angle Energy Consortium. Sales are lim- tors did manage to quickly reduce the
industry is having to consider ited because they can only make that cost of production, frequently employ-
doing things differently. It is a point to survivors. ing innovations from the service sec-
hopeful sign for the future for innova- Rao divides the market into three tor. The industry embraced 3D seismic,
tors who have been struggling to keep groups based on their financial needs. subsea completions, horizontal drilling,
going and have potential customers with At the top are the companies with and logging while drilling (LWD).
little to spend and a lot to worryabout. secure financial futuresthe majors Dogged persistence is an essen-
What we see is a lot of consolidations and the strongest of the independents tial trait for oilfield innovators in
and slowdowns now. A lot of risk-averse and at the bottom are those in serious good times and bad. Most operators
folks out there who do not know if their financial trouble. The rich have resourc- are not adverse to new technologies,
companies will survive from one day to es to spend, though it is limited by their but few can afford to be new technol-
the next, said Chuck Matula, who is a drive to reduce costs; but their survival ogy leaders, said George King, distin-
board adviser and founder of a company is not at stake. That is the issue for com- guished engineering adviser at Apache
called Drill2Frac, which offers services panies at the other extreme, which have Corp. High on his long list of obstacles:
aimed at unconventional producers. no money to spend because they are Most new technology promoters do
2015 was an absolute blur. Abso- focused on dealing with creditors. not appear to know how to effectively
lutely everyone was trying to keep an In the middle are those companies introducetechnology.
oilfield operation afloat, there was so with some money to spend and a great The comment speaks volumes to
much indecision and uncertainty, Rich- sense of urgency. Their long-term future Pradeep Anand, a consultant who teach-
ard Broderick president and chief exec- depends on quickly lowering their cost es Strategic Marketing in the Energy
utive officer (CEO) of Fountain Quail per barrel enough to survive with oil Industry to a class of graduate students
Water Management, said during a ses- selling for less than USD 50/bbl. And at Rice University, drawing on his experi-
sion at the recent IHS CERAWeek con- they will not be able to get there by ence marketing oil and gasinnovations.
ference in Houston. squeezing suppliers for more discounts. We are dealing with a very risk-
Demand for the water company and What is happening is, basically, inno- averse industry that is very measured
others has slowed as drilling and com- vate or perish for anyone in between, in its adoption of new technologies and
pletion work plummeted in shale fields Rao said. They have 2 years to show they rightfully so. Add to it, the increasing
where the cost of adding production can survive, and 3 years to makegood. reluctance to change corporate and pro-
exceeds the price of oil, which dipped They cannot keep doing things the cess habits over time and we have a
below USD 40/bbl in early April. same way and they are looking for new seemingly immovable object, he said.
Those still on the payroll have power- solutions, said Mark Wilkinson, a vice The key is to win support from the
ful motivation to consider how to reduce president for GroundMetrics, which is select group of companies whose busi-
operating costs or increase production trying to convince companies that they ness is built on innovation. Rather than
enough to pump profitable barrels if oil can better understand what is going on developing an infinite force to move this
edges toward USD 50/bbl. in the ground by using electromagnetic immovable object, technology innova-
Those with likely answers to that imaging to track water and carbon diox- tors have to work on the fringes, which
question were getting some traction ide flooding, or spot missed oil reserves. are firms that have good reasons to
when prices where high, but not as Faced with similar cost pressures, adopt new technologies to create com-
much as they are now, said Vikram Rao, and an equally awful economic envi- petitive advantages in their markets,
executive director of the Research Tri- ronment in the 1980s, Rao said opera- Anandsaid.

JPT MAY 2016 39

While working as Halliburtons chief trative expenses, increased competitive- Service company layoffs repre-
technology officer, Rao said the compa- ness, and improved estimated ultimate sent the largest number of the more
ny tracked which customers were most recoveries, Manning said, adding that than 250,000 workers laid off in 2015,
likely to use new technology. Because the with low prices, the need for investment according to a survey by John Graves,
list of innovative operators was short, in innovation is moreurgent. a Houston oil industry consultant. Big
they paid close attention to the top five, service company budget cuts have hit
four of which were big independents. Shock Treatment research and development (R&D). For
A few oil companies are much more Oilfield innovation is talked about as if service companies I am seeing double-
aggressive about innovation. It differen- it were an endangered species. That is digit reductionsaround about minus
tiates them. Their culture is based on it, understandable after waves of layoffs 15% in R&D budgets, said Carolyn
said Rustom Mody, chief engineer enter- and budget cuts. One technology consul- Seto, director of upstream technology
prise technology for Baker Hughes. tant, who asked not to be named, said, and innovation atIHS.
Pioneer Natural Resources is an One of the concerns we have heard, and A review of company annual and finan-
example of a company that has contin- it is a very real concern: Have we cut so cial reports for 2015 shows a 9.1% drop
ued to invest in new technology through much we will not be able to restart the in research and engineering spending at
the downturn. industry again? Schlumberger, a 29% drop at Hallibur-
Technology innovation is one of Those selling innovation are waiting ton, and reductions at Baker Hughes and
Pioneers key paths for growth in the uncomfortably for a rebound. I do not Weatherford of around 20% each.
coming decades, said Sha-Chelle Man- see that new technology is going into All those were well short of the rev-
ning, director of corporate innovation use like it was in cycles past. I cant enue declines that led to deeper cuts in
atPioneer. say why. Perhaps because it was such a operational budgets. As a result, Halli-
Pioneer estimates the value of its inno- rapid downturn, said Richard Spears, burtons spending on long-term technol-
vation program is USD 500 million over vice president of Spears and Associ- ogy development rose in 2015 to 2.8%
the next 10 years, which will foster greater ates, which has also invested in a couple of its 2015 revenues, up from 2.4% the
efficiency, reduced general and adminis- ofstartups. year before, and Schlumbergers rose to

3,000 175
Left axis


Left axis 125


Oil Price (USD/bbl)

Number of Firms



Right axis 50


0 0
1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010 2013 2016

E&P Firms Oilfield Services Firms Oil Price

Oilfield service companies have taken over as the big spenders on research and development in exploration and
production after oil companies reduced their role during the 1980s oil bust. Both groups significantly increased their
outlays until cuts in 2015. Chart courtesy of IHS.

40 JPT MAY 2016

3.1% of revenues last year, from 2.5% The question this time around is, if business where the price of plain prop-
in 2014. the slump continues, will service com- pant is set by competition with low-cost
Pessimists warn of a repeat of the panies continue cutting R&D spending international manufacturers, and even
1980s, when the lingering slump led as oil companies did in the 1980s. While lower-cost sand.
to many years of R&D spending cuts. the pressure is there to spend less, deep The company is creating a growing
But the structure of technology devel- cuts in innovation programs now come line of products that add new functions
opment has changed. Back then, big oil with significant downsides for service to the ceramic grains that go beyond
companies were the biggest spenders on companies in the long term. propping the reservoir, such as one that
R&D. Now the service sector is the lead- For them, a productive technology delivers a controlled release of scale-
er by a widemargin. development program is a competi- reducing chemical in a reservoir. Its
The transition period resulted in low tive weapon. At a time when buyers are most ambitious project, which moves it
R&D spending for a time. It took until demanding, and getting, deep discounts into the geophysics business, is a prop-
the mid-1990s, when the large service for most products and services, a new pant with a coating that shows up in
companies grew through consolidation, offering which is able to lower the cost electromagnetic images. That ground-
for service company spending to sur- per barrel of production can still sell for breaking initiative has required that a
pass what oil companies were doing. a premium price, Rao said. company whose expertise is in ceramic
Service sector R&D spending has On the one hand, service compa- manufacturing create methods to detect
grown sharply since then, with a surge nies must keep up with the biggest it and data-processing algorithms
beginning in 2010. Inflation-adjusted names in the business; on the other forimaging.
R&D spending in the industry is far high- is the threat to margins posed when Keeping technology development
er now than the peak in the early 1980s prices are set by low-cost producers or going in this downturn is not easy, said
boom, even with last years dip. Service commoditymarkets. Terry Palisch, global engineering direc-
company R&D outlays are nearly double Carbo Ceramics has committed to an tor for Carbo. We have committed to
what oil companies spend, which is also innovation program to add value to the this project. It is tough. Customers are
up from where it was early thiscentury. ceramic grains of proppant it sells, in a not willing to spend much money.


Are you on track?

Or way off course?
Take control of your professional development. An hour spent taking our new self-assessment
is an investment in your self-assuranceand your future.

Where are you? Find out now. International Human Resources Development Corporation

learned from that technical achieve-
Data Survey ment and reduce its cost and complexity
enough to make it a widely used option.
DNV GL recently asked 900 senior oil and gas professionals about Making what is technically possible a
data use now and in the future. The survey shows that they are profitable fact of life is the challenge fac-
interested, but have theirdoubts. ing large segments of the industry now,
20% considered operations highly digitalized today such as US shale operators. We know
36% plan significant or moderate investment in big data and what to do, we just need to do it cost-
analytics in 2016 effectively, Rao said.
45% see solid or high potential for data and analytics to make the Industrywide there is a lot of room
industry more efficient for productivity improvement. Over the
Cost constraints and uncertainty about the cost-saving potential past 10 years, a four-fold rise in global
are two factors that are limiting spending E&P spending yielded only 15% more
produced oil, according to Schlumberg-
The certification body identified these opportunities: er. The largest service company uses
Condition monitoring for more effective maintenance and that statistic as an argument for a great-
inspection programs, dictated by industry, historical, and real-time er role in managing projects in a way
data, leads to reduced downtime, with preventive maintenance that selects and integrates technology
based on early warnings from sensor data. more productively.
Instant information from fields can provide timely decisions on Others offer interpretations of the
underperforming wells and other potential issues, which could commercially and psychologically com-
lead to enormous costs if not dealt with. plex relationship between those who
Detecting anomalies during drilling and operation can lead to own and operate wells and the compa-
more effective decisions for cost savings. nies competing to equip and help man-
age them. But there is little argument
that the key performance measure is the
cost per barrel produced.
It is a well-supplied world. Everyone
But the commitment is seen as an pany in the near term, Seto said. With will have to compete on that cost-of-
essential piece of its business strategy. the low oil price there is a greater focus supply basis and margins will be king,
If you are going to be a tech company on R&D innovation that has a more clear said Ryan Lance, CEO of ConocoPhil-
and you do not spend money on technol- line-of-sight path to benefits within an lips, speaking during a session at IHS
ogy, you have a gap in your program, 18- to 24-month time frame. CERAWeek.
he said. Statoil has shown what is possible in We have instrumented about every-
Long-term commitments are required 24 months, with a cost-cutting drive to thing we have in the business, and we
because technology development re- trim the bloated cost of offshore devel- are learning how to sift through all those
quires professionals with hard-to-find opment, which reduced the average cost things, he said. One goal is to reduce
skills mixing technical skills and the of development from USD 70/bbl to downtime and extend the life of equip-
ability to create products that profitably USD41/bbl last year, and it is seeking to ment, like compressors, with results so
solve difficult problems. push it lower. predictable it will be possible to extend
It takes years to build it. The skill Most people think of innovation the warranties.
sets, the personnel, the know-how, as new technology, said Margareth
Mody said. When a program is shut vrum, executive vice president tech- Data Points
down, that talent will be quickly hired nology, projects, and drilling for Statoil. Ask what is new and hot, and the answer
elsewhere, he said, adding, it is exper- But she said it can be existing technol- is data. They offer a path to quick sav-
tise you better protect. ogy used in another way. ings using an available technology
Statoils project included some ambi- from another industry and a little used
Quick Fixes tious efforts to leapfrog the existing way assetdata stored and ignored.
In an industry where marketers love to of doing things. vrum has long been For Christopher Robart this looks like
claim they are selling the next game- committed to developing subsea facto- a great opportunity. He and his brother
changing technology, operators are ries that move processing from offshore Alexander Robart, who previously built
just looking to play the game better platforms to the seafloor. Last year, the a shale data consultancy firm called Pac-
andcheaper. company demonstrated it could success- West Consulting Partners and sold it to
Research and development spend- fully locate a large gas-compression sys- IHS, are partnering with a private equi-
ing, and innovation spending, must tem on the seabed. Now she said the ty firm to build an oil and gas software
align with the strategy of the com- company is working to take what was company through multiple acquisitions.

42 JPT MAY 2016

The timing couldnt be better to be a
buyer buying low and selling for higher
Pioneer Resources Drilling Ideas
valuations. It is perfectly timed for valu-
ations, said Robart, who wants to start Pioneer stands out because its culture has long emphasized the value
with a handful of established opera- of innovation and the company has the cash on hand now to support
tions that offer cash flow and customer it at a time many others do not. Its projects include the following:
lists to support later acquisitions. The
initial focus is on companies enabling Rig Power Optimization: Partnered with a rig operator to pilot
operators to produce better, faster, and scale a power system to offset peak load from generators. The
andcheaper. potential benefits are reduced generator stack maintenance and fuel
The goal is to build and sell the com- use, as well as the ability to better track power use for analysis.
pany in 5 years, but the upside is limit-
ed compared with Silicon Valley, where Real-Time Communications: Piloting and improving real-time
investors brag about finding unicorns communication services required to improve rig communication
companies worth USD 1 billion or more. services and real-time analytics.
Digital E&P applications sell to a lim-
ited group of customers with special- Analytics for Improved Team and Rig Performance: Partnering with
ized functions, time-consuming test- a software company to provide analytics to compare and understand
ing requirements, and the need for rig performance differences and share improved practices. This has
significant support after the sale. While yielded an efficiency gain of half-a-day per well.
the thinking is that combining single-
product companies into an operation Improved Performance of Drilling Tools: Partnered with suppliers
able to sell a wider range of products to to improvethe design of a directional drilling component to reduce
a larger group of customers can create failure rate by 50%. A partnership with a private lab is investigating
significant value, there is a limit. As he drilling-data-acquisition techniques.
put it: There will be no unicorns in oil
and gassoftware.
We have no illusions it is easy or sim-
ple, Robart said. It is all about getting
in a position for a pretty significant up- Rao joined Halliburton when it and lighter than metal, will not cor-
cycle in 2 to 3 years. bought Sperry-Sun, then part of Dress- rode, and could reduce the cost of off-
er Industries, after it proved LWD could shore installations. Its shareholders
Startups be a highly profitable business. And include Shell and Chevron. Yet, when it
An invention does not become an inno- while he worked there, he saw that pat- comes to finding customers, lead ini-
vation until someone buys it. Big leaps tern repeated many times as it acquired tiation has been relatively easy. Lead
require a customer willing to commit startups with promising technology. conversion is very, very difficult, Eric
the time and effort needed to prove that The truth is that most new oilfield van der Meer, CEO of Airborne, said
something new works, fit it into their technology comes from four guys leav- during a session at the IHS CERA-
operation, and tell others how it can help. ing a company. They are impatient Week conference.
During the 1980s, Anand had the crit- with their inability to pursue their idea The downturn in demand is a factor.
ical role of finding the initial customers where they are working so they quit Like many startups, Airborne struggles
for one of the big technical leaps of the to start something in their garage, to find jobs in which it can demonstrate
era, the LWD tool made by NL Indus- Spears said. what it can do in the field. It has worked
tries Sperry-Sun division. The flood of talented people out of with two joint industry projects to prove
I got thrown out of more offices, he work now could create a flood of start- that its pipe is capable, which took time,
said. I knew one guy extremely well. He ups from some of these involuntary and still there is resistance.
asked me to leave. He said, There was entrepreneurs. Industry experience is We find an asseta flowline to
no way I would risk my credibility on a plus. Veterans in the field know the replacesomeone says I do not like it
yourtool. problems that plague operations, and [Airbornes pipe] or trust it, it is not
That point of his story explains why what it takes to build something that qualified enough, or I would like to see
much of what is sold as new is actually stands up to field use. But selling a new it somewhere else, and then it stops,
an update of what is available. idea is still a slog. he said.
Most service companies sell incre- An example of that is Airborne Oil The barriers are not a sign of the times.
mental (gains) because that is what most and Gas, which is trying to convince Based on what he expected after a 25-year
buyers want. Not what they need, but operators that flowlines made of ther- career at Shell, it has proved almost
what they want, Rao said. moplastic composite pipe are stronger exactly as difficult as I thought.JPT

JPT MAY 2016 43

Seismic Shifts
Waste Water
inOklahoma Disposal Well

Leadto Stricter
Trent Jacobs, JPT Senior Technology Writer

ndustry regulators in Oklahoma have rolled out broad new
restrictions on more than 600 disposal wells as part of the
largest action of its kind taken in response to earthquakes.
An additional 118 wells have been included in an area of
interest and face increased reporting and monitoring require-
ments. Altogether, the plan affects approximately 20% of the
states disposal wells and marks a major change for the fourth-
largest oil- and gas-producing state in the US.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the states industry
regulator, spent a year issuing volume reductions and shut-ins
at a number of specific disposal sites, efforts that failed to slow
the rising rate of earthquakes. Then on 13 February, the third-
strongest earthquake in Oklahoma history shook homes across
the state and was felt hundreds of miles away by residents of
three neighboring states. No serious damage or injuries were
reported. But just days after the 5.1 magnitude trembler, reg-
ulators abandoned their pinpoint approach and announced a
regional earthquake response plan that covers approximately 7,000 ft
10,000 sq milesan area twice the size of Qatar.
For the foreseeable future, no new disposal well permits will
be granted in the restricted zone, and operators must curtail
fluid injections into existing wells by 40% of their 2014 average
rate. Based on last years figures, that means a reduction of fluid
injection of approximately 300,000 B/D.
Because water disposal is a necessary component of oil and
gas operations, the immediate scarcity of disposal wells may
drive up fees at sites operated by third parties. Recycling or
trucking the water outside of the restriction zone are expensive
options that few operators can afford right now.
If there are no feasible alternatives, ongoing production
declines may accelerate in the Mississippian Lime, the most sig-
nificant play affected by the order. The play is a carbonate for-
mation, and unconventional techniques are used to recover oil
and gas from it. Last year, production in the Mississippian Lime
was estimated to be around 100,000B/D, which accounted for a
quarter of the states overall production.

Scientists and regulators in Oklahoma have concluded

that the high-volume injections into the subsurface are
increasing the pore pressure inside the rock along the
faults, which creates a greater risk of the faults slipping.
Graphic courtesy of Steven Than/Stanford University.

The play is notable for being the leading water producer in the
state. To handle all the produced water, along with much smaller
fractions of drilling and fracturing fluids, operators have spent
millions of dollars on drilling a vast network of disposal wells.
Producing Wells As they do around the world, disposal wells in Oklahoma
allow companies to efficiently and cheaply dump billions of bar-
rels of waste water a year deep into the ground. In most loca-
Waste Water Pipelines tions, this is a safe and standard practice.
But when the volume of water being injected in Oklahoma
soared to new levels, so did the rate of earthquakesnow 600
times higher than it was before 2008, according to the Oklaho-
ma Geological Survey (OGS). The consensus among regulators,
scientists, and many industry experts is that wastewater injec-
tions are the root cause of the earthquakes, a process termed
r induced seismicity.
Wa It could take several months for regulators to decide if their
k ing
Drin current plan has worked. If it fails, then some experts expect
to see even tighter rules or an outright moratorium on injec-
tions. There are also those who believe that reductions are
not the solution; instead, a better understanding is needed of
where disposal wells will have little or no chance of triggering
fault slips.

Mississippian Lime in Trouble

Only 4 years ago, the Mississippian Lime was hyped up as the
next Bakken Shale, a bold prediction that missed the mark by a
rs wide margin. Operators have struggled to make the play a com-
L aye mercial success and though the latest restrictions seem to cast
du more dark clouds over the Mississippian Limes future, low oil
Pro and gas prices are likely to mask any immediateimpact.
Richard Zeits, founder of Zeits Energy Analytics, researches
shale operators for investors and said a number of producing
wells are likely to be shut in as a result of the new constraints.
But he also noted that production in the area is already on
course to decline by 20% or more by the end of this year.
Even without regulatory restrictions, he said, there are
many questions with regard to what threshold oil price might
be required for [the Mississippian] Lime to be a profitable play.
a tio Initially, the Mississippian Lime was seen as a perfect appli-
Form cation for horizontal drilling, according to an OGS report writ-
uck ten in 2012 when activity levels were starting to ramp up. A year
Arb later drilling activity peaked and several companies sold off
their entire positions at fire-sale prices.
The plays largest producer and operator of a number of dis-
Fault posal wells, Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy, doubled
down around that time and acquired more core acreage leases.
m ent 16,000 ft
ase In March, the company said it may not survive for much longer.
eB If that is the case, SandRidge would be the largest shale produc-
sta er to file for bankruptcy protection since the downturn began.
Cry Operators competed for large swaths of the play that spans
both Oklahoma and Kansas knowing it had higher than nor-
mal water cuts. In addition to high oil prices, they believed the
water handling costs would be offset by lower drilling and com-
pletion costs. Many areas of the Mississippian Lime are consid-
ered shallow compared with other plays (between 1,600 ft and
7,000 ft) and since it is a carbonate as opposed to a shale, it is

Arbuckle Disposal Wells 20122014
OK Earthquakes 20142016, magnitude
23 Map by: Sam Limerick
Date: 4/4/2016
Water Injection Volume Reduction Areas
Central Plan Est. 3/7/2016
Western Plan Est. 2/16/2016
Area of Interest for Study

After a 5.1 magnitude earthquake in February, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has taken its biggest steps yet to
mitigate the growing earthquake problem in the state. Graphic courtesy of Sam Limerick.

easier to drill through and requires lower they could always get worse if further chance of incurring minor home dam-
horsepower rigs. limits are put in place. Zeits said the big- age such as fallen plaster or cracks in
But the more operators got to know the gest risk facing operators is the uncer- the walls due to an earthquake induced
Mississippian Lime, the less they liked tainty about how the situation will play by injections. It is the same risk level
it. Wells depleted too quickly and due to out and whether the response plan meets assigned to naturally occurring earth-
its remoteness, companies faced spend- its objective. quakes in the seismically active state
ing tens of millions of dollars on power If there are more big earthquakes, the ofCalifornia.
lines needed to run pumps for lifting regulators may have little choice but to Keith Hall, a professor and director
anddisposal. impose even stricter rules, he said. I am of the Mineral Law Institute at Louisi-
And the water cuts were not just high- not saying this will happen, but if it did, ana State University, presented a tech-
er than normal, they were often extraor- the impact on production and cash flows nical paper on the legal risks associated
dinarily high. Newly completed oil wells would be potentially a lot more severe. with induced seismicity at last years SPE
have been known to pump out as much as Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Con-
98% water at a rate of thousands of B/D. Legal Faults Widening ference. He said that since then, there
Those who have worked the Mississip- The spike in Oklahomas seismic activ- have been more earthquakes, more regu-
pian Lime sometimes quip that it is really ity prompted the US Geological Survey lations, and more lawsuits filed by home-
a water aquifer with just a little bit of oil to recently issue its first 1-year forecast owners. The one thing I am seeing less
sitting on top. for earthquake hazards in the continen- of is skepticism about whether there is
Even if prices rise enough to make the tal US. The federal agency, whose seis- really a problem, he said.
play profitable, the disposal limits will mic risk assessments are used to develop Hall added that environmental groups
essentially act as a cap on future oil pro- building codes and guide policy mak- have begun using the issue as a legal
duction. And as bad as things are now, ers, said Oklahomans face a 5% to 12% wedge that may affect future permits,

46 JPT MAY 2016

Behind the Oklahoma Earthquakes
especially for those on federal lands. Earthquake swarms are occurring over approximately 15% of the state
And so far, two class-action lawsuits have where injections of produced water have risen significantly in recent years.
been filed in state court against disposal The majority of produced-water injections are taking place in the Arbuckle
well operators in Oklahoma. formation that overlies the crystalline basement rock.
While most of the earthquakes have Most of the earthquakes are happening within the crystalline basement
caused little damage, Hall said if enough rock that is much deeper than oil and gas operations.
homeowners report small cracks and too High-bulk permeability sections within the Arbuckle allow pressure from
many sleepless nights, then you could injections to be transmitted several miles away from a disposal well.
get significant [monetary] damages, even The high density of disposal wells in central and north-central Oklahoma
though no particular plaintiff suffered and the geologic characteristics of the Arbuckle make attributing specific
that much. wells to specific seismic activity difficult.

Source: Oklahoma Geological Survey

Research Looking for Details
The latest research has moved past prov-
ing that the earthquakes are induced
and is focusing on unanswered questions now analyzing the known faults in Okla- what all of your neighbors are injecting
such as why some areas with lower injec- homa to determine which are close to down their wells too that matters.
tion volumes have more seismic activity slipping and which ones you couldnt
than areas with higher injectionvolumes. make slip if you tried. New Modeling Efforts
There is a lot more than just injection He added that through his research it One way to observe the pressure regime in
that is needed to cause earthquakes is becoming increasingly clear that the the Arbuckle would be to use decommis-
you might think of it as a perfect geolog- problem in Oklahoma is not about indi- sioned disposal wells as monitoring wells.
ic storm, said Rall Walsh, a PhD candi- vidual wells but a combination of many The first person to lead such an effort is
date at Stanford Universitys department wells that all contribute to pushing sensi- Kyle Murray, a hydrogeologist at OGS.
ofgeophysics. tive faults past their limits. As part of an agreement between Sand-
At the center of that storm is the deep- One thing weve told the operators is Ridge and Oklahoma regulators, Mur-
est sedimentary rock layer in Oklaho- that it is no longer just about what they ray will have access to five nonoperating
ma called the Arbuckle formation, the are injecting down the well, he said. Its disposal wells. He plans to install pres-
primary target for most of the states
disposal wells. Walsh published a wide- 2500
ly circulated study last year that found
magnitude 2.5+ earthquakes

that between 1997 and 2013 injection 2000

Cumulative number of

volumes doubled to 160 million bbl

per month, most of which went into 1500
Much in the way that accountants will 1000
follow the money, we followed the water
through Oklahoma, he explained. 500
The Arbuckle lies below the hydrocar-
bon layers and just above the fault-laden 0
1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014
basement rock. It has been described as
the ideal formation for disposal. Due to 200 Injection and earthquakes in Oklahoma 6
its low pressure, it eagerly vacuums up
Earthquake magnitude

incredible volumes of water, and vast Unknown

networks of natural fractures, vugs, and EOR 5
barrels per month
in millions of
Injection rate

caves provide plenty of extra real estate

for the injected water to reside in. Or so 100
it was thought.
Because the formation is not hydrauli- 50
cally isolated, Walsh and other research- 3
ers believe excess fluid pressure is
0 2.5
migrating into the basement layer where, 2000 2005 2010 2015
in some cases, it spreads out for a mile or
Using statewide data, researchers have shown a correlation between the
more. And when the pressure on a fault number and rising strength of earthquakes and disposal well injection volumes
exceeds the pressure holding it in place, in Oklahoma (data available up to 2014). SWDsaltwater disposal; EOR
it slips, causing an earthquake. Walsh is enhanced oil recovery. Graphic courtesy of Rall Walsh/Stanford University.

JPT MAY 2016 47

Chance of damage based on the average of horizontal spectral response acceleration for 1.0-second period and peak ground acceleration

Based on results from the 2014 Based on results from this study
National Seismic Hazard Model
Chance of damage from an earthquake in 2016

<1% 1%2% 2%5% 5%10% 10%12%

The US Geological Survey (USGS) issued a map showing parts of Oklahoma are now considered as seismically
hazardous as areas of California where natural earthquakes occur regularly. Graphic courtesy of USGS.

sure transducers just below the fluid line ultimate goal is to establish a network of high injection volumes observe few earth-
inside the wells to take measurements at least 12 monitoring wells. quakes and others that have low injection
on a second-by-second basis and build Another modeling approach to the seis- rates experience manyearthquakes.
hydrogeological models with the data. mic situation is to take emerging geome- Geomechanically, it is very simple,
He is hoping that the transducers chanical modeling technology designed Ouenes said. When we see these high
will identify a pressure front moving to predict the effects of hydraulic frac- injection volumes happening in the low
through the Arbuckle formation and said turing at the wellbore level and use it to induced-seismicity potential areas, and
such information could help operators predict fault behavior on a regionallevel. we dont see earthquakes, that confirms
find safer locations to drill disposal wells Ahmed Ouenes, chief executive offi- that the location is more important than
in the future, as well as where it would be cer of the geomechanical modeling firm the volume. JPT
a bad idea. FracGeo, believes that injection reduc-
This is the raw data that has been miss- tions alone will not solve the problem. For Further Reading
ing, he said. We think that the Arbuckle The problem is not about injection vol- SPE 173383 On Liability Issues
disposals are related to seismicitywe umes only he said. Its really all about Concerning Induced Seismicity in
think that it is pressure propagating away where you inject. Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
from those wells and reaching basement He recently coauthored an SPE paper and at Injection Disposal Wells:
faultsbut until someone starts measur- outlining how his companys software What Petroleum Engineers Should
ing that pressure in the Arbuckle, and can identify the existing stresses involved Know by Keith Hall, Louisiana State
possibly in the basement rock, we wont with regional fault networks and put University et al.
ever be able to documentit. them into two categories: those with low SPE 180461 The Effects of Faults on
The project is being funded by industry induced-seismicity potential, and those Induced Seismicity Potential During
partners and emergency funds released with a high induced-seismicity potential. Water Disposal and Hydraulic
by Oklahomas governor to address the The difference between the two categories Fracturing by Nick Umholtz and
earthquake situation. Murray said his could help explain why some areas with Ahmed Ouenes, FracGeo.

48 JPT MAY 2016

evolution to
Cut more,
weigh less,
last longer.
Find out how at

To learn more about NOV 20K, download GO NOV

from the App Store or Google Play.

2016 | National Oilwell Varco | All rights reserved

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri
Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
center, officially opens OTC Asia
with Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan
Ariffin, left, chairman of the OTC
Asia Advisory Committee, and Arnis
Judzis, right, chairman of the OTC
Asia Oversight Committee.

CONFERENCE REVIEW minister said the country was in position

to further develop a diverse economy and
become a central figure in an industry

OTC Asia undergoing volatile change.

Najib said the industry must have a
realistic perspective on its immediate
future. He said crude oil prices will like-

Highlights ly remain low because of several external

factors, including the continuing supply
of shale oil in the US, Irans re-entry into
the oil and gas market, and the intransi-

Industry gence of the Organization of the Petro-

leum Exporting Countries in cutting pro-
duction to limit supply.
Despite this immediate outlook, Najib

Achievements said the Malaysian economy is in position

to withstand the aftereffects of the low-
price environment in large part because
Stephen Whitfield, Staff Writer, of his governments push for greater eco-
and Adam Wilson, Special Publications Editor nomic liberalization during his 7 years in
office. The prime minister cited his MYR-
67-billion stimulus package in 2009 as a
More than 15,000 energy professionals production (E&P) technology, in which significant driver of economic growth.
representing 2,500 organizations and 60 cultural and geographical diversity foster Since I came in office, the [Malaysian]
countries gathered from 21 to 25 March collaboration and innovation. government has been making the nec-
in Kuala Lumpur for the Offshore Tech- essary steps to have in place important
nology Conference (OTC) Asia. With the Opening Session measures to ensure that our economy
theme Excellence in Asia, the confer- The prime minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri remains resilient, to buffer our economy
ence builds upon the highly successful Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, gave so as to weather any significant systemic
inaugural OTC Asia held in Kuala Lum- the keynote address during the opening shocks from domestic as well as external
pur in 2014. ceremony. Speaking about Malaysias role sources, he said.
The conference reflects Asias position in both the Asian oil and gas industry and Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, chair-
as a global provider of exploration and the global economic market, the prime man of the OTC Asia Advisory Committee

50 JPT MAY 2016

and president and group chief executive
officer (CEO) at Petronas, said that Asia
is positioned to play a leading role in the
global hydrocarbon market. The conti-
nent accounts for nearly one-third of the
global economy, and he estimated that it
will deliver two-thirds of global econom-
ic growth over the next 4 years.
Notwithstanding the current slow-
down, Asia will continue to drive [the
industry], spreading its sphere of influ-
ence across the globe, he said. Dur-
ing the 19971998 Asian financial crisis,
Western economies suffered little from The second executive plenary session examined the prevailing traits of leaders.
the ripple effects. However, today, they are
no longer immune to Asias oscillations. at the lowest cost on the overall cost we are very much being used as a place
Zulkiflee said that one side effect curve and not be the marginal cost com- to build manufacturing facilities, almost
of Asias economic push is that it has pany. Thats why deep water is going to a low-cost labor position. But were going
opened the floodgates of innovation be an important part of our portfolio up the curve.
and technological development. goingforward. Brown and Miller disagreed with
On all fronts, Asia is striving for excel- The panelists also discussed the role the notion of Asia being purely a low-
lence. For the oil and gas industry, cur- of collaboration in the current econ- cost opportunity for owners and opera-
rently adapting to a fundamental shift, omy and whether it is a useful tool in tors. Miller said it is a mistake to equate
this mindset and drive for excellence will increasing project efficiency. Jeffrey increased manufacturing in Asia with
be critical to adapt to the challenges at Miller, president and chief health, safe- purely cost-cutting motives and that
hand and to ensure long-term robust- ty, and environment officer at Halli- research and development efforts in the
ness, he said. burton, said collaboration is only effec- region have been just as important to the
tive if the involved parties are willing industry as any cost savings. Brown said
Executive Plenary Sessions to change their procedures in the pur- Malaysia, in particular, was a great place
Two executive plenary sessions were the suit of a better outcome. I would say, for innovation.
highlight of the conference, giving execu- in the current commodity environment, The second executive plenary session
tives a platform for discussions about the that were having better discussions of the conference gathered three leaders,
industry in Asia in particular and leader- around what collaboration might look who also happen to be bosses, on stage
ship in general. like and how it might reduce costs, but, to talk about the distinction between the
At the first executive plenary session, at its heart, it needs to define an out- two titles.
the panel discussed the steps needed to come that we can achieve as opposed to Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, group CEO
approach sustainable growth in the midst defining how we achieve that outcome, and director of Air Asia; John Rice, vice
of low oil prices. The session, titled Off- Miller said. chairman of General Electric; and Rajeev
shore Technology and Excellence in Asia, The panelists also discussed Malaysias Peshawaria, CEO of the Iclif Leadership
also touched on possible technology gaps role in the industry and whether develop- and Governance Centre, were the speak-
between Asia and the rest of the world. ment in the country and the Asian conti- ers at the session, titled Achieving Excel-
Andy Brown, upstream internation- nent is lagging behind other parts of the lence in Asia: Leadership Stories. The
al director at Shell, said that deepwater world. Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib, senior session was moderated by Satish Shan-
projects still represent the most econom- vice president of upstream Malaysia at kar, managing partner of Bain and Com-
ical path for the industry in a low-price Petronas, said many investors see the panys Southeast Asia region.
environment primarily because of their region as a low-cost opportunity. How- While the three speakers appeared to
prolific production output per well. In ever, he said, continued investment will have differing leadership styles, as evi-
addition, because the sector is more help the region catch up to the tech- denced by the suits worn by Rice and
established, deep water offers the most nological developments seen elsewhere. Peshawaria compared with the jeans
opportunities for owners and operators Anuar pointed to Petronas investment and T-shirt worn by Fernandes, they all
to deliver innovative technologies and in carbon dioxide sequestration, separa- seemed to recognize common traits that
keep costs down. tion, enhanced oil recovery, and imagery differentiate leaders from bosses. These
Its looking at the unit costs of these as examples. traits, they agreed, were transparency
projects, Brown said. We have to have In the region, I think its a mixed and honesty.
projects that will deliver the best. That bag of development along the technol- Our best leaders do two things
is the important thing, our ability to be ogy space, Anuar said. By far, in Asia, always, Rice said. They are who they

JPT MAY 2016 51

say they are, and they do what they say you want to cut, really, because you have only question, said Zain, was when the
they are going to do. invested hundreds of millions of dollars market would recover and at what price
Fernandes continued the thought. I in developing these people. point. Zain was the least optimistic of the
think too many leaders are not transpar- panel members, saying the current sub-
ent and poor communicators, he said. Panel and Special Sessions USD-40/bbl market will last for the next
So there is suspicion between the team In addition to the plenary session, the 5 years. He went on to point out that the
they lead and the leader himself. conference also presented 10 panel ses- current situation was only bad in light of
Rajeev, who wrote the book Too Many sion and six special sessions. These ses- the USD 100/bbl companies had grown
Bosses, Too Few Leaders, took the dis- sions are designed to be highly relevant accustomed to.
tinction further. To me, leadership is not to the industry in the current climate, as When asked if he thought the party was
a title or a position, which is what a lot of it deals with the impact of low prices, over, he said, Its still a party. At USD 40,
people confuse leadership with. To me, said Muhammad Zamri Jusoh, vice presi- its still good. In the 1990s, we all made
leadership is a burning desire to create a dent of Malaysia Petroleum Management money at USD-20 oil. Everybody lived
better future. at Petronas and chairperson of this years very happily, and we had great lives.
That better future is created, from a program committee. Taken together, The panel agreed that preparation
leadership perspective, through empow- the sessions provide a holistic view of the and vigilance are necessary during times
ering people, the panel said. Leadership challenges and opportunities facing the of a strong market, and, although the
is about turning raw diamonds into dia- industry and what it can achieve by get- panel increasingly found a hopeful tone,
monds, Fernandes said. You are only as ting things right. hope is not a strategy, Truelove said.
good as the people behind you. The fifth panel session of the conference So we try not to focus too much on
Bosses use position power, Pesha- encapsulated that concept of challeng- predictingprice.
waria added. Bosses use their title to es and opportunities. After an introduc- Hess, he pointed out, was in the for-
coax people. Leaders use the power of tion that presented the current depressed tunate position of recently having gone
their values and their purpose to influ- state of the oil and gas market, indus- through a major reorganization in 2013,
ence, not their position. Leaders look to try leaders from service, production, and selling assets it did not consider core
the future. Bosses cling to the past. consulting companies found room for to its portfolio and implementing lean
The panel was able to offer a perspec- cautious hope, reminding attendees that processes. We did all that when oil was
tive of the oil and gas industry from the oil and gas is a long-term business. USD100/bbl, so we entered the downturn
outside because none of them work with- Speakers James Taylor, vice president with very low debt and a good amount of
in the industry. Fernandes pointed out of consulting and project management cash on hand, he said. The result has
that the low oil prices were actually good at Halliburton; Brian Truelove, senior been that Hess has not had to eliminate
for his airline business. However, he said, vice president of global offshore at Hess; positions or cancel any major projects.
his company does not act differently dur- Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib, senior vice Not all firms have been as fortunate.
ing the good times than it does in the dif- president of upstream Malaysia at Petro- One problem that appeared with the
ficult times. nas; Max Bellotti, managing director at healthy market was a sense of complacen-
The first page of the playbook is its a Saipem Asia; Shah Hakim Zain, CEO at cy that led to a trend away from efficien-
cycle, Rice said. Thats Rule 1. Rule 2 is Scomi Group; and Dan Young, senior vice cy. When oil was USD 100/bbl, True-
communicate. Youve got to be out front president and head of consulting, Asia love said, it was almost too easy to make
talking to people. Pacific, at Wood Mackenzie, presented money, and people got a little bit lazy.
In a downturn, its the people that their views on the industrys future at the The struggle now is for firms to find
suffer the most, Fernandes said. And panel discussion Oil Price Volatility and the efficiency that was not tended to dur-
the message to organizations here is Implications to Industry. ing the higher-price market. Once in a
that your biggest asset is your people. The panel members agreed that the while, Taib said, the industry does need
And that should be the last thing that current market volatility will not last. The to be recalibrated. JPT

52 JPT MAY 2016

C&J CONTINUES TO PRODUCE new technologies to
improve efficiencies, increase production and reduce costs.

Engineered completions
on every well

Bit-to-bend directional
drilling motor

Smart frac fleet
control system

To learn more, contact your C&J representative.

Or contact us at


Transforming the Upstream Service Industry

To Increase Operator Margins
Jeff Spath, Texas Oil and Gas Institute, University of Texas System

From organizational structures to pro- flow throughout the entire E&P value project design, customization, decreases
curement strategies to engineer staffing chain. Part of the reason for this is an in equipment reliability, and the misuse
and development, the upstream explo- extended period of underinvestment in or nonuse of appropriate technology.
ration and production (E&P) industry the previous 3 decades. More important- One of the overarching objectives of
is undergoing a transformation. Opera- ly, the aging production base requires my term as SPE president was to increase
tors and service providers alike are not more investment to fight decline, and the extent with which our industry col-
just tweaking, altering, and fine-tuning the newer resources such as pre-salt and laborates with other industries. We have
in this most recent downturn, they are unconventionals are more complex and much in common with and much to learn
completely rethinking the way they expensive in terms of cost per barrel. from industries such as the automotive,
work. Our business of finding, develop- Eighty percent of the global upstream aerospace, and biomedical industries
ing, and producing oil and gas profitably, research and development (R&D) spend to name just a few. It is clear that adopt-
dependably, and in an environmentally is devoted to maintaining existing pro- ing technologies and processes from
responsible manner is facing unparal- ductionarresting decline. these sister industries is one way in
leled challenges. One additional statistic that powerfully which we can improve our own technical
In conversations with many chief exec- summarizes the situation is that over the and financial performance.
utive officers during my term as presi- past 10 years, global upstream spend has In this article, I describe several addi-
dent of SPE, the most common concern increased more than 400% while pro- tional areas of focus, primarily within
I heard expressed was cost control. And duction has increased a mere 15%. Much the service providers domain, which
that was before the downturn. In fact, it of this production increase came from when taken individually or collective-
has been a concern for management for relatively expensive new frontiers such ly, can significantly reduce costs and
most of the past decade. as shale oil and deep water. However, improve efficiency levels and operating
The combination of escalating find- there have been significant cost increas- companyreturns.
ing and development costs, relatively flat es throughout the upstream industry due
global oil production, and a steep decline to such factors as labor costs, materi- Innovation
in commodity prices has put significant al costs, inefficiencies in supply chains The largest oilfield service company in
pressure on profitability and free cash and logistics, as well as the complexity of the world, Schlumberger, began actively
transforming its business in 2008well
Jeff Spath, SPE, is chief executive officer of the newly formed before the downturn. The first phase of
Texas Oil and Gas Institute, based in Houston. Before assuming the companys transformation focused on
this position, Spath was part of the Schlumberger executive boosting the performance of its technol-
management team with past positions that included president of ogy R&D organization in several areas,
the Reservoir Management Group and president of Data and including shortening time to market and
Consulting Services. He joined Schlumberger as a well testing speeding up the rate of innovation.
field engineer in 1984 and held various global positions of Why start there? Because as the indus-
increasing responsibility in reservoir engineering, research, and try has matured, both technical and
executive management. financial challenges have become enor-
Spath serves on the Deans Advisory Council at the College of Engineering at Texas
mous. Mistakes in todays highly com-
A&M University and the University of Utah and is on the Petroleum Engineering
Industry Advisory Board at Colorado School of Mines. Active in SPE, he has served
plex, often hostile environments can cost
as technical director for Management and Information on the SPE Board of Directors, billions of dollars.
as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on production enhancement, and was the 2014 Many oil and gas projects have become
SPE President. Spath has published 26 technical papers and holds 14 patents on so capital intensive that evolutionary or
the subject of oil and gas production. He holds BSc and MSc degrees in petroleum incremental changes in tools, equipment,
engineering from Texas A&M University and a PhD in reservoir engineering from software, and systems are no longer suf-
Mining University of Leoben, Austria. ficient to keep our heads above water.

54 JPT MAY 2016

You cant aford to use the
wrong additive.

Saving money using products not suitable to

your application costs you a lot more in the
long run. Our chemical expertise and decades
of experience serving the oilfield industry
ensures youll get the right specialty additive
for your application for the right price.

Our technical expertise is just an email or call away. 1 800 458 4034

Ingevity_JPT_April 2016.indd 1 3/7/16 2:01 PM

We need revolutionary new solutions nanotechnology, for example. Numerous assess the health of new technologies in
in other words, innovations and break- potential applications of nanotechnolo- real or near-real time during operations.
throughs in technology design, develop- gy exist in oil and gas, from drilling fluid Achieving optimal reliability requires
ment, and deployment. modification to robotics and nanosen- dedicated, multidisciplinary collabora-
Reducing the number of engineering sors for enhanced oil recovery. It makes tion throughout both design and training
iterations required to develop new tech- much more sense, however, to collabo- processes. Benefits include greater utili-
nology, hence, shortening time to mar- rate with a leading nanotechnology think zation of every tool, decreased mainte-
ket, was one of the main motivations and tank such as the Massachusetts Institute nance costs, lower nonproductive time,
is being achieved in two ways: of Technology (MIT)as Schlumberger and higher overall service quality.
Through more extensive use of has donethan to try to recreate that
software and computer simulation highly specialized knowledge and skill Efficiency
modeling to perform rapid from scratch within our industry. Another key transformational strate-
prototyping gy for reducing both the service pro-
Through developing comprehensive Reliability viders and operators costs is efficiency.
catalogs of standard technology If upstream service companies could This can take several forms, the most
building blocks that can be shared improve the reliability and performance important of which is people productiv-
and reused throughout the R&D of their downhole tools, rig equipment, ity. Schlumbergers goal is to increase
organization. petrotechnical software, and other criti- productivity at least 20% by borrowing
Significant acceleration in the rate of cal technologies, oil and gas companies best practices from other industries. One
technology innovation is being achieved could significantly improve the turn- example is the companys recent tran-
in two ways. First, by giving scientists around time and financial performance sition from a highly distributed service
and engineers greater flexibility and of complex projects. model to a hub-and-spoke model that has
freedom in how they pursue fundamen- Boosting reliability can, in fact, been proven for many years by experts in
tal research. Second, by complementing increase the profitability of both operator logistics and distribution, such as FedEx
internal sources of innovation with exter- and service provider. How? By reducing and UPS.
nal sources such as universities, other or eliminating the need for redundancy In this model, the vast majority of
industries, and targeted acquisitions. extra backup tools and systems in the trained specialists work out of one or a
My new role at the newly formed Uni- event of failurewhich has such an obvi- handful of centralized hubs, rather than
versity of Texas System Texas Oil and Gas ous impact on everyones bottomline. dozens or hundreds of locations. Not
Institute is capitalizing on this second As a methodology, reliability begins only does this streamline the distribu-
trend by combining faculty, graduate stu- with better design up front. Traditionally, tion of goods and materials, but also it
dents, and industry experts to facilitate reliability improved only through a long, requires far fewer experts to serve a par-
collaboration between industry and aca- brute-force process of trial and error. ticular geographic market.
demia to more efficiently provide solu- The service company would develop and Consider proppant fracturing services.
tions to industry problems. This type introduce a new tool. An operator would In the past, if there were, say, 25 districts
of collaboration is proving increasingly try it in the field, frown, and send it back throughout the lower 48 US states, each
essential to innovation. No single com- for round two. would be staffed with its own proppant
pany, university, or government today A more optimal design process, on the expert and stock its own inventory. How-
has all the expertise it requires. We all other hand, would engage both the ser- ever, demand varied from district to dis-
need to leverage one anothers strengths. vice provider and operators as early as trict. Some locations were slow, experts
Another way this can be done is by possible, reducing the total number of were underutilized, and excess inven-
geographically locating service company iterations and minimizing the tendency tory sat untouched. Others were busy,
centers of innovation close to the types to customize tools for specific end users experts were overworked, and supplies
of resources they intend to exploit, and and settings. ran short. Both scenarios proved unnec-
close to operators who have deep under- Using a modern data-driven approach, essarily costly.
standing of those particular challeng- the design phase should include the Shifting to the hub-and-spoke model
es. For example, an innovation center tools failure patterns, the operators over the past 2 years effectively consol-
for complex carbonates was established performance objectives, and expect- idated both inventory and intellectual
in Saudi Arabia. Carbonate specialists ed operating environments. To enhance capital. Today, a much smaller number
from around the world were brought performance out of the box, technical of multiskilled specialists can efficient-
there to join forces with local experts complexity should be minimized, while ly handle proppant fracture operations
and speed the development of new tools the quality and sophistication of labora- across the US from one of two major hubs.
andtechniques. tory testing and field qualification rigs This has dramatically improved people
Another means of increasing the rate and facilities should be maximized. Final- productivity while lowering inventory
of innovation is by partnering with estab- ly, appropriate maintenance strategies costssavings now being passed along
lished experts outside the industrytake should be developed both to monitor and to operators nationwide.

56 JPT MAY 2016

Extending technical performance with
Innovation game-changing technology

Learning from other industries and

Reliability adopting new ways of working

Optimizing the support platform and

Efficiency leveraging scale

Aligning technical and commercial

Integration interests across the E&P value chain

Areas of focus to improve operator margins. Image courtesy of Schlumberger.

Integration need to integrate technologies and work-

Given the increasing scale, speed, and flows back in the office.
complexity of oil and gas projects, one In the Eagle Ford Shale, for example,
way to reduce the ultimate cost per bar-
rel of oil equivalent is to increase the inte-
the integration of geological, geophys-
ical, petrophysical, and geomechani-
gration of various facets of the project.
Historically, operators tender most
cal models enabled an operator to space
fracture stages geologicallythat is, in
looks good
oilfield products and services separate-
ly. Individual suppliers and service lines
zones of similar qualityrather than
geometrically, as in the past. In the first on you.
within the large service companies sub- eight laterals completed this way, perfo- In the new SPE League
mit separate pricing for each of their dis- ration cluster efficiency jumped from less
crete services. As a result, any project than 64% to an average of 82%.
of Volunteers, giving
requiring the cobbling together of mul- Integrated operations have, in fact, back suits you well.
tiple services quickly becomes unwieldy, been around for years. But the total per- As a volunteer for SPE, you
inefficient, and costly. centage of truly integrated operations in
To control costs and minimize down- the industry remains relatively low. Over- provide the energy that makes
time, operators may solicit tenders for coming the inertia of old, familiar ways our Society work. When you
bundled services, lumping several dis- can be tricky. It takes a conscious decision join and give back, you are
crete offerings from a single supplier for and strategic vision to begin integrating supporting your peers and
a lower total price tag. However, this technologies, workflows, services, disci-
approach often fails to boost efficiency, plines, and organizations that have long the future of E&P. You are also
especially when all the product lines and, been segregated or merely bundled. enhancing your leadership and
in many cases, individual service provid- collaborative skills and expanding
ers continue to function independently. Bottom Line your professional profile as you
The solution lies in transforming iso- To improve operator margins sufficient-
lated products and services into truly ly to survive, indeed, to thrive in this showcase your knowledge and
integrated operations. An integrated severe downturn, we must rethink the talents to the industry.
operation is one in which the interactions fundamental ways in which we do busi-
among the parts are fundamentally dif- ness. In this article, I have described four Engage. Support. Contribute.
ferent than they have been in discrete or areas that have the potential to signifi- Learn more and join us at
bundled service operations. All the prod- cantly improve operator margins when
ucts, services, and personnel are stream- exercised by the service provider. The
lined and coordinatedacross tradi- bottom line is that we can no longer
tional domain boundariesas a cohesive afford business as usual and these four
system with a single objective. areas should be a part of an entire ser-
As an industry, not only do we need vice industry transformation, perhaps
to integrate services in the field, we also longoverdue.JPT

Share your story: #SPElov

JPT MAY 2016

Deepwater Projects
Morten Iversen, SPE, Well Integrity Section Head, BG

The high costs surrounding deepwater must cease; industry needs to develop
If deepwater operations
developments and the low price of oil are a more-cost-effective good enough
a challenging combination for operators are to survive going mindset.
and service companies today. forward, the luxury of By simplifying, standardizing, and
Considering transportation, services, industrializing deepwater technologies,
qualifications, permitting, and infra- unnecessary customization 2530% reductions in lead time and
structure costs, capital-expenditure of facilities and individual costs are possible, but there are limits to
costs for deepwater developments are how much this can save.
much higher than they are for onshore
company specifications of The resources we are developing no
developments. Similarly, operating in components must cease. longer come from massive fields, which
remote locations, where risk must be limits the economic and cost-saving
low and safety and preparedness must potentials. Second, the industry cannot
be high, operating-expenditure costs are In addition, operators were able to create a commodity industry like the
also much higher for deepwater projects justify designing operations that were automotive industry.
than they are for those onshore. more flexible and could respond to a These issues may be overcome with
Industry has recognized that, even at greater number of scenarios. How- the willingness of the deepwater indus-
USD 100/bbl, the costs of some deep- ever, this resulted in complex designs, try to continue investing in technology
water developments were not sustain- which involved more engineering and developments, and, in particular, tech-
able, and, when it comes to USD 30/bbl greatercosts. nology and constant innovation are what
oil, it is obvious that the operator cannot However, in the current cost environ- will bring us acceptable economic prof-
justify this capital and operating cost. ment, the operator must now work with itability, which will allow us to continue
During the first decade of the 2000s, the service companies to discuss what deepwater development.JPT
escalating oil and gas prices were the ris- acceptable specifications are. If deep-
ing tide that lifted all boats. It essential- water operations are to survive going
ly bailed out many floundering projects, forward, the luxury of unnecessary cus- Recommended additional reading
masked poor project performance, and tomization of facilities and individual at OnePetro:
bred profligacy and complacency. company specifications of components
SPE/IADC 168048 New Applications
of Cementing Valve Technology for Gulf
of Mexico Deepwater Operations
Morten Iversen, SPE, graduated from the University of Stavanger
byJim McNicol, Archer Oiltools
in 1981 and has worked throughout the world for different opera-
tors and for several service companies. He works for BG in the OTC 25802 Deep Offshore Gas Fields:
Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO) development in A New Challenge for the Industry
Kazakhstan as the Well Integrity Section head responsible for byE. Gyllenhammar, Aker Solutions, et al.
well integrity for all wells within the KPO development. Iversen OTC 25868 Lucius and Hadrian South
holds several patents, including a patent for a tubing-conveyed Projects: Development Overview
perforating-shot detection system and a deepwater-blowout- byM. Lamey, Anadarko, et al.
preventer system for riserless light well intervention (RLWI). He has worked on imple- OTC 25896 Developing Megaprojects
menting the RLWI technology from its infancy in the late 1980s and later as a global Simultaneously: The Brazilian Presalt
subsea adviser for Welltec, optimizing the use of RLWI technology to increase well Case byFlavio Gonalves Reis Vianna Filho,
recovery in subsea wells. Iversen serves on the JPT Editorial Committee and can be Petrobras, et al.
reached at

58 JPT MAY 2016

Advancing Deepwater Kick Detection

N umerous developments in
automation have made the modern
mobile offshore drilling unit a marvel of
When bottomhole pressure (BHP) is lower
than formation pressure, influx of forma-
tion fluid occurs.
Deepwater Kick Detection
Besides adding smart meters to conven-
engineering achievement and a model Closing the system with an annular seal tional pressure/volume/temperature (PVT)
of efficiency. Yet, even with the surge in offers many benefits. The closed system systems, the DKD system must account
advancements, kick detection, which creates a fixed, known well volume that for vessel movement, wellbore effects, and
can be comparatively elementary for is a function of the casing and bit diame- changes in rheology and drilling parame-
a fixed drilling unit, has proved to be ters and the volume occupied by the drill- ters, and it must feed information directly
significantly more difficult to master string. With fluid in the wellbore being to the MPD system. This may be done in
on a vessel subject to wave motion mostly incompressible, the pressure up- such a way as to be evolutionary and natu-
and currents. This paper describes stream of the choke and the flow rate ral, as opposed to revolutionary and inco-
experiences, challenges, and approaches through the return line become valuable in herent, with the larger-rig-design philoso-
to solving the problems related to determining the size and severity of kicks. phy. Ultimately, DKD should be achieved
creating an advanced early kick- Sealing the wellbore has also led to the use in such a way as to refine and automate ex-
detection system suitable for floating of meters that can measure multiphase isting drilling-data measurements and en-
mobile offshore drilling units. flow accurately. Conventionally, wellbore hance proven practice with the addition of
and fluid characteristics are determined accurate flow measurement.
Enhanced Kick Detection by analyzing trends and catching samples In the effort to modernize the mud-
The complete paper provides a discussion after the fact, whereas a closed-loop sys- processing system, the conventional PVT
of conventional approaches to kick detec- tem allows a higher level of automation, system provides a firm foundation upon
tion. However, managed-pressure drilling real-time automated analysis, and action- which to build. In order to detect a small-
(MPD) has surfaced as a natural response able data on the basis of which engineers volume influx or loss, reduction of error
to drilling in unconventional or otherwise can quickly make decisions. in the current format is the key. At least
difficult fields, and the need for an en- These solutions have undoubtedly re- two approaches exist: One may reduce
hanced kick-detection system has been duced the amount of time required to trig- error by increasing accuracy of the in-
established somewhat naturally from the ger an alarm. But there still exists a void in strumentation involved, and one may re-
imposed needs of MPD systems. MPD is terms of what is done with the feedback duce error through discretizing the larg-
based upon the most fundamental prin- from the closed-well system. To compli- er system into more-manageable pieces.
ciples of drilling; balancing the equivalent cate this matter, deepwater drilling pres- Specifically referring to the mud-
circulating density to formation pressure ents challenges to kick detection to which processing system, it has been the case
minimizes influx and stabilizes the well- fixed offshore installations are not sub- historically that the well, the pits, and all
bore. The MPD system aims to drill a well ject. Additionally, deepwater formations processing equipment are grouped togeth-
within a margin of the balanced pressure tend to be some of the most prolific in the er when drilling with a closed-loop con-
of the formations being drilled. To accom- world, often displaying high productiv- figuration. This approach is reliable when
plish this goal, a rotary head or other an- itydesirable for production, but risky detecting large volume changes but suffers
nular sealing device is coupled with an ac- from a drilling perspective. in small-volume-change detection because
tive drilling choke that can automatically Fortunately, an advanced, robust kick- of precision errors. In the process of dis-
adjust the casing pressure. Though config- detection system can be constructed from cretizing the system, the next logical step
urations of the MPD system may vary, the many components that are already avail- is to separate information coming from
primary feedback mechanism for the MPD able and, in many cases, already used in the well from information coming from
system in all cases is the return flow rate. the downstream sector of the industry. the mud-processing equipment. In accom-
plishing the aim of decoupling the well
from the mud-processing plant, it may be
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights seen that defining boundaries between the
of paper SPE 167990, Advancing Deepwater Kick Detection, by Austin Johnson, well and the processing equipment is ad-
Christian Leuchtenberg, Scott Petrie, and David Cunningham, Managed vantageous. A suitable boundary on the re-
Pressure Operations, prepared for the 2014 SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition, turn side of the system is the flowline im-
FortWorth, Texas, USA, 46 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed. mediately downstream of the diverter. The

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

JPT MAY 2016 59

riser-heave displacement and a volumetric
Operational Improvement
correction factor applied, the DKD system
may anticipate nonsteady-state conditions
90 RGH Riser Gas Handling and send alarms when anomalies occur.
PD Predictve Driller With the onset of pumped riser systems
80 Conventional
Kick Volume (bbl)

and the possibility of riserless systems, an

70 ty alternative form of riser-heave measure-
e dS ment must be achieved in the event that
60 as
re the telescopic slip joint is not installed.
, Inc os
50 sk gC Global positioning offers one solution,
r Ri in
we Drill while installing accelerometers offers an-
40 Lo Riser Gas er
w other. In field trials, accelerometers have
Handling Lo
30 Drilling and not yet proved reliable when compared
20 with the laser range finder. In cases where
the return flow is routed through a hose
10 +DKD
MPD Drilling (as opposed to the riser), considerations
should be made to account for any pos-
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 sible lag caused by using a hose.
Time To Recover After Kick (days) Drilling parameters such as drillpipe
Fig. 1Reducing kick volume increases operational efficiency. rotational speed, rate of penetration, and
weight on bit can affect BHP. The DKD
ideal boundary for defining the inlet to the readings allow for density measurement then must contain a robust control and
well would likely be at the topdrive. as the fluid is returning to the surface. data-processing system.
With boundaries and volume set, the The type and the spacing of the pressure An automated DKD system mitigates
next step is to understand the flux across transducers are important. Over long risks and delivers value to the drilling
these boundaries. Conventional PVT sys- distances and large pressure changes, a operation by alerting the crew to small,
tems detect influx on the basis of volumet- simple comparison may be performed manageable problems before these have
ric accounting. But volumetric flow rate between two independent transducers. the chance to become large, unwieldy
is not the only lens through which a kick However, as the distance shortens and problems. When considering kick man-
may be spotted. Here, knowledge of the the change becomes smaller, the read- agement through conventional means,
mass-flow rate is beneficial. Direct mea- ings are unusable because of the resolu- considerable volumes of formation fluid
surement at the mud pits allows for some tion required. Diaphragm-type pressure may enter the well before a problem is
confidence in the type and quality of mud transducers are favorable over a shorter suspected. A considerable amount of
being pumped downhole. Hardware and distance. As far as downhole pressure fluid may further be invited into the well
controls improvements to the PVT system readings are concerned, an incorpora- while performing a conventional flow
will serve to enhance the base further. tion of BHP would be desirable. Pressure- check. It is not uncommon to see kicks of
It is important to note that improve- while-drilling tools do make this possible, 50 to 100 bbl or more in deepwater envi-
ments in the accuracy of instrumentation but careful consideration should be given ronments. It is evident that the best way
alone will not provide the full DKD solu- as to how such data areincorporated. to reduce the amount of corrective work
tion; process is as important as precision Concerning floating rigs specifically, an is to reduce the magnitude of the event.
and accuracy, if not more so. One of the account must be given for the effect of This concept is illustrated in Fig. 1.
root causes identified in the Macondo wave motion. Accurate measurement of
blowout was that simultaneous opera- flow and pressure is vital, but it is also Conclusions
tions interfered with the crews ability to vital to have an understanding of what the A DKD system will require a holistic ap-
recognize the influx. A simple calculation flow and pressure should be. It is known proach to sufficiently meet the challenges
comparing the number of pump strokes that wave motion has a noticeable effect posed by drilling in deep water. In addition
with the tank level could have been used on riser volume because of the use of a to traditional volumetric flow accounting,
to identify the influx. telescopic slip joint. In the case of a high- a mass-flow accounting approach should
Risers pose unique challenges and pressure diverter or rotating control de- be implemented, as well as modeling to ac-
unique opportunities for offshore drill- vice installed above the slip joint, a direct count for fluid and wellbore effects. By de-
ing operations. On one hand, risers are measurement can be made of the riser tecting kicks earlier, less work is required
large, heavy, and time consuming to run, heave through use of a laser range finder to resolve the event. Reduced kick volume
and they do not often protect against or similar device. With the known dimen- results in significant time savings, which is
high pressure. On the other hand, ris- sions and displacement of the slip joint, a realized through a reduction in total circu-
ers allow for instruments to be present slip-joint correction factor may be applied lating time. Ultimately, the need for high-
in the annulusa luxury that traditional to the known displacement, resulting in specification pressure-control equipment
casing strings cannot offer. Spaced along a real-time calculation of riser volume as may be reduced if the source problem, gas
the length of the riser, multiple pressure a function of wave motion. With a known influx, is mitigated. JPT

60 JPT MAY 2016

KBC Adv_ SPE JPT_FINAL May2016.pdf 1 3/29/2016 10:56:44 AM

The BEST subsea processing methodology

with process engineering levels of fidelity
and petroleum engineering flexibility.

KBCs Engineering Software Suite






KBC Advanced Technologies

AMER: +1 281 293 8200 APAC: +65 6735 5488 EMEIA: +44 1932 242424
CLOV Project: Overview

T his paper describes the CLOV

deepwater megaproject in
Block 17 offshore Angola. This major
gas cap. The oil-bearing reservoirs in the
northeast compartment of the structure
were confirmed by the Lirio-2 appraisal
cluded data from two more appraisal
wells (Orquidea-2 and Violeta-2), it was
decided to choose a development con-
development encompasses four separate well, which also further delineated the cept that incorporated the Oligocene and
oil and gas accumulations in waters up to size and extent of the gas cap. Mioceneaccumulations.
1400 m and aims to recover 505million The following year, Cravo-1 confirmed
bbl of both light and heavier oil plus further light-oil reserves before the first Concept
associated gas in quantity sufficient appearance of the heavier Miocene oil at The development scheme for the CLOV
to require an export solution to shore Orquidea-1. Additional exploration wells complex closely followed the path that the
for inclusion in the Angola liquefied- further revealed the complicated nature organization had established on its three
natural-gas (LNG) project. of the reservoirs at the location. Violeta-1 earlier Angolan projectsa large FPSO
added to the Miocene reserves, but the with an extensive subsea infrastructure
Introduction Orquidea-1 well, drilled into a deeper ho- but with a few differences, including inno-
The CLOV megaproject of USD 8.4 bil- rizon and 15 to 20 downdip of the main vative oil processing and power systems.
lion (to first oil) in Block 17 offshore An- reservoir, revealed more light oil, which The FPSO is 30561 m with a stor-
gola is the fourth in a series of deepwater would provide an additional challenge at age capacity of 1.78 million bbl and is
developments. The cluster of fields that the well-design stage as a result of diffi- secured to the seabed with a spreading
gives the megaproject its nameCravo, culty in defining well objectives. mooring system of 16 lines. There is a
Lirio, Orquidea, and Violetais 140 km Subsurface work continued, and re- single processing train for commingled
off the coast of Angola and is west/north- vised reservoir models indicated that Oligocene and Miocene crudes, capable
west from the earlier developments at the reserves for Cravo-Lirio would ex- of handling 229,000 B/D of total liquids
Girassol, Dalia, and Pazflor in waters ceed the 245 million bbl given by an and 160,000 B/D of annual average oil
ranging in depth from 1100 to 1400 m earlier estimate. The question remained production and providing 319,000 B/D of
(Fig.1). CLOV came on stream on 12 June whether the reserves warranted a water for injection purposes.
2014 and reached its production plateau standalonedevelopment. The processing system uses a wash-
3 months later. The first conceptual studies for these tank system and continuous settling for
The four fields have recoverable re- accumulations were carried out in spring oil/water separation, a concept the op-
serves expected to be produced over a 2005 to give some definition to subsea erator had used previously on a project
20-year period. The oil is a mixture of architecture, topside design, and a cen- in Nigeria (Usan) but not in Angola. The
good-quality light Oligocene crude (75% tral facility. After the Lirio-2 appraisal system uses two large below-deck wash
of recoverable reserves) and lower- well (drilled later that year) increased re- tanks, operating in parallel, with water
quality Miocene crude. The presence of serves, preproject studies were launched continuously siphoned from below and
the latter has had a material effect on the on the assumption that Cravo-Lirio would oil flowing over a weir and pumped away,
development scenario for the complex. constitute a standalone hub with a float- with the degassed well stream refilling
ing production, storage, and offloading the tanks. The oil is then desalted in two
Exploration Development (FPSO) vessel, with the Miocene finds as settling tanks. With a high gas/oil ratio
The complex of fields was first discov- a later tieback. and a no flaring policy, the topside is
ered in the summer of 1998 when the A year later, following additional in- equipped with compression capacity of
Lirio-1 well was drilled, finding a signifi- tegrated geological and geophysical 6.5 million/d.
cant Oligocene accumulation with a large studies of the Miocene finds, which in- Produced water (122,000 B/D), which
can be used for injection purposes, trav-
els through a multistage purification
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights
process. Treatment through two hydro-
of paper OTC 25789, CLOV Project: Overview, by Genevive Mouillerat, Total, and cyclones, operating in parallel, removes
Francisca Silva, Sonangol, prepared for the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference, the last of the oil, after which two desand-
Houston, 47 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed. ing cyclones remove particles to 10 m.
Seawater supplements produced water,
Copyright 2015 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission. with the onboard lifting pumps capable

The complete paper is available for purchase at OnePetro:

62 JPT MAY 2016


Anturio Africa
Cravo Gulf of
Hortensia Guinea
Indian Ocean
Block 17


Girassol Atlantic Ocean

Camelia Atlantic Ocean

Fig. 1Block 17. screens, while the remaining five pro- fields have both low reservoir pressure
ducers and two injectors have selective, and a high-viscosity wellstream.
of providing up to 1,400,000 B/D. It or intelligent, completions. The subsea umbilical, riser, and flow-
is coarse filtered then ultrafiltered to line system installed at the CLOV com-
remove fine particles. Sulfate removal Subsea Production System plex is described in the complete paper.
with a membrane system is followed The subsea production system of 34 wells
bydeoxygenation. (19 producers and 15 water injectors) is Health and Safety
Power generation is developed typical of systems implemented by the The CLOV project team achieved out-
through three aeroderivative turbo gen- operator in west Africa, but its deliv- standing health, safety, and environmen-
erators rated to produce 28 MW each. ery was designed to raise the local con- tal performance on this development,
This power-system design, initially de- tent of the project compared with earlier aided by its contractors. A particular
ployed on a Nigerian project, drives an ones. A much higher level of assembly of highlight was the achievement by Dae-
all-electric machinery concept based on subsea trees and fabrication of under- woo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineer-
variable-frequency drives. water structures took place in Angola ing (DSME) in its work executing half
compared with earlier projects, a signifi- of all the man-hours performed by con-
Well System cant part of the operators commitment tractors on the project. DSME performed
One of the major enterprises on this to an increase in local activity. its 17 million man-hours without a sin-
project is the drilling program of almost The subsea-tree system on this project gle lost-time injury at the Okpo yard in
2,500 days: 34 wells to be drilled by two is not dissimilar to those that the opera- South Korea and has already received two
drillships: West Gemini and Ensco DS-1. tor has deployed in the past (10,000-psi- awards as a result.
By first oil, they had drilled and installed rated vertical tree weighing 39 t). Each
the completions in 14 wells (11 produc- tree is equipped with a chemical-injection Angola and the Future
ers and three water injectors), which al- valve, an insert choke valve, and a mul- While the description of any project such
lowed the design peak (168,000 B/D) to tiphase flowmeter installed on the well as CLOV is based on discussing technolo-
be reached on 30 September 2014. jumper. There are eight production mani- gy, it is necessary to make mention of the
The vast majority of the wells (32) are folds, four 12-in. four-slot manifolds at drive to maximize the amount of work
of a horizontal design with a maximum Cravo and Lirio and four 10-in. four-slot to be done in the nation and to bring
length of 1800 m, with the other two manifolds on Orquidea and Violeta. a new well-trained local workforce into
being deviated. As with the geology of Two features of the subsea-production- theproject.
the other Block 17 developments, the Oli- system concept for the CLOV complex set While five local fabrication yards were
gocene reservoirs are highly faulted and it apart from the operators other west Af- used to fabricate a variety of project
thin. In order to ensure a full understand- rican projects. First, fiber-optics commu- structuresincluding manifolds, pipe-
ing of the structure of the reservoir, a nication was adopted for the subsea con- in-pipe stalks, and at least one module
pilot well and the two deviated wells were trol system. Each of the eight manifolds for the FPSOit was the overall quan-
drilled initially to calibrate vertical un- is equipped with a subsea router module tity of work done in country that was the
certainties and plan the remaining hori- that handles the flow of data between the target for the operator. At the turn of the
zontal wells. subsea production wells and the master century, when Girassol was being devel-
As with all of the Block 17 reservoirs, control station on the FPSO. The other oped, 1 million man-hours of work was
there is potential for significant sand differentiating feature of CLOV is the ap- performed in Angola, primarily at one
production, which required either sand plication of a multiphase pumping system fabrication yard. For the CLOV develop-
screens or gravel packs in all of the wells. driven by helicoaxial pumps to provide ment, however, 10 million man-hours of
Fourteen production wells and 13 of the flow boosting for the heavier Miocene oil work was performed in Angolan fabrica-
water injectors have standalone sand produced at Orquidea and Violeta. These tion facilities. JPT

JPT MAY 2016 63

Riser-System Design in Water Depths
Greater Than 3000 m

T he offshore industry anticipates

the need for production-riser
systems in ultradeepwater fields.
for collapse and burst. For ultradeep
water, the longitudinal-load design crite-
rion becomes a limiting requirement. For
thicknesses of the export risers are in-
creased to maintain the allowable bend-
ing strain of 0.5% in the pipe. Therefore,
The development of these fields [this 3000-m water depth, the production ris- the wall thickness of the export risers
paper considers a field located in the ers meet both the longitudinal-load and is driven primarily by buckling because
central Gulf of Mexico (GOM)] leads combined-load design criteria. Buckling of the combined bending and external-
to many challenges with respect to the caused by combined bending and exter- pressure criterion. The wall thicknesses
selection of the riser concept; in some nal pressure is also checked with the cal- of the export risers are shown in Fig. 1.
instances, such applications may require culated wall thicknesses. The allowable The maximum wall thicknesses required
extending riser technology beyond its bending strains of all the production ris- for 16-, 20-, and 24-in. pipes are 1.55,
current limits. This paper evaluates the ers are determined to be greater than 1.95, and 2.32 in., respectively, and occur
feasibility of a number of production- the assumed maximum bending strain at a water depth of 4500 m.
and export-riser configurations for of 0.5%. When considering the longitudinal
ultradeepwater applications. The field-proven thickest wall to date load from the static tension in the flood-
for conventionally welded X65 single- ed condition at the top of the riser in
Riser-Wall-Thickness Sizing pipe wet-tree production-riser systems water depths of at least 3750 m, the ef-
Please note that riser-design criteria, is 1.65 in. In this paper, the maximum fective tension exceeds the 60%-of-yield
methodology, and data (riser functions wall thickness that can be welded for off- tension capacity. For ultradeep water, the
and associated pipe sizes; riser internal- shore fatigue-sensitive riser systems is longitudinal-load design criterion be-
fluid properties; and riser-strength assess- assumed to be 1.9 in., on the basis of ex- comes the limiting requirement.
ment) are provided in the completepaper. isting tests. Only the wall thickness re-
quired for a 12-in. production riser with Water-Depth Limitation
Production Risers. Steel-catenary- a design pressure of 15 ksi exceeds the After wall-thickness sizing is carried out,
riser (SCR) wall-thickness sizing is ini- 1.9-in. limit. an optimum water depth is calculated for
tially carried out when considering each SCR configuration while meeting
X65 line pipe. For a design pressure of Export Risers. SCR wall-thickness siz- all of the American Petroleum Institute
5 ksi, the wall thickness of the produc- ing is initially carried out considering (API) RP 1111 criteria. Water-depth limi-
tion riser is primarily driven by collapse X65 line pipe with a design pressure of tations of each riser are determined con-
because of external hydrostatic pres- 5,000 psi. The wall thickness of the ex- sidering both X65 and X70 steel grades.
sure. The maximum wall thicknesses re- port riser is first calculated to resist X70-grade pipes result in thinner wall
quired for 8-, 10-, and 12-in. pipes are the burst and collapse pressures. It is thicknesses compared with risers with
1.51, 1.85, and 2.17 in., respectively, and determined that the wall thickness re- X65-grade pipe. X70-grade pipe also re-
are driven by burst owing to the 15-ksi quired for collapse is higher than the siz- sults in a lighter static riser weight at the
internal design pressure. It should be ing based on burst for all water depths top of the riser because of a thinner wall
noted that these wall thicknesses are de- and outer diameters. However, the wall thickness and hence extends the water-
signed to resist only the burst and col- thickness driven by collapse does not depth limit. The maximum water depths
lapse pressures. The longitudinal-load meet the 0.5% allowable bending strain for the X65 8-, 10-, and 12-in. produc-
and combined-load design checks are considering the combined bending and tion risers considering a 5,000-psi de-
performed after the sizing is performed external-pressure criterion. The wall sign pressure are 3617, 3495, and 3422 m,
respectively. As the riser design pressure
increases, the water-depth limit decreas-
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of
es. The maximum water depth for the
paper OTC 25840, Frontier Deepwater Developments: The Impact on Riser-System
production risers is 3,903 m considering
Design in Water Depths Greater Than 3000 m, by N. Saglar, B. Toleman, and R. X70 8-in.-outer-diameter (OD) pipe and
Thethi, 2H Offshore, prepared for the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 5,000-psi design pressure.
47 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed. As with production risers, higher
water depths can be achieved with X70
Copyright 2015 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission. pipe, with a maximum water depth of

The complete paper is available for purchase at OnePetro:

64 JPT MAY 2016

X65, Wall Thickness at Range of Water Depths X65, Tension Ratio at Range of Water Depths
(Design Pressure of 5,000 psi) (Design Pressure of 5,000 psi)

Static Effective Tension/Yield Tension

2.40 1.00
Existing Technology Limit=1.9 in.
Well Thickness (in.)
1.40 0.60
1.00 0.40
0.40 0.20
0.00 0.00
16-in. OD 20-in. OD 24-in. OD 16-in. OD 20-in. OD 24-in. OD
Pressure (psi) Pressure (psi)
3000 m 3750 m 4500 m 3000 m 3750 m 4500 m

Fig. 1Oil-export-riser wall-thickness-sizing summary: X65 line pipe.

3340 m. The maximum water depth does the conventionally welded SCR systems. Strength Assessment
not change significantly for different Weldability of thick-walled X80 line pipe Strength analysis is carried out for the
ODs. It should be noted that these water- offshore is not qualified in the industry following three riser configurations:
depth limits are obtained for the riser- yet for sour-service conditions; there- X65, 8-in. production SCR, 0.67-in.
top angle of 12. fore, it is not considered in this paper. wall thickness, 5-ksi design
SCRs are constructed from conven- Riser-wall-thickness sizing performed pressure, 3617-m water depth.
tionally welded line pipe. A typical steel on the basis of API RP 1111 indicates that X65, 10-in. production SCR, 1.85-in.
grade used in the SCR applications is X65. an advantage can be gained by increas- wall thickness, 15-ksi design
However, X70 pipe is also used in some ing wall thickness along the top section pressure, 3283-m water depth.
SCR projects in the GOM. X80 welded of the riser instead of specifying a single X65, 16-in. oil-export SCR,
line pipe has not been used to date for wall thickness along the entire riser. 1.17-in. wall thickness, 5-ksi


Pyromation. For decades, weve been custom designing and

manufacturing temperature sensors for the oil & gas industry.
And we can tackle any challenge you send our way. Quickly.
Cost-effectively. And with the kind of no-excuses service that
keeps our customers coming back. At Pyromation, we offer:

// A comprehensive product line

// Industry certifications (FM, CSA, ATEX, IECex)
// Custom designs to meet your specs
// Fast delivery (same-day
shipments available)
// Sales & engineering expertise

Call or visit our website

and see why, when it
comes to temperature
sensors, one name is
beyond measure.

Oil & Gas

5211 Industrial Road Fort Wayne, IN 46825 (260) 209-6341

JPT MAY 2016 65

designpressure, 3100-m water As with the SCR strength analysis, a
depth. preliminary strength analysis is also car-
Preliminary analysis shows that the ried out with an SLWR configuration for
SCRs exceed the allowable stress ratio of the 10-in. production riser with 15-ksi
0.67 in 10-year-winter-storm operating design pressure in 4500 m of water.
conditions. This is because 60% of the A buoyancy section of 5,250 ft is in-
pipe-stress use is already taken by the stalled above the TDP, which isolates
static effective tension of the riser. With the porch-heave motions from the TDP.
78 June 2016 Calgary, Alberta, Canada the addition of bending moments caused On the basis of the analysis results, the
BMO Centre at Stampede Park by vessel dynamic motions and hoop SLWR meets the design-strength cri-
stress caused by operating pressure, the teria for all load conditions consid-
SCRs do not meet API RP 2RD criteria in ered. The maximum von Mises stress
the maximum operating environment. does not exceed the yield strength for
The SCRs do not meet the allowable a 1,000-year hurricane, demonstrating
2016 SPE CANADA EVENTS stress ratios in the 100-year-hurricane the robustness of the SLWR system. No
AND TRAINING COURSES condition. For the 100-year hurricane compression is observed along the lazy-
survival condition, only the 8-in. produc- wave riser.
1416 March SPE Thermal Completions tion SCR does not meet the criteria. Dur- On the basis of the dynamic response
and Workover Operations ing the 1,000-year-hurricane condition, of the risers, it is seen that the SLWR
Workshop the stress in the riser exceeds the yield configuration leads to more-viable glob-
Met Centre, Calgary capacity of the pipe at the touch-down al response in water depths greater than
5 April SPE/CHOA Slugging it Out
point (TDP) because of high bending mo- 3000 m because of its lower top tension
BMO Centre, Calgary
ment induced by compression loads. and its ability to control the dynamic
The SCRs experience compression in the heave response along the riser.
78 June SPE Canada Heavy Oil touch-down zone because of the high
Technical Conference heave motions of the deep-draft semi- Conclusions
BMO Centre, Calgary submersible at the longer wave periods in The 12-in.-OD production risers con-
9 June SPE Oilsands Well Pad Life a 1,000-year-hurricane condition. In ad- structed from X65-and X70-grade pipe
Cycle Workshop dition, an 8-in. production SCR is a rela- with a design pressure of 15 ksi result in
BMO Centre, Calgary tively lightweight riser and extends into wall thicknesses greater than 2 in. and
2021 September SPE Caprock 3617-m water depth, which makes the are not feasible for a welded-line-pipe
Integrity for Thermal Applications riser very slender and susceptible to the solution. 24-in.-OD export risers lead to
Workshop heave motions of the floater. Because of wall thicknesses greater than 2 in. be-
Calgary, Alberta this, excessive compression and stress- cause of high external collapse pressures
es above yield are observed in the touch- and very high static axial loads; hence,
28 November1 December SPE
down zone of an 8-in. production SCR. they are not feasible for conventional-
Thermal Well Integrity & Design
On the basis of the dynamic response ly welded SCR applications in ultradeep
of the risers, it is seen that an X65-grade water. The maximum water depths ob-
Banff Springs Hotel, Banff
SCR attached to a deep-draft semisub- tained by large-OD (16- to 24-in.) export
mersible with a flexible joint presents a risers with conventionally welded SCRs
Upcoming Training Courses: significant challenge to provide accept- are less than 3400 m. It is determined
able strength behavior in water depths that SLWR systems are a feasible op-
56 April Screening and Field Piloting
greater than 3000 m. tion for water depth beyond the reach of
for EOR Project Development
SCRs because of additional uplift forces
Calgary, Alberta
Steel-Lazy-Wave-Riser (SLWR) obtained from the buoyancy modules.
1214 April Unconventional Resource Strength Assessment As the water depth increases, the
Assessment and Valuation Because of the challenges faced by tradi- mixed-mode axial and bending excita-
Calgary, Alberta tional SCRs to stretch into water depths tion frequencies of the risers tend to
1822 April Evaluation of Canadian Oil greater than 3400 m and to provide ac- move into the range of wave energy and
and Gas Properties ceptable strength behavior, an assess- increase the likelihood of exciting the
Calgary, Alberta ment is performed with an SLWR. This risers in small-period sea states that tend
312 May Complex Well Core
is a special SCR with a segment of its to drive long-term fatigue life. If a float-
length equipped with external buoyancy er has a heave response even with small
Calgary, Alberta
modules; its upward buoyancy force in amplitudes at a mixed-mode excitation
water is greater than its downward grav- frequency matching that of the riser, it
For more information visit
ity force. Because of this buoyancy force, would be sufficient to induce significant
the top tension of the riser at the vessel dynamic motions in a suspended riser
hang-off reduces significantly. and increase fatigue damage. JPT

JPT MAY 2016

Subsea Production Optimization
in Field BC-10 Offshore Brazil

T he BC-10 asset, located in

deepwater offshore Brazil,
produces heavy oil in the range
only three oil-production trains and one
gas separator on the host.
The Ostra field has seen good pressure
support through the first 5 years of op-
eration because of a strong support-
of 16to24API. Mudline caisson Ostra Field ing aquifer, and it currently produces
separators with electrical submersible Ostra consists of seven produc- 60,000 to 70,000 B/D gross. Gas dis-
pumps (ESPs) are used to process er wells, with production collected posal was performed through an injec-
fluids frommultiplewells and by two manifolds and routed through tion well deeper in the Ostra aquifer
boost them to the receiving floating two 8-in. intrafield flowlines to the while gas export was commissioned.
production, storage, and offloading artificial-lift manifold (ALM), which
(FPSO) vessel.There aresignificant houses four caisson separator MOBOs. Subsea-Processing System
flow-assurance challenges in The operating philosophy is to run three The MOBO system is composed of sev-
operatingtheasset. In this paper, units out of four, leaving the fourth unit eral major components. The top-end as-
twoexamples ofproduction as a standby in case of MOBO failure. sembly (TEA) is the structure on the top
optimization for this fieldwill be Because the ALM is not located with of the caisson and contains the inlet-
provided (further examples are permanent vertical access, MOBO inter- and outlet-isolation valves and actua-
available in thecompletepaper). ventions require the use of a rig capable tors, the subsea control module, and
of pulling the 140-t unit to surface. For injection points for methanol and one
BC-10 this reason, having an installed spare is other chemical. The electrical and hy-
BC-10s production comes from four critical. The production manifolds allow draulic connections are also made to
fields located in water depths ranging one of two routings per well, which al- the TEA.
from 1650 to 1920 m and is dependent lows a flowline to be aligned to one, The caisson itself is a 32-in.-inner-
on artificial lift. This summary focus- two, or more MOBOs; full bypass of the diameter, 80- to 100-m-long section of
es on optimizations involving the Ostra MOBO; and routing of hot oil for MOBO pipe with a reduced diameter at the base
field. The subsea architecture that en- startup and planned shutdown from the to act as an accelerator for the fluid flow,
abled the development of these separate surface by a dedicated choke. It is also to prevent solids buildup.
reservoirs consists of multiple drill cen- possible to allow the 4.5-in. hot-oil sup- Inside the caisson, suspended on
ters coupled to production manifolds. ply line to be used for production. The 5.5-in. pipe, is the ESP hanger and
Manifolds are routed to caisson ESPs. 8-in. gas line features a common choke 13-in. ESP shroud. The function of
These caisson ESPs will henceforth be on the ALM to control backpressure these components is to force fluid down
referred to as MOBOs (derived from the on the MOBOs and a surface choke at the caisson to the base, cooling the
Portuguese acronym for pump-boosting the FPSO vessel as a second means of motor as it passes. The caisson may
module). To minimize equipment costs, control. In practice, to avoid a well trip be operated in one of two modes: sep-
each field has only two production flow- causing a rapid loss of MOBO pressures arated and nonseparated. In separat-
lines routed to the host: one is for pro- (with corresponding well-rate increas- ed mode, the caisson flow rate is con-
duction, and the second is for hot-oil es), the subsea-gas-line choke is used trolled indirectly by a level controller,
displacement and production. In the only in special circumstances, with daily which aims to maintain a constant level
case of Ostra, a third riser for gas sepa- control being performed by use of the inside the caisson by use of the level de-
rated subsea is also present. This design topside boarding choke, which allows rived from the pressure gauges. With the
reduces the number of risers required. a much larger gas-storage volume and nonseparated caisson, level is no longer
In line with this philosophy, there are hence limits rapid pressure transients. controlled and instead floats depend-
ing on the temporary balance of inflow
and outflow. The pressure in the cais-
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights
son, however, must be controlled, be-
of paper OTC 26220, BC-10: Optimizing Subsea Production, by N.C. Sleight and cause this determines what the wells
N.Oliveira, Shell, prepared for the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference Brasil, Rio will produce.
de Janeiro, 2729 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed. The TEA is connected to the ALM with
a multibore hub that features bores for
Copyright 2015 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission. inlet, gas outlet, and oil outlet. For cais-

The complete paper is available for purchase at OnePetro:

JPT MAY 2016 67




Caissons Spacer




Fig. 1Schematic of the entire caisson and ALM (top left); the support structure, 42-in. conductors, and the manifold on
top (top right); ALM populated with four MOBOs (bottom right); closeup of the TEA, showing it attached to the 32-in.-
inner-diameter caisson; this forms the MOBO (bottom left).

son control, there are three pressure which the defoamer injection was un- effectapproximately 15 bar, which,
gauges situated along the length of the able to suppress the formation of foam given that the MOBOs boost in the field
caisson. These allow a liquid density in in the lower caisson during transient was approximately 120140 bar, rep-
the caisson base to be measured and, in operations. At this point, it was noted resented a 1012% reduction in boost
combination with the top gauge, allow a that the defoamer was not effective, so and, hence, load.
level to be calculated on the basis of this it was taken off line to see whether this The increase in capacity over the
determined density. was causing the foaming. Once the tran- threeunits was approximately 5,000B/D
The entire MOBO is retrievable and sient passed through the system, it was gross. Furthermore, the defoamer
is supported on the manifold, which, in noted that the gas at the top of the cais- chemical was the most expensive used
turn, is supported on the conductors; son was still dry (no free liquids) and in BC-10 on a volume basis, so the re-
these also serve to provide a slot inside that the density of the liquid in the cais- quirement to stop continuous injection
which the caisson can sit (Fig. 1). son was lower than before, suggesting it saved approximately USD 4 million on
was holding more gas. an annual basis.
Optimization 1: Embracing On the basis of these observations, it
Foaming Operation was decided to try not injecting defoam- Optimization 2: Nonseparated
Early on in the life of Ostrathe only lo- er on the other caissons to see if they Operation on Ostra
cation of separated MOBOs in BC-10 could operate without liquid carryover With the Ostra MOBOs now operating
the criticality of subsea defoamer in- and with higher gas volume fraction without defoamer, there was still some
jection was identified. Without it, the (GVF). In all cases, the caissons man- unrealized well potential in the field be-
liquid in the caisson became very frothy aged to maintain gas dryness, but there cause the MOBOs were still constrained
and started to carry over and also limit was a decrease in pump performance with respect to power. To increase ca-
the pump because of reduced boost ca- (head) with the increased GVF. pacity, and in light of the experience
pacity. However, at some point, the na- In the field, the additional gas enter- gained operating with higher GVFs on
ture of the foam changed from liquid ing the main oil line through the MOBOs the pump without defoamer, it was de-
in gas (early life) to a gas in liquid. The caused a dramatic reduction in flowline cided to try operating one of the MOBOs
change was observed during an event in backpressure because of the gas lifting in Ostra nonseparated so as to further

68 JPT MAY 2016

increase the gas entering the oil riser,
with the expectation that this would N OT D
reduce boost requirements and, again, H N
free up some ESP power.
The first step was to select the MOBO DIS TS A CE
with the lowest gas feed and convert L IG LL A
this to an in-situ GVF for the pump. R
Then, the pressure in all the MOBOs FO
was increased to 85 bara (suction) to
allow power to be freed up. Finally, the
level inside the caisson was increased to
allow a buffer of liquid. The gas-outlet
valve on the MOBO was then closed, and
the control scheme was switched from
level to pressure control. The level in Society of Petroleum Engineers
the caisson slowly started to rise until
it filled the entire caisson; during this
time, inflow and outflow were roughly
Annual Technical
similar and suction pressure remained
at the target of 85 bar. Over successive
Conference and Exhibition
days, the pressure was reduced in the
caisson to stimulate additional well pro-
duction and, as this happened, the level
2628 September 2016
in the caisson diminished, indicating Dubai World Trade Centre
that, for a given GVF, there is an equi-
librium level at which point enough gas Dubai, UAE
is carried under with the liquid to equal
the amount flowing in from the wells.
As the pressure was reduced, additional
gas broke out of the oil phase, causing
the GVF to increase.
The second MOBO was then also con-
verted to nonseparated mode, and its
suction pressure was adjusted down-
ward to maximize the aligned well ca-
pacity. Finally, the remaining MOBO,
still in separated mode, had its suction
pressure increased until as much en-
ergy from the wells was used as possi-
ble. In effect, this meant that instead of
throttling the wells over the production
chokes to keep strong wells at a reduced
target and maintain the weak wells on
target through a lower pump-suction
pressure, the boost required for these
stronger wells was much reduced. As be-
fore, the reduced boost requirement led
to a reduction in power required, allow-
ing additional well beanups. In the case
of the remaining separated MOBO, the
pressure increased from 75 to 115 bar,
reducing boost by 40 bar and allowing
an additional 10,000 B/D gross to be
pumped. This, combined with the extra
gas lift from the nonseparated MOBOs,
increased total capacity, allowing 1 mil-
lion bbl of additional oil production
in201314. JPT
See 2628
you in 2016

JPT MAY 2016


Intelligent Fields Technology

John Hudson, SPE, Principal Production Engineer, Shell

Over the last couple of decades, we have While we push model steer our exploration and appraisal pro-
seen a steady stream of intelligent cesses. While we push model integration
innovations go from ideas to infancy to integration (e.g., between (e.g., between static and dynamic and
catalog solutions. Advances in metering, static and dynamic and for for entire production systems), artificial
measurement, control, automation, and intelligence will be working behind the
modeling have changed our daily rou-
entire production systems), scenes to find model inconsistencies, to
tine such that our decisions are better artificial intelligence will narrow uncertainties, and to improve
informed, and, as a result, we produce be working behind the our forecasts and option assessments.
in more-challenging environments, at These advances are coming at an
lower cost, and with better recoveries. scenes to find model opportune time in that they can support
Whether deployed in the office or in inconsistencies, to narrow better decision making in some of our
the field, the majority of these advances most-costly decisions (e.g., helping us to
have pertained to improvements in our uncertainties, and to improve our productive drilling rates and
organizations, in our production facili- improve our forecasts and demonstrating the real costs of deviating
ties, and in our wells. While still not from reservoir-management plans). The
option assessments.
routine, tools based on artificial intel- papers highlighted in this section provide
ligence, large-scale model integration, clear illustrations of how some of this will
and automated data/model integration that take the next step into the reser- be achieved.JPT
are finding their way into the typical voir and across solution types and dis-
practitioners toolbox. What is clearly cipline boundaries. In the coming years,
emerging now are practical solutions artificial-intelligence applications will Recommended additional reading
at OnePetro:
John Hudson, SPE, is a principal production engineer with Shell. OTC 26209 Proactive and Reactive
He has more than 25 years of experience in multiphase-flow Strategies for Optimal Operational Design:
research, flow-assurance design of deepwater production sys- An Application in Smart Wells byA.C.A.
tems, and development of model-based real-time operations Abreu, PUC-Rio, et al.
decision systems. Since joining Shell, Hudson has held technical SPE 176760 Leveraging Intelligent-Field
and managerial positions in Europe and North America, including Data for Full-Field Pressure-Transient
leading a team that developed a model-based cloud computing Analysis byB. Al-Wehaibi, Saudi Aramco,
solution that was deployed globally to gas plants with a total pro- et al.
duction capacity in excess of 10 Bcf/D. He currently provides production-engineering SPE 177829 Smart Proxy: An Innovative
support for the development of a next-generation simulator. Hudson holds a PhD Reservoir-Management Tool; Case Study of
degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. He serves on the JPT a Giant Mature Oil Field in the UAE byS.D.
Editorial Committee and can be reached at Mohaghegh, Intelligent Solutions, et al.

70 JPT MAY 2016

Flow-Control Optimization Maximizes
Accuracy of Multiphase-Flow Rate Allocation

T he value added by intelligent wells

(I-wells) derives from real-time
reservoir and production-performance
or zones. A costly production-logging
well intervention is a possible alterna-
tive; it does provide an inflow rate and a
goal, an active multiphase-flow-rate soft-
sensing method has been developed to
design an optimum series of flow tests.
monitoring together with zonal phase-cut profile, but only at a specific The soft sensor obtains the most accu-
downhole flow control. Unfortunately, time without the possibility of deliver- rate estimate of the zonal properties by
downhole sensors that directly ing the current phase cut and production use of the deformed-configuration (DC)
measure the flow rates and phase cuts rate continuously. method to optimize the flow-test con-
required for optimal control of the The alternative is to use (continuous) ditions (the ICV flow area in multizone
wells producing zones are not typically passive indirect measurements. Such I-wells or the wellhead-choke position
installed. This paper describes an soft-sensing techniques are used widely for multiple conventional wells). To the
active monitoring technique that uses in (surface) facilities and process plants authors knowledge, this work is the first
a direct search method to optimize the where extensive, complex networks of publication to demonstrate the applica-
sequence of interval-control-valve (ICV) sensors can be implemented relatively bility of the DC optimization method in
positions during a routine multirate test easily. They are now being introduced for well soft-sensing problems.
in an I-well. reservoir and well applications.
A multiphase soft sensor consists Active Multizone Multiphase-
Introduction of (1) an estimation technique, (2) a Flow Rate Soft Sensing
I-well completions include both down- multiphase-flow model, and (3) the mea- The main principle of the active soft
hole flow-control tools and monitor- surements. The multiphase-flow model sensing is similar to that of passive soft-
ing sensors. Reservoir inflow is con- relates the measurements to the parame- sensing, where the optimal zonal prop-
trolled by means of passive devices ters required for the estimation of down- erties required for the estimation of flow
[inflow-control devices (ICDs)], active hole flow rates. The estimation technique rates are calculated through minimiza-
valves (ICVs), and self-adjusting devic- is used to compute these parameters by tion of the mismatch between the mea-
es (autonomous ICDs and autonomous minimization of the mismatch between sured parameters and predicted ones.
ICVs). Reservoir and well-performance measured information and predicted In addition to this optimization level,
properties should be monitored regular- values. Published soft sensors have used active soft sensing performs a second
ly to support flow-control decisions ef- both stochastically and deterministically optimization that designs the optimum
ficiently. Various physical quantities, in- based optimization methods as the esti- ICV settings for a sequence of flow tests
cluding temperature, pressure, flow rate, mation technique. The complete paper to maximize the reliability of these esti-
acoustics, strain, and seismic, are cur- provides a review of recent research and mated zonal properties. Zonal proper-
rently measured by electronic, radioac- developments in this field. ties are the search variables of the for-
tive, and fiber-optic sensors to assist the Soft-sensing techniques are subject- mer optimization problem, while the ICV
multiphase-flow rate allocation in I-wells. ed to multiphase-flow-model errors and settings are the control variables of the
Producing from only a single well or measurement uncertainties. The latter latter optimization problem. A flow test
zone during a test is a common prac- refers to variance of the values attrib- with the specified ICV positions is de-
tice. This delivers a single flow-rate value uted to a measured quantity. For this signed and implemented, and the esti-
measured at a particular time. However, reason, a new approach is required to mated zonal properties are updated with
this approach is inefficient, resulting in overcome the limitation of the passive the new measurements. The work flow
lost production and possible difficulties soft-sensing techniques used to allocate is repeated, and the next flow test is de-
when trying to restart the closed-in wells downhole flow rates. To accomplish this signed with DC optimization if the analy-
sis indicates that a further test is justified
to increase the estimated accuracy of the
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights
zonal properties.
of paper SPE 173873, Flow-Control Optimization To Maximize the Accuracy of
Multiphase-Flow Rate Allocation, by Reza Malakooti, Khafiz Muradov, and David Integrated Measurements. A wide
Davies, Heriot-Watt University, and Alexander Kuznetsov, Weatherford, prepared range of measurement sources can be po-
for the 2015 SPE Bergen One Day Seminar, Bergen, Norway, 22 April. The paper has tentially incorporated in the active soft-
not been peer reviewed. sensing work flow. It is convenient to

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

JPT MAY 2016 71

categorize the complexity of the I-well lows a greater spectrum of estimated res- cludes all the measurements of existing
measurements and their analysis into ervoir parameters. For example, annular flow tests; its calculation is provided in
five levels: P/T measurements are combined to cal- the complete paper.
Level 0: Well-production flow rates culate fluid properties such as density,
(oil, water, and gas) and a single formation volume factor, viscosity, and Multirate-Flow-Test Design. The op-
stabilized pressure measured in the compressibility for all the phases that timal sequence of ICV settings in the
upper well completion contribute to the pressure-drop estimate multirate test is found with a gradient-
Level I: Measuring well-production across the ICVs (Level II) and to model free optimization method, the DC tech-
rates and the stabilized zonal- transient PBU (Level IV). nique. Note that the DC method uses
annular pressures All levels result in the calculation of only values of the objective function and
Level II: Level I data plus stabilized the zonal parameters (e.g., reservoir identifies the next flow test so as to try
zonal tubing pressures and annulus pressure, productivity index, water cut, to increase the mismatch in order to ex-
temperatures and in-situ gas mass fraction in the an- plore the search space better. This pro-
Level III: Level II data plus stabilized nulus) used to estimate the multiphase- vides new, authentic information to the
tubing temperatures flow rates. However, the higher levels use estimator and improves the overall esti-
Level IV: Level II data plus transient more-complex flow models that use the mation reliability.
zonal-annular pressures of any data more efficiently, achieving a given The DC techniques are based either
pressure-buildup (PBU) test reliability level for the estimated values on a configuration of simplex, as used in
The first combination of pressure/ with a reduced number of flow tests. the active soft-sensing algorithm, or on a
temperature (P/T) downhole-gauge read- In addition, Level IV data add extra configuration of complex. Deformed sim-
ings and well-production flow-rate mea- value to the active soft-sensing work flow plex optimization requires (n+1) flow
surements is the simplest in terms of the through estimation of the zonal aver- tests to initiate the active soft-sensing
downhole data requirements. The sub- age pressure and skin values as well as work flow in an n-zone I-well. Here, each
sequent, higher levels benefit from an zonal permeability (both vertical and flow test is designed with a fixed combi-
increased understanding of the reser- horizontal), provided that the appropri- nation of ICV settings.
voir and reservoir-fluid properties plus ate flow regimes are identified in the
a richer downhole data set. This allows PBUanalysis. Conclusions
more-complex models to be used and al- This paper proposes an active soft-
Estimation of Zonal Properties. A sensing technique in which different
dynamic multiphase-flow model is re- combinations (levels) of surface and
quired to relate the zonal proper- downhole measurements are combined
One Stop for ties (unknown parameters of the soft- with a dynamic multiphase-flow model
sensing problem) to the measurements. to estimate the unknown zonal proper-
Everything JPT The flow model consists of several ana- ties of the rate-allocation problem in a
Get all your online JPT lytical equations for calculation of well commingled-production system. The
content in one place at rates and changes of pressure and tem- active approach of downhole flow-rate perature along the wellbore and across monitoring implies the design of the op-
ICVs. For example, timum multirate test by regulating down-
Responsive Design 1. Reservoir inflow-performance- hole control valves or surface wellhead
SPE members can access relationship performance and chokes. The multiphase-flow rate alloca-
the latest issue of JPT well rates (linear equation, Vogels tion in a multizone I-well was tested suc-
from any of their devices. correlation) cessfully, but the methodology can be
Optimized for desktop, 2. Pressure [well-testing (pressure- extended easily to multiple convention-
tablet, and phone, JPT is transient analysis) equations, al wells producing into a common field-
easy to read and browse pressure drop across ICVs, flow- production network.
anytime you are online. pipe correlation] The methodology was applied success-
3. Temperature (heat flows between fully to multizone I-wells in oil and gas
formation, annulus, and tubing; reservoirs. The required zonal properties
Joule-Thomson effects; mixing were estimated satisfactorily. As a result,
Offline Access temperature of formation, tubing, the zonal multiphase-flow rates would be
and annular fluids) calculated. The examples in the complete
Download PDF versions paper indicated the use of different data
of 180+ issues dating Matching of Measurements and Es- sets, including annulus transient pres-
back to 1997 for reading timations. Here, zonal properties de- sure and stabilized well rate and annular/
online or when an fine the estimated variables, while the tubing temperature and pressure. Also,
Internet connection is total mismatch between the measure- the results were promising even when
not available. ments and predictions forms the objec- the measurements were contaminated
tive function. The total mismatch in- witherrors. JPT

72 JPT MAY 2016

scale-inhibiting technology


0 0

Reduce your LOE with the

longest-lasting scale inhibition
treatment by farand counting

SCALEGUARD proppant-delivered scale-inhibiting technology is a unique,

long-term well maintenance solution that assures optimal production and
significantly reduces LOE.
Each treatment can be designed to last the life of the well, and one Uinta
operator is saving over $160,000 per well in maintenance costs each year.

Carbo Scaleguard - Counter Ad JPT 4-16.indd 1 4/5/2016 12:30:02 PM

Geology-Driven Estimated-Ultimate-
Recovery Prediction With Deep Learning

T he authors present a geology-driven

deep-learning estimated-ultimate-
recovery (EUR)-prediction model for
neurons found in the brains cortexthe
part of the brain that deals with complex
tasks, such as vision and language, that
grids have low resolution and are quite
smooth. The combination of all geologi-
cal parameters can, however, provide a
multistage hydraulically fractured require many levels of abstraction. DNNs much-higher-resolution map for the pre-
horizontal wells in tight gas and oil use an iterative algorithm to indicate how dicted variable. The final geological data
reservoirs. The novel approach was made the model should change its internal pa- set had more than 200,000 data points.
possible by recent developments in the rameters used to compute the represen- The well data consisted of production
field of deep learning and by the use of tation in each layer from the represen- logs for more than 800 wells that have
big data (more than 200,000 geological tation in the preceding layer. Training is been producing for several years, so a re-
data points and more than 800 wells). A performed by presenting raw input data liable decline-analysis figure for the EUR
deep neural network (DNN) was trained to the DNN and providing desired output could be obtained.
to learn the relationship between geology data. The model then learns how to trans-
and the average EUR (estimated by form its internal parameters in order to Model
declineanalysis). minimize the error between the desired To build a DNN that understands the in-
output and the actual output. This pro- tricate structures and levels of abstraction
Introduction cess is repeated iteratively many millions from the geological data, the authors use
Currently, the consensus in the literature of times until the error stopsdecreasing. a method called stacked denoising auto-
and among geologists is that it is impos- In regard to hydrocarbon estimates encoders. Rather than trying to predict
sible to achieve a good hydrocarbon-in- made on the basis of geological data, EUR from the geological data, the user
place estimate for tight or unconventional one faces a similar problem with a corre- sets both the input and the desired output
resources by entering geological param- sponding solution. Before one can make to the same data. The user then, during
eters into an equation. Volumetric analy- an educated guess about the hydrocar- training, corrupts the input data (omit-
sis, for instance, gives only a very crude bons in place, one must be several levels of ting variables and adding noise), forcing
estimate and often does not work at all. abstraction above the raw geological data. the DNN to try to reconstruct the original
This consensus is not wrong, and yet data and in the process discovering and
highly skilled teams of geologists and ex- Data building all the levels of abstraction. In es-
ploration engineers manage to make good The data used to train and test the model sence, such a DNN consists of two parts:
guesses as to where the sweet spots are, consist of two data sets, one with geolog- an encoder and a decoder. The encoder
even in regions where they have barely ical data and one with well-production breaks down the data into the intricate
adequate geological data. The answer to data. The region covered was a part of structure with multiple levels of abstrac-
that apparent contradiction is that a sim- the Eagle Ford shale and included both tion, while the decoder transforms this
ple mathematical model, such as an equa- oil and dry-gas wells. back to the original format. This paper is
tion, does not come close to the multi- The geological parameters primarily focused upon the encoder, so once an ad-
layered complexity and abstract-analysis used in the model were thickness, po- equate autoencoder is obtained, the de-
skills needed to solve the problem. rosity, bulk density, vitrinite reflectance, coder part of the DNN can be discarded.
A DNN is a computational model com- water saturation, total organic carbon, As a second step, smaller predictor
posed of multiple processing layers to and brittleness, all of which can be esti- DNNs that specialize in a particular task
learn representations of data with mul- mated at an early stage when evaluating are attached. For the results given in the
tiple levels of abstraction. It uses artifi- a new play. When the geological data are complete paper, the authors created two
cial neurons from interconnected layers derived from a small number of well logs predictorsone gas EUR predictor and
of software modeled after the columns of and interpolated into a grid, the resulting one oil/gas-ratio (OGR) predictor.

Testing and Validation

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights To make sure that the model generalizes
of paper SPE 174799, Geology-Driven Estimated-Ultimate-Recovery Prediction well and that it can be applied to new geo-
Using Deep Learning, by L. Crnkovic-Friis and M. Erlandson, Peltarion Energy, logical regions, the authors split the data
prepared for the 2015 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, into three different setstraining, vali-
2830September. The paper has not been peer reviewed. dation, and test (Fig. 1). The training set

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

74 JPT MAY 2016

This can be demonstrated by select-
ing two nearby regions that are relatively
close to each other, but where the model
produces significantly different results.

Future Work
The authors are currently compiling more
geological data and data from other plays
with more-diverse geology. This is im-
portant because, first, the data are need-
ed to validate that the knowledge carries
over to distant locations and even differ-
ent geological horizons; second, the new
data will add to the deep models geologi-
cal knowledge and allow it to increase ac-
curacy and portability (to make use of the
Fig. 1Division into different data sets. knowledge as it is appliedelsewhere).
The current choice of parameters
is used to adapt the model to the data. If ber of wells. This will also be a cause of (thickness, porosity, water saturation,
a model is computationally powerful and variation in the output. Hence, the output bulk density, vitrinite reflectance, total
data are sparse, there is risk of overtrain- should be interpreted as a baseline EUR organic carbon, and brittleness) is made
ing. This means that the model becomes estimate, a value one might expect from for historical rather than scientific rea-
overly specialized on the training data at an average well or fracturedesign. sons; these were the parameters to which
the expense of performance on new data. The predictions are not perfect, but the authors had access when they began
The validation set contains data that the they are still approximately twice as ac- building the models. Some can be re-
model has not seen before, and it is used to curate as type-curve region averages that moved without significant loss of perfor-
evaluate the models ability to generalize. require substantial production data and mance, while adding others would likely
The model is never adapted directly to the do not generalize outside the regions increase accuracy. JPT
validation data set, but indirect decisions they portray.
might be made on the basis of it. When the One can look at the error in absolute
training and validation errors are com- terms or in relative terms. In a data set
parable, the model is in balance when it that contains large variations in OGR,
comes to performance vs. generalization. it makes sense to look at relative devia-
Although the validation set has never been tions. In an area where the average gas
used for adaptation, it has been used indi- EUR is approximately 56 Bcf, an error of
rectly to determine if the system general- 1 Bcf can be acceptable, while in an area
izes well. A third data setthe test setis with 0.2 Bcf, an error of 1 Bcf is consid-
used as a final independent test. erable. The standard statistical measure
It is important that this system work for this is the mean absolute percentage
well in new areas, so the authors select- error (see the complete paper for a de-
ed a test set that covers a separate geo- scription of this expression).
logical and geographical region, one that The test set was in a separate region
lies between 50 and 100 miles from the that was between 50 and 100 miles from
training-set region and contains data the training-set region and used data
from multiple operators. from multiple operators.

Results, Interpretation, OGR. The second model trained was one

and Accuracy that predicts OGR from the same geo-
The model is provided with no knowledge logical data. This was performed to in-
about how the well was drilled or frac- vestigate the role of the resolution of
tured. Because well and fracture design the geological data. When the geological
affect the EUR, this discrepancy will ap- data are derived from a small number of
pear as noise or uncertainty in the model. well logs and interpolated into a grid, the
The predictive model will therefore pro- resulting grids have low resolution and
duce an averagethe most-probable are quite smooth. The combination of
value considering all known designs. The all geological parameters can, however,
geological data are approximate and are give a much-higher-resolution map for
often interpolated from a limited num- the predicted variable.

JPT MAY 2016 75

Machine Learning Applied to Multiwell-Test
Analysis and Flow-Rate Reconstruction

Results and Analysis

P ermanent downhole gauges
(PDGs) can provide a continuous
record of flow rate and pressure, which
ly, multiwell testing (multiwell pressure-
transient analysis) and flow-rate recon-
struction. Both topics are important
Multiwell Testing. Case 1: Artificial
Interference Testing. In this case, two
provides extensive information about in PDG-data analysis in practical engi- wells are producing in a homogeneous
the reservoir and makes PDG data a neering. The authors have developed a reservoir. The flow rate and pressure of
valuable source for reservoir analysis. machine-learning model for each prob- Well 1 are shown in Figs. 1a and 1b, and
In previous work, it has been shown lem and have tested the models on dif- the flow rate and pressure of Well 2 are
that kernel-ridge regression-based ferent real and synthetic data sets. The shown in Figs. 1c and 1d. The pressure
machine learning is a promising tool test results validated the developed ap- response at each well was designed to be
to interpret pressure transients from a proach, and illustrated the flexibility of affected by the production of the other
single PDG. In this work, the machine- the machine-learning framework for dif- well. However, because of the nature
learning framework was extended to ferent applications by adapting the fea- of interference, the small magnitude of
two applications: multiwell testing and tures and the targets. pressure change caused by the other well
flow-rate reconstruction. is mostly hidden by the dominant pres-
Problem Statement. On the basis of the sure change at the well itself. This makes
Introduction background information and literature it difficult for the machine-learning algo-
Analysis of PDG data is challenging be- review, the objectives of this research rithm to differentiate the pressure con-
cause of the inherent characteristics of were to tributions from other wells.
the data, including continuously vari- Extend the machine-learning The flow rate and pressure of both
able flow rate, noise, and the large framework for pressure analysis on wells were augmented with artificial
data volume. Until now, most efforts a single well to multiwell systems. noise before training. After training the
in PDG-data analysis have been con- The framework should capture the model, an artificial interference testing
centrated on pressure-transient analy- well interference accurately and was created by computing the response
sis on single wells, although there have be able to test a greater area of the that would occur if Well 2 had been shut
also been some studies on temperature- reservoir. in while Well 1 had kept producing at
transient analysis and multiwall-data Develop a machine-learning model constant rate, as shown in Fig. 1e. Well
analysis. Recently, however, there have to reconstruct the flow-rate history 1 was used as an active well, and Well 2
been some attempts to apply machine- by use of pressure data. was used as an observation well. Fig. 1f
learning techniques for PDG-data analy- Ensure that both models maintain shows the comparison of the pressure
sis. The fundamental idea is to learn the advantages of the machine- prediction at Well 2 and the true data.
the patterns behind PDG data, where learning-based single-well Although the pressure change in the in-
the patterns contain the reservoir in- pressure interpretation in terms terference test is much smaller in com-
formation implicitly. A previous study of the accuracy of prediction, parison with the training case, the al-
on single-well pressure analysis showed computational efficiency, and gorithm still captured the trend of this
that machine learning has the poten- tolerance to noise. small pressureinterference.
tial to handle the complexities in PDG- A review of methodologies, including The example of interference testing
data analysis, and learn the reservoir machine-learning concepts (linear re- demonstrates the ability of the multi-
modelsuccessfully. gression, kernel method, and model reg- well machine-learning model to learn
In this work, the authors use machine ularization), multiwell testing, and flow- the well interactions, even though the
learning as the tool for investigation, but rate reconstruction, is provided in the magnitude of pressure interference is
address two different problemsname- complete paper. small. The idea of artificial interference
testing can also be useful because it does
not require additional cost in the field
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of operations. The observation well is shut
paper SPE 175059, Machine Learning Applied to Multiwell-Test Analysis and Flow- in in the computer program but not in
Rate Reconstruction, by Chuan Tian and Roland N. Horne, Stanford University, the field. If PDG data from multiple wells
prepared for the 2015 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, exist, an artificial-interference test can
2830 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed. be implemented easily by picking one

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

76 JPT MAY 2016

2,500 0
True Data
Flow Rate (STB/D) 2,000
Noisy Data

Pressure (psi)
500 Prediction

500 True Data
Noisy Data
0 2,000
0 50 100 150 200 250 0 50 100 150 200 250
(a) (b)
Time (hours) Time (hours)
500 100
True Data
Flow Rate (STB/D)

Noisy Data

Pressure (psi)
True Data
Noisy Data
0 500
0 50 100 150 200 250 0 50 100 150 200 250
(c) (d)
Time (hours) Time (hours)
351 0
True Data True Data
Flow Rate (STB/D)

Pressure (psi)

350 15

349 30
0 50 100 150 200 250 0 50 100 150 200 250
(e) (f)
Time (hours) Time (hours)

Fig. 1Machine-learning results on Case 1. (a) and (c) show the true flow rate (blue) and the noisy training rate (circle)
of Well 1 and Well 2; (b) and (d) show the true pressure (blue), noisy training pressure (circle), and the pressure
prediction (red) corresponding with the true flow rate of Well 1 and Well 2; (e) shows the flow rate of Well 1 during the
interference test (Well 2 is shut in); (f) shows the comparison of true pressure (blue) and pressure prediction (red) of
Well 2 during the interference test.

active well and observing the pressure dress the two-phase issue, the authors with pressure and flow-rate data with
response at other wells. replaced the oil rate by total liquid rate artificial noise. It should be noted that
Case 2: Pressure Forecast. Here, fur- when constructing the features, thus re- the direction of the modeling was dif-
ther complexity is added to the machine- flecting the physics that the pressure re- ferent, although the training data were
learning task by introducing a greater sponse is caused by the flowing of both still pressure and flow rate. After train-
number of wells and the presence of two- phases. A cross validation was applied. ing, two pressure histories were used as
phase flow. The goal is to forecast the The results showed an accurate match input to generate the flow-rate predic-
pressure, given flow-rate controls at vari- to the training set and a good predic- tions. A high agreement between pre-
ous well locations. Four production wells tion on the validation set, although a de- dictions and true data was observed in
are located at the corners of a homoge- viation in pressure prediction for the in- both cases, although the zig-zag flow
neous reservoir, and an injection well sits jector was observed. Thus, the authors rate looks very different from the train-
in the center. conclude that the machine-learning ing rate, demonstrating the ability of
The key idea in multiwell testing is to framework does have the flexibility to the method to generalize well to un-
expand the feature dimension to include work on multiwell systems with two- known data.
the contributions from multiple wells. phase flow. Case 4: Real Data. The machine-
Adding more wells only means adding learning approach for flow-rate recon-
more features. Besides feature expan- Flow-Rate Reconstruction. Case 3: struction was tested further on a real
sion, no other treatment was required to Synthetic Data. In this case, the PDG-data set. In the training step, part of
account for the additional wells. To ad- machine-learning model was trained the flow-rate data was hidden to mimic

JPT MAY 2016 77

the situation of missing measurements. Conclusions showed promising performance.
After training, the complete pressure his- There are three primary conclusions of The machine-learning model
tory was used as input to reconstruct the this work: provides an effective alternative
missing flow rate. Usually, continuous The machine-learning approach approach to estimate the missing
pressure measurements from the PDG for PDG pressure analysis was flow rate compared with earlier
are available, but parts of the flow-rate extended from single-well to optimization or analytical solution
measurement are missing or may be un- multiwell systems. The multiwell approaches because the latter
reliable. In that case, as long as at least model was shown to be able approaches require an assumption
one period of consistent pressure and to capture well interactions of the reservoir model.
flow-rate measurements is available to accurately, and to differentiate This work demonstrates the
learn the pattern between the two, the the pressure contributions from flexibility of machine learning
flow-rate-reconstruction technique can various wells. The multiwell in solving different applications.
be applied to create an estimate of the model was tested in two Pressure-transient analysis,
missing flow rates. promising applications: artificial- multiwell testing, and flow-rate
In short, a new set of features was de- interference-test creation without reconstruction each have their
veloped to model flow rate with pressure affecting field operation, and own complex physical processes.
measurements. Coupled with the kernel- pressure forecasting for multiwell Machine learning treats these
ridge regression framework, the features systems with given rate control. different applications with the
were tested on both synthetic and real A machine-learning model same solution procedure, by
data sets and showed promising perfor- was developed for flow-rate adapting features and targets for
mance. The results also indicate another reconstruction with new each application. This work further
property of machine learning: the flex- definitions of features and targets. demonstrates machine learning as
ibility in direction of modeling by adapt- The model was tested on both a promising technique for PDG-
ing features and targets. synthetic and real data, and data analysis. JPT

Mark your 79 June 2016 | Calgary, Canada

Calendar! SPE Canada Heavy Oil Technical Conference

1920 October 2016 | Lima, Peru

SPE Latin America and Caribbean Heavy and
Extra Heavy Oil Conference

68 December 2016 | Kuwait City, Kuwait

SPE International Heavy Oil Conference
& Exhibition



78 JPT MAY 2016


Multilateral/Extended-Reach Wells
Bernt S. Aadny, SPE, Professor of Petroleum Engineering, University of Stavanger

The development of multilateral wells The main benefit from There has been considerable develop-
and long-reach wells has become impor- ment around these technologies. Those
tant to maximizing recovery for many directional drilling is the that help clear the challenges, such as
fields. These technologies are often maximizing of reservoir those related to wellbore stability, well-
applied in offshore environments, where bore friction, equipment limitations,
large reservoir areas are drained from
recovery. From this and operational aspects, can be consid-
one or more platforms. perspective, multilateral/ ered mature technologies today.
In the late 1980s, long-reach wells extended-reach wells may The main benefit from directional
started to use existing infrastructure drilling is the maximizing of reservoir
better by drilling beyond the design lim- be considered one of the recovery. From this perspective, mul-
its of that time. Several major operators more important means of tilateral/extended-reach wells may be
were extending their limits, and, in the considered one of the more important
late 1990s, BP Wytch Farm showed that improved oil recovery. means of improved oil recovery.
a horizontal departure exceeding 10 km Although these directional-well con-
was feasible. This had a significant effect There were many drivers for this devel- cepts have been used for some years,
on the industry because offshore plat- opment. One of the more important was they were initially costly with a high eco-
forms now could be designed for up to the desire to increase production in tight nomic risk. There is a continuous tech-
10-km reach, as opposed to the early reservoirs. Another advantage is direc- nology development at many levels that
1980s when 3-km reach was common. tional control. Well stimulation with leads to improvements. These result in
A field could now be developed with one fracturing has the drawback that the more-efficient processes, with increased
platform instead of three, resulting in fracture direction is controlled by the field recoveries as a consequence. There-
enormous savings. in-situ stresses in the rock. Multilater- fore, multilaterals and extended-reach
Multilateral-well technology also al branches, on the other hand, can be wells are now common and will be very
matured during the past 2 decades. drilled in any direction. important for future cost-effective oil
and gas production.JPT

Bernt S. Aadny, SPE, is a professor of petroleum engineering

at the University of Stavanger, specializing in all aspects of well
engineering, including geomechanics. He worked for major Recommended additional reading
operators in the oil industry from 1978 until 1994, when he tran- at OnePetro:
sitioned to academia. Aadny has published more than SPE 174035 Technology Qualification
150 papers, holds several patents, and has authored or and Installation Plan of Efficient and
coauthored five books, among them Modern Well Design, Accurate Multilaterals Drilling Stimulation
Petroleum Rock Mechanics, and Mechanics of Drilling. He was Technology for Sandstone Oil Application
also one of the editors of the SPE book Advanced Drilling and Well Technology. byKevin Rice, Fishbones, et al.
Aadny holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of SPE/IADC 168055 Expanding the
Wyoming, an MS degree in control engineering from The University of Texas at Extended-Reach Envelope at Chayvo
Austin, and a PhD degree in petroleum rock mechanics from the Norwegian Institute Field, Sakhlin Island byVishwas P. Gupta,
of Technology. He was the recipient of the 1999 SPE International Drilling Engineering ExxonMobil, et al.
Award and is also a 2015 SPE/AIME Honorary Member and a 2015 SPE Distinguished SPE 168235 CT Extended Reach: Can We
Member. Aadny is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee and can be reached at Reach Farther? byKen Newman, KNewman Engineering, et al.

JPT MAY 2016 79

Innovative Tool Improves Hole-Cleaning
Efficiency in Extended-Reach Wells

S audi Aramco operates a large

offshore oilfield development that
has driven achievements in multilateral
To reduce the frequency and
number of wiper trips
To reduce torque and drag levels
cause of packoff, and ensured cleaner and
more-stable hole conditions.
From 10,828 to 14,000 ft, the off-
and extended-reach directional wells. and make them comparable with bottom drilling torque progressively
One challenge the operator faces is those of offset wells increased from 7,000 to 10,000 lbf-ft
to maintain proper hole cleaning in To reduce drilling cost with an openhole friction factor of 0.22.
extended 8-in. tangent sections at Well A1 resumed drilling from a preset From 14,000 to 17,000 ft, the off-bottom
8587 inclinations, which are drilled 9-in.-casing point in December 2013 drilling torque remained constant at
in excess of 10,000 ft. In an effort to in the Manifa field. The well was drilled 10,000 lbf-ft and the openhole friction
drill efficiently, a new technology to from surface to 30,480-ft MD and into a factor dropped from 0.22 to 0.14. From
increase cuttings removal was trial stratigraphic environment composed of 17,000 to 19,000ft, the off-bottom drill-
tested on Well A1 from an onshore limestone, sandstone, and siltstone. The ing torque increased from 10,000 to
location of the field. objective was to hold vertical from sur- 13,000 lbf-ft, with an openhole friction
face to 1,535 ft, build up to 85 from 1,535 factor of 0.16. From 19,000 to 24,160ft,
Introduction to 11,659 ft, and hold an 8590 inclina- the off-bottom drilling torque slightly
Historically, drilling very long tangent tion to total depth. increased from 13,000 to 14,000 lbf-ft
sections required the use of several tan- The challenges were to clean hole and the openhole friction factor dropped
dem sweep pills, wiper trips, and reaming while drilling the long 8-in. tangent from 0.16 to 0.12.
and back reaming to maintain hole quali- section from 11,659 to 24,160 ft. To ad- The CBI tools contributed to the low
ty and remove cuttings from the wellbore dress these challenges, the tool company rotational openhole friction factor expe-
efficiently. Poor hole cleaning can lead recommended the use of 5-in. cuttings- rienced while rotating off-bottom. The
to tight intervals, increased torque and bed-impeller (CBI) tools at a frequen- openhole friction factor decreased from
drag, and, eventually, stuck pipe. cy of one tool per three stands on the 0.22 at the beginning of the run to 0.12
Extended-reach Well A1 was drilled 5-in.drillpipe. at total depth. Nonrotating drillpipe pro-
to a measured depth (MD) of 30,480 ft The 8-in. tangent section was drilled tectors also were installed on the 5-in.
[8,650-ft true vertical depth (TVD)] into smoothly without any hole-cleaning is- drillpipe throughout the cased hole and
a stratigraphic environment composed of sues (no tight hole or stuck pipe). The contributed to the low rotational friction
limestone, shale, and siltstone. The ob- primary hole cleaning was achieved dur- factor encountered during this run.
jective of the trial test for the tool was to ing drilling, and no secondary hole clean- From 10,828 to 14,400 ft, the on-
improve the drilling efficiency. To obtain ing was required. bottom drilling torque progressively in-
the best possible hole cleaning, a simula- A service company installed a cuttings- creased from 11,000 to 14,000 lbf-ft and
tion was performed by placing the new flowmeter system at the shakers to evalu- the openhole friction factor was 0.18.
tools every three stands along the tan- ate hole-cleaning efficiency and perfor- From 14,400 to 18,800 ft, the on-bottom
gent section in the 8-in.-hole section. mance of the hole-cleaning tools. drilling torque slightly increased from
The goals of the trial test were 14,000 to 15,000 lbf-ft and the openhole
To enhance hole cleaning by Reduced Torque, Friction friction factor dropped from 0.18 to 0.12.
removal of cuttings The placement of 47 5-in. CBI tools in From 18,800 to 19,600 ft, the on-bottom
To reduce the frequency and the drillstring reduced torque and drag, drilling torque increased from 15,000
number of tandem sweep pills limited the chances of getting stuck be- to 18,000 lbf-ft and the openhole fric-
tion factor increased from 0.12 to 0.16.
From 19,600 ft to target depth, the on-
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
bottom drilling torque slightly increased
of paper SPE 175165, Use of an Innovative Tool To Improve Hole-Cleaning Efficiency
from 18,000 to 19,000 lbf-ft and the
in Extended-Reach Wells in Saudi Arabia, by Mike Okot, Marlio Campos, German openhole friction factor decreased from
Muoz, and Alawi G. Alalsayednassir, Saudi Aramco; Matt Weber, Franks 0.16to 0.12.
International; and Zahid Muneer, SPE, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2015 SPE The use of the CBI tools resulted in a
Kuwait Oil and Gas Show and Conference, Mishref, Kuwait, 1114 October. The paper reduction in the rotational friction fac-
has not been peerreviewed. tor from 0.18 to 0.12 while drilling the

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

80 JPT MAY 2016

Todays oil and gas market presents unique and dynamic challenges. At Cudd Energy Services
(CES), we are committed to delivering integrated solutions with the long-term health of
productivity and reduce costs for the lifecycle of your investment. With a team of experienced,

For more information about our complete portfolio of services, visit today.

67,08/$7,21&2,/('78%,1* (&2,/&2,/'5,//,1*7(&+12/2*,(6
6/,&./,1( %5$,'('/,1((/(&75,&/,1(:$7(50$1$*(0(17
Well A1 Cumulative Cuttings Recovery Chart
8-in. Section (10,83224,160 ft)

/2 3
/3 3
/3 3
01 1/13
01 1/14

/0 4
/0 4
/0 4
/0 4
/0 4
/0 4
/2 3
/2 3
/2 3
/2 3
/2 3
/2 3
/2 3
/2 3
/2 3
/2 3
/1 3
/1 3
/1 3
/1 3
/2 3
/2 3
12 0/13

/1 3
/1 3
/1 3
/1 3
/1 3
/1 3
/1 3

Theoretical, Measured by Cuttings Flowmeter, Volume Excess/Deficit

12 9/1
12 9/1
12 0/1

01 1/1
01 2/1
01 3/1
01 4/1
01 4/1
01 5/1
12 1/1
12 2/1
12 2/1
12 3/1
12 4/1
12 5/1
12 6/1
12 6/1
12 7/1
12 8/1
12 7/1
12 8/1
12 9/1
12 9/1
12 0/1
12 1/1
12 2/1
12 3/1
12 3/1
12 4/1
12 5/1
12 6/1
12 6/1


120 1,300

110 Cuttings Recovery: 91.6% 1,200


Cumulative Dry Volumes (bbl)

% Recovery 900
80 Sweeps 800
Secondary Recovery 2.6%
Theoretical Openhole
Recovery (%)

70 Volume (bbl) 700

Secondary Recovery 0.8%

Secondary Recovery 2.4%
Actual Recovered

Secondary Recovery 0.7%

Drill (10,83812,865 ft)

60 600

Drill (23,29224,160 ft)

Volume (bbl)
Recovery 93.5%

Drill (18,35519,398 ft)


Recovery 89.5%
50 Volume Excess/

Recovery 90.7%
Deficit (bbl) 400


Drill (12,86518,355 ft) 200
20 Drill (12,86518,355 ft) Recovery 89.2%
Recovery 88.7%
10 0

0 100

23 59
24 50
24 60
23 77
23 05
23 92
23 92
23 92
20 57
21 91
21 81
22 22
22 37
14 43
15 13
15 76
16 31
17 2
18 56
18 52
18 55
18 55
19 55
19 15
19 98
19 98
19 62
20 70
11 32
11 35
12 71
12 25
12 66
13 66
13 54








Lag Depth (ft)

Fig. 1Hole-cleaning chart showing percentage of cuttings recovery and dry volumes for Well A1.

8-in. tangent section. A major reduc- to the last casing shoe without pump or stuck-pipe events were noticed.
tion in the friction factor was also ob- or rotation was performed four Primary hole cleaning was achieved
served in the last 5,000 ft of the run, times because of tool failures and for during drilling, and no secondary
when the majority of CBI tools covered blowout-preventer tests. hole cleaning was required.
the tangentsection. Pill efficiency was monitored and The cuttings recovery of 91.6%
optimized on the basis of cuttings- showed excellent hole cleaning.
Hole-Cleaning Analysis flowmeter data; only one pill was All short trips and wiper trips
A cuttings flowmeter at the shaker evalu- pumped for every four or five stands were eliminated on the basis
ated hole cleaning. The weight of cuttings drilled, instead of for every 45 ft or of hole-cleaning assurance. Pill
reaching the surface was continuously for every stand drilled. efficiency was also monitored, and
measured and analyzed coming off the With the help of hole-cleaning pill frequency was optimized. As
shale shakers. By comparing measured assurance, up to 1,100 ft was drilled a result, greater than 50% of pill
and theoretical volumes, early detection without pumping any tandem pill. volume was saved compared with
of inadequate hole cleaning and excess Final trip at target depth was smooth, the drilling plan.
returns caused by wellbore instability indicating good hole cleaning and A hole-cleaning comparison between
(caving) or formation damage was possi- stable wellbore conditions, before Well A1 and Well B1, which did
ble. Fig. 1 shows the cumulative cuttings running the 7-in. liner. not use the CBI tools, revealed the
recovery for Well A1. effectiveness of the tools, with an
Conclusions 11.7% improvement in recovery and
Results The 8-in. tangent section from a 50% decrease in pillfrequency.
Drilled 13,332 ft in 8-in. section 10,828 to 24,160 ft was drilled The 47 CBI tools resulted in a
without any hole-cleaning issues and successfully with five bit runs. substantial reduction in the
no tight-hole or stuck-pipe events All bits were pulled out of hole rotational friction factor while
recorded. in excellent and rerunnable rotating off-bottom and on bottom.
Drilled 5,490 ft and 3,895 ft in one condition. The 47 CBI tools The openhole friction factor was
run each. installed in the drillstring met and reduced from 0.22 at the beginning
Primary hole cleaning was achieved exceeded expectations. The CBI of the run to 0.12 at target depth.
during drilling; no secondary hole tools enhanced hole cleaning and The CBI tools showed a significant
cleaning was required. ensuredstable hole conditions while reduction in hookload. The last
Excellent hole-cleaning efficiency, drilling the 8-in. tangent section trips showed a 27.3% increase in
with a cuttings recovery of 91.6%. of Well A1. slackoff weight and an 11% decrease
All planned short trips and wiper The 8-in. section was drilled in pickup weight compared with a
trips were avoided by optimum hole successfully without any hole- simulated hookload with a friction
cleaning, although smooth tripping cleaning problems; no tight-hole factor of 0.150.20. JPT

82 JPT MAY 2016

New Rotary Shouldered Connection
Expands Capability of ERD Operation

E ight of the worlds 10 longest wells

have been drilled by ExxonMobil
as operator of the Sakhalin-1 project
in Russia. Components and drilling
tools involved in the well design are
evaluated and redesigned throughout
the program to maximize penetration
rate and reduce flat time. Drillstring-
torque capacity was recognized as
a limiter for increasing penetration
rateand for reaching total measured
depth capability. The operator
consequently sought an alternative
drillpipe connection with higher

The Sakhalin-1 project comprises the
Chayvo, Odoptu, and Arkutun Dagi fields
off the east coast of Sakhalin Island,
Russian Federation (Fig. 1). Develop-
ment drilling at the Chayvo field start-
ed in 2003 with extended-reach wells
drilled from an onshore location with Fig. 1Sakhalin-1 field overview.
the Yastreb drilling rig. In 2005, further
development drilling commenced from
the offshore Orlan platform site. Sub- Limiter Identification Torque Limitation
sequently, in 2008, the Yastreb rig was During the first drilling campaign at The existing 5-in. drillpipe connec-
moved approximately 75 km north to the Chayvo, available topdrive torque limited tion used on the ERD wells during the
Odoptu onshore wellsite and drilled nine drilling performance in the long produc- Odoptu drilling campaign had a maxi-
extended-reach-drilling (ERD) wells as tion hole section (>3000 m). Installa- mum makeup torque of 56,600 lbf-ft.
part of the initial-stage development of tion of a new topdrive capable of contin- The subsequent Chayvo drilling cam-
Odoptu. During the Odoptu campaign, uous torque in excess of 90,000 lbf-ft paign had planned wells that predicted
it was determined that a higher-torque at 140 rev/min eliminated this limiter. surface torque in excess of 70,000lbf-ft.
5-in. drillpipe connection with good During the subsequent Odoptu drilling Using the existing 5-in. connec-
runnability was needed. Following the campaign, the 5-in. drillpipe connec- tion for upcoming planned wells would
Odoptu campaign, the Yastreb rig was tion was identified as a new limiter af- have required significant reductions
moved back to the Chayvo onshore well- fecting rate of penetration (ROP) and in ROP to keep surface torque below
site in 2011 for further development and torque operating margin in the produc- the drillpipe-connection torque rating.
infill drilling of the Chayvo reservoirs. tion holesection. The need for increased torque capac-
ity of the 5-in. drillpipe connection
was identified.
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
of paper SPE/IADC 168049, New Rotary Shouldered Connection Expands the Connection Modifications
Capability of World-Record ERD Operation, by S.R. Sanford, SPE, and M.W. Walker, To Increase Torque Capacity
SPE, ExxonMobil; and J.N. Brock, M.J. Jellison, SPE, and A. Muradov, SPE, NOV Examining the parameters affecting
Grant Prideco, prepared for the 2014 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition, torque capacity, and the consequences
Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 46 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed. of modifying them, quickly limits the

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

JPT MAY 2016 83

options to increase the torque capacity of the surface pressure required to maintain torsional strength. Increasing the tool-
the connection. a given flow rate. joint SMYS to 130,000 psi and increas-
ing the recommended makeup torque will
Thread-Form Parameters. If possible, Increasing the Coefficient of Friction. provide a substantial increase in connec-
a solution to increase the torque ca- The coefficient of friction is determined tion torque capacity. The consequence
pacity while maintaining interchange- by the thread compound. Rather than of increasing material yield strength
ability with the second-generation specify the coefficient of friction, the in- and makeup torque is a possible reduc-
double-shouldered connection (DSC) was dustry has defined the term friction fac- tion in fatigue life. A balance must be
preferred. Changing the thread-form tor to compare the frictional charac- maintained between tool-joint strength
parameters would prevent interchange- teristics of different thread compounds. andtoughness.
ability and result in only minor improve- Zinc-based thread compound with API
ments in torque capacity. Recommended Practice 5A3 is the base- Final Connection Design
line rotary-shouldered-connection (RSC) Considering all of the torque-affecting
Increasing Connection Outer Diameter thread compound and has been desig- connection parameters, the final design
(OD) and Decreasing Connection Inner nated as having a friction factor of 1.00. was chosen on the basis of the desire to
Diameter (ID). With one exception, all The friction factors of other thread com- maximize torque capacity, to maintain in-
of the area and radius parameters can pounds are based on their frictional char- terchangeability with the existing stan-
be changed easily to increase torque ca- acteristics as determined by testing in ac- dard DSC already being used, and to main-
pacity by increasing the connection OD cordance with API Recommended Practice tain ease of use in the field. The design
and decreasing the connection ID. For a 7A1. Several good-quality copper-based used tool joints with 130,000-psi SMYS.
given makeup stress level, increasing the RSC thread compounds are available with Because ERD wells place the drillstring in
area parameters will increase the normal friction factors ranging from 1.10 to 1.15, a low-tension (shallow true vertical depth)
force on the torque shoulders, increasing providing increased torque capacity. and high-torque (long measured depth)
the frictional forces. Increasing the con- environment, the operator was willing to
nection OD can limit fishability and in- Increasing the Makeup Stress Level. sacrifice tensile capacity of the connection
crease the equivalent circulating density RSCs typically have 120,000-psi specified- in order to increase torque capacity.
in the annulus. Decreasing connection ID minimum-yield-strength (SMYS) tool A fatigue-resistant thread form was
increases frictional pressure losses along joints and have recommended makeup also incorporated. The enhanced second-
the drillstring, which, in turn, increases torque equal to 60% of the connections generation DSC provides an additional


1-3 AUGUST 2O16


The integrated event for unconventional resource teams

3 days 11 disciplines 1 focus
Sponsoring Organizations: Supporting Organizations:

84 JPT MAY 2016

26% in torque capacity compared with the standard second-
generation DSC, while maintaining compatibility with the exist-
ing standard second-generation DSC that the operator has been
using in this field for 10 years. With the use of a good-quality
copper-based thread compound with a friction factor of 1.15, the
makeup torque could be increased evenfurther.

Fatigue Testing
In order to evaluate the fatigue performance of the enhanced
second-generation DSC, comparative fatigue testing was con-
ducted at the manufacturers technology center. Fatigue test-
ing was performed on a harmonic-fatigue-test machine. This
machine applies a cyclic bending stress by exciting the part in a
whirling motion.
Four samples of the enhanced second-generation DSC and
the standard second-generation DSC (baseline) were fabricat-
ed for testing. All samples were tested at a bending moment of
424,000lbf-in., which corresponds to 14,580-psi bending stress
at the outer fiber of the test specimens. The bending stress was
arbitrarily chosen on the basis of previous experience and in an
attempt to perform testing within a reasonable number ofcycles.

Test Results
All samples were tested to failure. Two of the enhanced second-
generation DSC samples failed in the last engaged thread of the
pin, while the other two failed in the last engaged thread of the
box. Three of the standard second-generation DSC samples
failed in the last engaged thread of the pin, while one failed in
the last engaged thread of the box. The enhanced second-gen-
eration DSC samples exhibited better fatigue performance com-
pared with the baseline standard second-generation DSC, failing
on average after 982,300 cycles and 571,276 cycles,respectively.
The test results demonstrate that the fatigue-resistant thread
form incorporated in the enhanced second-generation DSC de-
sign adequately compensated for any potential adverse effects
of the increased makeup torque and also improved the fatigue
performance when compared with the field-proven standard
second-generation DSC.

Field Deployment
The enhanced second-generation DSC has been in use for 18
months on two differentrigs. Initial deployment of this connec-
tion proceeded without issues, and compatibility with the exist-
ing standard second-generation DSC has been successful. The
operator was able to use all existing tools from the standard sec-
ond-generation DSC and maintain complete compatibility with
the new drillpipeconnection.
No failures of the enhanced second-generation DSC have
been observed in operations. Although the new connection is
in a higher stress state than its predecessor when made up, the
operator has seen no fatigue cracks during routine inspections,
consistent with the history of the standard second-generation
DSC. These field data support the laboratory-testing data in
terms of the enhanced connection not being more prone to fa-
tigue failure than the standard second-generation DSC.
Stabbing and making up the enhanced second-generation
DSC have proved to be identical to previous operations with the
standard second-generation DSC.JPT

JPT MAY 2016

Magnetic Referencing and Real-Time Survey
Processing Enable Tighter Spacing of Wells

W ellbore position is computed

from survey measurements
taken by a measurement-while-
Generally, one can see that the large
uncertainty of standard MWD can be re-
duced by 11 to 38% by use of IFR, while
drilling (MWD) tool in the bottomhole further applying multistation analysis
assembly (BHA). The MWD tool uses (MSA) can reduce the uncertainty by 50
accelerometers and magnetometers to 61%. As shown in Fig. 1, vertical
to measure the Earths gravitational uncertainty can also be reduced
and geomagnetic fields. Knowing the by advanced survey-correction
direction of these two fields and using methods. Bending of the BHA
them as a frame of reference enable brings the accelerometer
drillers to calculate inclination and out of alignment with
direction (azimuth) of the wellbore. the inclination of the Fig. 1A
Local high-resolution in-field wellbore trajectory.
of the EOU
referencing (IFR) models have been This effect can be corrected at a standard
produced for the Permian Basin that for by applying corrections for sag. deviation of
significantly improve the accuracy of 2.79 for 95%
MWD azimuth measurements. IFR confidence for the
tool codes MWD (green)
The objective of IFR is to use local-
and MWD+IFR1+SAG (red). The actual
Ellipse of Uncertainty (EOU) magnetic-field measurements to produce drilled wellbore trajectory is with 95%
Numerous error sources are associated an accurate 3D magnetic reference model confidencewithin the EOU of the
with MWD-survey measurements, and for the drilled volume. The most cost- selected surveying method.
each error source contributes in some effective method is to use aeromagnetic
form to the magnitude of uncertainty surveys, which have been used for more baseline for the reference date is supplied
that propagates along the computed well- than 50 years to map geology and tecton- as an IFR model together with an IFR cal-
bore trajectory. The Industry Steering ic features. Earlier IFR methods used fast culator to the drilling engineer. The base-
Committee for Wellbore Survey Accura- Fourier transforms or equivalent-source line can then be extrapolated to any de-
cy (ISCWSA) developed a framework for techniques on planar 2D grids. A recent sired drilling date using the main field
quantifying the magnitude of uncertain- analysis showed that these grid methods model embedded in the IFR calculator.
ty. The Operators Wellbore Survey Group can lead to significant errors in the decli-
(OWSG), an ISCWSA subcommittee, con- nation and dip reference values because MSA
tinued development on the original error they assume that the crustal magnetic MSA is a method for evaluating the qual-
model and published a set of instrument- anomalies are entirely contained within ity of MWD surveys and for correcting
performance models that enables the the grid. A superior approach is to tie the systematic bias and scale errors associ-
computation of EOU for specific survey- grid into the global crustal field inferred ated with the individual accelerometer
ing methods. This consolidated set is re- from satellite measurements and repre- and magnetometer sensors. MWD tools
ferred to as the OWSG set of tool codes. sent the solution in terms of global high- can measure magnetic-field strength and
Fig. 1 illustrates the difference between degree ellipsoidal harmonic functions. dip angle regardless of wellbore direc-
EOUs for standard MWD vs. advanced The IFR method used by the authors tion and inclination. This enables one to
corrections using MWD with IFR and first produces an accurate baseline mag- use total field and dip angle as quality-
corrections for sag (MWD+IFR1+SAG). netic field for a given reference date. This control parameters to test the accura-
cy of the instrument. When a local IFR
model is used, the accuracy of the mag-
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
netic reference values is very high. There-
of paper SPE 175539, Magnetic Referencing and Real-Time Survey Processing Enable fore, if the measured total field and dip
Tighter Spacing of Long-Reach Wells, by Stefan Maus, SPE, Magnetic Variation angle are compared with the reference
Services, and Jarod Shawn Deverse, SPE, Surcon, prepared for the 2015 SPE Liquids- total field and reference dip angle, then
Rich Basins ConferenceNorth America, Midland, Texas, USA, 23 September. The one can assume that any difference in
paper has not been peer reviewed. measurements is mostly because of sen-

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

86 JPT MAY 2016

sor errors and magnetic interference. particularly effective at identifying and
Comparing these error residuals across removing that type of error. Thus, the
multiple surveys will distinguish system- MWD+IFR1+MS tool code accounts for SI METRIC
atic error from gross, random, and exter- this reduction in interference by reducing CONVERSION FACTORS
nal errors. Once the systematic error is the magnitude of the corresponding axial The list below includes SImetric
identified for each sensor, the error may magnetic-interference errorcoefficient. conversion factors for common
engineering units.
be removed from the measurement in the
form of a survey correction. The combi- Conclusions acre 4.046 873 E+03 =m2
nation of IFR and MSA provides the high- Significant positional uncertainty is asso-
acre 4.046 873 E01 =ha
est level of lateral accuracy and quality ciated with wellbore trajectories comput-
acre-ft 1.233 489 E+03 =m3
control for magnetic MWD surveys. ed from standard MWD measurements.
ampere-hr 3.6* E+03 =C
The standard MWD error is modeled This uncertainty comes from numerous
using the MWD tool code. The error error sources inherent to MWD mea- 1.0* E01 =nm
model makes assumptions about the ex- surements, the largest of which are in- API 141.5/(131.5+API) =g/cm3
pected calibration of the instrument as accuracies in the geomagnetic reference atm 1.013 250* E+05 =Pa
described by the error coefficients for model and drillstring magnetic interfer- bar 1.0* E+05 =Pa
biases and scale factors of each sensor. ence. Using local IFR magnetic models bbl 1.589 873 E01 =m3
If MSA corrections are applied to MWD for computing true azimuth from mag- Btu 1.055 056 E+00=kJ
surveys in conjunction with using an IFR netic azimuth should be the first step to- Ci 3.7* E+10 =Bq
model, then the MWD+IFR1+MS tool ward improving the accuracy of MWD cp 1.0* E03 =Pa s
code can be used, which reduces the size surveys. IFR models use locally acquired cycles/sec 1.0* E+00=Hz
of the EOUs dramatically (see Fig. 1). aeromagnetic data that capture crustal
dyne 1.0* E02 =mN
This result is achieved because MSA ef- magnetic anomalies. Once an IFR model
eV 1.602 19 E19 =J
fectively decreases the magnitudes of the is available, applying MSA corrections
ft 3.048* E01 =m
error coefficients for the bias and scale to raw survey measurements can be very
errorsources. effective at identifying and correcting ft2 9.290 304* E02 =m2
Magnetic drillstring interference is the systematic errors attributed to drill- ft3 2.831 685 E02 =m3
greatest contributor to MWD azimuth string magnetic interference and poorly F (F32)/1.8 =C
error. The steel in drillpipe, drill collars, calibrated MWD instruments. This es- F (F+459.67)/1.8 =K
and mud motors is often magnetized by tablishes a foundation for higher-level gal (U.S. liq) 3.785 412 E03 =m3
magnetic particle inspection and by me- quality control of survey data because hp 7.460 43 E01 =kW
chanical stress in the presence of a mag- the largest sources of MWD error are hp-hr 2.684 520 E+00=MJ
netic field, such as sliding through cas- effectivelyreduced. in. 2.54* E+00=cm
ing. Magnetized BHA components will It is ideal to place wells as closely as in.2 6.451 6* E+00=cm2
disturb the natural magnetic field and possible to the planned well paths be-
in.3 1.638 706 E+01 =cm3
cause inaccurate measurements by the cause the spacing is often determined by
kip 4.448 222 E+03 =N
MWD tool. The effect of this magnetic in- reservoir models that will maximize re-
knot 5.144 444 E01 =m/s
terference can be reduced by mounting covery. Because a large amount of uncer-
the MWD tools inside nonmagnetized tainty can exist in wellbore positioning, ksi 6.894 757 E+03 =kPa
drill collars. However, this will not com- it is reasonable to assume that well spac- kW-hr 3.6* E+06 =J
pletely remove the magnetic interference ing is not always as consistent or accurate lbf 4.448 222 E+00=N
at the tool. The reduction in magnetic in- as engineers and geologists may believe. lbm 4.535 924 E01 =kg
terference is dependent on the length of This creates the risk that wellbores not mL 1.0* E+00=cm3
the nonmagnetic spacing between the placed where they were planned could mho 1.0* E+00=S
MWD sensors and the magnetized com- potentially leave unproduced hydrocar- mile 1.609 344* E+00=km
ponents as well as on the pole strength bons in the reservoir. Inaccurately placed oz (U.S. fl) 2.957 353 E+01 =cm3
of the individual BHA components. It is wellbores lead to unclaimed volume and psi 6.894 757 E+00=kPa
challenging to eliminate magnetic drill- overlap zones. Uncertainty in the well-
psi2 4.753 8 E+01 =kPa2
string interference effectively because it bore position also makes it difficult to
sq mile 2.589 988 E+00=km2
is ideal to place the MWD tool as close to understand production characteristics
stokes 1.0* E04 =m2/s
the drill bit as possible; it is also difficult when the well position is not known to
to estimate the pole strength of the BHA a high degree of confidence. Implement- ton 9.071 847 E01 =Mg
components. As a result, the MWD tool ing IFR and MSA as a standard survey- ton (metric) 1.0* E+00=Mg
code assumes that a certain magnitude of ing practice offers multiple benefits, in- tonf 8.896 444 E+03 =N
drillstring interference is present when cluding reduced collision risk, greater tonne 1.0* E+00=Mg
computing the EOUs. Because magnetic reservoir recovery through accurate well
interference caused by the drillstring is placement, and improved quality control *Conversion factor is exact.

consistent from survey to survey, MSA is of MWD surveys. JPT

JPT MAY 2016 87


Cementing/Zonal Isolation
Gunnar DeBruijn, SPE, Standards and Knowledge Development Manager, Schlumberger

Is zonal isolation provided by cement? In the last several years, us to double-check our practices, con-
Cementing is central to the discus- tinue effective techniques, and devel-
sion of zonal isolation and well integri- regulations have been op technology where improvements
ty because cement typically provides at updated and rewritten areneeded.
least one barrier in a well and is a com- Technology is also focused on improv-
ponent of the barrier envelope or barrier worldwide. In every ing verification of cement placement and
system during well construction and the jurisdiction, we can point barrier achievement. Cement evaluation,
operational phases of the well. Cement including wellsite observations during
to a regulation or industry
parameters are typically included in cement placement, pressure tests, and
regulations and included as part of the standard that affects logging techniques, are part of the well-
permanent-abandonment requirements drilling and cementing integrity equation. These enhanced
for oil and gas wells. evaluation methods provide confidence
As an industry, installing and maintain- operations. This regulatory that zonal isolation and well integrity
ing the cement barrier and well integrity attention compels us areachieved.
are part of our social license to operate. As an industry and as SPE profession-
Since the first use of cement in oil wells in
to double-check our als, we work to provide energy from
1906, we as an industry have been proud practices, continue wells that use cement as a key compo-
that we have established and continuous- effective techniques, and nent in providing zonal isolation and
ly improved cementingpractices. well integrity. We comply with regula-
There is a long history of industry develop technology where tions, industry standards, and indus-
standards for cementing, with the Amer- improvements are needed. try best practices and continually
ican Petroleum Institute establishing update technology that instills confi-
the first cementing standard in 1948. dence in zonal isolation and well integ-
SPE has also included cementing ses- In the last several years, regulations rity for our industry, stakeholders,
sions at technical conferences for the have been updated and rewritten world- and society. JPT
last half-century. A quick search on the wide. In every jurisdiction, we can point
word cement in the SPE OnePetro to a regulation or industry standard that
database yields 21,133 results, dating affects drilling and cementing opera- Recommended additional reading
back to 1945. tions. This regulatory attention compels at OnePetro:
SPE 172937 Achieving Cementing
Gunnar DeBruijn, SPE, is standards and knowledge develop- Improvement in Horizontal Tight-Gasfield
ment manager for Schlumberger, well integrity (cementing). He Development byPungki Ariyanto, BP, et al.
holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University SPE/IADC 167922 Intermixing of
of Alberta and has 26 years of experience working in the oil Cementing Fluids: Understanding Mud
industry, mostly in cementing. DeBruijn has worked in North Displacement and Cement Placement
America and in deep water around the world supporting cement- byZhongming Chen, Baker Hughes, et al.
ing and well-integrity initiatives. His current focus is on training SPE 175237 A Decade of Self-Sealing-
and competency development for the worldwide cementing Cement Technology Application To
population. DeBruijn serves on the JPT Editorial Committee. He can be reached at Ensure Long-Term Well Integrity byArash Shadravan, ReservoirFocus, et al.

88 JPT MAY 2016

New Approach Tests Cement-Sheath
Integrity During Thermal Cycling

W ell cement is placed into the

annulus between casing and
formation to provide structural support
pressure port

and zonal isolation throughout the well Cement-pouring

life cycle. Nevertheless, operators in the ports and other Rubber
measurements sleeve
North Sea have been concerned about the
ability of the cement sheath to maintain Rock
sealing integrity because of the increasing
number of reported failures in mature Confining-
wells. A new laboratory setup is designed pressure
port Annulus
to allow visualization of the development (cement)
of possible leak paths throughout the
cement sheath when exposed to pressure-
Cell sleeve
and temperature-related varying loads. Casing

Experimental Setup Copper-rod base

Copper rod
The new laboratory setup presented in
Oil drain
this work allows pressurization while
maintaining the capability to perform a Fig. 1Cement thermal-cycling cell.
detailed study of the creation and prop-
agation of cement-sheath failures upon allowable temperature range is set The pressurized cell has the potential
thermal cyclic loads. between 1C and 150C. to accommodate other types of measure-
The cell is shown in Fig. 1. All components of the cell can be ments and to test diverse wellbore con-
The applied formation materials reused for several test samples. ditions. For instance, casing eccentric-
were Saltwash North sandstone and ity and mud filter cake may be included
Mancosshale. In particular, the X-ray transparency is in the tests. Moreover, the annular space
Some of the current features of the cell important because it allows for visualiza- between the rock and the surrounding
are specified as follows: tion of leak paths without the need to re- sleeve provides room for the installation
Cell is X-ray transparent. lease pressure from the cell, or remove of additional measurement tools during
Temperature is controlled (from the internal test sample for a computed- thermal loading, such as acoustic emis-
inside the casing) during cement tomography (CT) scan, or perform the tra- sion sensors and thermocouples.
setting and cyclic tests. ditional invasive method of cutting the test
There is independent control of sample cross section. This was achieved Testing Protocol
pressure inside casing on cement by constructing the cell from aluminum, and Sample Preparation
and confining pressure (around the which has suitable radiolucent character- The aim of the current work was to intro-
rock) during cement setting and istics and allows the radiant energy to duce the testing protocol of the new pres-
cyclic tests. pass toward the test sample with little at- surized cell and compare the thermal-
Maximum pressure is set at tenuation. The material also provides a cycling resistance of two well sections,
approximately 35 bar, while the lightweight cell to facilitate handling. Saltwash North sandstone and Mancos
shale. The testing procedure for each
sample is presented here:
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
1.At ambient pressure, the casing,
of paper SPE 173871, Cement-Sheath Integrity During Thermal Cycling: A Novel
rock, and cell components are
Approach for Experimental Tests of Cement Systems, by J. De Andrade, SPE, exposed to 66C (cement-curing
and S. Sangesland, SPE, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and temperature).
J.Todorovic, SPE, and T. Vrlstad, SPE, SINTEF Petroleum Research, prepared for 2. Typically after 1 hours of heating
the 2015 SPE Bergen One Day Seminar, Bergen, Norway, 22 April. The paper has not the cell, cement is poured by
been peerreviewed. gravity into the annulus through

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

JPT MAY 2016 89

ports thatare closed immediately taken to room temperature in order to The sample cured at ambient pressure
afterward. create well-known and uniform tempera- led to a critical situation of poor cement/
3. Pressure around the rock and on the ture distributions for CT scanning. casing bonding, with fairly clean microan-
cement is increased to 35 bar. nuli that disable the initial cement-sheath
4. Pressure and temperature are Results integrity of this sample. Another interest-
maintained for 5 days to cure the Both sandstone and shale rock samples ing observation is that the condition of poor
cement. were subjected to 10 thermal cycles. Each cement/casing bonding appears to benefit
5. The cell is cooled to ambient sample was investigated by CT at its ini- the adhesion to the formation. Therefore,
temperature (approximately 16C) tial condition and after the first and 10th the presence of hydrostatic pressure dur-
while pressure is kept at 35 bar. thermal cycles. Such a comparison can ing the curing process is recommended to
6. The cell is disconnected from the reveal which sample defects arise during achieve a cement-sheath condition similar
hydraulic system and then placed on thermal cycling and which were initially to that expected from a wellbore condi-
a CT scanner for visualization of the introduced by the cementing procedure. tion, with effective cement-placement de-
cement-sheath defects. Bonding percentage is calculated by sign and casing centralization.
7. The cell is coupled again with the finding the surface of direct casing/
laboratory setup to prepare for cement and cement/formation contact Cement-Failure Mechanisms Upon
subsequent thermal cycles. for each sample. The area of this sur- Thermal Cycling. It should be noted that
8. Thermal-cycle profile and number face is further divided by the total avail- most of the failures upon thermal cy-
of repetitions are programmed and able bonding area. This means that 100% cling found from both pressurized sam-
executed. bonding corresponds to the surfaces ples have been initiated at and propagat-
9. The cell is CT scanned as many being in direct contact everywhere, while ed from initial defects within the cement
times as required following Steps 4 0% bonding means that there is no direct sheath. Failures propagate more rapidly
through 6. contact between the surfaces. The cracks/ in the cross section than in the longitu-
voids percentage is defined as the ratio of dinal direction, with cracking being the
Thermal-Cycling Details their volumes to the total annulus volume. most prevalent failure mode found along
Heat is transferred by conduction from By comparing the leak-path volumes the cement sheath. The main origin of
a thermal plate into the copper rod. The for cracks and the bonding percentag- cracking seems to be shear (compres-
heat is nearly radially transferred to the es, it is clear that crack propagation is sive) failures for both samples. A few ten-
pipe/cement/rock sample through a thin the most significant failure mode when sile radial cracks were found in cement
oil layer. thermal-cycling loads are applied. Casing/ sheaths of samples and seem to be gener-
In this study, temperature has not cement debonding and cement/formation ated from initial voids along the casing.
been experimentally monitored at the ce- debonding are less significant, although Debonding between cement and casing
ment sheath. However, numerical simula- more severe for the sandstone sample. has not been significant for any sample.
tions of transient heat transfer have been For the thermal loads applied in the ex- Furthermore, debonding between ce-
performed to estimate the temperature periments, the increment in debonding ment and formation appears to be related
changes through the sample. 3D finite- has been the result of linking between ad- to propagation of shear failures toward
element simulations were performed with jacent debonded areas and cracks/voids the rock, as well as to links between ini-
commercial software. In the calculations, that propagate tangentially from the cas- tial voids along this interface that formed
heat transfer from the thermal platform to ing toward the rock. Several of these fail- larger and continuous debonded areas.
the copper rod and then toward the sam- ures were found along the cement sheath, These interpretations are the result of
ple and all cell components has been con- although with greater amount in the sand- the inspection of 3D reconstructions.
sidered. Heat transfer was estimated as a stone sample. For both samples, only a Debonding between cement and for-
conduction process among all the constit- few tensile radial cracks were seen to mation and cracking increase upon ther-
uents of the test, including the oil film and propagate from the casing toward the mal cycling. The first thermal load de-
nitrogen gas, in order to reduce the com- rock. Most of the failures were found to livered the largest detrimental effect to
plexity of the transient model. Heat con- initiate at and propagate from locations the cement sheath, whereas the effect of
vection from the system to the surround- where voids existed initially. the subsequent 10 thermal cycles spread
ing environment was also considered. these failures with a lower but still signif-
Discussion icant rate. In addition, the cement-sheath
Monitoring by CT Effect of Hydrostatic Pressure on damage appears to be more severe for the
In order to obtain detailed 3D informa- Cement-Job Quality. Cement/casing and sandstone sample. Even though the ce-
tion on the size, geometry, and location of cement/rock bonding has been enhanced ment sheaths obtained in the shale and
the cracks and debonded volumes in the especially by hydrostatic pressure. The sandstone samples do not correspond
cement sheath, CT scanning is applied for presence of pressure seems to aid in ac- entirely in initial status, the relatively
initial and post-cycling sample analysis. commodating cement volumetric shrink- larger increment of cracks in the sand-
To investigate the effect of a single age, typically within 2.5 to 3% for Portland stone suggests that the sandstone is more
thermal cycle or consecutive cycles on G cement, while maintaining the adhesion vulnerable to failure propagation upon
cement-sheath failures, the samples are of cement/casing and cement/formation. thermal cycling. JPT

90 JPT MAY 2016

Wellbarrier IIlustration Tool
Delivering high quality well barrier illustrations

Use our software solution to document the robustness of the

well design and let your peer confirm your well barriers by
using the verification function.

Make sure there is a common understanding by providing high

quality well barrier envelope illustrations. Provide a clear
description of the well barrier element verification and monitoring.

Collect your well barrier information in one shareable solution

that is easy to use and access. Be prepared make well
barrier illustrations throughout the lifecycle of all types of wells.
An Integrated Approach to Solving Sustained
Casing Pressure in the Cana-Woodford Shale

M any wells in the Cana-Woodford

shale suffer from chronic
sustained casing pressure (SCP) because
This paper presents the methodolo-
gy and specific considerations that were
taken into account to integrate all known
Stage-to-stage isolation provided from
cement around the entirety of the casing
is important to ensuring virgin-reservoir
of poor cement-sheath bonding. Using information and causal learnings from stimulation and preventing communi-
simulation software, centralization of logging to design a system to provide cation between stages with the now sig-
the production casing was evaluated, zonal isolation in the challenging Cana- nificantly lower-stress environment. A
and an optimized frictional pressure Woodford shale. reduction in drag force can also be seen
hierarchy was then designed. The by running centralizers. Centralizers can
engineered placement method ensured Field and Design Evaluation keep the casing off formation, thus re-
complete cement coverage around the Borehole Geometry. Drilling practices ducing the points of contact.
casing through an optimized frictional can have a significant effect on cement- The operator ran an aggressive casing-
pressure hierarchy. This multilayered placement results. Several factors must centralization schedule on these wells.
approach using mechanically optimized be examined when evaluating a wellbore The typical schedule was to run three
slurries with different mechanisms of (e.g., washouts, hole size, dogleg severity, centralizers per two joints of casing in the
action, including self-healing, provided a azimuthal gradients, curve build rates). lateral to a few hundred feet above kick-
comprehensive cementing portfolio that All these factors can affect the ability to off point (KOP). From KOP to 3,000 ft
contained layers of contingency. remove cuttings properly, to place cen- above planned top of cement, one cen-
tralizers effectively, and to remove mud tralizer per joint of casing was run.
Introduction efficiently. The operator placed empha-
One of the major operators in the Cana- sis on controlling these factors to help Mud Properties. Drilling mud is a key
Woodford field experienced poor bond improve the likelihood of success. An oil- consideration for a successful cement
logs and SCP both before and after stim- based mud (OBM) was used throughout job. Typical horizontal-drilling muds
ulation, with the greatest number of is- the openhole section to maintain well- have high yield points to ensure cut-
sues appearing after stimulation. SCP can bore stability in the shale formation. tings removal and hole cleaning. A thick
be defined as the presence of pressure in mud with high yield is a requirement
the annulus of nonstructural strings. The Centralizer Program. The use of cen- before cementing, but this high-yield
presence of SCP is an indication of a path tralizers in horizontal wells is not a com- mud can be detrimental to mud remov-
of flow of hydrocarbons to the surface. mon practice because of a perception al during cementing and can obstruct
SCP is typically caused by poorly placed that they might impede the ability of cas- cement placement. Proper conditioning
cement or by not taking into account all ing to reach the bottom. With improve- of a mud before a cement job is critical,
factors in a well, such as stimulation con- ments in casing hardware technology although lowering the yield point too
ditions. The cement is placed in the annu- and modeling software, effective cen- much can make the mud unstable.
lus for many reasons, but one of the more tralization can be achieved in horizontal
significant is to provide zonal isolation. wells. Without proper casing centraliza- Cementing Evaluation. Cement place-
The zonal isolation is needed for stage- tion, the casing will lie on the low side of ment was evaluated with a wireline tool
to-stage isolation in fracturing; isolation the hole. This contact with the wellbore to evaluate the cement bond. Several
of the fracture treatment from shallow- will make mud removal impossible, and evaluation approaches exist in the in-
er formations, which are typically in a placement of cement around the pipe dustry. A high-resolution logging tool
lower-stress environment; and for pre- will not be achieved. This can also have that can help differentiate channels, sol-
vention of hydrocarbon flow to surface. an effect on a stimulation treatment. ids, liquids, and gas should be used be-
cause these high-resolution images can
provide causal information on failure
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
mechanisms to provide feedback into
of paper SPE 174525, Bridging the Gap: An Integrated Approach to Solving Sustained the design to determine what to change
Casing Pressure in the Cana-Woodford Shale, by G. Landry, R.D. Welty, SPE, on future slurries. It is recommended to
M.Thomas, M.L. Vaughan, and D. Tatum, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2015 SPE use an ultrasonic-based logging tool that
Well Integrity Symposium, Galveston, Texas, USA, 23 June. The paper has not been can measure acoustic impedance (AI) as
peer reviewed. a minimum. Given the nature of the tight

For a limited time, the complete paper is free to SPE members at

92 JPT MAY 2016

pore and fracture gradients, the mud, lation software. Parameters such as treat- be developed faster and more
spacer, mud-recovery fluid (MRF), and ment pressures vs. time, temperature economically than did trial-and-
slurries can have very similar AI values. changes vs. time, Youngs modulus of for- error methods.
To distinguish between the fluids and mation and cement, Poissons ratio, and Aggressive centralization schedules
low-impedance slurries better, having a thermal conductivity must be gathered can be used in horizontal wells
log that also measures flexural attenu- for evaluation in a stress-analysis simu- effectively, and centralization can
ation (FA) is key when there are overly- lation. The software will use these pa- greatly improve the ability to place
ing or very similar AI values of different rameters to simulate a fracture stage and critical cement barriers strategically.
fluids and cements in the annulus. Hav- evaluate the cement-sheath integrity in Use of an ultrasonic imaging tool
ing independent high-resolution maps regard to compressional/tractional fail- with FA can allow for the analysis
of both AI and FA provides increased as- ures and the formation of a microannlus. of third interface echoes to evaluate
surance in barrier evaluation, especially A simulation was performed on a conven- the actual standoff achieved.
in lightweight or contaminated cements. tional slurry. The results showed that the Rheological hierarchy must be
cement sheath would fail in compression evaluated on a per-well basis
Proposed Solution and traction and form a microannulus. and is critical when operating
Log Evaluation of Mud Removal. All This correlated to what has been seen on in challenging placement
evaluations showed poor mud removal. resulting SCP. A cement design that could environments.
Several factors must be taken into ac- account for the stimulation treatment Cement-slurry designs must take
count when evaluating the ability to re- had to be proposed. into account the stress that cement
move mud; centralization, density of the slurry will see during stimulation
fluids, rheological properties of the fluid, Proposed Design. The objectives of this and during the life of the well.
and the spacer composition are all con- design were to account for OBM recov- Mechanically enhanced slurries and
tributing factors. Through simulations, ery and mud removal, to produce a good self-healing cement slurries are a
the centralization was determined to be bond log, and to prevent pre- and post- vital solution to SCP.
optimized as much as possible. The pore completion SCP. An MRF was proposed to At the time of the writing of this
and fracture gradients dictated that the achieve effective OBM recovery. The MRF paper, the engineered approach
optimum fluid-density hierarchy could is a high-solid-content fluid that does not had achieved a 95% success rate
not be achieved. Density is not a major have significant cementitious content. at eliminating SCP in the Cana-
concern in the horizontal section in re- This would be followed by a self-healing Woodford over the past 2 years. JPT
gard to the ability of one fluid to displace cement slurry placed in the casing-to-
another, but, as the fluid transitions from casing section. The self-healing cement
a horizontal orientation to a vertical ori- cap was in place to close the fractures that
entation, the density hierarchy becomes may occur during a stimulation treat- Changing Your
a major contributor to channeling and ment in the presence of hydrocarbons.
poor mud removal. The self-healing cement cap was followed Address?
Density hierarchy could not be im- by a mechanically enhanced slurry that
proved because it is governed by the ge- would better address the stresses that are Let SPE know.
ology of the field. This also dictates the seen during fracturing treatments and +1.972.952.9393
rates that could be achieved because the during the life of the well.
equivalent circulating density must be
managed to prevent losses. The only two Conclusion
factors left that could be altered were the The process and methodologies dis-
rheological properties of the mud, spac- cussed in this paper were shown to be
Update Your
ers, and slurries and the spacer compo- successful at preventing SCP before and Member Profile
sition. When designing a solution, the after stimulation in the Cana-Woodford
focus of the design in regard to mud re- shale. The following attributes have re-
moval will be on rheological properties sulted in the success of this project: members/update
and spacer composition. Evaluation of cement with high-
resolution tools provided key
Post-Fracturing SCP. Regardless of insights into the root causes of the
whether SCP is seen before fracturing, SCP and drove engineered solutions
it was almost always seen after fractur- to the issues. SPE Benefits
ing. A solution would have to take into The engineered approach using
account how the well will be stimulated. modeling tools to predict cement Discover the possibilities.
The forces that a typical Cana-Woodford performance under expected
stimulation puts on the cement sheath conditions against the observed
are significant, and an analysis of these failure mechanisms on past wells
forces must be completed by use of simu- allowed an effective solution to

JPT MAY 2016 93

Design Procedure for Cementing
Intercalated Salt Zones

W ells often require being drilled

through and cemented across
salt formations. In many parts of the
relationship with data from experimen-
tal creep tests.
The type of failure of cement sheath de-
world, salt sections consist of multiple pends on the type of loads exerted on it.
salt types. This analysis shows that For example, compression loads are like-
intercalated salts subject cement sheaths ly to result in shear failure. Similarly, ex-
to a series of tensile and compressive tensional loads are likely to result in ten-
loads whose magnitude depends sile failure. In a typical well-construction
on the size and relative position of process, the in-situ stresses attributed to
different salts. The salt/salt-interface overburden are greater than the hydro-
effects dominate the general tenet of static pressure offered by wellbore fluids,
increasing creep rate with increasing such as drilling mud, cement, and com-
depth. This work demonstrates pletion fluid. Hence, the deviatoric stress
cement design that includes evaluating on salt formations will lead to wellbore
cement-sheath mechanical integrity in closure. The cement sheath thus will ex-
intercalatedsalts. perience compression loads caused by
creeping salts. However, the compression Fig. 1(Left) An axisymmetric view of
Introduction load is not uniform along the axial direc- a virgin open hole consisting of halite
Drilling and cementing challenges as- tion. This is because the creep rate of salt (red), tachyhydrite (yellow), presalt,
sociated with salt formations are well- varies with depth. The variation is severe and post-salt (green) formations.
(Right) The deformed state of this
known. One of the more significant of when multiple salts with different creep wellbore after a finite exposure time
these is the plastic deformation of salt rates are intercalated. Fig.1 shows an ex- to a predetermined mud weight.
attributed to the existence of deviator- ample analysis of openhole closing in the
ic (shear) stress. This deformation is presence of intercalated salts. In such shore Brazil. Analysis is then used to
known as creep. scenarios, the salt/salt-intercalation junc- compare the response of two cement sys-
To determine the role of creep in the tions exert extensional loads on the ce- tems. A validated creep model is used to
mechanical integrity of a cement sheath, ment sheath. The closure is not to scale, strengthen the analysis predictions.
it is necessary to analyze the thermo- and the displacements are magnified for a
structural model of the well-construction better view. Thus, in the presence of inter- Creep-Model Details. There are differ-
process using the creep constitutive rela- calated salt formations, the possibility of ent forms of creep models covering the
tionship. The outcome of the analysis is tensile failure of a cement sheath should three types of creep regimesprima-
the stresses experienced by the cement be investigated in addition to shear fail- ry creep, secondary creep, and tertiary
sheath. It is possible to quantify the risk ure. Evaluating for both shear and tensile creep. This paper uses a two-mechanism
posed by salt creep and other operation- failure requires analyzing a longitudinal creep law to describe the secondary-
al loads to the cement-sheath integrity wellbore model. creep process because this is the domi-
by comparing these stresses to the fail- nant creep regime for downhole applica-
ure properties of the cement. To provide Details tions. Please see the complete paper for a
an accurate quantification of the risk, it is The design procedure is explained by presentation of the creep equation.
necessary to verify the creep constitutive use of a typical example well from off-
Design Procedure. There are two parts
to building a design procedure. The first
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights
is building a geometric representation of
of paper OTC 26310, Design Procedure for Cementing Intercalated Salt Zones,
the pertinent part of the wellbore model
by S.R.K. Jandhyala, SPE, and K. Ravi, SPE, Halliburton, and J. Anjos, Petrobras, along with the correct creep character-
prepared for the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, istics of the formations selected. The
2729October. The paper has not been peer reviewed. second is building the analysis proce-
dure that reflects the loads exerted and
Copyright 2015 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission. theirsequence.

The complete paper is available for purchase at OnePetro:

94 JPT MAY 2016

Building Geometric Model. The well capacity. It is a measure of the residual
being analyzed had small sections of capacity of the cement sheath available SPE SERVICE DIRECTORY
tachyhydrite and anhydrite intercalated for use, with a linear-elastic-behavior as-
SPE Online
with long sections of halite. The entire salt sumption. A remaining capacity of 100%
Awards Program
section is approximately 2020 m thick. corresponds to no variation compared Cynthia Thompson,
Analyzing the entire salt zone is compu- with the initial situation (i.e., no loading); Phone: 1.972.952.9370

tationally prohibitive. So, a critical section 0% corresponds to the onset of non- Book Sales
Phone: 1.800.456.6863 or 1.972.952.9393
of interest that forms the geometric model linear behavior. Both shear and tensile
should be identified. The procedure to modes of response should be compared Continuing Education/Training Courses
identify the geometric model is as follows: because of the axial variation of creep Chiwila Mumba-Black,
Phone: 1.972.952.1114
Identify the tops of each formation. rate. Because of the high resilience of Ce- Distinguished Lecturer Program
Determine the average temperature ment System 1, the remaining capacity is Cindy Hartley,
Phone: 1.972.952.9304
and in-situ stresses for each significantly higher than that of Cement
Dues, Membership Information, Address Changes,
formation. System 2 at most sections. Copyright Permission
Calculate the thermal averaged It can be observed that salt/salt- Phone: 1.800.456.6863 or 1.972.952.9393
creep rate from the temperature- intercalation junctions play a critical role
eMentoring Program
dependent creep properties and by subjecting the cement sheath to a Sandy Wilson,
in-situ stresses. combination of shear and tensile stress- Phone: 1.972.952.9394
Identify the contiguous layers es. For example, tachyhydrite is the fast- Insurance Program
Sandy Wilson,
exhibiting the fastest creep rate. This est-creeping salt. Therefore, that section Phone: 1.972.952.9394
forms the salt section of interest. of cement sheath adjacent to tachyhy- JPT/SPE Website Advertising Sales
To this salt section, add a small drite layers will be pushed radially in- Craig Moritz,
Phone: 1.713.457.6888
formation above and below to ward more than other sections. This will
represent the overburden and result in the cement sheath at the tachy- John Donnelly,
bottom support, respectively. This hydrite/nontachyhydrite junction being Phone: 1.713.457.6816
Peer Review
forms the geometric model. subjected to tension. As a result, the ten- Stacie Hughes,
Building Analysis Procedure. The sile remaining capacity will reduce. Phone: 1.972.952.9343
analysis procedure requires the sequence Because developing a design proce- Professional Development Services
Tom Whipple,
and duration of each stage during well dure is the central objective of this work, Phone: 1.972.952.9452
construction. The final stress state from the analysis is performed and the results Section Service
a stage forms the initial stress state for are compared for an optimum model Phone: 1.972.952.9451
the following stage. The typical construc- size. It can be interesting to examine
SPE Website
tion process involves the following stages the parametric effects of different model John Donnelly,
in the order that they are defined: drill- sizes and salt-layering patterns. Regard- Phone: 1.713.457.6816

ing, running casing, cementing, waiting less of model size, the general behavior Subscriptions
Phone: 1.800.456.6863 or 1.972.952.9393
on cement, pressure testing, and produc- will not change and Cement 1 will per-
tion. In each of these stages, the thermal form better than Cement 2.
Americas Office
and structural loads experienced by the 222 Palisades Creek Dr., Richardson, TX 75080-2040 USA
formation, the cement sheath, and the Summary Tel: +1.972.952.9393 Fax: +1.972.952.9435
casing will change. Because of the lon- The important aspects of the design pro- Asia Pacific Office
gitudinal nature of the wellbore model, cedure and the comparison exercise are Level 35, The Gardens South Tower Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
there is an axial variation of stress and as follows: Tel: +60.3.2182.3000 Fax: +60.3.2182.3030
wellbore pressure. A systematic design procedure
Canada Office
wasestablished to estimate the Eau Claire Place II, Suite 900521 3rd Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3T3
Cement-Systems Details. Tested me- cement-sheath mechanical integrity Tel: +1.403.930.5454 Fax: +1.403.930.5470
chanical properties of two cement sys- in the presence of intercalated Europe, Russia, Caspian, and
tems are compared. The first system, Ce- creeping salts. Sub-Saharan Africa Office
1st Floor, Threeways House, 40/44 Clipstone Street, London W1W
ment System 1, is a salt-saturated slurry, Obtaining correct salt-creep 5DW UK
Tel: +44.20.7299.3300 Fax: +44.20.7299.3309
the pumpability of which is not affected properties and accounting for Email:
by the contamination of complex salts, overburden effects when using a Houston Office
10777 Westheimer Rd., Suite 1075, Houston, TX 77042-3455 USA
such as tachyhydrite. The second sys- realistic model size are two critical Tel: +1.713.779.9595 Fax: +1.713.779.4216
tem, Cement System 2, is a freshwater- aspects for accurate predictions. Email:
Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia Office
based slurry used as a reference. On the basis of the results of a Office 3101/02, 31st Floor, Fortune Tower, JLT, P.O. Box 215959,
finite-element model, elastic cement Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971.4.457.5800 Fax: +971.4.457.3164
Results systems perform relatively better Email:
A comparison of the performance of the than conventional cement systems Moscow Office
Perynovsky Per., 3 Bld. 2, Moscow, Russia, 127055
two cement systems analyzed for the well in the presence of both single and Tel: +7.495.268.04.54
conditions is made in terms of remaining intercalated creeping salts. JPT

JPT MAY 2016 95


ROBERT J. BREWER, SPE, has been ap- Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and European Associa-
pointed president of Cepstrum Geophysi- tion of Geoscientists and Engineers.
cal, based in Houston. He is responsible for
3D data processing and overall operations SEGUN OMIDELE, SPE, has been appoint-
functions, focusing on sales management ed chief executive officer at Erin Energy
and business development. Brewer was Corp. He will assume the role in May after
previously region business development the companys annual meeting of share-
manager for Baker Hughes. He has experience in land and ma- holders. He was previously its chief operat-
rine surface and borehole seismic data acquisition, process- ing officer (COO). Omidele joined the com-
ing, and interpretation, and has played lead roles in projects pany in 2011 as senior vice president for
in the US Lower 48 states, Canada, and Mexico. Brewer holds business development and new ventures. From 2008 to 2011,
a BA degree in geology from Bowling Green State University. he was senior vice president of exploration and production at
He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Allied Energy Corp. Before that, he held senior technical and
Geologists, Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts, management positions with Shell companies in Nigeria, UK,
and the US for more than 28 years. Omidele holds a masters
degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Hous-
ton and is a graduate of Harvard Universitys advanced
Member Deaths managementprogram.
Robert C. Berger, Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
Cy A. Schaadt, Berne, Indiana, USA ROBERT TERRELL, SPE, has been appointed regional man-
Thomas E. Williams, Denton, Texas, USA ager at Aquatic Engineering and Construction and will focus
Nelson Ed Williams, Surprise, Arizona, USA on growing the companys business in the Americas. He has

In Memoriam
EDGAR RANGEL-GERMAN, SPE, com- Rangel-German made significant contributions to the suc-
missioner of Mexicos regulatory agency cess of the reform. His term with CNH began in 2009, with
National Hydrocarbons Commission his appointment as one of the five founding commission-
(CNH) and one of the key members be- ers of the agency by Mexicos president at the time, Felipe
hind the implementation of Mexicos re- Caldern. Before the CNH appointments, he held other ex-
cent energy reform for hydrocarbons, ecutive roles in Mexican government. He was chief technical
died 23 March. He was 42. adviser to the undersecretary of hydrocarbons at the secre-
Rangel-German was a thought leader in Mexicos energy tary of energy, SENER, where one of his early assignments
reform, which brought about constitutional changes in was to write the first charter for CNH in 2005. He also held
2013 to open the countrys oil and gas market to private in- the role of general director for hydrocarbon, electricity, and
vestments and technical expertise to increase production. water project evaluation at the secretary offinance.
He was appointed CNH commissioner for a second term in A member of SPE since his student days, Rangel-German
2013 by Mexico President Enrique Pea Nieto, when consti- was the president of the SPE Stanford University student
tutional changes charged CNH with regulating, overseeing, chapter. He continued to be an active volunteer and served
and evaluating all hydrocarbons exploration and produc- on several SPE committees, including the 2016 SPE Mexico
tion activities in Mexico. Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability Symposium;
CNH oversees the tenders the country is offering under 2014 and 2016 SPE Latin America Heavy and Extra Heavy Oil
the reform. On the success of the second tender in Round Conferences; 2014 SPE Applying the Best Technologies in
One in September last year, he commented in a JPT article, Extremely Sensitive Environments Workshop; and 2013 SPE
We believe that our mandate of obtaining the best con- EORTechnical and Managerial Framework for Engineer-
ditions for the Mexican state was achieved. neither the ing a Successful Implementation Workshop. He was also
current oil prices nor the minimum value established by the author of several SPE technical papers on topics such as
the minister of finance mattered in the second auction. It heavy oil reservoir thermal simulation and economic evalua-
seems to me that materiality ruled the tender. The third tion, production forecasting for underdeveloped fields, and
auction last December was even more successful with all temperature-induced sandconsolidation.
25 onshore blocks offered being awarded. Rangel-German held a bachelors degree from the Uni-
With technical expertise in petroleum engineering and versity of Mexico, and masters and PhD degrees from
experience from Mexicos finance and energy ministries, Stanford University, all in petroleum engineering.

96 JPT MAY 2016

more than 30 years of experience in the onshore and offshore
oil and gas industry, with a focus on subsea operations. He has
In Memoriam experience working in West Africa, UK, Brazil, Canada, and
HUBERT (HUGH) L. ELKINS, an industry pioneer in the US, holding business development, sales, and operational
offshore drilling equipment and technologies, died management positions. Terrell holds a degree in international
18March 2016. He was 81. management from Louisiana Tech University.
Elkins is recognized as a subsea innovator and con-
tributed more than 53 years of professional service, VAN WHITFIELD, SPE, COO and execu-
focusing his work on building safe, innovative tech- tive vice president of Cobalt International
nologies. The 6-ft radius technology that he devel- Energy will resign from his position in June
oped for subsea wellhead guide bases and blowout and will continue as a special adviser to the
preventer (BOP) stack guide frames improved deep- company for 6 months. Whitfield has 41
water operations safety and became an industry years of experience leading oil and gas pro-
standard. He held multiple patents on BOPs, control
duction operations and marketing activi-
systems, wellbore pressure controls, and directional
ties globally. He joined Cobalt in 2006 as executive vice presi-
drilling technology.
dent of operations and development and was promoted to
Elkins joined Hydril in 1973 and served in a number
COO in 2011. Before joining Cobalt, he held several executive
of executive positions for 2 decades. He retired as di-
rector of business development from National Oilwell positions in other companies, including senior vice president,
Varco (NOV) in 2009. western operations, at CDS Gas; vice president, power and
He was part of important industry innovations in water, at ExxonMobil Saudi Arabia; senior vice president of BP
drilling. Representing NOV, Elkins contributed to the Global Power; and president and general manager of Amoco
joint industry project supported by UKs Industry Netherlands. Whitfield holds a BS in petroleum engineering
Technology Facilitator that led to the development from Louisiana State University and is a graduate of the execu-
of the continuous circulation system (CCS) tech- tive program at Stanford University.
nology in 2003. For the first time since rotary drill-
ing was introduced, CCS technology enabled drill-
ing of a hole without interrupting circulation while
new joints of drillpipe were added to the drillstring.
CCS also improved safety by reducing the likelihood
of kicks.
Several industry studies and initiatives aimed to-
ward improving the safety of deepwater operations
benefitted from his knowledge and expertise. He was
a member of the equipment subcommittee of the
task force that put together the International Associa-
tion of Drilling Contractors (IADC)/Offshore Opera-
tors Committee Deepwater Well Control Guidelines,
and a member of the drilling vessel and equipment
committee for the IADC Surface BOP Guidelines for
Elkins was a contributing author of books and train-
ing manuals on offshore technology. He authored
technical papers for SPEs technical journals, includ-
ing SPE Production Engineering and SPE Drilling Dig deeper without
For his specialized work in pressure control, motion leaving your desk.
compensation, and subsea products, he was awarded Too busy to be away from the office? Take yourself to greater
the Exemplary Service Award in 2005 by the IADC. depths right from your desktop with SPE Webinars and Online
In 2010, he was recognized with the Distinguished Education. Join our industry experts as they explore solutions
Achievement Award for Individuals by the Offshore to real problems and discuss trending topics.
Technology Conference, and was included as a Tech- View a list of available webinars at
nology Pioneer in the Offshore Energy Center (OEC)
Hall of Fame in 2003. In later years, he led various
committees of the OECs Hall of Fame initiative and
refined the process for recognition of industry and Connect, share with us on
technology pioneers during their lifetime. #SPEWEBINARS

JPT MAY 2016 97


Changing Your Address?

Consulting Petroleum Engineers
Reservoir Engineering Let SPE know
Reservoir Simulation
Worldwide Energy Consulting Reservoir Characterization +1.972.952.9393
Since 1990 Oil and Gas Reserves Evaluation
Fair Market Value and Acquisition Valuation
CO2, N2, Chemical and Thermal EOR/ IOR, CCUS, Enhanced Oil Recovery
Reservoir Engineering and Simulation, IAM,
Geosciences, Static and Dynamic Modeling,
Geomechanics, Fracturing/ Stimulation,
Consulting and Training Services for

Economic Evaluation
Oil and Gas Production
Gas Storage Design and Screening
Development and Optimization of Regulatory Filings and Database Acquisition
Conventional/ Unconventional/ Shale,
Oil, Gas, Gas-condensate, and
Expert Petroleum Engineering Testimony
Len Andersen
FTI Platt Sparks
Heavy Oil Fields around the World
925-A Capital of Texas Highway S.
Global Head Office: 800 Rockmead Drive, Suite 212
Houston, Texas 77339, U.S.A. Phone: +1-281-359-2674
Austin, Texas 78746 U.S.A.
(512) 327-6930 800-428-4801

SPE Benefits H.J. Gruy and LONQUIST & CO. LLC

Petroleum Engineers Energy Advisors
Associates, Inc.
Oil and Natural Gas Reserve Advisors
Discover the possibilities.
Reserve Determinations Market Valuations Reservoir Engineering Merger & Acquisition Support Geologic Studies Expert Testimony Reserve Determinations Mineral and Royalty
Field Studies Arbitration Management
Petrophysical Analysis Commercial Models Economic Evaluations
Reservoir Simulation Risk Analysis Underground Storage Regulatory Filings and

CG A &
Stochastic Evaluations Acquisition Screening Engineering Testimony
Salt Cavern Engineering Facilities Engineering
6575 West Loop South, Suite 550
Bellaire, Texas 77401 Supply Studies Disposal Well Design
TEL: (713) 739-1000 Graphical Information Systems
FAX: (713) 739-6112 Mining Engineering

CAWLEY, GILLESPIE & ASSOCIATES, INC. Austin Houston Wichita Calgary
SINCE 1960 Worldwide Petroleum Consulting M.J. ENGLAND, P.E.
HOT Reserve Reports
Fair Market Value
Estate Appraisals
Expert Witness
Fort Worth
(817) 336-2461
(713) 651-9944
(512) 249-7000 Engineering 215 Union Blvd., Suite 350
Lakewood, CO 80228-1840
Exploration / Field Development / Training Telephone: 303/298-0860
Integrated Reservoir Studies Lead & Prospect Facsimile: 303/298-0861
COUTRET AND ASSOCIATES, INC. Generation Reservoir Characterisation Field
Development Planning Enhanced Oil Recovery SERVING THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY FOR
Petroleum Reservoir Engineers Underground Gas Storage Reserves Audits Training OVER 60 YEARS
Property Evaluation, Reservoir Engineering & HR Development
Fluid Injection, Property Management
Parkstrasse 6, 8700 Leoben, Austria
401 Edwards Street, Suite 810 Phone (318) 221-0482 INTERNATIONAL OIL AND GAS CONSULTANTS
Shreveport, LA 71101 Fax (318) 221-3202 Phone: +43 3842 430530 / Fax: +43 3842 430531,
Specializing in All Phases of Reserves Evaluations,

FORREST A. GARB Huddleston & Co., Inc. Including Petroleum Economics,

Reservoir Engineering, Geology, and Petrophysics
Domestic and International
& ASSOCIATES, INC. Petroleum & Geological Engineers
Two Houston Center Phone: (713) 651-9455
International Petroleum Consultants 1221 McKinney, Suite 3700
909 Fannin St., Ste. 1300 Fax: (713) 654-9914
Houston, TX 77010 Houston, TX 77010 e-mail:
Reservoir Engineering Expert Witness Ph: (713) 209-1100 Fax: (713) 209-1104
Web pages:
Economic Evaluation Reservoir Simulation e-mail:
Geologic Studies Due Diligence
Forensic Engineering Technical Staffing International Reservoir
5310 Harvest Hill Road, Suite 275
Dallas, Texas 75230-5805
Technologies, Inc.
International Petroleum Consultants

Tel: 972-788-1110 Fax: 972-991-3160

Email: Seismic Interpretation & Modeling Fractured Reservoir Characterization/Modeling
Web pages: Stratigraphy & Petrophysics Gas Storage Unconventional EOR CO2 CCS Black
Reservoir Simulation Oil/Compositional/Thermal Reservoir Simulation
Frank Givens, CPA Enhanced Oil Recovery Studies
Well Test Design & Analysis Provider of LYNX, MatchingPro,
Structured approach to Investment Decisions PlanningPro and ForecastingPro Software
Well Completion Optimization
662-404-3798 300 Union Blvd., Suite 400 Denver, Colorado
Lakewood, CO 80228 475 17th Street, Suite 1400
LPL FINANCIAL PH: (303) 279-0877 Fax: (303) 279-0936 Ph. (303) 292-9595

98 JPT MAY 2016

ROBERTO AGUILERA, Ph.D. Tarek Ahmed & Associates Ltd.
PERA SERVIPETROL LTD. Taking Petroleum Engineering Training
Curtis H. Whitson International Petroleum Consultants to a New Level
& Associates Independent Oil and Gas Producers For dates & descriptions
Naturally Fractured Reservoirs of courses held worldwide, please visit us at
EOS Fluid Characterization Log Interpretation
Well Test Analysis
Design & Analysis of PVT Data Performance Forecasts
Gas Condensate Specialists Economics
Compositional Simulation Expertise Numerical Simulation WILLIAM M. COBB
Petroleum Short Courses & ASSOCIATES, INC.
Pipe-It Integrated-Model Optimization
903-19th Avenue SW, Suite 502
Skonnertveien 7, 1st floor 7053 Ranheim Norway Calgary, Canada T2P 3T7
Phone 47 7384 8080 / Fax 47 7384 8081 Waterflood & EOR Studies
Phone: (403) 266-2535 Fax: (403) 264-8297 / Geological & Petrophysical Analysis
Reservoir Simulation
Unconventional Resource Evaluation

PetroTel SiteLark
Reserves & Property Valuation
Gas Storage & CO2 Sequestration Analysis
Expert Witness Technical Training
Leaders in Oil and Gas Technology A Flotek Company
FIELD DEVELOPMENT PLANS | RESERVOIR 12770 Coit Road, Suite 907, Dallas, TX 75251
Phone (972) 385-0354
Reservoir Modeling and FAX (972) 788-5165
Providing technical document development, busi-
Worldwide Offices:
Please Contact: ness process support and printing/binding services
USA | UAE | Malaysia | Oman | Russia to the oil & gas industry since 2000.
Telephone: 469-222-5436
Ph: +1-972-473-2767 DOCUMENTATION Drilling & Completion, | E-mail: Rig Operations, QA/HSE, Equipment, Reports,
Instructions & Procedures
Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska, LLC SPARTAN OPERATING CO., INC. RFQs, Process Evaluation, Project & Vendor
Alaskas Oil and Gas Consultants Management
310 South Vine Avenue, Tyler, TX 75702
Geology, Geophysics, and Engineering 903-593-9660 903-593-5527 (FAX) 800-587-9660 PRINTING/BINDING Turnkey, In-House, Customizable, Quick Turnaround
3601 C Street (907) 272-1232 voice
Suite 1424 (907) 272-1344 fax The Woodlands, Texas
James E. Smith, P.E., Registered Professional Engineer 281-298-1878
Anchorage, AK 99503


ADIPEC 2016 Hexion Saudi Aramco TAM International
Page 85 Page 13 Page 23 Page 2

Baker Hughes Ingevity (formerly MWV Schlumberger Tomax AS

Page 35 Specialty Chemicals) Cover 2, Pages 7, 15 Page 37
Page 55
Beicip-Franlab South Dakota School of Mines Visuray
Page 17 Interwell Norway AS and Technology Page 5
Cover 3 Page 65
Brookfield AMETEK Wellbarrier AS
Page 25 KAPPA Engineering Page 91
Cover 4
C&J Energy Services
Page 53 KBC Advanced
Technologies Ltd
Cameron, Page 61 Brett O. Morgan Jane Bailey
A Schlumberger Company Advertising Sales Representative Advertising Sales Manager
Page 27 LEUTERT (Americas, Asia Pacific, and (Europe, Middle East, Russia,
Page 75 South AsiaCompanies A-L) and Africa)
CARBO Tel: +1.713.457.6828 Tel: +44 (0) 1227.266.605
Page 73 National Oilwell Varco
Page 49 Dana Griffin Craig W. Moritz
Advertising Sales Manager Assistant Director Americas
Page 11 NCS Multistage, LLC
(Americas, Asia Pacific, and Sales & Exhibits
Page 9 South AsiaCompanies M-Z) Tel: +1.713.457.6888
Cudd Energy Services
Tel: +1.713.457.6857
Page 81 OneSubsea,
a Schlumberger company
Enventure Page 19
Page 21 ADDRESS CHANGE: Contact Customer Services at 1.972.952.9393 to notify of
Pyromation address change or make changes online at Subscriptions are USD
Franks International Page 65 15 per year (members). JPT JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY (ISSN
Page 4 0149-2136) is published monthly by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, 222
READ Cased Hole, Ltd. Palisades Creek Drive, Richardson, TX 75080 USA. Periodicals postage paid at
Georgia-Pacific Chemicals Page 3 Richardson, TX, and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
Page 29 JPT, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836 USA.

JPT MAY 2016 99


WORKSHOPS 30 May2 June ViennaSPE Europec 13 June Buenos AiresSPE Argentina

Featured at 78th EAGE Conference Exploration and Production
and Exhibition of Unconventional Resources
1012 May AustinSPE Tight Oil
and Liquids-Rich Gas: Adapting to Survive 78 June CalgarySPE Canada Heavy Oil 29 November1 December BanffSPE
in a New Price Environment Technical Conference Thermal Well Integrity and Design

1012 May ManamaSPE 1315 June Port of SpainSPE Trinidad

Characterisation and Management of and Tobago Section Energy Resources FORUMS
Naturally Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs Conference

2324 May Abu DhabiSPE Global 14 June LondonSPE London Annual 2224 May Kuala LumpurSPE: The Role
Integrated Workshop Series: Managing Conference: Adapting to a Challenging Oil of Geomechanics in Conventional
Well Integrity in a Low Cost Oil Price Environment and Unconventional Reservoir
Environment Performance and Management
13 August San AntonioSPE/AAPG/
2526 May DubaiSPE Coiled Tubing: SEG Unconventional Resources Technology 1216 June San AntonioSPE Processing
Taking the Lead with Coiled Tubing Conference Facilities of the Future
Technologies in a Challenging Oil Market
24 August LagosSPE Nigeria Annual 1217 June San AntonioSPE Key
9 June CalgarySPE Oilsands: International Conference and Exhibition Factors for Success in Unconventional
Competitive Strategies for In-Situ Well Pad Reservoir Development
Development 2224 August SingaporeIADC/
SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology 1720 October DubaiSPE Well
1820 July BangkokSPE Artificial Lift Conference and Exhibition Construction Fluids 2025: Meeting the
Systems for Optimised Production Challenges
2426 August BeijingSPE Asia Pacific
1921 July Colorado SpringsSPE Hydraulic Fracturing Conference
Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensing for Wells, CALL FOR PAPERS
Reservoir, and Facilities Management 68 September AberdeenSPE
Intelligent Energy Conference
1516 August Kuala LumpurSPE SPE Middle East Oil & Gas Show
Reserves, Resources, and Definition 1415 September GalvestonSPE and Conference Bahrain
Deepwater Drilling and Completions Deadline: 15 May
2021 September CalgarySPE Caprock Conference
Integrity for Thermal Applications SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and
2122 September MidlandSPE Liquids- Exhibition Dublin
912 October MuscatEAGE/SPE Rich Basins ConferenceNorth America Deadline: 23 May
Workshop on Tar Mats and Heavy Oil
2628 September DubaiSPE Annual SPE Health, Safety, Security,
1011 October Kuala LumpurSPE Technical Conference and Exhibition Environment, and Social Responsibility
Reservoir Surveillance & Production ConferenceNorth America
Enhancement through Cost-Effective 1820 October AccraSPE African New Orleans
Technology Integration and Operation Health, Safety, Security, Environment, Deadline: 24 May
Efficiency and Social Responsibility Conference and
Exhibition SPE International Conference on Oilfield
Chemistry Montgomery
CONFERENCES 1920 October LimaSPE Latin America Deadline 16 June
and Caribbean Heavy and Extra Heavy Oil
Conference SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology
910 May AberdeenSPE Oilfield Conference The Woodlands
Corrosion Conference Deadline: 15 August
1112 May AberdeenSPE Oilfield
Scale Conference
1718 May HoustonSPE/IAEE
2326 May AnchorageSPE Western Hydrocarbon Economics and Evaluation
Regional Meeting

Find complete listings of upcoming SPE workshops, conferences, symposiums, and forums at

100 JPT MAY 2016

Interwells solution for a deepwater well in the Gulf
of Mexico saved the client over $500k in rig time.
The client required a Retrievable Bridge Plug to enable integrity
testing in their challenging well which contained lots of debris and
potential for getting stuck. Interwell ran and set a 180-350
High Expansion (HEX) Mechanical and Retrievable Bridge Plug,
and successfully retrieved the plug in 12 hours with
slickline, saving valuable rig time.

This [plug retrieval] was

highlighted as one of the
highest risk points of the
operation. Mechanical
failures, delivery issues,
solids, pressure etc.,
all could have created
situations difficult to
recover from in the
wellbore. Recovering the
plug gets the operations
past a major hurdle.

GoM Operator


24810_Annonse_Deep-set HEX_0416.indd 1 07.04.16 11.19