The SPE has split the former "Management & Information" technical discipline into two new technical discplines:
- Data Science & Engineering Analytics
The SPE has split the former "Management & Information" technical discipline into two new technical discplines:
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Legends of Artificial Lift This year, the SPE Artificial Lift Conference and Exhibition–Americas will be held 23–25 August in Galveston, Texas, with the theme “Modern Artificial Lift–Adapting to a Changing Industry.” The event provides opportunities for technical professionals to gain insights into current trends and field experiences and explore innovative solutions. A special Legends of Artificial Lift Luncheon on 23 August will celebrate three individuals for their outstanding contributions to the technical knowledge in this field: Norman Hein Jr., Ken Nolen, and Gabor Takacs. Norman W. Hein Jr. Norman W. Hein Jr. has worked for 45 years in upstream production, his distinguished career spanning from research, development, and testing to ventures in production engineering, manufacturing, onshore and offshore project management, industry standardization, and the principles of artificial lift. Hein joined the industry in 1977 as a research scientist with Continental Oil Company, where he learned about oil and gas production materials, failures, fatigue, and offshore construction. He then worked for Conoco and later ConocoPhillips in various engineering positions. In 2010, he joined the sucker-rod division of Norris Production Solutions as director of research, development, engineering, and quality; later at CONSOL Energy he was promoted to chief technology professional and senior advisor. Currently, Hein is president and managing director of Oil and Gas Optimization Specialists Ltd., which he established in 2003. Kenneth B. (Ken) Nolen Kenneth B. (Ken) Nolen for 62 years has been a key contributor to what he calls “the art and science of artificial lift.” “My college degree in mechanical engineering was largely devoted to science,” he explains, “and that’s a branch of knowledge dealing with the physical world of facts and principles. Art, on the other hand, uses science to create new technology and products—in my field, that is to enhance artificial lift.” His career in optimizing this art and science began after graduating from Texas A&M and serving his country in the US Air Force for a 3-year tour. Nolen joined Shell Oil Company as a production engineer before teaming up with Dr. Sam G. Gibbs to become co-founderand vice president of Nabla Corporation in Midland, Texas—a technical service company that specialized in artificial-lift diagnosis, optimization, design, training on pumping wells, and manufacturing pumpoff controllers and fluid-level sounders. “It was at Nabla that I pursued my long-held passion for optimizing production from artificially lifted wells.” Gabor Takacs Gabor Takacs joins the Legends of Artificial Lift as an internationally recognized consultant with more than 35 years of consulting and teaching experience in the fields of production engineering, with a concentration in artificial lift. “The great honor of being nominated is an absolutely thrilling sensation for me,” he said. “It gives me a special satisfaction to be the first foreigner to join those wonderful people whom I have been privileged to meet and cooperate with during my career.” Takacs is a professor emeritus at the University of Miskolc, Hungary, where he led the petroleum engineering department from 1995 to 2012.
Technology Focus The North American shale-gas boom has highlighted the differences that a few years and a few thousand miles can make. Only 5 years ago, the US was villainized for not signing the Kyoto Protocol, North American natural-gas prices were USD 14/million Btu, and horizontal multistage fracturing (HMSF) was an expensive old technology that was proving to be very profitable in the new price environment. Since then, US gas production is up 30%, but these new volumes coupled with a global recession drove prices down to USD 4. Even though exploration-and-production capital has shifted to oilier pastures, the promise of large volumes of cheap gas is bringing back consumers. Dow Chemical plans significant expansions and, with others, plans to spend USD 110 billion on new projects, creating thousands of high-paying jobs. The US Energy Information Administration estimates combined cycle natural gas can produce electricity for USD 67/MW-hr, while wind, coal, and solar thermal come in at USD 87, 100, and 261, respectively. On the basis of this study, natural gas is the clear economic choice for electricity generation. But wait, there is a bonus; fuel switching to natural gas helped the US reduce CO2 emissions by 10%, while signers of Kyoto are struggling to meet less-aggressive pledges. Environmentally conscious Tesla, Volt, or Leaf buyers may not realize they are indirectly supporting hydraulic fracturing for natural gas because the electricity they use is increasingly generated in gas-fired power plants. Unfortunately for everyone, roughly 75% of the energy available from natural gas is lost in the conversion to electric vehicle (EV) miles. Conversion to electricity, powerline losses, storage in the vehicle, then conversion back to mechanical energy make EVs less efficient than a simple compressed-natural-gas (CNG) -powered vehicle. CNG-fuelled vehicles convert raw energy directly into passenger/freight miles, and, with extensive gas-transmission grids, it is only a matter of time before we locate energy-efficient refueling stations along high-pressure pipelines. Only a few time zones away, natural gas remains expensive and electrical brownouts loom where HMSF technology has not been applied or unfounded fears have curtailed development. Natural-gas prices in Europe are greater than USD 10 and are as high as USD 15 in Asia and parts of South America. Will the rest of the world follow North America and use natural gas as a means to increase economic activity while meeting environmental goals? Only time will tell. Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org. OTC 23983 Simplified Approach for Estimating Pressure and Temperature Profiles for Gas Wells: Verification With Literature Case by Rodrigo A. Ruysschaert, University of Stavanger, et al. SPE 158480 Impairment of Gas-Well Productivity by Salt Plugging: A Review of Mechanisms, Modeling, Monitoring Methods, and Remediation Techniques by Peter Aquilina, Senergy SPE 161092 A New Approach to Reserves Estimation in Shale-Gas Reservoirs Using Multiple Decline-Curve-Analysis Models by Srikanta Mishra, Battelle Memorial Institute SPE 165175 Novel Water-Shutoff Techniques in Gas Wells Using Petroleum External Solutions and Microemulsions by I.J. Lakatos, University of Miskolc, et al.
Technology Focus Calling all technology champions! A few years ago, I ran across the seven steps to stagnation, which was a list originally compiled by Erwin M. Soukup. I got a feeling of déjavu reading through this list because I had heard these same words spoken from many managers and peers over my career. If you search for these seven steps on the Inter-net, you will find different variations; however, the message is the same. The seven steps are We have never done it that way. We are not ready for that yet. We are doing all right without it. We tried it once, and it did not work out. It costs too much. That is not our responsibility. It will not work. Great ideas for technology improvement or development can have an early demise when faced with feedback similar to what is on this list. Even with a patent, a product may never be commercialized without someone to be its champion. While we are fortunate to have many technology champions in the area of artificial lift, we need more. The best way to meet and learn from our industry’s best artificial-lift champions is by attending some of the artificial-lift forums, workshops, and conferences coming up in 2012 and 2013. Please check out the global events calendar on www.spe.org. One major SPE artificial-lift event you will not see on the global calendar, however, is the 2013 Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) Workshop. This is still a section-sponsored event; however, it has grown to be the primary conference for the ESP industry (the most-recent event had 560 attendees from 24 countries). Please go to this address for more information: www.spegcs.org/en/committees/display.asp?committeeid=5. The first paper highlighted features the use of a downhole linear motor to drive a reciprocating-pump system. This is a new technology that is also featured in two papers to be presented at the 2012 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas, this October. The two other highlighted papers focus on offshore artificial-lift systems and discuss the unique challenges and concepts being applied. Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org. OTC 23079 Mobile Gas Lift Compressor and Well-Unloading System for Enhancing Oil Production and Reserves, While Reducing Greenhouse-Gas Emissions in Offshore Environments by Jarrad Rexilius, Chevron, et al. OTC 22579 ESP-Assisted-Production Allocation in Peregrino Field by H. Olsen, Statoil Brazil, et al. SPE 152229 Calculation of Gearbox Torques of Rotaflex Pumping Units Considering the Elasticity of the Load Belt by G. Takacs, University of Miskolc, et al.
Technology Focus It has been stated many times that all the easy wells have been drilled. It would stand to reason then that only problem wells remain. Even though this last statement is not entirely correct, our industry is facing increasingly costly incidences of pressure-related nonproductive time. Problems include narrow pore-/fracture-pressure windows, wellbore stability, depleted formations, formation damage, and excessive casing strings, among others. The industry has responded by developing managed-pressure-drilling (MPD) technologies. The goal of MPD is precise management of the pressure in the entire annulus. In most instances, a rotating control head is used, diverting the mud returns through an adjustable choke. This closed system allows precise imposition of surface backpressure on the annulus and enables precise measurement of the mud-return rate. The use a rotating control device and choke in this way is very similar to a constant-bottomhole-pressure method of well control. In September 2009, the SPE Drilling & Completions Applied Technology Workshop on Well Control was held in Rio de Janeiro, during which several companies involved in MPD made presentations on how their MPD technologies have enhanced well control. The closed system, which precisely measures surface pressures and mud-return rates, enables the detection of kicks (sometimes with less than 1 bbl of influx). Then, the mud-return rate is slowed to the prekick rate long enough to stop the influx and the well is killed, all without shutting in the well. In some cases, when a very small influx is detected, it is not even necessary to stop drilling. The papers selected to be highlighted in this issue all detail unconventional well-control methods that have been used recently. On the basis of these papers and presentations at the Applied Technology Workshop, it appears that well control with MPD will quickly become “conventional.” Well Control additional reading available at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org IPTC 11970 • “Killing a Gas Well: Successful Implementation of Innovative Approaches in a Middle-Eastern Carbonate Field—A Field Case” by S. Salehi, University of Calgary, et al. SPE 121045 • “Prevention of Vertical Gas Flow in a Collapsed Well Using Silicate/Polymer/Urea Method” by Istvan Lakatos, SPE, Reseach Institute of Applied Earth Sciences, University of Miskolc, and Geoengineering Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Science, Miskolc, Hungary, et al.