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Honorary Membership is the highest honor SPE confers upon an individual. It is limited to 0.1% of SPE's total membership and is conferred on individuals for outstanding service to SPE or in recognition of distinguished scientific or engineering achievement in fields encompassed in SPE's technical scope. Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani is senior vice president of Saudi Aramco's downstream operations, which he assumed following his tenure as senior vice president of upstream operations. Since beginning his career with Aramco in 1983, he has served as president and CEO, Aramco Services Company; chief petroleum engineer; executive director and vice president, Petroleum Engineering and Development; vice president, Saudi Aramco Affairs; and vice president, Corporate Planning. In Al Qahtani's 35-year association with SPE, he has served as a board member of SPE International, honorary executive chairman of the SPE Saudi Arabia section, and executive committee chairman of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) 2020 in Dhahran. He holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, and MS and PhD degrees in the same field from the University of Southern California. George V. Chilingar(ian) is professor emeritus of petroleum, civil, and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California, where he has taught for more than 60 years. Formerly, he served in the US Air Force as chief of the petroleum and chemicals laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Chilingar received the SPE Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty and was named SPE Distinguished Member last year. He is the first American petroleum geologist ever elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. Twice he served as senior adviser for petroleum engineering to the United Nations. Chilingar developed a way to identify oil-rich rocks by analyzing the ratio of calcium to magnesium content in carbonate rocks (dolomitization). Using this method, he discovered a large oil field in Iran which subsequently was named after him. The results of Chilingar's investigations are presented in more than 500 research articles and 73 books.
Abstract Successful coiled tubing (CT) descaling interventions require control of several key aspects, including fluid leakoff into the formation, proper surface solids handling, and controlled hydrogen sulfide (H2S) release at the surface. Successful treatment control is achieved by monitoring the surface and downhole parameters. The recently introduced pressure and fluid management system, crosslinked foam-based fluid, and a fluid mixing system for CT descaling treatments pose challenges that require enhancements to these elements for successful treatment. The pressure and fluid management system was enhanced to include a new high-rate mud/gas separator to 1) increase gas/fluid separation capacity and avoid foam flowing to flare, 2) rig up the flare line with inclination to allow all water to be drained and prevent formation gas flowing to flare lines, and 3) increase retention time for better foam breaking and material settling. A liquid flowmeter was also added to improve influx and leakoff control by monitoring the volume of liquid injected and matching the volume of liquid returned on surface in addition to the level gauges on the return tanks of the pressure and fluid management system. The foamed-based fluid breaking system and H2S presence in returns were mitigated by removing crosslinker and introducing an H2S scavenger on returns whereas foam breaking was enhanced by additional breaker injection points on returns. Fluid mixing capabilities were enhanced by the introduction of an on-the-fly continuous mixing system that sped up and simplified the mixing process. The mud/gas separator efficiently separated the gas from liquid, leading the gas to be burnt at flare and the liquid to be processed in the pressure and fluid management system. It further helped in preventing the liquid flowing to flare, which lessened the risk of flare shutdown and H2S ventilation. The on-the-fly continuous mixing system provided a faster and more-efficient mixing process as an alternate to batch mixing. These system-controlled metering, mixing, and monitoring capabilities significantly reduced the crew and equipment footprint, leading to minimizing the health, safety, and environment (HSE) concerns and cost savings. The fluid flowmeter allowed efficient choke and bottom-hole pressure control. Fluid flowmeter readings helped in choke and bottom-hole pressure reading adjustments based on amount of fluids pumped and matching the same amount of fluids returned at the surface. It prevented the fluid leakoff into the formation or influx of gas into the wellbore. Additionally, this new process created better control of downhole differential pressure during the scale cleanup and transportation. This project integrated different technologies and techniques that can be utilized for descaling treatment enhancements. The recent enhancements to the CT descaling operation resulted in greater efficiency, cost savings, reduced formation damage, and safe operations.
Abstract This study aims to propose an intelligent operational advisory solution that guides the plant operation team to optimal HPPT/LPPT pressure settings that compensate for the variation in ambient temperature effect to maximize plant revenue. Traditional industry practice is to operate a gas-oil-separation-plant (GOSP) at fixed operating conditions ignoring the variation in the ambient temperature (Ta) leading to a loss in oil recovery and associated revenue. The variation of ambient temperature (Ta) highly affects the separation process, where ambient temperature varies greatly from summer to winter. To develop a correlation, a GOSP model was constructed by OmegaLand dynamic simulator using a typical Saudi Aramco GOSP design. Oil recovery values were determined by running the process simulation for a typical range of high-pressure production trap (HPPT), low-pressure production trap (LPPT), and ambient temperature (Ta). Then, an intelligent approach was built to determine the optimum pressure of LPPT and HPPT units for each ambient temperature condition using an artificial intelligence technique. Results show that liquid recovery decreases with an increase in ambient temperature at constant HPPT and LPPT pressures, indicating adjustment in HPPT or LPPT pressure responding to the temperature variations can improve the oil recovery. At constant LPPT pressure and ambient temperature, the oil recovery increases with an increase in HPPT pressure until it reaches the optimum value and then decreases with further increase in the HPPTpressure suggesting that there is an optimum HPPT pressure at which oil recovery is maximum. At fixed ambient temperature and fixed HPPT pressure, liquid recovery increases with increasing LPPT pressure until it reaches the optimum value, and then it decreases with further increase in the LPPT pressure suggesting that there is an optimum LPPT pressure at which oil recovery is maximum.
Chen, Hsieh (Aramco Services Company: Aramco Research Center–Boston) | Chang, Sehoon (Aramco Services Company: Aramco Research Center–Boston) | Thomas, Gawain (Aramco Services Company: Aramco Research Center–Boston) | Wang, Wei (Aramco Services Company: Aramco Research Center–Boston) | Mashat, Afnan (Saudi Aramco) | Shateeb, Hussain (Saudi Aramco)
Abstract We are developing new classes of barcoded advanced tracers, which, compared to present commercial offerings, can be optically detected in an automated fashion. The eventual goal for the advanced tracers is to deploy cost-effective, ubiquitous, long-term, and full-field tracer tests in supporting large-scale waterflooding optimization for improved oil recovery. In this paper, we compare model predictions to breakthrough data from two field tests of advanced tracers in a pilot during water alternating gas (WAG) cycles, where gas tracer tests have recently been performed as well. Two advanced tracer injections were performed at the test site. For the first injection, only a dipicolinic acid based advanced tracer (DPA) was injected. For the second injection, DPA and a phenanthroline- based advanced tracer, 4,7-bis(sulfonatophenyl)-1,10-phenanthroline-2,9-dicarboxylic acid (BSPPDA), was injected in conjunction with a commercially available fluorobenzoic acid-based tracer (FBA) to benchmark their performance. Produced water samples were collected weekly for tracer analysis. Both newly developed 2D-high performance liquid chromatography/time-resolved fluorescence optical detection method (2D-HPLC/TRF) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were used to construct the breakthrough curves for the advanced tracers. In parallel, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to detect FBA tracer. Gas tracer tests have been performed on the same field. Since DPA, BSPPDA and FBA tracers were water tracers as designed, they were expected to appear in between gas tracer breakthroughs, and we observed exactly that for BSPPDA and FBA. Unexpectedly, the DPA predominantly appeared along with gas tracer breakthroughs, suggesting its favorable compatibility with the gas phase. We suspect the presence of some gas components rendered the medium more acidic, which likely protonates DPA molecules, thereby alters its hydrophilicity. A wealth of information could be gathered from the field tests. First, all tracers survived not only the harsh reservoir conditions but also the irregular WAG injections. Their successful detection from the producers suggested robustness of these materials for reservoir applications. Second, the breakthrough curves of the BSPPDA tracers using optical detection method were very similar to those of FBA tracers detected by GC-MS, substantiating the competency of our in-house materials and detection methods to the present commercial offerings. Finally, even though DPA has passed prior lab tests as a good water tracer, its high solubility to gas phase warrants further investigation. This paper summarizes key results from two field trials of the novel barcoded advanced tracers, of which both the tracer materials and detection methods are new to the industry. Importantly, the two co- injected advanced tracers showed opposite correlations to the gas tracers, highlighting the complex physicochemical interactions in reservoir conditions. Nevertheless, the information collected from the field trials is invaluable in enabling further design and utilization of the advanced tracers in fulfilling their wonderful promises.
Abstract The Modulated AC/DC Crude Desalting technology was successfully commissioned at several Saudi Aramco facilities. Enhancements to desalting performance and optimization of plant operating expenditures were realized. Benefits of the Modulated AC/DC Desalting technology, installation and operational best practices and a comparison to conventional AC technology is shared in the paper. The conventional AC desalting technology was replaced with the Modulated AC/DC Crude Desalting technology at some Saudi Aramco facilities. After the successful commissioning, the performance of the new units was tested in one of these facilities to identify operating limits, such as maximum water cut and minimum demulsifier injection at the production header, in which the stable operation is sustainable. A comparison of the performance of the technology compared to that of previous conventional AC desalting technology was conducted through analysis of grid/plate voltage stability, demulsifier injection rate, wash water rates and crude quality parameters. Some enhancements to the process were also introduced which resulted in realizing additional benefits. The technology resulted in several benefits, including: (1) A reduction in the required demulsifier injection rate during the testing period compared to the same time period from the previous year, leading to significant cost savings; (2) Ability to maintain normal operations beyond the design water cuts of the facility; (3) No major grid outages since installation; (4) Additional data that can be used to diagnose separation performance as each transformer provides a number of feedback signals to DCS that are good indicators of the separation process. Based on the observations and analysis, the Modulated AC/DC Crude Desalting Technology has several advantages over the conventional AC Crude Desalting Technology in regards to crude desalting performance and process stability. The Modulated AC/DC Crude Desalting technology at Saudi Aramco was the first installation in Saudi Arabia for Arab Light crude oil. The paper captures Saudi Aramco’s experience and best practices that other companies can find beneficial in their efforts to maintain crude quality and reduce operating expenditures.
The last century has seen the oil and gas industry transform the world and help lift billions out of poverty by providing cheap and abundant energy to the world. It has paved the way for modern economies to thrive and flourish. The last decade has, however, seen an increased concern about environment and sustainability, both by governments and the populace. Aptly, the oil and gas industry is seen to redefine and adjust course for its business models, investment opportunities, technology, and operations accordingly to positively contribute to the lowering of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The magnitude of diversity, resources, skills, and scalability have always been the key strength of this industry to achieve efficiency and productivity.
Ghawar / Al-Ghawār /الغوار is an oil field located in Al-Ahsa Governorate, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. It measures 280 by 30 km (174 by 19 mi), it is by far the largest conventional oil field in the world. It is entirely owned and operated by Saudi Aramco, the state run Saudi oil company. Blue wells are waterflood injectors, red are production wells. In April 2010, Saad al-Treiki, Vice-President for Operations at Aramco, stated, in a news conference reported in Saudi media, that over 65 billion barrels (10.3 km3) have been produced from the field since 1951. Use this section for citation of items referenced in the text to show your sources.
For this feature, I have had the pleasure of reviewing 122 papers submitted to SPE in the field of offshore facilities over the past year. Brent crude oil price finally has reached $75/bbl at the time of writing. So far, this oil price is the highest since before the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a good sign that demand is picking up. Oil and gas offshore projects also seem to be picking up; most offshore greenfield projects are dictated by economics and the price of oil. As predicted by some analysts, global oil consumption will continue to increase as the world's economy recovers from the pandemic.