As data computing and big data driven analytics become more prevalent in a number of spatial industries, there is increasing need to quantify and communicate uncertainty with those data and resulting spatial analytical products. This has direct implication in oil & gas exploration and development where big data and data analytics continue to expand uses and applications of spatial and spatio-temporal data in the industry without providing for effective communication of spatial uncertainty. The result is that communications and inferences made using spatial data visuals lack crucial information about uncertainty and thus present a barrier to accurate and efficient decision making. With increasing cost awareness in oil & gas exploration and development, there is urgent need for methods and tools that help to objectively define and integrate uncertainty into business decisions.
To address this need, the Variable Grid Method (VGM) has been developed for simultaneous communication of both spatial patterns and trends and the uncertainty associated with data or their analyses. The VGM utilizes varying grid cell sizes to visually communicate and constrain the uncertainty, creating an integrated layer that can be used to visualize uncertainty associated with spatial, spatio-temporal data or data-driven products.
In this paper, we detail the VGM approach and demonstrate the utility of the VGM to intuitively quantify and provide cost-effective information about the relationship between uncertainty and spatial data. This allows trends of interest to be objectively investigated and target uncertainty criteria defined to drive optimal investment in improved subsurface definition. Examples are presented to show how the VGM can thus be used for efficient decision making in multiple applications including geological risk evaluation, as well as to optimize data acquisition in exploration and development.
Today, uncertainty, if it is provided at all, is generally communicated using multiple independent visuals, aggregated in final displays, or omitted altogether. The VGM provides a robust method for quantifying and representing uncertainty in spatial data analyses, offering key information about the analysis, but also associated risks, both of which are vital for making prudent business decisions in oil & gas exploration and development.
Equinor announced that it had drawn first oil from the Mariner field in the UK North Sea, its first operated field on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and one of the largest industrial projects in the region in recent years. Mariner holds an estimated 3 billion bbl of oil in place, a 50% increase on Equinor’s initial projections, and the estimated recovery rate at startup was 20% higher than initially presumed. Mariner is expected to produce annual average plateau rates of approximately 55,000 BOPD and up to 70,000 BOPD at peak production. Located on the East Shetland platform in UK Block 9/11a in the northern North Sea, approximately 93 miles east of the Shetland Islands, Mariner was first discovered in 1981. Equinor acquired operatorship of the field in 2007 and sanctioned the project five years later.
Anderson, Iain (Heriot-Watt University) | Ma, Jingsheng (Heriot-Watt University) | Wu, Xiaoyang (British Geological Survey) | Stow, Dorrik (Heriot-Watt University) | Underhill, John R. (Heriot-Watt University)
This work forms part of a study addressing the multi-scale heterogeneous and anisotropic rock properties of the Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) Bowland Shale; the UK's most prospective shale-gas play. The specific focus of this work is to determine the geomechanical variability within the Preese Hall exploration well and, following a consideration of structural features in the basin, to consider the optimal position of productive zones for hydraulic fracturing. Positioning long-reach horizontal wells is key to the economic extraction of gas, but their placement requires an accurate understanding of the local geology, stress regime and structure. This is of importance in the case of the Bowland Shale because of several syn- and post-depositional tectonic events that have resulted in multi-scale and anisotropic variations in rock properties. Seismic, well and core data from the UK's first dedicated shale-gas exploration programme in northwest England have all been utilized for this study. Our workflow involves; (1) summarizing the structural elements of the Bowland Basin and framing the challenges these may pose to shale-gas drilling; (2) making mineralogical and textural-based observations using cores and wireline logs to generate mineralogy logs and then to calculate a mineral-based brittleness index along the well; (3) developing a geomechanical model using slowness logs to determine the breakdown stress along the well; (4) placing horizontal wells guided by the mineral-based brittleness index and breakdown stress. Our interpretations demonstrate that the study area is affected by the buried extension of the Ribblesdale Fold Belt that causes structural complexity that may restrict whether long-reaching horizontal wells can be confidently drilled. However, given the thickness of the Bowland Shale, a strategy of production by multiple, stacked lateral wells has been proposed. The mineralogical and geomechanical modelling presented herein suggests that several sites retain favorable properties for hydraulic fracturing. Two landing zones within the Upper Bowland Shale alone are suggested based on this work, but further investigation is required to assess the impact of small-scale elastic property variations in the shale to assess potential for well interference and optimizing well placement.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) Petroceltic International said that the first of up to 24 new development wells planned in Algeria's Ain Tsila gas and condensate field was successful. The AT-10 well, situated about 2 miles from the AT-1 field discovery well, reached a total depth of 6,578 ft. Wireline logs indicated that the expected initial offtake rate would be comparable to the AT-1 and AT-8 wells, both of which test-flowed at more than 30 MMcf/D. Petroceltic is the operator with a 38.25% interest in the production-sharing contract that covers the Ain Tsila output. The remaining interests are held by Sonatrach (43.375%) and Enel (18.375%). Sonangol reported that it has found reserves in the Kwanza Basin of Angola that could total 2.2 billion BOE, including reserves in a block jointly owned with BP. Block 24, operated by BP, holds an estimated 280 million bbl of condensate and 8 Tcf of gas, totaling 1.7 billion BOE, Sonangol said in a statement seen by Reuters.
This paper was prepared for presentation at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 23-25 July 2018. The URTeC Technical Program Committee accepted this presentation on the basis of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). The contents of this paper have not been reviewed by URTeC and URTeC does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information herein. All information is the responsibility of, and, is subject to corrections by the author(s). Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this paper does so at their own risk.
Hossain, M. Enamul (Nazarbayev University) | Gharbi, S. H. (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Abduljabbar, A. M. (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Al-Rubaii, M. (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals)
The drilling industry is going to face challenges due to lack of manpower, and new operational hazard in near future. In addition, drilling wells are also moving toward new and challenging operations such as deep water, shale oil, and harsh environment. Another difficulty to make the situation more difficult is that huge number of drilling experts are retiring from the industry soon, and they are going to be replaced by new, young, unexperienced engineers. The industry need to develop unconventional solution to overcome this situation. Some operation centres such as real-time operation centers and the geosteering operation centers can help. However, due to the human capabilities, these centers can handle a small fraction of the total drilling operations. One of the solutions is to utilize the computational power to develop artificial intelligent (AI) models that assist the drilling engineers and operational crews.
This paper discussed the development of an AI model which identify the loss circulation incidents. The model identifies these incidents in its early symptoms, before it matures to well stability problem or well control situation. In addition, it compares the current loss circulation identification methodology, and highlight how this model was successfully able to identify same event in advance, providing the drilling engineers, operation crews and drilling fluid specialist with bigger window to mitigate the situation, and resolve it in its early stages. Moreover, the paper discussed how integrating such model with more advanced hydraulic analyses concepts can lead to more sophisticated well control detector environment, or event fast formation top identifier.
The paper pointed that the AI are widely used in different disciplines while in drilling industry it is still crawling. It is very important for the drilling industry to invest in developing more advanced AI which can assist in predicting troubles and optimize drilling operations. If these models are developed, they can open new avenues such as automation in drilling in the drilling industry where one day an AI can handle the drilling operations in the seabed of the deep ocean.
Threats to cybersecurity continue to increase in number and appear from unexpected new angles due to an increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks. A novel methodology is required not only for data protection but also to achieve safe and reliable operations at sea. The first step towards securing control systems is to make sure they are designed and operated per recognized international standards and recommendations, such as the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 27000 series, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 62443 family of standards, the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) framework, or the IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors) cybersecurity guidelines. In addition, testing and probing these systems and their associated networks for possible vulnerabilities and robustness under high traffic loads are important to verify that the implementation of the design is safe, secure and carried out in accordance with the vendor's or the system integrator's documentation. This paper provides tangible examples of findings from cybersecurity and network health tests performed on various vessels and installations, such as shuttle tankers, drilling rigs and FPSOs (floating production, storage and offloading), by DNV GL Marine Cybernetics Advisory. Typical pitfalls of on-board cybersecurity are discussed, such as inadequate protection mechanisms, installation failures and mismatches between documentation and installation, vulnerabilities in controllers, and insufficient network capacities.
Studies of modern desert dune fields allow geologists to draw conclusions about the controls that govern the development of spatial patterns of arrangement of desert landforms. This knowledge can be applied to predict the likely arrangement of architectural elements in preserved ancient desert successions. This serves as the basis for the development of more sophisticated facies, architectural-element and sequence stratigraphic models that can be applied in reservoir geology.
This study presents a series of ten bespoke facies models that demonstrate different types of aeolian-fluvial interaction documented from dune-field margin settings. These ten semi-quantitative models have been developed based on analysis of modern and ancient systems, and via comparison of literature-derived case-study examples of ancient successions using a meta-analysis approach. The presented facies models account for the nature and origin of stratigraphic complexity present in aeolian dune-field margin successions that arose in response to the combined interplay of a series of autogenic and allogenic controls.
From an applied perspective, mixed aeolian and fluvial successions are known to form several major reservoirs for hydrocarbons, including the Permian Unayzah Formation of Saudi Arabia. However, quantitative stratigraphic prediction of the three-dimensional form of heterogeneities arising from aeolian and fluvial interaction is notoriously difficult: (i) interactions observed in one-dimensional core and well-log data typically do not yield information regarding the likely lateral extent of sand-bodies; (ii) stratigraphic heterogeneities of these types typically occur on a scale below seismic resolution and cannot be imaged using such techniques.
Understanding the nature and surface expression of various types of aeolian and fluvial interaction, and considering their resultant sedimentological expression, is important for prediction and interpretation of preserved deposits of such interactions that might be recognized in the ancient stratigraphic record. Assessment can be made of the spatial scale over which such interactions are likely to occur and this has applied significance; the developed facies models facilitate the prediction of net reservoir sandbody dimensions from subsurface successions by constraining the geometry and lateral and vertical connectivity of sand bodies for specific desert system types. Assuming layer-cake correlations between neighbouring wells within stratigraphically complex reservoirs composed of mixed aeolian and fluvial facies is inappropriate; instead, a range of bespoke facies models should be utilized, each of which considers possible stratigraphic configurations and each of which has implications for likely reservoir performance.
Non-technical risks (NTR) refer to all risks and opportunities that arise from the interactions of a business with its broad range of external stakeholders (
This paper discusses stakeholder misalignment as being the root cause of key NTRs that oil industry operations have to contend with. The stakeholder web around oil and gas business has become more complex and closely knit with conflicting/overlapping interests. Added to this is the increased sophistication of external stakeholders in terms of real time access to information and the ease with which they build coalition/alliances to challenge oil companies. This is further accentuated by increased public scrutiny. Dealing with NTRs to prevent value erosion in oil and gas operations will require a strategic retrofit of the way the industry currently views and manages stakeholder issues.
As the frontier of oil & gas exploration move to very challenging geographies including deepwater, the artic, other pristine environments and countries and regions with complex socio-political structures, management of non-technical risk is increasingly defining the ability of oil companies to extract and sustain value in their portfolio. A number of authors, including
With the latest discovery of oil and gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean region, the concern about safety accidents and oil spills in this fragile social and natural ecosystem is continuously increasing. This paper discusses the approach of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), as the upstream oil and gas regulator in Lebanon, towards proper health, safety and environment (HSE) management of the upcoming oil and gas sector. The potential challenges to the sector are excacerbated with existing inconsistencies in regulations, conflicting mandates, weak enforceability, lack of resources and political conflicts. A review of the existing HSE legal and regulatory framework was undertaken to identify gaps and challenges in addition to the mapping of relevant stakeholders. In parallel, a benchmarking of international HSE goverance and management systems in the oil and gas sector was necessary to gauge latest approaches and best practices in the industry to guide the development of a HSE framework in Lebnaon. The analysis covered the characteristics and implications of each of the prescriptive, risk-based and hybrid approaches to HSE management. It highlighted the importance of a very clear distinction between the authority that issues the operating licenses and the authorities that regulate safety and environment in order to prevent conflict of interest and install a natural checks-and-balance system. The study proposes a risk based hybrid HSE governance framework for implementation in Lebanon, as well as, develop a roundmap for the development of this HSE regulatory framework. In parallel, and based on lessons learnt from the Jiyeh 2006 oil spill, the largest oil spill in the Eastern Mediterranenan, an update of the national oil spill contingency plan is undertaken in light of IMO and IPIECA guidelines. This study reconfirms how benchmarks, case studies and context analysis can effectively inform governance in emerging structures facilitating necessary mindset shifts and mainstreaming the needed HSE culture.