The artificial lift system (AL) is the most efficient production technique in optimizing production from unconventional horizontal oil and gas wells. Nonetheless, due to declining reservoir pressure during the production life of a well, artificial lifting of oil and gas remains a critical issue. Notwithstanding the attempt by several studies in the past few decades to understand and develop cutting-edge technologies to optimize the application of artificial lift in tight formations, there remains differing assessments of the best approach, AL type, optimum time and conditions to install artificial lift during the life of a well. This report presents a comprehensive review of artificial lift systems application with specific focus on tight oil and gas formations across the world. The review focuses on thirty-three (33) successful and unsuccessful fieldtests in unconventional horizontal wells over the past few decades. The purpose is to apprise the industry and academic researchers on the various AL optimization approaches that have been used and suggest AL optimization areas where new technologies can be developed.
Penny, Scott (Petrospec Engineering Inc.) | Karanikas, John M (Salamander Solutions Inc.) | Barnett, Jonathan (Salamander Solutions Inc.) | Harley, Guy (Salamander Solutions Inc.) | Hartwell, Chase (Petrospec Engineering Inc.) | Waddell, Trent (Petrospec Engineering Inc.)
Downhole electric heating has historically been unreliable or limited to short, often vertical, well sections. Technology improvements over the past several years now allow for reliable, long length, relatively high powered, downhole electric heating suitable for extended-reach horizontal wells. The application of this downhole electric heating technology in two different horizontal cold-producing heavy oil wells in Alberta is presented.
The first field case study discusses the application of electric heating in a mature, depleted field as a secondary recovery method while the second case study examines a virgin heavy oil reservoir, where cold production by artificial lift was economically challenged. The completion, installation, expected and actual results of both cases studies are compared and contrasted.
Both field deployments demonstrate the benefits and efficacy of applying downhole electric heating. In the case of the mature depleted field, electric heating resulted in a 4X-5X increase in oil rate, sustained over a period of close to two years. The energy ratio of the heating value of the incremental produced oil to the injected heat was slightly over 7.0. In the virgin heavy oil field, electric heating reduced the viscosity of the oil in the wellbore from time zero, which allows for higher rates of oil production along the complete length of the long horizontal lateral at higher, if desired, bottomhole pressures than in a cold-producing well. This degree of freedom may ultimately allow for an operating policy that suppresses excessive production of dissolved gas, thereby helping conserve reservoir energy. Early production data in this field show 4X-6X higher oil rates form the heated well than from the cold-producing benchmark well in the same reservoir.
Numerical simulation models, which include reactions that account for the foamy nature of the produced oil and the downhole injection of heat, have been developed and calibrated against field data. The models can be used to prescribe the range of optimal reservoir and fluid properties to select the most promising targets (fields, wells) for downhole electric heating as a production optimization method, which is crucially important in the current low oil price scenario. The same models can also be used during the execution of the project to explore optimal operating conditions and operating procedures.
Downhole electric heating in long horizontal wells is now a commercially available technology that can be reliably applied as a production optimization recovery scheme in heavy oil reservoirs. Understanding the optimum reservoir conditions where the application of downhole electric heating maximizes economic benefits will assist in identifying areas of opportunity to meaningfully increase reserves and production in heavy oil reservoirs in Alberta as well as around the world.
This course discusses the fundamental sand control considerations involved in completing a well and introduces the various sand control techniques commonly used across the industry, including standalone screens, gravel packs, high rate water packs and frac-packs. It requires only a basic understanding of oilfield operations and is intended for drilling, completion and production personnel with some sand control experience who are looking to gain a better understanding of each technique’s advantages, limitations and application window for use in their upcoming completions.
Weijermans, Peter-Jan (Neptune Energy Netherlands B.V.) | Huibregtse, Paul (Tellures Consult) | Arts, Rob (Neptune Energy Netherlands B.V.) | Benedictus, Tjirk (Neptune Energy Netherlands B.V.) | De Jong, Mat (Neptune Energy Netherlands B.V.) | Hazebelt, Wouter (Neptune Energy Netherlands B.V.) | Vernain-Perriot, Veronique (Neptune Energy Netherlands B.V.) | Van der Most, Michiel (Neptune Energy Netherlands B.V.)
The E17a-A gas field, located offshore The Netherlands in the Southern North Sea, started production in 2009 from Upper Carboniferous sandstones, initially from three wells. Since early production history of the field, the p/z plot extrapolation has consistently shown an apparent Gas Initially In Place (GIIP) which was more than 50% higher than the volumetric GIIP mapped. The origin of the pressure support (e.g. aquifer support, much higher GIIP than mapped) and overall behavior of the field were poorly understood.
An integrated modeling study was carried out to better understand the dynamics of this complex field, evaluate infill potential and optimize recovery. An initial history matching attempt with a simulation model based on a legacy static model highlighted the limitations of existing interpretations in terms of in-place volumes and connectivity. The structural interpretation of the field was revisited and a novel facies modeling methodology was developed. 3D training images, constructed from reservoir analogue and outcrop data integrated with deterministic reservoir body mapping, allowed successful application of Multi Point Statistics techniques to generate plausible reservoir body geometry, dimensions and connectivity.
Following a series of static-dynamic iterations, a satisfying history match was achieved which matches observed reservoir pressure data, flowing wellhead pressure data, water influx trends in the wells and RFT pressure profiles of two more recent production wells. The new facies modeling methodology, using outcrop analogue data as deterministic input, and a revised seismic interpretation were key improvements to the static model. Apart from resolving the magnitude of GIIP and aquifer pressure support, the reservoir characterization and simulation study provided valuable insights into the overall dynamics of the field – e.g. crossflows between compartments, water encroachment patterns and vertical communication. Based on the model a promising infill target was identified at an up-dip location in the west of the field which looked favorable in terms of increasing production and optimizing recovery. At the time of writing, the new well has just been drilled. Preliminary logging results of the well will be briefly discussed and compared to pre-drill predictions based on the results of the integrated reservoir characterization and simulation study.
The new facies modeling methodology presented is in principle applicable to a number of Carboniferous gas fields in the Southern North Sea. Application of this method can lead to improved understanding and optimized recovery. In addition, this case study demonstrates how truly integrated reservoir characterization and simulation can lead to a revision of an existing view of a field, improve understanding and unlock hidden potential.
When key geological scenario uncertainties, captured in multiple conceptual models, are combined with continuous parameters, the evaluation of a representative sample set quickly becomes unmanageable, laborious and too time consuming to execute. A workflow is presented that enables users to easily model conceptual as well as parametric uncertainties of the reservoir without the necessity of any complex scripting. The chain of models for all concepts is presented in one view, to provide overview of the key differences between concepts used. An ensemble of geologically sound samples can be created taking into account parameter dependencies and probabilities of concepts. The chain of models per concept can easily be (re)executed.
A case study is presented that consists of multiple concepts based on different hierarchical stratigraphic models in combination with different fault models, each of which with its own fluid- (defined contacts per compartment), grid- (sub-layering and areal resolution) and rock property models. Volumetric calculations are run on an ensemble to get static model observables like GRV, Pore Volume, Oil-In-Place, etc., reported by multiple sub-regions of the model in combination with a lease boundary. (When coupled with dynamic simulation, observables like ultimate recovery, break-through timing, etc. could also be obtained). As thousands of realizations were run concurrently, run time was reduced from weeks to hours. Results reveal the distribution and dependency of observables like GRV on top-structure-depth uncertainty and contact-level uncertainty. For in-place volumes the full suite of concepts and other parametric uncertainties including the stochastic uncertainties (i.e. seed) is analyzed. This also enables the identification of the key uncertainties that impact equity the most, which can be of great commercial value during equity negotiations. This workflow demonstrates how, with the power of Cloud computing, rigorous evaluation of multiple concepts combined with many parametric uncertainties has been achieved within practical turn-around times. As such it overcomes the prohibitive hurdles of the past that often have led to simplifications necessary to save time and effort. The result is better decision quality in resource development decisions.
Hydrocarbon in place volumes are often inaccurate as a result of poor representation of the reservoir structure (by means of a 3D grid), that in combination with the use of traditional saturation calculation methods, lead to erroneous hydrocarbon volumes and poor investment decisions.
Traditionally a reservoir model is represented with a 3D grid, in a complex setting such as fault intersections and stacked reservoirs. A corner point grid is often used, which has limitations to represent this complexity. Further, the hydrocarbon saturations are then derived on a cell by cell basis on that 3D grid using simple averaging techniques of saturation height functions. The poor structure representation on the pillar grid in addition to the simplistic averaging methods lead to inaccuracies of the in place volumes especially where a prominent transition zone is present.
This paper presents new advanced saturation averaging methods (volume and height weighted) using saturation height functions on 3D grids. The new advanced saturation averaging methods are used on different reservoir models to compare the saturation distribution and volumetric differences against the traditional saturation calculation methods. A 4-way dip closure reservoir model with a tilted free water level (typical example of a carbonate reservoir in the Middle East), and a faulted S-grid model of the F3-FA field (North Sea) are used.
For the 4-way dip closure reservoir model, when comparing the advanced ‘volume weighted’ and traditional ‘by center of the part of the cell’ saturation averaging methods, a significant difference in the water saturations is observed which leads to about 5% difference in the calculation of in place hydrocarbon volumes. Further, it is observed that changing the thickness and orientation of the 3D grid cells can result in even larger differences of 5-10%.
The faulted F3 model shows that the difference between the hydrocarbon saturation values is largest where it matters most, that is, around the fluid contacts and in the transition zone. The new advanced saturation averaging methods give accurate hydrocarbon saturations irrespective of the size or complexity of the 3D grid and without any discretization effects.
The Vega subsea field in Norway has been producing successfully using a continuous Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG) injection, topped up with corrosion inhibition means. A topside reclamation process allows reuse of MEG, however, limits the possibilities to produce saline water. In order to manage wells producing saline formation water and to increase ultimate recovery, a new flow assurance and integrity philosophy without continuous MEG injection is considered. This paper describes the options on hydrate as well as integrity management and the modifications both on the subsea and topside facilities required to enable an operational philosophy change. This change of the operational philosophy appears feasible, using either timely depressurization or Low Dosage Hydrate Inhibitors (LDHI) as well as a film building corrosion inhibitor in the system.
This paper presents a Digital Twin concept aimed at assets in the oil & gas and wind industry, that provides an accurate estimate of the true fatigue life of these assets in order to unlock potential fatigue life and ultimately extend the life of assets. This concept is divided in four tiers that allow to unlock remaining fatigue life one after the other. The first tier consists of using a high-resolution finite element model of the asset, delivered by Akselos unique RB-FEA technology. The subsequent tiers consist in using data from a few strategically placed accelerometers, as well as wave radar recordings, in order to calibrate the model and estimate the real loading on the asset. This concept delivers a true digital twin of the asset and offers a compelling and costeffective method for offshore assets that are facing life time extension beyond what current methodologies can provide. The concept is being implemented on one of Shell's platforms in the Southern North Sea.
This seminar will teach participants how to identify, evaluate, and quantify risk and uncertainty in everyday oil and gas economic situations. It reviews the development of pragmatic tools, methods, and understandings for professionals that are applicable to companies of all sizes. The seminar also briefly reviews statistics, the relationship between risk and return, and hedging and future markets. Strategic thinking and planning are key elements in an organisation’s journey to maximise value to shareholders, customers, and employees. Through this workshop, attendees will go through the different processes involved in strategic planning including the elements of organisational SWOT, business scenario and options development, elaboration of strategic options and communication to stakeholders.
Understanding petrophysical properties well enough to make drilling decisions, particularly for tight gas can be a challenge. A new computer system aims to help analyze the extensive data involved. There are more than 100 accumulations in the southern North Sea that are flagged as stranded fields. One of these stranded tight gas fields, the Kew field, has been developed successfully with the use of a subsea well, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing.