Wellbore instability is caused by the radical change in the mechanical strength as well as chemical and physical alterations when exposed to drilling fluids. A set of unexpected events associated with wellbore instability in shales account for more than 10% of drilling cost, which is estimated to one billion dollars per annum. Understanding shale-drilling fluid interaction plays a key role in minimizing drilling problems in unconventional resources. The need for efficient inhibitive drilling fluid system for drilling operations in unconventional resources is growing. This study analyzes different drilling fluid systems and their compatibility in unconventional drilling to improve wellbore stability.
A set of inhibitive drilling muds including cesium formate, potassium formate, and diesel-based mud were tested on shale samples with drilling concerns due to high-clay content. An innovative high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) drilling simulator set-up was used to test the mud systems. The results from the test provides reliable data that will be used to capture more effective drilling fluid systems for treating reactive shales and optimizing unconventional drilling.
This paper describes the use of an innovative drilling simulator for testing inhibitive mud systems for reactive shale. The effectiveness of inhibitive muds in high-clay shale was investigated. Their impact on a combination of problems, such high torque and drag, high friction factor, and lubricity was also assessed. Finally, the paper evaluates the sealing ability of some designed lost circulation material (LCM) muds in a high pressure high temperature environment.
Simplified analytical methods are used in 1D geomechanics workflows to predict the rock's behavior during drilling, completion and production operations. These methods are simplistic in their approach and enable us in getting a time-efficient solution, however it does lose out on accuracy. In addition, by simplifying equations, we limit our ability to predict behavior of the borehole wall only i.e. near wellbore solutions. Using 1D analytical methods, we are unable to predict full field behavior in response to drilling and production activities. For example, when developing a field wide drilling plan or preparing a field development plan for a complex subsurface setting, a simplified approach may not be accurate enough and on the contrary, can be quite misleading. A 3D numerical solution on the other hand, honours subsurface features of a field and simulates for their effect on stresses. It generates solutions which are more akin to reality.
In this paper, difference between a simplified semi-quantitative well-centric approach (1D) and a full field numerical solution (3D) has been presented and discussed. The subsurface setting considered in this paper is quite complex - high dipping beds with pinch outs and low angled faults in a thrust regime. Wellbore stability and fault stability models have been constructed using well-centric approach and using a full field-wide 3D numerical solution and compared to understand the differences.
In this study, it was clearly observed that field-based approach provided us with more accurate estimation of overburden stresses, variation of pore pressure across the field, changes in stress magnitudes and captured its rotation due to pinch-outs and formation dips. For example, due to variation in topography, the well-centric overburden estimates at the toe of deviated well at reservoir level is lower by 0.21gm/cc as compared to the 3D model. It is also observed that within the field itself stress regime changes from normal to strike slip laterally across the reservoir. In comparison to 1D model, considerable differences in stable mud weight window of upto 1.5ppg is observed in wells located close to faults. This is due to effect of fault on stress magnitude and azimuth. Stress state of 4 faults were assessed and all are estimated to be critically stressed with elevated risk of damaging three wells cutting through. However, a simple 1D assessment of stress state of faults at wells cutting through them, show them to be stable.
Moreover, the 3D geomechanical properties that are input into the numerical simulation also play an important role on the results. The algorithms and data used to populate the properties away from the well, need to be validated and calibrated with the well data, to predict reliable results. As the subsurface was quite complex, and well data was not sampled optimally, both horizontally and vertically, the selection and optimum usage of 3D trends also became crucial.
By comparing the differences between 1D and 3D solutions, importance of 3D numerical modelling over 1D models is highlighted.
In recent years, the oil and gas industry has gained greater operational efficiencies and productivity by deploying advanced technologies, such as smart sensors, data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning — all linked via Internet of Things connectivity. This transformation is profound, but just starting. Leading offshore E&P operators envision using such applications to help drive their production costs to as low as $7 per barrel or less. A large North Sea operator among them successfully deployed a low-manned platform in the Ivar Aasen field in December 2016, operating it via redundant control rooms — one on the platform, the other onshore 1,000 kilometers away in Trondheim, Norway. In January 2019, the offshore control room operators handed over the platform's control to the onshore operators, and it is now managed exclusively from the onshore one. One particular application — remote condition monitoring of equipment — supports a proactive, more predictive condition-based maintenance program, which is helping to ensure equipment availability, maximize utilization, and find ways to improve performance. This paper will explain the use case in greater detail, including insights into how artificial intelligence and machine learning are incorporated into this operational model. Also described will be the application of a closed-loop lifecycle platform management model, using the concepts of digital twins from pre-FEED and FEED phases through construction, commissioning, and an expected lifecycle spanning 20 years of operations. It is derived from an update to a paper presented at the 2018 SPE Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) that introduced the use case in its 2017-18 operating model, but that was before the debut of the platform's exclusive monitoring of its operations by its onshore control room.
After years of development, qualification and engineering, subsea compression technology is now a proven solution to increase the recovery factor for offshore gas developments. The first subsea compression system was installed at the Aasgard field in the Norwegian Sea, which was started up successfully on the 17th. of September 2015. This project represents an important milestone for the oil and gas industry, as apart from representing the successful developments of new subsea processing technologies, subsea compression also proves itself a viable alternative field development option to oil and gas operators.
The experience from Aasgard enables tomorrow’s subsea compression solutions. The basis is increased field recovery by subsea compression. In addition it opens for wells stream and deep water applications, as well as CO2 EOR.
This paper aims to share Aker Solutions’ experience on Aasgard Subsea Compression project, from the design and the project execution phases up to the operational phase, highlighting the key learnings from more than 50 000 hours of successful subsea operation.
In addition, the paper will also describe the ongoing development activities to optimize the compression system delivered for Aasgard, with particular focus on increased field recovery and unit size and weight optimization without requiring qualification activities of new technologies. This new generation of subsea compression system will extend the applicability of this technology to a much wider range of fields and offshore regions.
Bordeori, Krishna (Schlumberger) | Gupta, Vaibhav (Schlumberger) | Sharma, Lovely (Schlumberger) | Narayan, Shashank (Schlumberger) | Talukdar, Dhurba (Oil India Ltd.) | Lama, Tshering (Oil India Ltd.)
Cased hole gravel pack (CHGP) is the most popular method for controlling production of formation sand in oil or gas cased hole wells. CHGP involves the packing of screen and casing annulus, and perforations to inhibit production of formation sand. Success of a CHGP depends on various factors such as perforation packing, cleanliness of completion brine, perforation strategy and minimizing drawdown. Quality of perforation packing aids in minimizing drawdown of gravel pack completions. This led to popularization of high-rate water packs (HRWPs), an evolved sand control method for cased hole wells. HRWPs involve pumping above fracture extension rate and placing gravels outside casing into the critical matrix. This paper discusses maturation process in design, execution, and evaluation methodology devised from a campaign of 16 HRWPs, which included two formation breakdown acid injections, one slim hole completion, two re-stresses and one top-off.
Naharkatiya fields of Oil India Limited, in Assam-Arakan basin are characterized with high degrees of unconsolidated formation sand. Elements of heterogeneity like formation sand ingression rate, PSD, mineralogy and well-profile in these two fields, where most of the HRWP treatments were executed, demanded case-specific pre-gravel-pack workover operations. Installation of screens and pumping of HRWP treatment presented many challenges, such as formation sand ingression, high circulation pressures, uneven slack/pull weights and issues in tool operations. All these challenges were tackled in unique ways and successful HRWP treatments were completed. A holistic approach was developed towards execution of a High Rate Water Pack treatment, by analyzing all interlinked elements such as perforations, cores, cement bond, reservoir saturation, water cut and offset well history. Post-treatment evaluation of HRWPs using bottomhole gauges identified a sequence of downhole events and potential issues during execution phase. Correlating each new HRWP candidate with learnings from previous ones allowed the operator to better plan workover steps towards execution of the sand control treatment. Contingency plans were devised to tackle issues learned from previous wells, and many were successfully tested in the campaign. Production rates and choke strategies were optimized by analysis of offset wells.
This paper presents data analysis of wells while correlating with their offsets. Post-treatment analysis has been discussed and correlations between suspected issues during execution with signatures in bottom-hole gauge data have been presented. Recommendation are further provided for drilling and completion operations. Evolution in design and execution process for case wells has been presented, which can be used as a reference literature for designing case specific sand control treatment program.
Identification of a prospect is normally done based on seismic interpretation and geological understanding of the area. However, due to the inherent uncertainties of the data we still observe in many cases that all key petroleum system elements are present, but still the drilled prospect is dry. Such failures are mostly attributed to a lack of understanding of seal capacity, reservoir heterogeneity, source rock presence and maturation, hydrocarbon migration, and relative timing of these processes. The workflow described in this paper aims to improve discovery success rates by deploying a more rigorous and structured approach. It is guided by the play-based exploration risk assessment process. The starting point is always that the process is guided by the the basic understanding of a mature kitchen should always be based on a regional scale petroleum systems model. However, while evaluating prospects, the migration and entrapment component of a prospect should always be investigated by means of a locally refined grid-based petroleum system model. The uniquepart of this approach is the construction of a high-resolution static model covering the prospects, which is built by using available well data, seismo-geological trends and attributes to capture reservoir potential. Additional inputs such as fault seal analysis also helps to understand prospect scale migration and associated geological risks. In the regional play and local prospect-scale petroleum system models, geological and geophysical inputs are utilized to create the uncertainty distribution for each input parameter which is required for assessing the success case volume of identified prospects. The evaluated risk is combined with the volumetric uncertainty in a probabilistic way to derive the risked volumetrics. It is further translated into an economic evaluation of the prospect by integrating inputs like estimated production profiles, appropriate fiscal models, HC price decks, etc. This enables the economic viability of the prospects to be assessed, resulting in a portfolio with proper ranking to build a decision-tree leading to execution and operations in ensuing drilling campaigns.
CML (Controlled Mud Level) is a dual gradient type of Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD). The CML system was developed and implemented on the Troll field to allow for reducing the annular pressures acting on the wellbore during drilling, thus allowing drilling areas weakened by faults and fractures and longer horizontal sections in the depleted normal pressured reservoirs. This paper will present a short introduction to the Troll field, a description of the system utilized, a summary of the rig integration, operations and experiences with the CML system on Troll.
The negative impacts of high water cut in mature fields are well known within the oil & gas industry. Water production preventive & mitigative measures are well established and documented: Wireline or coil tubing conveyed diagnostic and work-over operation(s) is one of such common preventive measures. This paper, through a series of integrated case studies will highlight the best practices for wireline conveyed logging and work-overs with one common goal, i.e. to achieve the water production to a minimum acceptable level in deviated high water cut wells.
The prolific XYZ field is located in the Northern North Sea and it produces oil from Jurassic Brent Group. Oil production from the XYZ reservoir started in early 1978, with 43 producing wells and 15 water injection wells targeting the Rannoch, Etive, Ness and Tarbert sands. Oil and gas production peaked in 1982 and since then production has steadily declined for this field. The increasing water cut in the wells of this field is presenting a challenge for the operating companies.
Production profiling using advanced Production Logging data, casing/tubing integrity check using Multi-Finger Caliper data and saturation monitoring using cased-hole Reservoir Saturation data was done in these wells to ascertain the water producing zones and do the subsequent well intervention, if required. A strategic diagnostic test was designed to precisely evaluate the flow profile using advance production logging tool consisting of 5 mini-spinners & 6 sets of each electrical and optical probes; Real-time data assessment and analysis was done for different flowing rate surveys to validate the findings. Additionally, casing condition was evaluated using Multi-Finger Caliper to decide Plug or Straddle setting depths. Also, new hydrocarbon bearing zones were identified based on cased-hole saturation tool results. The analysis results boosted the cumulative oil production.
This study demonstrates the importance of making real time interpretation decisions at the wellsite and the benefit of developing a good working relationship between wellsite engineers and onshore technical support. The results of this work led to the unequivocal determination of major oil and water producing zones in deviated high water cut (95%+) wellbores which further helped in taking workover decisions to carry out water shut off, utilizing either plug or straddle technology. The findings of caliper data determined the appropriate plug or straddle setting depths. The results were compared and confirmed with the nearby well dynamic pressures and production data.
The technical approach and processes applied to wells of XYZ field is a valuable example guide to decide water shut off zones and technique of similar plays. This study consists of three integrated case studies from a mature field where water shut-off zones and technologies were decided based on the findings of production logging and well integrity data. Also, re-perforation jobs were performed based on the cased-hole reservoir saturation data results. These strategic workover operations ultimately led to significant increase in hydrocarbon production.
Maintaining a stable borehole and optimizing drilling are still considered to be vital practice for the success of any hydrocarbon field development and planning. The present study deliberates a case study on the estimation of pore pressure and fracture gradient for the recently decommissioned Volve oil field at the North Sea. High resolution geophysical logs drilled through the reservoir formation of the studied field have been used to estimate the overburden, pore pressure, and fracture pressure. The well-known Eaton’s method and Matthews-Kelly’s tools were used for the estimation of pore pressure and fracture gradient, respectively. Estimated outputs were calibrated and validated with the available direct downhole measurements (formation pressure measurements, LOT/FIT). Further, shear failure gradient has been calculated using Mohr-Coulomb rock failure criterion to understand the wellbore stability issues in the studied field. Largely, the pore pressure in the reservoir formation is hydrostatic in nature, except the lower Cretaceous to upper Jurassic shales, which were found to be associated with mild overpressure regimes. This study is an attempt to assess the in-situ stress system of the Volve field if CO2 is injected for geological storage in near future.
Gaurav Seth, Ernesto Valbuena, Soong Tam, Will Da Sie, Hemant Kumar, Brian Arias, and Troy Price, Chevron Summary In this paper we present the results and analyses from an integrated simulation study focused on evaluating and selecting subsea boosting systems. The integrated model uses field-management strategies incorporating flowline routing, field and gathering-network constraints, and rate allocation. Novel techniques to model subsea networks enable selection of the boosting system and provide an improved understanding of dynamic conditions encountered in deepwater assets. The selected boosting system ensures safe and reliable operations while improving the project's net present value. Combining responses from reservoir and network systems into an integrated model to evaluate the subsea design requirements is a unique aspect of this study, because this involves novel modeling techniques for boosting systems (pumps). Analysis of these outputs leads to an improved understanding of field operation strategies, equipment selection and sizing, and production forecasts. The integrated model uses inflow performance relationships (IPRs) from reservoir simulation and vertical lift tables to generate performance curves (PCs), representing well deliverability as a function of tubinghead pressure. Comprehensive field-management logic uses the PCs to determine optimal well operating rates that satisfy all subsurface and surface constraints. This approach reduces a complex set of constraints to a single operating rate. Well operating rate is also a function of the pump power, the pump suction pressure, and the fluid phase behavior across the pumps. The integrated model delivers pump performance within its operating envelope and ensures equipment integrity. Two components of the subsea boosting system, single-and multiphase pumps, drove performance optimization and selection of system operating conditions. The study incorporated a comprehensive analysis of system constraints through implementation of complex field-management rules that accounted for well integrity (completions), performance of network equipment (valves, boosters, pump power requirements), facility capacities, and reservoir deliverability. The integrated study identified the different limiting system constraints throughout the life of the field and improved the overall efficiency of the gathering system. Use of PCs to reduce the constraints to a single operating rate provides tremendous computational performance improvement.