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Oil and gas executives across the North American shale sector are continuing to come to the table and negotiate a steady stream of deals to consolidate portfolios. During the second quarter, the deal making amounted to more than $33 billion in mergers and acquisitions, according to data from Enverus. The energy-focused analytics firm said last month in its quarterly review the combined figure represents more than 40 deals, with seven of them topping $1 billion each. The third quarter has so far not seen any announced transactions surpass the $1-billion mark. Instead, most deals struck in July were between mid-sized and small US-based operators.
Michael Eberhard, an SPE Distinguished Service Award recipient and former director of the SPE Rocky Mountain Region, died 23 June. Eberhard started his 40-year oil industry career as a field engineer for Halliburton Services. He went on to become the company's Rocky Mountain Technology Manager from 2004 to 2011 and led a multidisciplined team focused on unconventional resources completions and optimization. He was the completions manager for Anadarko Petroleum's DJ Basin program from 2011 to 2015. He joined SRC Energy in 2015 and was the COO and executive vice president of the company.
Introduction Petroleum data analytics is a solid engineering application of data science in petroleum-engineering-related problems. The engineering application of data science is defined as the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to model physical phenomena purely based on facts (e.g., field measurements and data). The main objective of this technology is the complete avoidance of assumptions, simplifications, preconceived notions, and biases. One of the major characteristics of petroleum data analytics is its incorporation of explainable artificial intelligence (XAI). While using actual field measurements as the main building blocks of modeling physical phenomena, petroleum data analytics incorporates several types of machine-learning algorithms, including artificial neural networks, fuzzy set theory, and evolutionary computing.
Denver-based Civitas Resources announced today that it is acquiring Crestone Peak Resources in an all-stock transaction. Civitas was formed last month through the announced merger of Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin operators Bonanza Creek Energy and Extraction Oil & Gas. On a pro forma basis, the three-way merger will create a firm with an enterprise value of nearly $4.5 billion and a production profile of almost 160,000 BOE/D. Crestone's assets will bring Civitas' position in the DJ Basin to more than 500,000 net acres. In addition, the combination with Crestone is expected to realize nearly $45 million in expected annual synergies.
US shale producers Cabot Oil & Gas and Cimarex Energy are the latest to declare a "merger of equals" in a deal valued at around $17 billion, based on recent equity prices. Announced today, the terms of the deal will result in Cimarex shareholders owning about 50.5% of the combined company and Cabot shareholders owning approximately 49.5%. The deal brings together Houston-based Cabot's gas-rich portfolio, comprising almost 173,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale, with Cimarex's oil-dominated 560,000 net acres in the Permian Basin and Anadarko Basin. On a pro forma basis, the merged company will produce around 600,000 BOE/D from the three basins. The companies expect $100 million in savings to materialize within 2 years of the deal closing and to generate around $4.7 billion in free cash flow from 2022 to 2024.
Abstract Subsurface characterization of fluid volumes is typically constrained and validated by core analytical fluid saturation measurement techniques (example Dean-Stark or Open Retort methodology). As production in resource plays has progressed over time, it has been noted that many of these methods have a large error when compared to production data. A large source of the error seems to be that water saturations in tight rocks have been consistently underestimated in the traditional laboratory measurement techniques. Operators need improved fluid saturation measurements to better constrain their log-based oil-in-place estimates and forward-looking production trends. The overall goal of this study is to test a new laboratory workflow for fluid saturation quantification. Recent advancements have led to an innovative methodology where a closed retort laboratory technique is applied to samples from lithological rock types in the Williston, Uinta and Denever-Julesburg (DJ) basins. This new technique is specifically designed to better quantify and validate water measurements throughout the tight rock analysis process, as well as improved oil recovery and built-in prediction. A comparison of standard crushed rock analysis employing Dean-Stark saturation methods is compared to the closed retort results and observations discussed. Results will also be compared against additional laboratory methods that validate the results such as geochemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance. Finally, open-hole wireline logs will be utilized to quantify the impact on total water saturation and the oil-in place estimates based on the improved accuracy of the closed retort technique.
Johnson, Andrew C. (Schlumberger) | Miles, Jeffrey (Schlumberger) | Mosse, Laurent (Schlumberger) | Laronga, Robert (Schlumberger) | Lujan, Violeta (Schlumberger) | Aryal, Niranjan (Schlumberger) | Nwosu, Dozie (Schlumberger)
Abstract Formation water saturation is a critical target property for any comprehensive well log analysis program. Most techniques for computing saturation depend heavily on an analyst’s ability to accurately model resistivity measurements for the effects of formation water resistivity and rock texture. However, the pre-requisite knowledge of formation water properties, particularly salinity, is often either unknown, varying with depth or lateral extent, or is difficult to derive from traditional methods. A high degree of variability may be present due to fluid migration from production, water injection, or various geological mechanisms. In unconventional reservoirs, the complexity of the rocks and pore structure further complicates traditional interpretation of the available well logs. These factors introduce significant uncertainties in the computed fluid saturations and therefore can substantially affect final reserves estimates. A novel technique in geochemical spectroscopy has recently been introduced to distinguish the chlorine signals of the formation and borehole. The new, quantitative measurement of formation chlorine enables a direct calculation of bulk water volume for a given formation water salinity. When integrated into a multi-physics log analysis workflow, the chlorine-derived water volume can provide critical information on fluid saturations, hydrocarbon-in-place, and producibility indicators. This additional information is especially useful for characterizing challenging and complex unconventional reservoirs. We present the new technique through several full petrophysical evaluation case studies in organic shale formations across the U.S., including the Midland, Delaware, Marcellus, and DJ basins. We solve for formation-specific water salinity and bulk water volume through an optimization that combines chlorine concentration with resistivity and dielectric measurements. These outputs are integrated into comprehensive petrophysical evaluations, leveraging a suite of advanced well log measurements to compute final fluid and rock properties and volumetrics. The evaluations include geochemical mineralogy logs, 2D NMR analyses, dielectric dispersion analyses, basic log measurements, and multi-mineral models. The results underscore the utility of the new spectroscopy chlorine log to reduce petrophysical model uncertainties in an integrated workflow. While this workflow has been demonstrated here in several U.S. organic shale case studies, the fundamental challenges it addresses will make it a valuable solution for a range of unconventional reservoirs globally.
Sochovka, Jon (Liberty Oilfield Services) | George, Kyle (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Melcher, Howard (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Mayerhofer, Mike (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Weijers, Leen (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Poppel, Ben (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Siegel, Joel (Liberty Oilfield Services)
Abstract The shale industry has changed beyond recognition over the last decade and is once again in rapid transition. While we are unsure about the nature of innovations to make US shale ever more competitive, we are certain that the current downturn will drive a further reduction in $/BO – the total cost to lift a barrel of US shale oil to the surface. As a result of an increase in scale and industry efficiency gains, the all-in price charged by service companies to place a pound of proppant downhole has come down from more than $0.50/lb in 2012 to about $0.10/lb today. In this paper, we discuss what components have contributed to this reduction to date and use several case studies to illustrate the potential for further cost reductions. The authors used FracFocus data to study a variety of placement and production chemicals for about 100,000 horizontal wells in US liquid rich basins, including the Williston, Powder River, DJ, Permian basins, as well as SCOOP/STACK and Eagle Ford. All chemicals used were averaged on a per-well basis into a gallon-per-thousand gallons (gpt) metric. In the paper, we first provide an overview of trends by basin since 2010 for these chemical additives. Then, we perform Multi-Variate Analysis (MVA) to determine if groups of these chemicals show an impact on production performance in specific basins or formations. Finally, through integration of lab testing (on fluid systems and proppants), a liquid-rich shale production database and FracFocus tracking of industry trends, the authors developed a list of case histories that show modest to significant reductions in $/BO. In this paper we focus on proppant delivery cost – the cost to place a pound of proppant in a fracture downhole, where it can contribute to a well's production for years to come. The last decade saw a 10-fold increase in horsepower, a 20-fold increase in yearly stages pumped and a 40-fold yearly proppant mass increase. One result of this increase in scale, was a gain in efficiencies, which led to an average 3-fold fracturing cost decrease to place a pound of proppant downhole. We will document this trend in detail in the paper. A significant industry trend over the last decade has been a "viscosity for velocity" trade. The change to smaller mesh regional proppants, in combination with an increase in pump rates on frac jobs in the US, has allowed fluid systems to become more "watery". At the same time, the industry is moving from guar systems to polyacrylamide-based systems that exhibit higher apparent viscosities at low to ultra-low shear rates. These newer High Viscosity Friction Reducer (HVFR) systems show superior proppant carrying capacity over traditional slickwater fluid systems. Regained conductivity testing has shown that these HVFR systems are generally cleaner for fracture conductivity than guar systems. Along with changes to base chemistry, a 2- to 5-fold increase in disposal costs and an overall "green initiative" over the last decade have resulted in a push to maximize recycled water usage on these HVFR jobs. These waters can be in excess of 150,000 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) which present challenges across the board when designing a compatible fluid system that fits the needs in terms of viscosity yield, scale inhibition and microbial mitigation etc. – all while keeping costs low. Specialty chemicals, such as Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) substitutes that have similar efficacy as HCl but significantly lower reactivity with human skin, have helped significantly to improve operational safety around previously-categorized hazardous chemicals, and have helped reduce cost and improve pump time efficiency. Measurement of bacterial activity during and after fracture treatments can help with the best economic selection of the appropriate biocide. These simple measurements can help further reduce what is spent on the necessary chemical package to effectively treat a well. This paper provides a holistic view of fluid selection issues and shows a real-data focused methodology to further support a leaner approach to hydraulic fracturing.
Abstract A seven-step workflow to help subsurface teams establish an initial thesis for optimal completion design (cluster spacing, proppant per cluster) and well spacing in emerging / under-explored resource plays is proposed and executed for the Powder River Basin Niobrara unconventional oil play. The workflow uses Rate Transient Analysis (RTA) to determine the parameter and then walks the reader through how to sequentially decouple the parameter into its constituent parts (frac height (h), number of symmetrical fractures achieved (nf), permeability (k) and fracture half-length (xf)). Once these terms were quantified for each of the case study wells, they were used in a black oil reservoir simulator to compare predicted verses actual cumulative oil performance at 30, 60, 90,120 & 180 days. A long-term production match was achieved using xf as the lone history match parameter. xf verses proppant per effective half-cluster yielded an R value of > 0.90. 28 simulation scenarios were executed to represent a range of cluster spacing, proppant per cluster and well spacing scenarios. Economics (ROR and/or NPV10/Net Acre) were determined for each of these scenarios under three different commodity pricing assumptions ($40/$2.50, $50/$2.50 and $60/$2.50). An initial thesis for optimal cluster spacing, proppant per designed cluster and well spacing were determined to be 12’, 47,500 lbs and 8-14 wells per section (based on whether or not fracture asymmetry is considered) when WTI and Henry Hub are assumed to be $50 & $2.50 flat.
Potapenko, Dmitriy Ivanovich (Member) | Hart, Timothy Brian (Fremont Petroleum Corporation) | Waters, George Alan (Member) | Lewis, Richard E. (Member) | Utter, Robert J. (New Ventures Energy Consulting) | Brown, J. Ernest (Member) | Goudy, Guy Thomas (Formerly Fremont Petroleum Corporation) | Jelsma, Henk H (Radial Drilling Services, Inc.)
Abstract This paper describes the first application of a novel reservoir-stimulation methodology that combines oriented extended perforation tunnels of lengths up to 300 feet with specially designed hydraulic fracturing operations in the Niobrara Formation in the Florence Field in Colorado. The technology was extensively tested in two vertical wells completed with two and five pairs of the extended perforation tunnels respectively. Extended perforation tunnels were jetted using radial drilling technique with the tools deployed using micro coil tubing. The jetting operation on each well was followed by a fracture stimulation treatment. The use of radial drilling technology to create extended perforation tunnels for the vertical wells offered a cost-effective way to significantly increase the reservoir contact area of the wellbore, making it similar to that of horizontal wells in the area. The engineered fracture treatments were performed at low treating pressures, and low proppant and fluid volumes. The stabilized production rates of both project vertical wells included in this technology test exceeded expectations and are comparable to the stabilized production rate of the offset horizontal well that was completed in the same zone with significantly higher volumes of proppant and fluid. The initial evaluation of the completion efficiency of this novel reservoir stimulation technology showed that its deployment delivered an improved stabilized production rate to cost ratio for the second vertical well, compared to the reference horizontal well. Based on the test results from the two wells, we conclude that the proposed reservoir stimulation methodology leads to substantial improvements in well production performance compared to traditional reservoir stimulation methods. Both the applied cost-effective approach for increasing the reservoir contact and the significantly lower resource intensity required for the hydraulic fracturing treatment further improve the economic benefits of this methodology. This novel reservoir stimulation methodology opens the way for reconsidering well completion practices in the Niobrara Formation and holds significant potential for improving the hydrocarbon production economics in the Florence Field.