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I hope that, by now, most of you have seen our new magazines website, which launched on 1 February. Beyond a clean, modern design that is mobile friendly, our goal was to make our content even more accessible and valuable to you. If you have not visited the new site, I would encourage you to do so at jpt.spe.org. SPE has been working on transforming our digital presence, and this new website is a big step forward in that journey. We have made it easier for you to find content that is valuable to you. JPT and our other magazines generate a lot of articles beyond those in the monthly JPT issue—technical content that crosses all disciplines, along with news to help you stay up to date with what is happening in our industry. By bringing all our magazines together in a single site, we have made it possible for content from the different publications to be combined easily, allowing you to find everything we have published on a subject of interest. The website is organized broadly by discipline but also by topics within those disciplines, giving you the choice of scanning articles broadly or in a more focused manner. Each article has topics and more specific tags at the bottom of the page. These are clickable to allow you to find even more related content. The site has a terrific search engine, so whether you’re searching for information on human factors, discoveries off Guyana and Suriname, or electric submersible pumps, it will direct you to our most relevant content. If you log in and you have given SPE your primary and secondary disciplines, there is a section of the homepage that will recommend relevant recent content that you may have missed. The homepage also includes a sampling of discipline-specific content at the bottom of the page, a couple of topical focus areas that will change periodically, sponsored content, and the most recent 2 months of technical paper synopses. Another change you may notice is locked content, starting with the technical paper synopses. This is content that we develop specifically for you—our members—and we want to ensure that it is the member benefit that it was intended to be. We are still making the full-length technical papers available to members for down-load. You will find them at the end of each related synopsis, as well as in the issue article on the homepage (right column, about halfway down). Bookmark our new website (jpt.spe.org) and visit regularly to stay up to date. You can share any feedback at JPTcomments@spe.org.
Lazreq, Nabila (ADNOC) | Kumar, Rakesh (ADNOC) | Al Shamisi, Eisa (ADNOC) | Al Marzouqi, Hassan (ADNOC) | Al Dahmani, Fatima (ADNOC) | Al Hashmi, Abdullah Ali (ADNOC) | Luo, Yin (Schlumberger) | Povstyanova, Magdalena (Schlumberger) | Bukovac, Tomislav (Schlumberger) | Al Kalbani, Muhannad (Schlumberger)
For the past few years ADNOC has extensively ramped up its effort in exploring and testing unconventional reservoir across Abu Dhabi tight oil and shale gas formation as part of its oil & gas 2030 strategy. Shilaif tight oil exploration started over 5 years ago with multiple vertical wells drilled and tested allowing discovery of stacked tight oil play with significant resources in place. To unlock these resources, horizontal drilling and multistage fracturing were used to confirm recoverable resources, and well potential.
Prolific production results have since propelled hydraulic fracturing, hence it has become imperative to build a process to standardize unconventional fracturing technical and operational requirements and to maximize efficiency and benefit. A prime example of such process was in Huwaila-68 where the organic-rich Shilaif shale/tight oil formation was targeted. A target that is analogous to the Eagle Ford from the same Late Cretaceous age.
A significant weight is put on reservoir quality assessment to minimize margin of error and increase the probability of fracturing success, and to maximize recovery of the estimated tight oil and shale gas in place. This process assessed the Shilaif from a geological, petrophysical, and geomechanical perspectives. This was followed by setting up preferential staging and perforation placement strategy for fracturing based on reservoir and completion quality which correlated to an initially built 1D mechanical earth model. Production forecasting using reservoir simulations were also utilized to assess fracturing success and deliverability. The processes above led to completing multistage fracturing in Huwaila-68 within the Shilaif formation by means of a pump- down perf and plug operation coupled with high rate slick water pumping, which was followed by extensive well testing.
Operational efficiency allowed for the completion of 27 stages placing in excess of 7.3 million lbs of proppant. The use of chemical tracers as a qualitative measure allowed for correlation between natural fracture presence, recorded pumping events, and initially recorded gas shows while drilling. Such observations would help in well placement for future horizontal wells. Post fracturing production rates have met expectations, and were in line with the initial reservoir assessment predictions.
The novelty of this paper is the inclusion of several domains to reduce the error margin of fracturing unconventional formations such as the Shilaif. Being an area where field development is rapidly taking place, the inclusion of new technologies have become persistent, and these were evident from the reservoir assessment phase, through to the fracturing phase, and ending with the well testing phase. This level of data gathering and assessment will act as a benchmark for all future unconventional fracturing within the UAE while lessons learnt will further enhance the turnover from drilling to production.
Outlooks for the oil and gas industry continue to vary along with the supply/demand balance and the continued effects of COVID-19 across the globe. As the outlooks and realities vary, so too do the effects on the global workforce in the energy sector. Last month, Tim Gould, head of energy supply outlooks and investment at the International Energy Agency (IEA), said, “Producers are grappling with huge uncertainty about where this goes from here. That’s not just in terms of economic recovery but indicators we wouldn’t necessarily normally be looking at - levels of trust in different countries about vaccines.” What this may mean, and has meant to date, for the oil and gas industry is reflected in a recent workforce report, “The Global Energy Talent Index 2021,” compiled by Airswift, an international workforce solutions provider that focuses on the energy, process, and infrastructure industries. Based on survey results of 16,000 energy professionals of 151 different nationalities and spread across 166 countries, the 43-question survey was open for 8 weeks and closed in October 2020. Approximately 75% of the respondents were ages 24-54; 90% were male; and employment status was contractor (30%), unemployed (34%), or staff (36%). For the first time in the survey’s 5-year history, more professionals in the oil and gas sector reported a fall in pay (29%) rather than an increase (28%). For about one in four professionals the cut was substantial: 24% said salaries and day rates have fallen by more than 5%. In last year’s survey, only 11% reported a similar drop. However, 49% expect pay to rise in the next 12 months, compared to just 18% who expect further reductions. About 80% of the respondents feel less secure in their jobs than they did a year ago and they indicated a willingness to relocate, if necessary. Nearly 90% of the professionals would consider relocating to another region, with 42% citing career progression as their main reason. Lifestyle and low cost of living and culture now rank higher than remuneration in deciding to relocate. Those who do wish to stay where they are cite family issues as a priority. Nearly half indicate remaining close to family members as their reason to stay, while 13% cite their children’s education. “There’s a clear trend here,” Janette Marx, CEO of Airswift, said in the report. “People are telling us, directly and indirectly, that remuneration is no longer the key consideration. Career progression matters but so too does lifestyle and staying closer to family and friends. This has implications for the way we recruit and retain talent throughout the sector.” A majority remained optimistic about their employers and the industry. Fifty-seven percent believe their employer is resilient to both recent and future change and 64% expect the sector to grow over the next 3 years. Among the factors identified as creating opportunities in the next 3 years, the top-ranked (64%) was advances in engineering techniques and technologies, followed by the economic outlook, transition to cleaner energy, and new digitally enabled skills and competencies.
We enter the new year together as an industry and as SPE members, but also as individuals who have traveled on varying roads and experienced personal detours. While this also can be said of years past, 2020 brought with it unanticipated upheavals within the oil and gas industry, global societies, and our personal and professional lives (and livelihoods). Outlooks for the coming year depend in large part on your own worldview: Are you generally an optimist or a pessimist? An optimist believes that problems are temporary and will get better. A pessimist is convinced that the problem is here to stay and can only get worse. Optimists go into new situations with high expectations, while pessimists hang onto low expectations to prepare for negative outcomes. Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? The objective truth is that the water in the glass is at the halfway mark. The rest is up to our interpretation of that truth. The truth itself doesn’t change, but how we interpret it can have a huge effect on our actions. In his column this month, SPE President Tom Blasingame, a self-described optimist, wrote, “It’s time to look at the horizon” and “open our sails.” The metaphor describes taking action after the worst of a storm has passed or is passing and to make adjustments to get back on course. None of us are continuously optimistic or pessimistic. Life happens and moves the needle in either direction, but opening our sails may help us recover our optimism when it falters. Tapping into our resources is critical to our worldview. Am I consistently a cheerleader with a rosy view, no matter what happens? Certainly not, but I tap into my resources and mightily try to move the needle back toward optimism. (Warning: Success in doing so may not be immediate.) Your personal resources vary, and this is a reminder that SPE is one of those resources. This list is intended to serve as an “SPE Guide to Optimism.” These offerings can help to move the needle for you. Best wishes for 2021 from the JPT editorial team.