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Natural gas may be facing an uphill battle in proving itself as a suitable bridging fuel between conventional hydrocarbons and renewable energy sources, especially in Europe where urgency over climate change has ramped up and the call for a quicker path to decarbonization grows louder. As a result, natural gas plant projects across the region are having a harder time finding financing as lenders are pressured to ratchet up the emissions criteria required for funding. Utility providers across Europe have already predicted the potential of supply issues as they work to phase out aging infrastructure, including coal-powered and nuclear plants. Producers have felt for years that gas would be the natural feedstock for new power generation as scientists played catchup in the world of green energy. However, with the cost of renewable energy falling and the promise of new breakthroughs in hydrogen technologies coupled with the drive for a zero-emission future, the natural gas "bridge" may be bypassed altogether.
Romer, Michael Christopher (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Spiecker, Matt (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Hall, Tim James (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Dieudonne, Raphaël (Hydro Leduc) | Porel, François (Hydro Leduc) | Jerzak, Laurent (Hydro Leduc) | Ortiz, Santos Daniel (KSWC Engineering & Machining) | King, George Randall (KSWC Engineering & Machining) | Gohil, Kartikkumar Jaysingbhai (KSWC Engineering & Machining) | Tapie, William (Deteq Services) | Peters, Michael (MTI) | Curkan, Brandon Alexander (C-FER Technologies)
Summary What do you do after plunger lifting? What if lift gas is not readily available or your liquid level is around a bend? What can you do with a well that has low reservoir pressure, liquid-loading trouble, and fragile economics? Do you give up on the remaining reserves and advance to plugging and abandonment? These questions were considered, and the answers were found to be unsatisfactory. This paper will describe the development and testing of a novel wireline-deployed positive-displacement pump (WLPDP) that was invented to address these challenges. Artificial-lift (AL) pumps have historically been developed with high-producing oil wells in mind. Pumps for late-life wells have mostly been repurposed from these applications and optimized for reduced liquids production. The WLPDP development began with the constraints of late-life wells with the goal of addressing reserves that conventional AL methods would struggle to produce profitably. Internal and industry-wide data were first reviewed to determine what WLPDP specifications would address the majority of late-life wells. The primary target was gas wells, although “stripper” oil wells were also considered. The resulting goal was a pump that could deliver 30 BFPD from 10,000-ft true vertical depth (TVD). The pumping system must be cost-effective to be a viable solution, which led to several design boundaries. Pumps fail and replacement costs can drive economics, so the system must be deployable/retrievable through tubing. The majority of new onshore wells have tortuous geometries, so the system must be able to function at the desired depth despite them—without damaging associated downhole components. The system should use as many off-the-shelf components and known technologies as possible to reduce development costs and encourage integration. Finally, the pump should be able to handle a variety of wellbore liquids, produced gases, and limited solids. The WLPDP was designed to meet the established specifications and boundary conditions. The 2.25-in.-outer-diameter (OD) pump is deployed through tubing. and powered with a standard wireline (WL) logging cable. The cable powers a direct-current (DC) motor that drives an axial piston pump. The piston pump circulates a dielectric oil between two bladders by means of a switching valve. When each bladder expands, it pressurizes inlet-wellbore liquids, pushing them out of the well. Produced gas flows in the annulus between the tubing and production casing. The intake/discharge check valves and bladders are the only internal pump components that contact the wellbore fluids. The WLPDP system was able to meet the design-volume/pressure specifications in all orientations, as confirmed through laboratory and integration testing. Targeted studies were conducted to verify/improve check-valve reliability, gas handling, elastomer suitability, and cable-corrosion resistance. The results of these and related studies will be discussed in the paper.
Summary Ultra‐high‐pressure high‐temperature (uHPHT) reservoirs undergo extreme pressure depletion during their production life cycle. This results in significant reservoir compaction and consequent overburden subsidence with major consequences for wellbore mechanical integrity, safety, and field economics. However, the use of underdetermined geomechanical models to accurately predict compaction‐induced stress/strain changes on wellbores and its consequences during production time results in significant residual uncertainty. One method of measuring compaction‐induced stress/strain changes in wellbore is by the emplacement and measurement of radioactive markers. Although it is long established in normal pressure reservoirs, it is rare in uHPHT projects. The Culzean uHPHT gas‐condensate field is located in the UK Central North Sea. To constrain geomechanical model compaction uncertainty, radioactive markers were deployed. The objective was to accurately acquire preproduction baseline measurements and subsequent changes through periodic measurements during production life. These accurate wellbore measurements would then be compared with the geomechanical model to help calibrate predicted to actual compaction. By doing so, the objective is to enable better informed decisions regarding well and field management. The Culzean uHPHT radioactive marker project comprised a planning phase and a preproduction safe deployment including a baseline survey phase. Subsequent repeat measurements are planned during field production life. The emplacement and surveying of the subsurface radioactive markers for compaction monitoring in uHPHT reservoirs is a high value but nontrivial operation. In addition, much knowledge and experience of the methodology has been lost. This paper contributes to published literature by describing the successful emplacement and monitoring of subsurface radioactive markers on Culzean and aims to capture learnings and knowledge for future workers. Early detailed planning coupled with extensive testing is key to successful deployment. Timely engagement of all stakeholders and ensuring all decisions are aligned with safety and environmental considerations also contribute to realization of the project aims.
Summary Seawater injection is widely used to maintain offshore-oil-reservoir pressure and improve oil recovery. However, injecting seawater into reservoirs can cause many issues, such as reservoir souring and scaling, which are strongly related to the seawater-breakthrough percentage. Accurately calculating the seawater-breakthrough percentage is important for estimating the severity of those problems and further developing effective strategies to mitigate those issues. The validation of using natural-ion boron as a tracer to calculate seawater-breakthrough percentage was investigated. Boron can interact with clays, which can influence the accuracy in seawater-breakthrough calculation. Therefore, the interaction between boron and different clays at various conditions was first studied, and the Freundlich adsorption equation was used to describe the boron-adsorption isotherms. Then, the boron-adsorption isotherms were coupled into the reservoir simulator to investigate the boron transport in porous media, and the results in turn were further analyzed to calculate the accurate seawater-breakthrough percentage. Results indicated that boron adsorption by different clays varied. pH value of solution can significantly influence the amount of boron adsorbed. As a result, the boron-concentration profile was delayed in coreflood tests. The accuracy of the new model was verified by convergence rate tests and comparison with analytical results. Furthermore, model results fit well with experimental data. On the basis of the reservoir-simulation results, the boron-concentration profile in produced water can be used to calculate the seawater-breakthrough percentage by considering the clay-content distribution. However, the seawater-breakthrough point cannot be determined by boron because the boron concentration is still at the formation level after seawater breakthrough due to boron desorption.
Lawmakers on the European Parliament's environment committee on 10 May voted to approve the EU's landmark climate change law, clearing one of the final hurdles before it enters into force. Negotiators from parliament and the European Union's 27 member states last month struck a deal on the landmark law to make the bloc's climate change targets legally binding. Those targets are to cut net EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels and eliminate them by 2050. Parliament had pushed for a tougher target to cut emissions by 60% by 2030, a position spearheaded by lawmakers on its environment committee. On 10 May, the committee gave the green light to the law, including its 55% emissions-cutting target for 2030, with 52 votes in favor, 24 against, and 4 abstentions.
Modularity in the design and construction of naval vessels is considered wherein functional naval system-module installations that provide basic ship structure and ship interfaces are permanently integrated in an otherwise conventional ship envelope during construction. Consideration is given to a paradigm shift consisting of a ship envelope constructed by a primarily commercial shipbuilder, which is then transferred to a naval shipyard integrator for completion, including insertion of those modules which are purely naval mission-oriented. In the context of such consideration, the competitive practices of international commercial shipbuilders, particularly related to large passenger ships, suggest a potential application to naval vessels.
Pan, Jin (Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan) | Wang, Tao (Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan) | Xu, Ming Cai (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan / Collaborative Innovation Centre for Advanced Ship and Deep-Sea Exploration) | Gao, Gui (Wuhan-Jiujiang Railway Passenger Transportation Hubei Co. Ltd.)
The hull block erection network process, which is performed during the master production planning stage of the shipyard, is frequently delayed because of limited resources, workspace, and block preparation ratio. In this study, a study to predict the delay with respect to the block erection schedule is conducted by considering the variability of the block preparation ratio based on the discrete event simulation algorithm. It is confirmed that the variation of the key event observance ratio is confirmed according to the variability caused by the block erection process, which has the minimum lead time in a limited resource environment, and the block preparation ratio. Furthermore, the optimal pitch value for the key event concordance is calculated based on simulation results.
Geoscience technology company CGG has launched SeaScope, a pollution monitoring service, as part of its growing portfolio of environmental products. SeaScope combines remote-sensing science, Earth-observation data, machine-learning, and high-performance computing to provide information on sea-surface slicks for industries to strengthen situational awareness of the interaction between offshore assets, coastal facilities, local vessel activity, and the natural marine environment. For energy companies with offshore assets, SeaScope's proactive monitoring enables the establishment of production-water baselines and provides early detection of anomalous events and third-party pollution incidents, as well as surveillance of natural seeps. It also supports the creation of a growing evidence base of responsible operations for stakeholders such as operators, regulators, investors, and insurers. SeaScope was developed with the support of the European Space Agency and a group of energy companies and emergency-response organizations.
The launch in Europe in mid-April of a new gas cloud imaging (GCI) system from US technology company Honeywell will reveal the ability of artificial intelligence (AI) systems to improve safety at oil and gas installations. The GCI system will provide automated and continuous monitoring for leaks of dangerous and polluting gases such as methane at oil and gas, chemical, and power-generation facilities across Europe. Part of the Honeywell Rebellion gas cloud imaging product portfolio, the Mini GCI is a compact device designed for congested areas and small sites. These systems can be placed throughout an industrial facility to continuously monitor for gas leaks and provide alerts as soon as they occur. The company said reducing gas emissions such as methane from hydrocarbon operations was one the most cost-effective and impactful methods to help reach global climate and environmental goals.
A total of 11 universities have secured their eligibility to participate in the the 2021 PetroBowl Championship that will be held during the 2021 SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in Dubai. The teams won their regional qualifiers for the Europe, Russia and Caspian, and North America and Canada regions during Q1 2021. The remaining 21 spots will be filled in the next few months from universities in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and Caribbean regions. The PetroBowl is SPE's largest student competition in which petroleum engineering students from SPE student chapters around the world participate to demonstrate their expertise on topics relevant to the petroleum industry. The contest moved to a virtual platform last year due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and this year's regional qualifiers were also conducted virtually.