Influenced by the success of shale gas production worldwide and to meet requirements for clean energy supply, a multidisciplinary team of petroleum specialists was established in Saudi Aramco. Meeting the growing requirement in industrial consumption and especially electricity production is driving force for developing unconventional gas reserves. "The initial focus is in the northwest and in the area of Ghawar, where gas infrastructure exists. Initial knowledge building from similar plays in North America is being supplemented with internal technical studies and research programs to help solve geological and engineering challenges unique to Saudi Arabia and to locate specific wells planned for 2011. The company is innovatively combining knowledge and research to maximize gas reserves and production from conventional and unconventional resources in order to meet growing domestic demand.?? 
During years 2010 - 2011 major international petroleum industry players - Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes - were invited to share their experience in a series of workshops held in Dhahran. Exchange of expert ideas developed into appreciation of complexity of the shale gas reservoir and helped to identify the scope of work for the first Silurian Qusaiba shale gas well. The SHALE-1 well was drilled in 2007 as a gas exploration well. Recent drilling and geophysical data obtained in the well were beneficial for detailed sidetrack and fracture stimulation design.
The Multidisciplinary Saudi Aramco - Halliburton SHALE-1 task group was established and positioned in Dhahran. This allowed them to have regular face-to-face meetings and improve the most critical criteria of any new venture - communication. The draft work plan was developed 8 months before actual operations commenced on the well site. Thorough examination of the draft work plan progressed to the final work plan with a number of improvements. For example, "R?? Nipples were dropped from the monobore 4-1/2?? completion string. The Frac Stimulation design was fine-tuned, involving expertise from Saudi Aramco and Halliburton. The Complete Well on Paper exercise involved over 25 specialists from both sides and helped to rectify remaining completion/stimulation design issues, and put everyone on the same page in terms of the work program. Well site operations commenced in May 2011; the well was successfully re-entered and window cut in 7?? liner. An S-shaped 5-7/8?? hole was drilled in the direction of minimum horizontal stresses, to the required depth in Qusaiba Shale with a maximum DLS of 4°. The well was completed with 4-1/2?? cemented liner and monobore 4-1/2?? string to surface. The Hot Qusaiba interval was perforated; frac stimulated with mixed results and successfully flowed. A temporary isolation FasDrill plug was set above the perforation interval. The Warm Qusaiba interval was perforated; successfully frac stimulated and flowed with mixed results. Finally, the FasDrill plug was drilled out with CTU and both intervals flowed and required production log runs.
All targets set for the SHALE-1 re-entry well were successfully achieved and the well was suspended for future utilization as an observation well.
The field X is a brown heavy oil field producing under strong bottom water drive since the mid-1980. Production is from a combination of Amin aeolian and Al Khlata glacial reservoir sediments. At present, the development is focused on drilling horizontal infill wells. One of the biggest challenges is the unfavorable mobility contrast between the heavy oil and water causing early water breakthrough.
The Amin Formation, the primary reservoir, is characterized by a high net to gross ratio and an average porosity of 30 %. However the initial hydrocarbon saturation at the same porosity often varies by 20 % in different parts of the field. Furthermore, core measurements show an order of magnitude scatter in permeability at the same porosity, indicating the presence of different facies. In early studies these variations were attributed mainly to the grain size variations. A later petrographical study found that the abundance of clays and feldspars could also severely reduce permeability, but may retain high porosity.
In the current Study it was found that the rocks have variable radioactivity due to the presence of radioactive Potassium isotope associated with feldspars. A fare correlation was observed between the grain size and the content of feldspars from core. A novel approach to reservoir characterization integrating core and logs was developed leading to a major breakthrough in the reservoir characterization including:
• Enhanced permeability prediction using normalized Gamma Ray (GR) log as 3rd parameter;
• Facies identification using normalized Gamma Ray cut-off;
• Facies based Saturation-Height models.
This work is a good example of advances in reservoir characterization achieved by integrating core and log data. It results in better understanding of reservoir properties distribution, optimization of completions of new wells and improvement of further development scenarios. In particular, abnormally high gross production and high water cut in the north of the field is currently in line with new facies scheme.
The high-profile blowout at Macondo well in the US Gulf of Mexico, brought the challenges and the risks of drilling into high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) fields increasingly into focus. Technology, HSE, new standards, such as new API procedures, and educating the crew seem to be vital in developing HPHT resources. High-pressure high-temperature fields broadly exist in Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, South East Asia, Africa, China and Middle East. Almost a quarter of HPHT operations worldwide is expected to happen in American continent and the majority of that solely in North America. Oil major companies have identified key challenges in HPHT development and production, and service providers have offered insights regarding current or planned technologies to meet these challenges. Drilling into some shale plays such as Haynesville or deep formations and producing oil and gas at HPHT condition, have been crucially challenging. Therefore, companies are compelled to meet or exceed a vast array of environmental, health and safety standards.
This paper, as a simplified summary of the current status of HPHT global market, clarifies the existing technological gaps in the field of HPHT drilling, cementing and completion. It also contains the necessary knowledge that every engineer or geoscientist might need to know about high pressure high temperature wells. This study, not only reviews the reports from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and important case studies of HPHT operations around the globe but also compiles the technical solutions to better maneuver in the HPHT market. Finally, the HPHT related priorities of National Energy Technology Laboratories (NETL), operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE), and DeepStar, as a strong mix of large and mid-size operators are investigated.
Wu, JinYong (Schlumberger) | Banerjee, Raj (Schlumberger) | Bolanos, Nelson (Schlumberger) | Alvi, Amanullah (Schlumberger) | Tilke, Peter Gerhard (Schlumberger - Doll Research) | Jilani, Syed Zeeshan (Schlumberger Oilfield UK Plc) | Bogush, Alexander (Schlumberger)
Assessing the waterflood, monitoring the fluids front, and enhancing sweep with the uncertainty of multiple geological realisations, data quality, and measurement presents an ongoing challenge. Defining sweet spots and optimal candidate well locations in a well-developed large field presents an additional challenge for reservoir management. A case study is presented that highlights the approach to this cycle of time-lapse monitoring, acquisition, analysis and planning in delivery of an optimal field development strategy using multi-constrained optimisation combined with fast semi-analytical and numerical simulators.
The multi-constrained optimiser is used in conjunction with different semi-analytical and simulation tools (streamlines, traditional simulators, and new high-powered simulation tools able to manage huge, multi-million-cell-field models) and rapidly predicts optimal well placement locations with inclusion of anti-collision in the presence of the reservoir uncertainties. The case study evaluates proposed field development strategies using the automated multivariable optimisation of well locations, trajectories, completion locations, and flow rates in the presence of existing wells and production history, geological parameters and reservoir engineering constraints, subsurface uncertainty, capex and opex costs, risk tolerance, and drilling sequence.
This optimisation is fast and allows for quick evaluation of multiple strategies to decipher an optimal development plan. Optimisers are a key technology facilitating simulation workflows, since there is no ‘one-approach-fits-all' when optimising oilfield development. Driven by different objective functions (net present value (NPV), return on investment (ROI), or production totals) the case study highlights the challenges, the best practices, and the advantages of an integrated approach in developing an optimal development plan for a brownfield.
The Chukchi Edges project was designed to establish the relationship betweenthe Chukchi Shelf and Borderland and indirectly test theories of opening forthe Canada Basin. During this cruise, ~5300 km of 2D multi-channel seismicprofiles and other geophysical measurements (swath bathymetry, gravity,magnetics, sonobuoy refraction seismic) were collected from the RV Marcus G.Langseth across the transition between the Chukchi Shelf and ChukchiBorderland.
These profiles reveal extended basins separated by faulted high-standingblocks. Basin stratigraphy can be subdivided on the basis of gross stratalgeometry, reflection terminations and inferred unconformities. The wedge-shapedsynrift sequences terminate against the basement highs and/or major faults,burying the basement topography. The inferred postrift seismic units are morenearly tabular, but thicken locally due to compaction of underlying synriftsediments.
Reflection character is dominated by alternating high and low amplitudecontinuous reflectors which may be consistent with pelagic or turbiditesediments. Chaotic units are also observed, which may indicate mass-flowdeposits. The truncated sediments over the basement highs of the Chukchi Shelf,Chukchi Plateau and Northwind Ridge suggest major erosion due both to glacialplanation and earlier erosional events perhaps associated with basement upliftprior to or during rifting and extension.
It is believed that the bulk of the synrift sediments are Mesozoic in age.Certainly Cenozoic sediments are also preserved in these basins, but theposition of the boundary is uncertain. Locally, continuous reflectors areobserved underlying the rift basin fill. These older units, of very uncertainage, would, if sampled, provide constraint on the history and affinities of theChukchi Borderland.
In addition to the extensional basins, a number of small symmetric basinsare observed on the flanks of the Chukchi Plateau. These basins may betranstensional and argue for a 2nd phase of tectonism, which overprinted theobvious extensional fabric of the Borderland. This is supported by theobservation of uplifted postrift sediments on the flanks of some of theintermedial basement highs. Understanding the timing, distribution and extentof these two phases of tectonism, relative to the known history of N-Sextension on the Chukchi shelf and the apparent orthogonal extension observedon the Beaufort Shelf will further constrain the unknown history of the CanadaBasin.
Industrial benefits planning (IBP) can greatly assist oil companies inseeking to access or operate in frontier regions, including the Arctic. Anumber of ‘good practice' approaches in the design and implementation ofsuccessful benefits plans have emerged. There is a general need for initiativesin such areas as supplier development, procurement/contracting, education,training and hiring. However, these initiatives, and an IBP program as a whole,will be most effective if the following approaches are adopted: cooperation,collaboration and education; building on existing strengths and capabilities;and seeking a diversified and more sustainable economy.
The Hebron Benefits Plan provides a recent and often innovative example ofpetroleum industry benefits planning. Of particular interest is the emphasis itplaces on: the role of contractors and suppliers, leaving a lasting legacy, andcooperation and collaboration with other stakeholders. In a further benefitsplanning innovation, ExxonMobil Canada Properties states that it will establishand maintain a ‘benefits culture,' based on the well-established model ofsafety culture, within its organization and all Hebron contracting companies.The Plan presents policies, guidelines and procedures with respect to supplierdevelopment, contracting and procurement, employment and training, research anddevelopment (R&D), diversity, and monitoring and reporting.
Recent initiatives in Greenland illustrate the challenges faced inimplementing more limited benefits initiatives in an Arctic and near-Arcticenvironment. Cairn exploration programs have had Government of Greenlandmandated benefits plans and agreements that have delivered both employment andbusiness to Greenland residents and companies. They have also put in place newinfrastructure, for example related to weather forecasting and oil spillcontingency equipment. However, not all of the employment, business andinfrastructure initiatives have delivered the desired effects.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is an example of a jurisdiction where,facilitated by well-established IBP processes, the offshore petroleum industryhas delivered substantial and sustainable economic development. This is partlya result of the creation of a new offshore petroleum sector of the economy thatprovides employment and business and makes a major contribution to theProvince's GDP and tax base. Newfoundland and Labrador also now has anexpanding university sector, large numbers of university graduates, a small butthriving R&D community, an increasingly diverse and cosmopolitan urbanculture, and improved external transportation links, all of which can be atleast partly attributed to the oil industry.
Hydrocarbon development in arctic regions presents formidable challenges tothe petroleum industry. The Centre for Arctic Resource Development (CARD)serves as focal point for planning, coordinating and conducting research tofill gaps in the knowledge, technology, methodology and training needed toovercome these barriers. CARD research programs have been organized into coreareas of Ice Mechanics, Ice Management and Station-Keeping in Ice, and arerelated through the common activities of Floating System Modelling andLarge-Scale Experiments.
A brief description of proposed research and development (R&D) plans inthe areas of Ice Mechanics, Ice Management, Large-Scale Experiments, FloatingSystem Modelling and Station-keeping in Ice is provided below. Three of theseare core areas, while the activities in Large-Scale Experiments and FloatingSystem Modelling will draw upon expertise from the core areas. Structures andvessels designed for arctic operations must have adequate structural strengthto allow for safe operations under the extreme ice loads expected during theiroperational lifetimes; research in this area is a strong focus of the plannedwork.
The initiatives described in this plan represent the major priorities andrange of activities that CARD will undertake with guidance from the CARDIndustry Advisory Committee (IAC) to overcome challenges associated with arctichydrocarbon development. It is expected that research programmes will befurther developed and refined as Principal Investigators are hired for each ofthe core research areas and they bring the full extent of their knowledge andexpertise into CARD.
The oil and gas industry is increasingly focusing its interests andactivities on areas that are prone to ice cover, in the form of sea ice andicebergs. The authors have noticed two significant trends with respect to theice charting to support operations in oil and gas operations:
As a consequence, the authors have embarked on a project to address thisdeficiency by identifying minimum standards and best practices for theprovision of ice information derived from satellites for companies operating inthe polar and sub-polar regions. The development of a guideline governing icecharts is the primary focus of this project. The project has identifiedrequirements through the oil and gas project lifecycle, has matched these todifferent regions and has categorised satellite-derived ice information byservices and products. The project has reviewed current practices and willestablish a guideline with input and validation from the industry, taking intoaccount current constraints and future opportunities. Ice charting guidelineswill provide clear options to industry. Companies will be able to buildprocesses and systems around guidelines and can be assured that compliantservice providers will be compatible with their systems. Guidelines will alsoincrease access of the market to service providers, leading to increasedcompetition and lower costs. Ultimately, the knowledge of ice chartingcapabilities will be well documented so that they are not lost with staffattrition. This paper presents an overview of the ice charting guidelinesproject and its objectives, schedule, status and deliverables. This project isbeing coordinated through the Oil and Gas Earth Observation Group (OGEO) of theInternational Association of Oil and Gas producers (OGP) with initial seedfunding from the European Space Agency and Shell E&P International.
Index Terms— ice charting, ice information, sea ice, icebergs,guideline
Davidson, Malcolm (European Space Agency) | Walker, Nick (European Space Agency) | Williams, Chris (eOsphere) | Power, Desmond (C-CORE) | Ramsay, Bruce (Consultant) | Partington, Kim (Polar Imaging Limited) | Barber, David (University of Manitoba) | Arkett, Matt (Canadian Ice Service) | De Abreu, Roger (Canada Centre for Remote Sensing)
In conducting safe and cost effective operations in ice prone waters, icemanagement and risk mitigation practices are integral to operations. A criticalelement in ice management is the mapping and characterisation of sea ice.Satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is a standard tool used by icecharting agencies to map the extent of sea ice. Wide-swath SAR has become thepreferred sensor of choice for ice mapping and the collection of data regardingice parameters. SAR provides a high degree of information content on basic iceparameters such as concentration, type and topography. SAR can be used tocharacterise different sea ice types, such as multi-year versus first year ice,and the use of multiple SAR frequencies (L, C and X-Band) can reduceinterpretation ambiguities during the melt season. The advent ofmulti-frequency and polarization SAR systems, acting as a constellation, isseen as an important next step in the evolution of sea ice monitoring. Theevaluation of a SAR ice constellation is an interesting challenge since aquantitative evaluation is necessary. As a consequence, a sea ice backscattertool has been developed that provides a figure of merit estimation of iceclassification from a constellation scenario. The authors have used its sea-icebackscatter tool to simulate various ice constellation scenarios. Thesescenarios will be presented in the context of their utility and versatility inoil and gas operations. The implementation of a SAR ice constellation providesthe opportunity to significantly expand the ice information extractioncapabilities, over and above that of these systems acting alone. In the contextof its use within Arctic resource development, SAR constellations offerenhanced ice charting to the oil and gas industry.
Index Terms— Sentinel-1, SAR, sea-ice, backscatter,constellations
The process of selecting a field development concept following a discoveryinvolves a complex iterative interaction between its key elements ofsubsurface, drilling and completions, surface facilities, and commercial andregulatory considerations. The objective being to understand how differentrisks and uncertainties impact each scenario, leading to the final selection ofthe tsingle concept that best balances the key elements and extracts maximumvalue for all stakeholders.
A recommended procedure for Arctic concept selection has been developed,using a building-block approach matched with a practical and systematic methodfor understanding the key drivers and uncertainties in a project. In order tocomplete this type of anyalysis, experienced professionals are equipped with atoolkit and set of processes that allow a disciplined approach to only doingwork that is focused on each decision that has to be made. This then leads tothe development of a decision based plan to extract the maximum value from anyopportunity.
Also discussed are some of the common traps that can befall a conceptselection study such as: solving the wrong problem due to an inadequate projectframe; utilizing incorrect, invalid or out of date data; having inadequatesystems and tools in place to maintain focus and alignment; an inability toarticulate key insights; a lack of team integration; and finally the dangers ofan activity based workscope instead of a decision based one.