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.
Pressure maintenance support in mature fields where permeability heterogeneity is present requires proper distribution of injected water into the respective zones of interest. This process can be extremely challenging, if no method for allocating the proper amount of water into each zone is available. An operator in the South China Sea, who had initiated a water injection project using legacy single-string two-zone completion technologies, found himself in this predicament, since no selective control for pressure maintenance had been considered for the project.
During the past few years, the application of intelligent completion (IC) technology has increased rapidly. This acceptance has been due primarily to its proven capabilities for reservoir monitoring and corresponding optimization of well performance without well interventions. Historically, the majority of IC applications have been in production wells; however, an increasing number of operators have started adopting IC technology for their injector wells.
This paper presents a case study in which IC technology was successfully applied in an offshore field in the South China Sea to provide an efficient water-injection method for optimizing pressure support as well as sweep. The operator selected this technology, as it presented a solution for optimizing the water injection. In addition to eliminating problems experienced with the incapability of the legacy completion technology to monitor water allocation and pressure maintenance for each zone, the IC technology would allow selective well testing for each zone. By evaluating the reservoir properties and characteristics of each zone independently, an intelligent completion would provide another key benefit to the operator, since it would comply with the platform size restrictions for the pumping equipment.
The paper will discuss field objectives, the conceptual design, the design obstacles, and the operational challenges experienced during the job execution.
Al-Kandary, Ahmad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Fares, Abdulaziz (Kuwait Oil Company) | Mulyono, Rinaldi (Kuwait Oil Company) | Ammar, Nada Mohammed (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al naeimi, Reem (Baker Hughes) | Hussain, Riyasat (Kuwait Oil Company) | Perumalla, Satya (Baker Hughes)
Role of geomechanics is becoming increasingly important with maturing of conventional reservoirs due to its implications in drilling, completion and production issues. Exploration and development of unconventional reservoirs involve maximizing the reservoir contact and hydraulic fracturing both of which are heavily dependent on geomechanical architecture of the reservoirs and thus require application of geomechanical concepts from the very beginning.
To support the unconventional exploration and conventional reservoir development in Kuwait, country-wide in-situ stress mapping exercise has been carried out in nine fields of Northern Kuwait. Stringent customized quality control measures were put in place to evaluate stress orientation. Cretaceous and sub-Gotnia Salt Jurassic rocks exhibit distinct patterns of stress orientations and magnitudes. While the variations in stress orientation in the Cretaceous rocks are within a small range (N40°E-N50°E) and consistent across major fault systems, the Jurassic formations exhibit high variability (N20°E-N90°E) with anomalous patterns across faults as well as in the vicinity of fracture corridors. Moreover, the overall stress magnitudes were found to be much higher in the strong Jurassic section compared with the relatively less strong Cretaceous strata. During the analysis, it was also observed that several natural fractures in Jurassic reservoirs appear to be critically stressed with evidences of rotation of breakouts.
Using geomechanical models from a specific field, the effects of in-situ stress, pore pressure and rock properties on formations were evaluated in inducing wellbore instability during drilling operations in a tight gas reservoir. It was found that the most favorable orientation for directional drilling is parallel to the maximum horizontal stress (SHmax) within that field.
The geomechanical study provided inputs not only for wellbore stability during drilling, but also regarding the response of natural fractures to in-situ stresses to become hydraulically conductive (permeable) to act as flow conduits. The fracture model of the field shows that the dominant fracture corridor trend in the field is NNE coinciding with present day in-situ maximum principal stress direction.
Mendoza, Alberto X. (ExxonMobil Neftegas) | Gaillot, Philippe (ExxonMobil Exploration Company) | Yin, Hezhu (ExxonMobil Abu Dhabi Offshore Petroleum Company) | Nicosia, Wayne (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Guo, Pingjun (Exxon Mobil Corporation) | Mardon, Duncan (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Passey, Quinn R. (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.) | Wertanen, Scott R. (ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Surumana) | Zhou, JinJuan (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Fitz, Dale Edward (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.)
Over last several years, the ability to perform accurate, quantitative formation evaluation in high-angle and horizontal (HA/HZ) wells has been increasingly recognized as a high priority, unsatisfied need within the formation evaluation (FE) community. The industry has realized that the ability to drill extended reach wells has surpassed the ability to evaluate them. Well logs are often underutilized for geologic modeling and assessment applications due to lack of confidence in petrophysical analysis results.
In this paper, we introduce a state-of-art formation evaluation toolkit specifically developed for quantitative interpretation of high angle and horizontal well logs. Starting with wellbore images and standard triple-combo field logs, the workflow consists of: 1) three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) display modules for well path, wellbore images logs, scalar logs and dips to quality control (QC) the data; 2) a comprehensive image analysis module combined with log analysis to build a 3D geometrical earth model; 3) a depth coherence processing (DCP) module to effectively correct recorded borehole images of different logging tool sensors with different depths of investigation (DOI) back to borehole size (BS); 4) a 3D joint inversion module to accurately model and interpret gamma ray (GR), neutron, density, and resistivity logs, to build a common petrophysical earth model; and 5) an output module in which the common earth model is populated with bedding geometries and petrophysical property distributions.
The advanced formation evaluation toolkit described in this paper enables geoscientists to realize much more value than ever before from high-angle and horizontal well data, especially in thinly bedded reservoirs. The detailed description of the internal architecture and lateral petrophysical characterization of the reservoirs are essential for understanding stratigraphy and conditioning geological models. The improved estimations of the petrophysical properties yield more accurate estimates of reserves in place.
In April 2010 we were reminded that Drilling operations are amongst the most hazardous in the world, having the potential for Major Incidents, with the Deepwater Horizon rig fire and explosion. This incident resulted in 11 lives being lost, almost 5,000,000 million barrels of oil being spilt into the Gulf of Mexico over an 87 day period and significant financial loss for bp. This Major Incident also served to remind us that while traditional "Personal Safety?? programs are important to achieve safe drilling operations, these alone cannot effectively manage Major Incident Hazards. E&P Operations can learn valuable lessons from the Process Industry in this regard.
This paper looks at how "Process Safety Management?? implementation, aimed at reducing the potential for Major Incidents, has commenced at an onshore E&P operation. It also discusses the challenges of integrating the culture of Process Safety into existing company culture for operations involving over 60 land rigs comprising both local and international Drilling Contractors and Service Companies.
Process Safety Management system is used to describe those parts of an organisation's management system intended to prevent major incidents arising out of the production, storage and handling of dangerous substances (UK HSE, 2012). It addresses the potential release of these substances caused by:
• Mechanical Failures
• Process Upsets
• Procedures/Human Error
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), and is involved in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons on land in the state of Kuwait. Existing production is approximately 2.9 mmbopd, with future production targeted at 3.65mmbopd by 2020.
The Exploration and Production (E&PD) Directorate is involved in identifying reserves, drilling new wells and servicing existing wells. It consists of 8 Groups as shown below, and is headed by a Deputy Managing Director (DMD). As most of the PSM challenges in E&PD Directorate lie with Drilling and Service Company operations, the primary focus of this paper will be in these areas.
The success of recent applications in underbalanced drilling (UBD) and managed pressure drilling (MPD) has accelerated the development of technology in order to optimize drilling operations. The increased number of depleted reservoirs and the necessity for reducing formation damage has also increased the need to apply UBD/MPD to such candidate fields. Several methods used the latest mechanistic multiphase flow models in order to predict bottomhole circulation pressure when performing UBD/MPD operations. A new model is developed that utilizes the latest mechanistic multiphase flow models; the developed model calculates the bottomhole circulation pressure as a function of surface injection rates, choke pressure and time.
The developed model can be used in designing and optimizing UBD/MPD operations in terms of determining the correct injection rate and/or choke pressure. In addition, the developed model is used to utilize the reservoir energy to attain correct bottomhole conditions. The developed model in addition to utilizing the latest mechanistic models also reduce the error in calculating the bottom hole pressure by incorporating an algorithm in which the injection rates are calculated in-situ rather than assuming constant injection rates.
The model is validated against data from literature and against a commercial simulator. Results show that the developed algorithm has increased the accuracy in predicting bottomhole pressure by incorporating the changes in new gas and liquid injection rates.
Dashti, Qasem M. (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-anzi, Ealian H.D. (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al- Doheim, Aref (Kuwait Oil Company) | Kabir, Mir Md Rezaul (Kuwait Oil Company) | Acharya, Mihira Narayan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Ajmi, Saad (Kuwait Oil Company)
Robustness of measurement while drilling (MWD) and logging while drilling (LWD) tools is laboratory-tested and rigorously field-tested for the expected operating and measurement specifications. Such tools have been used in the industry for decades with proven track record of stability. However, a typical tool string deployed as a part of bottom-hole assembly (BHA) has recently failed to withstand the unexpected BH conditions during drilling of the pilot hole using potassium formate mud (KFM), a heavy water based mud. The failure occurred within a deep-fractured calcareous kerogen section (CKS).
The tools had multiple surface communication failures; the first one was resolved as debris was found obstructing the rotor-starter part before drilling the CKS. The second failure occurred in the back-up tools, after drilling into the CKS and remained unexplained throughout drilling with the expectation of BH data recorded on memory. Inspection of the tool components, once the drilling was completed, revealed two major findings: First, some parts of the BHA, specifically the components of the CuBe tool had "vanished??. Secondly, the recovered tool parts had further damage due to corrosion and pitting. In addition, an unexpected color change in metal body parts was observed.
In the paper, the authors explain the unique mystery of tool eating "down-hole ghost??. Similar tools were previously used without an issue at comparable high pressure and temperature conditions and in geological sections alike in Kuwait in drilling with oil-based mud. The service provider's operational experience elsewhere has failed to explain the bizarre outcome, as they had not encountered similar incidents of vanishing tool parts and down-hole color change. The claim was that similar tools were successfully operated in water-based mud drilling including KFM. This claim was confirmed prior to the field execution with metallurgical compatibility tests carried out by the mud supplier.
Asphaltic and sand production problems are common production challenges in the petroleum industry. Asphaltic problem results from the depositions of heavy material (asphaltene) in the vicinity of the well which may cause severe formation damage. Asphaltic materials are expected to deposit in all type of reservoirs. Sand production refers to the phenomenon of solid particles being produced together with the petroleum fluids. These two problems represent a major concern in oil and gas production systems either in the wellbore section or in the surface treatment facilities. Production data, well logging, laboratory testing, acoustic, intrusive sand monitoring devices, and analogy are different techniques used to predict sand production. This paper introduces a new technique to predict and quantify the skin factor resulting from asphaltene deposition and/or sand production using pressure transient analysis.
Pressure behavior and flow regimes in the vicinity of horizontal wellbore are extremely influenced by this skin factor. Analytical models for predicting this problem and determining how many zones of the horizontal well that are affected by sand production or asphaltic deposition have been introduced in this study. These models have been derived based on the assumption that wellbore can be divided into multi-subsequent segments of producing and non-producing intervals. Producing intervals represent free flowing zones while non producing intervals represent zones where perforations are closed because of sand or asphaltic deposits.
The effective length of the segments of a horizontal well where sand and/or asphaltene are significantly closing the perforations can be calculated either from the early radial or linear flow. Similarly, the effective length of the undamaged segments can be determined from these two flow regimes. The numbers of the damaged and undamaged zones can be calculated either from the intermediate radial (secondary radial) or linear flow if they are observed. If both flow regimes are not observed, the zones can be calculated using type curve matching technique. The paper will include the main type-curves, step-by-step procedure for interpreting the pressure test without using type curve matching technique when all necessary flow regimes are observed. A step-by-step procedure for analyzing pressure tests using the type-curve matching technique will also be presented. The procedure will be illustrated by several numerical examples.
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.
Al Hamad, Abdullah (Halliburton) | Abdul-Razaq, Eman (KOC) | Al Bahrani, Hasan (KOC) | Surjaatmadja, Jim Basuki (Halliburton) | Bouland, Ali (Kuwait Oil Company) | Turkey, Naween (KOC) | Brand, Shannon (Halliburton) | Al-Saqabi, Mishari Bader (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Zankawi, Omran (Kuwait Oil Company) | Vishwanath, Chimmalgi (KOC) | Gazi, Naz H. (Kuwait Oil Company)
There are many ways to stimulate an unlined openhole horizontal well using acid. The simplest way is to just pump acid into the well (i.e., bullhead) without placement control. However, this can often be ineffective. Although still used, such approaches can create massive enlargements at the entry point or high injectivity area, thus causing ineffective treatments and re-entry issues. Wellbore collapse often follows. The use of coiled tubing (CT) as a "pin-point?? delivery method is therefore preferred. Using CT allows dispersal of the acid either uniformly or intermittently along the lateral, as desired. CT also allows acid washing to be performed, which is another common process that can improve stimulation without much additional expense to the operator. Using a jetting tool with many jets, acid can be sprayed onto the wellbore wall, and the active agitation caused by the acid-wash process increases the chemical reactivity of the acid at the desired locations.
Another beneficial approach of using CT is the hydrajet assisted acid fracturing (HJAAF) method. With focused jetting of acid at much higher pressures, the process initiates microfractures in the wellbore walls. When etched with acid, this approach effectively bypasses near-wellbore (NWB) damage much deeper than common washes, thus providing much better results. Further modification of the process by exerting high annular pressures offers the capability of delivering medium to large fractures.
This paper discusses two HJAAF processes uniquely combined into one process used in two large horizontal wells. Because of the large dimension of the inner diameter (ID) of the wells combined with the small production tubing the tool must pass through, the implementation had to be further improved by using a unique jetting mechanism, which positioned the jet nozzles closer to the target. Actual results of such stimulations are presented.