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.
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.
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.
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 need to develop new tools that allow reservoir engineers to optimize reservoir performance is becoming more demanding by the day. One of the most challenging and influential problems facing reservoir engineers is well placement optimization.
The North Kuwait field (NKF) consists of six fields containing four naturally fractured carbonate formations. The reservoirs are composed of relatively tight limestone and dolomite embedded with anhydrate and shale. The fields are divided into isolated compartments based on fault zones and supported by a combination of different fluid compositions, initial pressures, and estimated free-water levels. Due to natural complexity, tightness, and high drilling costs of wells in the NKF, it is very important to identify the sweet spots and the optimum well locations.
This paper presents two intelligent methods that use dynamic numerical simulation model results and static reservoir properties to identify zones with a high-production potential: reservoir opportunity index (ROI) and simulation opportunity index (SOI). The Petrel* E&P software platform was chosen as the integrated platform to implement the workflow. The fit-for-purpose time dependent 2D maps generated by the Petrel platform facilitated the decision-making process used for locating new wells in the dominant flow system and provided immense support for field-development plans.
The difference between the two methods is insignificant because of reservoir tightness, limited interference, and natural uncertainty on compartmentalization. At this stage, pressure is not a key parameter. As a result, unlike brown fields, less weight was given to simulated pressure, and SOI was used to select the well locations.
The results of this study show that implementing these workflows and obtaining the resulting maps significantly improve the selection process to identify the most productive areas and layers in a field. Also, the optimum numbers of wells using this method obtained in less time and with fewer resources are compared with results using traditional industry approaches.
Telang, Milan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Matrook, Mohammad F. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Oskui, Gh. Reza (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Mali, Prasanna (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Jasmi, Ahmad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Rashed, Abeer M. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Ghloum, Ebtisam Folad (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research)
Asphaltene deposition problems in Kuwait have become a serious issue in a number of reservoirs during primary production in different fields, resulting in a severe detrimental effect on the economics of oil recovery. Hence, one of the mitigation approaches in the field is using remedial solvent treatments, such as Xylene or Toluene, which is very costly and harmful to the environment.
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is planning to produce from asphaltinic Marrat wells that have been shut down due to low bottom-hole pressure (BHP), by artificial lifting technique using an Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) supported with continuous chemical injection, as a pilot. The main objective of this study was to investigate in the lab the effectiveness of various concentrations of toluene/diesel (T/D) mixtures on Marrat reservoir fluid in order to mitigate asphaltene deposition problem during the actual pilot implementation.
Preliminary screening tests were conducted on the surface oil sample using Solid Detection System (SDS) "laser technique?? to determine the optimum dose of the T/D mixture ratio. The results showed that pure diesel accelerated the asphaltene precipitation; however, mixing T/D inhibited the precipitation process. Series of pressure depletion tests was then conducted on live oil , single phase samples, to determine the Asphaltene Onset Pressure (AOP) with and without adding various ration of T/D solvents at different temperatures from reservoir to surface conditions.
The results revealed that using 15% (by volume of oil) from the (50T:50D) mixture reduced the AOP close to the bubble point pressure. Furthermore, the amount of the precipitated asphaltene was physically quantified using a bulk filtration technique. It was observed that, based on blank sample, the wt% of the precipitated asphaltene was minimized at the AOP and maximized at the bubble point. However, using the recommended mixture of 50T/50D, the amount of asphaltene that precipitated was almost negligible. Therefore, from a health, safety, and economic point of view, this study recommends using a low dose of 7.5% (by volume of oil) from toluene mixture with diesel (50%:50%) rather than using pure toluene to prevent the precipitation.
Gomez, Ernest (Schlumberger) | Al-Faresi, Fahad A. Rahman (Kuwait Oil Company) | Belobraydic, Matthew Louis (Schlumberger) | Yaser, Muhammad (Schlumberger) | Gurpinar, Omer M. (Schlumberger) | Wang, James Tak Ming (Schlumberger) | Husain, Riyasat (Kuwait Oil Company) | Clark, William (Schlumberger) | Al-Sahlan, Ghaida Abdullah (Kuwait Oil Company) | Datta, Kalyanbrata (KOC) | Mudavakkat, Anandan (KOC) | Bond, Deryck John (Kuwait Oil Company) | Crittenden, Stephen J. (KOC) | Iwere, Fabian Oritsebemigho (Schlumberger) | Hayat, Laila (KOC) | Prakash, Anand (KOC)
The Burgan Minagish reservoir in the Greater Burgan Field is one of several reservoirs producing from the Minagish formation in Kuwait and the Divided Zone. The reservoir has been produced intermittently since the 1960s under natural depletion. A powered water-flood is currently being planned. The pressure performance of the reservoir has proved hard to explain without invoking communication with other reservoirs. Such communication could be either with other reservoirs through the regional aquifer of through faults to other reservoirs in the Greater Burgan field. Recent pressures are close to the bubble point.
A coarse simulation model of the nearby fields and the regional aquifer was constructed based on data from the fields and regional geological understanding. This model could be history matched to allow all regional pressure data to be broadly matched, a result which supports the view that communication is through the regional aquifer. Using this model to predict future pressure performance suggested that injecting at rates that exceeded voidage replacement by about 50 Mbd could keep reservoir pressure above bubble point. It was recognized that the process of history matching performance was non-unique. This is a particular concern in the context of this study because the model inputs that were varied in the history matching process included aquifer data that was very poorly constrained. To address this problem multiple history matched models were created using an assisted history matching tool. Using prediction results from the range of models has increased our confidence that a modest degree of over-injection can help maintain reservoir pressure.
This paper demonstrates the utility of computer assisted history match tools in allowing an assessment of uncertainty in a case where non-uniqueness was a particular problem. It also emphasizes the importance of understanding aquifer communication when relatively closely spaced fields are being developed.
In recent times the topic of well barrier integrity has become increasingly salient. Within the well completion arena, there have traditionally been two main alternatives for barrier plugs used for packer setting or temporary well abandonment; these are the metallic flapper or ball type isolation plugs. This paper describes the evolution of an innovative glass type barrier plug from its first appearance in the oilfield in 2004, to the deployment of third generation prototype systems into wells in the North Sea today.
Traditional ball or flapper type plug systems need to operate in two states: open and closed. This functionality typically necessitates the use of dynamic seals, which also have to compensate for the pressure differential applied across the plug. Plugs built in this manner can be prone to malfunctions in the dynamic seals and have limitations as to the pressure differentials that can be applied to them when opening. Additionally as the balls or flappers themselves are traditionally manufactured using metallic alloys, in the event that a plug fails to open the only alternative is milling, which if successful, will still leave a restriction in the well limiting options for future well interventions.
Glass barrier plugs have to operate in two slightly different states, solid or shattered. When the plug is run in hole the glass is in a solid state with pressure integrity maintained using static elastomeric seals. Once well operations have progressed to the stage when the plug needs to be opened, a preinstalled trip saver can be activated which would shatter the glass and open well communication. Operating in this manner avoids the use of dynamic seals thereby increasing plug reliability. Other major advantages are that the differential pressure applied across the plug when opening has no effect on the plugs functionality and since the plug is made out of glass, in the event of a trip saver malfunction the plug can be opened using a shoot down tool, a spear, or milled within approximately 10 minutes using a wireline tractor (Welltec, 2011) leaving a full bore ID for future well interventions.
This paper describes how BP Norway and TCO used the lessons learned from two generations of Glass Barrier Plugs (GBPs) to develop a system with increased debris tolerance, improved redundancy and a larger inner diameter.