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.
Carbonate reservoirs are commonly heterogeneous and their reservoir quality results from complex interactions between depositional facies and diagenetic processes. The Diagenetic Diagram is a powerful tool that helps in the characterization of the diagenetic processes that have affected the reservoir. From this knowledge, it is possible to significantly improve the understanding of the reservoir's pore system and permeability distributions, which are key factors for development optimization and production sustainability.
A multi-scale and multi-method study (petrography, blue-dye impregnation, selective staining and porosity determination) of Middle Jurassic carbonates from the Lusitanian Basin (Portugal) has been undertaken, to find the best systematic approach to these reservoirs. It has involved thorough diagenetic characterization of each lithotype (lithofacies, texture, porosity, qualitative permeability assessment and diagenetic evolution). The study area was selected based on its excellent and varied exposures of carbonate facies and availability of core.
Methodological and terminological challenges were faced during the study, especially dealing with data coming from several scales (macro, meso, and micro). In order to overcome these challenges, a diagenetic diagram was developed and applied to the selected rocks. It is a tool that allows the integration of data coming from outcrops, hand samples, cores, cuttings, thin sections, and laboratory experiments.
This is carried out in a dynamic, guided, systematic, and rigorous way, enabling the evaluation of the relationship between facies, diagenetic evolution and pore systems. The latter are characterized regarding size, geometry, distribution, and connectivity. This enables the identification and characterization of permeability heterogeneities in the rocks. It was concluded that the main porosity class (i.e. secondary) was created by diagenetic processes.
The proposed method has strong application potential for: detailed characterization and understanding of porosity and permeability in carbonate reservoirs, from a diagenetic evolution and fluid flow perspective (e.g. SCAL and pore system description); definition of diagenetic trends for modeling petrophysical properties and rock types. In this regard, the method is being applied to a Valanginian carbonate reservoir in Kazakhstan, and some preliminary results are presented in this paper. Refining this technique may be helpful for similar carbonate studies, enhancing the results of typical diagenetic studies by improving the characterization of reservoir properties at various scales, thus contributing to a more sustainable exploitation of hydrocarbon reservoirs.
The Pyrenees Development comprises three oil and gas fields: Ravensworth, Crosby and Stickle. The fields are located in production licenses WA-42-L and WA-43-L, offshore Western Australia, in the Exmouth Sub-basin and are operated by BHP Billiton (Fig. 1). Eighteen subsea wells, including 14 horizontal producers, 3 vertical water disposal wells and 1 gas injection well have been constructed to date and additional wells are planned for infill and to develop additional resources. First oil was achieved during February 2010 and production exceeded 50 million barrels in November 2011.
The Pyrenees fields are low relief, with oil columns of approximately 40 metres within excellent quality reservoirs of the Barrow Group. The 19° API crude has moderate viscosity, low gas / oil ratio (GOR), and a strong emulsion forming tendency which makes oil/water separation and accurate well test metering difficult. Early in the project design phase it was identified that the complex subsea gathering system and the need to reduce measurement uncertainties would dictate special attention to production measurement.
Subsea multiphase flow meters (MPFMs) were specified to meet the challenges of production optimization and allocation while at the same time minimizing production deferral for separator testing. Each oil producer is monitored by a dedicated MPFM. With 14 meters, Pyrenees is among the largest subsea MPFM installations worldwide.
This paper describes the process of MPFM qualification and commissioning together with their performance over 2 years in the field. We show how close cooperation between the Operator and MPFM Vendor has enabled quality rate measurements of emulsified production despite large changes in producing gas/oil ratio and water cut.
While the primary justification for Pyrenees subsea MPFMs was production allocation and optimization, interpretation of transient water cut and GOR data proved valuable for production and reservoir engineering applications. Examples of proactive reservoir and production management including optimizing drawdown of Inflow Control Device (ICD) equipped wells, optimizing well lineup and gas lift to commingled wells are presented.
Neber, Alexander (Schlumberger) | Cox, Stephanie (Schlumberger) | Levy, Tom (Schlumberger) | Schenk, Oliver (Schlumberger) | Tessen, Nicky (Schlumberger) | Wygrala, Bjorn (Schlumberger) | Bryant, Ian David (Schlumberger)
New tools are now available to provide a rigorous and systematic play-based exploration approach to the evaluation of unconventional resources. Coupled with petroleum system modeling, this methodology offers an efficient and effective approach to identify "sweet spots?? early in the life of resource plays. Petroleum system modeling can be applied to predict the type and quantity of hydrocarbon in shale formations, as well as the proportion of adsorbed gas and geomechanical properties that are important for hydraulic fracture stimulation of shale reservoirs. Maps of these properties are then converted to chance-of-success maps for hydrocarbon generation, retention, and pore volume that can be integrated with nongeological factors, such as access and drilling depth required to reach target reservoirs. These play-based maps are expressed in probability units, so simple map multiplication provides a map of the play's overall chance of success, delineating the sweet spots. A similar methodology is applicable to evaluation of coalbed methane resources.
In this paper, we illustrate this methodology using examples from shale oil and gas shale plays in North America. These include data-rich plays from the North Slope of Alaska and data-poor plays from the northeastern and southern regions of the United States, which are more representative of many Asia-Pacific basins. We show how predictions from petroleum system modeling based on sparse data provide a good match with results of subsequent development drilling and production.
Petroleum system-based assessment of resources in place, combined with an assessment of overall play risk, enables companies to make decisions on acquisition of acreage early in the life of unconventional resource plays based on the probability of them containing economically viable resources.
Demand for natural gas is increasing more rapidly than anticipated in Far East markets because (1) China has modified its policies in order to increase reliance on gas, in part to mitigate the growth in its coal consumption (which now stand at almost half of world coal production), (2) Japan has announced its intention to eventually shutdown its nuclear power industry, and (3) India, which currently has more than 400 million people without electricity, desires to accelerate electrification. This analysis investigates the potential role of stranded gas from Central Asia, Russia, Southeast Asia, and Australia in meeting Asia's future demand for gas imports. It initially surveys the discovered or known gas in stranded gas accumulations in Central Asia, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It then examines the primary gas import markets of China, India, Japan, and South Korea by describing energy use, gas demand trends, and domestic gas supplies to establish boundaries that encompass the wide variation in gas import demands in these markets during the two decades following 2020.
Then the cost of developing and delivering gas through overland pipelines from selected stranded gas fields in Central Asia and Russia to China is examined. Analysis shows that for the Shanghai market in China, the costs of developing and delivering Russia's stranded gas from the petroleum provinces of eastern Siberia are competitive with costs estimated for stranded gas from Central Asia. However, for the Western Siberian Basin, delivered gas costs are at least 3 US dollars per thousand cubic feet (USD/Mcf) higher than delivered gas from Central Asia.
The extraction and transport costs to a liquefaction plant for gas from stranded gas fields located in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the basins of eastern Siberia are then evaluated. The resource cost functions presented show development and extraction costs as a function of the volume of stranded gas developed for each country. The analysis demonstrates that, although the Russian fields in areas of eastern Siberia are large with relatively low extraction costs, distances to a potential liquefaction plant at Vladivostok make them initially the high cost suppliers of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. For the LNG markets examined, Australia and Malaysia are initially the lowest cost suppliers. For the Shanghai market, a comparison of the cost of supplying gas by pipeline with the cost of supplying LNG shows that the pipeline costs from areas of eastern Siberia and Central Asia are generally lower than delivered cost of gas as LNG from the LNG supply sources considered.
This paper describes a novel instrumental technique using astronomical cameras modified to monitor the whole-of-sky light emissions visible to marine turtles nesting near industrial developments in Western Australia. The results provide quantitative and qualitative data on specific light sources including sky glow which cannot be otherwise be measured in a field setting. The quantitative and qualitative results provide environmental practitioners and managers with the first reliable tool with which to monitor light emissions. This instrumental method has application well beyond marine turtles and can be used to measure and monitor light in any setting and for any receptor (wildlife or human) exposed to light, either astral or artificial.
Marine Bio-Security is a global concern with significant relevance to the off-shore gas and oil production and exploration sector. An avalanche of legislation and regulation is delivering enforceable laws which compel ship owners/operators to adopt prescriptive procedures, protocols and practices to ensure that ballast water is eliminated, or at least substantially reduced as a major vector for the translocation of non-indigenous marine pests (NIMPS). The other main vector for the translocation of NIMPS has been identified as the wetted hull of commercial and military shipping and includes offshore support vessels, mobile offshore drilling units, crew transfer vessels, barges, landing craft and pipe laying vessels. Hull bio-fouling and associated niche areas are presently under the scientific microscope...and will follow the same path in terms of legislation and regulation.
The paper will consider the implementation of the
safety case in the oil and gas industry internationally post -Macondo and Montara.
The National Commission Report into the Deepwater Horizon / Macondo blowout stated:
"The immediate causes of the Macondo well blowout … …. that reveal such systematic failures in risk management that they place in doubt the safety culture of the entire industry. "
In their letter to Minister Ferguson on 22 March 2011, the NOPSA Board stated:
"The Montara and Macondo incidents each demonstrate technical ignorance and a poor safety culture including complacency regarding low probability, high consequence risks. There is a clear need to improve industry safety culture, accountability and leadership."
The paper will examine these criticisms and consider how the industry
needs to improve its process safety and risk management. The implementation of a safety case in the USA may only occur "in the typical rule-making process that takes up to two years" (Michael Bromwich, Director of BOEMRE). Knowledge, understanding and application of key aspects of process safety management and the safety case process are not uniform. The paper will suggest how, in this context, the safety case can be applied to achieve the required outcomes.
The paper will draw from specific findings from the Macondo and Montara incidents.
There are echoes of Piper Alpha in the performance of emergency systems on Deepwater Horizon. The inadequate application of hazardous area classification is a key issue which the paper will examine in order to provide greater understanding. Whilst in Australia, issues of consistency and quality arise with matters such as performance standards. The paper will discuss the need for a standard for "performance standards" that goes beyond current regulatory guidelines.
Overall, the paper will seek to propose a way forward for the industry in several practical areas.
Most offshore wells that require artificial lift are gas lifted, as gas typically is readily available and compared to other lift systems, gas lifting is relatively inexpensive and low maintenance. However, electric submersible pumps (ESPs) can
efficiently and economically increase oil production and reserves recovery under the appropriate operating conditions. This may translate to a lower abandonment pressure in the long term—possibly reducing the total number of wells required to deplete an asset.
Since few ESPs currently are installed in offshore wells, an ESP screening "Rules of Thumb" was created as a simple guide for prioritizing offshore ESP candidates. The selection criteria focus on feasibility of installation, operability conditions
and operating practices to maximize run life, and economic considerations. ExxonMobil† and industry experience from North America, South America, West Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and the North Sea provided the basis for the study.