With the most recent industry downturn still fresh in many minds, the oil and gas E&P sector is approaching this recovery with a commitment to long-term cost discipline. As a result, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are being adopted by operators and service companies alike as a means of cost savings while driving operational efficiency.
AR technologies employ enhanced visualization hardware, techniques, and methodologies to create new environments wherein digital and physical objects and their data coexist and interact with one another, enhancing the user experience of the real world (
Until recently, these technologies were primarily applied as enhanced entertainment products, most notably within the gaming industry. However, during the past several years, and thanks to the introduction of hands-free, head-mounted display (HMD) technologies, such as Microsoft® HoloLens™ and now HoloLens 2, AR and VR are migrating into the enterprise sector.
While the oil field has not been as quick to integrate AR and VR as other sectors, such as medicine, defense, and aeronautics, operators and service providers alike have increased adoption overthe past 12 months. Motivated by a mandate to keep operating costs low and improve efficiencies in terms of field processes, operators have begun implementing AR/VR applications as collaborative problem-solving, planning, and design tools.
For example, some operators are initiating ARconcepts to promote internal use development and prototyping for both oilfield applications and remote refinery inspections. Additionally, service companies are embracing the use of smart glasses and wearable technologies to help improve remote work and collaboration to help increase in-field safety and reduce downtime.
As part of its strategy to help drive the oil and gas industry's digital transformation, one major service provider is developing AR/VR applications to create digital representations of physical oilfield assets on the Microsoft® HoloLens device. One area of focus is the planning, design, and deployment of solids control, fluid separation, and handling technologies for offshore drilling applications.
Several mature fields in the North Sea experience significant challenges relating to high pressures and temperatures accompanied with the infill drilling challenge of very narrow margins between pore and fracture pressures. To navigate these narrow mud weight windows, it is critical to understand the bottom hole pressure. However, in the cases of fractured formations above the target zones, severe losses can be encountered during drilling and cementing operations often leading to the inability to maintain a full mud column at all times and even threaten the ability to reach TD.
The operator therefore decided to investigate the use of a new acoustic telemetry system that could provide internal and external pressure measurements, (along with other downhole measurements) independently of traditional mud pulse telemetry in the drilling assembly. Real-time distributed pressure data essential to understanding the downhole conditions could therefore be provided regardless of circulation, even under severe losses or during tripping and cementing operations.
This acoustic telemetry network was deployed on several wells through multiple hole sizes and including losses management, liner running and cementing operations.
The initial primary purpose of running the network was the ability to monitor the top of the mud at all times, even in significant loss situations. As real-time data was acquired it became apparent that the data could also be used in real-time to aid and help quantify the actual downhole pressures. The use of this downhole data was modified and new calculations designed for simpler visualization of equivalent circulating densities at the shoe, bit and identified weak zones in the well at depths beyond the acoustic tools themselves. This data was used to manage the bottom hole pressure within a 300 psi mud weight window to ultimately enable the well to be delivered to planned TD.
The tool and calculations helped verify managed pressure connections and subsequent pump ramp up and down operations to minimize pressure fluctuations in the well. Additionally the data was used during dynamic formation integrity testing and to measure and calculate ECD at various positions along the drillstring and casing when downhole PWD measurements were unavailable.
This paper will describe how the implementation of new technology through the downhole acoustic network was deployed and the lessons learned in how the real-time data was used, changed and adapted in this particular well. Due to this deployment the acoustic telemetry network will now be used on upcoming equally challenging wells and its range of operations expanded to include drilling, tripping and liner cementing operations.
Following the significant reservoir depletion on Elgin / Franklin fields since 2007, drilling infill wells was considered to not only be high cost but also carry a high probability of failure to reach the well objective. The recent campaign on the Elgin field, one of the most heavily depleted reservoirs worldwide, demonstrated that infill drilling can be achieved safely while improving performance.
Drilling of HPHT infill wells on the Elgin field faced increasing challenges arising from the reduction of reservoir pressure that changed the stresses in the formations above and influenced the overall pressure regime. This stress reorganization in the overburden has affected the fracture network in these formations resulting in reduction in Fracture Initiation Pressure (FIP) and increase of gas levels.
Challenges were faced during the drilling of three wells in the 2015-2017 campaign. Loss events in Chalk formations in the intermediate sections significantly decreased the already Narrow Mud Weight Window (NMWW). A strategy to define and validate the minimum required MWW in 12-1/2" and 8-1/2" sections was developed following a complex subsurface well control event. Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) technique was extensively used to safely manage gas levels and assess pore pressure.
Reservoir entry with more than 850 bar of overbalance remains the main challenge in infill drilling. A total loss event during first reservoir entry in the latest campaign confirmed the limitations of wellbore strengthening mud and stress caging materials available today.
Lessons learned from each well in this campaign were implemented to address these challenges and improve performance. This paper describes the Elgin HP/HT infill drilling experience and the specific techniques and practices that were developed to address these challenges and improve performance. The importance of Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD) management with very narrow MWW, successful high gas level management with MPD and depleted reservoir entry, shows that even in a highly complex environment, drilling performance can be improved allowing for further economical development drilling. The successful and safe delivery of the Elgin 2015-2017 infill drilling campaign demonstrates this at a time the industry moves toward unlocking the reserves of more challenging HPHT fields.
Saasen, Arild (University of Stavanger) | Pallin, Jan Egil (JAGTECH AS) | Ånesbug, Geir Olav (JAGTECH AS) | Lindgren, Alf Magne (Schlumberger Oilfield Services) | Aaker, Gudmund (Schlumberger Oilfield Services) | Rødsjø, Mads (AkerBP)
Different logging operations can suffer from presence of metallic particles in the drilling fluids. Directional drilling in Arctic areas can be a challenge because of magnetic contamination in the drilling fluid. This is a challenge especially when drilling east-west relative to the magnetic north direction. Magnetic and paramagnetic particles in the drilling fluid will shield the down hole compasses and introduce additional errors to the surveying than those normally included in the uncertainty ellipsoid. The objective of the project is to remove the magnetic particles being the largest contributor to this error.
On many offshore drilling rigs there is mounted ditch magnets to remove metallic swarf from the drilling fluid. These magnets will normally only remove the coarser swarf. In this project we use a combination of strong magnets and flow directors to significantly improve the performance of the ditch magnets. This combination, together with proper routines for cleaning the ditch magnets significantly helps cleaning the drilling fluid.
By the combined use of flow directors and ditch magnets it was possible to extract more than five times as much magnetic contamination from the drilling fluid. This is verified by comparing the ditch magnet efficiencies from two drilling rigs drilling ERD wells. The logging tool signal strengths of several down hole instruments were unusually good and insignificant down times were observed on the logging tools. The results are anticipated to have aided to the directional drilling performance.
Detailed information on how to clean the drilling fluid properly from magnetic contamination is presented. It is also shown that this cleaning is significantly better than conventional cleaning of magnetic debris from drilling fluids.
Yudhowijoyo, Azis (University of Aberdeen) | Rafati, Roozbeh (University of Aberdeen) | Sharifi Haddad, Amin (University of Aberdeen) | Pokrajac, Dubravka (University of Aberdeen) | Manzari, Mehrdad (University of Aberdeen)
Crosslinked polymer gels have been widely used to overcome water and gas coning problem in the petroleum industry. Recently, nanoparticles are identified to have a potential of reinforcing the polymer gel systems by improving physical bonding and heat transfer properties in the gel structure. In this study, silicon dioxide and aluminium oxide nanoparticles were introduced to xanthan gum polymers that were crosslinked by chromium (III) acetate, to create polymeric nanocomposite gels with higher shear strengths. The gelation time and gel strength have been selected as main parameters to evaluate the effect of nanoparticle types and concentrations on the nanocomposite gels performance. The gelation time is measured until the onset of gelation or the moment when apparent viscosity starts to increase at 60°C. The gel strength is represented by the storage modulus (G’) after 24 hours of gelation at 60°C. Both parameters were measured by a rheometer, through constant shear rate and oscillatory tests respectively.
The addition of 1000 and 10000 ppm of silicon dioxide (SiO2) nanoparticles into a solution of 6000 ppm xanthan gum polymers that are crosslinked with 50000 ppm chromium (III) acetate caused insignificant changes in gelation time. Similar result was also reported when 1000 and 10000 ppm of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) nanoparticles was introduced into the polymer system. This suggests that when SiO2 and Al2O3 nanoparticles are introduced to xanthan/chromium (III) Acetate system for field application, no additives would be required to prolong or shorten gelation time to counter the nanoparticles addition. To analyse the gel strengths, the results from the oscillatory test were averaged throughout the frequency range, and it was shown that the addition of SiO2 nanoparticles decreases the average storage modulus from 75.1 Pa without nanoparticles, to 72.3 Pa at the nanoparticles concentration of 1000 ppm. However, the average storage modulus increased to 83.0 Pa and 94.7 Pa at higher nanoparticles SiO2 concentrations of 5000 ppm and 10000 ppm. The same trend was observed for the nanocomposite gels that were produced by Al2O3 nanoparticles. Similarly, the storage modulus decreased initially to 70.8 Pa at the concentration of 1000 ppm, then it increased to 89.9 Pa and 109.4 Pa at nanoparticles concentrations of 5000 pm and 10000 ppm, respectively. Hence, the nanoparticle-enhanced biopolymer gels showed insignificant changes of gelation time, and at the same time, they demonstrated up to 45% improvements in the gel strength properties when the nanoparticles concentration is higher than 5000 ppm.
In conclusion, the nanocomposite gels demonstrated reinforced bonding properties and showed higher gel strengths that can make them good candidates for leakage prevention from gas wells and blocking of water encroachments from aquifers into the wells.
Brines are preferred to solids-laden fluids for completion operations due to their solids-free nature, which helps preserve formation permeability. Salt selection is mostly driven by the density that must be reached to match downhole pressure requirements. When density must be above 14.2 lbm/gal (1.7 s.g.), and crystallization must be prevented, previous options were limited to calcium bromide brines, zinc bromide brines and cesium formate. These brines have severe limitations: zinc brines can be harmful to oilfield personnel and the environment, cesium formate brines are cost-prohibitive and not readily available and calcium brines cannot meet deepwater crystallization requirements. A new brine technology has been developed, that is zinc-free and extends the density of conventional bromide brines beyond their theoretical limits. This new technology addresses the limitations listed above, while providing low True Crystallization Temperature (TCT) and Pressurized Crystallization Temperature (PCT) to perform in deepwater and cold weather applications.
This paper describes the first application of clay-free IEFs in the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), with an emphasis on an impressively low and consistent ECD contribution. This year has been a great year for me; I was able to play more rounds of golf than expected! I was also successful in sealing a few research collaboration agreements within the oil and gas industry.
The effects of adding iron oxide NPs on the rheological and filtration properties of aqueous bentonite suspensions have been studied by several researchers. This paper presents an investigation into the effect of catalytic nanoparticles on the efficiency of recovery from continuous steam injection. A number of ongoing industry research projects are developing nanoparticles that work at the reservoir level and for fluid treatment. Though they may be a few years away from finalization, these efforts highlight nanotechnology’s increasingly sophisticated and growing application scope. This work focuses on the laboratory techniques for developing, assessing, and analyzing innovative water-based drilling fluids containing iron oxide (Fe2O3) and silica (SiO2) nanoparticles.