Author Archive

High Level Screening Study for Conceptual Completion Design

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Projects completed 2017

High Level Screening Study for Conceptual Completion Design

Middle East Study522

OPC performed technical assistance in a high level screening study of sand control methods for offshore wells in the Middle East. As part of the work, OPC also made recommendations regarding core testing and core acquisition programmes.

Region:    Middle East

Office:    OPC London

Time:     4 weeks to complete

Skills:   Geosciences and Drilling & Completions Engineering

The report referred to the image shown below from Price-Smith et al, 2003 (SPE: 85504)

Sand

For further details, please contact:

RileycropPiers Johnson
Managing Director
Oilfield Production Consultants (OPC) Limited
Tel:   +44 20 7428 1111
Email:  piersjohnson@opc.co.uk

Production Modelling & Forecasting

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Projects completed 2017

Production Modelling & Forecasting

OPC consolidated multiple production models from different operators to create one combined model. This model was subsequently used to assess the incremental benefit of developing “small pools” surrounding existing infrastructure.

Region:    UKCS

Office:    OPC London

Time:     2 weeks to complete

Skills:   Reservoir Engineering and Production Engineering

Northsea800

 

For further details, please contact:

RileycropPiers Johnson
Managing Director
Oilfield Production Consultants (OPC) Limited
Tel:   +44 20 7428 1111
Email:  piersjohnson@opc.co.uk

Modelling and simulation review – development plan

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Projects completed 2017

Modelling and simulation review

OPC has successfully completed a full static and dynamic modelling and simulation review in order to assess the feasibility of the operator’s appraisal and development plan.  The scope of work also included a detailed evaluation of the development concept, appraisal well design and production modelling.

Region:    Middle East

Office:    OPC London

Time:     3 weeks to complete

Skills:   Integrated Geosciences (Reservoir Modelling) & Reservoir Simulation, and Reservoir Engineering

ressimwp

For further details, please contact:

RileycropPiers Johnson
Managing Director
Oilfield Production Consultants (OPC) Limited
Tel:   +44 20 7428 1111
Email:  piersjohnson@opc.co.uk

ConvEx featured at AlMansoori Technology Day, Abu Dhabi

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ConvEx, the innovative forecasting solution for unconventional reservoirs, received significant interest from attendees at the AlMansoori Technology Day in Abu Dhabi on the 16th – 17th April 2017.

The Technology Day provided an opportunity for the AlMansoori Group, OPC’s partners in Abu Dhabi, to not only showcase their capabilities but also promote innovative and new technologies to the ADNOC Group.

The event, held over two days at the ADMA/ZADCO offices in Abu Dhabi was frequented by personnel from all areas of the ADNOC group and included a technical conference with presentations by AlMansoori and its partners.  The event was officially opened by Mr. Yasser Saeed Al-Mazrouei, CEO of ADMA/ZADCO who took the time to tour the exhibition to see for himself the technology on offer.

AlMansooriTechDay

OPC’s Middle East manager Riley Smith said “We were delighted to play a key part in this unique event.  It brought together innovation, technology and forward thinking and gave not only OPC but all who attended the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas on how we can work together with technology to successfully meet ADNOC’s targets in what remains a difficult time for the industry.”

In keeping with the theme of the event, OPC presented a new software application called ConvEx which significantly improves the accuracy of well surveillance analysis and forecasting production in unconventional reservoirs. ConvEx allows the user to derive a unit rate drawdown response function interactively with the well bottom hole pressure data and surface flow rate measurements which can then be used for future production forecasts.  This is particularly useful in unconventional reservoirs where there are no or few build ups just producing data. There will be an SPE paper released soon on ConvEx, should you require more information please contact Piers Johnson.

RileypresentingConvEx

Riley added “I presented a very brief overview of ConvEx and was pleased to see it generated a lot of interest, including from Mr. Yasser Saeed Al-Mazrouei which was of great encouragement.”

The event also provided an opportunity for the many partners of AlMansoori to meet and learn more about each other’s services and possible opportunities to collaborate. Riley Smith commented “The range of oilfield services available amongst the group of companies is staggering, we have identified a number of projects across the region and we are certainly looking forward to providing our subsurface expertise to one or more of these exciting opportunities”

AlMansooriexhibition

Companies based in Abu Dhabi interested in OPC services should contact:

Fawaz Al-AmodiFawaz Al-Amodi
Marketing Manager
AlMansoori Specialist Engineering
Tel: +971 566 854 863
Email: falamodi@almansoori.biz

For outside of Abu Dhabi, please contact:

RileycropRiley Smith
Middle East Manager
Oilfield Production Consultants (OPC) Limited
Tel:   +971 562 789 820
Email:  riley.smith@opc.co.uk

OPC presents at SPE Well testing workshop Dubai

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Piers Johnson from OPC played a key role at the 2017 SPE Well testing workshop in Dubai. The workshop, Well Testing – Technology, Operations, Sampling, and Reservoir Characterisation in the Current Price Environment, is the leading event for well testing in the SPE annual calendar.   Piers presented on two distinct topics:

  • Unusual Derivative Responses from Layered and Water Edge Drive Reservoirs
  • A Common Framework for Analysis of Well Test and Surveillance Pressure and Rate Data

The second presentation was based on the work of Mike Levitan, OPC Consultant, and explains how deconvolution can be applied to unconventional reservoirs as well as conventional reservoirs.  In unconventional reservoirs the reservoir volume investigated by a typical well test is confined to immediate vicinity of the well (as little as a few feet).  For this reason traditional well testing does not allow reliable assessment of the well long-term production capacity and is not a practical and proper approach for unconventional reservoir/well evaluation.   Mike’s framework involves an analysis technique based on pressure-rate deconvolution that is applicable for both well test and surveillance data.  This approach does not rely on any automatic pressure-rate deconvolution algorithms which are often too restrictive and not robust enough for surveillance data acquired in the course of routine production operations.

Dubaievent

Piers said “I was delighted to have been invited to present at the workshop and to have the opportunity to share Mike Levitan’s new framework.  I am particularly excited by this new framework as it can significantly increase the accuracy of the reservoir description, and therefore production forecasting in unconventional reservoirs and can deliver results far quicker than traditional models.”

Piersweb“Attendees at the workshop were very interested in the new framework.  Mike will be publishing a full technical paper in the next few months but I would encourage anyone interested in the topic to contact me quickly as we are already scheduling projects into the summer of 2017.”

Contact Piers on +44 20 7428 1111 or by email .

 

OPC attends EGYPS 2017

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Riley Smith from OPC attended EGYPS, the Egypt Petroleum Show which took place in Cairo on the 14-16 February 2017.  The event was the largest oil & gas industry gathering North Africa has ever seen and was an excellent forum for discussing opportunities in the Egyptian market.

EGYPS was a very timely event for OPC following our registration as an approved vendor with the Egyptian Ministry of Oil & Gas in November 2016.  This not only allows OPC to work more efficiently in Egypt but also provides our clients with cost recovery capability, in a market which is flourishing following several large gas discoveries including the super-giant Zohr gas field by ENI in August 2015..

As part of the registration process, OPC has formed a partnership with Elba Group, a local services company providing us with access to local support, infrastructure, environmental and logistics services in order to provide a more comprehensive service to OPC clients in Egypt.

RileylogoRiley Smith, OPC Manager – MENA, said “EGYPS was an excellent event which gave me the chance to meet with many companies interested in Egypt’s potential.  Having already met a number of senior government officials, it was great to meet with a number of operating companies looking at the opportunities available.”

Riley added “Our registration gives us access to the Egyptian Information Centre enabling us to provide comprehensive, expert and speedy services to companies seeking to enter the market. I would encourage any operators attending EGYPS who are perhaps seeking to evaluate opportunities in Egypt to get in touch with us as we can without doubt provide an unrivalled level of support on assessing these blocks”

Contact Riley Smith for further details

 

Rileyegyps

New contracts update

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While the overall effect of the low oil price has been to dampen activity, OPC has been winning a large number of new contracts thanks to focusing on clear benefits to customers:

  • Expert knowledge of subsurface engineering
  • Flexibility to deliver projects, contract personnel and/or training
  • Cost effective rates given current market conditions
  • Integrated well services and field development partnerships

Middle East manager, Riley Smith said “Given the current market conditions, operators are looking for partners that can provide flexible, low risk and cost effective services.  This is excellent news for OPC as our model of a core engineering team supported by specialist consultants is particularly competitive at present.  We are able to deliver projects at day rates that are approximately 30% lower than three years ago due to the current market conditions and flexibility of our consultants.”

Shown below is a selection of new business wins over the last quarter:

new-projects-2016

For more information on OPC services, please contact:

Piers Johnson
Managing Director
Tel: +44 20 7428 1111

 

Consultants’ Corner – free time edition

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As part of our E&P consultant market report, we asked consultants who are not actively consulting in the E&P market to tell us what was keeping them busy and to send us a photo of them doing it!

We had a great response and we are delighted to share photos of the following intrepid consultants:

garymuch

Gary Much is the Champion of Champions for North East of Scotland 

giles-smith

Giles Smith has started an online business, got married and traveled the world.

 

jmpq

JM Picq is cruising..

joost

Joost van Breemen is restoring

mde

Liviu Bordeanu is training Chinese engineers

spencerquam

Spencer Qualm is enjoying San Francisco

dave

Dave Bodecott continues to play in his spare time whether working or not.

fred-rittelmeyer

Fred Rittelmeyer is helping to drill fresh water wells in Madagascar

Thanks to everyone that sent in photos.  Please keep us updated with your activities – we do enjoy hearing and seeing what you are up to!

 

39% rate cut to get back to work

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Consultants who were active in the E&P sector in 2013 but not currently working due to the cutbacks in the industry would take a day rate that is 39% lower. This was one of the key findings of the OPC Consultant Market Report 2016.

Our research asked those consultants not currently working (but were keen to return) what day rate they would want from a new position.

  • The average day rate wanted now is $790
  • The average day rate in 2013 was $1,285
  • This represents an average reduction of 39%

A few consultants claim that they wanted the same rate as they earned before the oil price crash. However, most have been flexible with their rates to reflect a lower demand for their services.

The report from OPC obtained data from nearly 500 E&P consultants in October 2016 and provides a detailed insight into the current state of professional consulting in the sector.

Only 27% of our survey base of consultants are actively working on projects in E&P – a stark demonstration of the severe reduction in the use of professional consultants since the start of 2014.
The reduction in day rates means that using consultant skills is now a very attractive proposition for many oil and gas companies.

RileylogoRiley Smith, Middle East manager said “Operators are looking for partners that can provide flexible, low risk and cost effective services. This is excellent news for OPC as our model of a core engineering team supported by specialist consultants is particularly competitive at present. We are able to deliver projects at day rates that are approximately 35% lower than three years ago due to the current market conditions and flexibility of our consultants.”

Comments from consultants included:

“At the end of the day anything moderately reasonable has to be considered.”

Please click here to see the full report which is freely available for everyone to view.

55% of consultants are not currently working in oil industry

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55% of consultants who were working in the exploration and production sector in 2013 are no longer working in the oil industry. This was one of the key findings of the OPC Consultant Market Report 2016.

The report from OPC obtained data from nearly 500 E&P consultants and provides a detailed insight into the current state of professional consulting in the sector.

workingpieOf those that were working as consultants in 2013 (prior to the oil price drop in 2014), only 27% are still working as consultants in E&P. Another 18% have taken permanent or staff positions in the oil industry (not necessarily in E&P).

11% have found work in another industry and the largest percentage in our survey, 44%, are not currently working in paid employment at all.

This indicates a very large drop in the utilisation of professional consultants within E&P. Of the 55% that are currently not working in the industry, 68% hope to return when the sector recovers but 32% say they will not return.

These 32% have either found new professions, are retraining for another career or have retired. The most common industries for those leaving oil and gas are:

  • fred-rittelmeyer-3IT
  • Construction
  • Marine
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Farming
  • Business Services

Some are contributing to society in other ways. For instance, Fred Rittelmeyer is helping to drill fresh water wells in Madagascar (see photo).

We asked consultants how the downturn has affected their views of the industry. Many now have a more negative view, for example:

“It has only made me even more cynical, because I am old enough to have seen it all before. Short term hemorrhaging of talent to satisfy stockholders, then panic as the upturn arrives and all the people have gone, leaving only graduates to carry the load. It happened before, and it will happen again. The industry never learns.”

Click here to see the full report which is freely available for everyone to view

Day rates are 27% less than 2013

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Consultants working in the exploration and production sector in October 2016 are charging on average 27% less than in 2013.   This was one of the key findings of the OPC Consultant Market Report 2016.

piersThis fact comes as no surprise to OPC Managing Director Piers Johnson.  “I don’t know any consultant who hasn’t had to reduce day rates over the last two years.  The pressure on costs from operators has been pushed onto the consultant community and we’ve all had to reduce rates.”

The report from OPC obtained data from nearly 500 E&P consultants in October 2016 and provides a detailed insight into the current state of professional consulting in the sector.

In a remarkable co-incidence on percentages, only 27% of our survey base of consultants are actively working on projects in E&P – a stark demonstration of the severe reduction in the use of professional consultants since the start of 2014.

down27We asked just the consultants who are still working in the industry what their current working rate is and what it was in 2013.  The average day rate now is $1,109. The average day rate in 2013 was $1,520.

This represents an average reduction of 27%.  Virtually every consultant still working in the industry has needed to reduce rates. Only 5% of those still working have maintained the rates that they were charging in 2013.

Barry Shaw, Chief Operating Officer for OPC commented:  “The industry has entered into an unusual period where the rates contractors are willing to work for is often below the total remuneration package enjoyed by equivalent engineers in full time employment. This is contrary to the established industry norms and presents an excellent opportunity right now for operators to access top quality expertise on a temporary or variable basis at a cost equivalent to or below the equivalent for full time employees.”

The full report is freely available for everyone to view – just complete your name and email address below.

Name:*
E-mail:*

 

E&P Consultant Market Report – 2016

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Recent reports have estimated that around 350,000 jobs have been lost in the oil & gas industry since the oil price slump of 2014.  As a specialist within the exploration and production (E&P) sector, OPC has commissioned this survey specifically to quantify the impact upon the employment of consultants in the E&P sector.

Specific information identified in the survey includes:

  • Percentage of consultants still working in the E&P sector
  • Labour rates of those still working
  • Labour rates wanted by those not working
  • Number of professionals lost to the sector & what are they doing now

The survey is free to view and download – please add your name & email address below to see full details.

Name:*
E-mail:*

Positive outlook at ADIPEC 2016

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Despite the continued depressed oil price, sentiment among visitors and exhibitors at the ADIPEC conference in early November was distinctly positive.

Riley Smith and Piers Johnson from OPC were among the 100,000 visitors to the 19th ADIPEC (Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) from 7th to 10th November and met with operating companies planning projects for 2017.

Riley said “ADIPEC provides a unique opportunity for us to meet with all the major E&P players across the Middle East and further abroad. This year the general consensus was that 2017 will be a much better year than 2016.  There is a sense of enthusiasm about the industry and from all accounts the budgets for next year are already preparing to bring online new projects and activities”

OPC’s partner in Abu Dhabi, AlMansoori Specialized Engineering, had a major presence at the exhibition and supported Piers and Riley with several meetings with new contacts in the region.

Piers said “This was the busiest and most interesting ADIPEC that I have attended. It was very useful to spend time with the management from AlMansoori and we have identified several projects that we hope to be able to support during 2017.”

adipecalmansoori

Riley added “Given the current market conditions, operators are looking for partners that can provide flexible, low risk and cost effective services.  This is excellent news for OPC as our model of a core engineering team supported by specialist consultants is particularly competitive at present.  We are able to deliver projects at day rates that are approximately 30% lower than three years ago due to the current market conditions and flexibility of our consultants.”

This message was clear from the keynote address provided by Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, said: “The theme of this year’s conference, ‘Strategies for the New Energy Landscape’ is appropriately timed given the challenges, opportunities, and expansion we’re experiencing today. Operators are now required to improve their cost structures and be very disciplined in their investment choices.”

adipeckhyberThe 19th annual ADIPEC in 2016 was the largest event to date, bringing together more than 2,000 exhibiting companies, 25 country pavilions, 850 speakers, 8,500 delegates, and 100,000 attendees from more than 125 countries.

Contact Riley Smith for more details on OPC services

Egyptian registration provides cost recovery capability for OPC clients

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OPC is delighted to announce its successful registration as an approved vendor with the Egyptian Ministry of Oil & Gas.  This registration enables operators to recover the costs of using OPC services in Egypt against their operations, in a market which is flourishing following several large gas discoveries including the super-giant Zohr gas field by ENI in August 2015.

As part of the registration process, OPC has formed a partnership with Elba Group, a local services company providing us with access to local support, infrastructure, environmental and logistics services in order to provide a more comprehensive service to OPC clients in Egypt.

Riley Smith, OPC Manager – MENA, recently visited Egypt and said “Egypt is an exciting country for us, we have spent a significant amount of effort establishing our presence there. During my visit I was fortunate enough to meet with several senior officials of GANOPE, EGPC and EGAS, the three regulatory bodies under the Ministry of Oil & Gas as well as numerous operating companies. There is a real appetite from the government to attract new foreign companies who can add value to the supply chain in terms of technology or expertise. We have a great local partner and through this partnership we have inherited very strong relations with the 3 regulatory organisations and we intend to support them where we can, both in helping attract new operators to the country through the bid rounds but also support them in the training and development of their own staff.”

ganopeGANOPE currently have a bid round underway and the blocks available offer some exciting exploration opportunities, the increase in Egyptian E&P activity has caught the eye of companies throughout the world.  Our registration gives us access to the Egyptian Information Centre enabling us to provide comprehensive, expert and speedy services to companies seeking to enter the market either through the exploration licence rounds or through a farm-in to existing production.

RileylogoRiley added “Whilst in Egypt I was given a presentation by the GANOPE technical team on the 10 blocks on offer in the current bid round, 5 blocks in the Southern Gulf of Suez and 5 blocks in the Western Desert region, all of which looked to be promising prospects, and I would encourage any operators looking into Egypt to get in touch with us as we can without doubt provide an unrivalled level of support on assessing these blocks”

Contact Riley Smith for further details

egypt

The information on Egypt below is republished from World Oil magazine October 2016

Egypt

The largest oil producer that is not an OPEC member, and is the most populous Arab nation, Egypt has seen significant industry advancement, despite the downturn. The Arab Republic of Egypt’s energy sector has been flourishing, particularly in the deep waters of the Mediterranean.

Eni discovered super-giant Zohr field in August 2015, in the Nile Delta region’s Abu Madi West license. Initial estimates indicated that the field was holding approximately 30 Tcf of gas. Eni’s historical find is recognized as a “game changer” for Egypt’s energy supply, as the country has been faced with energy deficits over the last several years. Consequently, Egypt had ceased all gas exports. Expected to come online by 2018, the deepwater Zohr discovery is considered the largest gas find in the Mediterranean Sea.

In February 2016, Eni completed drilling of the Zohr-2 well, the first appraisal well of the Zohr discovery. The well, situated in the Shorouk Block, is about 1.0 mi southeast of Zohr-1. In a water depth of 4,800 ft, the appraisal well was drilled to 13,684 ft and encountered 1,614 ft of continuous hydrocarbon column in a carbonate sequence, with excellent reservoir characteristics—1,000 ft of net pay. The company’s appraisal plan consists of drilling three further wells to fully demarcate the field.

Eni (50% stake), with BP Egypt (50%), made another important gas discovery in May, in the Baltim South Development lease, also in the East Nile Delta. Drilled in a water depth of 82 ft, the Baltim SW-1 exploration well reached a TD of 12,303 ft, and encountered approximately 205 ft of net gas pay in high-quality Messinian sandstone.

egyptatollBP announced the discovery of Atoll in March 2015, and has since made significant progress in its development. The Atoll-1 deepwater exploration well—found about 50 mi north of Damietta City—had been drilled using theMaersk Discoverer semisubmersible, in a water depth of 3,028 ft. It reached a depth of 20,997 ft and encountered about 165 ft of gas pay in high-quality sandstones.

Atoll Phase One is now reportedly in an early production scheme, related to the recompletion of the exploration well as a production well, as well as the drilling of two additional wells and the installation of tie-ins. The wells are being drilled by Ensco’s DS-6 rig which arrived in Egypt, in May.

The increase in Egyptian E&P activity has caught the eye of companies, including Apache Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell. Their JV in Egypt’s Western Desert reportedly made plans to begin production of unconventional gas back in June. Shell is the unconventional gas pilot project’s operator, with a 52% interest; Apache retains the remaining 48%. Full development of the field—which lies in Egypt’s Northeast Abu Gharadig licensing area (partially owned by state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corp.)—will have to be negotiated with government officials.

http://www.worldoil.com/magazine/2016/october-2016/features/regional-report-mena

Thibault Grand returns as Consultant Services Leader

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A familiar face has returned to the OPC London office.  Thibault Grand who worked for OPC from 2012 to 2015 has returned to lead our consultant services division.  Thibault will be based at our London office and will oversee the sourcing, selection and appointment of expert consultants for projects with OPC clients.   Our consultants are seconded into clients’ organisations on short, medium or long term assignments either as individuals or part of an integrated team.

thibault

Thibault said “I am delighted to return to OPC.  Since leaving last year, I have gained valuable experience resourcing for skills in other industries and am very much looking forward to applying these techniques in the E&P sector.”

While the market for consultant services remains challenging, there have been some positive signs in recent weeks.  Thibault added “In my first week I have already met with a number of large IOCs and it has been encouraging to have identified a number of contract opportunities for experienced consultants.”

All live opportunities are posted on the OPC jobs page and any interested consultants are encouraged to apply online or contact Thibault on +44 (0)20 7428 1111 or email thibault.grand@opc.co.uk.

Why is PTA Surveillance of Injection wells useful?

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by Bill Roberts, President, OPC USA

The benefits of pressure transient analysis (PTA) for production wells is widely recognised. However, the need to undertake PTA on water injection wells can sometimes be overlooked by operators. Since wellhead pressure and injection rate are very often measured continuously, there is a wealth of data that can be reaped from PTA interpretation of injection wells and shown as a variation with time such as :-

• Mechanical Skin
• Injectivity Index
• Average reservoir pressure
• Fracture closing pressure
• Information about the flood front advance

With this information, remedial action can be taken such as stimulation, reperforation or even the recommendation of a production log to further understand the performance change. In the last decade the study of Injection wells has become one of the industry’s hot topics. This has been a direct consequence of the increasing number of enhanced oil recovery projects (EOR). The market force for efficient reservoir management has always been in place, but now it must also take into account injection well performance, waterflooding strategies, water disposal needs and injection facilities. Throughout the remainder of the article some examples are shown which provide an insight to the kind of information that can be obtained by doing a robust PTA surveillance analysis.

Water Bank Growth and pressure support around the wellbore

Characterization of water bank growth and pressure support around the wellbore relates to overall water flooding and displacement efficiency. From the cumulative injected water volumes a theoretical injected bank size can be obtained as long as the net injection thickness is known. The growth of the theoretical bank size is then compared to the apparent inner bank growth of the derivative.

HResPLOT1

For a water injection well injecting directly into the oil zone, this approach gives an immediate understanding of how the water bank is behaving in the reservoir. If discrepancies are observed between theoretical and apparent water bank sizes it must mean that the water

bank growth is not homogenous within the reservoir. This could be due to a strong relative permeability contrast, existing pressure gradient or simply due to the presence of heterogeneities and/or boundaries.

Understanding Changes in Temperature effects.

Reservoir temperature affects viscosity which is directly related to the mobility. Since the temperature of injection water can change throughout the life time of a field (if produced water is added to the total injection yield), it is important to understand the impact that temperature changes will have in the injection performance and in the overall reservoir. An example is shown in the following plot
that illustrates the effect of fast warming up of injection water. The thinking would be that cold injected water would have a higher viscosity than reservoir water, and therefore a change in mobility might be seen. The reality shows a different picture. After several millions of injected cold water barrels, the change in the derivative response is negligible. How could this be if the inner water bank is supposed to have a different mobility via a viscosity change?

HResPLOT2

The answer is that the viscosity difference dissipates as soon as the injected water is warmed up. And the injected water is warmed up very quickly. Both the reservoir and the aquifer act as a massive heat exchanger that warms up the injected water to reservoir temperatures at a very fast rate (analogue to a geothermal energy system). Water injection into an aquifer does not present a significant contrast in relative permeability as long as water properties are not very dissimilar. It is concluded that wells that inject water into an aquifer will maintain almost identical derivatives until the moment the injected water front starts interacting with an oil leg with a contrasting mobility.

Diagnosing variations in Injectivity Index

One of the issues that always crops up when doing Injection Surveillance PTA is the diagnostic of variations in the injectivity index (II). Is the injector performing as expected? Why or why not? The truth is that the majority of events that occur to injectors will affect their performance in one way or another. For example, any kind of Skin increase or loss of injection reservoir interval will reduce the Injectivity Index; on the other hand the appearance of fractures will enhance it. All in all, injectivity index is one of the main parameters to monitor when doing PTA Surveillance of Injection wells. Some examples are illustrated below.

HResPLOT_3

The plot above shows two fall-offs (FO) carried out in the same well. The first FO (blue) was done soon after the well was put into injection. The pink FO was carried out two year afterwards after relatively continuous injection: The presence of a ½ slope in the early time of the latter FO stands out immediately as the appearance of a fracture. This is reasonable taking into account the changing thermal rock properties around the well and the prolonged injection prior to it. As shown in the example above a fracture tends to increase wellbore storage duration (WBS) as per an increase of compressible volume during shut-in. In addition, the development of a fracture creates an improvement in Skin (evidenced by the decrease in separation between pressure and derivative curves when comparing the final fall-off with the initial one). This reduction in Skin led to an improvement of the Injectivity Index of the well. The plot below shows a clear example of how changing Skin over the life of a well influences the Injectivity Index.

 

HRes4thimage

 

Bill Roberts is a reservoir engineer with over 32 years’ broad-based international experience in well testing, reservoir simulation, petrophysics, reserves estimation, prospect evaluation, field development and training. Since 2003 he has specialized in well testing and reservoir surveillance with permanent downhole gauges on producing fields, and since 2005 has taught well test analysis for the Master’s program, Institut Français du Pétrole, Paris. 

Contact Bill on +1 713 973 2151 or by email .

Eid Mubarak

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On behalf of OPC I would like to extend our well wishes to our colleagues, clients and consultants celebrating Eid Al-Fitr, we hope you had a blessed Ramadan.

eid16

Subsurface Opportunities in Nigeria

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Riley Smith, OPC Middle East Manager, has just returned from a 2 week trip to Lagos and reports on opportunities for subsurface engineers in the country.

“During my visit I presented to more than a dozen business and there is a significant appetite from oil companies in Nigeria for local technical support. We have set the business up in a way that allows Nigerian oil companies, both international and indigenous, to access our world class subsurface engineering services though our very own local team of experts in Lagos, who will be well supported by our international offices. ”

Nigeria1 Nigeria2 Nigeria3

Wale Lawal, Riley Smith and Ifeanyi Egbe at meetings in Lagos

Since the OPC Lagos office opened in April 2016, the manager, Wale Lawal, has been building up a network of expert consultants to support the full time OPC technical team in the office.

If you have experience in any of the disciplines listed below and would be interested in working with us either full time or as a consultant, please register your interest here.

OPC has licences to deliver expert services in these disciplines:

  • Drilling / Production
    • Well logging, wireline services, well testing and DST’s
    • PVT Analysis
  • Exploration
    • Seismic interpretation
    • Down-hole data gathering and interpretation
  • Technical Consultancy
    • Reservoir evaluation and management
    • Geological studies
  • Specialised Oil & Gas Training
    • Drilling well operations and well control
    • Sub-surface / geological training

For further details of OPC services in Nigeria, please contact:

WalecroppedWale Lawal
Manager, OPC Nigeria
Oilfield Production Consultants Nigeria Ltd
Tel:   +234 802 351 2039
Email:  wale.lawal@opc-ng.com

 

A Guide to Decommissioning

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by Geoff Tilling, Senior Decommissioning Consultant, OPC

Decommissioning, the removal and disposal of redundant oil and gas infrastructure, is more than an engineering task. It is a process involving, for its execution, every discipline in an oil company and its contractors. The award of a Production Licence for Oil and Gas involves an obligation to decommission the installed facilities according to local conventions and regulation.

The decommissioning ‘market’ is large, with about 11,000 platforms installed globally. The rough split, by number, is Europe: 900, North America: 4200, Latin America: 900, Africa: 1200, Asia: 4000 and Australasia: 100 and, by type is, Piled – 79.5%, Caissons – 19% Jack ups – 1%, Gravity Based – 0.5%.

Production can rapidly become sub-economic for several reasons:Decommissioning

  • Natural Depletion takes production below beneficial levels. This is the anticipated Cessation of Production and should be accompanied by a Decommissioning Strategy
  • A fall in oil price precipitates the Cessation of Production. A Decommissioning Strategy is required because the end of life operation is always hostage to oil price fluctuations.
  • Production is dependent upon a single high flow well or down hole electro-mechanical pumps experience sudden loss of well or pump. Production drops to Cessation levels and intervention does not recover production to an economic level.

Towards the end of field life, managing production decline can be exploited by small, independent, oil companies who specialise in optimising recovery whilst operating in a minimum, but safe, cost regime. Governments encourage these companies to enter such mature production areas but not all installations will transfer, as many large companies prefer to carry out decommissioning themselves.

Brent_sparThis stems from Shell UK suffering furore in the press and mainland Europe in 1995 when trying, legally, to dispose of the Brent Spar storage and loading buoy in deep water, west of Rockall. The disposal tow was interrupted by Greenpeace and resulted in the buoy being towed to a Norwegian Fjord for dismantling. Hence, companies became wary about allowing any aspect of decommissioning out of their management and public relations control. The confrontation with a ‘green’ NGO also caused the OSPAR nations to become more involved and increase the regulation.

Decommissioning should be planned well in advance. The following European methodology is not untypical of other producing regions.

  • At Cessation of Production (CoP) the Regulator (Oil & Gas Authority [OGA] in the UK) requires written submission that all reservoirs feeding the decommissioned facility have been economically drained by all reasonable measures to extend production. Additionally, adjacent potential reservoirs have been demonstrated to be uncommercial even if the installation were to remain.
  • Without approval of the CoP the Decommissioning cannot commence.
  • In parallel with the removal preparations the wells will require plugging and abandoning (P&A). This can be a lengthy process depending upon well complexity and numbers. Planning for the Decommissioning cleaning and removal phases requires certainty about the completion of these activities in order to optimise cost and schedule elements in contracts for the removal equipment.

These various activities require cooperative effort from many disciplines to achieve an effective outcome.

Decommissioning is a “no financial return process” so efficiency is required to achieve the minimum cost objectives.

Cost Estimation generally assumes the most likely size of crane for lifting work. Estimates are built based on perception of consequent risks. There are more uncertainties in decommissioning than installation so significant elements of contingent cost are incorporated. If the risks are overstated the contractor has a ‘good’ project but the owners (and the Treasury) might have paid too much. Counter to this, if additional costs accrue, the budget might be insufficient so the owners must pay and accept the resultant cost overrun. Neither scenario is good for a no financial return process.

logo-osparA significant Decommissioning driver is regulation. The OSPAR Decommissioning Requirements 98/3 are the most stringent in the world. The OSPAR Convention covers most of the European Oil & Gas production area (UK, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland and Atlantic Spain). It includes the North Sea and Irish Sea and stretches to Greenland and from the Arctic Circle to the Straits of Gibraltar but excludes the Mediterranean and the Baltic.

OSPAR 98/3 requirements are, inter alia,

  • All topsides returned to shore for re-use, recycling or disposal
  • All steel installations weighing less than 10,000 tonnes must be completely removed.
  • Sub-sea installations must be completely removed

A limited option for some parts of structures to be left in place is available but, since early 1999, new structures must be designed for eventual total removal.

Non-OSPAR conventions, globally, rely upon the London Convention 1972, under the aegis of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), whose requirements are, inter alia:

  • All abandoned installations in less than 75 metres of water and weighing less than 4000 tonnes, excluding deck and superstructure, should be entirely removed.
  • All abandoned installations emplaced on the sea-bed after 1 January 1998, in less than 100 metres of water and weighing less than 4000 tonnes, excluding deck and superstructure, should be entirely removed.
  • Any part of a structure left in place must have 55 metres clear water column above it or, if above the surface, be marked with navigation aids.

The Coastal State may decide on a case by case basis the acceptability criteria for a structure, remaining in place.

Underpinning the legislation in Europe, is the Waste Hierarchy

Reduction of material is occurring naturally as large platforms are installed less frequently, replaced by smaller, unmanned or sub sea developments

Reuse needs many parameters to match so finding an economical reuse is the exception. Large platforms are unsuitable where smaller, lower maintenance, installations or sub sea equipment are preferable. Old jackets have undefined fatigue stresses making re-installation, difficult.  Topsides designed specifically for a particular reservoir fluid are not suitable for modification to accommodate new reservoir fluids. There has been some successful utilisation of parts of platforms in non-oil applications. E.g. Brent Spar and parts of Maureen as quays, Maureen Loading and NE Frigg Columns as marina walls.

Recycle. Most of the materials returned to shore are recycled with a minimum target generally set at 98%.

Decommissiong2Decommissioning became a major topic because of action by Environmental NGOs. Scientific analysis of the activities involved in removal, rather than leaving installations, shows that it is not a benefit to the holistic environment. However, decommissioning operations, must address environmental concerns and issues.

Globally, governments expect operating oil companies to pay for decommissioning. In Europe owners receive tax relief against decommissioning expenditure, as for new capital developments.  Norway, because of its high taxation regime, is a notable exception. Here, the State underwrites most of the decommissioning liability (> 80%) leaving owners with a low liability whilst still having to execute the work.

The UK has exposure to significant decommissioning costs accruing from the large Northern North Sea platforms. Depending upon the taxation regime levied on the field production the decommissioning relief can range from 40 or 50% to > 80% (if Petroleum Revenue Tax has been applied). The formulae are complex but it means the UK Treasury becomes a major contributor to the decommissioning expenditure.

Current equipment resources could execute the work although the cost, safety, environmental and OSPAR issues might not be optimally executed.

There is competition for the bulk of medium size steel piled platforms, but there is still an issue of dealing with larger platforms. Large steel structure removals are somewhat sporadic, one-off projects but business is steady in USA with growth in Latin America, S.E. Asia and Europe and there are about 21 platforms which would appear to require the application of the new large Single Lift Vessel “Pioneering Spirit” (single lifting greater than 3000 Te loads but capable of up to 30,000Te). This is just being brought into service and will remove the Shell Brent Delta deck in the near future.

The presence in the market place of a vessel, such as “Pioneering Spirit” is welcomed by European regulators because it fulfils a further requirement of the OSPAR Decision 98/3 to develop new decommissioning technology for large structures. Other single lift concepts are currently being developed.

Decommissioning3

To date, particularly in the conditions in the Northern North Sea, oil companies anticipate most decommissioning scenarios to include large semi-submersible crane vessels (SSCV).

The UK, alone, could absorb this crane capacity for significant periods without considering the rest of the world demand. In addition, there is a presupposition that the existing, fairly elderly, crane barges are technically capable of achieving the safe removal of all that is required, remain sea worthy and need no prolonged maintenance periods.

Most coastal European countries have dismantling sites, generally where offshore fabrication has been active but with a few additions.  Decommissioned platforms are required to be dismantled in the continental shelf country of operation otherwise complex transboundary waste transfer regulations come into force.

In the Netherlands Rotterdam has had most activity but the two major European offshore countries are Norway with 18 sites and the United Kingdom (10 sites).

Generally, Norwegian yards have deep water access. Relatively few sites have deep water access in UK meaning more reliance is placed on barges to land materials.

There are many other details and aspects to Decommissioning. The more one probes the more complex it can become!

 

geofftillingGeoff Tilling is an expert consultant specifically working in the area of Oil & Gas Decommissioning. He was Decommissioning Manager for Phillips Petroleum Company UK Limited and is a past chairman of the UKOOA (now ‘Oil & Gas UK’) Decommissioning Committee.  Geoff also served on the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) Decommissioning Committee, the UK North Sea Decommissioning Group and other similar focussed groups as well as presenting and chairing at many conferences and meetings worldwide. 

Contact Piers Johnson on 020 7428 1111 or by email to arrange a consultation with Geoff Tilling.

OPC Lagos, Nigeria open for business

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The new OPC office in Lagos, Nigeria is now registered with the local authorities and is open for business.  It was officially opened by Piers Johnson during a visit to Lagos and Port Harcourt in April.

The OPC office, on Victoria Island in Lagos, is headed up by Wale Lawal, an engineer with more than 15 years’ experience in the industry who has managed many projects within West Africa.

piersPiers said “I was delighted to open the new OPC office in Lagos as I worked in Nigeria back in the 1980s and it has been an objective of mine to return and offer services in the Nigerian market.  The meetings I had with local and international oil companies in Lagos and Port Harcourt has made me very optimistic about the business available now we have a local operating company.   My visit resulted in the submission of three proposals to three different potential clients and we have been able to hire a number of highly qualified Nigerian reservoir engineers – several of which were students of mine at the IFP in Paris.”

OPC Nigeria will offer international and national oil companies in Nigeria with an expert sub-surface consultancy service in-country, with additional QC / QA support through the international offices in Houston and London.  We have licences to deliver expert services in these disciplines:

  • Drilling / Production
    • Well logging, wireline services, well testing and DST’s
    • PVT Analysis
  • Exploration
    • Seismic interpretation
    • Down-hole data gathering and interpretation
  • Technical Consultancy
    • Reservoir evaluation and management
    • Geological studies
  • Specialised Oil & Gas Training
    • Drilling well operations and well control
    • Sub-surface / geological training

For further details of OPC services in Nigeria, please contact:

WalecroppedWale Lawal
Manager, OPC Nigeria
Oilfield Production Consultants Nigeria Ltd
Tel:   +234 802 351 2039
Email:  wale.lawal@opc-ng.com