Abstract

In order to accelerate the development, early uptake and deployment of new technologies being developed in-house by Saudi Aramco's EXPEC Advanced Research Center (EXPEC-ARC), and technologies being developed in collaboration with industry service providers and academia, Saudi Aramco started the development of a Technology Test Site (TTS) in a producing oil field environment. The TTS, when completed, will be a ‘live field lab’ where many emerging new technologies and innovative ideas can be tested and tried under normal reservoir conditions.

To date, six wells have been drilled and completed. Extensive and comprehensive geoscience and engineering data were acquired for detailed reservoir characterization and description; including over 11,000 ft. of core data. The preliminary results from the on-going elaborate data analyses, including dual energy CT (X-ray computed tomography) scan, geomechanical data, and log data yield some intriguing insights into the often ignored non-hydrocarbon bearing Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary formations. The on-going data analyses showed why certain intervals are incompetent to withstand mud weight of 8.33 ppg (fresh water equivalent) while drilling. Attempts are being made to extract requisite information that may help to resolve some of the challenges (e.g. loss circulation while drilling and "near surface" seismic anomalies) frequently encountered across the Tertiary and Cretaceous shallow formations.

This paper highlights the value proposition for a ‘live field lab’ technology test site, lessons learned during the first phase of the TTS development, some results of on-going analysis, and some of the best practices that were developed.

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