Technology Focus: Completions Today (September 2013)
- Paul Cameron (BP)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 126 - 126
- 2013. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Achieve more with less. This is the rallying cry as our global energy journey plays out, whether in the onshore shale developments, in the deepwater basins, or in the frozen lands and waters of the Arctic. Two important levers for achieving this goal are improvements in well reliability and well productivity. Our industry needs to build and operate wells that deliver their design well productivity for their design life and do it consistently. Technology has a vital role to play to help deliver these improvements.
I began working in this industry exactly 30 years ago to the month. As a keen young petroleum engineer, I recall being amazed by the level and complexity of the technology deployed in our wells at the time—from the heavy iron at the wellsite to the mainframe computers filling a disproportionate amount of space in our suburban office block. Looking back, I could barely have dreamt about many of the technology solutions that we are using so routinely in our wells today.
Sometimes, solutions have come from an unlikely place—rooted in our operating challenges. For years, we knew that downhole elastomers in subsurface tools were affected adversely by exposure to hydrocarbons. As a result of some innovative thinking, this undesirable reaction has been successfully turned around to serve our needs in the form of engineered swellable elastomers. These are now being used extensively for zonal isolation and conformance management in horizontal multistage fracturing, as a core component of intelligent completions, and as a remedial solution to provide hydraulic isolation in various downhole components.
Fiber-optic technology is now transforming our ability to visualize the subsurface and manage well performance, including multiphase-flow monitoring through distributed temperature sensing. A related technology, distributed acoustic sensing, is providing advanced downhole monitoring that enables us to better understand sand production and improve the effectiveness of hydraulic-fracturing operations and well-integrity management.
In the area of perforating technologies, improvements in the understanding of dynamic underbalance perforating and integration of abrasive-jet perforating in hydraulic-fracturing operations are helping us to optimize well productivity from the outset.
I hope you enjoy reading more about how these and other technologies are positively affecting the reliability and performance of our completions today. We have come a long way in the past 30 years. I would like to close by particularly welcoming all the newly recruited engineering and wellsite staff to our exciting industry. Your vision and innovative thinking will shape our continuing journey to achieve more with less.
Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
SPE 163290 Third-Generation Glass-Barrier Technology: Improving Well-Completion Integrity and Reliability by Rune Gimre, TCO, et al.
SPE 160160 Production Array Logs in Bakken Horizontal Shale Play Reveal Unique Performance Based on Completion Technique by Robert Boyer, ConocoPhillips, et al.
SPE 165141 Impact of Charge Type Used in Perforation on the Outcome of Matrix Acid Treatment in Carbonate Formations: Comparative Study by Ahmed I. Rabie, Texas A&M University, et al.
SPE 163344 Optimization of Cleanup of Limestone Production Zones: New Observations by Eric Davidson, Halliburton, et al.
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