SPE Liquids-Rich Basins Conference: New Technology for Old Plays
- Robin Beckwith (JPT Senior Staff Writer)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 106 - 121
- 2013. Copyright is held partially by SPE. Contact SPE for permission to use material from this document.
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SPE’s recent Liquids-Rich Basins Conference rewarded attendees with far-reaching insight into how to economically exploit liquids-rich plays. Based on the theme “New Technology for Old Plays,” SPE held the conference in Midland, Texas, from 11 to 12 September. The 29 speakers explored a wide range of topics and points of view from macro to detailed perspectives, centered on strategic thinking; current understanding of reservoir characteristics; proper application of completion, stimulation, and production techniques and tactics; and case histories.
This is the third year the conference has been presented. Almost 300 attendees gathered at the Midland Convention Center to listen to four technical sessions—each with three speakers—each day; interact with four Knowledge-Sharing Poster speakers who presented during four half-hour breaks; hear a keynote speaker at Thursday’s luncheon; and investigate the offerings of more than 20 exhibitors.
Two training courses were also given—a 2-day course Monday and Tuesday, 9 and 10 September, titled “Modern Production Data Analysis for Unconventional Reservoirs”; and a 1-day course Friday, 13 September, titled “An Overview of Microseismic Imaging of Hydraulic Fracturing.”
The first session highlighted commercial and financial interests in oil resource plays and price pressures imposed by limited transportation in the areas of rapid development.
Crude and Liquids Growth in the US. Dave Pursell, managing director of Tudor Pickering Holt, kicked off the conference with his presentation, “US Crude Oil Production Growth and the Impact on Price Differentials… or Get Me off This Rock!” “‘Liquids-rich’ is my least favorite term,” he said. “It’s as accurate as calling a dog a non-cat.”
Basically, he said further, what people are talking about is natural-gas liquids (NGLs): “If it’s crude, they’re going to say it.”
When considering the question of why Brent crude is at USD 110/bbl, he said, “Risk premium is the last possible answer before the shoulder shrug.” He assured the audience that global crude fundamentals are fine, with crude inventories pointing to a balanced global market and global refined inventories below 10-year norms.
The big story is taking place in the US. While US crude production has grown from around 7 million B/D in 2005 to around 9 million B/D in 2012, non-US, non-Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) crude production during the same period has remained fairly stagnant at around 44 million B/D. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries’ demand, which hovered at around 50 million B/D from 2000 to 2007, has tapered down to around 46 million B/D in 2012 and non-OECD demand has grown precipitously from less than 30 million B/D in 2000 to close to 45 million B/D in 2012.
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