Executive Summary

Dean Wehunt, Chevron

Howdy, SPE Production & Operations subscribers, and welcome to the fourth-quarter 2014 edition of virtual SPEPO.

This is my twelfth and final issue as the SPEPO Executive Editor (EE), and it has been a privilege to serve the authors and readers of this journal. The significant personal effort required has been well worth it for me. Thanks to the many Technical Editors, Associate Editors, other EEs, and also the SPE publications professionals that I have been privileged to work with.

Technical Director’s Corner. Here is an interesting announcement regarding career management and competency assessment from SPE Production & Operations Technical Director Shauna Noonan:

One of SPE’s four strategic priorities is member capability development. In case you missed the launch of the new Competency Management Tool (CMT) at the SPE booth in Amsterdam, the tool is also available online at www.spe.org. This tool (free to SPE members) helps individuals manage their careers and assess their current competencies against four specific expertise levels ranging from “awareness” to “expert” for key E&P jobs within a range of technical disciplines. Four production and operations jobs are included: operations superintendent, senior production engineer, production engineer, and field operations engineer. On the basis of the SPE member’s input, the CMT will generate a Job Area Gap Report that identifies any competency gaps and provides links to recommended training opportunities or resources such as courses, workshops, technical papers, monographs, and outside training. 

To quote a friend—and former EE—On to the papers! This issue has nine peer-approved papers sectioned under three topics:  fracturing, integrated surveillance, and two-phase flow.

Fracturing. In keeping with the importance of protecting people and the environment, this issue begins with a paper about a new environmentally friendly service. Environmental Stewardship: Global Applications of a Nonradioactive Method to Identify Proppant Placement and Propped-Fracture Height describes a new method of measuring proppant placement for fracturing and gravel-packing applications that, unlike radioactive tracers, has no special permitting, regulatory, handling, storage, disposal, or half-life concerns. Fracturing-fluid advances described by more than 90 papers have been reviewed by the authors of A Critical Review of Hydraulic-Fracturing Fluids for Moderate- to Ultralow-Permeability Formations Over the Last Decade. Model development and testing are described in Temperature-Prediction Model for a Horizontal Well With Multiple Fractures in a Shale Reservoir, and the model was most sensitive to fracture half-length; however, the model is also sensitive to fracture conductivity under some special conditions. Faster cycle time between fracture stages may not always be better according to the authors of Time-Dependent Fracture-Interference Effects in Pad Wells because of the amount of time for stress-shadow effects to diminish as the unpropped induced fractures close. In New Fracture-Stimulation Designs and Completion Techniques Result in Better Performance of Shallow Chittim Ranch Wells, the authors present an interesting case history and solid, data-driven recommendations for fracturing in their mature shallow waterflood, which sometimes has very complex fracture geometry because of shallow depths and high lateral stresses.

Integrated Surveillance. The authors of Fines Migration in Fractured Wells: Integrating Modeling With Field and Laboratory Data used all of the above to better understand a group of deepwater wells with increasing skins. They concluded that achieving wide-tip screenout fractures, with the fractures packed fully all the way back to the perforations, was critical for their application. In the second paper that uses temperature data in this issue (Semiquantitative Applications of Downhole-Temperature Data in Subsurface Surveillance), the authors demonstrate a method for using temperature data to monitor the evolution of skin and also for using temperature data to understand whether water is moving through the matrix or through fractures.


Two-Phase Flow. The authors of A Mechanistic Slug-Liquid-Holdup Model for Different Oil Viscosities and Pipe-Inclination Angles have validated their new model with extensive experimental measurements for a wide range of liquid viscosities and pipe inclinations and have shown that their model outperforms previous correlations. 


In A New Comprehensive Model for Predicting Liquid Loading in Gas Wells, the authors have measured film thicknesses and have used residual pressure-gradient calculations to identify the point at which film reversal will occur in both vertical and deviated wells. 

Recent Peer-Approved Papers From Other SPE Journals

Finally, here are some recently published papers from other SPE peer-approved journals that SPEPO subscribers may wish to read. 

Case Studies.

  • SPE Drilling & Completion, SPE-167168-PA, “Optimized Production in the Bakken Shale: South Antelope Case Study,” D.R.M. West, J. Harkrider, M.R. Besler, M. Barham, and K. Mahrer

Drilling, Completions, and Well Operations.

  • SPE Drilling & Completion, SPE-166507-PA, “Prototype Test of an All-Electric Intelligent-Completion System for Extreme-Reservoir-Contact Wells,” B. Bouldin, C. Verma, I. Bellaci, M. Black, S. Dyer, J. Algeroy, T. Oliveira, and Y. Pan
  • SPE Journal, SPE-171551-PA (preprint), “Buckling Analysis of Tubular Strings in Horizontal Wells,” W. Huang, D. Gao, and F. Liu
  • SPE Journal, SPE-168298-PA (preprint), “Increasing Lubricity of Downhole Fluids for Coiled-Tubing Operations,” S. Livescu and S. Craig

Flow Assurance.

  • Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, SPE-165415-PA, “A Transient Two-Phase Fluid- and Heat-Flow Model for Gas-Lift-Assisted Waxy-Crude Wells With Periodical Electric Heating,” G. Han, H. Zhang, K. Ling, D. Wu, and Z. Zhang

Forecasting & Modeling.

  • SPE Economics & Management, SPE-167375-PA, “Development and Implementation of the AVAILS+ Collaborative Forecasting Tool for Production Assurance in the Kuwait Oil Company, North Kuwait (KOC NK),” B. Al-Saad, P.A. Murray, M. Vanderhaeghen, D.V. Yannimaras, and R.K. Naime
  • SPE Journal, SPE-163609-PA, “A Generalized Framework Model for the Simulation of Gas Production in Unconventional Gas Reservoirs,” Y. Wu, J. Li, D. Ding, C. Wang, and Y. Di
  • SPE Journal, SPE-163814-PA, “Prediction of Stimulated Reservoir Volume and Optimization of Fracturing in Tight Gas and Shale With a Fully Elasto-Plastic Coupled Geomechanical Model,” M. Nassir, A. Settari, and R.G. Wan
  • SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, SPE-171552-PA (preprint), “Well Recovery, Drainage Area, and Future Drill-Well Inventory:  Empirical Study of the Barnett Shale Gas Play,” S. Ikonnikova, J. Browning, S.C. Horvath, and S. Tinker

Formation Evaluation.

  • SPE Journal, SPE-171556-PA (preprint), “Pressure-Transient Analysis of Multiwing Fractures Connected to a Vertical Wellbore,” W. Luo and C. Tang

Hydraulic Fracturing.

  • SPE Journal, SPE-167626-PA (preprint), “Simultaneous Multifracture Treatments: Fully Coupled Fluid Flow and Fracture Mechanics for Horizontal Wells,” K. Wu and J.E. Olson
  • SPE Journal, SPE-163872-PA, “Thermal Reactivation of Microfractures and its Potential Impact on Hydraulic-Fracture Efficiency,” A. Dahi Taleghani, M. Ahmadi, W. Wang, and J.E. Olson
  • SPE Journal, SPE-172500-PA (preprint), “Interference Fracturing: Nonuniform Distributions of Perforation Clusters That Promote Simultaneous Growth of Multiple Hydraulic Fractures,” A. Peirce, and A. Bunger
  • Oil and Gas Facilities, SPE-170247-PA, “Mechanical Vapor Recompression for the Treatment of Shale-Gas Flowback Water,” T.D. Hayes, B. Halldorson, P.H. Horner, J.J.R. Ewing, J.R. Werline, and B.F. Severin
  • Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, SPE-166279-PA, “Estimation of Effective-Fracture Volume Using Water-Flowback and Production Data for Shale-Gas Wells,” A. Alkouh, S. McKetta, and R.A. Wattenbarger
  • SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, SPE-167698-PA (preprint), “Imbibition and Water Blockage in Unconventional Reservoirs:  Well-Management Implications During Flowback and Early Production,” A. Bertoncello, J. Wallace, C. Blyton, M.M. Honarpour, and S. Kabir

Surveillance and Optimization.

  • SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, SPE-170253-PA (preprint), “Accurate Measurements of Liquid-Condensate Rate With Multiphase-Metering Technology Improve Ecological Impact of Well Test in Deepwater Well Offshore Brazil,” P.-D. Maizeret, D. Reid, and B. Theuveny
  • SPE Economics & Management, SPE-167895-PA, “Intelligent Energy: The Past, the Present, and the Future,” H. Gilman and J.-E. Nordtvedt

 Stay thirsty for knowledge, my friends, and happy trails to you.