Saudi Aramco participated in the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) highlighting the rapid advancements in the company’s Unconventional Resources program, sharing best practices, and focusing on new technology in hydraulic fracturing.
Drilling and producing from unconventional, shale, carbonate or tight sandstone reservoirs is different from conventional drilling. Unconventional rocks have their own unique characteristics and behaviors. For that reason, unconventional teams are integrated with experts in geomechanics, geology, geophysics, drilling, completion and stimulation, production, and reservoir engineering.
“When you consider that the success of the unconventional revolution is based primarily on two technologies: horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, you can understand why geomechanics and involving other geoscience disciplines is so important,” said Gang Han, petroleum engineering consultant, Upstream, Aramco Services Company (ASC). Han served as a member of the URTeC Technical Committee, chairing two geomechanics technical sessions.
Geomechanics Sessions Increase
This year geomechanics became the largest program among the 14 conference themes with 10 sessions, featuring 45 technical presentations. Nearly half of the geomechanics sessions were chaired by Aramco professionals.
Session “Geomechanics: From Lab to Field” was co-chaired by Ali Momin, supervisor, Production Engineering, Well Completions Operations & Production Engineering, North Jafurah, who introduced a series of four papers examining multistage fracturing and stimulation techniques. Session “From Perforation to Performance: Geomechanical Applications” was co-chaired by Saudi Aramco’s Ahmed Mubarak, subsurface integration team leader, Emerging Unconventional Assets Department. Papers in that session examined production optimization using machine learning, an approach to stage-by-stage completion design and a workflow for engineered perforations.
New Technology, Minimizing Risk
Technical papers authored by Saudi Aramco Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center - Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) researchers and researchers from the Aramco Research Center—Houston examined topics such as replacing freshwater with seawater for hydraulic fracturing, fracturing fluid for high temperature applications, and modeling of hydraulic fracturing in shales.
While technology is key to maximizing production and recovery, minimizing risk and making good business decisions go hand-in-hand with the latest technologies. With operators compiling vast amounts of data from thousands of wells, integrating multi-disciplines and analysis is key. There is no more ‘trial and error’ process for shale plays.