Adnoc Review

The Dhahran Technology Centre

The Dhahran Technology Centre

Boosting production, reducing costs by going rigless

Baker Hughes is playing a key role in developing and implementing new technologies and methodologies in the Middle East to enhance recovery in mature assets via unique solutions that reduce the need for a rig and lower overall costs for the operator

FOR mature fields in the Middle East, recovering 35 to 37 per cent of oil originally in place is typical for many fields. Improving the recovery factor by a mere one per cent would yield an additional 80 billion barrels of oil equivalent – two to three years of global consumption or six per cent of proven reserves. The rapidly growing demand for natural gas in the region has also created the need to produce gas at higher rates from conventional reservoirs as well as expanding into production from unconventional reservoirs.At the same time that demand for hydrocarbons is increasing, the availability of people and equipment, especially drilling rigs, is becoming scarce and costs are increasing.

While the latest technologies for conventional fields focus on efficiency gains and reducing non-productive time (NPT), a different approach is needed to develop mature fields. Baker Hughes is playing a key role in developing and implementing new technologies and methodologies in the Middle East to enhance recovery in mature assets via unique solutions that reduce the need for a rig and lower overall costs for the operator.

In an effort to reduce overall cost and improve operational efficiency at the well site, Baker Hughes has developed a wide range of rigless solutions (partial listing below). This comprehensive offering follows a systematic, multidisciplinary team approach to optimising production with a focus on strategic project planning and management as well as reservoir engineering, stimulation methods, and production enhancement techniques.

The process begins by reviewing all of the available information, identifying what is truly relevant, reconciling any inconsistencies, and organising information in a way that makes it easy to find and understand. At this stage, rigless intervention solutions can be designed to address a combination of wells or focus on specific well objectives. These could range from full rigless solutions that can include intervention, plug and abandonment, artificial lift, water management, and/or well integrity operations.

Baker Hughes has made significant technological contributions that enable Middle East operators to address their challenges without the use of a rig. The company offers extensive reservoir consulting services from its Dhahran Research and Technology Centre (DRTC) for Unconventional Resources in Saudi Arabia and from its recently opened Reservoir Development Services (RDS) Middle East Technology Centre in Abu Dhabi. The DRTC was established to provide a collaborative, innovative work environment for scientists and researchers to gain a thorough understanding of unconventional resources and to deliver integrated solutions. The RDS technology center team uses JewelSuite software, which provides a precise representation of geological structures from surface to basement for a true shared earth model approach.

Baker Hughes underbalanced coiled tubing drilling (UBCTD) enables operators to sidetrack wells without mobilizing a rig, saving both time and cost associated with sidetracking. With extensive experience in Saudi Arabia, Baker Hughes has successfully sidetracked eight wells increasing production by as much as 40 per cent per day. Advancements in Baker Hughes wireline technologies enable full memory acquisition of data including high-power applications (GasVIEW logging service; all pulsed neutron, well integrity evaluation, and production logging systems for vertical and horizontal environments)to be deployed on coiled tubing, slick line, or tractors.

Baker Hughes also provides a one-stop rigless solution that offers mechanical, measurement and through-tubing services that are essential in production enhancement. The SandVac system uses the company’s patented concentric coiled tubing technologies that have the ability to cleanout wellbores without the need for a workover rig. This leading technology can be combined with production logging tools to obtain critical flow data in wells that require artificial lift without subsurface pumping equipment.

Due to the nature of horizontal wells, nonproducing fluids in the horizontal sections can prevent the accurate identification of water-producing intervals. By running the TeleCoil intelligent coiled tubing service with memory production logs and pulse neutron logs, the operator is able to unload the stagnant fluids and acquire data simultaneously, reducing NPT and costs while improving the certainty of what is going on down hole.

In order to complete the rigless intervention system portfolio, Baker Hughes recently introduced the Mastiff rigless intervention system (RIS). The RIS is a mechanised, self-pinning solution that provides an alternative to carrying out pipe installations and retrieval operations (both offshore and land). By eliminating the need for a rig, the Mastiff RIS can reduce the cost of workover and drive pipe pre-installation operations. The system’s modular lightweight design makes it ideal for operations on platforms with limited load capacity and is easily deployed worldwide.

The Mastiff RIS has a self-pinning mast erection system that improves safety and enables the unit to be rigged up or rigged down in 24 to 48 hours. Hydraulics built into the system enable the modular components to be assembled and disassembled using a hydraulic, self-pinning design, eliminating the need for riding belt operations, and dramatically reducing risks associated with working at height and manual handling of components.

As an alternative to well abandonment, the Mastiff RIS can be used to initiate a slot recovery program for continued field development prior to the arrival of the drilling rig. Once the pipe is removed, the well slot can be prepared for a new, full-sized wellbore using a full-range of equipment from drive pipe whip stocks to hammer services, saving valuable rig time and offering the operator the option to further redevelop assets.

As demand for hydrocarbons continues to increase, targeted approaches for extracting reserves from mature fields are critical to ensuring economic viability. Service companies that can diagnose, plan and execute with a broad portfolio of products and services tailored to meet the needs of these aging fields will play a pivotal role in mature field hydrocarbon recovery. Rigless intervention is one way for operators to reduce cost and risk while still increasing their production and return on investment.

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