to the Integration Project

Smart Oil and Gas Production Technologies”

The hydrocarbon (HC) field development technologies currently applied in the Russian Federation provide for the oil recovery rate (ORR) of 30% with an overage water content over 84%. The worldwide average ORR reaches 40% with average water content of approximately 75%.

Herewith, the majority of Russian field experience decrease in production. It means that the maximal production rate within these field has already been reached. This is an objective assessment of the current situation. In connection herewith, a matter-of-course question arises: is it possible to dramatically change the situation in the fuel and energy sector? And what shall be done for that? In our opinion, it is possible, although not that simple, and this project contains an answer to the question on what shall be done to achieve the goal.

The problems solved by mineral developers of the world are primarily connected to development and application of technologies providing for the most sustainable recovery of resources: quickly from the point of view of the economic recoupment of investments, safe for the nature and with maximal recovery of resources for current development of the production technologies. In terms of oil production, such an approach is provided for by the use of various methods to intensify oil production and increase oil recovery rate at all stages of the field development. Traditionally, three temporary stages of field development are distinguished differing in the use of various oil recovery enhancement (increase) methods (Ernst&Yong 2013, Zarubezhneft 2004):

At the first development stage, if possible, the natural energy of the field is used for oil production (rock pressure), including elastic energy, energy of dissolved-gas, edge water, gas cap, as well as gravitation energy. In practice, upon development of the field in the natural mode, the volume of oil recovery varies from 5% up to 15%.

At the second development stage, secondary methods of enhancement of the rock pressure maintenance are implemented by means of injection of water and gas providing for oil recovery rate at the level of 20% to 60%.

At the third development stage, when the field water content and depletion degree become high, tertiary methods of oil recovery rate enhancement (enhanced oil recovery – EOR) are used to increase the development efficiency (Enhanced Oil Recovery – EOR). These methods increase the oil recovery rate of the rock up to 35%-75%.

Thus, the contemporary practice of oil production supposes wide use of modern GTM, in particular, drilling of horizontal wells with multistage hydraulic fracturing alongside with the conventional methods of increased oil recovery and EOR. Such drilling is particularly widely used upon development of shale deposits.

Issues related to objective process and environmental control of application of such methods, assessment of their real impact o intensification of oil production and oil recovery enhancement rate become more pressing and crucial in terms of sustainable exploration of hydrocarbon resources. Further, new PRM-technologies (Permanent Reservoir Monitoring) have appeared, including 4D seismic technologies at scattered waves and 4D microseismic technologies which can provide for optimization of horizontal wells drilling with multistage hydraulic fracturing as well as more efficient execution of the majority of measures to enhance oil recovery during the whole period of the field development.

Currently the term PRM is traditionally regarded as a set of two independent technologies based on the same instrumental system of surface registration of seismic signals: the first one is 4D seismic survey with a period of active 3D seismic survey of at least six months, and the second one consists in passive microseismic monitoring in time intervals between these active 4D phases (Brief Overview of the Conference Second EAGE Workshop on Permanent Reservoir Monitoring (PRM) Current and Future Trends, July 2-5, 2013 Stavanger, Norway, G. N. Erokhin – reference information enclosed). During the years of PRM-systems establishment, the main attention has been concentrated on development of only the first PRM part which is 4D seismic technologies. Evidently, it is connected with the fact that until now real passive microseismic monitoring has not been implemented within the operating PRM systems. The most advanced companies to these PRM stage, in terms of microseismic measurements, currently are CGG and PGS which announced performance of such measurements at Ekofisk and Jubarte fields in the coming years.

From the point of view of PRM platform, currently fiber-optic PRM systems are regarded as the most perspective and sophisticated. On the commercial market they are represented by two registration systems:  OPTOWAVE PRM system of the OptoPlan company (created by the Sercel company) and OptoSeis PRM system of the PGS company.  PRM-platforms for onshore application having the same technological level as for offshore application are almost not presented. Generally standard 3D seismic survey equipment is used which is designated only for short-term registration (10-15 sec.) which does not satisfy the requirements of long-term observations in 4D microseismic technologies (information enclosed).

The objective of implementation of the “Smart Oil and Gas Production Technologies” Integrated Project consists in ORR enhancement within the operating fields by 10-15% and within newly introduced ones – by 15-20% from the planned design solutions. 

The way to achieve the set goal consists in the development an extensive implementation of a package of software and process, as well as methodological solutions which will provide for permanent control of the field exploration based on modern total system of geophysical fields registration and, first of all, based on seismic fields and supercomputing technologies. Essentially, these are new “smart” technologies of oil and gas production based on PRM ideas.

Thus, in the context of decreasing prices for oil, the single reasonable approach to decrease the cost of oil production and increase its output consists in the shift of HC development to a qualitatively new – smart level using advanced Russian innovations in the field of permanent reservoir monitoring.

Taking into consideration the relevance, complexity, and research intensity of the proposed project, its prompt implementation will require the highest level of coordination of the future project members and will initiate formation of new research and development directions of subsoil management in our country based on the most advanced technologies of data collection, processing, and interpretation.

It is believed that at the present historical stage of the country development, the task solved within this project can be referred to a “great challenge” partly comparable to the grand postwar challenges which our country has successfully overcome.

Implementation of the Integrated Project will allow Russia to take the rank of “trend setter” in the sphere of innovative technologies in the oil and gas sector which aside the oil itself may become an important item of export.

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