Salt Lake City Section


  • Seven Sins of the Traditional Wellbore Stability Models

    Monday, January 25, 2021, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM MT
    Abstract The term “PPFG (Pore Pressure Frac Gradient)” has been used by oil and gas people since late 1950s, several years before the born of “Geomechanics”, to address the anomalous subsurface pore pressure and the corresponding fracture gradient. PPFG specialists use several empirical approaches to not only predict the pore pressure, but also estimate the fracture gradient to provide drillers with a safe mud weight window. Geomechanics specialists, however, utilize the science of rock mechanics to predict drilling risks and improve drilling performance by providing optimum mud and well designs. Unlike PPFG, geomechanics estimates the in-situ stresses, and consequently the safe drilling mud weight window, based on the mechanical properties of the rock formations. As the result, the mud weight window developed based on a geomechanical model is dependant on both rock mechanical properties and well trajectory, which is a requirement to differenciate wellbore stability conditions in vertical, deviated and horizontal wells. The traditional PPFG approaches are associated with significant risks because of the low depth resolution and the fact that they are not base on scientific facts. Despite the advances in petroleum geomechanics in the last decades, PPFG models are still widely used in the oil and gas industry. This presentation discusses seven major mistakes associated with the PPFG models, while the science of gemechanics can address these caveats and help developing wellbore stability models that are more reliable and provide valuable information for optimum mud, casing and well design. Biography Dr Hamed Soroush is an internationally recognized geomechanics expert with extensive experience in different applications of rock mechanics in the energy industry. He has conducted or managed more than 250 consulting and research projects worldwide. Dr Soroush is currently the CEO of PETROLERN LLC providing strategic planning, technical leadership, support and training for geomechanics and subsurface engineering applications. Prior to that, he held various positions with companies such as Dong Energy, Shell, Weatherford, Senergy, CSIRO, and Geomechanics International in different locations around the world. He is principal investigator for several US Department of Energy research projects. Hamed holds a BSc in Mining Engineering, an MSc in Rock Mechanics and a PhD in Petroleum Engineering from Curtin University of Technology in Australia. He has given numerous industry short courses and has served as SPE Distinguished Lecturer for 2012 – 2013 and 2017 – 2018 programs.

  • Fracture Model Calibration for Conventional and Unconventional Rocks

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM MT
    Abstract Fracture growth modeling has seen two dramatic changes over the last two decades.  First, the completions industry found a way to economically stimulate unconventional rocks. Second, fracture modelers “got their eyes” through commercial development and proliferation of direct fracture diagnostics such as micro-seismic fracture mapping. Direct observations from fracture mapping enabled calibration of fracture models, resulting in a "roller coaster ride" of changes to frac modelers’ understanding of how fractures grow.  To explain these observations, modelers incorporated new physical mechanisms – simultaneous growth of multiple fractures, fracture tip effects and composite layering effects – into their models. What I would like members to take away from this lecture is that model calibration has become a vital part of the fracture modeling process, creating ever more realistic fracture growth predictions.  Calibration has made fracture models more valuable as tools to evaluate economic tradeoffs, making fracture models more practical tools than ever before. Biography Dr. Leen Weijers is VP of Engineering at Liberty Oilfield Services and served as its Business Manager at Liberty’s founding. Leen worked at Pinnacle Technologies from 1995 to 2011, where he oversaw development of a commercial fracture growth simulator, FracproPT. Leen has authored dozens of publications, and completed his doctoral research at the Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

  • Reduce Downtime and Improve Economics Through Artificial Lift Life Cycle

    Thursday, February 18, 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM MT
    Artificial lift is a key component in oil and gas production. Most unconventional wells end up with some form of artificial lift in the first 2-3 years of their life. Artificial lift failure is one of the major causes of unplanned downtime. Managing artificial lift performance to reduce failure is crucial for improved economics. Due to rapid decline of the pressure and the flow rates in unconventional wells, understanding well performance is the key for optimization of artificial lift. With falling well productivity as the well becomes older, the maintenance and associated costs increase. The only way to keep the well running cost-efficiently is to reduce the operating cost by reducing downtime and failures. A best practice is to apply a process over the life cycle of the artificial lift system that includes selection or re-selection, redesign, and proactive management of the lift system.   This presentation will discuss how an integrated life cycle approach for artificial lift is key and how it impacts the bottom line of an oil producer. By leveraging the technology to its full potential, production can be managed better and more profitable. Examples of artificial lift management will be presented, along with methodologies to estimate well performance in unconventional reservoirs. Understanding and managing the artificial lift performance using life-cycle approach is vital for improving a well’s uptime and reliability. Subash K. Kannan has 18 years of experience in the petroleum industry with 15 years in production, and operations both onshore and offshore. On Anadarko’s Technology team, he strategically focused on well performance and artificial lift life cycle management of unconventional wells, and he was one of the founding members of Anadarko’s digital oil field. He is currently the Lead Reservoir Engineer for Occidental’s Western Gulf of Mexico assets. Previously, at Weatherford, he managed nodal analysis and real-time optimization tools, and his experience with Ziff Energy Group involved operating cost and artificial lift benchmarking. Mr. Kannan is one of the subject matter experts for production engineering and teaches a class on Well Performance Analysis.   Mr. Kannan holds bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Madras, India and master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from University of Houston. He served on the SPE Gulf Coast Section board from 2010-2014 and is an active contributor to various Section committees.