Well-by-well optimisation?

Production optimisation can uplift mature fields’ output by 5-20%, varying production rates, chokes, pump-rates and EOR strategies, well-by-well across a field.  It’s another way to stave off decline rates. But how?

This data-file summarises the methodology employed by BP, based on the most detailed patent we have seen on the topic, in our screen of 3,000 patents across the industry. BP is a leader in this area. Having digitised most of its operated assets, production optimisation comes next.

The typical challenge across the industry, is that as many as 20-30 changes may be required to optimise a large field, which is time-intensive for engineers to perform manually, hard-to-prioritise, hard-to-sequence and prone to errors that might defy operational constraints on individual wells.

BP’s system iterates through potential changes, selects the most promising candidates, validates that they comply with operating constraints, and shifts production to an optimal state (chart above).

This data-file includes our summary of BP’s patent, schematics for its implementation, data behind our chart above and a ranking of BP’s  “digital technology” versus other Majors that we have assessed.


Can super-computers lower decline rates?

Advanced reservoir modelling can stave off production declines at complex offshore assets. This data-file illustrates how, tabulating production estimates based on a technical paper published by Eni, an industry leader in applying high-speed computing power in its upstream operations.

Specifically, the paper simulates an offshore field-cluster in a single, Integrated Asset Model that covers 31 wells, drilled into 3 reservoirs (each is modelled in detail, with a total of 1.9M reservoir cells), 34 pipes, 4 oil platforms and 3 delivery points. Each iteration of this model takes an average of 3.5-hours to run.

Production can be uplifted by 60% according to the simulation, both in terms of EUR and in terms of year 5-7 production rate. 9pp of the uplift is achieved by simple reservoir optimisation. Another 21pp of uplift is achieved by identifying the key bottleneck, and building a new separation & boosting platform to alleviate it. A further 29pp of uplift comes from optimising the development plan for the new platform.

Emerging digital technologies appear to be keeping LT oil-markets better supplied than many expect, with production upside for the industry’s technology-leaders.

Johan Sverdrup: Don’t Decline

Equinor is deploying three world-class technologies to mitigate Johan Sverdrup’s decline rates, based on reviewing c115 of the company’s patents and dozens of technical papers. This 15-page note outlines how its efforts may unlock an incremental $3-5bn of value from the field, as production surprises to the upside.

Deploying the Digital Twin

This data-file tabulates 36 recent technical papers into “digital twins”, in order to understand how the technology is being deployed around the upstream oil and gas industry.

The data show the most common uses of digital twins, the most common context, the timing of the technology’s ascent and the companies who feature most prevalently in the technical literature.

Inflow Control: Our Top 20 Papers from 2019

This data-file summarises twenty recent papers using inflow control devices: an exciting digital technology to optimise horizontal wells by limiting production from zones that are susceptible to flowing water or gas.

To lower global decline-rates, adoption is increasingly widespread at horizontal wells around the conventional oil industry. Described operators include Aker-BP, CNOOC, Equinor, KOC, Lukoil, Mubadala, OMV, PetroChina, Rosneft, Aramco, Schlumberger, Suncor and pure-play Tendeka.

Each paper is categorized by company, by country, specific fields (if relevant), paper-type, focus, well-type, ICD-type, our assessed “impact” and a short summary.

Our “Top 10 facts” on ICDs are also summarised in the data-file…

Shale: Upgrade to Fiber?

Completing a shale well depends on over 40 variables. Each one can be optimised using data. It follows that next-generation data could deliver next-generation shale productivity.

This note focuses on the most exciting new data methodology we have seen across the entire shale space: distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) using fiber-optic cables. It has now reached critical mass.

DAS will have six transformational effects on the shale industry. Leading operators and service companies are also assessed.

Leading Companies in DAS?

This data-file quantifies the leading companies in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), the game-changing technology for enhancing shale and conventional oil industry productivity.

For operators (chart above), our rankings are based on assessing patents, technical papers and discussions with industry-participants.

For Services (chart below), our work summarises the companies, the ownership (e.g., public vs private), their offerings, their size and the technical papers they have filed.

DAS. At the cutting edge in shale?

This data-file summarises 25 of the most recent technical papers around the industry, using fiber-optic cables for Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). The technology is hitting critical mass to spur shale productivity upwards.

For each study, our data-file tabulates the company involved, the country of application, the specific purpose and a short summary of findings.

Technical data are also tabulated from some of these papers, including for warm-back analysis, perforation design and cluster flow-allocations.

De-Manning Deepwater?

We have estimated the cost savings for de-manning an offshore oil platform, based on recent technical disclosures from Technip-FMC, as “the oil price slump in the past few years combined with the latest advances in technology [and] led to the evolution of these minimal unmanned floating platforms”.

Our numbers are built up of fifteen line items, in order to quantify both capex and opex savings; both in USD terms and in $/boe.

Our notes are also included in the download, summarising the philosophy behind the cost-savings, the technical enablers and some of the changes recommended. To get the most out of de-manning, automation should be fully embraced, as more hesitate early forays have had “mixed” results.

Shale Productivity: Our “Top 50” Improvements

We still hear critics of the shale industry downplaying its productivity gains. Often, they are dismissed as a function of rising proppant intensity. We disagree. Enormous improvements are visible if you study the technical literature.

Hence, this simple data-file compiles fifty examples of genuine productivity gains across the shale industry since 2015. A “one line” summary is provided for each improvement. We also believe each improvement will see further optimisation ahead.

We are happy to discuss these improvements in more details with you…