November 19, 2008
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Home / Issue Archive / 2008 / July #7 / How to Avoid Becoming Unwanted Guests at the Owned Fields

№ 7 (July 2008)

How to Avoid Becoming Unwanted Guests at the Owned Fields

Interest of the oil sector specialists to the issues of enhanced oil recovery and oil and gas production stimulation is not declining...

By Elena Zhuk

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Interest of the oil sector specialists to the issues of enhanced oil recovery and oil and gas production stimulation is not declining. It is proved by increasing number of participants of the annual theoretical and practical conference arranged by the Russian Society of Petroleum Engineers (RSPE). 103 representatives of 43 companies were registered at the 12th conference arranged during the Neftegas-2008 show.
Discussing modern methods of enhanced oil recovery, advisor to Zarubezhneft General Director, Doctor of Technical Science, Professor Arkady Boxerman noted that, unfortunately, many of them are nor in demand nowadays. With that, he stressed that thermal gas methods introduced at the fields of RITEK, Gazprom Neft and Zarubezhneft are very efficient. “We should give credit to the companies which, without waiting for any incentives, spend much money trying to prove economic efficiency of the technologies,” said Boxerman. In the Professor’s opinion, exempting of industrial tests and implementation from taxation could facilitate development of new technologies and techniques.
The conference participants showed great interest in presentation of NPF Geophyzika representative, Vladimir Laptev. The presentation was devoted to real-time geophysical monitoring of reservoir behavior in the wells equipped with ESP, with the ESP power cable used for communication with the surface unit. This technology developed by the specialists of NPF Geophyzika and the Izhevsk Radio Manufacturing Plant subsidiary (IRZ-TEK) makes it possible to receive real-time geophysical and hydrodynamic information on the performance of each of the beds penetrated by the given well. Simultaneous to this information, technological information on the ESP performance is transmitted. Information coming from the well is accumulated in the surface recorder memory and, through the dispatch information network operating at the field, can be delivered to the services which are responsible for current and strategic decision-making. Technological information is also used for automatic shutdown of ESP in case of exceeding of the set threshold of temperature and oil pressure in the electric motor, high vibration of its body, increased current consumption or decrease of power cable conductor insulation. For realization of this technology, specialists of NPF Geophyzika developed hardware and software package Sprut including downhole geophysical modules, submersible telemetry module with sensors for electric motor operation control, and surface unit providing power to the downhole instruments, downhole information reception, accumulation and transfer to the users.  The package is applied by Gazprom Neft at Sibneft-Noyabrskneftegaz’ fields and by Rosneft at the Priobskoye field.
Max Slepyan from NP Oil and Gas Systems called upon to protect the domestic manufacturers of oil and gas equipment by means of assignment of quotas or introduction of special customs duties. Implementation of the National Standard GOST R8-615.2005, which specifies the standards for accuracy of measurement of the amount of liquid, oil and associated gas recovered from the subsoil, became the grounds for verification of the hydrocarbon resource base and the basis for the fiscal agencies for assessment of the observance by license holders of the signed license agreements, regulations and field development programs. According to information presented by Slepyan, only Surgutneftegaz and Russneft have partially realized the National standard by the present time.  According to the statement of Deputy Director of Gosstandart leading research institute on flowmeter survey (VNIIR), M. Nemirov, only three of 17 certified units comply with the National Standard’s requirements. Slepyan sounded perplexed and hurt when he spoke about tender results at Verkhnechonskneft, when the Oil and Gas Systems company first received a letter notifying them of their winning, and immediately after that – notification that they came second after an American company. In opinion of Slepyan, Oil and Gas Systems and NGB-Energodiagnostika are capable to manufacture measuring equipment fully complying with the GOST requirements.
“Without development of new technologies, we will be unwanted guests at our own fields,” mentioned the chairman of the session “Drilling and Operation of Oil and Gas Fields”, Director of the research institute of drilling technologies Valery Kulchitsky. Kulchitsky made attempts to set up a domestic service company more than ten times, and always failed. It is no secret that in this sector of oil and gas market mergers and acquisitions by international companies  became “the mark of time”.  Still, some small Russian companies manage to show growth dynamics. Thus, domestic leader of the service market, OTO is successfully rendering services on sidetracking, well workover and enhanced oil recovery. At the same time, Head of Drilling Directorate Evgeny Kolesnik expressed his concern with the permanent under-investment of the technological base. According to Kolesnik, today’s service prices “prevent independent domestic service companies from upgrading the equipment, developing and improving the technologies, investment in the research and design work.” In particular, he stressed that “in spite of high economic and production efficiency of coiled tubing application, the companies have no possibility to purchase units for underbalanced drilling because of their high price and long payback period.” Kolesnik also mentioned that “by the same reasons, today there is acute shortage of companies providing high-quality engineering-telemetry support of well drilling; in absence of local equipment, it becomes necessary to purchase expensive foreign equipment, but the payback period of this equipment is very long.” Downhole equipment and equipment for oil production facilities, remedial cementing assemblies and innovative technologies for well completion, stimulation and production were presented by Yugson-Service from Tyumen.
Institute of Petroleum Chemistry of the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Science, which has an extensive database on oil of Russia and other countries, and also data on distribution of high-viscosity oil among Russian companies, suggests that in viscous oil production, thermal-steam and cyclic steam treatment should be combined with physical-chemical methods using gelling and oil-sweeping compositions. High efficiency of application of the Institute’s composition is proven not only at the Russian fields, but also in China. “The Chinese thoroughly look after each well, one can walk around the field as if in a park,” mentioned Vladimir Kuvshinov, leading research engineer of the Institute. This careful attitude to the wells resulted in setting up of production of NINKA composition (designed by the Russian Institute) in the city of Lyaon; this composition proved its high efficiency being used at the Lyaohe field. Application of the technology of stationary steam injection results in reduction of the production water-cut by 10-20 percent, increase of oil production rates on average by 40 percent, at increase of liquid production rates on average by 5-10 percent.   
As the result of cyclic steam treatment, compared to steam injection, oil production increased 1.8-2.3 times, duration of the period of oil production increased by 3-5 months, oil viscosity decreased by three times, oil pour point decreased by 10-22 С.
The RadTech technology of small-diameter radial hole drilling from the old wells appeared to be very efficient for involvement in production of reserves from the blind and stagnant zones; this technology is applied by LUKOIL in Perm region. Using the experience of application of this technology at Tatneft, with coiled tubing, the company drilled radial holes from 40 wells of the region in 2007. Average production rate increment amounted to 8 tons/day (at average production rate 5 tons/day), total production amounted to 76,000 tons of oil. Yury Ikonnikov, Manager of the oil production department of the Main Directorate on oil and gas production support of LUKOIL, identified new ideas for the technology application taking into account the operational experience. They are related to the possibility of the local directional hydraulic fracturing of the formation. It was proposed to perform “drilling parallel to the wellbores according to the RadTech technology in the direction of the supposed reserve concentration; in this way, it is supposed to form preliminary fracture zones and get the guaranteed required hydraulic fracture direction.”
Hydraulic fracturing of the formation is one of the modern technologies requiring a thoroughly verified approach to selection of wells for application of the frac job. It was not accidental that presentations on hydraulic fracturing were united in a separate section of the conference. Uraineftegaz presented the results of various types of hydraulic fracturing performed in the drowned wells: frac jobs with preliminary remedial cementing, with injection of clay “fringe” according to TSO technology, standard technologies, selective fracturing. According to Victor Lysenko, Uraineftegaz group manager, wells with water cut exceeding 20 percent previously were not considered as candidates for hydraulic fracturing. Unfortunately, wells with lower water cut are not numerous now, and the company lays emphasis on operations with the drowned wells. New company RESION from St. Petersburg offered proppants preventing salt formation in the fractures, high-strength proppants with lower density, and proppants with low hardening temperature to be used without activators.
This year, the conference of the Russian Society of Petroleum Engineers was supplemented by a workshop which was held in the framework of Neftegas-2008 show. At this workshop, Russian companies had an opportunity to present new technologies not only in the area of the enhanced oil recovery, but also hydrocarbon prospecting, corrosion monitoring, and oil sludge utilization.

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