Case Studies

New Developments in Oil Drilling Industry Technology

1.Saudi Aramco has developed Janus Carbon Nanofluid for EOR

Based on carbon based particle C-MP, Saudi Aramco produced a Janus carbon nanoparticle (JC-NPs) through pyrolysis, chemical treatment, and crushing, and developed Janus carbon nanofluid, which can efficiently replace the nano agent used in oil and gas recovery improvement. Saudi Aramco has conducted a feasibility assessment on the application of JC-NPs in EOR fluids. The particle was dispersed in a mixture of water and organic solvents (chloroform or hexanol), and after phase separation, JC-NPs exhibited amphiphilic properties at the interface between water and organic solvents. When JC-NPs from ethanol suspension are dropped into water, JC-NPs spread out in the water, while ethanol solvent dissolves in the water. When lateral pressure is applied to its surface, JC-NPs form a single layer of particles, and when the surface pressure is about 14mN/m, a double-layer particle arrangement is formed. The indoor test results verified that JC-NPs particles possess the characteristics of both nanoparticles and surfactants. In the study of the synergistic effect between JC NPs and petroleum surfactants, it has been confirmed that the interfacial tension (IFT) at the crude oil brine interface can be significantly reduced, while also altering the wettability of crude oil saturated carbonate reservoir rocks, which can have a significant impact on the water oil and rock fluid interfaces in EOR. Future research will focus on comprehensive evaluation of EOR performance through core oil displacement experiments.


2.American HiFi GuidancTM Software Effectively Enhances Wellbore Trajectory Control Capability.

In order to achieve precise guidance in horizontal well drilling, Patterson UTI and its subsidiaries - Superior QC and MS Direction - have launched the HiFi GuidanceTM software, which can reduce slip times by up to 60%, increase drilling efficiency by 30%, and significantly improve wellbore trajectory control. The HiFi GuidenceTM software has significantly improved Patterson UTI's horizontal well drilling capabilities, with a 27.8% increase in lateral footage compared to the average level of the previous year. The software was applied on the APEX platform, with a daily increase of 8% in footage and an average increase of 152.4m in well depth. In addition, in a high mechanical drilling speed project at Eagle Ford, the application of this software can effectively shorten drilling time by reducing the total number of sliding drilling times.


3.Experimental Study on Microwave Shale in Situ Hydrogen Production at Texas Institute of Technology in the United States.

Texas Institute of Technology proposed the use of microwave-assisted catalytic heating in shale gas reservoirs, which enhances the technology of methane cracking and conversion to hydrogen gas, and conducted a series of experimental studies. During the experiment, shale samples and powders from the microwave reactor were used to decompose the methane gas flowing through. Research has shown that using silicon carbide (SiC) as a microwave acceptor can quickly raise the temperature of shale samples to above 700℃ at an input power of 200W. In the presence of catalysts such as iron and ferric oxide, the methane conversion efficiency reached 40.5% and 100% respectively at temperatures of 500 and 600℃. The comprehensive experimental results indicate that shale plays a positive role in the in-situ preparation of hydrogen from methane in shale gas reservoirs. The temperature required for methane cracking can be achieved through microwave heating and microwave absorbing materials. In the next step of research, further analysis is needed on the role of water in the conversion of methane to hydrogen gas during the in-situ preparation of hydrogen in shale reservoirs.


4.BKV Company in the United States Turning to Hybrid Refracturing Technology

In 2022, natural gas producer BKV became the largest fracking operator in the United States, completing 369 fracking operations in the Barnett shale area in just 28 months, effectively slowing down the decline in shale gas production. The company claims that the Bullhead frac project has discovered 10.39 million cubic meters of newly proven reserves, with an exploration and development cost of only {cbq:ncontent}.028 per cubic meter. BKV Company has developed an innovative re fracturing tool called the "Mixed Expansion Lining System", which combines general re fracturing and expansion lining methods to minimize the drawbacks of both methods and maximize their advantages. The toe end adopts general repeated fracturing, while the heel end uses an expansion liner to supplement the original perforation, creating a pressure transmission environment and achieving more clusters and shorter spacing of repeated fracturing operations.


5.Schlumberger developed a high-temperature and high-pressure oil-based drilling fluid with a temperature resistance of 315 ℃.

Schlumberger developed an oil-based drilling fluid system with a temperature resistance of 315℃ using new weighting materials (high-grade barite after grinding and adding a thermally stable coating), high-temperature resistant emulsifiers (non amide groups), high-temperature resistant organic clay, and high-temperature resistant fluid loss agents (ternary copolymers and organic tannin compounds). The indoor test results show that oil-based drilling fluid with a temperature resistance of 315℃ has excellent rheological and electrical stability after aging, and even at high densities, the filtration loss is very low. The rheological profile of this drilling fluid system remains stable under ultra-high temperature and pressure conditions of 315℃ and 276MPa (40000 psi). At present, ultra-high temperature and high pressure oil-based drilling fluids have been tested on site in many high-temperature wells in the Gulf of Thailand, with two wells having downhole static temperatures reaching 210℃ and 199℃, respectively. This drilling fluid system maintains the best wellbore cleaning effect during the drilling process, with lower rheological properties and shear forces, and no settlement of barite was found during drilling and logging.


6.The University of Colorado in the United States has Developed a Miniature Deformable Robot CLARI.

According to the magazine Advanced Intelligent Systems, the University of Colorado Boulder in the United States has developed a miniature deformable robot CLARI that can squeeze through narrow gaps by changing its own shape. Its design inspiration comes from the insect world, and in the future, it may provide assistance to rescue personnel and special operations after major disasters in a completely new way. The weight of CLARI is smaller than that of a ping pong ball. When the surrounding environment becomes narrow, CLARI can change from a square to a slender shape. CLARI has four legs, but engineers can mix and match its appendages to create some wild crawling robots, such as an eight legged spider like robot that can walk on webs. CLARI is still in its early stages, and in the future, these small robots will be able to independently crawl into the interior of jet engines or the ruins of collapsed buildings. In future iterations, researchers will also integrate sensors into CLARI so that it can detect obstacles and respond, enabling it to "kick" away obstacles such as trees and grass in complex natural environments, or continuously move through cracks between rocks.


7.Successful Conceptual Validation of Reservoir Depletion Diagnosis based on Cancer Genome Sequencing Technology.

At the 2023 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Chevron Technology Ventures presented a case study of reservoir depletion diagnosis (RDD) based on cancer genome sequencing technology. Chevron attempted to use cancer genome sequencing technology in the Permian Basin to measure vertical oil release depth, identify connectivity between wells, predict oil release volume from fractured wells, in order to minimize interference from adjacent wells and joint development, optimize well spacing, and improve unconventional reservoir recovery. This technology uses a predictive analysis platform to monitor oil fields that combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Non invasive DNA testing tools are used to create drug targets through microRNA regulation of transcriptome, and to draw metagenomic and hydrocarbon footprint maps of geological zones; Extract unique DNA biomarkers from vertical and horizontal rock cuttings and drilling fluids to diagnose reservoir depletion. Researchers collect the extracted liquid at the wellhead every two to four weeks and use its "blood sample" to trace shale and dense rocks. Then calculate the oil leakage situation and composition factors through DNA sequencing and data analysis standards. After diagnosing the depletion of the mother well reservoir, the oil release time and volume of the same layer in the sub well were explored through the analysis platform. In 2021, this technology underwent four on-site tests in the Permian Basin and passed concept validation. However, it is still a new technology in the oil and gas industry and needs to be developed and optimized from operational, economic, and accuracy perspectives.