Case Studies

New technology on shale gas exploitation: Anhydrous fracturing

Innovation and collaboration is a key factor to ensure the sustainable development of oil and gas industry in the future. Like several other parts of the world, the Middle East isfacing challenges as a mature oil and gas area. Therefore, the new technology for the Middle East oil and gas plays a very important role, especially the existing technology and the development of innovative solutions.

One of the main challenges facing the current Middle East is maximizing production of abundant reserves .Only the United Arab Emirates (UAE) refers to the domestic production of 3.5MMbbl/d. Maximizing production requires that the mining rate  must bemuch higher than the global average. Therefore, to adopt new technology and innovative technology is critical.

Technology development cooperation is of great potential, funding and expertise involved in oil and gas development mature areas is particularly important.

Oil companies in these areas need new technologies to economically produce in a short time,a few or more of technology-required remaining reserves. A form of cooperation may be only a cost-effective ways to solve these problems.

In addition, due to the oil and gas industry continues to maturity. From the technical requirements, to a certain extent, globalization is becoming more and more obvious now.In the international oil and gas production areas, need to improve the reservoir description about reservoir that cannot be intervention and improve mature oil and gas reservoirs longevity.Therefore, other regional development technology transferring to the Middle East has the vital significance to its independent research and development.

Development relationship

In the past, the exploration and development activities is mainly controlled by Nation Oil Companies (NOCs) and the oil giant, in general, there was no cooperation or solving the problem together in history.

However, in the past decade, some of the areas in the Middle East research center is created, including Qatar Science and Technology Park, Abu Dhabi Petroleum Institute, Oman Sultan Qaboos University, Kuwait Institute of Science and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia (KAUST)), all of these research center cooperated cross-regionally with some national oil companies, international oil companies and international oilfield services company.

At the same time, multiple oil and gas miners from around the world are entering the Middle East, including some of Europe's small business operators and some operators from China and South Korea.In some way, it will affect the changes of technology research and development framework, and contribute to pave the way for new cooperation partnership.

Due to Industry Technology Facilitator set up a base in AbuDhabi three years ago, it is trying to promote the relations of cooperation between operating companies and the broader Technology development in the area and outside the region.

Technology challenges

Recently Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) annual meeting held in Abu Dhabi first time. As part of the meeting, some technology research and development staff who are seeking cooperative support are invited to attend and directly   communicate. One of the conference contents concerns in technical field is drilling efficiency, including many new subversive technologies. These techniques include high-speed double drill string technology of DURA Drilling Company. The system consists of a drill string and a drill stem, and integration of three technologies: casing drilling technology, micro hole drilling technology and the high-speed diamond drilling technology.

Charley Able who is DURA Drilling company's co-founder thinks that ideas can make up for the conventional Drilling technology, and it is quite valuable to wells which are difficult to drill, and some wells which are unsuitable for conventional techniques, such as low cost information well, big displacement well and drilling wells which need to drill through basalt or other types of hard rock. The company currently is seeking investors and customers to provide potential pilot demonstration project.

GA Drilling Company introduced its PLASMABIT Drilling system in detail. Contractor received continuous casing drilling technology feasibility study fund through ITF. The technology is part of the whole PLASMABIT system. In general, the system is based on the focusing electron plasma energy, and is specially designed for tripping and source of friction. It has high ability of ROP in rock and steel material.

Industry partners are busilycooperating with LASMABIT joint industry project (JIP) between China and Mongolia .They think the first application of the technology is possible steel cutting operation. It is very necessary for sealing, etc.

EOR knowledge database

Another topic discussed is to enhance oil recovery (EOR). ITF has launched a joint industry project (JIP) in the Middle East. A knowledge database will be built to enhance oil recovery (EOR) in the Middle East.

However, one of the challenges in the Middle East and EOR is the current research and development of many related technology is available for sandstone reservoir instead of carbonate reservoir. This may be a field that joint industry project (JIP) to make important contributions to.

Surface Active Solutions (SAS) also introduced its surfactant-particle technology in detail. It is mainly used to enhance oil recovery. Proof-of-concept experiments showed the feasibility of adoption of advanced surfactants-particle technology. Not only improve the oil recovery efficiency, compared with only surfactant treatment, it can decrease the dosage of surfactant significantly.SAS has submitted the project schema to ITF. They aim to reduceprocessingcosts through surfactants-particle technology and dissolve the risk of commercial purposes to quantify high recovery potential.

Around the treatment cost, regulation and water shortage is a major challenge in the Middle East.ITF annual conference provided another technology which is a reusable solution. The scheme can eliminate free, dispersed, emulsified, or dissolved hydrocarbon from oil field water and gas flow, and makes water in oil/water less than 5 PPM, and won’tproduce any waste which needsto treat or dispose.

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