American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - 25

TECHCONNECTIONS
AAPG Workshop
Suggests Ways To Profit
From Mature Fields
It has been interesting to watch the oil and gas industry over
the past few months. With oil prices bouncing around $50 a
barrel, we are beginning to hear stories about rigs on the move
and increased activity in the lower-48 states. In many cases, independent operators are responsible for this increase in activity,
and the movement has many people looking at new opportunities,
new techniques, and new technology.
I participated in an American Association of Petroleum Geologists technology workshop titled, "Making Money in Mature
Fields." Workshop organizers intended the two-day event to
review a variety of mature fields in order to identify the amount
and type of oil that could be recovered in these fields while
looking at different strategies to economically produce remaining
reserves. The event, which was held in Houston, also looked at
improved technologies designed to help revitalize reservoirs,
and address low pressure, paraffin and corrosion, to name a few.
Day one started off right with a great presentation from a
small independent operator. Steven Tedesco from Running
Foxes Petroleum Inc. set up the presentations that followed by
discussing what it was like to be an independent. He discussed
the challenges independents have faced in the past 30 years.
Advances in computer technology and the Internet have changed
dramatically how small operators work.
Additionally, Tedesco highlighted how the emergence of the
shale industry had changed the domestic industry's focus away
from onshore, conventional reservoirs, and had made significant
changes in access to capital. He noted that increased access to
3-D seismic technology had helped independent operators
increase their potential for success by helping to locate remaining
potential in mature reservoirs.
Tedesco discussed independent operators' continuing struggles
with regulations, which increase costs and make it difficult for
small companies to be profitable. Many independents work in
mature areas where many wells are at the end of their lives.
Tedesco says margins are slim, but money can be made as long
as small operators are willing to adapt to a continuously changing
environment.
In another talk, Jeff Harwell from the University of Oklahoma
discussed the use of surfactants to revitalize wells. Harwell
highlighted how the next generation of surfactants could be
used to enhance production from existing waterfloods without
requiring a polymer drive or the expense of water treatment.
According to field tests, this process shows effectiveness at
total dissolved solids as high as 25 percent by weight and in
permeabilities as low as 20 millidarcies.
One of the more unique presentations that day was from
Matt Uddenberg and Laura Nofziger from AltaRock Services.
AltaRock began with the assertion that many initial stimulation
treatments of long horizontal wells were only partially successful,
with fewer than half the perforations contributing to production.
AltaRock suggests that if they can plug the high-perm zones at
the beginning of a restimulation project, operators can achieve
larger production rates than those of the initial stimulation at a

"Money can be made as long as small
operators are willing to adapt to a con-

"

tinuously changing environment.

fraction of the cost of a new well.
AltaRock has developed a suite of thermally degradable diverters than can be customized to each well's unique completion,
temperature and geology. According to the presentation, data
show that the diverters operate over the entire temperature
range from 90 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. The diverters were
developed initially for recovering geothermal resources, and researchers realized the potential for oil and gas operations.
AltaRock says the diverters are available in a variety of
particle size distributions as well as any shape, including beads,
particulates, and fibers in order to provide near-wellbore and
far-field diversion over a wide range of fracture aperture sizes.
Finally, in a presentation titled, "Helium: Geology of Accumulations and Relationship to other Gases in the Reservoir,"
Ron Broadhead from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology discussed the potential opportunities around producing helium. He
noted that while it was the most abundant element in the
universe, helium actually was relatively rare on Earth.
Broadhead reviewed the unique properties of helium that
make it useful. Specifically, helium is chemically inert except
under the most extreme conditions, making it an excellent ingredient for magnets in magnetic resonance imaging instruments,
as an inert atmosphere for welding, and in manufacturing
computer chips and fiber-optic coolants, many of which are key
to our modern lives. Because helium is formed from the
radiogenic decay of crustal rocks-especially granite-if found,
it can be a great source of revenue in old fields.
These were but a few of the presentations covered in Houston,
and from the number of folks in the room, it is clear that
operators, service companies and investment firms all are evaluating technology as oil prices try to stabilize and operations
move forward.
r

JEREMY VISCOMI is the di-

rector of technology transfer
for the University of Kansas
Tertiary Oil Recovery Program
and the PTTC Midcontinent
Region office. He has more
than a decade of experience
in developing and organizing
technical conferences and special events.
NOVEMBER 2016 25



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - Contents
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