2018 Poster Sessions

Gordon Stove (Adrock) – New Method for Monitoring Steam Injection for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) from Ground Level without Drilling

Significant time and effort was spent on dielectric logging in the 1970’s ? 80’s by operators and service companies. Adrok’s Atomic Dielectric Resonance (ADR) scanning technology claims to interact with the subsurface in the same region of the electro-magnetic spectrum as di-electric logging, but from surface measurement. First Principles predicts a rise in dielectric constant as temperature rises. Fieldwork was conducted during 2014 to 2016. The surveys were divided up into two groups, one for training (full access to database) and one for blind testing (no access to database). Surprisingly, the blind tests could detect the presence or absence of a single zone steam chest by a rise in dielectric constant at the correct space-time.”

Hector Jimenez (Pemex) – Characterization of Porous System and Permeability in NFR using Image Logs

The characterization of porosity in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs is a big challenge; its complexity requires new technologies and integrated methodologies to discretize the effective porosity. In order to develop a characterization of porous system, Image Logs and analysis of porosity spectrum were used, where the spectrum is obtained through interpretation, calibration and processing images. Methods, Procedures, Process Image logs analysis and calibration by cores information were characterized to get matrix, vuggy and fracture porosity, fractures density, fractures aperture, fracture sets, vugs connected, caves and lithofacies. Special logs, DSI and NMR, were took in account to define partition coefficient of porosity in two mediums matrix and micro fractures and, fractures and connected vugs. Therefore, a permeability property was estimated by aperture and fracture density for the secondary porosity. In addition a permeability model was built using workflows in Python and a Neuronal Network. This model was calibrated by build-up tests. Results, observations, conclusions Applying this methodology was obtained key information such as lithofacies and lithostratigraphic units based on textures analysis of the rock, fracture families, stratification system directions, vugular system definition, fracture aperture, fracture porosity, partition of porosity in three mediums: matrix, vugs and fractures, and finally a permeability model. The above was implemented in an offshore field in a successful way. Novel/ Additive Information These advanced petrophysical models will allow to reduce uncertainty in porous system and a better understanding of the diagenetic processes in the reservoir. A discrete fracture model may be improved through these models, additionally a more accurate properties population in static and dynamic models can be achieved.

Patrick Eisner (Montanuniversität Leoben) – Bio Enhanced Energy Recovery Technology for Clean and Efficient Energy Production

The demand for environmentally friendly and efficient oil and gas production especially in unconventional reservoirs is continuously increasing. Conventional hydraulic fracturing jobs use numerous different harmful chemicals to stabilize the fracturing fluid and to maintain its proppant caring capacity. The Bio Enhanced Energy Recovery (BEER®) fracturing technology is a new technology for clean and efficient energy recovery in tight oil and shale gas reservoirs using biological substances, without the usage of environmentally harmful chemicals. This paper shows the potential of the BEER® technology in a tight gas sandstone reservoir by the help of the 3D simulator GOHFER®, laboratory tests and field test results. The technology itself consists out of two essential parts. On one hand a biological hydraulic fracturing fluid to create the fracture and to carry the proppants is used, which is just a mixture of a few harmless components. On the other hand special proppants, based on silicon dioxide, are applied to keep the fracture open. Experiments and lab tests have shown the high potential of the fluid. Fluid rheology, caring capacity, breaking behaviour and other relevant properties are examined. The investigations on the used proppants results in a very high compressive strength, narrow size range, perfect sphericity at a much lower price, compared to the common commercially available products. Based on those results by the usage of the simulator GOHFER® the fracturing job efficiency of the BEER® technology is comparable to the performance of the standard fracturing technology. Reservoir properties, the treatment job design, the 3D fracture geometry and post-treatment production enhancement are investigated. A sensitivity analysis on gross fracture length, propped fracture cut-off length and fracture conductivity confirm the big potential of this technology. The results presented here indicate that the proposed technology is indeed suitable for performing environmentally friendly and clean hydraulic fracturing jobs, resulting in higher production rates at much lower costs than the conventional technology.

Andy Sherman (Terves) – Effect of Field Conditions on Dissolution Rate of Interventionless Tools

Interventionless/degradable frac balls and plugs have enabled increased efficiencies in extended reach and multistage laterals. Understanding the effect of wellbore conditions on the time and completeness of the degredation of metallic, polymeric, and elastomeric components is key to reliable use. In this presentation, laboratory testing proceedures for dissolvable materials, and the effects of wellbore conditions of salinity, temperature, pumping speed, pressure, PH, will be presented. Influence of common frac additives used in slickwater and gel-fracs, such as gelbreakers and surfactants on degredation rates will be presented for select degradable materials. Methods of controlling and altering degredation rates, such as coatings and chemical additions will be presented.

Ilia Kuznetcov (University of Calgary) – Dielectric Data Generation and Treatment of Bitumen Oil Sands

Dielectric properties of bitumen oil sands are the key parameters needed to predict in-situ heat generation via electromagnetic energy input. This paper expands on the effective medium approach used in geology, biology and colloidal, and polymer sciences to retrieve this important information. Key inputs to the method are the physicochemical composition of the bitumen sands, the phase volume fractions, and the electromagnetic frequency used. The effective medium theory (EMT) together with the double layer (DL) theory have been used to predict dielectric properties of an oil sand as a function electromagnetic frequency (1 Hz-1 MHz). The oil sand parameters such as particle size distribution and water saturation were chosen to match samples characterized by Abraham (2016). Tikhonov regularization technique was applied to obtain the dielectric relaxation time response of bitumen sands. This relaxation can be used to derive some geological and flow properties of the medium. The predicted dielectric properties over the entire frequency range (1Hz – 1MHz) show a good match to the measurements reported by Abraham (2016) in both components of the bitumen complex dielectric constant. The dielectric relaxation time is predicted to be a strong function of water saturation, due to water molecule polarity, which is important because the highest heat adsorption of the bitumen sand is believed to occur at the peak of its dielectric relaxation time response. The model predicts that water salinity will increase the imaginary part of the dielectric constant at lower frequencies (less than 300 KHz) which is in accord with measurements by Chute and Vermeulen, Olhoeft, Abraham and others. Experiments to validate these predictions in greater detail are in progress. The proposed method has been used for the first time to generate dielectric response of the bitumen oil sands. This algorithm will be of great benefit to support and validate dielectric measurements of bitumen sands on one hand and serve as the raw data generator for the reservoir simulators to predict electromagnetic heating oil recovery.

Sahand Etemad (University of Calgary) – Effect of Nanoparticle on the Stability of CO2 Foam at High Temperatures

CO2 gas has been used for enhanced oil recovery since 1950’s. The high mobility of CO2 results in channeling and early gas breakthrough consequently reduces oil production. Therefore, mobility control methods are valuable during CO2 flooding. Foam can reduce the mobility of injected gas by increasing the apparent viscosity. Surfactants have been used to stabilize foam bubbles; however, the long-term stability of foam in the field scale and reservoir condition is hard to achieve. CO2 foam stabilized with nanoparticles can withstand the reservoir condition longer than conventional surfactants by creating a a more stable barrier at the gas/water interface. This study aims to investigate the effect of nanoparticle addition to the stability of foam at high-temperature conditions. Temperature resistant nanoparticles along with suitable corresponding surfactants were selected to generate a stable CO2 foam in both ambient and high temperatures up to 150℃. The effect of temperature was studied on agglomeration and surface charge of the studied nanoparticles using dynamic light scattering method. In addition, the effect of nanoparticles concentration, type of surfactant, and salinity was studied on the stability of the CO2 foam. Static experiments using graduate cylinders and high-pressure high-temperature visual cell were performed for foam stability analysis. A high-pressure high-temperature core flood apparatus was utilized for foam flow study. The temperature resistant nanoparticles showed minimal aggregation compared to that of conventional silica nanoparticles. Moreover, the particle size distribution results revealed that unlike in silica nanoparticles, the aggregation was reversible in case of temperature resistant nanoparticles. The stable foam was generated with different nanoparticles and surfactants in ambient and high-temperature conditions. In some of the surfactant-nanoparticles combinations, the generated foam was much more stable than surfactant alone even at higher temperatures (up to 140 ˚C). According to the foam flow experiments, utilizing the proper combination of surfactant-nanoparticle resulted in more stability and higher mobility reduction factor of foam in dynamic condition compared to that surfactant stabilized foam. The outcome of this study can provide more insight on the effect of nanoparticles in the generation of high quality and long-lasting foam in reservoir condition, especially during foam assisted thermal oil recovery process (i.e. steam assisted gravity drainage with foam injection) to improve the mobility during the gas/steam injection.

Adedapo Awolayo (University of Calgary) – Mechanistic Modeling of Hybrid Low-salinity-brine-CO2 Injection in Carbonate Reservoirs

Fluid-rock interactions can modify certain reservoir properties, notably porosity, permeability, and wettability, which may significantly influence fluid transport, well injectivity, and oil recovery. The profound influence of low-salinity-brine flooding is primarily based on wettability alteration, while that of CO2 flooding is based on oil swelling, viscosity reduction, and interfacial tension reduction. Low saline brine, when combined with CO2, leads to higher CO2 solubility and diffusion, and increases brine acidity. The Low-salinity-brine-CO2 injection further promotes the synergy of the mechanisms underlying this hybrid process to improve oil recovery. In this study, we implemented our reactive transport model, which uses surface complexation/sorption reactions to describe the equilibrium between the carbonate surface sites and ion species in the brine solution coupled with transport equation, to predict a set of low-salinity-brine-CO2 flooding experiments conducted on carbonate rocks. The model showed an incremental recovery of 28% over the formation water flooding, similar to the reported recovery from the experiment. The simulation results show that the incremental recovery can be associated with increased CO2 solubility leading to the formation of carbonated water in-situ to alter wettability and reduce interfacial tension. The performance of hybrid low-salinity-brine-CO2 flooding in terms of oil production, relative injectivity, and CO2 storage was evaluated on a field case study using field-specific injection parameters. The results demonstrate that the water injected and injection scheme has a substantial impact on injectivity and oil production for the whole volume of brine and CO2 injected. For the water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection, the relative injectivity depends on the number of cycles, slug size, and the volume of injected brine. For the simultaneous water-alternating-gas (SWAG) injection, the injectivity was significantly greater than that of WAG, mainly because there is an increase in the exposure time of the rock surface to CO2-saturated-brine. Meanwhile, Carbonated water shows greater injectivity compared to formation water and low-salinity-brine. SWAG also has the highest oil recovery compared to WAG, low salinity waterflood, and conventional waterflood in the respective order. This research study demonstrates the significance of modeling fluid-rock interactions in investigating, designing and optimizing schemes for hybrid Low-salinity-brine-CO2 flooding as an enhanced oil recovery candidate in carbonate reservoirs.


Rafael Donato Cordero Peralta and Marco Antonio Rodriguez Luna (Geolis SA de CV) – Metal/metal PCP Technology for Heavy Oil Wells with Cyclic Steam Stimulations in Samaria Somero Field

Fluid-rock interactions can modify certain reservoir properties, notably porosity, permeability, and wettability, which may significantly influence fluid transport, well injectivity, and oil recovery. The profound influence of low-salinity-brine flooding is primarily based on wettability alteration, while that of CO2 flooding is based on oil swelling, viscosity reduction, and interfacial tension reduction. Low saline brine, when combined with CO2, leads to higher CO2 solubility and diffusion, and increases brine acidity. The Low-salinity-brine-CO2 injection further promotes the synergy of the mechanisms underlying this hybrid process to improve oil recovery. In this study, we implemented our reactive transport model, which uses surface complexation/sorption reactions to describe the equilibrium between the carbonate surface sites and ion species in the brine solution coupled with transport equation, to predict a set of low-salinity-brine-CO2 flooding experiments conducted on carbonate rocks. The model showed an incremental recovery of 28% over the formation water flooding, similar to the reported recovery from the experiment. The simulation results show that the incremental recovery can be associated with increased CO2 solubility leading to the formation of carbonated water in-situ to alter wettability and reduce interfacial tension. The performance of hybrid low-salinity-brine-CO2 flooding in terms of oil production, relative injectivity, and CO2 storage was evaluated on a field case study using field-specific injection parameters. The results demonstrate that the water injected and injection scheme has a substantial impact on injectivity and oil production for the whole volume of brine and CO2 injected. For the water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection, the relative injectivity depends on the number of cycles, slug size, and the volume of injected brine. For the simultaneous water-alternating-gas (SWAG) injection, the injectivity was significantly greater than that of WAG, mainly because there is an increase in the exposure time of the rock surface to CO2-saturated-brine. Meanwhile, Carbonated water shows greater injectivity compared to formation water and low-salinity-brine. SWAG also has the highest oil recovery compared to WAG, low salinity waterflood, and conventional waterflood in the respective order. This research study demonstrates the significance of modeling fluid-rock interactions in investigating, designing and optimizing schemes for hybrid Low-salinity-brine-CO2 flooding as an enhanced oil recovery candidate in carbonate reservoirs.

Patrick Eisner (Montanuniversität Leoben) – Sophisticated Performance Evaluation of Sucker Rod Pumping Systems

The objective of the proposed paper is to present a completely new methodology for analysing the sucker rod pumping system using finite elements. For decades, the analysis of polished rod dynamometer cards in combination with solutions of the wave equation has been the best means to understand the behaviour and efficiency of such a system. Whereas the herein presented approach allows a more precise and detailed analysis in combination with significant flexibility. The new method is a combination of a Sucker Rod Pump efficiency model and a finite elements based mechanical model. It supports predictive analysis for designing new pumping systems as well as performance diagnostics of existing systems. The model considers the wellbore completion and incorporates parameters like wellbore trajectory, production fluid properties, operational conditions and measurements performed on existing installations. That data form a basis for the automated modelling of the sucker rod pumping system, undoubtedly including the sucker rod string, the tubing string and the subsurface pump. The model-QC is highly supported by visual analytics. The method is applied to an actual 900m oil well running with 3.2 SPM and equipped with a 7/8 inch rod string. Based on field measurements using downhole dynamometer sensors, it can be shown that the presented method provides remarkable solutions in terms of details and accuracy. A detailed comparison of the design process and the results of well-known standard methods and the presented methodology has been performed in combination with a case study of most relevant parameters. While standard methods usually employ damping coefficients, which cannot be directly related to physical effects, the proposed method offers more tangible parameters like friction factors and forces. This means selecting the appropriate values, which normally requires a great deal of experience, is no longer necessary, leading to a conclusive and detailed analysis of the stress distribution within the sucker rod string and the contact forces between rod string and the tubing string. This technique will provide outstanding opportunities for optimisation of the actual system in terms of investment and efficiency. The advantage of this new methodology is that aspects that have not been considered in calculation and simulation methods introduced by API so far are now included. In addition to the detailed portrayal of the sucker rod string behaviour, the elemental analysis of contact forces between rod string and tubing as well as the detailed analysis of stress distributions, show a huge potential for modelling alternative materials and pumping systems.

Juergen Ruf (Bosch Rexroth) – Electrification and Digitalization: Bosch Rexroth EMAH Actuator for Gate Valves

Automation and energy efficiency are among the reasons for the requirement for modern primarily controlled electrical servo drives. These drives can be equally applied in mechanics and hydraulics. Today, machines are mainly driven by electrical synchronous motors, either mechanically via transmissions and spindles or hydraulically via Sytronix variable-speed pump drives, cylinders and hydraulic motors. Although this technological transition took place, it did not affect the relevance of hydraulics. One example of these stand-alone axes are the cylinder units for control and trip Functions in gas and steam turbines. Gas and steam turbines utilize valves with control and safety devices integrated into the actuator portion. Based on experience with conventional drives, Rexroth started the development of the EMAH drive in 2008. These control actuators are designed to meet stringent specifications and to ensure all technical processes. The entire power cylinder design is modular and customizable. The next step in the evolution of these EMAH actuators was going subsea. Rexroth was already dealing with subsea projects for e.g. subsea crawlers. By using existing industrial components, design with the highest standards we created an actuator for subsea trees Now in 2018 Bosch Rexroth moved on and introduced the same concept for gate valve control for onshore christmas trees EMAH for valve control of gate valves The electro-mechanical actuator consists of a hydrostatic linear drive and a superimposed spring-supported trip function. The actuator contains a control piston. The power generated by the hydraulic pump is supplied to the position control loop depending on the demands of the sequence program. The hydraulic pump ? driven by the synchronous servo motor ?” acts as a hydro-mechanical energy converter, i.e. the mechanical power released by the servo motor is converted into an equivalent hydraulic performance. The synchronous servo motor represents the electro-mechanical part of the hydrostatic drive. It is characterized by high dynamics at specified rotation speed set value changes, and is part of the actuator position control loop. The drive control unit consists of a control and a power unit. It includes all the logical connections, which are necessary for the proper operation of the actuator in its various modes of operation, and supplies the electric power demand for driving the servo motor. Conclusion Using throttle-free power provision and control according to requirements, electrification and digitalization of the hydraulics enable increased energy efficiency and reduced noise. Besides hydraulic power distribution, hydraulics today may also optionally apply electric power distribution. Thanks to digital-electrical functionality, hydraulics are today 100% “Ready for Connected Industry”. Operators do not need to sacrifice the well-known advantages of hydraulics including toughness, maximum forces and power density. Electrification and digitalization make hydraulics fit for the future.”

Arvind Patel (Gumpro Drilling Fluids Pvt. Ltd.) – Powdered Drilling Fluid Additives for Non-aqueous Drilling Fluids (NADF): Resolves Pour Point Issues Providing Performance and Environmental Advantages

A number of problems such as emulsion instability, environmental issues, disposal cost and more importantly pour point issue persist in current liquid invert emulsifier technology of non-aqueous drilling fluids (NADF). The problem of pour point of liquid invert emulsifier is mainly faced in countries where the weather is extremely cold. The short comings in liquid emulsifier are attempted to mitigate by incorporation of solvents and mutual solvents in formulating emulsifier package. This paper will present concept, design and chemistry of novel powdered emulsifier technology, which eliminates the short comings associated with liquid emulsifiers, and compare their performance against current liquid emulsifiers. Methods, Procedures, Process: New technology will include the development of solvent and mutual solvent free “solid state“ emulsifiers, and their applications in mitigating or eliminating the adverse effects of mutual solvents and other solvents which are incorporated in traditional liquid emulsifier technology. The paper will also discuss how solid emulsifiers are stable and applicable in extreme cold temperatures. New technology in the form of advances made in emulsion technology, unique chemistry of powdered emulsifier additives and fluid formulations will be discussed. Results, Observations, Conclusions; Various tests were conducted to assess the performance comparison of conventional liquid emulsifier and powdered emulsifiers based on new technology. After analyzing the results, it was concluded that the powdered emulsifiers performed better than traditional liquid emulsifiers with respect to cost of fluid formulations and emulsion stability. It was revealed that the addition of extra 1.0 to 5.0 ppb of mutual solvents, which are components of liquid emulsifiers in NADF resulted in reduction of Emulsion stability by over 30%. The consumption of organophilic clay were reduced by up to 40% in fluid formulations using powdered emulsifiers. Absence of carrier fluid and mutual solvent has resulted in improved environmental, logistic and cost advantages in powder emulsifiers. The laboratory assessment, comparison and field applications of the newly developed powdered emulsifier technology will be highlighted. Novel/Additive Information : The paper will present newly developed concept and design of novel powdered emulsifier technology to combat the challenges associated with traditional liquid emulsifiers. These challenges include pour point, environmental issues, performance requirements, logistics and cost associated with current technology.

Josh Phillips (Halliburton) One Hundred Delayed Filter-Cake Breaker Operations in the Giant Boscán Oil Field: Challenges and Advancements

The Boscan field, located in the state of Zulia in western Venezuela, is a large field that produces 9.5 to 12 API gravity asphaltic crude oil. The reservoir includes an important unconformity with basal Oligocene sandstones above and upper Eocene sandstones below. This paper describes the technical obstacles resulting from the physical characteristics of this crude when selecting a filter-cake breaker for restoring permeability in the pay-zones; these obstacles have forced the adoption of special handling techniques. After an effective primary bridging strategy is established for the selected drill-in fluid, a mud must mitigate formation damage by mud filtration solids control. Wellbore cleaning then becomes an integral part of well completion activities, aiming toward the removal of the filter cake to maximize well productivity. A treatment selection and design is recommended to restore the natural permeability by a highly effective and field-proven delayed filter-cake breaker system used in various completion types in the Boscan field, including gravel-packed slotted liners and standalone screens. Particular attention has been paid to the production of these wells. The low API and high viscosity (approximately 400 cp) for the viscous Boscan crude oil contains large quantities of higher boiling components, which create difficulties during oil production. Despite the success of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes, one of the problems associated with the process is acidic emulsions. Downhole emulsions can be attributed to inadequate pre-job compatibility testing. Incompatibility between water-based fluids or completion fluids and the crude oil can also form emulsions while drilling and completing the wells. A suitable non-emulsifier has been added to the filter-cake breaker system to mitigate the emulsion tendency of fluids in the acid jobs. Abatement of emulsion requires optimizing the operating conditions and non-emulsifier concentrations. This can be accomplished by means of continuous laboratory testing, and monitoring the insight gained into the behavior and response of field tests and results. Overbalanced drilling of more than 1,000 psi has become of interest when mitigating formation damage, requiring methods and diagnostic charts to determine the correct mitigation strategy. The selection of the filter-cake breaker proportion to solids in the wellbore must be considered in the design and must be adjusted to the completion type. The design of an in-situ released acid treatment that is non-emulsifying, thermally stable, water-wetting, and devoid of all sludges and precipitates achieves uniform filter cake removal along the payzone section. The paper summarizes the results of the learning process associated with various treatment trials and formulation evolution conducted in the field, with experience gained from more than 100 jobs.

Quinn Holtby (Katch Kan) How to Enable the Collection, Retention and Reuse of Drilling Fluids Released from the Drill Pipe During Tripping Operations

Data was collected during four tripping events from July to September 2015 on a drilling rig located south of Grande Prairie. The following data was tracked: 1. The volume of drilling fluid released from the drill pipe during tripping operations 2. The volume of drilling fluid released to the surrounding environment. The volume of drilling fluid released from the drill pipe was calculated based on the pipe specifications, the total length of drill pipe in the wellbore and the percentage of pipe that contained fluid during the tripping event. A backdrop target zone (BTZ) consisting of light coloured impermeable fabric was installed below the rig floor and the system to collect any drilling fluid released to the surrounding environment. After each tripping event, the quantity of spatter on the BTZ was estimated using published charts, then the BTZ was folded and sealed in a bag. The mass of spatter on a representative sample of the BTZ was measured and used to calculate the volume of material released to the environment. During the tripping events, a total of 13,420 litres of drilling fluid was released from the drill pipe above the derrick floor. The system captured 13,409.25 litres and only 10.75 litres of drilling fluid was released to the surrounding environment. Based on the data collected during this test, the system collected and retained 99.9% of drilling fluids released from the drill pipe during tripping events. This paper will illustrate the positive results of implementing containment systems, from an environmental perspective.

David Han (COOEC Canada Company Ltd.) An International Energy Service Contractor Providing Innovative and Integrated EPCI Solutions

Even though the oil price is still expected to be rise up, operators can not wait that long to capitalize on new sustaining wellpad in oilsands industry.
With proved experience in EPC Lump Sum offshore Oil& Gas projects execution, and strong expertize in modularization engineering, COOEC Canada brings in a new type of project delivery model ,International Modularization + EPC Lump Sum model, for Wellpad projects, which could provide Client with reduced cost, enhanced certainty, simplified interfaces and much smaller sized project management team. COOEC Canada has built up strong in-housed capability of Engineering, Procurement and Project Management locally. Integrated with the resources and expertize from offshore, COOEC Canada has tested such delivery model in several small projects and now it is trusted with an opportunity to execute a EPC Lump Sum project of wellpad. We are happy to take this opportunity to share some of execution strategy of this project.

Connor Blake (Visual Inspection Services) Free Swim HD Video Pipe Inspection Pig

As the largest percent of installed pipelines are upstream oil and gas flow lines, this type of line also represents where most leaks occur. Inspection of these lines to create accurate risk management plans and prevent leaks represents an ongoing challenge. The objective of the proposed paper will be to analyze the results of a method that was investigated to allow for cost effective internal inspection of NPS 03 and NPS 04 upstream flow lines using only existing pig traps. The method investigated was to offer a solution of “integrity screening”. The envisioned solution was a free swim, HD video pipe inspection pig. Initial theory testing and design work was conducted in 3D CAD to visualize and investigate the fabrication constraints of navigating NPS 03 and NPS 04 Schedule 80, 90-degree elbow fittings. This exercise showed us that for NPS 03 pipe, this geometry leaves an ID of 71.3 mm for an inspection tool to fit through. Additionally, turning a 1.5D NPS 03 bend leaves only 83 mm free bore between point of contact on the bend ID. This investigation made it clear that many components had to be fit into a small volume: power supply, lights, HD camera, memory card, AHRS and electronic controllers. Drive cups, which were thought to be the least troublesome part, required considerable refinement as well. Cost effective prototyping was also done with 3D printing. Bumpers for the front of the pig sections were printed, tested, and refined. Fabricated tools were run through test rigs and actual pipelines, with more 3D printing occurring after several test runs. After several iterations of prototypes underwent field testing, a final design was produced. This design is now a functional tool, in operation. Upstream clients can now “see the inside” of upstream flow lines. This integrity screening can be performed at a cost where even marginal wells have enough reserves left to pay for integrity work. This integrity screening inspection work also allows an operator to decide when a marginal well should be shut in as the reserve’s NPV cannot cover the cost of spill clean-up. Screening for integrity affords the upstream pipeline operator a new, lower cost model to manage pipeline risk. The investigation of this technology presents a novel addition to upstream pipeline integrity literature. It will contribute to the state of knowledge in the petroleum industry by deconstructing and analyzing the challenges and processes associated with navigating and inspecting small diameter pipelines using existing infrastructure.

Reinhard Schuetz (UV-DOX EnviroTek Ltd.)Ultra-Violet Lamp Reactor for Pollution Control

The presentation will address an efficient and affordable means of combating Harmful Organisms, Noxious Odours and Toxic Volatile Organic (VOC) pollutants using an innovative new Reactor design. Potential causes of detrimental health and environmental issues are typically associated either with closed air circulation systems, contaminated soil remediation projects or fugitive hydrocarbon emissions. To mitigate such hazards, the newly developed pollution control Reactor effectively combines the advantages of a high intensity 40W ultra-violet (UVC) light and a highly reactive Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) coating, as well as a unique baffle system to provide an extensive contact area and travel distance for contaminated fluids. On its own, UVC light already has a proven history of bacteria/virus destruction. In combination with TiO2, powerful ‘hydroxyl radicals’ are created capable of breaking chemical bonds of various noxious and toxic hydrocarbon compounds, as well as increasing the effectiveness of destroying harmful organisms. Laboratory test confirmed 95+ destruction efficiency of H2S (deadly Hydrogen Sulfide) and BTEX components (Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl-benzene, Xylene). During field operating conditions, Reactor efficiency may differ due to variances in fluid flow rate/turbulence, temperature, pressure and/or contaminant concentration. In North America an estimated 4 million registered storage tanks continuously release noxious and toxic compounds into the atmosphere, with about a half-million tanks at service stations venting highly carcinogenic benzene. Combating vast amounts of such cumulative venting, in addition to fugitive emissions from pneumatic gas operated instruments and soil remediation operations, is highly imperative and beneficial. With respect to decontamination of contained air spaces, the Reactor operation would be desirable and suitable for Hospitals, Conventions Centers, Hotels, Movie Theatres, Cruise Ships, Airplanes and other similar facilities, to safeguard against airborne contaminants. A 2015 study by the International Institute of Sustainable Development pegged 7,700 premature deaths in Canada due to air pollution, at an estimated cost of $36 billion to society. The Reactor is about half the size of a golf bag, weighs about 11kg, and multiple units may be installed in combination to increase contaminant destruction effectiveness.


Paul Pasteris and Jan Wagner (Advisian, WorleyParsons Group) Methanol and Derivatives – Alberta’s Opportunity

Connecting Western Canada’s Hydrocarbons to World Markets via Methanol and Derivatives. Objectives/Scope The purpose of this paper is to outline the opportunity for developing a world-scale methanol and derivatives complex in Western Canada. This opportunity is also a viable path for profitable export of Alberta hydrocarbons to the world markets. Methods, Procedures, Process This paper undertakes technoeconomic analysis of methanol and derivatives value chain given Western Canada’s advantages and disadvantages. Among the factors considered are: • Feedstock cost, composition, availability and the use of the feedstock composition to reduce capital costs. • A well-developed upstream, downstream and petrochemical infrastructure and community. • Methodologies to reduce capital cost premium in Alberta • Methodologies to address Alberta’s high export shipping costs and export barriers • Methanol and derivatives markets and applications • The developing “Methanol Economy” and its possible impact on Western Canada’s hydrocarbon sector. Results, Observations, Conclusions Western Canada’s hydrocarbon sector has a number of advantages: • Availability of low cost natural gas as well as CO2-rich natural gas which has the potential of reducing methanol plant capital costs. • Well-developed energy industry construction and modularization industry which can help offset potential stick-built cost disadvantages of Western Canada when compared to the US Gulf Coast. • Conversion of natural gas into methanol alone reduces the shipping volume of the hydrocarbons by approximately a factor of seven as well as increases the value of the contained hydrocarbons by approximately a factor of 3.5 which can result in better net profitability even given the high transportation rates. • Methanol is the world’s fourth largest and fastest-growing petrochemical. It is the first link in a long and highly branched chain of chemicals, intermediates and consumer products which range from windshield washer fluid to embalming fluid, billiard balls, textiles, explosives, paints, glue, insulation and many other products. • Low cost and availability of large volumes of methanol and methanol derivatives are prompting fast growth in the so-called “energy” applications, where methanol is used as a substitute or as an extender of primary energy products such as LPG, naphtha, gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and others. Novel/Additive Information The paper proposes a novel development of technology to convert methanol into high-value C4 through C9 hydrocarbons that have large markets in Western Canada itself, thus reducing the need for the export. The C4-C9 unsaturates include olefins and aromatics, including butadiene, isobutylene, neoprene, cyclopentadiene, benzene, toluene, xylene and cumene. Some of these compounds are high-octane blendstocks while others can be converted to high-octane blendstocks. This process could provide a baseload for a world-scale (1.8 million tonnes or 1,800 kta), methanol plant while leaving sufficient methanol supply for the derivatives.

Warren Neumeier (CommScope) Network Solutions for the Oil and Gas Industry

Managing IT networks on large scale projects require technology which can adapt to different environments — the data centre or a monitoring facility within the plant. Providing network access to remote monitoring devices via extended reach fiber and PoE technology where needed reduces the need to extend the network with more expensive IT switch gear. The speaker will introduce two technologies which can enhance and improve network management, provide better asset management and extend the network to support security systems, access control, SCADA solutions and remote management. Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) technology provides organizations the ability to properly track IT assets throughout the organization, both locally and globally. AIM monitors physical layer connectivity and manages work order services, ensuring proper port assignments. AIM can be used within the data centre to manage all IT connectivity, and out in the field to establish network pathways, monitor access to IT assets and monitor PoE power with network cabling. Extending PoE beyond the standard 100-meter network limitation allows organizations to build more flexibility into their networks, while reducing the need for additional IT switching equipment. This technology can deliver 60 watts of PoE power out to a distance of 650 meters, or lower 15 watt PoE power out to over 3 Km. These two technologies can be used to reduce IT spend and better manage your network.

Rasoul Arabjamaloei (University of Calgary) Numerical Simulation of Nanoparticle effects on Multi-phase System Dynamics

Numerical Simulation of Nanoparticle effects on Multi-phase System Dynamics Rasoul Arabjamaloei1, Milana Trifkovic1, Steven Bryant1, 2 1. Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, Calgary, AB, Canada 2. Canada Excellence Research Chair in Materials Engineering for Unconventional Oil Reservoirs Solid nanoparticles (NPs) have shown promise to play a major role in novel enhanced oil recovery methods by altering reservoir wettability, reducing interfacial tension and increasing mobility ratio. Solid nanoparticles could be implemented as emulsion stabilizing agents in combination with surfactants and polymers. Stabilized emulsions are a desired state in enhanced oil recovery. In this study, the contribution of NPs in hydrodynamics of multi-phase systems including their effect on interfacial tension and mobility ratio was studied. The free energy Lattice Boltzmann Method was used to solve the Cahn-Hilliard convection-diffusion and the Navier-Stokes equations in a two dimensional Cartesian domain. The NPs were added to the system as point particles with zero volume. A potential function was assumed to represent the chemical potential alteration of the multi-phase system due to the presence of NPs. Attractive and repulsive interaction of the NPS was entered into the model by Morse potential function. The model predictions are consistent with a variety of observations. For example, simulated spinodal decomposition showed that different types of emulsions (oil in water, water in oil, water in oil in water) could form in the presence of particles with different wettabilities. The process of suspended droplets getting coated by neutral-wet NPs was simulated and it was observed that attractive interaction of NPs would result in multiple layers of coating, consistent with our observations for several types of biomass-derived nanoparticles. These validations of the model provide some confidence in its predictions of small-scale phenomena that are more difficult to observe in the lab. For example, the collision and coalescence of two droplets at the presence of different types of NPs was simulated and it was observed that neutral-wet NPs dominate the collision hydrodynamics at high NPs concentrations as a result of steric interactions. In contrast, hydrophilic NPs in the continuous phase could stabilize the emulsion when a strong electrostatic repulsion was set between the particles and droplet surface. These results can help explain the complex behavior of fluids such as nanoparticle-stabilized emulsions as they flow through porous media. This work showed that the free energy Lattice Boltzmann method combined with NPs assumed as points is an effective tool to model and simulate the hydrodynamics of multi-phase systems in micro and nano scales. The computation cost of the simulation was also discussed in details.

Ali Telmadarreie (University of Calgary) Nanoparticle and Surfactant Synergy Governing the Stability of Natural Gas Foam in Bulk and Porous Media

Numerical Simulation of Nanoparticle effects on Multi-phase System Dynamics Rasoul Arabjamaloei1, Milana Trifkovic1, Steven Bryant1, 2 1. Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, Calgary, AB, Canada 2. Canada Excellence Research Chair in Materials Engineering for Unconventional Oil Reservoirs Solid nanoparticles (NPs) have shown promise to play a major role in novel enhanced oil recovery methods by altering reservoir wettability, reducing interfacial tension and increasing mobility ratio. Solid nanoparticles could be implemented as emulsion stabilizing agents in combination with surfactants and polymers. Stabilized emulsions are a desired state in enhanced oil recovery. In this study, the contribution of NPs in hydrodynamics of multi-phase systems including their effect on interfacial tension and mobility ratio was studied. The free energy Lattice Boltzmann Method was used to solve the Cahn-Hilliard convection-diffusion and the Navier-Stokes equations in a two dimensional Cartesian domain. The NPs were added to the system as point particles with zero volume. A potential function was assumed to represent the chemical potential alteration of the multi-phase system due to the presence of NPs. Attractive and repulsive interaction of the NPS was entered into the model by Morse potential function. The model predictions are consistent with a variety of observations. For example, simulated spinodal decomposition showed that different types of emulsions (oil in water, water in oil, water in oil in water) could form in the presence of particles with different wettabilities. The process of suspended droplets getting coated by neutral-wet NPs was simulated and it was observed that attractive interaction of NPs would result in multiple layers of coating, consistent with our observations for several types of biomass-derived nanoparticles. These validations of the model provide some confidence in its predictions of small-scale phenomena that are more difficult to observe in the lab. For example, the collision and coalescence of two droplets at the presence of different types of NPs was simulated and it was observed that neutral-wet NPs dominate the collision hydrodynamics at high NPs concentrations as a result of steric interactions. In contrast, hydrophilic NPs in the continuous phase could stabilize the emulsion when a strong electrostatic repulsion was set between the particles and droplet surface. These results can help explain the complex behavior of fluids such as nanoparticle-stabilized emulsions as they flow through porous media. This work showed that the free energy Lattice Boltzmann method combined with NPs assumed as points is an effective tool to model and simulate the hydrodynamics of multi-phase systems in micro and nano scales. The computation cost of the simulation was also discussed in details.

Hassan Salah (ENPPI Petroleum Company) Application of Artificial Intelligence in Wave Parameters Prediction

Numerous increase in the development of Offshore Projects drives the need to improve wave predicting techniques as waves are considered the key factor that impact the design of different offshore and near-shore structures (i.e. fixed offshore platforms, marine terminal jetty, harbor, breakwaters, ..etc.). For this purpose, several parametric methods were developed based on dimensionless analysis to predict the wave parameters described in literature such as; Pierson and Moskowitz (1964) Shore Protection Manuel (1984), Coastal Engineering Manuel (2008), ..etc. The complexity of implementing these methods, which require bathymetric surveys and considerable processing time, creates the need to develop new methods utilizing the State-of-the Art of Artificial Intelligence technology (e.g. Machine Learning). This paper focuses on the prediction of sea wave parameters (i.e. Significant Wave Heights H_s ” and Significant Wave Period “T_s “) used in the design of offshore and near-shore structures, applying one of the most advanced techniques in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) called Support Vector Machine (SVM). SVM method has shown great promise to build accurate models to process any type of raw data. SVM models are based on Kernel functions (i.e. Linear, Sigmoid, Radial Basis Function and Polynomial) that are used to compute the nonlinearly separable function in the input data and then transform these data into linearly separable function to perform regression analyses with higher confidence level. The objective of this research is to apply the SVM method in predicting sea wave parameters in the southern coast of the Mediterranean sea using the historical waves and meteorological data that have been collected since 2010 in this region. Several SVM models consisting of various input combinations for the measured data have been constructed. Then, a comparison was made between SVM results and the results of conventional parametric methods. The results showed that SVM models generally have accurate results compared that resulted from the parametric methods. Furthermore, SVM using the Kernel function called a Radial Basis Function (RBF) and Polynomial gave higher accuracy in their results than other kernels function of SVM. The analysis showed that the wind speed is considered the key parameter for wave prediction. Therefore, when using SVM in predicting wave parameters, it can be said that the availability of wind data from sea or land stations makes us ignore any other factors. Finally, it can be argued that the use of SVM in prediction of wave is an effective way for overcoming the limitations described by other methods. Keywords: Wave Prediction, Support Vector Machines, Kernel Function, Radial Basis Function.

Dr. Nesreen Weshah Construction Digital Transformation Projects with an Advanced Agile Management System that Integrates Deformation Monitoring Risk

We propose Agile Monitoring Tool, an innovative method of integrating agile risk, alert, team, safety, and digital data infrastructure management into the structural health monitoring system (SHM). Currently, no tools that integrate agile risk and safety management into mega-projects exist. This paper presents a systematic way of identifying hazards and managing risks relating to mega-projects and their workplaces. Studies show that many project management problems can be resolved by implementing agile management techniques. This method has been successfully used in the software industry, but there are few studies in other projects and industries. The proposed Agile Monitoring Tool includes a comprehensive project management software package consisting of one system: an SHM that determines whether a structure or object is changing shape or moving. The system provided continuous monitoring of deformations. This paper represents the beginning of full integration possibilities between SHM and agile project management components. It is the first integration of these elements applied directly in engineering, procurement, and construction management. This is a breakthrough in in these fields. The long-term objective of this project is to develop a Digital Transformation Project Management Platform. The project has five phases: identification of mega-project risk causes and issues, stakeholder notification, project team coordination, resource allocation, and Digital Data Infrastructure Management using an SHM. The data collected through this system must be managed, stored, and classified using a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches. The researcher collected and analyzed research information and investigated, identified, and classified risk in mega-projects. After a thorough literature review, industry pilot studies were conducted using structured methods like face-to-face interviews. Developed with data from six mega-projects in downtown Calgary, Agile Monitoring Tool focuses on large construction projects with deep excavations and heavy construction activities. The integration of safety and risk management components with the SHM system lets the tool assist in ensuring safety; increases stakeholder involvement; yields more information for the City of Calgary, Alberta Health, and others; aids in the proposal of safety recommendations and actions; and improves collective decision-making among affected parties. The tool can be used to conduct risk assessment as a cost-effective, technology-based solution. Agile Monitoring Tool will alert building stakeholders so they may take the necessary safety management actions while achieving efficient digital data management. It will enhance safety and efficiency in buildings and improve communication among project stakeholders through the continual monitoring and regular evaluations that leads to the identification and management of all safety hazards and their associated risks. Precision monitoring ensures early warning and alerts to all stakeholders. The top five risks that affect buildings and are associated with the hazards in different buildings that have deformations and damages using the ranking factor process method was identified.

David Eaton (University of Calgary, GRI) Mitigating and Managing Risks of Induced Seismicity Caused by Hydraulic Fracturing

Induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing has galvanized public attention. Although it is estimated that regionally detectable earthquakes are triggered for only 0.3% of hydraulic fracturing operations, events up to M4.6 have prompted the introduction of new regulatory measures. In Canada and elsewhere, these regulations are largely based on ad hoc traffic light protocols (TLPs), which mandate operational changes (or complete shutdown) in response to uncertain observed parameters, such as computed magnitude and proximity of the event to the injection site. Provisions for TLPs have been developed almost entirely by combining current industry best practice with trial-and-error; arguably, such an approach is not conducive to scientific innovation – or fostering of public confidence in the regulatory framework.
Despite extensive research, fundamental questions remain unanswered. The basic triggering mechanism of injection-induced seismicity is thought to be a reduction in the effective normal stress acting on a fault due to a pore-pressure increase within a diffusively expanding region. Fault activation by hydraulic fracturing is more complex; even a basic understanding of the phenomenology requires improved knowledge of anisotropic poroelastic behavior of low-permeability organic-rich materials and the rheology of inactive faults, both at spatial scales of mm to 10’s km and at timescales of seconds to months. The challenge is exacerbated by the remarkably subtle expression of potential seismogenic faults using existing imaging techniques. Finding science-informed solutions is an urgent priority for industry and regulators.
Underlying this important issue is a big question: can we mitigate and manage risks of induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing? Although there is considerable ongoing research on induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing, moving from “great to best” demands a bold departure from a business-as-usual approach to academic research. The critical research themes addressed by this CFREF project are:
1. Investigating and developing novel procedures for identifying, characterizing and mapping critical faults. In addition to advancing fundamental knowledge, this work will provide more reliable pre-treatment risk assessment, with direct economic impact for industry operations.
2. Development of a validated predictive framework that is calibrated by the wealth of existing data. We are developing a novel computational tool to simulate induced seismicity at various spatial and timescales. The parameter space including poroelasticity, fluid properties, stress and fault rheology will be explored in order to calibrate the tool, taking advantage of a wealth of existing empirical data that elucidate a remarkably rich and diverse range of fault activation processes including enhanced triggering and nucleation. As an anticipated outcome, such a tool will enable creation of a science-informed decision workflow for management of induced seismicity.

Ian Gates Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources (GRI)

The Canada First Research Excellence Fund helps competitively selected Canadian post-secondary institutions turn their key strengths into world-leading innovations.
In September 2016, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) awarded the University of Calgary, in partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), $75 million to implement the Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources (GRI), which aims to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of unconventional resource development and contribute to a climate-neutral energy system.
GRI will generate clean tech solutions by seeking new, innovative fossil fuel-based energy systems that are low or even zero carbon, and will rapidly advance and deploy technologies that actively store or convert CO2. We have partnered with Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Innovate Calgary, and domestic and international industry and academic partners to develop and test clean technologies at field scale with the aim of accelerating commercialization. Through local and international partnerships, clean technologies will be developed and tested at field scale with the aim of accelerating commercialization. Life Cycle Analysis and Early Technology Assessment techniques will be used to evaluate early-stage research.
GRI will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of unconventional resource development. UCalgary has established one of the world’s largest research programs in unconventional oil recovery, focusing on reservoir engineering, simulation, imaging, characterization, catalysis and upgrading, combustion, production water, fluid properties, recovery process design, biogeoscience, and the fundamentals of heavy oil/water/gas/rock interactions involved in in situ recovery processes.
GRI will benefit from our Canada Excellence Research Chair’s (CERC) rare combination of materials science experience and petroleum engineering expertise, positioning UCalgary to be a world leader in realizing the next great innovations to economically and efficiently develop these resources to meet society’s energy needs and environmental expectations. Focusing our expertise in catalysts and conversion on CO2 capture and reduction significantly enhances GRI’s potential to generate innovative clean tech solutions.

Ian Gates (University of Calgary, GRI) Beyond Steam –Additives to Significantly Improve the Emissions and Energy Intensities of Oil Sands Recovery Processes

At present, steam-based recovery processes for oil sands reservoirs are both energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensive relative to other petroleum production processes. Solvent addition to steam has demonstrated that steam+solvent is more efficient than steam alone – this has been shown in field pilots and physical model experiments. However, solvent-aided processes require large volumes of solvent and the reduction of energy and emissions intensity is small (after energy and emissions equivalent of solvent losses are considered) although oil rates are enhanced.
Here, we step away from solvents to examine additives that reduce bitumen viscosity or reduce interfacial tension in the forms of surfactants (added or generated in situ), thin-film spreading agents, deasphalting agents, emulsion breakers, phase separation promoters and wettability alteration agents. The research will generate a rigorous understanding of the fundamental physics of these additives in oil sands systems. We plan to develop processes where at most, hot water is used with additives – since the latent heat is not injected, the energy content of the injectants are about two-thirds less than that of steam (vapour) based processes such as SAGD.

Ian Gates (University of Calgary, GRI) Clean H2 from Heavy Oil and Oil Sands Resources

At present, steam-based recovery processes for oil sands reservoirs are both energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensive relative to other petroleum production processes. Solvent addition to steam has demonstrated that steam+solvent is more efficient than steam alone – this has been shown in field pilots and physical model experiments. However, solvent-aided processes require large volumes of solvent and the reduction of energy and emissions intensity is small (after energy and emissions equivalent of solvent losses are considered) although oil rates are enhanced.
Here, we step away from solvents to examine additives that reduce bitumen viscosity or reduce interfacial tension in the forms of surfactants (added or generated in situ), thin-film spreading agents, deasphalting agents, emulsion breakers, phase separation promoters and wettability alteration agents. The research will generate a rigorous understanding of the fundamental physics of these additives in oil sands systems. We plan to develop processes where at most, hot water is used with additives – since the latent heat is not injected, the energy content of the injectants are about two-thirds less than that of steam (vapour) based processes such as SAGD.

Milana Trifkovic (University of Calgary, GRI) Engineered Interfaces for Advanced Energy Materials

Nanoparticle stabilized emulsions have drawn increasing attention for applications in various industries including enhanced oil recovery (EOR). As compared to surfactants, nanoparticles provide long-term stability for the emulsions because of the high desorption energy required to remove them from an oil-water interface. Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) have gained attention in the past few years as an abundant renewable biomass-derived nanomaterial which displays high surface area and excellent mechanical performance. Moreover, CNCs are naturally amphiphilic, enabling the efficient stabilization of emulsions.
In our work, we aim to bridge the existing gap in literature to elucidate the connection between emulsion microstructure and rheological properties upon aging, which are of critical importance when using CNC stabilized emulsions in practical applications. Dodecane-in-water emulsions were stabilized by CNCs with two different extents of surface charge density obtained by either acidic or alkali treatment of CNCs. The surface charge and size distribution of CNCs were successfully correlated with the droplet size distribution, particle packing density at the interface, droplet-droplet interactions and emulsion rheology. A thorough experimental assessment of emulsion microstructure using laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) and evaluation of droplet-droplet interactions using photonic force microscopy (PFM) enabled us to precisely establish the link between microstructure, droplet interactions and rheology of the emulsions.
Flow performance and dynamic stability of the CNC stabilized emulsions was evaluated in unconsolidated porous media (sand packs, 30.5 cm and 1.5 cm in length and width, respectively). A pre-generated emulsion was first injected into the porous media at a constant flow rate and then the emulsion was allowed to rest inside the porous media by shutting off the flow for a period of 24 hours. After this aging period, the injection of either water or oil into the porous media was executed at a constant pressure. The production flow rate was measured to observe the water/oil blocking performance of the emulsion. The CNC stabilized emulsions completely blocked the subsequent flow of single phase fluid (both water and oil) until a threshold pressure gradient was applied. A higher (by a factor of 4) pressure gradient was needed for water to flow through the emulsion saturated porous media as compared to the oil. The successful field application of this emulsion can be used to improve EOR practices currently utilizing surfactants/nanoparticle stabilized emulsions where manipulation of the performance based on variable droplet-droplet interactions can now be explored.

Ian Gates (University of Calgary, GRI) Bitumen Balls for Transportation of Heavy Oil and Bitumen

At present, steam-based recovery processes for oil sands reservoirs are both energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensive relative to other petroleum production processes. Solvent addition to steam has demonstrated that steam+solvent is more efficient than steam alone – this has been shown in field pilots and physical model experiments. However, solvent-aided processes require large volumes of solvent and the reduction of energy and emissions intensity is small (after energy and emissions equivalent of solvent losses are considered) although oil rates are enhanced.
Here, we step away from solvents to examine additives that reduce bitumen viscosity or reduce interfacial tension in the forms of surfactants (added or generated in situ), thin-film spreading agents, deasphalting agents, emulsion breakers, phase separation promoters and wettability alteration agents. The research will generate a rigorous understanding of the fundamental physics of these additives in oil sands systems. We plan to develop processes where at most, hot water is used with additives – since the latent heat is not injected, the energy content of the injectants are about two-thirds less than that of steam (vapour) based processes such as SAGD.

Don Lawton (University of Calgary, CaMI, FRS) Feasibility Study of Time-lapse Seismic Monitoring of CO2 Sequestration at the CaMI Field Research Station

The Field Research Station (FRS) has been developed by CMC Research Institutes Inc. in collaboration with the University of Calgary, Canada, in Newell County, ~200 km southeast of Calgary. The goal of this pilot site is to simulate a leakage of CO2 from a deeper and larger CO2 reservoir by injecting a small amount of gas (less than 400 tons/year) at a shallow depth (300m) for 5 years. The controlled injection will allow the development and improvement of monitoring technologies to verify CO2 storage and caprock integrity, determine CO2 detection thresholds as well as facilitate academic and industry training and research. The overall goal is to de-risking CO2 sequestration and prove the safety and sustainability of this technology that is critical to meet greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets.
We focus here on a feasibility study of monitoring the injection using surface seismic surveys, a crucial step to plan the future survey acquisition (geometry and repetition rate) as well as to determine the gas detection threshold for this specific monitoring method. We detail the four steps of this study: 1) development of the geostatic model; 2) reservoir simulation leading to the expected CO2 saturation and pressure response; 3) comprehensive fluid substitution to obtain the variation in elastic parameters of the host rocks due to CO2 injection; 4) simulation of the seismic response to CO2 injection, including different levels of random noise.
We discuss the assumptions we made for each step. The first one concerns the injection parameters (reservoir temperature and maximum bottom-hole pressure) and the unknown vertical permeabilities of the geostatic model. For the final set of parameters we used (T=20°C, maximum BHP = 5.75MPa, Kv/Kh=0.1), the amount of CO2 injected after 1 year is 266 tons, and the total amount after 5 years of injection is 1664 tons. The average injection rate is 694 kg/day.
The second main assumption concerns the fluid saturation behavior (uniform, semi-patchy, patchy) and its effect of the seismic responses. If we assume a semi-patchy saturation, the modelling shows that the detection threshold is ~250 tons of injected gas (less than 1 year of injection). If we assume uniform saturation, then we predict that plume should be detectable by seismic methods after about 1 year of injection. Full patchy saturation is a more challenging condition and it may take several years of injection for the plume to be detectable using surface seismic data. We are also monitoring the injection using vertical seismic profiles, where receivers are placed in the well, spanning the depth interval of injection.
The CO2 injection program at the FRS began in early 2018 and seismic monitoring will be undertaken later this year.

Gerald Bruce (Assist SR&ED) Promoting Systematic Research in the Oil & Gas Industry in Canada

“SR&ED is the Scientific Research & Experimental Development tax incentive program, designed to promote innovative R&D projects in Canada. Administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), SR&ED is one of the highest paying R&D tax relief programs in the world. Each year, CRA provides about $3.5 Billion under this program to support research in industries in every sector. The program is particularly worthwhile for small companies – the recoverable tax for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) is up to 42% of eligible expenses. Oil & Gas companies involved in unconventional resource development or in IOR/EOR programs in Alberta can recover up to 24% of eligible expenses.

Although SR&ED is one of the most generous R&D tax relief programs in the world, many Oil & Gas industry companies (E&P companies, service companies), although actively involved in innovative projects, are unaware of the program or do not know what is required in order to take advantage of it. This poster presentation gives easy-to-understand SR&ED claim guidance for businesses engaged in R&D activities with the objective of creating a new product or advancing an existing technology. At first, the poster describes the SR&ED claim guidance while elaborating on both Research & Development and Financial Aspects SR&ED eligibility of any R&D project. Next, concrete examples of SR&ED eligible projects in the areas of Unconventional Resource Development as well as in EOR/IOR applications are given.

Finally, a brief description of Assist SR&ED’s workflow for SR&ED claim support to our clients along with description of our other services is given all of which is designed around the idea of “Supporting Systematic Research in Canadian Industries”.

Aidan Joy (iMEC Corporation) iMEC Corporation: Uncertainty in Hydrocarbon Measurement

Oil and gas are fundamental to all modern economies. Measurement of quantities and rates of flow of these fluids are key to numerous oil and gas industry activities and metrics, such as reservoir management, asset evaluation, custody transfer and fiscal obligations. Errors in oil and gas measurement are therefore important for numerous reasons and significant errors can have significant value implications.
Measurement uncertainty is a useful concept that can be used to define the most likely contributors to measurement errors. This presentation shows some of the contributors to uncertainty and how your organization can bring focus to your petroleum measurement investigations.
The uncertainty of metered quantities depends on a combination of the following:
a. The traceability chain associated with the field standards
b. The calculation procedure and means of computation (chart integration, flow computer, mainframe, personal computer, etc);
c. The uncertainty associated with the liquid density predictions;
d. The sensitivity of the liquid prediction correlation to errors in pressure, temperature, and base density determination;
e. The design, installation, and operation of the metering facility or facilities;
f. The choice of measurement equipment (charts, transmitters, A/D converters, data loggers, etc);
g. The means of data transmission (analog, pneumatic, digital, manual); and
h. The effects on the operating/calibration equipment of variations in ambient temperature, liquid temperature, liquid pressure, response time, local gravitational forces, atmospheric pressure, etc.
The total measurement uncertainty is dependent not just on the hardware or equipment, but also the software’s performance, the method of calibration, the calibration equipment, the calibration procedure, etc. The presentation introduces and illustrates the following key definitions which need to be considered when determining specific measurement uncertainties:
Repeatability: the variation between measurements that occurs when one person measures the same item several times, using the same measuring equipment.
Reproducibility: a measure of the agreement between the results of measurements of the same variable where individual measurements are carried out by the same methods, with the same type of instruments, but by different observers, at different locations and after a long period of time.
Reference is made to API, ISO, ASTM and other industry standards, which provide guidance on how to treat uncertainty. Summing the quantitative effect of individual uncertainties on the total quantity and computing the relative contribution of each to the total quantity uncertainty yields the sensitivity of the total uncertainty to individual uncertainties. This allows companies to evaluate where they can get the most value for money spent in improving overall measurement balance.
It is concluded that uncertainty can be a useful approach to optimize measurement improvement, by highlighting the items that are the most significant contributors to overall uncertainty. This in turn provides guidance in determining where time and effort are best employed to improve overall measurement quality.