Aramco features strongly at Houston conference

Saudi oil giant participates at unconventional resources event and highlights its innovations.

Saudi oil major played a prominent role in the event submitting papers and hosting sessions.
Saudi oil major played a prominent role in the event submitting papers and hosting sessions.

Saudi Aramco participated in the recent Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) in Houston highlighting the rapid advancements in the company’s unconventional resources programme, sharing best practices, and focusing on new technology in hydraulic fracturing.

Drilling and producing from unconventional, shale, carbonate, or tight sandstone reservoirs is different from conventional drilling. Unconventional rocks have their own unique characteristics and behaviours. For that reason, unconventional teams are integrated with experts in geomechanics, geology, geophysics, drilling, completion and stimulation, production, and reservoir engineering.

“When you consider that the success of the unconventional revolution is based primarily on two technologies - horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing - you can understand why geomechanics and involving other geoscience disciplines is so important,” said Gang Han, a petroleum engineering consultant with Upstream, Aramco Services Company. Han served as a member of the URTeC Technical Committee, chairing two geomechanics technical sessions.

This year, that subject became the largest programme among the 14 conference themes with 10 sessions, featuring 45 technical presentations. Nearly half of the geomechanics sessions were chaired by Saudi Aramco professionals.

Technical papers authored by Saudi Aramco’s Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Centre - Advanced Research Centre researchers, and researchers from the Aramco Research Centre in Houston, examined topics such as replacing freshwater with seawater for hydraulic fracturing, fracturing fluid for high temperature applications, and modelling of hydraulic fracturing in shales.

A session titled “Geomechanics: From Lab to Field” was co-chaired by Ali M. Momin, a supervisor with the North Jafurah Production Engineering Unit, Well Completion Operations & Production Engineering Department, who introduced a series of four papers examining multistage fracturing and stimulation techniques. Another session titled “From Perforation to Performance: Geomechanical Applications” was co-chaired by Saudi Aramco’s Ahmed H. Mubarak, subsurface integration team leader with the Emerging Unconventional Assets Department. Papers in that session examined production optimisation using machine learning, an approach to stage-by-stage completion design, and a workflow for engineered perforations.

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