Technology Focus: Production Operations (March 2010)
- Francisco J.S. Alhanati (C-FER Technologies)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 50 - 50
- 2010. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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I was joking with my colleague Todd Zahacy that we should write a series of papers about the number of things we production engineers usually do not know when trying to design or optimize a production system and, therefore, the risks we take that things may not go exactly as planned.
Zahacy was quick to forward me a link to the now-famous quote of former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (explaining the limitations of intelligence reports): “There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”*
I was thinking mostly of our lack of scientific knowledge in certain areas, but Zahacy reminded me that bad-quality data or bad assumptions also can lead to devastating results. We both believe that engineers should often question the source of information and the validity of assumptions, and then make a conscious effort to think about significant effects that may not have been considered.
Some of the papers featured in this issue stress the importance of knowing as much as possible about a production-operation issue before trying to address it: knowing where (and why) the produced fluids or solids are entering the wellbore before planning a workover or knowing how a downhole device is likely to function (or not) under certain operating conditions before installing it in a well, among other issues. Other papers listed here stress the importance of questioning one’s source of information (e.g., the validity of some meters’ readings and/or the representative nature of some fluid samples).
Usually, we are good at sharing our successes, but we can also learn much from our failures. Let us share more often the troubles we sometimes get ourselves into, and save our peers in the industry some grief.
Production Operations additional reading available at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org
OTC 20204 • “The Impact of Reservoir-Fluid Compositional Variation and Valid Sample Acquisition on Flow-Assurance Evaluation” by Oliver C. Mullins, SPE, Schlumberger, et al.
IPTC 14068 • “Multiphase Metering in Siberian Gas and Condensate Wells—Lessons Learned in Multiphase Well-Testing Operations Since 2006” by Bertrand Theuveny, SPE, Schlumberger, et al.
SPE 123949 • “Case Study: Successful Application of a Novel Conformance Treatment in an Extended-Reach Horizontal Well in the Al Shaheen Field, Offshore Qatar” by M.H. Pedersen, SPE, Maersk Oil Qatar, et al.
IPTC 13765 • “Successful Field Application of an Inhibitor-Concentration-Detection System in Optimizing the Kinetic-Hydrate-Inhibitor (KHI) Injection Rates and Reducing the Risks Associated With Hydrate Blockage” by Orlin Lavallie, Dolphin Energy, et al.
OTC 20013 • “Operation of Multiphase Flowmeters in the Sour Environment of the Qatif Field, A Case Study” by Faisal M. Al-Dossary, SPE, Saudi Aramco, et al.
*www.scientiﬁ camerican.com/article.cfm?id=rumsfelds-wisdom accessed 27 January 2010.
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