ITF CEO Dr Patrick O’Brien (photo: ITF)
The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF), together with Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN) and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), has launched a joint industry project (JIP) which will reduce time and costs for oil producers to determine whether gas fields are economically viable.
The PETGAS III (Petrophysics of Tight Gas Sandstones) project sees the continuation of the successful work being conducted by University of Leeds in examining the petrophysical properties of tight gas sandstones. A robust database of key petrophysical properties has been formed to make rapid estimates of the properties of unknown samples based on their microstructure. Its specialist software, PETMiner, has been developed to visualise this and other petrophysical properties data.
The database of the petrophysical properties of tight gas sandstones will be used to improve the interpretation of wire-line log data for the characterisation of tight reservoirs during exploration, appraisal and production.
The project partners, EBN and PDO, are contributing £321K in total and the project, now in its third phase, will run for a period of three years. The project remains open to late participants.
Professor Quentin Fisher of University of Leeds, the principal researcher of the project says, “When oil producers are developing low permeability objectives, the petrophysical properties largely determine whether gas fields are economically viable. Current methods used in the industry are both expensive and time consuming. The PETGAS research, which is now in its third stage, has been transformative in creating a workflow, database and data-mining software that allows operators to reduce the cost and time to estimate to petrophysical properties of tight gas sandstone prospects.”
ITF CEO, Dr Patrick O’Brien says, “At ITF, we are seeing new opportunities for technology developers as the pursuit to increase efficiency is forcing the oil and gas industry to look for new technologies and solutions. The launch of a new phase of the PETGAS project demonstrates the leading edge work of UK Universities, and how the joint industry project model enables operators to effectively leverage the information they share into an advanced software model to radically transform industry outcomes. The work of the PETGAS JIP could in time play a key role in unlocking the significant, yet untapped, potential of stranded gas resources in the Southern North Sea and beyond.”
The PETGAS consortium has been running for 8 years and has received sponsorship from San Leon, BG, BP, EBN, Engie, Shell and Wintershall. Results of PETGAS I and PETGAS II have been used by industry to justify drilling new prospects and to improve understanding of the controls on gas and water production in existing fields, which has shaped appraisal and production strategies.
The PETGAS III project will extend the database by a further 15 samples per sponsor and continue the extensive special-core-analysis (SCAL) test work on a further seven samples per sponsor.