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The Middle East Drilling Technology Progress

Innovation and collaboration are the key factors to ensure a sustainable future for oil and gas industry. Like several other regions of the world, Middle East region is facing challenges of becoming the mature region of oil and gas exploration. Therefore, new technology plays an important role in Middle East oil and gas extraction, especially in the progress of existing technology and innovative solutions.

Currently, one of the major challenges the Middle East faced with is the large reserves of yield maximization. Only the production target of United Arab Emirates nation is 3.5MMbb l/d. In order to achieve the goal of yield maximization, it requires the exploitation rate is much higher than the global average rate of exploitation. Thus, the adoption of new process and innovative technology is very important.

The cooperation in technology exploitation is very promising. Funding and technical expertise are especially important in the mature oil and gas development area. These oil companies need new technology in order to economically produce a little amount or more reserves multiply 4 with certain technical requirements. A cooperative approach may be the only way to solve these problems in a cost-effective way.

Additionally, owing to the oil and gas industry continues to be mature, looking from the technical requirements, to some extent, global convergence is now becoming more and more apparent. In the international oil and gas production areas, the difficult intervention reservoir needs to improve reservoir characterization, and improve the longevity issue of mature reservoirs. Therefore, transferring the development of technology in other regions to the Middle East will be significant for its independent research and development.

Established the developed relationships

In the past, exploration and development activities are mainly controlled by the oil companies and the oil giant (NOCs), in general, there is no cooperative work and the history of solving a problem together.

However, in the past decade, a number of research centers in the Middle East is created, mainly includes the Qatar Science and Technology Park, Abu Dhabi Petroleum Institute, Sultan Qaboos University, Kuwait Institute of Science and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia (KAUST). All of these research centers start the inter-regional cooperation with some national oil companies and international oil companies and international oilfield service company.

Meanwhile, multiple oil and gas from the world are entering the Middle East, which includes a number of European small business operators and some operators from China and South Korea. To some extent, this change will affect the technology research and development framework, and contribute to pave the way for new partnership of collaborative work.

Due to Industry Technology Facilitator established a base in Abu Dhabi three years ago, so it is now trying to promote enhanced cooperation between the operating company and the operating company and the wider technology development in the area between the region and outside the region.

Technical challenge

Recently, the first annual conference of Industrial Technology Facilitator (ITF) was held in Abu Dhabi. As part of the conference, some technical research and development personnel who seek the cooperation support were invited directly to communicate. One of the technosphere that the conference content pays a close attention to is the drilling efficiency, which includes many subversively emerging new technologies. These technologies include DURA Drilling's high-speed dual-drillstring technology. The system consists of an inner and an outer drill string. It is integrated into three technologies: casing drilling technology, micro-borehole drilling technology and high-speed diamond drilling technology.

DURA Drilling Company’s co-founder, Charley Able thinks that, the concept could make up conventional drilling technology, and be quite valuable for difficult drilling wells, also for infeasible wells with conventional techniques, such as low-cost data wells, extended reach wells and drilling wells which require drilling through the basalt or other types of hard rock. This company is currently seeking investors and customers, and offering a potential pilot demonstration projects.

GA Drilling Company introduces its PLASMABIT drilling system in detail. The contractors received feasibility study fund of sustained casing drilling technology by Industrial Technology Facilitator (ITF). This technology forms part of the whole PLASMABIT system. In general, this system is based on the focused electron plasma energy, which is especially designed for the trip and the source of friction. It has a high ROP capacity in rock and steel material.

EOR Knowledge Database

Another topic of discussion is enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Industrial Technology Facilitator (ITF) has launched a joint industry project (JIP) in the Middle East. It will build an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) knowledge database in the Middle East.

Some members of the Middle East are very interested in CO2 injection for EOR, this approach will benefit the environmental issues which are related to the world's attention.However, one of the challenges which the Middle East is associated with EOR is that many researched and developed available technologies are used for sandstone reservoirs instead of carbonate reservoirs. This may be an area where joint industrial project (JIP) making important contributions.Surface Active Solutions (SAS) also introduces its surfactant a particle technology, which is mainly used for enhancing oil recovery. Proof of concept experiment shows the feasibility of using advanced surfactant-particle technology to enhance oil recovery, compared with only treated with a surfactant, it can also lead to significant reduce of the usage of surfactants. SAS has submitted a plan of the project to ITF, which aims to reduce processing costs by surfactant -particle technology and risk mitigation for commercial purposes to quantify the potential for enhanced oil recovery.It is a big challenge to reduce the cost in Middle East area. Another technology ITF provides at the annual meeting is a reusable solution, this scheme can eliminate water and free oil field gas flow, dispersion, emulsification, dissolution hydrocarbons so that oil in water level is lower than 5ppm, and does not produce any processed or disposed waste.


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