Geophysics Technology Team
The Geophysics Technology Team develops advanced technologies that improve exploration and development capabilities. A wide variety of projects are focused on solutions to near surface challenges that impact seismic data quality, such as energy penetration, scattering, source generated noise and statics.
Efforts in this area include integration of gravity and electrical methods. Innovative, data-driven algorithms continue to be developed for surface and internal multiple elimination applicable for both land and marine environments. Development of state-of-the-art techniques for subsalt imaging is a primary emphasis.
The ongoing research in pre-stack seismic lithology and fracture characterization is accelerating with the advent of wide azimuth acquisition geometries. Blended seismic sources acquisition is an emerging technology which will improve reservoir quality prediction by allowing more complete source coverage over the target and reduce cycle time. Passive micro-seismic technology is also being evaluated as a tool for reservoir monitoring.
Reservoir Engineering Technology Team
The Reservoir Engineering Technology Team develops innovative technologies for reservoir characterization and monitoring to improve the understanding of Saudi Aramco reservoirs and contribute to increasing the hydrocarbon recovery from the fields.
Forefront technologies include nano-technologies to monitor reservoir performance and deep electromagnetic to illuminate the reservoir and quantify fluid presence. New sensors are under development for borehole gravity measurements revealing density variations and estimating fluid contacts and movement. Pore network modeling supports petrophysical characterization, and advanced mud logging while drilling characterizes rock formations and fluids.
The team has developed innovative logging while drilling technologies such as slim nuclear magnetic resonance and high resolution resistivity imaging. The team evaluates enhanced recovery techniques including carbon dioxide and chemical flooding. Research is ongoing to increase oil recovery through modified water injection: altered salinity and ion content and use of dilute surfactant.
Geology Technology Team
The Geology Technology Team introduces improved techniques for quantitative, pre-drill prediction of reservoir quality. The team develops new techniques for permeability prediction using routinely available wireline logs as well as quantifying and predicting reservoir geobody dimensions.
Other efforts seek to predict structural controls on trap viability and to enhance current basin-scale modeling technology, as well as discovering new ways to improve our understanding of tar emplacement; identifying profitable ways to manage carbon dioxide apart from developing exploration methods for unconventional gas resources.
Computational Modeling Technology Team
The Computational Modeling Technology Team conducts research into reservoir simulation, numerical modeling of oil and gas recovery processes, multiphase flow in pipes, intelligent wells, coupled surface facility reservoir simulation, and geomechanics.
Additional study areas for the team include numerical basin modeling, parallel computing, parallel visualization, unstructured gridding, and numerical algorithms for mega to giga-cell simulations.
The team has successfully developed the next generation of Saudi Aramco’s in-house parallel reservoir simulator, Parallel Oil Water Enhanced Reservoir Simulator (POWERS). The newly advanced version, GigaPOWERS™, is capable of simulating reservoir models that require more than one billion cells (an industry first) and full-field giant reservoirs like Ghawar with seismic resolution.
Drilling Technology Team
The Drilling Technology Team provides medium to long-term research, development and implementation of new drilling technologies that will reduce drilling and development costs for Saudi Aramco.
The Team performs research in areas such as extended reach drilling, hole cleaning, borehole stability, laser drilling, and slim hole drilling. Some of the target technologies include solid expandable tubulars, controlled pressure drilling, light alloy improved dependability drill pipe and casing while drilling.
Additional key ongoing projects include advanced expandable technology development, drilling microrobots, nano-based drilling fluids, alternative tight gas drilling initiative, and new methods to effectively address severe loss circulation and stuck pipe challenges.
Production Technology Team
The Production Technology Team (PTT) conducts research to address challenges related to well completion, production systems and practices starting from the reservoir formation to the production header, aiming to optimize productivity of oil and gas wells while reducing capital and operational costs.
Extreme Reservoir Contact Wells involve new technology development in advanced completions, downhole power generation and wireless telemetry. PTT targets well productivity enhancements such as laser oriented fracturing, optimized fracture conductivity, openhole horizontal fracturing, deep gas fracturing, gas condensate banking removal, water shut-off by chemical means, and advanced well completion through active and passive interval control technology development.
PTT is also evaluating tight-sand-gas stimulation and in-situ sand consolidation projects. Artificial lift methods are also a research focus area of high interest.
Operations Services Division
The Operations Services Division provides a wide range of advanced technical services and support in EXPEC ARC and to clients throughout Saudi Aramco.
Laboratory scientists and technicians perform many functions including routine and special core analysis and various types of chemical analysis. They design, evaluate, and monitor specialized drilling fluids and cement slurry formulations. They employ geochemical techniques to reduce exploration risk and to drill efficient development wells. Specialists conduct formation damage prediction and stimulation studies to enhance production. The division also conducts special laboratory studies on reservoir fluids providing consultation on reservoir fluid properties and characterization.
EXPEC ARC has invested in state-of-the-art equipment and personnel to provide the necessary technical and laboratory support to field operations and upstream technology development.
Strategic Technology Analysis Division
The Strategic Technology Analysis Division (STAD) is a multidisciplinary group that provides effective support to EXPEC ARC in the areas of strategic planning, contracting, communications and marketing, business planning, professional development, human resources, computer support, material coordination, maintenance, safety and quality assurance.
STAD provides the oversight, decision-making support, and governance framework for the Center and works with all EXPEC ARC teams in providing the coordination and management tools that advance the mission and goals of EXPEC ARC Teams and personnel.
To learn more about our specialized research teams, download our brochure.