OTC: meeting offshore challenges with innovation and collaboration
Even as Aramco expands further downstream in refining and chemicals, the company’s commitment to its core upstream oil and gas program remains strong. For attendees at the annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), the world’s largest oil and gas industry event, this comes at a time when continued long-term investment is needed to meet growing global energy demand.
In-booth presentations highlighted how Aramco’s high-impact research and development is paying off. The company is advancing new and novel techniques, and developing its own proprietary technology to maximize the yield of its reserves.
For example, “Novel Repair Systems for the Remediation of Sustained Casing Pressure” showed how the company is addressing a major industry challenge of pressure buildup between cement casings in wells, known in the industry as casing-casing annular (CCA) pressure buildup. Researchers at the Aramco Research Center-Houston are working at the fundamental molecular level to develop proprietary resin repair solutions.
Another presentation highlighted Aramco’s advancement in sensor technologies. “An untethered sensor, about the size of a golf ball, can be deployed into a well, fall to the desired depth, change its buoyancy, and then return to the surface,” said Erjola Buzi, electrical engineer and a member of the Sensor Development Team at the Houston Research Center. “During this trip, the device logs sensor measurements, and these data are retrieved after the device is recovered, offering a quick way to gather well log data for enhanced reservoir modeling and recovery.”
For OTC attendees unfamiliar with Saudi Aramco’s longtime offshore efforts, Aramco Services Company (ASC) Upstream’s Gretchen Gillis, a geological consultant, presented the “History of Exploration Offshore in Saudi Arabia.” Gillis noted that Saudi Aramco discovered one of the world’s largest offshore oil fields and also highlighted the company’s environmental stewardship efforts.
The technical program covered topics ranging from new developments in major offshore basins to offshore renewable energy and the digital revolution.
Aramco shared its insights with a paper during the Offshore Pipelines Session that examined cyclical ratcheting resistance, which is the slow, incremental, and upward movement of buried pipelines. Another paper with contributions from Aramco examined the “Interaction between Proppant Packing, Reservoir Depletion, and Fluid Flow in Hydraulic Fractures.”
ASC supported OTC 2017 with representatives from Upstream, Public Affairs, Staffing Services, and Procurement and Logistics participating. Two members of ASC Upstream serve on the OTC Technical Program Committee. Also, a member of ASC Technical Services served on the Distinguished Achievement Awards committee.
Of interest to many service providers and contractors was the associated event “Doing Business in Saudi Arabia: U.S.-Aramco Supplier Forum,” which was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Aramco. Aramco was a corporate level sponsor of the conference and a sponsor of this year’s Distinguished Achievement Awards Luncheon.