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To avoid costly mistakes at the well site and facility, operators are looking for well testing advantages to help them get ahead of challenges—both the ones they anticipate and the ones they don’t—that will slow down production.
“Today every barrel counts,” said Bertrand Theuveny, domain head of testing services at Schlumberger. “It’s very important to limit the impairments, whether they happen at the wellhead, on the pads or in the midstream facilities.”
At Schlumberger, Theuveny is part of a team developing technology to solve these challenges within an agile timeframe, leading to less downtime and more productivity.
Theuveny was joined by Alexander Zhandin, Schlumberger's product manager of production and surface well testing, to discuss equipment solutions to solve the challenges surrounding increasing hydrocarbon production while reducing carbon and methane emissions during the recent SPE Live webinar, “Rapid Production Response Solutions with Surface Well Testing Equipment."
Challenges in the production facilities can include the preconditioning of fluids, complex flowback and managing unexpected fluids, which can lead to lost barrels and therefore wasted time and money. Problems can also arise from old wells, typically 25 years old or more, “tiring out” as they get older.
As Zhandin explained, the industry response to such challenges doesn’t always move as quickly as producers need or want.
“Obviously, the amount of challenges is different and very often they can come planned or unplanned, but the response is not very fast in production playground because historically, the mind is set up such a way that it is targeting the EPC [engineering procurement construction] type of approach,” Zhandin said. “So it’s very transactional, I would say, if not bureaucratic, and everything can be slow sometimes.
To address these challenges, Zhandin and Theuveny explained how Schlumberger’s Production ExPRESS can help solve temporary production issues such as express early production facility, surface pressure boosting, fluid preconditioning, debottlenecking, and pipeline or facility commissioning and maintenance.
At either the well site or the facilities, they use “nomad culture, safe approach and variability of solutions” to offset production challenges in a timely matter.
“The first thing, of course, is identifying the gaps, the production impairments, with not a preset mindset on the solution,” Theuveny said. “So be open to look at alternatives to go around the problem, whether it is to eliminate flaring sometimes or it is to just boost production. There can be very innovative solutions built with existing assets.”
The agility with which the challenges are able to be addressed, in addition to improved engineering capabilities, allows the Production ExPRESS to be a more cost-effective tool. The central engineering team ensures that downtime is kept to a minimum.
“Of course, solutions are always different. The beauty here, and this is, I believe, the Production ExPRESS differentiator is engineering capabilities,” Zhandin said. “And not only do we deploy the special design people, the design solutions people, on the ground, close to our customers, but we also have a central engineering team, which is looking at production express.”
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