Tips on maximising production from mature and #HeavyOil fields
We recently asked Industry experts to answer the following questions:
Why are heavy oil projects so important in the Middle East right now?
What are the top technologies/techniques that you are currently implementing in your heavy oil projects?
What in your opinion is the ultimate issue or challenge facing heavy oil projects in the Middle East at this point in time?
Hussain Ahmed | Team Leader for Petroleum Technology Programmes | University of Teeside, UK shares his thoughts
1. Why are heavy oil projects so important in the Middle East right now?
As global light crude oil reserves continue to decline due to over-dependence as a major source of energy, the global demand for oil continues to rise, in 2011 reaching 89.16 million BPD. It is therefore imperative to ensure that these demands are met and production is sustained to avoid deficit in energy supplies. It is heavy oil that bridges this anticipated deficit and ensures continuity in supply as a substitute to traditional light oil sources.
2. What are the top technologies/techniques that you are currently implementing in your heavy oil projects?
In order to extract heavy oil it is important to subject it to a separation process and to blend it in order to reduce viscosity to improve transportation to upgrading facility situated on an out of site location. Vis-breaking, coking, thermal/hydro-cracking as well as catalytic processes are used to make oil more marketable. Downstream production is often hindered by operational concerns and equipment selection due to compound formation during processing. It is envisaged that with proper planning and organisation prior to setting up downstream production facility, the operational concerns can be effectively curtailed in order to improve processes and achieve set targets.
3. What in your opinion is the ultimate issue or challenge facing heavy oil projects in the Middle East at this point in time?
Challenges associated with downstream production of heavy oil are common due to the nature of heavy oil and its molecular set up which poses both technical and environmental challenges. There are several more challenges, but in my view these are the most prevalent ‚Äď
1. Fluid Flow / Flow assurance
2. Wax, Sulphur, Vanadium and Asphaltene concern
3. Capital intensive venture
4. Refining Capability
5. Environmental challenges Environmental challenges
To read more advice from top industry experts on maximising production from mature and #HeavyOil fields, download our eBook, containing tips from: PDVSA, Iraq Energy Institute, University of Teeside and more.
Dr Hussain Ahmed is highly qualified and well experienced Petroleum Engineer in Production, Reservoir & EOR. Dr Hussain Ahmed is International recognised as Training Consultant in Petroleum Technology. Dr. Hussain has over 30 years of experience in oilfields; training; consultancy; lecturing and research in petroleum technology.