Write on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 Published in Events USTU Chapter

On the 8th of February of each year, "Science Day" which is dedicated to the founding of the Academy of Sciences is celebrated in Russia. As we know, science is the main driving force for progress, the most important resource for the development of the nation’s economy, medicine, education and social services. Hence, economic growth, the creation of new high-end jobs and improvement of the quality of life of millions of people directly depend on the achievements made by scientists.
On this significant day, the Ukhta State Technical University (USTU) Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Student Chapter organized a lecture for high school students at USTU with the sole aim of raising awareness and interest in the younger generation with regards to the oil and gas industry. Participants at lessons and subsequent experiments, as well as university students who volunteered at the event were presented with symbolic gifts.
At the beginning of the event, experiments showing; "perforated well casing", "Hydraulic fracturing" and "Peak oil production" were carried out. The students in attendance actively participated in them and displayed a great interest in the oil production process.
During the lecture, the participants also had the privilege to get acquainted with the various Heads of Departments at Ukhta State Technical University. They gladly told them about the processes of oil production, refining and transportation, as well as geological prospecting for prospective hydrocarbon deposits.
In conclusion, the event was very successful and gave the students present the opportunity to showcase their full potential. In turn, Ukhta State Technical University (USTU) Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Student Chapter in its capacity as an educational body promised to support this initiative and is ready to continue working with high schools on various programmes of high educational value.

Write on Monday, 21 November 2016 Published in Meetings

On the 21st -22nd November 2016 in Ukhta State Technical University (USTU), the IV Arctic Symposium «Way to the Arctic» ( «Way to the Arctic: “Challenges and prospects for the development of hydrocarbon reserves”) took place with financial support coming from; «Research and Design Institute of Oil and Gas USTU», «Path Control», «Baker Hughes » and «Drill Scan ». It was organized by USTU SPE Student Chapter and the SPE Timan-Pechora Professional Section.

The Arctic Symposium «Way to the Arctic» is becoming more popular with the scientific community. This year it was attended by about fifty (50) scientists, specialists and students from USTU, Serbia and even sunny France.

Participants at the IV Arctic Symposium «Way to the Arctic» were served with an extensive program. On the first day at the USTU Business Incubator, sessions at which presentations of reports by scientists, students and experts who participated took place. All scientific reports presented were all more or less covering topics related to the “development of the Arctic shelf”.

With each passing year, the quality of the student reports been submitted for participation is growing – so said by Roman Urshulyak who was part of the expert team at the symposium. He also added; “I'm not a first time participant of the expert team, and I see that this issue is becoming more interesting for students and professionals. I took note of the especially interesting reports presented by students from the Drilling Department of USTU. The development of the Arctic region has been ongoing at an accelerated pace, and as with any new task, there are many difficulties which scientists and experts in the field are willing to solve”.

At the plenary session, reports were presented by members of the SPE Timan-Pechora professional section, scientists and representatives from the industry: Valery Pystin, Kamal Kamatov, Svetlana Kane, Ludovic Macresi, Georgiy Korshunov and George Buslaev.

Valery Pystin - The Deputy Director and Chief Engineer of «Ukhta Drilling» a branch of LLC "Gazprom Drilling" talked about his experiences related to the drilling of exploration and production wells on the Yamal Peninsula, as well as the important features of organizational work and logistics employed in the Arctic region. It turned out to be that cargo deployment to the Yamal Peninsula is done a year before drilling activities starts, and in the case of developing new farther northern territories, sea routes are considered to deliver supply materials to the sites. But even with this method of supply delivery, motor fuel consumed increases the cost of transportation to remote fishing areas by twofold.

This example illustrates the relevance of a project aimed at developing cost-effective technologies for processing Associated Petroleum Gas to produce motor fuel in remote Arctic fields. An experience with such a project is an international project on this theme elaborated on by George Buslaev - The Chairperson of SPE Timan-Pechora Professional Section and Head of the Drilling Department at Ukhta State Technical University. The developed technology will include local technologies of refining APG to obtain syngas and methanol, as well as the German refining process of obtaining gasoline and other fuels from methanol. Plants built for the developed technology must be able to fully meet the demand for fuel oil at the fields, thereby eliminating the need for fuel delivery using winter roads, sea and helicopter transportation means. The economic performance of this technology should enable the production of synthetic liquid fuel at a cost not to exceed the comparable purchase costs, delivery and storage of the fuel in remote locations and penalties incurred for APG flaring.

Head of Baker Hughes’ drilling services in Russia and the Caspian Region - Kamal Kamatov in his report talked about the new capabilities of the remote control and drilling process optimization for Arctic projects which will be implemented in the future while at the same time minimizing the presence of manpower at the sites. The most qualified specialists will work remotely and conduct several projects at once. Unfortunately (or fortunately), at the present stage of technological development, full implementation of remote controlling is not possible due to instability.

Professor Svetlana Kane of the Depart of Drilling at Ukhta State Technical University spoke about a form of a modern technology which is also used for drilling in the Arctic. This is a method of geo-steering which allows for well path determination using optimal trajectory and adjusting it accordance to the data from downhole geophysical sensors in real time. In addition, Ludovic Macresi spoke about IFR technology, which is comprised of constructed local geophysical models and the use of data from fixed and mobile geomagnetic observatories in the Arctic in order to reduce the uncertainty of geomagnetic measurements of borehole azimuth.

In conclusion, Georgiy Kurshunov who is the Advisor to the Rector of USTU highlighted on the topical theme; “Development of the Russian Federation’s northern cities and the government’s policy aimed at creating reference areas for Arctic development.

At the end of the symposium’s first day, an awards ceremony was held for rewarding the participants and winners of the student paper section. Letters of thanks from USTU SPE Student Chapter and SPE Timan-Pechora Professional Section were received by all participants, experts and representatives of the sponsoring organizations.

On November 22nd 2016, an excursion to the research laboratories at the Ukhta College of Mining and Petroleum (UCofMP) was organized for the participants of the Arctic Symposium. The flagship opening ceremony of the SPE exposition also took place there following the excursion. During the ceremony, the students of the College in attendance got to hear told parting words of advice from members of the SPE professional section George Buslaev, Dmitry Boreyko, Roman Urshulyak, and USTU SPE Student Chapter’s Vice-President Abdulrahman Idris, as well as the special guests from France; Ludovic Macresi (PathControll) and Gabriel Cavey (DrillScan). The exposition located on the second floor of UCofMP academic building included a description of eight (8) Arctic innovative projects which are set to be in display at the exposition until the next convention.

Ludovic Macresi who is also the President of «PathControl» (Paris, France), gave a lecture on "Modern technologies of improving the quality of horizontal wellbore wiring" to the participants at the symposium and other interested individuals in attendance. During the lecture, the basic components of the Earth’s magnetic field, as well as noise and sources of errors that affect the accurate measurement of well trajectory parameters of wells been drilled in the Arctic were discussed. He also in a report to the plenary session and as part of his lecture proposed solutions to reducing uncertainty ellipse trajectory, as well as the interesting effects that allow for wellbore positioning relatively to already drilled wells. The latter can be used to accurately hit another wellbore (e.g., to unload injection wells) or for drilling one above another (SAGD technology) using standard MWD telemetry system.


The foreign delegates were also taken round on a visit to Ukhta State Technical University’s Museum, auditoria and various laboratories of the University, held fruitful interactions with staff at the Department of Oil and Gas Fields Development, as well as a visit to the sports complex “Burevestnik” of the university.

Write on Monday, 22 May 2017 Published in Upcoming Events

Abstract: Integrated reservoir modelling (IRM) is a best practice in the Upstream industry applied throughout all life cycles stages of oil and gas projects aiming at characterisation of subsurface reservoirs and optimisation of field development phases. In this respect, carbonate and clastic reservoirs are different in a range of aspects which will be highlighted. During the past 25 years, major steps in technology development have proven the importance of IRM as a key subsurface contributor to Upstream projects. A brief history of IRM through time will be provided using carbonate examples from exploration, development up to recent learnings around unconventional hydrocarbon trapping.  More importantly, these industry showcases will be used to introduce present-day challenges around IRM in the Upstream business. Despite the significant progress in modelling technologies, root causes for disappointing results of such studies are limitations in software tools and workflows together with the lack of integration. This often causes poor project delivery. Such pitfalls within existing practices in the Upstream industry will be discussed highlighting that tools only are not able to assure success in subsurface reservoir characterisation projects. Finally, an outlook into the future of hydrocarbon development planning and IRM will be provided. Ultimately, end-to-end integration in Upstream project workflows requires focus on associated business decisions, scaling of models and scenario management supported by content and context based data management as well as capabilities around fast iterative feedback loops. Only the combined improvements around tools, processes and people will maximise value for Upstream project delivery.

Biography: Jürgen is currently Global Learning Advisor Geology at Shell responsible for design and deployment of advanced training programs. In this position, his focus areas are integration and building capabilities around decision based subsurface modelling for muilti-disciplinary teams which he was involved with for the past 25 years in various assignments within Shell Production and Exploration ventures around the world. Jürgen holds a Ph.D. in carbonate sedimentology and has authored and co-authored numerous publications and books. He is known as keynote lecturer from international geoscience conferences and, since 2009, as visiting lecturer at the GeoZentrum of the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. Currently, he is Vice-President of the German Geological Society (DGGV).



Write on Monday, 12 December 2016 Published in Upcoming Events

Abstract: Fines migration is the most common formation damage mechanism that challenges the economic viability of petroleum development projects. The phenomenon has been widely reported for production and injection wells, drilling, completion, waterflooding and pressure depletion with water support. It is explained by the lifting of reservoir fines, their migration and pore plugging with consequent permeability decline. We introduce a maximum retention function for fines that models fines mobilization and allows coreflood interpretation, well impairment history analysis and well behavior prediction. The laboratory and field case studies presented validate the approach. The reservoir study presented shows how to use the coreflood- and well-history data for reliable prediction of productivity decline, its prevention, and mitigation. The traditional view of fines migration is that it should be avoided because of its detrimental effect on reservoir permeability and hence well productivity. However, the permeability decline effect provides a relatively simple method for water mobility control. We show laboratory and field cases where, compared with “normal” waterflooding, the fines-assisted low salinity waterflood results in a significant increase in reservoir sweep due to fines lifting and permeability decline in the swept zone. Additionally, in oil and gas reservoirs, the injection of a small fresh water bank into watered out wells, or above the hydrocarbon-water contact, decelerates the invaded water and significantly decreases water production. Huf-n-puf by low-salinity water significantly decreases water production in oil- and gas wells. Reliable prediction of productivity decline due to fines migration and its effective management to enhance oil and gas production is the key message of this lecture. This lecture stimulates the petroleum engineer’s thinking into productivity enhancement options and, in particular, that natural or deliberately induced fines migration may often assist in oil and gas production.

Biography: Pavel is Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Adelaide. He authors a seminal book on reservoir engineering and over 200 papers in international journals and SPE. His research covers formation damage, waterflood and EOR. Pavel holds an MSc in Applied Mathematics, a PhD in Fluid Mechanics and a DSc in Petroleum Engineering from the Russian Gubkin Oil and Gas University. He was a Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology and at Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. He boasts 35 years of industrial experience in Russia, Europe, Brazil and Australia. Pavel serves as a short course instructor and a Program Committee member at numerous SPE Conferences. He was a 2008-2009 SPE Distinguished Lecturer. 

Write on Monday, 12 September 2016 Published in Meetings

On the 12th of September 2016 as part of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) «Distinguished Lecturer» programme a lecture with a rather unusual theme: "How NOT to automate the drilling process: practical experience of introducing innovative measures" was delivered in Ukhta State Technical University.

William Koederitz of the consulting firm GK Plus Innovations LLC delivered a lecture at the Big Physical auditorium for the students, lecturers and specialists in attendance. He worked as a drilling engineer in the industry, as a university researcher he received a Masters degree and also defended his doctorate thesis in petroleum engineering at Louisiana State University. For the more than 20 years spent at National Oilwell Varco Company, he focused on building real-time applications of drilling automation system. He is also a prestige author of twenty five (25) technical papers and fifteen (15) SPE patents.

At the beginning of his lecture, Mr. Koederitz spoke about the benefits of drilling automation. One of the key benefits is it allows you to remove personnel from workplace areas dangerous to their lives and health and use them in other areas of production. Thus, the influence of the so-called human factor on the drilling results is virtually eliminated and in addition resolves the problem of staff shortage and increases productivity.

The speaker also talked about the nature of automation which takes place. In total there exist seven levels of it: from 0 to 6. The zero level - is when everything is done by humans and the sixth level - "the reins" is when the system assumes the entire process while at the same time ignoring human input. According to the lecturer, the best or optimal level is the fifth level where the system works automatically but the driller can monitor the process and, if necessary intervene at any point in time.

Nowadays, a lot of drilling automation projects are often faced with the same difficulties that are connected with the notorious human factor, as well as the methodology for the implementation of the decisions taken. The lecturer suggested solutions to these problems which allow for increased chances for innovation in the field of automation during his lecturer. The main idea of the lecture was that the key users of the system, especially the drillers, should be actively involved in the process of the implementation at every stage: i.e. from design stage to the implementation of innovations.

The lecture was broadcasted live over the Internet for the sake of attracting a wider audience beyond the walls of the auditorium. In addition, for the first time a video link to Usinsk City was established connecting JSC «Usinskgeoneft» and a branch of the multinational company «Halliburton International Inc.». Mr. George Buslaev who is the Chairperson of the SPE Timan-Pechora section and recently appointed Head of Department of Drilling at Ukhta State Technical University  served as moderator of the meeting and translated the lecture in Russian for the sake of those in attendance who don’t understand English language.


Mr. George Buslaev added at the end of the lecture that SPE colleague William Koederitz raised a very topical issue. He spoke to the audience in a very simple and clear language, same time finding lots of interesting moments for self reflection. The possibility of convincing people that the need for innovation is one of the key points for success with regards to any project in any field is always challenging, hence, the introduction of all things new is always a difficult process in Russia as well in the United States of America. 

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