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The URTeC 2021 Program Committee is planning for the eventuality of both in-person and online presentations in Houston in July. To help manage the selection and scheduling process, you will be asked to respond to a simple survey question and declare your availability to speak in Houston or online when you upload your abstract(s). URTeC Management Committee and staff continue to work with the City of Houston to develop appropriate health and safety protocols to ensure and safe and enjoyable conference. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and provide updates when available

call for abstracts closed

Call for Abstracts is now closed

The organizing committee is now choosing abstracts for the program. The program will be on the following themes:


URTeC 2021 Technical Program Themes

Theme 1: Operators’ Forum: Case Studies Highlighting the Multidisciplinary Approach to Exploration, Appraisal, Pilot Tests, and Development of Unconventional Resources

The Operators’ Forum will focus on case studies that illustrate the integration of multiple disciplines, including geology, geophysics, geomechanics, completions engineering, and reservoir engineering, to evaluate complex datasets and improve asset value. The case studies may focus on the complete life cycle of unconventional plays, from exploration and appraisal to pilot tests and large-scale development. It is expected that speakers in the Operator’s Forum are Operators or that the focus of the paper is on a summary of multiple Operators’ efforts. Further, Team presentations should have an operator as a lead speaker but can of course incorporate non-operators in their paper and presentations.

  1. Well Spacing to Field Development
  2. Technologies That Deliver Bottom-Line Results
  3. Quantifying, Mitigating and/or Overcoming Parent-Child effects
  4. Case Studies Highlighting Optimizing Completion, Perforation, and Stimulation Strategies
  5. Refracturing to Improve Performance and Economics
  6. Stacked Pay Development Strategies
  7. A focus on Key Unconventional Basins and their Development
  8. EOR in Unconventionals
  9. Data Acquisition through limited low demand events or Pandemic (Shut-in Surveillance during Production curtailments).

Theme 2: Advanced Formation Evaluation of Unconventional Reservoirs

This theme focuses on new techniques and applications in appraising mudrock reservoirs. A variety of logging tool responses and analytical methods can be used to evaluate the key rock property parameters leading to methods that can be applied to characterization, mapping, and well completion design and optimization in unconventional reservoirs.

  1. Drivers for Understanding Reservoir Quality and Completion Quality
  2. Rock-Fluid and Fluid-Fluid Interactions – PVT data acquisition/analysis
  3. High and Low Field NMR Applications
  4. Advances in Special Core Analysis and Core-Flood Testing
  5. Emerging Petrophysical Evaluations
  6. Petrophysical Property Modeling for Geocellular Modeling
  7. Pore-Network Imaging and Fluid Flow Modeling
  8. Pressure Transient Testing, DFIT, and Well Testing

Theme 3. Geological Characterization and Evaluation Spanning the E&P Lifecycle

Geological characterization is identified as one of the cornerstones of subsurface unconventional assessment. The purpose of this theme is to provide an ample forum for geological expertise, in both breadth and depth, to be shared for opportunities and learnings across the oil and gas lifecycle. Critical assessment and prediction of unconventional performance is driven by geological property understanding, uncertainty and integration with other subdisciplines. Geological evaluation of opportunities directly impacts business cycle decisions. Contributions to the theme should share knowledge, expertise and be focused on decision-making impact.

  1. Depositional Processes, Diagenesis and Facies, and Sequence Stratigraphy
  2. Emerging Geological Evaluations, Tools and Workflows for Prospectivity Assessment
  3. Unconventional Step-Outs: Ideas, Concepts, Tests and Results
  4. Application of Geological Tools to Unlock Added Value: Is There an Upside?
  5. Geological Workflows and Recommendations for Data Acquisition Planning Across the E&P Lifecycle
  6. How do you Access the Acreage and Running Room? Tips and Knowledge Sharing of Geological Subsurface Characterization
  7. Geological Drivers Behind Stimulated and Drainage Rock Volume: Observations, Lessons Learned and Strategies for Assessment
  8. What’s in Your Rock: Geological Integration that Impacted Go-Forward Business Decisions
  9. How Do You Approach Uncertainty and Risk Analysis: Sharing Experiences, Lessons Learned and Best Practices?
  10. Structural Geology as Applied in Unconventionals
  11. From Source to Sink: Geological Processes and Focus on Driver to Organic Enrichment
  12. What’s in a Core; Linking Workflows and Applications of Core Descriptions

Theme 4. Geophysical Unconventional Reservoir Analysis

Geophysics is an essential tool for measuring, diagnosing, and analyzing subsurface properties in mudrock reservoirs. The purpose of this theme is to highlight these methods and case studies of their results. In addition, a critical objective is to highlight the interaction with and integration into geological and engineering end products. In today’s business climate, this should be the primary objective of any and all papers submitted to this theme.

  1. High-Resolution Geophysical Acquisition, Processing, and Imaging
  2. Pore Pressure Modeling and Prediction
  3. Predicting Rock Properties using Seismic Inversion
  4. Uncertainties in Geophysical Workflows
  5. Quantifying Completions Efficiency using DTS & DAS
  6. Quantifying Hydraulic Fracture Propagation using Microseismic Data
  7. Integration of DTS/DAS with Microseismic and Seismic Data
  8. Quantitative Imaging and Interpretation of Natural and Induced Fractures and their effect on production
  9. New and Innovative Technologies in Reservoir Imaging and Characterization
  10. Integrating Seismic Data with Multivariate Production Prediction

Theme 5: Geomechanics – The Intersection of Geoscience and Engineering

Geomechanics permeates different aspects of unconventional and conventional reservoir development including drilling, completions, and reservoir engineering by integrating mechanics, geology, geophysics, rock physics, and rock imaging to find solutions for economic production of resources. The objective of this theme is to highlight the versatility of this integrative platform in solving the most pressing problems in unconventional reservoirs.

  1. Hydraulic Fracturing: Monitoring, Modelling, and Analysis
  2. Experimental Rock Mechanics
  3. Geomechanics in Well Design, Construction, and Drilling
  4. Diagnostics and Monitoring with Geomechanical Models
  5. Production Simulation, Forecasting and Optimization
  6. Infill Drilling and Refracturing; Applications and Lessons Learned
  7. Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing and Drawdown on Well Productivity

Theme 6: Applied Geochemistry for Unconventionals: From Source Rock to Produced Hydrocarbons

Geochemistry provides insights to rock and fluid property quantification for unconventionals. In this theme, contributions should be focused towards the development, understanding, application and impacts of geochemistry to constraining our assessments (both predictive as well as lookbacks) of source rock/hybrid unconventionals.

  1. Analytical Advances in Applied Petroleum Geochemistry to Understand and Evaluate Unconventional Reservoirs
  2. Defining Sweet Spots for Hydrocarbon Saturation and Fluid Mobility; Combining Petrophysics with Geochemical Methods
  3. What’s in a Source Rock? Geochemical Concepts and Applications to Characterization. Assessment of Source Rock Potential and Tools to Delineate Geochemical Properties
  4. Proven and Potential Applications of Time-Lapse Geochemistry. Application and Verification of Production Allocation Methodologies in Unconventional Reservoirs
  5. Asking the Right Questions/What is My DRV: Improving the Nexus Between Engineering Field Observations and Geoscience
  6. Distribution, Probable Causation and Prediction of H2S Occurrences in Unconventional Reservoirs
  7. Understanding and Predicting Producible Fluids. Advancements or New Hypotheses in Understanding Mobile versus Immobile Fluid Properties. Subsurface Conditions to Laboratory Conditions: Fluid Loss Quantification and Resolution. Analytical Considerations

Theme 7: Machine Learning, AI and Big Data in the Digital Oilfield

This theme will focus on various aspects of the new approaches in terms of measurement, analysis and interpretation of data during the entire lifecycle of reservoir and how it can help in reservoir performance management. Main themes include, but are not limited to, how the data is acquired, managed, and stored as well as used in an integrated fashion beyond the discipline specific workflows. In addition, we will also look at the acquisition, cost-quality pairings, and timing and frequency-redundancy of the data while highlighting the multi-scale nature of it. Hybrid methods and levels of digital abstraction for value generation and unearthing the unknowns in inverse problems will also be covered in some of the sessions.

  1. Cross-Discipline Leveraging of Data Mining, Modeling, and Data Analytics
  2. Workflows for Disparate Data Sets
  3. Sensors-cost-quality-quantity domain and value of information analysis
  4. 'Big Data', Machine Learning Applications to Unconventional Reservoirs — Case Histories, Expectations and Realities
  5. Performance Metrics — Cross-Discipline Measures of Success for Asset Teams
  6. Integration of Numerical Models and Data Science in Reservoir Characterization
  7. Role of Physics and Domain Knowledge in Machine Learning, AI and Big Data

Theme 8: Unlocking the Production and Recovery Potential of Unconventionals

Building on strong fundamentals, this theme will focus on maximizing unconventional oil and gas productivity. To get the most from these reservoirs, understanding reservoir flow dynamics, which better enable modeling tools to mimic these processes, and improved artificial lift and facility methods can improve recovery. Due to low primary recovery, enhanced recovery applications could present a significant opportunity for further asset exploitation. A broad range of enhanced recovery applications will be discussed, presenting the latest information. We encourage multi-discipline team presentations to highlight strategies that have transformed the production potential from these reservoirs.

  1. Reservoir Production and Recovery Mechanisms
  2. Flow and Phase Behavior for Tight Oil and Shale Oil/Shale Gas Reservoir Systems
  3. Resolving Early-Time Well Performance in Unconventional Reservoirs
  4. Use and Limitations of the SRV Concept
  5. Reservoir Modeling for Unconventionals — Bringing Together Data, Disciplines, and Design
  6. Shale Facilities and Artificial Lift Optimization
  7. Case Studies in IOR/EOR Field Pilots
  8. Gas Injection IOR/EOR
  9. EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery) Methods in Unconventionals
  10. Surfactants and Nanofluids for EOR in Unconventionals
  11. Flow Conformance and Sweep Efficiency Strategies

Theme 9: Reserves Estimation and Production Forecasting

This theme showcases new insights with respect to estimating reserves and forecasting production with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of well supported assessments. New techniques to provide reliable forecasts will be explored in moving resources to reserves to production.

  1. EUR and Performance Prediction: Decline Curve Analysis and Beyond
  2. Reserves Implications: Guidelines and Considerations
  3. Future of Production Forecasting: Data-Driven Models and Physics-Based Solutions
  4. Type Well Profiles, early data estimates, and impacts of lifecycle updates
  5. Well Spacing and Well Interference Impact
  6. Production Diagnostics — Understanding the Big Picture on Production Forecasting
  7. Case Studies — Impact of 2018 Update to Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS)

Theme 10: New Materials, Innovative Technologies as Applied to Unconventionals

This theme showcases the development and implementation of new materials and innovative technologies for unconventional reservoirs. These breakthrough materials and technologies can be applied in any stage of the unconventional play’s life cycle, from exploration and appraisal to pilot tests and large-scale development to improve efficiency, reduce cost and create value.

  1. Novel Proppants, Low Environmental Impact Fluids and Additives
  2. Nanostructured Material for Gas Separation and Corrosion Mitigation
  3. Advanced Polymers for Oil-Water Separation
  4. Down-Hole CO2 Separation and Sequestration
  5. Innovative Technologies to Reduce Completions Costs
  6. Integrated Diagnostic Workflows to Identify Fracture Geometry
  7. New Methods for Subsurface Reservoir Characterization
  8. Friction Reducers and other completion fluids

Theme 11: International and Emerging Challenges of Unconventional Resources: Integrated Geoscience and Engineering

This theme aims to promote global outstanding technologies, best practices of integrated unconventional geoscience and engineering, and lead to discussions on regional economic, political and environmental constraints on the development of unconventional resources. We also aim to highlight new advancements in emerging unconventional resources including gas hydrate, geothermal and ultra-deep resources, while showcasing how the unconventional strategies revolutionize under-exploited conventional resources.

  1. Going Global: Eurasia to Pacific Case Histories of Burgeoning Unconventional Plays
  2. To Each Its Own: Regional Economic, Political and Environmental Constraints on Unconventional Resources Development
  3. Best Practices of Asia Pacific Unconventional Resources: Integrated Geoscience and Engineering
  4. Exploring Deep and Ultra-Deep Petroleum Systems: What We Know and Don’t Know in Deep Strata
  5. Geothermal and Gas Hydrates: Exploitation Technology Sharing with Oil and Gas Industry
  6. Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: Application of Unconventional Strategies to Under-Exploited Conventional Plays

Theme 12: Business of Unconventional Plays

Companies are facing constant pressure to deliver and grow production volumes in a cost-efficient manner. However, the need to maintain production volumes requires continuous drilling and constant production efficiency improvements. The investment and capital expenditure to support the typical pad field development program can often outpace short-term free cash flow. This theme will explore how companies are shifting from a focus on volume growth to one of creating exceptional financial value via OPEX and CAPEX efficiency, integrated project planning, improving the supply-chain, and the application of novel technologies.

  1. Delivering Value with Integrated Subsurface and Operational Workflows & Analytics
  2. Economic Challenge of Water Sourcing, Recycling, and Disposal
  3. Ensuring Long Term Performance and Value by Managing at the Well Head
  4. Maximizing the Value, Predictability, Reliability and Productivity of Producing Fields
  5. Value Creation Challenge - the Treadmill of Capital Investments to Keep Volumes High
  6. Benchmarking Unconventional Plays and Players - Lessons Learned

Theme 13: Sustainability, Rapid Industry Change, and the Social License to Operate

Sustainability in the oil and gas industry has become more critical than ever before. This theme explores efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of all phases of development, develop meaningful relationships in the communities in which we live and work, and provide clean, affordable energy to power our world. Along with understating how to operate and plan forward during volatile commodities pricing and limited demand. Communicating these efforts to the public and investment community and developing standards for stakeholders and a culture of sustainability within each company is key to ensuring long-term sustainability success.

  1. Resources: Environmental Management, Mitigation and Sourcing Related to Air, Water, Soils, Endangered and Sensitive Species, Recycling and Disposal, Remediation and Underground Injection
  2. Social Issues and Social License to Operate: Clean Energy, Energy Poverty Elimination, Development Planning, Climate Change Positions, Green Investments, Community Investment & Outreach
  3. Regulatory Community: Federal, State and Local Agencies – Managing Roles, Expectations, and Relationships and Navigating a Dynamic Political Environment
  4. Sustainable Workforce: Company Culture, Diversity, Education, Safety, Training, Job Development
  5. Effective ESG Communications: Strategies for Changing Times
  6. Role of carbon capture technology and policy in future ESG strategies
  7. Establishing standardized ESG criteria for sustainability performance for the investment community and other stakeholders
  8. Business Strategies in Operating during Volatile Commodities Pricing or in Response to a Pandemic
  9. The Path Forward- Navigating in a Time of Limited Demand

Theme 14: Special Sessions

The Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site (HFTS) Program is a research and development (R&D) partnership sponsored by the U.S Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) and major and independent operator and service companies, managed by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI). The objectives of the HFTS program are to diagnose and understand the hydraulic fracturing process for field development optimization in Unconventional Resources, minimize their environmental impacts by reducing the number of new wells required for effective resource recovery, and improve extraction economics to expand the economically viable resource at increasingly lower commodity prices. A unique aspect of the test sites is the drilling of research wells dedicated to coring through the created hydraulic fractures thus directly measuring fracture locations, fracture quantity, proppant concentrations and other data.

There are currently two test sites in the program, both in the Permian Basin. HFTS-1, operated by Laredo Petroleum, is located in the Midland Sub-Basin, and was the subject of an URTeC Invited Session in 2018. HFTS-2, operated by Occidental, is in the Delaware Sub-Basin. Since the data collected in the R&D program is confidential to the program sponsors for a period of 2-years, early results from HFTS-2 are just now becoming publicly available and will be the subject of the presentations in this session.

  1. Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site 2 (HFTS-2)