New technology has unconventional enhanced oil recovery Welcome to an interview with Jeff Miller, Shale IOR. Jeff participated in AAPG’s U-Pitch at URTeC, which promotes and helps commercialize innovations and new technologies.
What is your name and your background?
Jeff Miller. I have 33 years of experience in the upstream O&G business specializing in reservoir engineering, field development, and project management. I have been working the last year with Shale IOR LLC, a company specializing in unconventional enhanced oil recovery.
What is your product and/or your process?
Our company is a full service provider for gas injection in the unconventional shale plays. The Eagle Ford has over 10 successful projects with 142 wells and 6 years of historical data showing the process value. Other basins are just starting.
How is your product or process innovative, even potentially game-changing?
Our company provides a full range of services not offered in whole by other companies. Services include; 1) screening by pad and well, 2) detailed engineering design for project investment, 3) compression & installation, 4) operations & management of the cyclic gas injection IOR process, and 5) evaluation & optimization during gas injection. We can provide either all or individual components according to the operator’s desires. We are also able to provide funding for companies that are capital constrained or wishing to reduce risk exposure.
What made you recognize that there was a need for the product or process?
The process was pioneered by EOG resources starting 2012, but after 5 years other operators had not implemented any projects. Therefore, we realized there was a general lack of gas injection experience within the companies and consulting shops. We realized that companies needed a service provider with a track record of success, so we put together a world class team.
Please describe an early example of implementation or product development.
We started by utilizing a finely-gridded mechanistic compositional model to understand and characterize the physical processes occurring in the reservoir when gas is injected. The 6 years of field data and pilots provided an excellent history to match and understand the production response. We then built an upscaling tool to generate field level profiles and economics for evaluating development scenarios.
Please describe a more recent example of implementation or product development.
We have since made further improvements to history matching our mechanistic model with complex fracture network and various mixtures of gas compositions. This has given us more accuracy and confidence in our forecasts to identify operating pressures, enrichment, cycle times, and produced oil and gas quality (api/btu).
What were some of the lessons learned?
We believe that the process is more complex than we initially thought. The oil and gas compositions are critical to predict using fully compositional models. The models are difficult to run and manage and inexperienced engineers could easily miss key elements of the reservoir process/mechanisms.
What are your next steps and short-term goals? What do you want to do next with the product or process?
Now we are working with ScienceSoft to build a commercial software package that will be integrated to make profiles, screen, and evaluate economics.
What are your long-term goals?
To design and implement 10 projects by 2020 and be recognized as a leader for providing unconventional IOR.
Please recommend a few books that you found inspiring.
There are very few books that help with an oil and gas startup, but one comes to mind that is always number one on the best sellers list, the bible.
What did you find valuable about U-Pitch?
U-Pitch was an excellent forum for sharing our expertise and enabling us to connect with other companies interested in gas injection.