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Conference Objectives:  With the collapse of oil prices, global expenditures on exploration and production (E&P) have decreased from $741 billion in 2014 to an estimated $380 billion in 2016.  The E&P expenditures constitute roughly 80% of all spending by the oil industry. The majority of these expenditures go to well construction, i.e., drilling and well completions. A reduction in the cost of well construction through technological advancements, workflow optimizations and integrated project processes/execution may be achieved in the following main areas:

  • Rock mechanics in well drilling, steering and completions
  • Drilling and hole cleaning
  • Mechanical well integrity (e.g., preventing hole collapse, losses, and kicks or even blowouts)
  • Swelling and reacting shales as well as other time-dependent thermal, chemical and mechanical phenomena
  • Data quality analysis, improvement and standardization
  • Data analysis, machine / statistical learning / decision making analysis with process modeling
  • Model-based field/project control and automation systems

Despite decades of technical improvements, it is estimated that today up to 60 percent of drilling time is still lost for a variety of reasons, including non-productive time (NPT) events and invisible lost time events (ILT), often doubling the drilling costs.

The purpose of the KAUST Research Conference will be to delineate the main physical, mechanical, and chemical reasons for drilling inefficiencies and mishaps, and propose a way forward using best multidisciplinary approaches.  Special emphasis will be put on analyzing data from well sensors and drilling sensors, for example, measurement while drilling and logging while drilling.  Another emphasis will be on handling the massive data streams from drill sites, improving the quality of these data streams, improving automation and analyses processes to extract key information necessary to optimize drilling and prevent accidents.  Big Data will be discussed as well in the context of the conference themes. We will try to highlight field cases relevant to offshore and shale production as well as big data management.​

The KAUST Research Conference: Advances in Well Construction with Focus on Near-Wellbore Physics and Chemistry is Co-Chaired by Professor Tadeusz Patzek (ANPERC-KAUST) and Professor Eric van Oort (UT Austin).

The event is organized by the KAUST Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center with generous financial support of the KAUST Office of Sponsored Research and the KAUST Industry Collaboration Program (KICP), Industry Engagement Office.