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Issue 2  2016

Growth and diversity is our winning formula

Chris Ward EAGE president 2016-2017


t was a special year for the Middle East region with the office in Dubai celebrating its 10th anniversary. The milestone was celebrated in Bahrain during GEO 2016 in March as well as at Vienna 2016. For me it confirms that our Association’s multi-disicplinary services have relevance worldwide. The theme for my year as president is ‘growth and diversity’. I am therefore especially excited by the decision to establish a regional office under Raymond Cahill to serve our existing members in the geoscience community in Africa and attract new members. Our starting point was last year’s First Eastern Africa Petroleum Geoscience Forum held in Tanzania, which is being followed by another this year in Kampala, Uganda. I wish the best of success to my colleagues, Associated Societies and Local Chapters involved in increasing EAGE’s profile and events in the African region. In the Middle East itself we are expanding our reach with approximately 17 events per year, including new events that were hosted in the past year. The Middle East Land Seismic Acquisition

Boot Camp 2015 and AAPG/EAGE Hydrocarbon Seals Workshop were two new events which showed a promising start. For the Association as a whole, a good index of our general state of health was the Vienna 2016 Conference & Exhibition. The event held up surprisingly well given the economic climate. EAGE’s three pillars of strength are its commitment to globalization, membership growth and the provision of a one-stop shop for knowledge and community in the geosciences covering oil and gas and near surface sectors. Our challenge now is to consolidate and enhance what we have. Globalization has responsibilities and we need to make sure that members in the Middle East and many other parts of the world feel connected and fully represented both at Board level and on our committees. We have the opportunity to capitalize on our strong portfolio of conferences, workshops, short courses, publications and a rapidly expand-

EAGE shines the spotlight on Africa

ing digital footprint. In general this requires more support for regional initiatives such as increasing cooperation with global and country specific professional societies, encouraging local chapters and making sure all our services are easily accessible. These are strategies which EAGE members in the Middle East will recognize.

The big news is that after six years as head of our Middle East office, Raymond

Emily with First Eastern Africa Forum Technical Committee in Dar es Salaam.


here’s a lot to say about what we are doing in Africa to support our members and the geoscience community generally.

Read more on page 2 ➤

What's inside

Read more on page 2 ➤

Africa is EAGE priority


Man on velocity mission 


Arabian Plate workshop returns  7 Borehole geophysics on agenda 9

The 2015-2016 EAGE Board at the Middle East 10 Year Anniversary Reception in Bahrain – March 2016.

And more …


Growth and diversity is our winning formula

EAGE shines the spotlight on Africa Continued from p. 1

Continued from p. 1

I also believe our continuing focus on the recruitment of a new generation of students to our various disciplines through conference programmes, student chapters and our series of geoscience-related boot camps will pay dividends. Diversity also means inclusiveness, and the enthusiasm for the newly established Women in Geoscience Interest Group bodes well for the future. All our good intentions can of course only be achieved with prudent financial management. A restructured, cost-effective and stable organization has been a focus of the Board over the last two years. Meanwhile our management has done well to manage costs. Finally, in the coming year I am hoping to meet as many of you members as possible and to hear how we may progress the Association’s goals together.

EAGE Newsletter Middle East Executive Director Marcel van Loon (ml@eage.org) Regional Manager Middle East Emily Bell (ebl@eage.org) Account Manager Corporate Relations Daan van Ommen (don@eage.org) EAGE Middle East Office EAGE Middle East FZ-LLC Dubai Knowledge Village Block 13 Office F-25 PO Box 501711 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel.: +971 4 369 3897 Fax: +971 4 360 4702 E-mail: middle_east@eage.org Website: www.eage.org

Kelvin Komba from the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation gives opening Keynote Speech.

Students from the University of Dar es Salaam.

Cahill is taking up the newly created post of EAGE Regional Manager for Africa. Emily Bell, whom many of you will already know, steps up to be the new Middle East Regional Manager. Raymond has the challenging task of developing a more direct EAGE presence in Africa. It is in line with the Association’s declared ambition to achieve a genuinely global role for EAGE’s distinctive multi-disciplinary portfolio of services for geoscientists and engineers. There is one major initiative already in hand. On 22-24 November 2016 EAGE will be at the Serena Hotel, Kampala, Uganda running the Second EAGE Eastern Africa Petroleum Geosci-

technical presentations on the East Africa Rift and more! The forum’s focus will be to identify and share what has been learned so far in East Africa to ensure the region continues to emerge as a prolific onshore hydrocarbon region. To further enrich the experience we also aim to host a short course and have regional cores on display. EAGE welcomes NOCs, IOCs, academia and governmental bodies to the forum and ask all attendees to come prepared for lots of dynamic discussion sessions. In November 2015 our inaugural EAGE Eastern Africa Petroleum Geoscience Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania boasted a four day programme with some 80 professionals and students in at-

ence Forum. The event is being held alongside the ‘Uganda International Oil and Gas Summit’ organized by Global Event Partners. Expect ministerial sessions, networking receptions, highly

tendance. It was also the catalyst for launching a new Eastern Africa Student Chapter in the state University of Dar es Salaam. As we said, it’s all happening in Africa!

Submission of articles communications@eage.org Newsletter on the Web (www.eage.org)

One of many discussion sessions during the First EAGE Eastern Africa Petroleum Geoscience Forum.




How EAGE can serve the geoscience community in Africa Dr Malcolm Francis is a Schlumberger advisor and exploration services manager, a position he assumed in 2012. Prior to his current role, he had held various technical and management positions including Eastern Hemisphere multi-client chief geophysicist, global manager of geology and interpretation, and senior manager E&P solutions. He holds a degree in geology and a MSc and PhD in geophysics from Imperial College London. Dr Francis is a member of EAGE, SEG, PESGB, SPE and fellow of the

As an ex-chairman of the Oil and Gas Division, how could EAGE play a bigger role in promoting geoscience in African petroleum nations? In the mission statement of EAGE it says that ‘the objectives of the Association shall be to promote the development and application of geosciences and related engineering subjects, to promote innovation and technical progress and to foster the communication, fellowship and cooperation between those working in, studying or otherwise being interested in these fields.’ We aim to do this globally without restric-

Geological Society of London.

tion of borders. All we have to offer comes from our members. The efforts of the members are supported by a professional team who turn our ideas into actions. When we looked at the geographic distribution of our membership, we

How did you get interested in African oil and gas prospects? I was a member of the team that explored for and discovered oil and gas in Nigeria. At that time, I played a central technical role in the reservoir description and drilling operations towards the development of the Abana field that led to first oil in record time. This opportunity enabled me to put into practice all I had learned, thanks to some very good mentors while working under a research contract for Aramco. I have worked extensively in North and West Africa. My interest in East Africa started in Mozambique, with acquisition of seismic in Tanzania, where the WesternGeco team supported the first deep water licence round in Tanzania.

EAGE is a very special international so­ ciety, the real strength of which is the inclusion of different disciplines of geoscientists and engineers. What has been your previous experience in the oil and gas business? With 36 years in oil and gas, I have worked with data from all over the world. My expertise is in blending geology and geophysics, although, I have worked on subsurface development reser-

Dr Malcolm Francis.

voir engineering and drilling on fields in Nigeria, Algeria and other countries around the globe. Were you pleased with the first Africa Forum and, if so, what were the highlights? The first forum went better than we could have envisioned. The highlight for me was the amazing atmosphere and enthusiasm shown by all the participants. The core workshop offered a unique opportunity for many to see deepwater cores from recent discoveries. Statoil and BG put a tremendous amount of thought into how to present those cores. The logistics to ship the cores presented a number of challenges but they were all overcome with negotiation and a lot of physical effort. A full report is included in the January 2016 edition of the First Break. Another highlight was the participation of students and their teachers. We saw real interest from the European academics to help train and mentor the next generation of geoscientists. This is an area for further growth in future forums. Are there any growth prospects to which you would like to see more attention at the next Africa Forum? We want this forum to grow to a true regional event, with much of the organization coming locally. To achieve this, the forum needs to move around the region to build involvement and increase participation. The next forum should have more sessions addressing onshore geoscience, exploration and production. Ultimately, such an event should become more inclusive for engineers as well as geoscientists.


We aim to bring together individuals out of their silos and into a fellowship of collaboration, and EAGE provides a forum where we all meet together on equal terms. recognized we were not serving the needs of our African members since the EAGE membership does not follow the population size. While this might be due to many factors, we identified this as something to address. To promote geoscience, we need to start with those who are active in the area and link them with those emerging from universities. Supporting these students and young professionals is of paramount importance. EAGE is a very special international society, the real strength of which is the inclusion of different disciplines of geoscientists and engineers. The recent significant discoveries of hydrocarbons represents an opportunity to put geoscience on the map of East Africa. We aim to bring together individuals out of their silos and into a fellowship of collaboration, and EAGE provides a forum where we all meet together on equal terms.



It is almost time to renew your EAGE membership!

Petroleum geochemistry discussions in Doha

T We want you to keep your membership.


eing a member of the EAGE professional community has never been more important for geoscientists, especially those working in the oil and gas industry. Staying connected is the key. It is important to remain informed about the latest scientific developments, and EAGE membership allows you to stay up to date. For example, we expect over 2500 titles to be added to the EarthDoc searchable geoscience database this upcoming year. In total, over 60,000 titles are already available to our members. Our monthly flagship magazine First Break provides you with the specialized news you need to keep up with geoscience-related developments. This is in addition to our popular, easily accessible technical articles on a wide range of topics plus a section on EAGE activities. Along with First Break, members can choose a complementary subscription to one of our scientific journals which best represents your particular professional or research interests. But EAGE does not only have journals, we have an entire bookshop. In order to maintain its leading position in the world of geoscientific publishing, EAGE frequently releases new research publications from leaders in the field. Members can rely on discounted rates for all publications sold by the bookshop. Knowledge will not only be gained by reading. In 2017, EAGE organizes numerous events on geoscience topics all over the world, so it is more than likely that EAGE will be present in your region with a conference, workshop or short course. This provides the perfect opportunity to talk to people you normally wouldn’t meet and expand your knowledge and network. If you are thinking of attending our events in 2017, participation in one event already covers the costs of a regular membership, and so does downloading three or more event papers on EarthDoc. Including your member access to Learning Geoscience and the significant member discount in the EAGE Bookshop, your EAGE membership gets you excellent value for money.

he technical programme is ready for our first three-day EAGE Workshop on Petroleum Geochemistry in Operations and Production being held on 3-5 October 2016 in Doha. You can read about all the presentations online via www.eage.org/event/ petroleum-geochemistry-2016. The event is dedicated to identifying the type of answers that can be provided by various geochemical tools to the challenges often encountered in hydrocarbon exploration, operation and production, especially in the context of carbonate reservoirs. The workshop opens with a full day short course on ‘Gas Geochemistry for Reservoir Quality Assessment’ with Alain Prinzhofer. Day two will focus on the information that can be provided through geochemistry on ‘Source Rock Characterization’, ‘Tarmats and Heavy Oils’ and ‘Reservoir Management’. Presentations will include A. Syed from ADCO on the ‘Application of Petroleum Geochemistry in Tight Rock Play Assessment - Onshore Abu Dhabi’ and H. Yonebayashi from INPEX on the ‘Linkage of Carbonate Field’s Hydrocarbon Migration History Including De-asphalting Process with Asphaltene Flow Assurance.’ Day three will focus on ‘Operational Geochemistry & Well Integrity’, ‘Water Geochemistry & CO2 Storage’ and the ‘Emerging Use of Isotopes’. Presentations will include M.A. Chiaramonte from Geolog on ‘Geochemistry at Well Site: Adding Value to Geochemical Data’ and A. Aldahik from Qatar Petroleum on ‘Trace Origin of Gas Leakage behind Casing Using Stable Isotope Geochemistry’. There’s no doubt about the quality of the programme and the likely value of discussions over the three days, so don’t delay with your registration. Note that online registration closes on 16 September 2016.

How to renew Renewing is easy! From 1 October on you can renew your membership for the upcoming year. For a full description, go to www.eage.org/renew-membership or contact us via membership@eage.org. In order to make the best of your involvement within EAGE, make sure to renew your membership before December 2016. Doha at sunset.




On a mission to improve understanding of seismic velocities Dr Mahboub Al-Chalabi, honorary member of EAGE, and independent consultant, is coming to the Middle East to present his popular short course based on his seminal EAGE publication Principles of Seismic Velocities and Time-to-Depth Conversion. Here he tells us a little about his life, writing the book and his experience of lecturing around the world.

Dr Mahboub Al-Chalabi.

What made you study geology and geophysics? What drew you to your particular specialty? My fascination with the Earth goes back to early childhood. Like most children in the process of discovering the nature of environment they are planted in, things like earthquakes, volcanoes and fossils certainly kindled my imagination and inquisitiveness. But in Baghdad, where I grew up, earthquakes were virtually unknown while the last volcanic activity must have been at some point during the Jurassic. Rock exposures and their fossils were deeply buried beneath the Mesopotamian alluvial plane that covered most of Iraq. Those irresistible geological attractions remained beyond reality, items one read about in books, complemented by parental accounts. Those limitations intensified my desire for physical encounter with the real thing. All the same, geology was simply going to be a main hobby for ‘when I grew up’. I happened to be the oldest child of a family with a medical tradition that goes back into the centuries. It was taken for granted that I would simply enroll in a medical career. The snag was that I finished school three years ahead of standard finishing age, and was too young to be offered a place at a local medical college. In the meantime, I had qualified for a generous scholarship to study in

Britain. The temptation at that age was overpowering. My love of the Earth came to the forefront, enticing me on the practical side by the direct relevance of geology to the enormous petroleum reserves of the country. The only little niggle was that I was going to miss maths and physics, which were other favourites of mine. I had not heard of

they are usually very pleased that the course has provided them with the confidence for building on further.

geophysics before. I was delighted when I discovered geophysics while taking my first degree, in geology, at the University of Birmingham. I went wholeheartedly for the subject as a post-graduate activity. The University of Durham was a leader in gravity and magnetics and although much of my PhD work was in those topics, the seismic method was what I looked forward to doing. I had already developed an interest in velocities and depth conversion from my time as a student at the French Petroleum Institute (IFP). When I joined BP, there was a particular need for someone to carry the issue of seismic velocities forward. That was a tremendous strike of mutual good luck.

each participant to a very high professional level in the field of velocities to enable the participant to handle velocities with full competence, rigour and insight. Particular emphasis is dedicated to techniques of time-to-depth conversions and to obtaining the results with utmost accuracy while also covering a wide range of seismic processing and other applications in exploration and production. For achieving such vital objectives, individual attention is allotted to every participant. This entails limiting the number of participants in each course to a maximum of ten.

What would you like participants to take away from your course? The course focuses on building up the standard of

For whom was the book designed? The book is aimed at the interpretation geophysicist working in exploration and development, for the seismic processor seeking a wide perspective on the quality of output and on the provision of the data to help the ‘frontline’ geoscientist,

When you have spare time, what kind of activities do you you enjoy? Oh, where do I begin? There are so many things that have had to be shelved and have been screaming for attention. Seeing various corners of our world is perhaps the activity I miss most. I am an addicted traveller. I know many parts of the world pretty well but the lure of others is still quite

for the geologist using geophysical methods as a tool at various levels of detail in the evaluation of the subsurface, and for the geoscientist at large.

powerful. High on my current list is the Trans-Siberian train journey ending in Mongolia and afterwards a detour via China.

Your course deals with a fairly complex topic, so how do audiences react? The majority of geoscientists are not aware of how vast the gap usually is between what they know about seismic velocities and what there is to understand and to benefit from. Thus, the overall result is almost invariably a ‘pleasant surprise’ to the participants. The extent of elucidation that the course offers usually leads to a feeling of absolute delight among the more experienced, more able participants since they would normally have a large number of practical cases to relate to. The reaction tends to be more subdued among those with, say, less than three years of experience but




Submit your abstract for EAGE Paris 2017!


AGE has once again turned to Paris for the hosting of next year’s 79th EAGE Annual Conference & Exhibition themed ‘Energy, Technology, Sustainability – Time to open a new Chapter’. Members can start making plans to participate and attend this premier event as the Call for Abstracts is now open. You are invited to submit an abstract on geophysics, geology, reservoir, near surface or with a general or multi-disciplinary approach before the Call for Abstract deadline of 15 January 2017. Please note that the Technical Programme Committee is particularly keen to see contributions from all regions to ensure a geographically diverse

programme. In addition, submissions on the topic of geology are particularly encouraged. Kevin McLachlan, chairman of the Local Advisory Committee, is confident that Paris will be popular. He says, ‘Paris will inspire you to explore new solutions surrounded by its monuments, to discover new techniques in the rhythmic flow of the river Seine and to create networks in the silhouette of its museums and contemporary art.’ McLachlan calls the event theme a call to action for the Association’s members to ‘confront our industry’s challenges with ground-breaking technology and innovative techniques that help to cre­ate and unlock efficient and economic projects.’ The programme for 2017 will once again be organized in cooperation with SPE EUROPEC, emphasizing the multi-disciplinary character of this geoscience event, the biggest of its kind in the world. It will include the conference with over a 1000 technical oral and poster presentations; a major exhibition showcasing latest developments in geophysics, geology and reservoir/petroleum engineering; workshops; field trips; short courses; a comprehensive programme for students; plus the always popular conference evening and other social events. During the conference days, the opening session and various forums will feature discussion by international executives and technology experts on some of the main issues facing the industry today. There are meetings, too, of the EAGE’s women’s and young professionals’ special interest groups with guest speakers.


The event venue will be Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, which is the largest exhibition venue in Europe with a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower. It is very well connected to the public transport system and has its own underground station, Porte de Versailles. There are several hotels within walking distance of the venue, which is accessible to the city’s two airports and the city centre. With so many compelling reasons to put EAGE Paris 2017 on the calendar for next year, make sure to plan your visit and check the website www.eage.org/event/paris-2017 regularly for updates!



Arabian Plate geology workshop: a sixth edition!


hat can you do but admire the inspiration behind the EAGE’s venerable Arabian Plate Geology Workshop. It takes place for the sixth time on 5-7 December at the Westin Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Focus on this occasion will be the Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary (Arabian Plate Sequences 9 & 10) interval, which is characterized by under-explored siliciclastic, carbonate and  evaporite sequences with proven source rocks, reservoirs and seals. The goal of the workshop series is to align the regional geological understanding and applied no-

to predict the presence and effectiveness (e.g., distribution and quality) of reservoirs, seals and source rocks. The workshop will include the usual unmissable core material display from a number of producing fields spanning selected GCC countries. Emphasis will be to provide an overview of the stratigraphy and to show lateral changes, and – more importantly – to allow sharing knowledge and experience. An additional field trip to one of the UAE’s highest peaks, Jebel Hafeet, will also be on offer for those who wish to gain an ad-

menclature of the key hydrocarbon-bearing stratigraphic intervals of the Arabian Plate. Both local and regional contributions from oil companies, research institutes and universities are engaged in building consistent, time-based stratigraphic models. Discussions will propose a time-based sequence  stratigraphic framework, produce updated regional palaeogeographical maps and

ditional practical and hands-on insight into the region. Here also, comparison and contract of Eocene deposits – and reservoirs – across the GCC will be discussed. Registration opens on 1 September 2016, be sure not to miss out on early bird rates and register by 1 October 2016. Please find more information about the workshop at www.eage.org/event/arabian-plate-2016.

Cores Display at fifth workshop edition in Kuwait 2015.

identify common stratigraphic markers. Tools and methods will be identified that are particularly efficient in studying complex, mixed sedimentary systems, which will enhance our ability

Make this the year of the Boot Camp! tial risk of earthquakes along Dibba-Wadi Al-Fay Fault Zone should be a high priority, with implications for safety of buildings and oil infrastructure in the UAE. Acquiring a seismic profile during the Boot Camp 2016 will therefore be a very important

Boot campers during Day 1 safety briefing.


ostgrad students and young professionals should consider the benefits of the Boot Camp experience. From 31 October to 6 November, the second EAGE Mid­dle East Boot Camp is set to take place in Ras al-Khaimah, UAE. Following on from the success of the first regional Boot Camp in 2015, the focus this year will be on examining the geological uncertainty to define the extent of the Dibba Fault which

is located west of the Oman Mountains in the Emirates of Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah. The Dibba Fault is an active fault, which means that it had a displacement or seismic activity during the geologically recent period, and is one of the two faults that run through the UAE. These faults are less than 90 km from Dubai and the hazard potential has never been quantified. Therefore, an assessment of poten-


first step toward the assessment of the seismogenic potential of Dibba-Wadi Al-Fay Fault Zone. The overall aim for the Middle East Boot Camp will be to complement high-resolution seismic data with a magnetic and gravity profile and, possibly extend the surveyed area and add more geophysical data (geoelectric and remote sensing) in the near future. The whole project is a great opportunity for MSc and PhD students as well as young professionals to learn about both theory and practice in real field conditions. It is also a chance for students to mix with new recruits to the oil and gas industry and hear about their perspective. EAGE would like to thank The Petroleum Institute, Schlumberger and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for their generous support and commitment to this academic project.



SPE, AAPG and EAGE combine for unconventionals workshop


nconventional resource exploration and development has been chosen by SPE, AAPG and EAGE as the topic for a joint workshop on 21-23 November 2016 at the Meydan Hotel in Dubai. With the theme ‘Achieving Efficiency and Effectiveness’ the workshop is set to provide an opportunity to learn how the different disciplines represented by the organizing societies can contribute to best practices. The workshop will review the successes – and failures – of current technologies and their implementation. The workshop will also aim to identify the knowledge and technology gaps. The steering committee members of the workshop have selected seven session topics that will address the challenges and opportunities of the Middle East region. In addition, a special panel session on ‘Unconventional Resources in the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities’ will discuss the latest innovations and best practices in integrated field development strategies. For more information on this upcoming event, please visit www.spe.org/events/16jdu3.


oes ‘Faster, Better and Cheaper’ sound familiar? If not, it will do soon because that’s the theme for the third EAGE Workshop on High Performance Computing for Upstream. The event is due to be held on 1-4 October 2017 in

Dubai will serve as setting.

Great crew change set to dominate discussion at professional development workshop


e are excited to announce that EAGE is joining together with AAPG, SEG and SPE in the Middle East region to offer a professional development workshop on an annual basis. It was decided that the ‘Knowledge Management Challenge’ would be an appropriate theme for the first workshop, scheduled to take place from 16-17 November in Abu Dhabi, at the Yas Island Rotana Hotel. The two-day workshop will be dedicated to capturing best practices and lessons learned in the field of knowledge management, especially in the context of a changing oil market. A major topic certain to be discussed is the concern for the Middle East’s NOCs, IOCs and service providers over the so-called ‘Great Crew Change’ and the knowledge management implications.


Revisit high performance computing for upstream at Athens workshop

Professionals will be retiring in large numbers over the coming years, a considerable number of professionals are being laid off due to the volatile oil market and simultaneously talented young professionals are joining the workforce. There is a significant risk of losing key knowledge unless the development of the younger generation can be accelerated. This at risk knowledge has a high intellectual asset value for upstream. Its loss would impact both short and long-term plans. Representatives from ADCO, C&C Reservoirs, EMC, IHS, KOC, Google, Masdar Institute, PDO and Saudi Aramco will be sharing essential updates on best practices, relevant case studies and lessons learned, as well as practical tools and techniques to help ensure the success of KM initiatives. A lively discussion is anticipated.

Athens, Greece, and you can be sure that all the latest issues in HPC will be discussed including higher productivity at lower cost, computer architecture, modelling and simulation technology, faster algorithms and much more. It’s all about improving computer-aided techniques to accurately locate hydrocarbons and enhance production. Imaging algorithms such as Reverse Time Migration (RTM), Full Waveform Inversion (FWI) and Electromagnetic Modelling (EM) are the traditional technologies applied to seismic data. They are highly compute intensive activities, which push the leading edge of HPC storage, interconnect, and calculation. The workshop will be sure to review changes in the underlying hardware. The explosion of data and the recent rapid development in machine learning (ML) are also leading to non-traditional ways of interpreting seismic and reservoir data. The emergence of significantly faster reservoir simulation technology is breathing new life into multi-resolution and uncertainty quantification workflows. The Athens meeting will bring together experts in order to assess state-of-the-art key applications employed in the upstream industry and anticipate what ambitions are enabled by increased computational power. For those who want to actively participate, the call for abstracts will shortly open, starting from 1 October until the deadline of 1 March 2017. For any further information you might need on this workshop, please contact middle_east@eage.org or visit www.eage.org.



Abu Dhabi venue for fourth borehole geophysics workshop


e have visited Istanbul, Malta and Athens. Now our fourth Borehole Geophysics Workshop is being planned for Abu Dhabi during November 2017, so watch this space. The workshop is designed for anyone with a role or interest in borehole geophysics, including academics, operators and contractors, and it is hoped that experience and knowledge will be readily shared in order to advance this important discipline as part of a portfolio of available reservoir technologies. It should be a great networking opportunity, at a time when (surely!) the future of oil and gas exploration will be looking up. The workshop will build on the successful format used previously: a series of technical sessions over three days where key players in this discipline from around the globe have the opportunity to showcase their work, including case studies, technical breakthroughs, and developments in the acquisition equipment and techniques used to gather borehole data. As well as oral presentations, poster submissions will be encouraged, and space will be available for a small number of selected companies to display their products and services. There will

Borehole Geophysics 2015 Workshop delegates.

be ample time to meet with old friends and colleagues, and to forge new friendships, and a social programme will be arranged to allow visitors to enjoy what Abu Dhabi has to offer. Previous workshops have focused on 3D VSPs, in particular the untapped potential of these seismic datasets. They will undoubtedly be a part of the next workshop’s discussions too, but a broad range of borehole geophysics technologies will be included within

seven categories: data integration, case studies, advances in data acquisition techniques, innovation in processing, single well imaging, monitoring, and multi-component processing. It is hoped that these topics are sufficiently broad to encourage anyone with more than a passing interest in the field of borehole geophysics to attend. EAGE will publish a call for abstracts shortly with submissions being accepted from 1 November 2016 at www.eage.org.

Reservoir life cycle management on the agenda for joint workshop


Abu Dhabi by night.


AGE is joining SPE in the organization of a joint workshop on Reservoir Life Cycle Management with the theme of ‘Innovation and Sustainability in Dynamic Oil Price Environment’. The event, scheduled for 25–26 January 2017 in Abu Dhabi, is all about defining cost effective field development strategies in the current low oil price environment. The six sessions during the two-day event will be focused on the specific challenges for the Middle East region supported by field case studies which highlight best practices, efficient use of current and advanced technologies, decision-making techniques, and lessons learned. The workshop will allow plenty of scope for discussion between expert speakers and participants. For more information, please visit www.spe.org/events/16jabd or contact Yousuff Dadapeer at ydadapeer@spe.org.



You can make nominations for our Annual Awards


2017 president Chris Ward (third from left) and

AGE is taking positive steps to ensure the awards presented at the EAGE Annual better reflect the growing diversity of its members worldwide. Phil Christie, chair of the Awards Committee, is encouraging members in regions such as the Middle East to submit deserving nominations. He says that ‘the historical list of awards on the EAGE website reveals a strong tendency for the recipients to be concentrated in the traditional EAGE homelands of Europe and North America. EAGE has a growing global presence in geoscience and engineering and would like its awards to reflect the breadth and scope of the Association’. According to Christie, the two fundamental

a bottom-up process and the award must go to the strongest candidate nominated. To submit for next year’s awards, the Awards Committee must receive completed nomination packages for 2017 Paris Annual Meeting by 31 October 2016. But you don’t need to wait for the deadline to make a nomination, so feel free to nominate at any time throughout the year. By submitting a nomination, you can help to recognise and promote technical and professional achievement from within the membership throughout the world. Scan the QR code to visit the Awards web-

outgoing president Mohammed Alfaraj (centre).

values of the EAGE awards process are that it is

site and cast your vote!

Some of 2016’s award winners with EAGE’s 2016-

Societies plan a special Middle East event for students

SEG Middle East Challenge Bowl winners from Sultan Qaboos University (April 2015).


EG, EAGE and AAPG are to join forces for the first time to bring together an exciting regional conference for geoscience students in the region. Hosted by the UAE University in Al Ain, UAE on 27 February to 1 March 2017, the programme will comprise a field trip, poster sessions and presentations by students and industry professionals. A Call for Abstracts will open in all subjects related to geophysics and geology in October 2016. Selected participants will receive free lodging and full board meals for the duration of the event. The SEG Challenge Bowl, AAPG Imperial Barrel Award Program and of course EAGE’s very own Geo-Quiz will be featured with great prizes for the winning teams.


AAPG’s Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) Program is an annual prospective basin evaluation contest for geoscience students from universities around the globe. The IBA regional and section competition winners qualify for the international finals during the Annual Convention & Exhibition (ACE) in the USA for a chance to win scholarship funds for their school. The EAGE Geo-Quiz was first held in 2007 in London, and since then, it has always been one of the highlights of EAGE’s regional con-

and the team that makes it to the final round with the most points stands to walk away with a fantastic prize of three travel grants to 79th EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2017 (12-15 June, Paris, France). The 11th Annual Middle East Challenge Bowl invites 10 teams of two students (SEG members at graduate or undergraduate level) from the same academic institution to go head-tohead in this exciting, press-the-buzzer geoscience competition. Winners will represent the

ferences and the Annual Conference & Exhibition. Participants will be able to select their teams, which must consist of three students to qualify. Geoscience-related questions will then be presented to the teams in a pop-quiz style, with 30-40 seconds to select the correct answer. The quiz will feature three rounds,

Middle East and get an expenses-paid trip, sponsored by Dhahran Geoscience Society, to Houston for the SEG International Exposition and 87th Annual Meeting in September 2017. For more information about this event, please visit the SEG, AAPG and EAGE websites.

2016 AAPG Middle East Winning Team: Sultan Teams gather at the EAGE stand to take part in

Qaboos University (Muscat, Oman), led by

the Geo-Quiz during GEO 2016.

Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed.



Total to operate Oman’s Al-Shaheen field


otal has beaten out the competition to take over production of the offshore Al-Shaheen oil field  from Maersk Oil for a period of 25 years beginning July 2017. Qatar Petroleum (QP) has granted the Group a 30% interest in the concession which produces 300,000 b/d of oil. Located in Qatari waters 80 km north of Ras Laffan, the Al-Shaheen field began production in 1994. The existing development consists of 30 platforms and 300 wells, and production from the field represents about half of Qatar’s oil production. In July 2015 QP invited a number of international oil companies to participate in a competitive tender process regarding the future development of the Al Shaheen oil field for Qatar in

Al-Shaheen field now operated by Total.

which Maersk Oil has been the operator.

earnings in the years ahead.

During the past 24 years Maersk Oil and QP developed the Al-Shaheen oil field into Qatar’s largest offshore producing asset. Under the terms offered by QP, a minority shareholding for Maersk Oil in the new joint venture would have created a marginal impact on the Maersk Group

ARGAS celebrates 50 years of Middle East service

ARGAS execs celebrate company’s 50 years in business.


GG has congratulated ARGAS, its geophysical services joint venture with TAQA in the Middle East, on its 50th anniversary. Since its creation in January 1966, ARGAS has been delivering geophysical services to the Middle East region, expanding its business scope from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the whole Arabian Peninsula and Egypt. ARGAS began operating as Saudi Arabia’s leading geophysical partner for the exploration and development of hydrocarbon, water and mineral resources. Both CGG and its then partner, Petromin, shared a strong commitment to transferring state-of-the-art geophysical technology and know-how to Saudi Arabia as well as hiring and training Saudi employees and field staff in the latest geophysical methods.

Pascal Rouiller, COO, CGG, said: ‘The creation of ARGAS marked an important milestone in the history of CGG and saw the start of a successful, long-term business relationship in the Middle East.’ The first 30 years of operations focused on airborne general geophysics and 2D seismic surveys. A new phase began in 1997 when ARGAS started operating 3D crews, in addition to 2D crews, as part of a large seismic exploration programme for Saudi Aramco. In 2001 its 3D crews on Gawar, the largest oil field in the world, started operating non-stop, 24/7. In 2003, TAQA took over Petromin’s 51% close up stake in ARGAS, with CGG retaining the remaining 49% close up. In 2008, ARGAS acquired its first 3D marine survey in the Gulf and in 2010 ARGAS was awarded a threeyear programme to acquire two ocean bottom cable 3D data acquisition surveys in Saudi waters of the Gulf in water depths ranging from 20-60 m. In June 2014, CGG and TAQA strengthened their long-term partnership in the Middle East by extending the operating scope of ARGAS to all Gulf countries to better address the growing industry demand for high-end seismic solutions throughout the region.


Sonardyne wins acoustic positioning contract in Red Sea


orwegian seabed seismic services company Magseis has selected acoustic positioning equipment from UK-based Sonardyne International to support its deep water ocean bottom seismic survey of the Red Sea. Working in partnership with BGP on behalf of Saudi Aramco, the S78 project is expected to last nine months and involve the deployment of a large network of Magseis ocean bottom recording nodes, each of which will be accurately positioned using Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 USBL (ultra-short baseline) and small seismic transponder (sst) technologies.. For this summer’s Red Sea survey, Magseis will deploy its proprietary Marine Autonomous Seismic System (MASS), which uses thousands of small nodes to create a grid pattern of receivers on the seabed. Since it is vitally important that the cables are laid in the correct positions to meet the client’s exacting standards, and also to avoid becoming entangled with subsea infrastructure, Magseis will attach its new SSTs near to the nodes at regular intervals along the cable. As the equipment descends through the water column to the seabed, each SST will be tracked in real-time using the Ranger 2 GyroUSBL transceiver permanently installed on the vessel. Being small, low-cost and depth-rated to 2000 m, SSTs are perfectly suited to withstand the demanding operational requirements of large-scale ocean bottom seismic surveys. Magseis has also ordered Sonardyne’s Lightweight Release Transponders (LRTs) and rope canisters to enable recovery of seafloor equipment following data acquisition. When commanded to do so, LRTs float back up to the surface, enabling the equipment to which they are attached, to be hauled up.

Magseis vessel.



BGP sets the land seismic safety standard


GP’s land seismic 8622 crew in Oman crew has notched up an impressive milestone of working for 12 consecutive years without a single lost time injury incident. The company says this is the result of the joint efforts between management of PDO and BGP as well as a dedicated operational staff in spite of the difficulties working in varied terrain, ever present hazards of night operations along with stringent HSSE requirements.

Desert of Oman.

Fast track production due from Atoll field in East Nile Delta


P with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has sanctioned development of the  Atoll Phase One project  which is an early production scheme that will bring up to 300 million cubic feet a day (mmscfd) gross of gas to the Egyptian domestic gas market starting in the first half of 2018. BP has a 100% interest in the concession. Hesham Mekawi, regional president, BP North Africa said: ‘BP is proud to progress the acceleration of the Atoll project which will bring critical gas to the Egyptian market and establish a new material hub offshore East Nile

barrels (mmbbl) of condensates. Onshore processing will be handled by the existing West Harbour gas processing facilities. BP announced the Atoll discovery in March 2015. The Atoll-1 deepwater exploration discovery well  in the  North Damietta Offshore concession in East Nile Delta was drilled using the sixth generation semi-submersible rig Maersk Discoverer. The exploration well reached a depth of 6400 m and penetrated approx. 50 m of gas pay in high quality sandstones. Atoll Phase One is an early production scheme (EPS) involving the recompletion of the existing exploration well as a producing well,

Delta’ BP recently completed multiple transportation and processing agreements accelerating the development of the Atoll field which contains an estimated 1.5 tcf of gas and 31 million

the drilling of two additional wells and the installation of the necessary tie-ins and facilities required to produce from the field. The Atoll wells will be drilled by the DS-6 rig for roughly the next 24 months.

EAGE Middle East Event Calendar October 2016 3-5 October EAGE Workshop on Petroleum Geochemistry in Operations & Production Doha, Qatar | www.eage.org

24-26 October EAGE/SPE Workshop on Integrated Geomechanics in E&P Abu Dhabi, UAE | www.eage.org

31 October – 06 November Second Middle East Boot Camp – ‘Seismic Imaging of an Active Fault Zone’ Ras al-Khaimah, UAE | www.eage.org

November 2016 14-16 November 10th International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC)

21-23 November SPE/AAPG/EAGE Unconventional Plays Workshop Dubai, UAE | www.eage.org

22-24 November Second EAGE Eastern Africa Petroleum Geoscience Forum Kampala, Uganda | www.eage.org

December 2016

February 2017 27 February - 1 March 1st Middle East Geosciences Student Conference

5-7 December Sixth Arabian Plate Geology Workshop

Al Ain, UAE

Abu Dhabi, UAE | www.eage.org

2-4 May Fourth EAGE Exploration Workshop

January 2017 25-26 January SPE/EAGE Reservoir Lifecycle Management Abu Dhabi, UAE | www.eage.org

May 2017 Muscat, Oman | www.eage.org

June 2017 12-15 June 79th EAGE Conference & Exhibition Paris 2017

Bangkok, Thailand | www.iptcnet.org/2016

Paris, France | www.eage.org

16-17 November AAPG/EAGE/SEG/SPE The Knowledge Management Challenge

3-7 September Near Surface Geoscience 2017

Abu Dhabi, UAE | www.eage.org

Malmo, Sweden | www.eage.org


September 2017


Profile for EAGE

EAGE Newsletter Middle East 2016, Issue 2  

The Regional Newsletter Middle East focuses on geoscientific issues in this specific region. This 12 page newsletter contains local industry...

EAGE Newsletter Middle East 2016, Issue 2  

The Regional Newsletter Middle East focuses on geoscientific issues in this specific region. This 12 page newsletter contains local industry...

Profile for eage