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Issue 1  2017

Looking forward to an eventful 2017 Chris Ward EAGE president 2016-2017


am very happy to welcome you to 2017 and what EAGE has to offer for our members in the Middle East. Last year our events and services once again proved successful even accounting for a difficult economic climate, and it is my sincere hope that we can do even better this year. I believe we can look forward to some exciting events in the region. Among the highlights already planned are the Second Well Injectivity & Productivity Workshop in Doha; Fourth EAGE Exploration Workshop in Muscat; Fourth Borehole Geophysics Workshop in Abu Dhabi; Second EAGE Borehole Geology Workshop in St Julians, Malta, and Fourth EAGE Workshop on Rock Physics in Abu Dhabi. Another workshop organized for the region will be the Third EAGE Workshop on High Performance Computing for Upstream (HPC), to be held in Athens, Greece. Our Middle East office continues to work on a cooperation with various Associated Societies, such as AAPG and SEG this year in order to maximize the benefits for our members. We are proud to announce that this collaboration has resulted in the First Middle East Geoscience Student Conference including a Geo-Quiz, scheduled from 27 February to 1 March 2017 in Al Ain, UAE. EAGE will continue its mission to provide education opportunities such as short courses alongside our workshops and conferences in the region. Look forward also to some EAGE Educational Tours (EETs) by distinguished geoscience

specialists, and a Boot Camp for students and young professionals. In-house courses are also always available on request. Please check our calendar for more updates on these events. 
 Reviewing the role of EAGE more generally, I would like to stress some positive initiatives that EAGE has been working on over the past months, even though economic events beyond our control have affected many members. Diversification, inclusiveness and transparency are the areas on which we intend to focus in the future development strategy of EAGE recognizing the interests of all our members worldwide. This relates to representation on the committees of the Association, disciplines that we cover and EAGE events. To support the diversity of disciplines, for instance, the technical programme of Paris 2017 will put additional emphasis on geology. Our Awards Committee is trying to attract nominations from a more diverse range in terms of both geography and discipline. Within the Association, a restyle of our flagship publication First Break was launched in January. The Board also approved the introduction of a new section, Bulletin Board, dedicated to more transparent communication by the Board and senior management about policies under discussion and general updates from Board meetings. I would also like to mention EAGE’s EU Public Affairs unit and EU 2020 Horizon Projector scheme and Horizon 2020 Brokerage activities, launched at the Barcelona Near Surface Geoscience meeting in September. The idea is to investigate and identify for members potential funding and investment possibilities within the EU organization for individuals, companies and academic institutions. EAGE continues to do its utmost to help recruit and encourage a new generation of geoscientists Read more on page 2 ➤

Arabian Plate workshop continues to thrill ‘A very informative and interactive workshop about a part of the regional stratigraphy (AP9 and AP 10 sequences) which has been less studied’. That was the verdict of Christoph Lehmann (ADMA) who served on the organizing committee for EAGE’s Sixth Arabian Plate Geology Workshop on Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary (Arabian Plate Sequences 9 & 10). The event was held on 5-7 December at the Westin Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The goal of the workshop series was to align the regional geological understanding and applied nomenclature of the key hydrocarbon-bearing stratigraphic intervals of the Arabian Plate. The focus this time was on the Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary (Arabian Plate Sequences 9 & 10) interval characterized by under-explored siliciclastic, carbonate and evaporite sequences with proven source rocks, reservoirs and seals. The workshop proposed a time-based sequence stratigraphic framework, produced updated Read more on page 2 ➤

What's inside High performance computing maestro tells all 5 First geoscience conference for students 6 Exploration focus in Muscat 8


Looking forward to an eventful 2017!

Arabian Plate workshop continues to thrill Continued from p. 1

Continued from p. 1

regional palaeogeographical maps and identified common stratigraphic markers. Tools and methods that are particularly efficient in studying complex, mixed sedimentary systems, which enhance our ability to predict the presence and effectiveness (e.g., distribution and quality) of reservoirs, seals and source rocks were also presented and discussed. The workshop was packed full of presentations, discussion sessions and posters. It included a field trip to Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain and as always EU Horizon 2020 Brokerage stand at Near Surface.

and engineers in anticipation of the Great Crew Change now underway. We are also cooperating with an increasing number of Associated Societies and other organizations across the globe. This all helps to achieve our main objective of providing our members with the best services and opportunities possible to meet their professional needs. Here is wishing you all the very best in 2017.

with this workshop, a core display, this year with core material from Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Oil Company and ADCO. On the final day of the workshop delegates went on a field trip to Jebel Hafeet, an anticline located at the foot of the Oman Mountains in Al Ain, which served to illustrate the complex interplay between tectonic movement and deposition during Paleocene-Eocene time in the region. A big thank you to Christoph Lehmann (ADMA) for leading the trip. Look out for the full workshop report in First Break March! EAGE Middle East would like to thank cochairs Ibrahim Al Ghamdi (Saudi Aramco) and Ghaida Al Sahlan (Kuwait Oil Company) for all their energetic support and our workshop sponsors, Saudi Aramco and Paradigm.

Michael Simmons from Halliburton gives the opening keynote presentation on Arabian Plate Sequence Stratigraphy.

EAGE Newsletter Middle East Executive Director Marcel van Loon (ml@eage.org)

Workshop dinner at Al Fanar, a fascinating venue

Regional Manager Middle East Emily Bell (ebl@eage.org)

in Abu Dhabi that revives the atmosphere of the city in the past.

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

Delegates sneak a peek at the core, contributions which came from Saudi Aramco, ADCO and KOC.

Field trip group photo.

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

Taking a closer look at the core.


Smelling the core!



Workshop to discuss growing importance of rock physics


ock Physics is set to take centre stage in integrating and facilitating our understanding of the subsurface. With the support of an enthusiastic Technical Committee, EAGE’s Fourth Workshop on Rock Physics is due to take place in Abu Dhabi, from 11-13 November 2017 in the lead up to ADIPEC. The event will build on the success of three previous workshops held in Dubai (2012), Oman (2014) and Istanbul (2015). Rock Physics is an exciting topic because it underpins much of modern reservoir modelling and simulation. Similarly, it is instrumental to intelligent field management. In the broadest sense, it provides robust theoretical, experimental and computational methods for maximizing value of information, quantifying risk and uncertainty, and optimizing decision-making over the entire field lifecycle. In essence, it transforms raw data into essential reservoir properties and allows us to make rigorous predictions

Delegates at the Third EAGE Workshop on Rock Physics, in Turkey, 2015.

about coupled rock/fluid behaviour in the presence of uncertainty. EAGE’s previous rock physics events have produced a total of 70 presentations from around the globe, with different perspectives, including academia, research, oil companies and service providers, which really emphasize the significance rock physics has started to play in our everyday geoscience workflows. From frontier plays to field development and optimization, rock physics is now an entirely integrated science.

In this fourth EAGE workshop we will be further building upon the main theme of the role of rock physics in reservoir modelling and simulation. The theme encourages a showcase of studies and challenges in the field-development life cycles, where rock physics has been integral. The Call for Abstracts is currently open for both oral and poster presentations, and the technical committee invites you to submit an abstract of 2–4 pages, on the following topics: Reservoir Modelling & Simulation; Geomechanics & Fracture Characterization; Sedimentological Integration with Rock Physics; Carbonate Rock Physics; Experimental Rock Physics; Geophysical Petrophysics; Computational Rock Physics; AVA Seismic Data Conditioning & Inversion; and Uncertainty Quantification. The deadline for submission is 15 April 2017 via www.eage.org/event/rock-physics-2017 and the programme is likely to be announced early this summer.

Workshop finds geomechanics potential has still to be realized


AGE and SPE held a second successful Geomechanics Workshop at the end of October 2016, chaired by Thomas Finkbeiner (KAUST) and Nick Koutsabeloulis (Schlumberger). Topic of the workshop was ‘Integrated Geomechanics in E&P, Manage and Improve Asset Performance using Geomechanics’. An indication of how geomechanics applications are currently perceived in the industry was provided by Glen Burridge (Glen Burridge & Associates). He presented the progress of a survey entitled ‘Geomechanics – Quo Vadis’. The key outcome from the survey at the beginning of the workshop without input from Middle East professionals identified the two greatest selling points for geomechanics. These were drillability (getting to the reservoir) and deliverability (extracting the greatest value from it). Notably geomechanics was identified as increasingly being seen as de rigueur for well planning in the form of WBS studies; and full potential may come with use of predictive analytics and longer-term vision by drillers. The greatest

immediate unrealized potential may exist in conventional exploration and appraisal, assuming it provides insight and suitable data is acquired early enough. Benefits for reservoir management were regarded as less obvious and require greater buy-in from reservoir engineers in particular. Geomodellers were less phased by geomechanics and ready to treat it as an extended static model. On the final day of the workshop Glen presented a summary and discussion around the results of the quo vadis questionnaire issued to the workshop attendees. Results showed a wide range of opinions related to the objectives, benefits, key actors and assurance targets of geomechanics. The need for greater integration and awareness-raising across subsurface was identified. Application of the discipline is mostly seen as being reactive rather than proactive. The greatest unrealized potential was judged to be in field development planning and how this eventually translates to value creation (productivity, de-risking, HSE).


Compared with the result presented on the first day, more emphasis seemed to be placed on geomechanics for use in the context of tight/unconventional reservoirs and fracture modelling. Attendees seemed to be more comfortable with 3D geomechanical modelling and on implications of lab work (reflected by the range of presentations). The big surprise were the answers given to the question ‘Who are the key actors (stakeholders)?’. The results read like a ‘who’s who’ of subsurface and included regulators and government bodies. This was a much broader group than the results from the original survey which focused around champions/SMEs/ technical leaders. The survey results prompted more lively discussion on how and where geomechanics needs to move in the future in order to have an effective input in asset management. The third workshop in this series is planned for 2018. Keep an eye on the website www.eage.org for updates.



Lively participants provided the alchemy for successful Doha geochemistry workshop ‘Operational Petroleum Geochemistry in Carbonate Reservoirs’ was the title of an EAGE workshop held in Doha on 3-5 October 2016. This is a very specific issue for Gulf countries but it also occurs in all parts of the world. The idea of this first time workshop was to share experiences and new insights into a challenging technological field covering close to half of the global hydrocarbon resources. The event was organized around a balance of a short course, oral presentations and group discussions in order to encourage exchanges between participants, who proved enthused both in the sessions and more informally. An active poster session was opened to contributors who preferred to showcase their material in this format.

Doha proved a charming location to hold the EAGE workshop and the W Hotel did a fantastic job in looking after the group. Special thanks go to Total, Geolog, Schlumberger and Shell for sponsoring the event, and to the Technical Committee for organizing the programme. An eclectic group of companies and organizations came together for this meeting namely; Total, Qatar Gas, Kuwait Oil Company, GFZ German Research Centre, Schlumberger, INPX, PEERI and Geolog. All participants were unanimous in expressing their wish for further geochemistry events. The first is planned to take place in 2018, so stay tuned and check back regularly to www.eage.org.

Guillaume Chalmin, managing director and group representative at Total E&P Qatar, welcomes the delegates to Doha.



Khaled Arouri, technical committee member, poses

J. Peres (KOC) and

Predicting Reservoir Fluid Compositions and Physical





a question during one of the many discussion

small token of appreciation from EAGE being

M. Al-Hajeri (KOC) with a

Properties Using Polar Compound Geochemistry.’

sessions during the workshop.


Frank Haeseler, project leader geochemistry, Total E&P Qatar and Workshop

Part of the workshop included a short course by Dr Alain Prinzhofer (GEO4U)

co-chair (right), introduces Dr Brian Horsfield, keynote speaker, GFZ German

on Gas Geochemistry for Reservoir Quality Assessment. Here Alain discusses the

Research Centre for Geoscience.

presentation given by Mubarak Al-Hajeri (KOC).




What drives a high performance computer maestro Dr Vincent Natoli is a member of the Technical Committee for the upcoming Third EAGE Workshop on High Performance Computing (HPC) for Upstream being held in Athens on 1-4 October, 2017. He obtained a Bachelor and Masters degree from MIT and a PhD from University of Illinois Urban-Champaign, which he followed in mid career with a Masters in Technology Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is president and founder of Stone Ridge Technology, which focuses on fast reservoir simulation and other applications of modern multi-core and GPU compute architectures. Previous experience includes being technical director, High Performance Technologies (HPTi), and a senior physicist at ExxonMobil. Here he talks about the workshop, the future of HPC and recruiting young people into the discipline.

What attracted you to computational physics in the first place? I was fascinated by computers with my first introduction. In high school I used to eat my lunch as quickly as possible so I could run down to our math office where, somehow, we had a DEC PDP11 that I programmed in BASIC. The idea of simulating nature and the physical world on a computer has always been compelling to me. It combines my dual interest of understanding the working of our physical world with physics and the powerful calculation capability of modern computers. How would you encourage young people to follow your example in exploring computer technology? There are so many opportunities for learning and self-guided education on the Internet. For high school students I would say put away Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat for a while and instead go through a tutorial on C and C++. Build a small Linux-based computer using the Raspberry Pi kit (https://www.raspberrypi.org) and get accustomed to the Unix operating system, post your projects in Github and document them on a web page. In my experience the best way to learn computer technology is to do something not just read about it. Does the industry sufficiently understand the value and function of HPC applications? In my career I have worked with three different industries. I have primarily contributed to the oil and gas industry, starting my career with ExxonMobil and later with my own company Stone Ridge Technology, but I have also worked in bioinformatics and in finance. Of these three I believe that the oil and gas industry understands the value and function of HPC best. Finance is a close second and bioinformatics a distant third. The two most prominent HPC applications in

O&G are seismic processing and reservoir simulation. I believe the industry understands the value of fast, robust HPC capability because there is so much at stake in the exploration and development of hydrocarbon assets. Even a small bump up in productivity on fields worth many billions of dollars is a significant achievement that dwarfs the modest investment in hardware and software. Dr Vincent Natoli with Ms Simanti Das (ExxonMobil)

At the workshop what will be the outstanding issues? Some of the salient topics that I think will be discussed are the continuing transition to efficient parallel architectures including the new Intel Knights Landing and NVIDIA GPUs. There is a large and growing gap between the capability of modern chip architectures with a high level of parallelism and the legacy software that dominates the industry. I believe there are massive performance and efficiency gains to be realized. What interests you and your company most about the potential of HPC? We want to change the way people do their work with our deep knowledge of HPC, numerical methods and computational science. We want reservoir engineers to think how they might work if they could do simulations in one tenth or one one hundredth the current time, if they could run thousands of realizations of their models on a small cluster or if they could routinely run huge models when needed and still turn simulations around in a few hours. We want to bring new capability to the industry to help it become more cost and time efficient stewards of our hydrocarbon resource. Where do you see HPC in 10 years’ time? The evolution of HPC depends on trends and developments in both hardware and software. Hardware evolves very rapidly while software changes


at the Second EAGE high performance computing workshop.

much more slowly. The trends in hardware, concentrating more and more parallelism and capability on-chip will continue into 2027 aided by several more turns of feature shrink and clever design. Memory bandwidth into the chip will also continue to grow riding on the new 3D memory technology found in this year’s NVIDIA Pascal and Intel KNL architectures. These hardware advances will continue to challenge HPC software developers to design in massive fine-grained parallelism. The performance difference between those that do this successfully and those who continue with legacy software will become painfully apparent.  What in your opinion have been the landmarks in the contribution of HPC to the E&P industry? In seismic processing HPC has enabled a progression of successively more complex reverse time migration (RTM) processing from isotropic to TI to VTI to TTI and now FWI providing increasing fidelity and resolution to practitioners. In reservoir simulation HPC enables engineers to do a multitude of ‘what-if’ scenarios for field development using fast simulation of large, complex reservoir models. The ability to optimize asset development strategies with a computer before you take drill to earth saves enormous time and money for producers.



Boot Camp seismicity study provides students with exceptional field experience


n 2016 the collaboration between the Petroleum Institute, Schlumberger and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, once again welcomed students to further develop their field experience at the Second Middle East Boot Camp held in Ras al Khaimah, UAE. A total of 46 students participated, 25 students from the Petroleum Institute and United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and 21 international students from 16 countries across the world. The survey target was the Dibba Fault Zone, one of the most seismically active areas of the UAE. Several moderate size earthquakes (5.5>M>3.5) occurred along the fault segments in Dibba and Masafi areas from 2002-2007, and the hazard potential of such faults has never been quantified. These fault segments extend  less than 90 km from major urban areas like Dubai and Sharjah. Therefore, assessment of potential risk of occurrence of earthquakes along the Dibba Fault Zone should be of high priority, as results might change the earthquake risk scenario and the implications for safety of buildings and oil infrastructure in the UAE.

The seismic profile acquired during the 2016 edition of the Middle East Boot Camp was a very important first step toward the assessment of the seismogenic potential of the Dibba Fault Zone. High-resolution seismic data were complemented by a gravity profile and by using these data the aim was to assess the continuity of the NE trending, potentially active fault strands to the SE, and how these are affecting the nearby gas fields. The hands-on experience showed the students some new prospects and helped them understand how data is acquired in the field, with an aim to fill some gaps in their technical knowledge. The Boot Camp was a great opportunity to apply theory learned at university and see the operations onsite on a large scale. The students analyzed a 2D seismic line and also had the opportunity to see how professionals worked on a fully operational 3D seismic line 40 km away from the site. In addition, the Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) very generously invited students to visit its main gas production and processing facility for one day. Situated about

40 km outside the city of Sharjah, the Sajaa asset facility supplies gas to the power plants operated by the Sharjah Electricity Water Authority (SEWA) and is a critical part of the UAE’s infrastructure. It was only through sponsorship that we were able to lay on an extensive programme together in the field with the best work-teams from Schlumberger, WesternGeco and the Petroleum Institute, but also ensure that all attendees were comfortable in the accommodation provided and enjoy the great hospitality UAE has to offer. The tremendous support from the first edition in 2015 enabled us to plan and execute this second edition in 2016. With more support from the industry in 2017, we aim to include more international students in the closing ceremony at ADIPEC where we showcase the Boot Camp and share the students’ experiences with all. We sincerely thank the Second Middle East Boot Camp sponsors: Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations (ADCO), Arabian Geophysical & Survey Company (ARGAS) and Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC).

Get ready for the first regional geoscience conference for students! EAGE is linking up with AAPG and SEG to launch the First Middle East Geoscience Student Conference (MEGSC) scheduled to take place from 26 February to 1 March 2017 at UAE University (UAEU), Al Ain. Building on the success of previous years’ Young Professionals and Students Summits held during the GEO Conference and Exhibition, the three societies have decided to join forces once more to bring an exciting an­nual event for geoscience students to the Middle East. The conference will rotate within the region in odd years and be held alongside the GEO event in Bahrain during even years. Participating students will be able to advance their existing knowledge, discuss opportunities, expand their horizons and share their expertise with


their peers from different universities and with industry and academia professionals during planned presentations, social gatherings and more. The student conference will offer participants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region a chance to compete in the renowned EAGE Geo-Quiz, AAPG Imperial Barrel Award Program and SEG Challenge Bowl. One of the most popular features during the 79th EAGE Annual Student Programme (this year in Paris, 12-15 June) is the Geo-Quiz. It is the best

way to put one’s knowledge and skills to the test and the best place to compete with fellow winners from all over the world that have won the Geo-Quiz in their region. This year the Middle East 2017 winners at MEGSC will be travelling to Paris! Students also have the opportunity at MEGSC to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation. The conference is open for contributions in all subjects related to geophysics and geology. One oral presentation per university will be selected and the authors will get a chance to present their talk followed by the opportunity to present during the poster sessions. Best oral and poster presentations will be recognized and awarded. Details of the programme can be found on the website: www.megsconf.com or contact middle_east@eage.org to get involved.



Unconventional plays workshop attracts enthusiastic audience


ver 80 participants gathered at the Meydan Hotel, Dubai last November for two and a half days of discussion on the highly relevant topic of ‘Achieving Efficiency and Effectiveness through Integration’. The occasion was the joint SPE/AAPG/EAGE Unconventional Plays Workshop. Dr Mohammed Badri and Ahmed M Hakami (co-chairs) opened the event highlighting the importance of the workshop topic given the current and future challenges ahead. Keynote speakers for the three days were

Fabian Wirnkar, Dr Ibrahim H. Al Arnaout, and Prof Tadeusz Patzek. The day one topic of ‘Emerging Unconventional Plays’ elicited presentations from the Saudi Arabian perspective, as well as from China, the UK and Turkey. Session two covered the ‘Geo-

science and Engineering Characterization of Unconventional Plays’ with presentations from CNPC, Schlumberger, Weatherford and CGG. Session three ended the day with ‘Unconventional Well Construction Practices’ presented by four international speakers from Oman, Saudi Arabia and the US. On day two, ‘Unconventional Well Completion and Stimulation’ was discussed in four presentations. An interactive Q&A panel session followed featuring Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, Halliburton and Dubai Petroleum on ‘Unconventional Resources in the Middle East – Challenges and Opportunities’. The afternoon was devoted to ‘Production Performance and Resources Estimation’ with contributions from Total Research Centre, Qatar, Texas A&M Qatar, SINOPEC and Schlumberger.

Members of the 2016 Steering Committee put themselves in the picture.

The day three final session reviewed ‘Making the Unconventional Plays Work’ as well as case studies from Total, Shell China and Istanbul University. Dr Badri summed up the activities of the workshop and the successful interaction of speakers and delegates, thanking all for their participation in an excellent sharing of knowledge.

Productive discussion at knowledge management event


he Knowledge Management Challenge workshop organized jointly by AAPG/ EAGE/SEG/SPE proved a valuable experience for the 34 professionals from six countries who attended. It was held on 16-17 November 2016 at the Yas Island Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi. This workshop was dedicated to capturing best practices and lessons learned in the field of

know­ledge management, especially in the context of a changing oil market. It provided both experienced practitioners and those new to the field with an essential update on best practices, relevant case studies and lessons learned, as well as practical tools and techniques to help ensure the success of KM initiatives within upstream organizations. There were 11 presentations from different

companies and academic institutions. Highlights included an inaugural keynote speech delivered by Sa’id Al Hajri from Saudi Aramco and very productive breakout sessions and open panel discussions with active participation from the workshop delegates. We would like to sincerely thank Saudi Aramco as the Platinum Sponsor and all the attendees for joining us at the workshop.

Tight reservoirs workshop coming up soon


Fourth AAPG/EAGE Workshop on Tight Reservoirs in the Middle East can be expected to reap the fruits of the success from previous workshops. It should also strengthen cooperation between EAGE and AAPG in developing a series of multi-disciplined gatherings dedicated to understanding, completing, and producing from the tight clastics to carbonate reservoirs. The workshop scheduled for 9–11 October 2017 in Abu Dhabi, will build on the success of the 2015 event, led by EAGE. Delegates

Delegates at the 2015 workshop.

can expect to meet worldwide experts from different disciplines (geology, geophysics, petrophysics, engineering) in the oil industry


in order to share their knowledge and experience to identify potential challenges, solutions and the best practices applicable to the region in unlocking tight reservoirs. This workshop targets economic planners, technical experts and decision makers with experience in exploring and developing tight oil and gas reservoirs who are working in national and international, operational and service companies as well as academic and research institutions. More information will follow soon on www.eage.org.



New thinking for exploration to be highlighted at Muscat workshop The Fourth EAGE Exploration Workshop being held in Muscat on 2-4 May 2017 focuses on ‘Advances in Seismic Interpretation’. Stefan Luthi (Delft University), member of the workshop technical committee, explains the rationale. The ongoing low oil price has taken a serious toll on the E&P industry, as if it was not already challenged enough, with the need to continually search for deeper, subtler and less-conventional plays. Capital investment in exploration has significantly slowed down in the last couple of years, and come to a complete halt in some areas. Thus, for example, at the beginning of 2016 there was not a single 3D survey being acquired in the Gulf of Mexico. While E&P companies can focus on enhancing production from existing fields, the service companies are the ones mostly affected by the slowdown in exploration, with some having to lay off up to 30% of their staff, and the end may not yet be in sight.

But is there no upside to this situation at all? Clearly, doing nothing is no option, as in a future upturn this may prove to be fatal. Therefore, many E&P companies have opted to have a closer look at their databases, at new ways of interpreting seismic and other data in order to spot potential plays that may have been overlooked in the past. This includes reprocessing, trying new inversion methods, analyzing full-waveform data, integrating different geophysical data sets, constraining the interpretations with existing well data, and testing new reservoir modelling approaches. For these relatively low-cost activities many companies work closely with the service industry and universities, and the efforts have paid off in many instances.

With this in mind the workshop will have four relevant theme groups, where some of these new insights are being presented and discussed by the participants. There will be contributions from around the world to provide a broad overview of innovations that may help soften the impact of the difficult circumstances the E&P industry finds itself in today, and it may help participants to be prepared when activities pick up again. If you register for the workshop before 31 March 2017 you can profit from the early registration fee. For more information regarding the workshop’s organization and the technical programme, please visit the event website at www.eage.org/event/exploration-workshop-2017.

Making borehole geophysics a tool for everyone


ami Saadan, Saudi Aramco, workshop co-chair, writes: The Fourth EAGE Borehole Geophysics Workshop, themed ‘A Tool for Everyone’, is to take place in Abu Dhabi on 1922 November. It builds upon the success of past EAGE borehole geophysics workshops (Istanbul 2011, Malta 2013, and Athens 2015). The aim is to capture the current state of borehole geophysics technology and all it can offer in this current challenging business environment. Data integration, case studies, advances in data acquisition techniques, innovation in processing and imaging, single well imaging, monitoring, and multi-component processing and imaging, are the topics to be covered in this workshop. For many decades, wireline and more recently, LWD logging of boreholes have provided geophysical data that are fundamental to the understanding of reservoir behaviour. Modern techniques have enabled measurements in new and more challenging environments and this mass of data has meant that, with an integrated approach to interpretation, operating companies can gain a far greater understanding of reservoir behaviour than ever before.


Ali Aldawood (Saudi Aramco) gives presentation during the Third EAGE Borehole Geophysics Workshop held in Athens in 2015.

However, the current upheaval in the oil market has brought the economics of borehole data acquisition and interpretation into sharp focus. Borehole geophysics continues to be an important part of many exploration strategies but operating companies are being forced to

try to maximize the value of their data with significantly reduced budgets, headcount and expertise. The workshop will be open to 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. 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 through oral presentations and posters to showcase their work, including case studies, technical breakthroughs and developments in acquisition equipment and techniques used to gather borehole data. There will be ample time to meet with old friends and colleagues and to forge new friendships. The call for abstracts is open until 1 May 2017. More information on the workshop and the topics for which an abstract can be submitted, can be found at www.eage.org/event/boreholegeophysics-2017



What makes research a satisfying career Dominique Guérillot is Professor in the Petroleum Engineering Department, Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ), and has published over 50 full and refereed papers. Before his recent posting, Prof Guérillot was head of reservoir research with Qatar Petroleum, and over his career has held senior positions with Saudi Aramco, Petrobras and mainly with IFP (now IFPEN) where he worked more than 20 years starting as research engineer and finally became managing director of the exploration business unit and member of the executive committee. In 2009 he founded an innovative energy and environment company Terra 3E. He also was nominated in 2012 as expert for the European Commission on R&D projects for CO2 storage. We asked him about his career and experience working with geoscience and engineering students contemplating a less than certain future in the oil and gas industry. Are there any special considerations for young professionals working in the Middle East petroleum environment? Young professionals must be able to work in all environments being flexible to the demands of the market.

Texas A&M University in Doha.

What inspired you to work in the oil industry? I began in the oil industry applying for an open position at the renowned R&D institute Institut Français du Pétrole. At that time, I did not know much about the oil and gas industry. What attracted me was the R&D challenge of trying to use an innovative finite element method invented by Prof Guy Chavent and his colleagues. So I started my career joining a team representing IFP, Elf Aquitaine and INRIA with my background which was on a posteriori error estimates when using a finite element method. After less than a year, I was sent to IFP school to learn about all the various disciplines required to be a full reservoir engineer. What has given you most satisfaction in your research work to date? I am very satisfied when I see some of my research ideas being applied in daily work by geoscientists and reservoir engineers.  It happened for upscaling methods when I introduced methods to calculate averaged permeabilities using different algebraic estimators, also to obtain the full tensor of permeabilities using local flow based methods, or when we developed with Dr Jérémie Bruyelle plug-ins which are complementing commercial reservoir characterization software. I am also very proud of my former PhD students who made careers in the oil and gas in-

dustry such as Dr Sophie Verdière, specialist in history matching studies with Total and Dr Laurent Pianelo, with a strategic and business planning manager role at Chevron. Some of them pursued careers in other industries. For example, Dr Thierry Hermitte who specializes in crash tests with Renault using finite element methods, Dr Abdou Njifenjou, professor of mathematics in Cameroun, and Dr Saïkouk Kacem, professor of applied mathematics at the University of AixMarseille. How do you compare research work and teaching? These activities are quite different. Research can be done independently of teaching but I believe that for advanced teaching, to have done research on the same topic is a must. In the current economic climate, what advice would you give students intending a career in the oil industry? I believe that the oil industry will still need very qualified professionals for improving the recovery factors of hydrocarbons already discovered as well as for finding additional reserves. I would recommend that students learn the fundamentals, being strong in mathematics, physics and chemistry rather than being specialized in specific software. This scientific background will be essential to adapt quickly during their careers.


Which areas of research are most important for the future of E&P operations worldwide? The number of challenges are enormous and it would require much more room to answer to this question. But broadly speaking, focusing only on the production side, I would say that we have new tools to observe and quantify what is happening at the pore-scale level to understand the flow mechanisms better. This gives hope for developing innovative methods to reduce the hydrocarbons left trapped when injecting various fluids (water, gas, chemicals, foams, etc.). Which aspects of environmental impact should the oil industry be most concerned about? The priority is to produce oil and gas without any CO2 emissions. This is feasible, we have the know-how and the technology. How does working in the Middle East compare with your experience in South America and Europe? In Europe, I was in a research institute, in South America, I was a senior consultant in a national company with shareholders, and in the Middle East, I was in two national companies and I am now in an American university. The main differences come more from the positioning of these institutions in the R&D chain rather than from their locations. When you have time off, what do you like to do? I enjoy spending time with my family as well as outdoor activities involving water: swimming or boating.



High performance computing for upstream is the topic for Athens workshop


mik St-Cyr (Shell), workshop cochair, writes: A third instalment of the EAGE Workshop on High Performance Computing (HPC) for Upstream will be held in Athens over a period of four days starting 1 October 2017. The workshop brings together various experts from across the industry in order to understand state-of-the-art key applications employed in the upstream sector. HPC for upstream modelling simulation is the leading technology in the effort to seek higher productivity, lower costs and increased efficiencies during our industry historic market changes. Faster algorithms and hardware lead to a better analysis of our data and thus to much improved timely business decisions. Adapting and exploiting such technology which is increasing compute power at the impla-

cable speed of Moore’s law toward Exaflops class systems in the next decade - is a considerable challenge we face as an industry. The number of on-chip cores has exploded because of the clock speeds plateauing. In response, current CPUs have now multiple dozens of cores and GPGPUs are currently flirting with thousands of cores (albeit smaller ones). Those cores enjoy finer-grained parallelism at the instruction level or through vectorization. In order to feed those cores, ultra-fast memory technologies are required. These, in turn, involve intricate cache hierarchies or hardware thread schedulers which are harder to program. The fast memory speeds are close to one order of magnitude faster than the best DRAM available but, overall, the speeds are decreasing on a per core basis.

The key to keep accelerating applications such as FWI, RTM or reservoir simulators, amongst other applications, is to efficiently exploit all cores. This feat is achieved by simultaneously combining the best of algorithms for a particular architecture, implementation, software optimization and the correct deployment and production on supercomputers. This is no trivial endeavour and it involves many individuals across institutes, departments and disciplines Please join with your colleagues in Athens to discuss, gather, share and develop ideas on this technical evolution in high performance technical computing. The call for abstract is now open until 1 March 2017. Visit the website www.eage.org/ event/hpc-2017 to get more information regarding the workshop and to consult the submission guidelines.

Preparations for Paris 2017 are in full swing


t is already time to begin thinking seriously about this year’s 79th EAGE Conference & Exhibition (12-15 June 2017). Kevin McLachlan, chairman of the Local Advisory Committee for Paris 2017 says the event theme of ‘Energy, Technology, Sustainability: Time to open a new Chapter’ highlights the need to bring new solutions to the pressing problems arising from the persistent low price of oil and the demand for environmentally friendly exploration and production. In his foreword to the meeting’s second announcement (published in December), EAGE president Chris Ward expressed the belief that ‘technology, better practice and integrated solutions can turn the current downturn into an opportunity. Our conference theme should be a rallying call not just for our members but for many government, commercial and academic professionals interested in the future progress of geoscience and engineering applications in the world, not only confined to the oil and gas industry.’ A full schedule is being built around the main technical programme. The event will kick-off with an opening session and an icebreaker reception on Monday 12 June. The first two days will also see the popular Forum, executive and dedicated ses-


Iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.

sions. Furthermore EAGE offers two special interest sessions for Young Professionals and Women in Geoscience and Engineering. Participants can also look forward to a full schedule of workshops, field trips and short courses before and after the main event days. The event’s core is of course the Technical Programme with the emphasis on multi-disciplinary research and strategies. This year the plan is to highlight geology. Extra sessions are being scheduled on petroleum geology with themes such as IOR-EOR; Petroleum Systems in the Middle East;

Petroleum Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa; Petroleum Systems of North Africa; Oil and Gas History of Europe; Seals in Northern Europe; and Shale Oil Production Resilience – Why and How? The preparations are also well underway to stage the all-important exhibition where over 350 companies will be showcasing the latest technologies, new product launches and numerous industry services. The exhibition is a perfect platform where you can grow and strengthen a network of invaluable contacts, but also for companies and organizations in the geoscience field to gain maximum exposure. Finally, we continue to cater in a big way for the upcoming generation of students needed and welcomed in the geoscience community. The French artist inspired theme of ‘Paint your Path’ for the Student Programme will challenge all students to meet their inner impressionist and find a balance between creativity and geoscience. It promises to be an exciting programme full of activities with a variety of technical presentations, workshops, an exhibition tour, trial interviews, a motivational speaker, and the two major contests; the Geo-Quiz and FIELD Challenge. The best way to catch up with all details is to visit www.eage.org/event/paris-2017.



Fresh look for First Break, contributors welcome The topic list for First Break 2017


ost geoscientists and especially members of EAGE will be aware of our flagship publication First Break. It is read worldwide as an authoritative source of topical news, features, analysis and accessible technical information. Beginning in January 2017, First Break’s English language version has taken on a fresh design and later in 2017 a new section will be introduced called Bulletin Board. This is where the EAGE Board and management will keep the members informed on new initiatives and developments on a monthly basis. Meantime we encourage geoscientists and engineers in industry and academia to contribute a


Land Seismic


Reservoir Monitoring


Petroleum Geology


Passive Seismic




Energy, Technology, Sustainability - Time to open a new chapter


Unconventionals & Carbon Capture and Storage


Near Surface Geoscience


EM & Potential Methods


Reservoir Geoscience and Engineering


Marine Seismic


Data Processing

refereed technical article or submit an article for the special topic section, which has a different theme every month. If you are thinking of contributing or are already in the process, please keep in mind our guidelines. As a general rule, articles should be readable, informative, interesting and succinct. Authors are encouraged to keep their articles to around 3000 words in length plus illustrations, with a maximum of 4500 words including the list of references and text in figure captions. Technical articles for First Break are subject to the full refereeing process. They should, whenever possible, be submitted via: EAGE’s ScholarOne website: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/fb.

This allows you to track the progress of the article at all stages and ensures a more rapid turnaround from submission to publication. Authors submitting for the first time will have to create an account before logging in. The site offers a Help section and User Guide. For the Special Topics, articles are best submitted to our editorial coordinator by email via firstbreak@eage.org. Any questions about the suitability of an article should also be sent here in the first instance. Submissions should be made no less than two months ahead of time to ensure proper consideration for publication. For more information, please go to www.firstbreak.org.

Bring customized training to your organization


id you know that you can have an EAGE short course specially tailored for your organization held on your own premises? Our short courses are available for participants interested in further developing their knowledge through industry specific programmes presented by our members, both industry professionals and academics. EAGE offers a wide range of classroom training, and most of the short courses are available as in-house training. These can be organized at your own facilities and customized to better fit with the needs of the company.

In-house courses are usually suited for a group of 10-20 participants, although a larger group can be accommodated. The course can be complemented with a consultation session, if needed. EAGE instructors are carefully selected by the EAGE Education Committee, and the contents of the courses are evaluated regularly to ensure that they stay up-to-date and at a high professional level. Most instructors are flexible and can customize the curriculum with individual preferences and training needs. An important benefit of the EAGE inhouse format is lower cost. It is often more


cost effective to have courses delivered at venues of your choice rather than you and your staff having to travel to another location. Engaging in training as a group and undertaking activities and discussions together can also serve as a team-building exercise, strengthening the bonds between your employees, refreshing your team’s skills and boosting their confidence. On the Learning Geoscience website you can find an overview of all the short courses including if it is available as in-house course. For any questions or requests please contact the EAGE Events team (education@eage.org).



PDO is a winner!


etroleum Development Oman (PDO) won two awards at the prestigious Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC). The company scooped the Best Oil and Gas Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Project for its support for Local Community Contractors (LCCs) and Super Local Community Contractors (SLCCs), Omani-owned companies supplying core services to the sector. It also won the Best Practice Award for its early monetisation of new hydrocarbon discoveries through early development facilities at fields such as Tayseer, Hawqa Zauliyah and Sadad North in response to the low oil price environment. PDO’s Baader volunteering project, which allows staff to give their time and expertise to charities and non-government organizations, and its initiative to optimize gas handling in aging assets were also shortlisted for the Best Oil and Gas CSR Project and Best Practice Award.

Egyptian concessions for three supermajors

Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.


gyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla has signed off on three offshore oil and gas exploration and production deals worth at least $220 million with supermajors Total, BP, and Eni. The deals include the drilling of six wells and a signing bonus of $9 million and follow a tender called by EGAS, Egypt’s state

gas board. All the exploration blocks involved are in the Egyptian Mediterranean Sea. The deal with a consortium of BP and IEOC is worth $75 million for an exploration block in the North Ras El Esh block; the second, with a consortium of all three companies, is in the North El Hammad block and is worth $80 million, and the third, with BP alone, is in the North Tabia block and worth $65 million. The oil sector in Egypt has witnessed 73 oil and gas exploration deals with international oil companies in the past three years worth at least $15 billion so far, according to Oil Minister Molla, with signing bonuses of over $1 billion for the drilling of 306 wells.

Lebanon breaks open its offshore blocks


ebanon’s new government has passed two decrees on oil and gas exploration blocks, meaning a tender process for offshore reserves, stalled since 2013, can begin. Beirut estimates it has 96 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 865 million barrels of oil offshore, but disputes between parties has prevented it from kick-starting the exploration and

development of the sector. ‘The two oil decrees have been decided in the first achievement for the government,’ Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil wrote on Twitter during the first meeting of the new cabinet under Prime Minister Saad Hariri. In 2013, 46 companies qualified to take part in bidding for oil and gas tenders.

EAGE Middle East Event Calendar February 2017

October 2017

November 2017

26 February - 1 March First AAPG/EAGE/SEG Middle East Geosciences Student Conference

1-4 October Third EAGE Workshop on High Performance Computing for Upstream

7-9 November Third EAGE Eastern Africa Petroleum Geoscience Forum

Al Ain, UAE | www.eage.org

Athens, Greece | www.eage.org

Maputo, Mozambique | www.eage.org

2-4 May Fourth EAGE Exploration Workshop

9-11 October Second EAGE Borehole Geology Workshop

11-13 November Fourth EAGE Workshop on Rock Physics

Muscat, Oman | www.eage.org

St. Julians, Malta | www.eage.org

Abu Dhabi, UAE | www.eage.org

9-11 October AAPG/EAGE Tight Reservoirs in the Middle East Workshop

19-22 November Fourth EAGE Borehole Geophysics Workshop

Abu Dhabi, UAE | www.eage.org

Abu Dhabi, UAE | www.eage.org

May 2017

June 2017 12-15 June 79th EAGE Conference & Exhibition Paris 2017 Paris, France | www.eage.org

September 2017

December 2017

3-7 September Near Surface Geoscience 2017

10-12 December Second Well Injectivity & Productivity in Carbonates Workshop

Malmo, Sweden | www.eage.org

Doha, Qatar | www.eage.org



Profile for EAGE

EAGE Newsletter Middle East 2017, Issue 1  

The Regional Newsletter Middle East focuses on geoscientific issues in this specific region. This 8 page newsletter contains local industry...

EAGE Newsletter Middle East 2017, Issue 1  

The Regional Newsletter Middle East focuses on geoscientific issues in this specific region. This 8 page newsletter contains local industry...

Profile for eage