26-28 March 2019
Beijing International Convention Center
Beijing, China


The IPTC "Ask the Expert Sessions" are an opportunity for attendees to hear from oil and gas “industry gurus” and “distinguished lecturers.” Speakers will discuss topics related to IPTC’s mission of advancing the scientific and technological knowledge of exploration, development, production, transportation and processing oil and natural gas.

Each 50-minute session will feature a 30-minute keynote presentation by the expert followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session.


Digital Rock Approach for Extending Core Materials into Time/Space/ Process Dimensions

Tuesday, 26 March • 1400-1450 hours • Room 307, Level 3

Digital rocks are 3D models depicting the pore/grain scale textural arrangement of void spaces and solid framework of a rock. Such models are widely used to calculate fluid flow, and efforts are underway (many research groups) extending those methods for calculations of: resistivity, NMR response, thermal conduction, poro-mechanics and acoustics.

These numerical approaches provide a phenomenological understanding of the process basis underlying real-world measurements (e.g. wireline) and those obtained via laboratory measurements (e.g. core analysis). Because digital rocks provide a critical link between rock textures and properties, it is possible to play with textures to introduce (or remove) the textural effects of natural processes, such as diagenesis and deformation, following general rules derived from many decades of petrographic studies. This capability allows any digital rock to be extended forwards or backwards through its process space, enabling the estimation of property histories even though we do not have a physical sample.


Gary D. Couples
Herriot-Watt U.

Professor Gary D. Couples leads the Geomaterials research group at Heriot-Watt University, which seeks to understand, and quantify, subsurface processes at many length- and time-scales. These studies employ multiple simulation methods, laboratory experimentation, and geo-history investigations, and seek to provide the context and circumstances by which rocks, and their textural characteristics, are altered. Digital rocks play a key role by providing a common link across all scales and processes. 

Dr. Couples earned a Bachelor degree at Texas A&M University (1974), a Masters degree at Rice University (1977), and a PhD at Texas A&M University (1986). Following 15 years of industrial experience, he joined the academic world, first at Glasgow University, and now at Heriot-Watt University. He was a Distinguished Lecturer for SPE, and teaches in both academic and professional settings internationally.




Brownfield Redevelopments: The Art of Finding Oil in Your Own Backyard 

Tuesday, 26 March • 1600-1650 hours • Room 307, Level 3

Brownfields today still hold significant reserves. Global effort to increase oil and gas production shall be a combination of developing new discoveries and maximising the production from existing brownfields. Production decline from existing brownfields can be due to a combination of reservoir pressure decline, redistribution of oil and gas, and change in rock-fluid properties.

The initially constructed subsurface production and surface production support system progressively become inadequate and degraded. Reservoir and field production management main focus and tasks are shifting to reservoir and production surveillance, well productivity assurance and system flow assurance. Brownfield redevelopment shall focus on the reconstruction of an optimised production system for maximising well productivity and higher wellbore stability at the lowest cost.

In this technical sharing session, the latest techno-commercial challenges in brown field will be discussed. Several case studies will be presented to support our so called ‘Value Driven Approach’ in mature field redevelopment.


Abdolrahim Ataei
Principal Reservoir Engineer
Upstream, Centre of Excellence (COE), Petroleum Engineering

Dr. Abdolrahim Ataei, BSc, MSc, and PhD is Principal Reservoir Engineer in PETRONAS. He has more than 28 years of industrial and academic experiences in Upstream E&P with the past 11 years in PETRONAS. In addition to reservoir engineering and reservoir studies, he has worked in several positions in the E&P business, including offshore operation and production, as well as well completion design and drilling.

At PETRONAS, Dr. Ataei was a member of Technical Review Committee (TRC) which was actively involved in forming several FDPs in Malaysia over the past 10 years. He was also a subsurface advisor in several international asset evaluation and acquisitions and resource maturation projects.

He has published more than 50 technical papers in various international journals and conferences on different areas of reservoir dynamic and characterisation. His areas of interest are reservoir simulation and dynamics, EOR, well testing, and production analysis.




Thermal Enhanced Oil Recovery – False Starts and Successes 

Wednesday, 27 March • 1600-1650 hours • Room 307, Level 3

Thermal Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has come a long way, contributing to about 5 percent of the world oil production. There is still the potential to double this volume. Much time and resources have been lost in testing thermal or thermally assisted recovery methods with little or no commercial recovery potential. The successful methods include steam injection in many forms. The unsuccessful methods encompass a broad range of processes, such as combustion-based methods, electrical heating, contiguous use of chemicals and solvents, and still more exotic approaches, such as downhole steam generators. The successful processes are discussed, pointing out that currently steam injection is applicable to almost any type of reservoir. The technical flaws of less successful methods are briefly discussed. Future applications of thermal EOR are outlined.


S.M. Farouq Ali
Distinguished Professor of Petroleum Engineering
University of Houston

Dr. S.M. Farouq Ali is Distinguished Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Houston. He served at the University of Alberta and at the Pennsylvania State University for 40 years. Until recently, he was EnCana Professor at the University of Calgary. He has supervised over 200 graduate students, authored over 500 papers, and three books. He serves as consultant to oil companies worldwide. 

Dr. Ali has been honoured for his work on thermal recovery and simulation, with awards from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Russian Academy of Sciences.  He was awarded honorary doctorates by two major universities in Russia, and also received the Academy of Sciences Kapitsa Gold Medal. In 2007, he received SPE's Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal for technical excellence, and in 2014, the highest SPE Honorary Member award. In 2009, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. 





What Really Matters When Determining the Producibility of Organic Shale Reservoirs?

Thursday, 28 March • 1400-1450 hours • Room 307, Level 3

The key to organic shale productivity is having an adequate quantity of producible hydrocarbons. The challenge is to define what is producible. This is assessed via two technical disciplines: petrophysics and geomechanics.

Petrophysics: Hydrocarbons in place can be a misleading metric. Oil in an organic-hosted pore system may not be producible because of fluid viscosity and pore size. The producible hydrocarbons have likely migrated into a nearby conventional pore system. In the gas window, such migration is not needed. Thus pore system nature and thermal maturation will impact producibility.

Geomechanics: Hydraulic fracturing exposes a large reservoir surface area to the pressure drop required for fluid flow. The challenge is to create a durable surface area in the desired location. Frac location is driven by geomechanics and natural fractures. Durability is controlled via frac design and production management.

This presentation will review how these petrophysical and geomechanical properties are quantified.


George Waters
Head of Integrated Fracturing Services Domain
Schlumberger Fellow

George Waters has 33 years of experience in hydraulic fracturing, having designed and evaluated stimulation treatments in over 20 countries on six continents. He currently manages the technical integration of multiple Schlumberger services on international stimulation projects. He has authored or co-authored over 40 technical publications and has 12 patents and applications. George holds a BS in Petroleum Engineering from West Virginia University, a MS in Environmental Engineering from Oklahoma State University, and a MS in Petroleum Engineering from Institut Francais du Petrole. He was a 2009-10 SPE Distinguished Lecturer on the topic of Completion of Organic Shale Reservoirs, and is a Schlumberger Stimulation Fellow.


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