Exploration and Production Technologies

Development of Underbalanced Risk Information Tool UnRiskIT Software

DE-AF26-01NT00980

Goal:
The goal is to accelerate the economic use of underbalanced drilling (UBD) and completion technology as well as help optimize production of natural gas from low pressure formations susceptible to fluid damage. A software program (UnRiskIT™) was designed to help operators evaluate risks and rewards of applying underbalanced drilling technologies to various drilling projects.

Background:
Techniques of recovery of oil and gas are constantly being developed and challenged at critical rates. Without proper risk analysis programs, the industry is ill-equipped to meet these new developments, and, in all cases, new techniques are not embraced due to the lack of “risk knowledge”. For example UBD has followed the very same footsteps as that of horizontal drilling. In the early stages of horizontal drilling, companies were unsure of success and benefit while drilling. Although the theory proved itself, horizontal drilling remained a skeptical technique for a long time. Now it is accepted as the only way to drill into certain formations. A similar analogue can be applied to coalbed methane (CBM) exploration and production. Now CBM is over 10% of U.S. natural gas supply. Though there is much “buzz” within the industry about UBD, there is little movement and acceptance due to the limited “risk knowledge” in UBD. Existing information on UBD is held by few people in the industry and such data are kept proprietary. UnRiskit™ offers a simple yet powerful solution to understanding and managing risk for underbalanced drilling.

Project managers rely heavily on risk analysis in order to gain valuable insight into potential hazards and lost benefits. Historically, painstaking methods and processes are carefully followed in order to accomplish this inexplicable task. The available software tools can be difficult, inefficient and cumbersome, involving statistics and probabilistic modeling in order to make sense of the complex and multi-variant relationships in stochastic modeling. In many cases, software tools have been designed in such an inconsistent manner that the end user spends more time learning how to operate the software than actually generating results. This unfortunately leads to the need to hire an expert to operate the software.

The UnRiskit software project was developed to overcome these hurdles and integrate risk operating costs with risk gain (or loss) potential, and to evaluate the combined uncertainties of drilling and production in a systematic and intuitive manner while not compromising sophistication. The user of the software will be able to optimize and ascertain the value of the drilling operation in terms of risk.

Performer: Warrior Technologies, Inc.

Location:
Houston, TX 77068

Project Impact:
Warrior Technologies has developed, marketed, and expanded the software to aid the industry in knowledgeable risk management for drilling projects. The software is available commercially at www.unriskit.com.

Accomplishments:

  • Developed a commercial software product designed to help operators evaluate potential risks and economic rewards of underbalanced drilling,

This project developed an advanced underbalanced drilling software package at a cost lower than would have otherwise been possible, through a JIP. The software integrates and combines the uncertainties of risked operating costs with risked benefit (or loss) potential. UnRiskIT™ provides sophisticated risk analysis through an interface that is systematic and intuitive.

Current Status and Remaining Tasks: This project is complete. The software is available commercially at www.unriskit.com.

Project Start: September 29, 2001
Project End: September 30, 2002

DOE Contribution: $100,000
Performer Contribution: $100,000

Contact Information:

NETL – John D. Rogers (jrogers@netl.doe.gov or 304-285-4880)
Warrior Technology, Inc. – J. Victor Guerro (victor@warriortech.com or 281-444-5350)

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