During well-work to install artificial lift in unconventional horizontal wells in El Trapial field, scale and corrosion were identified in two different pads. The West pad had been on production for fifth teen (15) months prior the intervention while the East pad had nine (9) months online. An interesting observation during the inspection of the carbon steel tubulars was that most of the corrosion was located on the lower section of the string but chrome (Cr) 1% chemical injection mandrels were not affected. Based on the samples analyzed, the corrosion was associated to high carbon dioxide (CO2) partial pressure and acidized water production while the scale samples confirmed it was barium sulfate (BaSO4). Both conditions are detrimental to the well integrity and productivity, highly impacting the operating cost to resolve them. As the full field development is the next phase under factory execution design, it was critical to rapidly incorporate these learnings and generate an effective mitigation plan.
Applying a traditional project management approach would have delivered a working solution but probably not on time and with low tolerance to unanticipated changes. Agile framework is an alternative methodology that initially started in the software development industry and centers around four values: 1) Individuals and interactions over processes and tools 2) Working software over comprehensive documentation 3) Customer collaboration over contract negotiation 4) Responding to change over following a plan. These values promote a mindset that enables transparency within the team and stakeholders, prioritizing value adding work, adaptability, frequent integration of feedback, self-organizing teams, and continuous improvement of the product. Based on recent successful applications of this approach in other projects, the multidisciplinary team decided to work in an Agile framework to accelerate the solution for the upcoming development well’s design.
Following adapted Scrum ceremonies, within 5 Sprints of 2 weeks each, the team simulated fluid velocities in different tubing sizes, corrosion rates varying tubing size and metallurgy, modeled drawdown strategies, and assessed materials lead time and incremental costs. Ultimately, the team generated effective short- and long-term solutions despite unexpected deviations along the process: replicate successful drawdown management of appraisal wells to control high initial pressures, change tubular metallurgy from carbon steel to chrome alloy, transition from initial tubing flow to casing flow while well natural capacity allows it, install artificial lift with 2 3/8" tubulars and inject solid scale inhibitors during the initial hydraulic fracturing stimulation of the wells.
This paper will cover how the methodology of the Agile process was applied, the technical work generated and final recommendation of this alternative approach to manage a project.