top of page

Mon, Jan 15


Petroleum Club of Fort Worth

FWGS January Luncheon

Diagnosing Production Problems in Highly Deviated Wells Using Oil and Gas Geochemical Fingerprinting by Mark A. McCaffrey (Weatherford Laboratories)

Registration is Closed
See other events
FWGS January Luncheon
FWGS January Luncheon

Time & Location

Jan 15, 2018, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Petroleum Club of Fort Worth, 777 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA


Event Details


Using examples from the Permian Basin of Texas, the North Slope of Alaska, and the Bergan Field of Kuwait, this paper describes how oil geochemical fingerprinting can be applied to diagnose quickly and easily three production problems that may affect highly deviated wells.

High-Resolution Gas Chromatography can be used to quantify ~1,000 different compounds in an oil, and the relative abundances of those compounds form a geochemical fingerprint. Geochemical differences between fluids in adjacent reservoirs can serve as natural tracers for fluid origin, allowing changes in production in highly deviated wells to be understood.

Application 1: In wells that are fracture stimulated, oil fingerprinting can be used to assess whether induced fractures have propagated out of the target interval and into overlying or underlying formations. Oil fingerprinting can be used to quantify what percentage of the produced oil and gas is coming from each interval and how the effective stimulated rock volume changes through time. This concept is illustrated here with a Permian Basin example.

Application 2: In wells with multiple laterals in the same well (such as those in certain North Slope, Alaska fields), sand can settle out of the production stream and form sand bridges that obstruct production from one or more of the laterals. In addition, sand co-produced with oil from shallower laterals can settle at the bottom of the vertical section during regular production and obstruct the entry to a deeper lateral. Geochemical fingerprinting can be used to determine quantitatively the contribution of each of several zones to a commingled oil stream. This technique allows the operator to identify sanded-out intervals for fill cleanout (FCO).

Application 3: If two reservoirs are both oil bearing, but are of very different permeability, horizontal wells with an intended landing target in the tighter reservoir may be adversely affected if the well path contacts the more permeable reservoir. The Mauddud reservoir in Kuwait provides examples of this phenomenon. The Mauddud carbonate occurs between two massive clastic reservoirs, the Wara and the Burgan. Average Mauddud porosity is 18% with low permeability (1-10 mD), characteristics which make this reservoir a candidate for horizontal drilling. However, some lateral wells in this carbonate may encounter the adjacent, more permeable reservoirs over a short portion of the well path. In such cases, production from the adjacent reservoir may account for virtually all of the well’s production, even though the well was intended to be completed solely in the tighter reservoir. Oil fingerprinting can be used to identify wells affected by this problem.

A common theme unifies these three applications: Geochemical differences between in-situ fluids in adjacent reservoirs can serve as natural tracers for fluid movement. However, these techniques have been under-applied as tools for optimization of production from highly deviated wells. This paper illustrates the application of this technology to that well type in a variety of play types.

Speaker Bio

Dr. McCaffrey received his B.A. (1985) from Harvard University, magna cum laude with highest honors in geological sciences, and his Ph.D. (1990) in chemical oceanography (in the area of organic geochemistry) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. Mark spent 10 years at Chevron and Arco as a petroleum geochemist, then founded OilTracers LLC. After 10 years, OilTracers was acquired by Weatherford. Mark is a California Registered Geologist (Lic. #5903), a Texas Professional Geoscientist (Geology Lic. #350), a Louisiana Professional Geoscientist (Lic. #264), and an AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist (Certificate #5339). He is author of numerous articles on the application of geochemistry. As an Expert Witness in gas fingerprinting, he has testified (i) in Mississippi State Court, (ii) in Ohio Federal Court, (iii) before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, (iv) before the Railroad Commission of Texas, and (v) before the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Office of Conservation. Mark is a PetroSkills Instructor in Oil and Gas Geochemistry, and has taught classes in 17 countries. Mark was a 2001-2002 Distinguished Lecturer for the Soc. of Petroleum Engineers. He was the 2014 recipient (as coauthor) of the AAPG Energy Minerals Division President’s Certificate for Excellence in Oral Presentation, and was the 2015 recipient (as coauthor) of the AAPG Bernold M. “Bruno” Hanson DEG Excellence of Presentation award.


  • Member RSVP - Pay Before Event

    Pay by credit card. RSVP by noon on Friday before event.

    Sale ended
  • Member RSVP - Pay at Event

    Pay by check or credit card at event. RSVP by noon on Friday before event.

    Sale ended
  • Student RSVP

    Students, please email to confirm reservation. Student RSVP no-shows will be contacted for lunch cost reimbursement.

    Sale ended



Share This Event

Please select ticket quantity above and click on Checkout

The Contact Form below is for contacting the FWGS, not for event registration

bottom of page