Overview of Advanced Wells Affiliate Program

Advanced or nonconventional wells, which include horizontal, highly deviated, multilateral and "smart" wells (wells with downhole sensors and inflow control devices) offer enormous potential for the economic recovery of oil and gas. These wells are, however, expensive to drill and complete. In order to make sound development decisions, it is therefore important that advanced well performance is estimated accurately. Unfortunately, many of the traditional simulation and modeling tools do not provide predictions of sufficient accuracy and reliability. As a result, the full potential of advanced well technology is probably not being realized.

There is considerable need, therefore, for experimental and numerical work directed toward the development of improved modeling techniques for advanced wells. This will provide better quantitative tools for assessing the performance of these wells under realistic reservoir conditions. These tools will in turn allow engineers to optimize the application, design and performance of advanced wells.

Our research is directed toward the enhancement of advanced well modeling technology. Our program entails strong wellbore modeling and reservoir simulation components. Current and past research in SUPRI-HW includes work in the following important areas:

  • Development of stand-alone fully unstructured well models for simulating complex near-well flow phenomena (e.g., effects of non-Darcy flow, hydraulic fractures)
  • Mechanistic and drift-flux modeling of multiphase flow in wellbores
  • Determination of drift-flux model parameters from wellbore flow experiments
  • Accurate representation of advanced wells in general purpose simulators
  • Incorporation of thermal multisegment well models in simulators
  • Development of techniques for upscaling and gridding in the vicinity of complex wells
  • Development of efficient semi-analytical techniques for advanced well modeling
  • General purpose reservoir simulation

Our Advanced Wells Research program (SUPRI-HW) is dedicated both to the development of techniques for accurately modeling advanced wells and to the education of future leaders in the field. We review our research for member companies annually at a workshop at Stanford University. SUPRI-HW is closely integrated with our consortium on Reservoir Simulation Research (SUPRI-B) and the Stanford Smart Fields Consortium. The SUPRI-HW and SUPRI-B groups together typically have about 20-25 students as well as several research associates or post-doctoral fellows. Professors Louis Durlofsky and Khalid Aziz are co-directors of these programs; Professor Hamdi Tchelepi is a co-director of SUPRI-B.

The Advanced Wells project operates within the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, School of Earth Sciences:

1. The program is currently supported by the following organizations:

  • BP
  • Chevron
  • Computer Modeling Group
  • ConocoPhillips
  • ENI SpA
  • ExxonMobil
  • Fekete
  • Gaz de France
  • Kappa Engineering
  • Petrobras
  • Repsol – YPF
  • Rosneft
  • Schlumberger
  • Shell
  • StatOil Hydro

2. The results of research are made available to Affiliate Members in the form of software, theses, research reports and preprints of papers. Opportunities are available for cooperative technical exchange (including extended visits to Stanford) with oil company experts.

3. Results of Advanced Well research are presented at the annual review meeting held at Stanford. At the annual review, students and faculty present research results and outline future research directions for discussion with member company representatives. This meeting is open to Affiliates and other selected organizations (including universities) that may have a positive impact on the Advanced Wells program.


Membership Fees

The current annual fee for participation is $30,000 (some discount is given to companies that also support the SUPRI-B program.) The annual membership fee for companies with 20 or fewer employees is $10,000.


Contact Information

Organizations interested in becoming members of SUPRI-HW should contact:

Program Co-Director 
Professor Khalid Aziz
Department of Energy Resources Engineering 
Phone: (650) 723-9116 
Fax: (650) 725-2099 
Email: aziz@stanford.edu

Program Co-Director
Professor Lou Durlofsky
Department of Energy Resources Engineering 
Phone: (650) 723-4142
Fax: (650) 725-2099 
Email: lou@stanford.edu


Program Administrator 
Joleen Castro 
Department of Energy Resources Engineering 
Phone: (650) 725-9835 
Fax: (650) 725-2099 
Email: jpcastro@stanford.edu
Department of Energy Resources Engineering
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305-2220
phone 650-725-9835
fax 650-725-2099