Origin and Behaviour of Oil Asphaltenes - Integration of Disciplines
Recorded on August 7, 2013 (60 minutes)

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In the last decade, traditionally engineering area of flow assurance have arguably seen one of the most dynamic influences of petroleum geochemistry.  The ‘merger’ of engineering and geochemical knowledge in the development of asphaltenes technology, has dynamically advanced this area of petroleum industry.  While the impact of such integration has been presented at many conferences, the topic is still poorly appreciated. 

Universal asphaltene molecule does not exist - in the diverse world of hydrocarbons fluids and its asphalatene fraction, a single field/reservoir may exhibit significantly different composition and dynamic behaviour.  While asphaltene precipitation is driven primarily by changes in pressure and composition, natural factors such as source rock type, timing of oil generation, expulsion and migration, secondary reservoir processes and alterations, and PVT conditions from source to reservoir will affect its molecular structure, size, chemical composition and phase behaviour.  Thus, understanding both, the phase behaviour (PVT) and geochemical history of reservoir fluids is critical to the identification of potential deposition problems during oil production. 

Determining factors controlling asphaltene behaviour is best achieved by an integrated study of stock tank liquid properties and live oil experiments.  Experimental data combined with production experience in the field can be used to establish the spatial distribution and severity of asphaltene stability/deposition in the field.  Early understanding of the spatial distribution and behaviour of “asphaltene problematic” fluids in a reservoir is a key in the development of any oil field and will lead to introduction of robust prevention and mitigation strategies.  Integration of knowledge and experience from worldwide operations provides opportunity to develop theories and predictive models, explaining fluids behaviour ahead of the drill bit.

Artur Stankiewicz

Mr. Stankiewicz is a Reservoir Fluids Manager and Domain Head responsible for global network of Fluids Laboratories and Water Chemistry and Petroleum Geochemistry in Schlumberger.  Until March 2010 he was Shell’s Expert in the area of Geochemistry Fluid Properties and Flow Assurance. 

He holds MSc and PhD in Geology/Organic Geochemistry and has spent 2 years as a Post-Doctoral Assistant at Bristol University, UK before joining Shell Oil in 1998.  He led development and implementation of asphaltenes technology in Shell, while also pioneering interdisciplinary focus on hydrocarbon fluid properties and its acquisition via foundation of a unique, integrated Fluid Evaluation and Sampling Technologies Team (FEAST). 

He worked on numerous projects around the world, authored more than 60 articles and 80 conference abstracts, has been an invited lecturer, organizer and chair of numerous international meetings and symposia.   He is currently a Chair of the European Association of Organic Geochemists (EAOG), and a member of SPE, AAPG.
Artur was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2011-12.