Reservoir & Well Management

Count of technologies (Operators plans, total 884)

Focussed on the operations phase of the asset lifecycle, this category has consistently ranked close to the top of operator focus with the second highest number of distinct technologies reported and the greatest number of operators providing submissions in the current survey.

reservoir well management bar chart

Reservoir & Well management (150)

reservoir well management pie chart 1

Seven sub-categories were defined to analyse the submissions which cover aspects of production monitoring, improved/enhanced production, well intervention & integrity and reservoir and well flow assurance challenges:

Technology Sub-Categories
5.1 Surveillance & Inspection
5.2 Improved and Enhanced Recovery
5.3 Intervention Equipment
5.4 Well Integrity Repairs
5.5 Waxing, Hydrates and Scaling Solutions
5.6 Liquid Loading and Water Production
5.7 Sand and Solids Management

Operator plans to improve recovery factors and extend field life through use of technology for Improved and Enhanced Recovery accounts for 40% of submissions in this category. Technologies referenced include IOR/EOR, completion technology to manage inflow, wireline stimulation and focus on artificial lift technology including improved ESP reliability to maintain production levels.  Interest in technologies applicable to low API (heavy) Tertiary oil indicate the ongoing dependence on technology to facilitate the development of some of the UKCS’ more “challenging” reserves. 

Surveillance and inspection technologies for production and well monitoring also rank very highly, accounting for a quarter of submissions. Technology is being employed to better understand and respond to reservoir and well performance behaviour with Fibre Optic and Chemical Tracer applications featuring strongly. In conjunction with enhancements in deployment of intervention services to help sustain and improve well performance, operators also maintain focus on addressing the impact on production from sanding, organic and mineral deposits and the management of hydrate formation subsea. 

At 22% of the total technology spend, operator expenditure on Reservoir and Well Management remains the highest of all the categories.  However, 90% of the spend comes from only 40% of companies with the remaining 60% each committing less than £1mm annually. 


Further Information



Technology maturity (Operators plans)

Mature existing technology provides the bulk of operator solutions (55%) with products and services at Early Commercialisation (15%) bringing the contribution from available technology to 70%. Technology solutions under development account for less than 20% of operator submissions in this category which is consistent with the average seen across the eight categories.

reservoir well management pie chart 2


Technology delivery (Operators plans)

Reservoir and Well Management ranks second only to Well Drilling and Completions in dependence on vendor solutions with just under three quarters of technology provide through the supply chain.

Collaboration through Supplier Partnerships is evident but while there is a small increase in active programmes ongoing with the Net Zero Technology Centre on fibre optics and acoustic sand monitoring there is clearly opportunity for operators to mature technology via that route. In-house technology delivery effort is consistent with other reported categories.  Peer to peer collaboration through JIPs and the mechanism for operators to share the burden on what is commonly the domain of fundamental R&D is under utilised.

reservoir well management pie chart 3

Technology Sub-Categories

Surveillance and inspection

Permanent monitoring, and logging (acoustic, spectral noise, pulsed neutron) remain of interest. Operators are looking to expand the application of chemical tracers to heavy oil, injection wells and gas applications while interest in geochemical finger-printing/natural tracers indicates focus on other approaches to surveillance. Strong interest in fibre optic technology continues with DTS and DAS in different deployment configurations reported. The possibility of using DAS to acquire VSP and mini 4D surveys is being investigated. 


Number of technologies by operator

reservoir well management pie chart 4

Technology maturity​

20 - Existing Technology (59%)
8 - Early Commercialisation (24%)
3 - Undefined (9%)
2 - Early development (6%)
1 - Late Development/Pilot (3%)

Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • RESMAN - Unique oil and water soluble chemical tracers have been used to provide qualitative and quantitative indication of zonal production contribution, identify water breakthough and indicate performance of subsurface inflow control completions (Apache) 
Emerging Technologies:
  • FibreLine – single use tool that free falls or can be pumped into the well to deploy bare fibre optic cable to acquire distributed acoustic and/or temperature data for a variety of applications – leak detection, inflow survey, borehole seismic.  On completion of the survey the cable is cut at surface.  The deployment tool can be equipped with single point sensors or sources (Chrysaor, Spirit, Neptune) 

Improved and Enhanced recovery

Polymer EOR technology features prominently with cost reduction, impact on process facilities and improved ESP performance in focus.  Plans for trials of microbial and enzyme EOR technologies and interest in foam flooding will expand knowledge of these EOR options.  Artificial lift technology focus is on improved reliability of ESPs, ESP/gas lift monitoring and optimisation plus retrofit gas lift and Liquid Assisted Gas Lift applications.  Heavy oil development challenges will benefit from operator interest in EOR, artificial lift, ICD/AICD completions and managing fluid properties e.g. acid crude blending, diluent management.


Number of technologies by operator

reservoir well management pie chart 5

Technology maturity​

29 - Existing Technology (48%)
10 - Late Development/Pilot (16%)
9 - Undefined (15%)
8 - Early Development (13%)
5 - Early Commercialisation (8%)

Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • Microbial EOR- injection of supplemental nutrients support proliferation of specific beneficial microbial population.  Microbes migrate to oil/water interfaces reducing surface tension and snip off oil droplets releasing residual/trapped oil (TAQA/CNOOC)
  • Wireline Stimulation – WASP discharges electric current to generate hydraulic pulses to breakdown scale/sand build-up or stimulate sandface/near wellbore  - (Repsol Sinopec/CNOOC)
Emerging Technologies:
  • Liquid Assisted Gas Lift  - utilising the density of liquid and gas phases to generate greater hydrostatic pressure than lift gas alone to unload deeper in the well (Equinor) 

Intervention Equipment and Well Integrity Repairs

Operator interest is in intervention cost and risk reduction. Digital slick line offers increased functionality and reduced rig up/down, polymer locked wireline offers improved efficiency and maintenance costs while single use fibre optic is a possible lower cost alternative for downhole data acquisition.

Hydraulic interface technology to enable servicing by less expensive vessels is being looked at to reduce the cost of subsea well chemical treatments.  Operational efficiencies are being delivered by specialist tool manufacturers to help overcome intervention challenges.  The Net Zero Technology Centre supported development of a wireless retrofit insert safety valve holds potential for an intervention solution to restore production from wells with failed DHSV hydraulics, avoiding the cost of an upper completion workover. 

Number of technologies by operator

Well integrity repair

reservoir well management pie chart 7

Intervention equipment


Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • Digitalslickline – Coated cable provides the efficiency and functionality of slickline with the ability to transmit data to/from downhole toolstrings.  Tools are powered by battery. (Chrysaor) 
  • Hydraulic intervention interface –  ROV installed injection insert temporarily replaces retrievable production choke insert to enable scale inhibitor squeeze from ROVSV instead of more costly LWIV (Ansuria Operator, KNOC) 
Emerging Technologies:
  • Wireless DHSV – Insert safety valve solution alternative to ambient pressure/velocity safety valves, uses Fluid Harmonics production telemetry already demonstrated in field applications for downhole pressure/temperature transmision and interval control valve remote operation.  (Net Zero Technology Centre, Shell) 

Flow assurance (sand, water and scale)

Restoring productivity using retrofit screen solutions and plugged screen remediation interests operators of wells with sand control challenges.  Topside sand knock-out packages and efforts to enhance acoustic monitoring are the focus for surface management of solids.  Addressing liquid loading in gas wells using established solutions e.g. velocity strings and surfactants is being supported by the application of nano particles to stabilise surfactant foam.  Chemical inhibition is the focus for managing organic deposits and inorganic scales such as FeS in sour fields and PbS and ZnS in HPHT production.  Lower cost alternative deployment methods and improving predictive modelling is also of interest to operators.


Number of technologies by operator

reservoir well management pie chart 6

Technology maturity

15 – Existing technology (55%)
3 – Early Commercialisation
2 – Late development / Pilot
2 – Early development
4 – Undefined

Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • Ceramic sand screens – Advanced ceramic materials used in sand control screens to provide greatly improved durability (erosion, corrosion resistance) compared to conventional metal screens. Can be retrofitted. (Repsol)
  • Coil hose – Rig-less mini coil (3/4” & 1” OD) intervention system providing low rate circulation services in the XMT and upper completion e.g. N2 lifting, chemical treatment placement, jetting (Chysaor)
Emerging Technologies:
  • Nano particles – Stabilisation of foams to improve performance of surfactant treatment for unloading liquid loaded gas wells (Chrysaor) 
  • Sand detection – Acoustic sensor array to isolate background flow noise to improve characterisation of produced solids e.g. volume, shape, size, velocity. (Repsol)

Functional Categories


The technologies referred to in this report are for illustrative purposes only and other technologies may be available. The OGA does not directly or indirectly endorse, recommend or guarantee any entity, product or technology referred to in this report.