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October 2019
25th Oct 2019 Drilling and completing in coals - experiences and future challenges – do we understand what the rocks tell us?

 Drilling and completing in coals - experiences and future challenges – do we understand what the rocks tell us?

Presented by:  Dr. Thomas Flottman


In contrast to the vast experience that has been gleaned from the shale industry, coals present very specific drilling (and completion) challenges due to their relatively low rock strength. Coal properties contrast significantly with inter-burden rocks, thereby making coals comparatively responsive to subtle changes in stress geometry and effective stress (i.e., applied pore-pressure during drilling and completion activities).

Based on experiences from horizontal drilling in Surat and Bowen coals using both conventional rotary drilling as well as coil tubing drilling techniques, this talk will highlight specific challenges of drilling weak rocks (coals) and their susceptibility to varying equivalent circulating density (pore-pressure conditions) resulting in varying borehole conditions shown by image and calliper logs. The drilling experiences are compared and contrasted with rock-strength data derived from fracture stimulations and DFIT (diagnostic fracture injection tests) testing in coals.

The shared observations and experiences should set the scene for discussion around questions: how well is the coal seam gas (CSG) industry prepared for drilling and completing in maturing and depleted coal reservoirs? Do we need to consider amending rig fleets/configurations, e.g., entertaining underbalanced drilling?

About the Speaker

Thomas Flottman has worked for Origin Energy for 10 years in various roles and is Origin’s Chief Geoscientist. He did his undergraduate studies in South Africa and completed a PhD on a continental deep drilling project at the University of Frankfurt (W. Germany) in 1988. After post-doctoral employment in Australia and the US he worked in the oil and gas industry for 25 years - predominantly in structurally and geomechanically challenging exploration and development projects in Australia, Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Europe. Thomas has been intermittently involved in CSG projects for over 15 years. His current work focuses on the adaptation of geomechanical concepts and in-situ stress characterization for reservoir optimization, fracture stimulations and horizontal drilling projects in Coal Seam Gas reservoirs in SE Australia.

31st Oct 2019 LNG Shipping: A Global Game In Our Backyard

A continuation from Downstream LNG, Tim Hornerman - Senior LNG Originator at Origin Energy will delve into LNG shipping, talking about Australia's trading partners, market dynamics and sales contracts.

Upcoming Events
November 2019
4th Nov 2019 The Role of Compression in Natural Gas Production

The Role of Compression in Natural Gas Production

Presented by Adrian Cowan, CPEng MIEAust


Compression plays an integral part in the production and transmission of natural gas. Natural gas compressors create the low-pressure environment required to stimulate natural gas production from wells in the upstream gathering system and facilitate the high pressures required to transport gas via pipelines. This talk explores deliverability of natural gas wells, their response to reducing bottom hole flowing pressure and the role of compression in maximizing production. An overview of the types, makes and models of compressors used in Australia will be provided along with an understanding of the principles governing their performance.

In natural gas gathering applications, maintaining the lowest possible suction pressure can provide a significant production advantage. As fields fluctuate and, over time, decline, compressor optimization should be done on a regular basis in order to minimize suction pressure, maximize throughput and maintain high levels of overall fleet utilization.


Adrian Cowan, CPEng MIEAust

Adrian Cowan is an engineer and Manager, Engineering Services for Detechtion Technologies in Australia. Responsible for driving economic return to producers of natural gas through his experience and knowledge of compression, Adrian holds relationships and customer service in high regards alongside technical accuracy.

Adrian began his oil and gas engineering career with a fast rising junior producer, Berkana Energy Corp. Splitting his time between the Calgary head office and Rimbey field office, Adrian was responsible for the daily operation of a selection of producing assets over a twelve-month period that saw Berkana double its daily production.

A move to Detechtion Technologies, specialists in compressor optimization, in 2008, allowed Adrian to feed his passion for high-powered machines garnered from racing go-karts through adolescence. Responsible for managing a client portfolio with compressors fleets from 1 to 350, Adrian excelled in his role and moved to Brisbane, Australia in 2010 to open the Australian office for Detechtion Technologies as Operations Manager.

Adrian is a certified instructor of Detechtion’s Reciprocating and Rotary Compressor courses. In his spare time, he enjoys indulging in his triathlon pursuits and spending time with his young family.

18th Nov 2019 URTeC Conference Dinner

SPE QLD Section invites SPE members and conference attendees to wind down with  an evening of live entertainment, guest speaker and fine dining, all overlooking the spectacular Brisbane CBD and river. The dinner is set to be an excellent chance to relax and socialise after the URTeC conference on the Monday night.  Join us for this not to be missed event.

Live Entertainment: Cubano Highball Trio is one of Brisbane’s most versatile bands which performs a wide range from nostalgic New Orleans jazz, to contemporary love ballads and burning, up-tempo be-bop.



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