Two upscaling exercises performed in 2013-14 and 2017-18 on two onshore green fields with conventional to viscous oil are presented, for which the upscaling tried to compensate the effects of grid coarsening, in particular the increase of numerical dispersion and the decrease of heterogeneity. Our methodology was to adjust the water/oil relative permeabilities called pseudo KRs in the coarse scale simulation, in order to reproduce the behavior in terms of pressure, rates, saturations and concentrations of the fine scale model, which was using microscopic rock KRs based on laboratory data.
As the upscaling depends on the fluid injected, it was done separately for waterflood and polymer flood. When done with polymer flood, the concentration of polymer had to be history matched also mainly by adjusting the Todd-Longstaff mixing parameter in addition to the KRs. As upscaling is case dependent, it was performed on several geological models, varying heterogeneity and grid size, but also rock KRs and even precocity of the polymer flood after some waterflood, to test the robustness of the approach.
It was found that pseudo-KRs for waterflood could be slightly degraded for viscous oils, whereas the upscaling was more neutral for conventional oils. This correlates well with field observation for viscous oils, where water production occurs generally a bit quicker than what numerical simulation predicts when using rock KRs, in absence of upscaling.
For polymer floods, which were considered in secondary or early tertiary mode, pseudo KRs were generally improved, mainly because the polymer steepened the saturation fronts, which can be well represented only with small lateral grid size.
The result of both upscaling exercises was that the increment of polymer flood versus waterflood was noticeably higher when computed on high resolution modelling. This is equivalent to saying that when using pseudo KRs resulting from this high resolution matching, the polymer increment on coarse grid is significantly higher than if computed without pseudo KRs. This improves the economic evaluation of the project, increasing the willingness to de-risk and implement early polymer floods on these fields.
A high risk of suboptimal well placement exists in new field development where seismic uncertainty can be great. Recent ultradeep resistivity measurement developments provide great benefits for identifying and optimizing the well path position within a given stratigraphic sequence. This paper presents a case study in which an operator planned to place wells 10 m TVD below the reservoir top because of seismic uncertainty of the top reservoir pick. To help mitigate this subsurface risk, the field development plan required real-time well placement optimization, using both standard formation evaluation data and an ultradeep azimuthal resistivity service. In this case-history, the ultradeep inversion canvases could be used to identify the well path position within the reservoir, as well as provide sufficient confidence to steer the well closer to the reservoir top than originally planned.
Multiple geological models, created from nearby offset wells and seismic grids, represented the expected seismic uncertainty of 5 to 15 m TVD. To identify the optimal measurement setup for real-time operations, resistivity modelling illustrated the effect of frequency and spacing on the data, producing multiple inversions for each geological scenario. After drilling began, real-time inversions for the ultradeep resistivity data were initially qualified using standard formation evaluation data, including both deep azimuthal resistivity and azimuthal density images. Multiple inversion canvases from various spacings and frequencies identified several formation features, including distances to the top and base of the reservoir. The quantified uncertainty of these results assisted in the evaluation of the inversion quality.
When close to the reservoir top, the wellbore position indicated in the ultradeep inversion canvases matched the interpretation from the conventional logs, which provided increased confidence in the inversion canvas results at distances farther away. This enhanced reservoir knowledge enabled the operator to progressively raise the well path to 5 and to 2 m TVD from the reservoir top. Except for strategic geosteering decisions based on expected faults positions from the seismic data, the operator made most well-placement decisions, across multiple wells, using ultradeep resistivity data. The high data quality and close collaboration within the subsurface team quickly led to high confidence in the inversion results. Integrating the full suite of available data, from shallow to ultradeep measurements in a comprehensive interpretation, provided better reservoir understanding, resulting in optimal well placement.
This paper presents formation evaluation results used within an integrated well-placement optimization service from a new field development. The integrated data qualified the results for an ultradeep resistivity tool. Confidence in the tool results enabled the operator to place wells much closer to the reservoir top than initially planned, in an area of seismic uncertainty.
The objective of this work is to characterize the fault system and its impact on Mishrif reservoir capacity in the West Quran oil field. Determination and modelling of these faults are crucial to evaluate and understanding fluid flow of both oil and water injection in terms of distribution and the movement. In addition to define the structure away from the well control and understanding the evolution of West Qurna arch over geologic time.
In order to achieve the aim of the work and the structural analysis, a step wise approach was undertaken. Primarily, intensive seismic interpretation and building of structure maps were carried out across the high resolution of 3D-seismic survey with focusing on the main producing Mishrif reservoir of the field. Also, seismic attributes volumes provided a good information about the distribution and geometry of faults in Mishrif reservoir. The next step, it constructs 3-D fault model which will be later merged into the developed 3D geological model. West Qurna/1 oil field situated within the Zubair Subzone, and it is structurally a part of large anticline towards the north. The observation of seismically derived faults near Mishrif reservoir indicated en-echelon faults which refer to strike-slip tectonics along with extensional faults. The statistic of Mishrif interval faulting indicates a big number faults striking north-south along western wedge of anticline. The seismic interpretation, in combination with seismic attributes volumes, deliver a valuable structural framework which in turns used to build a better geological model.
In this paper, the work demonstrates a better understanding for the perspectives on the seismic characterization of the structural framework in the Mishrif reservoir, and also for similar heterogeneous carbonate reservoirs. Further, this work will ultimately lead to improve reservoir management practises in terms of production performance and water flooding plan.
The SWP project is located in a mature waterflood undergoing conversion to CO2-WAG operations at Farnsworth, Texas, USA. Utilized CO2 is anthropogenic, sourced from a fertilizer and an ethanol plant. Major project goals are optimizing the storage/production balance, ensuring storage permanence, and developing best practices for CCUS.
This paper provides a review of work performed toward development of a 3D coupled Mechanical Earth Model (MEM) for use in assessment of caprock integrity, fault reactivation potential, and evaluation of stress dependent permeability in reservoir forecasting. Mechanical property estimates computed from geophysical logs at selected wellbores were integrated with 3D seismic elastic inversion products to create a 3D "static" mechanical property model sharing the same geological framework as the existing reservoir simulation model including 3 major faults. Stresses in the MEM were initialized from wellbore stress estimates and reservoir simulation pore pressures. One way and two way coupled simulations were performed using a compositional hydrodynamic flow model and geomechanical solvers.
Coupled simulations were performed on history matched primary, secondary (waterflood), and tertiary (CO2 WAG) recovery periods, as well as an optimized WAG prediction period. These simulations suggest that the field has been operating at conditions which are not conducive to either caprock failure or fault reactivation. Two way coupled simulations were performed in which permeability was periodically updated as a function of volumetric strain using the Kozeny-Carmen porosity-permeability relationship. These simulations illustrate the importance of frequent permeability updating when recovery scenarios result in large pressure changes such as in field re-pressurization through waterflood after a long primary depletion recovery period. Conversely, production forecasting results are less sensitive to permeability update frequency when pressure cycles are short and shallow as in WAG cycles.
This paper describes initial work on development of a mechanical earth model for use in assessment of geomechanical risks associated with CCUS operations at FWU. The emphasis of this work is on integration of available geomechanical data for creation of the static mechanical property model. Preliminary coupled hydro-mechanical simulations are presented to illustrate some of the key diagnostic output from coupled simulations which will be used in later work for in depth evaluation of specific risk factors such as induced seismicity and caprock integrity.
Zhang, Hui (PetroChina) | Wang, Lizhi (Schlumberger) | Wang, Zhimin (PetroChina) | Pan, Yuanwei (Schlumberger) | Wang, Haiying (PetroChina) | Qiu, Kaibin (Schlumberger) | Liu, Xinyu (PetroChina) | Yang, Pin (Schlumberger)
Located at the foothills of Tianshan mountains, western China, the Dibei tight gas reservoir has become one of the key exploration areas in last decade because of its large gas reserve potential. The previous exploration effort yielded mixed results with large variations of the production rates from these exploration wells and many rates are too low to be deemed as discovery wells. Petrophysical properties were excluded as controlling factors because these properties for most exploration wells are very similar. Under the large tectonic stress, heterogeneous natural fracture systems are induced and unevenly distributed in the reservoir, which might be the controlling factor for production. However, due to the limitation of the seismic data quality, quantitative fracture modeling with seismic is not possible for this field. A new method predicting the 3D occurrence of the natural fractures in the reservoir is needed.
In this study, geomechanics-based methods were used to predict the natural fracture systems in the reservoir. The methods started from classification of natural fracture systems based on borehole image and core data into either fold-related and/or fault-related fractures. Geomechanics-based structure restoration was conducted to compute the deformation and the perturbed stress field from the restoration of complex geological structures through time. A correlation was established between the fold-related perturbated stress field and the occurrence of fold-related fractures from wells to predict the 3D occurrence of this type of natural fractures. Meanwhile, the computation of the perturbed stress field around 3D discontinuities (i.e. faults) for one or more tectonic events was conducted by the Boundary Element Method (BEM) until a good match was achieved between the fault-related perturbed stresses and observed fault-related fractures from the wellbore. By using the output from the two methods, the discrete fracture network (DFN) model was constructed to explicitly represent the occurrence and geometry of the natural fracture system in the reservoir in a geological model. A geomechanical model was constructed based on an integrated workflow from 1D to 3D. The fracture stability was then calculated based on the 3D geomechnical model.
Detailed analysis was conducted among the DFN model, the geological model of the reservoir and productivity of the exploration wells, and very good correlation was revealed between the productivity of the exploration wells and the occurrence and geometry of the natural fractures and the structural position of the reservoir.
This study shows that geomechanics-based methods efficiently capture the occurrence of natural fracture systems and reveal the production-controlling factors of the tight gas reservoir. It demonstrates that geomechanics is a powerful tool to support successful exploration of the tight gas reservoir in tectonically stressed environments.
Penghui, Su (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Zhaohui, Xia (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Ping, Wang (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Liangchao, Qu (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | xiangwen, Kong (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Wenguang, Zhao (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development)
Interest has spread to potential unconventional shale reservoirs in the last decades, and they have become an increasingly important source of hydrocarbon. Importantly, pore structure of shale has considerable effects on the storage, seepage and output of the fluids in shale reservoirs so that reliable fractal characteristics are essential. To better understand the evolution characteristics of pore structure for a shale gas condensate reservoir and their influence on liquid hydrocarbon occurrences and reservoir physical properties, we conducted high-pressure mercury intrusion tests (HPMIs), field emission scanning electron microscopies (FESEM), total organic carbon (TOC), Rock-Eval pyrolysis and saturation measurements on samples from the Duvernay formation. Furthermore, the fractal theory is applied to calculate the fractal dimension of the capillary pressure curves, and three fractal dimensions D1, D2 and D3 are obtained. The relationships among the characteristics of the Duvernay shale (TOC, organic matter maturity, fluid saturation), the pore structure parameters (permeability, porosity, median pore size), and the fractal dimensions were investigated.
The results show that the fractal dimension D1 ranges from 2.44 to 2.85, D2 ranges from 2.09 to 2.15 and D3 ranges from 2.35 to 2.48. D2 and D3 have a good positive correlation. The pore system studied mainly consists of organic pores and microfractures, with the percentage of micropores being 50.38%. TOC has a positive relationship with porosity and D3 due to the development of organic pores. D3 has a positive correlation with gas saturation. With increased D3, median pore size shows a decreasing trend and an increase in permeability and porosity, demonstrating that D3 has a large effect on pore size distribution and the heterogeneity of pore size. In general, D3 has a better correlation with petrophysical and petrochemical parameters. Fractal theory can be applied to better understand the pore evolution, pore size distribution and fluid storage capacity of shale reservoirs.
Alkhazmi, Bashir (Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions, Heriot-Watt University) | Farzaneh, Seyed Amir (Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions, Heriot-Watt University) | Sohrabi, Mehran (Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions, Heriot-Watt University)
A Water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection is a broadly practised technique in oil fields. Gas viscosity is a significant parameter that can affect the efficiency of gas and WAG injections. By conducting the current coreflood experiments at reservoir conditions, we aimed to investigate the effect of gas viscosity on gas and WAG injection performance in terms of oil recovery and differential pressure.
Both WAG injection experiments were performed on the same Clashach sandstone core, under weakly water-wet and near miscible (gas/oil IFT = 0.04 mN.m-1) conditions, using two different hydrocarbon systems (C1-nC4 and C1-nC10). To eliminate the impact of the experimental artifact, a long and large core (2ft x 2 in) was employed. In addition, after each initial water injection, water was pumped through the core at multi-rates, for further investigation of the impact of capillary end effects on our experimental results. To facilitate the interpretation of the data and the comparison, the same injection strategy and methodology were followed in both coreflood experiments. In each injection scenario, four water slugs, starting with primary water flooding, were injected in an alternating manner with four gas cycles.
The results of these WAG experiments showed that the cyclic oil recovery performance during different water and gas injection cycles increased as the number of WAG slugs increased. Investigating the effect of gas viscosity on the performance of oil recovery during gas and WAG injections revealed higher oil recovery performance during the tertiary (three-phase displacement) water injection cycles that were subsequent to the preliminary water flood periods, in WAG injection with C1-nC4 than that in C1-nC10. In contrast, the efficiency of oil recovery during the successive gas injection cycles (under three-phase conditions) was lower in C1-nC4 than that in C1-nC10. The ultimate oil recovery achieved by WAG injection under weakly water-wet and near miscible conditions reached 93 % and 94.5 % (IOIP %) in C1-nC4 and C1-nC10 respectively. On the other hand, the results showed also an extra oil quantity of 3.7 % (Sor%) recovered during the alternation of water and gas injections post-waterflood, by C1-nC10 compared with that in C1-nC4. Studying the impact of the gas viscosity on the injectivity showed a significant drop in the periodic gas injectivity, during different gas injection cycles in WAG injection for C1-nC10 compared with its values for C1-nC4.
A comprehensive series of data sets, generated for two WAG injection experiments with different hydrocarbon fluids (C1-nC4 and C1-nC10) will be reported in this paper. WAG injection is a special case that involves complex multi-phase and multi-physics processes, which are well-known to be difficult to reliably predict by the current existing reservoir simulators. Therefore, representative and reliable experimental data are needed to improve our understanding of the complex underlying mechanisms of oil recovery by WAG injection and to develop improved models and methodologies for reliable predictions of the performance of WAG injection under reservoir conditions.
Kutsienyo, Eusebius Junior (Petroleum Recovery Research Center) | Ampomah, William (Petroleum Recovery Research Center) | Sun, Qian (Petroleum Recovery Research Center) | Balch, Robert Scott (Petroleum Recovery Research Center) | You, Junyu (Petroleum Recovery Research Center) | Aggrey, Wilberforce Nkrumah (KNUST) | Cather, Martha (Petroleum Recovery Research Center)
This paper presents field-scale numerical simulations of CO2 injection activities in the Pennsylvanian Upper Morrow sandstone reservoir, usually termed the Morrow B sandstone, in the Farnsworth Unit (FWU) of Ochiltree County, Texas. The CO2 sequestration mechanisms examined in the study include structural-stratigraphic, residual, solubility and mineral trapping. The reactive transport modelling incorporated in the study evaluates the field's potential for long-term CO2 sequestration and predicts the CO2 injection effects on the Morrow B pore fluid composition, mineralogy, porosity, and permeability.
The dynamic CO2 sequestration model was built from an upscaled geocellular model for the Morrow B. This model incorporated geological, geophysical, and engineering data including well logs, core, 3D surface seismic and fluid analysis. We calibrated the model with active CO2-WAG miscible flood data by adjusting control parameters such as reservoir rock properties and Corey exponents to incorporate potential changes in wettability. The history-matched model was then used to evaluate the feasibility and mechanisms for CO2 sequestration. We used the maximum residual phase saturations to estimate the effect of gas trapped due to hysteresis. The coupled approach which involves the aqueous phase solubility and geochemical reactions were modelled prior to import into the compositional simulation model. The viscosities of the liquid-vapor phases were modeled based on the Jossi-Stiel-Thodos Correlation. This correlation depended on the mixture density calculated by the equation of state. The gas solubility coefficients for the aqueous phase were estimated using Henry's law for various components as function of pressure, temperature, and salinity. The characteristic intra-aqueous and mineral dissolution/precipitation reactions were assimilated numerically as chemical equilibrium and rate-dependent reactions respectively. Multiple scenarios were performed to evaluate the effects and potentials of the CO2 sequestrated within the Morrow formation. Additional scenarios that involve shut-in of wells were performed and the reservoir monitored for over 150 years to understand possible dissolution/precipitation of minerals. Changes in permeability as a function of changes in porosity caused by mineral precipitation/dissolution were calibrated to the laboratory chemo-mechanical responses.
This confirms the CO2 injection in the morrow B will alter petrophysical properties, such as permeability and porosity in short-term due to the dissolution of calcite. However, further investigation for the long-term effects needs to be conducted. Moreover, the following significant observations are extracted from the result of this study: oil recovery, total volume of CO2 due to multiple trapping mechanisms, effect of salinity, the timescale-view of the dissolution/precipitation evolution in the Morrow B sandstone.
Experiences gained from this study offers valuable visions regarding physiochemical storage induced by the CO2 injection activities and may serve as a benchmark case for future CO2-EOR projects when reactive transportations are considered.
Pola, Jackson (Heriot-Watt University) | Geiger, Sebastian (Heriot-Watt University) | Mackay, Eric (Heriot-Watt University) | Bentley, Mark (Heriot-Watt University) | Maier, Christine (Heriot-Watt University) | Al-Rudaini, Ali (Heriot-Watt University)
We investigate how efficiently oil can be recovered from a carbonate rock during surfactant based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at the core-scale, particularly when chemical processes change wettability, and analyse how geological heterogeneities, observed at the next larger scale (centimetre to decimetre) impacts the effectiveness of surfactant-based EOR at the inter-well scale.
To quantify how heterogeneity across scales impacts surfactant flooding, we combine laboratory experiments with simulation studies at the core- and inter-well scale. We first analysed a series of surfactant imbibition experiments at different surfactant concentrations (from 0 to 3 wt. %) using reservoir cores from the Wakamuk field, a carbonate reservoir in Indonesia. We then built a 3D simulation model of the laboratory experiment and matched the experimental data to identify the key physical mechanisms (e.g., reduction in interfacial tension (IFT) and wettability alteration) that lead to increased oil recovery. Next, we parametrised the surfactant models using assisted history-matching methods to calibrate the relative permeability and capillary pressure curves as a function of surfactant concentration. These models were then deployed in high-resolution simulations at the inter-well scale. These simulations captured the small-scale geological heterogeneities that are typical for a carbonate reservoir system, e.g., the Shuaiba formation in the Middle East, but are not resolved in field-scale models.
Our core-scale simulations demonstrate a change from co- to counter-current flow in the laboratory experiments and indicate that the resulting increase in oil recovery is due to a combination of IFT reduction, wettability alteration from oil- to water-wet, and capillary pressure restoration; these processes need to be captured adequately at the inter-well scale model. The increase in surfactant concentration above the critical micelle concentration (CMC) (i.e., from 1 to 3 wt. %) triggered the capillary pressure restoration and dominated recovery at the early-time. The changes in relative permeability and capillary curves during the surfactant floods were best modelled using a concentration-based interpolation. There is uncertainty when calibrating surfactant models using laboratory experiments. A key question hence is if geological heterogeneity at the inter-well scale masks these uncertainties.
Results from our high-resolution simulations show that large-scale heterogeneity impacts recovery predictions, but it is the coarsening of the grid, not the upscaling of permeability, that dominates the error in field-scale recovery predictions during surfactant based EOR. Indeed, the error arising from numerical dispersion during grid coarsening can be as large as the error arising when selecting an inaccurately configured surfactant model due to the lack of quality experimental data. Hence appropriate grid refinement, possibly using adaptive grid refinement, needs to be considered when setting up a surfactant based EOR simulation, along with the appropriate configuration of the surfactant model itself.
This paper provides perspective on the current state of multizone completion technology and issues encountered in the industry with developing a system that offers increased capabilities to meet the increasing challenges presented by the Lower Tertiary in the Gulf of Mexico. The lower tertiary formation found in the pre-salt layers of the Gulf of Mexico has become a proving ground for extending what is possible when completing multistage fracturing in ultradeepwater wells.