The artificial lift system (AL) is the most efficient production technique in optimizing production from unconventional horizontal oil and gas wells. Nonetheless, due to declining reservoir pressure during the production life of a well, artificial lifting of oil and gas remains a critical issue. Notwithstanding the attempt by several studies in the past few decades to understand and develop cutting-edge technologies to optimize the application of artificial lift in tight formations, there remains differing assessments of the best approach, AL type, optimum time and conditions to install artificial lift during the life of a well. This report presents a comprehensive review of artificial lift systems application with specific focus on tight oil and gas formations across the world. The review focuses on thirty-three (33) successful and unsuccessful fieldtests in unconventional horizontal wells over the past few decades. The purpose is to apprise the industry and academic researchers on the various AL optimization approaches that have been used and suggest AL optimization areas where new technologies can be developed.
This paper presents a simple yet rigorous model and provides a methodology to analyze production data from wells exhibiting three-phase flow during the boundary-dominated flow regime. Our model is particularly applicable to analyze production data from volatile oil reservoirs, and should replace the less accurate single-phase models commonly used. The methodology will be useful in rate transient analysis and production forecasting for horizontal wells with multiple fractures in shales. Our analytical model for efficiently handling multi-phase flow is an adaptation of existing single-phase models. We introduce new three-phase parameters, notably fluids properties. We also define three-phase material balance pseudotime and three-phase pseudopressure to linearize governing flow equations. This linearization makes our model applicable to wells with variable rates and flowing pressures. We optimized the saturation-pressure path and further suggested an appropriate method to calculate three-phase pseudopressures. We validated the solutions through comparisons with compositional simulation using commercial software; the excellent agreement demonstrated the accuracy and utility of the analytical solution. We concluded that, during the boundary-dominated flow regime, the saturation-pressure relation given by steady-state path and tank-type model for volatile oil reservoirs leads to satisfactory results. We also confirmed that our definitions of three-phase fluid properties are well suited for ultra-low permeability volatile oil reservoirs. The computation time of our model is greatly reduced compared to a numerical approach, and thus the methodology should be attractive to the industry. Our model is efficient and practical to be applied for production data analysis in ultra-low permeability volatile reservoirs with non-negligible water production during the boundary-dominated flow regime. This study extends existing analytical model methodology for volatile oil reservoirs and is relatively easy for reservoir engineers to understand.
Du, Xuan (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina Co. Ltd.) | Zheng, Haora (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina Co. Ltd.) | Wang, Xiaochun (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina Co. Ltd.) | Hua, Xin (China Petroleum Technology Development Corporation, PetroChina Co. Ltd.) | Guan, Wenlong (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina Co. Ltd.) | Zhao, Fang (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina Co. Ltd.) | Xu, Jiacheng (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina Co. Ltd.)
Heavy oil reservoirs are generally unconsolidated and easy to produce sand during production
Operators face the continuing challenge to improve drilling efficiency for cost containment, especially in deepwater drilling environments where drilling costs are significantly higher. Innovative drilling technologies have been developed and implemented continuously to support the initiative. In many areas of the world, including the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), hydrocarbon reservoirs exist below thick non-porous and impermeable sequences of salt that are considered a perfect cap rock. However, salt poses varied levels of drilling challenges due to its unique mechanical properties.
At ambient conditions, the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of salt varies between 3,000 to 5,000 psi; however, the strain at failure for salt can be an order of magnitude higher when compared to other rocks. Consequently, during drilling salt's viscoelastic behavior requires that its must be broken with an inter-crystalline or trans-crystalline grain boundary breakage. When compared to other rock types, the unique isotropic nature of salt results in a level of strain that is much higher for the given elastic moduli. This strain level makes salt failure mechanics different from other rock types that are prevalent in the GOM.
Hybrid bits combine roller-cone and polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) cutting elements to perform a simultaneous on-bottom crushing / gouging and shearing action. Two divergent cutting mechanics pre-stresses the rock and apply high strain for deformation and displacement, resulting in highly efficient cutting mechanics. To meet the drilling objectives, different hybrid designs have been implemented to combine stability and aggressiveness for improved drilling efficiency. An operator, while drilling salt sections at record penetration rates, has successfully used this innovative process of rock failure utilizing the dual-cutting mechanics of hybrid bits. This has resulted in significant value additions for the operator.
This paper analyzes field-drilling data from successful GOM wells and attempts to correlate salt failure mechanics and provide insight into dual-cutting mechanics and its correlation with salt failure. The paper also reviews the drilling mechanics of hybrid bits in salt and highlights importance of dual-cutting mechanics for achieving higher penetration rates in salt through improved drilling efficiency.
Xu, Wei (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Chen, Kaiyuan (Beijing Key Laboratory of Unconventional Natural Gas Geological Evalution and Development Engineeing, China University of Geosciences Beijing) | Fang, Lei (Beijing Key Laboratory of Unconventional Natural Gas Geological Evalution and Development Engineeing, China University of Geosciences Beijing) | Zhang, Yingchun (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Jing, Zhiyi (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Liu, Jun (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Zou, Jingyun (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.)
The lacustrine delta sandbody deposited in the north of Albert Basin is unconsolidated due to the shallow burial depth, which leads to an ultra-high permeability (up to 20 D) with large variation and poor diagenesis. Log derived permeability differs greatly with DST results. Thus, permeability simulation is challenging in 3D geomodeling. A hierarchical geomodeling approach is presented to bridge the gap among the ultra-high permeability log, model and DST results. The ultimate permeability model successfully matched the logging data and DST results into the geological model.
Based on the study of sedimentary microfacies, the new method identifies different discrete rocktypes (DRT) according to the analyis of core, thin section and conventional and special core analysis (e.g., capillary pressure). In this procedure, pore throat radius, flow zone index (FZI) and other parameters are taken into account to identify the DRT. Then, hierarchical modeling approach is utilized in the geomodeling. Firstly, the sedimentary microfacies model is established within the stratigraphic framework. Secondly, the spatial distribution model of DRT is established under the control of sedimentary microfacies. Thirdly, the permeability distribution is simulated according to the different pore-permeability relation functions derived from each DRT. Finally, the permeability model is compared with the logging and testing results.
Winland equation was improved based on the capillary pressure (Pc) data of special core analysis. It is found that the highest correlation between pore throat radius and reservoir properties was reached when mercury injection was 35%. The corresponding formula of R35 is selected to calculate the radius of reservoir pore throat. Reservoirs are divided into four discrete rock types according to parameters such as pore throat radius and flow zone index. Each rock type has its respective lithology, thin section feature and pore-permeability relationship. The ultra-high permeability obtained by DST test reaches up to 20 D, which belongs to the first class (DRT1) quality reservoir. It is located in the center of the delta channel with high degree of sorting and roundness. DRT4 is mainly located in the bank of the channels. It has a much higher shale content and the permeability is generally less than 50 mD. Through three-dimensional geological model, sedimentary facies, rock types and pore-permeability model are coupled hierarchically. Different pore-permeability relationships are given to different DRTs. After reconstructing the permeability model, the simulation results are highly matched with the log and DST test results.
This hierarchical geomodeling approach can effectively solve the simulation problem in the ultra-high permeability reservoir. It realizes a quantitative characterization for the complex reservoir heterogeneity. The method presented can be applied to clastic reservoir. It also plays a significant positive role in carbonate reservoir characterization.
Oil production from shale and tight formations will increase to more than 6 million barrels per day (b/d) in the coming decade, making up most of total U.S. oil production (> 50%). However, achieving an accurate formation evaluation of shale faces many complex challenges. One of the complexities is the accurate estimation of shale properties from well logs, which is initially designed for conventional reservoirs. When we use the well logs to obtain shale properties, they often cause some deviations. Therefore, in this work, we combine cores and well logs together to provide a more accurate guideline for estimation of total organic carbon, which is primarily of interest to petroleum geochemists and geologists.
Our work is based on Archie's equation. Resistivity log will lead to some incorrect results, such as total resistivity, when we follow the conventional interpretation procedure in well logs. Porosity is another complex parameter, which cannot be determined only by well log, i.e. density, NMR, and Neutron log. Therefore, the flowchart of TOC calculation includes five main parts: (I) the shale content calculation using Gamma log; (II) the determination of shale distributions using Density and Neutron logs and cross-plot; (III) the calculation of total resistivity at different distribution types; (IV) obtaining porosity using core analysis, NMR and density logs; and (V) the calculation of TOC from modified Archie's equation.
The results indicate that the shale content has a strong effect on estimation of water saturation and hydrocarbon saturation. Especially, the effect of shale content is exacerbated at a low water saturation. A more accurate flowchart for TOC calculation is established. Based on Archie's equation, we modify total resistivity and porosity by combining Gamma Log, Density Log, Neutron Log, NMR Log, and Cross-plot. An easier way to estimate porosity is provided. We combine the matrix density and kerogen density together and obtain them from core analysis. Poupon's et al. (1954) laminar model has some limitations when applying in shale reservoirs, especially at a low porosity.
Literature surveys show few studies on the flowchart of TOC calculation in shale reservoirs. This paper provides some insights into challenges of well logs, core analysis in shale reservoirs and a more accurate guideline of TOC calculation in shale reservoirs.
Yu, Hao (Southwest Petroleum University, China) | Dahi Taleghani, Arash (Pennsylvania State University, United States) | Lian, Zhanghua (Southwest Petroleum University, China) | Lin, Tiejun (Southwest Petroleum University, China)
Microseismic data and production logs in our study area have confirmed an asymmetric development of the stimulation rock volume, while severe casing deformation problems have been reported frequently in this area. In this paper, we investigate the possibility of casing failure due to strong shear stresses developed by asymmetric stimulated zones. Overlapping stimulation zones in adjacent stages may intensify asymmetry of the pore pressure distribution and resultant shear forces. Although induced shearing may have a positive impact on fracture permeability, but it may also cause operational problems by inducing severe casing deformations. While most of the casing deformation models only consider rock deformations very close to the wellbore, we developed a 3D coupled model for fracture network growth and stress re-distribution during hydraulic fracturing to achieve a more realistic model for casing deformation. This reservoir-scale model is tied to a more detailed near-wellbore model including the casing and cement sheath to simulate casing deformations. Case studies were conducted using data from a shale gas well that experienced severe casing deformation during hydraulic fracturing. Impact of stage spacing, and pumping rate are incorporated to investigate their potential impacts on casing and well integrity. Multi-stage hydraulic fracturing considering the development of complex fracture network is simulated at the reservoir scale based on the microseismic events. Continuous re-distribution and re-orientation of stress field near the borehole are tracked during the development of the fracture network which reveals some pocket of tensile stresses along the casing. Asymmetric fractures are observed to generate strong shear stress on the suspended casing. These shear forces result in deflection and S-shape deformations. Some regions receive repeating treatments, which leads to increase formation stress heterogeneity and worsen casing deformation severity. Our analysis has indicated that simply increasing the flexural strength by increasing thickness of casing cannot radically mitigate casing deformation problems. This paper provides a novel workflow for a coupled modelling of casing deformation during hydraulic fracturing operations, while current modelling efforts assume symmetric fracture geometries.
Guo, Qingbin (PetroChina Tarim Oilfield Company) | Qiu, Bin (PetroChina Tarim Oilfield Company) | Zhao, Yuanliang (PetroChina Tarim Oilfield Company) | Fan, Zhaoya (Schlumberger) | Chen, Jichao (Schlumberger) | Han, Yifu (Schlumberger) | Zhang, Tao (Schlumberger) | Li, Kaixuan (Schlumberger) | Yu, Hua (Schlumberger) | Jiang, Lei (Schlumberger) | Wei, Guo (Schlumberger) | Yu, Daiguo (Schlumberger)
The Kuqa foreland thrust belt, as a secondary tectonic unit of the Tarim basin at the front of the Tianshan Mountains, is a foreland basin that formed in the Late Tertiary. The lower Cretaceous Bashijiqike tight sandstone in the basin is an ultralow-permeability and low-porosity reservoir. The Kuqa foreland thrust belt includes Kela, Keshen, Bozi, Zhongqiu, and Alvart blocks. Although these blocks developed under the same sedimentary conditions, the permeability-porosity relationship and wireline log response can be very different among the blocks. Whereas the shallow zone has been had E&P activities for decades, fully understanding the fluid properties, the porosity-permeability relationship, and distribution pattern of gas in the deep to ultradeep zone is of strategic significance and can provide the experience for the exploration of similar gas reservoirs in China and worldwide. The main target zone depth varies from 6000 m to 8000 m, and the formation pressure is near or exceeds 20,000 psi. Compared to a time-consuming and costly drillstem test (DST) operation, the wireline formation test (WFT) is the most efficient and cost-saving method to confirm hydrocarbon presence. However, the success rate of WFT sampling operations in the deep Kuqa formation is less than 50% overall, mostly due to the formation tightness exceeding the capability of the tools. Therefore, development of an optimized WFT suitable to the formation was critical.
More than 30 WFT wells in Kuqa foreland thrust belt were studied to understand the well and formation conditions causing the success or failure of these WFT operations. By doing a statistical analysis of more than 1000 pressure test points, we researched the relationship between mobility and petrophysical logs such as neutron, density, gamma ray, resistivity, P-sonic, etc. Several statistical mathematic methods were applied during this study, including univariate linear regression (ULR), multiple linear regression (MLR), neural network regression analysis (NNA), and decision tree analysis (DTA) methods. A systematic workflow was formed to mine data information, and we delivered a standard chart of the relationship between mobility and the petrophysical logs, an integrated equation based on MLR, and an NNA model that can be applied to WFT feasibility analysis.
These methods can be considered the foundation of artificial intelligence (AI), which can be used in future mobility automatic prediction. This provides a rough estimation of the mobility and sampling success rate and enables WFT optimization to be conducted in advance.
He, Youwei (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Cheng, Shiqing (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Chai, Zhi (Texas A&M University) | Patil, Shirish (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals) | Rui, Ray (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) | Yu, Haiyang (China University of Petroleum, Beijing)
Applications of cluster wells and hydraulic fracturing enable commercial productivity from unconventional reservoirs. However, well productivity decrease rapidly for this type of reservoirs, and in many cases, it is difficult to maintain a productivity that is economical. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is therefore needed to improve well performance. Traditional fluid injection from other wells are not feasible due to the ultra-low permeability, and fluid Huff-n-Puff also fails to meet the expected recovery. This work investigates the feasibility of the inter-fracture injection and production (IFIP) approach to increase oil production of multiple multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHW).
Three MFHWs are considered in a cluster well. Each MFHW includes injection fractures (IFs) and recovery fractures (RFs). The fractures with even and odd indexes are assigned to be IFs or RFs, respectively. The injection/production schedule falls into two categories: synchronous inter-fracture injection and production (s-IFIP) and asynchronous inter-fracture injection and production (a-IFIP). To analyze the well performance of multiple MFHWs using the IFIP method, this work performs numerical simulation based on the compartmental embedded discrete fracture model (cEDFM) and compares the production performance of three MFHWs using four different producing methods (i.e., primary depletion, CO2 Huff-n-Puff, s-IFIP, and a-IFIP). Although the number of producing fractures is reduced by about 50% for s-IFIP and a-IFIP, they achieve much higher oil rates than primary depletion and CO2 Huff-n-Puff. Sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate the impact of parameters on the IFIP. The fracture spacing between IFs and RFs, CO2 injection rates, and connectivity of fracture networks affect the oil production significantly, followed by length of RFs, well spacing among MFHWs and length of IFs. The suggested well completion scheme is presented for the a-IFIP and s-IFIP methods. This work demonstrates the ability of the IFIP method in enhancing oil production of multiple MFHWs in unconventional reservoirs.
Shale gas is a very important natural resource which can significantly affect the natural gas production of the world (e.g., in United States, Canada, and China). The organic matter within shale is the material that generates hydrocarbons, such as natural gas, under high thermal maturity. Throughout this process, a significant amount of pores within organic matter, called organic pore, are also generated, as the organic matter itself becomes a porous solid. These organic pores contribute significantly to the overall gas storage and flow of the reservoir as a whole. These organic pores are especially important to the process of gas adsorption and desorption within organic pores, which makes the storage and flow of shale gas very different from conventional reservoirs. The structure of organic pores, including pore volume, surface area, geometry, size distribution, etc., is significant to understanding their influence upon gas adsorption and desorption and gas flow. Thus, it is necessary to quantitatively analyze these organic pores; however, studies that quantitatively analyze organic pore structure in detail are rare. By better understanding characteristics and relationships of these pores through statistical analysis, it is possible to be able to ascertain more characteristics of the reservoir as a whole. Therefore, this research aims to develop the quantitative method to characterize pore structure and discuss the feature of pore structure of high-maturity shale samples from the Sichuan Basin.