Solar enhanced oil recovery, or solar EOR, is a form of thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR), a technique applied by oil producers to extract more oil from maturing oil fields. Solar EOR uses CSP to use the sun's energy to heat water and generate steam. The steam is injected into an oil reservoir to reduce the viscosity, or thin, heavy crude thus facilitating its flow to the surface. Thermal recovery processes, also known as steam injection, have traditionally burned natural gas to produce steam. Solar EOR is proving to be a viable alternative to gas-fired steam production for the oil industry.
Little is known about the nature and origin of microcrystalline quartz in sandstone reservoirs or mudstone reservoirs. We have utilized advanced analytical capabilities to improve our understanding of controls on microcrystalline quartz development in several examples where porosity is preserved in deeply buried sandstone reservoirs to understand the development in siliceous mudstones.
In this study, several advanced analytical techniques were used to evaluate the crystallographic and compositional controls on the formation of microcrystalline quartz. SEM/Cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging confirms that quartz overgrowths have a complex growth history. Previous workers (Kraishan et al. 2000) suggested that CL patterns in quartz cement are largely due to trace elements rather than defects and that aluminum varies consistently between each cement phase. Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) combined with Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry (WDS) confirms that the complex banding visible in CL is not due to changes in crystallographic orientation but more likely variations in quartz composition associated with changes in pore fluid composition and/or reservoir conditions. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) analysis provides maps of ultra-trace element distribution that confirm that trace amounts of iron, manganese, and titanium can be used as proxies for defect density and temperature. Additionally, SIMS analysis provides oxygen isotope data providing insight into the initial reservoir conditions and temperature of formation of microcrystalline quartz in several formations.
Microcrystalline quartz in the form of replacement, micropore, and overgrowth cements is present in the Wolfcamp A in the southern Delaware Basin. The amount of cementation has an effect on the reservoir quality and appears to have an impact on the petrophysical properties. The siliceous mudstones are comprised predominantly of biogenic silica (sponge spicules, radiolarians, which are the silica sources for the authigenic microcrystalline quartz), detrital grains (quartz and feldspars), pyrite framboids, and organic matter.
Integrating the results from these advanced analytical techniques has helped us develop our understanding of the processes controlling the formation of quartz cement and improved our ability to reconstruct the reservoir diagenetic history of quartz growth leading to a proposed model for predicting porosity preservation in deep, hot sandstone reservoirs and the formation of microcrystalline quartz in siliceous mudstones. This is the first research to report on spatially resolved isotopic analysis of silica cements integrated into a petrographic framework and a proposed mechanism for microcrystalline quartz growth.
Multistage hydraulically fractured horizontal well completions have come a long way in the last two decades. Much of this advancement can be attributed to the shale gas revolution, from which numerous transformational tools, techniques, and concepts have led to the efficient development of ultralow-permeability resources on a massive scale. Part of this achievement has been through a widespread trial and error approach, with the higher risk/failure tolerance that is a trademark of the statistical nature of the North American unconventional resource business. However, careful consideration must be taken not to blindly apply these techniques in more permeable tight gas formations, which often cover an extensive range of permeability. Inappropriate application can compromise the effectiveness of the hydraulic fracture treatment and impair long-term well productivity.
Khazzan is a tight to low-end conventional gas field in the Sultanate of Oman, with low porosity and permeability in comparison to conventional formations. The target formations comprise extremely hard, highly stressed rocks at high temperature. The development strategy included vertical wells with massive hydraulic fracture treatments and multistage fractured horizontal wells. The former has been largely successful in the higher-permeability areas, and the economic transition from vertical to horizontal well development, based on rock quality, is continuously evolving. Compared to the rapid learning curve achieved through the more than 80 vertical wells drilled to date, fewer horizontal wells have been drilled, and, as a result, the understanding is still relatively immature.
The paper outlines the technical and operational journey experienced in horizontal wells, to prepare the wellbore and ensure a suitable frac/well connection for successful fracturing and well testing. The paper will describe how the intervention tools and practices have varied between the Barik and Amin formations; depending upon rock quality, frac treatment type, drive to maximize operational efficiency and availability of local resources. The differential application of these techniques, that result in measurable under-flush versus in contrast to the typical North American unconventional practice of defined but limited overflush (e.g., pump-down plug-and-perf will be described). Justification for these different approaches in two very different formations will be demonstrated, including supporting evidence of their relative value.
The obstacles that have been faced, overcome and are still ongoing with this campaign highlight the importance of several critical factors: including multi-disciplinary integration and planning, wellbore construction impacts, contractor performance and tool reliability. Although practices for shale and very low permeability sands are well documented, this paper provides a suite of case histories and operational results for horizontal well intervention techniques used in high-pressure and high-temperature sandstones that are in the very specialized transition zone between conventional and unconventional.
The mainly Cenomanian Shilaif formation of Abu Dhabi (UAE) is currently explored and appraised for its shale oil and shale gas potential. The objective is to assess the hydrocarbons resources, the spatial variability of rock and fluid properties as well as highlighting sweet-spots.
The exploration efforts started in 2014, conducting some multidisciplinary regional depositional and petroleum system studies complemented with exploration wells and the acquisition of comprehensive suites of logs, cores and pressured (sidewall) cores.
The Shilaif formation was deposited in a deeper water intrashelf basin and is time equivalent to the adjacent shallow water higher energy Mishrif formation. Non-eroded Shilaif thicknesses vary from 500 to 900 ft from deep basin to slope respectively. The formation can be subdivided into 3-4 composite sequences each with separate source rocks and clean tight carbonates.
The present day structural configuration is inherited from two related regional compressional events; a) a NW-SE compression responsible for the anticline/syncline, lasting from Late Cenomanian to Early Eocene was created by India's continental drift, b) the late Cretaceous (starting in Turonian) emplacement of the Semail ophiolite from NE direction responsible for loading the continental plate and resulting in the creation of a large scale foreland basin. Reactivation of this NE compression occurred during Late Tertiary.
The resulting structuration created two synclines in the south of Abu Dhabi with maximum maturity of 1.1 Vr (TR 0.65). The foreland basin towards the North East has maturity values reaching the dry gas window. The continuous present day stress from a NE direction combined with high overpressures has a strong geomechanical impact with hmin close to overburden in synclinal areas.
This study aims to present the unconventional resource potential of the Late Albian to Early Turonian basinal sequences in Abu Dhabi.
Insights into the local and regional stratigraphic framework as well as structural controls of the depot-centers are presented.
Carlsen, Mathias (Whitson) | Whitson, Curtis (Whitson) | Dahouk, Mohamad Majzoub (Whitson) | Younus, Bilal (Whitson) | Yusra, Ilina (Whitson) | Kerr, Erich (EP Energy) | Nohavitza, Jack (EP Energy) | Thuesen, Matthew (EP Energy) | Drozd, John (EP Energy) | Ambrose, Ray (EP Energy) | Mydland, Stian (NTNU)
The objective of this paper is to help understand the mechanisms behind gas-based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) seen in actual field performance. This is accomplished by computing and interpreting daily wellstream compositions obtained from production data during the production period(s) of Huff-n-Puff (HnP) wells in the Eagle Ford, together with relevant PVT and numerical modeling studies.
Wellstream compositions are determined from readily available production data using an equation of state (EOS) model and measured oil and gas properties obtained from sampling at the wellhead. The wellstream composition is estimated daily in one of the following two ways: (1) if measured properties from field sampling are available, then regress to find a wellstream composition that matches all the measured oil and gas properties (e.g. stock-tank oil API, gas specific gravity, GOR, and separator fluid compositions). (2) if no measured properties from field sampling are available, then flash the most-recent wellstream composition estimated from (1) and recombine the resulting oil and gas streams to match the producing GOR.
Multiple lab-scale HnP EOR experiments and associated results have been published earlier, but only limited amounts of compositional data have been presented. In this study, we attempt to link produced wellstream compositions with simulated laboratory compositions reflecting different EOR recovery mechanisms. These results should enhance the understanding of the HnP EOR mechanisms to further optimize injection and production strategies, ultimately leading to higher recoveries. The data and observations from this analysis are presented in detail. The wellstream compositions before and after HnP implementation are shown and interpreted.
By providing daily estimates of oil and gas compositions, the compositional tracking technology presented in this paper can be used as a tool to understand key mechanisms behind the reported uplift seen in EOR in unconventional resources. The identification of these mechanisms is important for companies that are implementing EOR, because it allows them to optimize their EOR strategies, target higher recoveries, and increase the technical certainty in reserve booking.
Application of polymer flooding as a chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has increased over recent years. The main type of polymer used is partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM). This polymer still has some challenges especially with shear stability and injectivity that restrict its utility, particularly for low permeability reservoirs. Injectivity limits the possible gain by acceleration in oil production due to polymer flooding. Hence, good polymer injectivity is a requirement for the success of the operation. This paper aims to investigate the influence of formation permeability on polymer flow in porous media.
In this study, a combination of core flooding with rheological studies is presented to evaluate the influence of permeability on polymer in-situ rheology behavior. The in-situ flow of HPAM polymers has also been studied for different molecular weights. The effect of polymer preconditioning prior to injection was studied through exposing polymer solutions to different extent of mechanical degradation.
Results from this study reveal that the expected shear thinning behavior of HPAM that is observed in rheometer measurements is not observed in in-situ rheology in porous media. Instead, HPAM in porous media exhibits near-Newtonian behavior at low flow rates representative of velocities deep in the reservoir, while exhibiting shear thickening behavior at high flow rates representative of velocities near wellbore region. The pressure build-up associated with shear thickening behavior during polymer injection is significantly higher than pressure differential during water injection. The extent of shear thickening is high during the injection of high Mw polymer regardless of cores' permeability. In low permeable Berea cores, shear thickening and mechanical degradation occur at lower velocities although the degree of shear thickening is lower in Berea to that observed in high permeable Bentheimer cores. This is ascribed to high polymer retention in Berea cores that results in high residual resistance factor (RRF). Results show that preshearing polymer before injection into porous media optimizes its injectability and transportability through porous media. The effect of preshearing becomes favorable for the injection of high Mw polymers into low permeability formation.
This study discusses polymer in-situ rheology and injectivity, which is a key issue in the design of polymer flood projects. The results provide beneficial information on optimizing polymer injectivity, in particular, for low permeability porous media.
The field-scale design of chemical enhanced oil recovery (cEOR) processes requires running complex numerical models that are computationally demanding. This paper provides an efficient screening platform for the cEOR feasibility study by presenting five artificial neural network (ANN) based models. We constructed 1,100 ANN training cases using CMG-STARS to capture the variation in reservoir petrophysical properties and the range of injected chemicals properties for a five-spot pattern. The design parameters were coupled with the reservoir properties using several functional links to optimize the ANN models and improve their performances. The training cases were employed using back-propagation methods to construct one forward model (Model #1) and four inverse models. Model #1 predicts reservoir response (i.e., oil rate, water cut, injector bottomhole pressure, cumulative oil) for known reservoir characteristics (i.e., permeability, thickness, residual oil saturation, chemical adsorption) and project design parameters (i.e., pattern size, chemical slug size and concentration), Model #2 predicts reservoir characteristics by history matching the reservoir response, and Model #3 predicts project design parameters for known reservoir response and characteristics. Models #4 and #5 predict project design parameters for a targeted cumulative oil volume and project duration time, which is useful for economical evaluation before the implementation of cEOR projects.
The validation results show that the developed ANN-based models closely predict the numerical results. In addition, the models are able to reduce the computational time by four orders of magnitude, which is significant considering the complexity of cEOR modeling and the need for reliable and efficient tools in building cEOR feasibility studies. In terms of accuracy, Model #1 has a prediction error of 5% whereas the error for other four inverse ANN models is about 20–40%. To enhance the performance of the inverse ANN models, we changed the ANN structure, increased training cases, and used functional links, which slightly reduced the error. Further, we introduced a back-check loop that uses the predicted parameters from the inverse ANN models as inputs in the forward ANN model. A comparison of back-check results for the reservoir response with the numerical results delivers a relatively small error of 10%, revealing the non-uniqueness of solutions obtained from the inverse ANN models.
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.
Engineers need to predict the production characteristics from hydraulically fractured wells in tight gas fields. Decline curve analysis (DCA) has been widely used over many years in conventional oil and gas fields. It is often applied to tight gas, but there is uncertainty regarding the period of production data needed for accurate prediction.
In this paper decline curve analysis of simulated production data from models of hydraulically fractured wells is used to to develop improved methods for calibrating decline curve parameters from production data. The well models were constructed using data from the Khazzan field in Oman. The impact of layering, permeability and drainage area on well performance is also investigated. The contribution of each layer to recovery and the mechanisms controlling that contribution is explored.
The investigation shows that increasing the amount of production data used to fit a hyperbolic decline curve does not improve predictions of recovery unless that data comes from many years (20 years for a 1mD reservoir) of production. This is because there is a long period of transient flow in tight gas reservoirs that biases the fitting and results in incorrect predictions of late time performance. Better predictions can be made by estimating the time at which boundary dominated flow is first observed (tb), omitting the preceding transient data and fitting the decline curve to a shorter interval of data starting at tb. For single layer cases, tb can be estimated analytically using the permeability, porosity, compressibility and length scale of the drainage volume associated with the well. Alternatively, tb can be determined from the production data allowing improved prediction of performance from 2-layer reservoirs provided that a) there is high cross-flow or b) there is no cross-flow and the lower permeability layer either does not experience BDF during the field life time or it is established quickly.