The objective of the project is to reconcile and quantify the impact of geological and completion variables that cause significant EUR differences in two recent wells drilled and completed in the Uteland Butte member of the Green River formation in Uinta Basin, Utah. While the geology and reservoir conditions are similar for both wells, the completion design and parameters are different (Ball-and-Sleeve vs. Plug-and-Perf, job size, treatment rates, well length, etc.).
The Asset Team uses a structured workflow consisting of several modeling tools: Rate-Transient-Analysis (RTA), Frac Modeling (FM) and Reservoir Simulation (RS) to address and quantify the impact of each variable: Job size, Treatment Rate, Frac count per Stage, Well Length and the effect of clays.
The workflow began with a performance evaluation of the high EUR well (Plug-and-Perf, large job) with RTA and Frac modeling; followed by history-match and prediction of the EUR with the RS model. In the subsequent workflow, a single variable is changed in each modeling step, while others are held constant -- as such, the EUR impact for each variable can be quantified. The result from each step is calibrated with the actual performance observed in the field.
This model-based approach successfully quantified the production impact of each variable. Subsequently, the key drivers can be determined which explains the estimated EUR difference between the two wells. This work drives us to conclude that due to varying pressure, PVT and lithology across the field, different completion designs shall be utilized. The team has gained valuable insight on how to implement different completion techniques with varying job size and design for the basin. Currently, these results are used to drive the well designs and approval; with the long-term objective of optimizing the Field Development Plan.
Cudjoe, Sherifa (University of Kansas) | Barati, Reza (University of Kansas) | Marshall, Craig (University of Kansas) | Goldstein, Robert (University of Kansas) | Tsau, Jyun-Syung (University of Kansas) | Nicoud, Brian (Chesapeake Energy) | Bradford, Kyle (Chesapeake Energy) | Baldwin, Amanda (Chesapeake Energy) | Mohrbacher, David (Chesapeake Energy)
Microscopic analysis including transmitted light, UV epifluorescence, BSE, and FIB-SEM carried out on Lower Eagle Ford (LEF) shale samples, selected from similar depths, show complex depositional fabrics, kerogen, migrated organic matter, and diagenetic history. It is well known that LEF samples contain depositional kerogen and migrated organic matter. Much of the migrated organic matter occupies diagenetically reduced primary porosity. Some of this organic matter is not porous, while some contains large pores and other contains a fine network of nanopores. Where thermal maturity is one control on porosity in organic matter, there is also a control of composition and origin. This paper investigates the chemistry of organic matter in-situ using Raman spectroscopy, to begin to understand what, other than thermal maturation, leads to porosity in both depositional kerogen and migrated organic matter. This is used to evaluate the nature of the pores in LEF, and to assess the impact of hydrocarbon gas injection on organic porosity.
Thin sections of the lower Eagle Ford shale samples are examined with transmitted light microscopy to select samples for Raman spectroscopy, after studying with FIB-SEM to analyze distribution of porosity in organic matter. In the Raman spectra, the separation between the D and G bands, the width of the G-band, and the intensity ratio of the D-to-G-bands are typically ascribed to maturity-related changes. However, composition and origin of the organic matter may also have an effect. The Raman spectra are analyzed to characterize the different types of porous and non-porous organic matter at the same depth. Then, samples are subjected to gas injection in the laboratory in preparation for a gas huff-n-puff operation, and changes in Raman spectra are analyzed once again.
BSE images show depositional kerogen is found as isolated bodies, lamellar forms, and fine material disseminated in the matrix. Transmitted light and UV microscopy reveal that some of this is non-fluorescent and some is fluorescent. Cement-reduced intraparticle pores, other primary pores, intercrystalline pores, and micro-fracture and micro-breccia pores contain migrated organic matter (OM), none of which fluorescences in UV. FIB-SEM images show the migrated OM has either spongy nanopores, larger bubble/meniscate pores, or no pores, all in the same sample. Raman spectroscopy analysis on the different types of organic matter show examples where both G- and D- bands are visible with distinctive separation, intensity ratio, or width, or where the D-band is absent. Moreover, the effect of gas injection on the different types of organic matter is inferred from the G- and D- bands.
This work improves our understanding of organic pore generation and modification, which influences pore size distribution and pore tortuosity, the underlying factors in gas huff-n-puff recovery in shales. It expands the utility of Raman micro-spectroscopy as a tool in understanding the evolution of pore systems and organic constituents in shale. It also presents an in-situ molecular structural study of the effect of hydrocarbon gas huff-n-puff on the different types of organic matter.
The thermal maturity of organic-rich mudstones is one of the main parameters to evaluate, when appraising a new area in an unconventional shale play project, to decide on the best field development strategy and to define the landing zones. Conventionally, thermal maturity is derived from optical vitrinite reflectance measurements, but this technique has some limitations in marine sediments with lack of terrestrial material. Other techniques, such as Rock-Eval pyrolysis, are destructive and the results can be biased if oil-based mud is used to drill the well. In this contribution, a fast, easy and non-destructive method known as Raman spectroscopy is proposed to estimate the maturity of mudstone samples from the Argentinian Vaca Muerta formation, collected from a wide range of maturities.
Raman spectroscopic measurements were executed on a variety of Vaca Muerta shale samples. A complete maturity depth profile was acquired for one well over the entire Vaca Muerta organic shale sequence. Additionally, samples from eight further wells, presenting a wide range in the expected maturity, were examined with the Raman technique. Using a correlation between the Raman spectroscopic signal and vitrinite reflectance, established earlier based on a set of reference samples, containing organic-rich mudstones from a variety of paleo-marine sedimentary basins in North America, thermal maturities were derived for the Argentinian shale samples. For certain samples kerogen was extracted and properties of the isolated kerogen were measured. The Raman results were not only compared to standard maturity indicators such as vitrinite reflectance or Rock-Eval pyrolysis, but also with other non-standard techniques like DRIFTS (Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy) or results derived from the kerogen properties.
This case study in the Vaca Muerta shows a good correlation between the maturity values derived from the Raman measurements and maturities inferred from other methods. The depth profile shows a trend of increasing maturity with depth as expected for such a thick unconventional reservoir.
In contrast to other techniques that require isolation of kerogen, polishing of the sample surfaces, or even crushing of the samples in addition to excessive cleaning, the Raman technique utilized here was applied directly on core chips with minimal sample preparation. This non-destructive technique is fast and easy, while the accuracy is comparable to other techniques like infrared spectroscopy, kerogen skeletal density, or optical vitrinite reflectance measurements. The simplicity and accuracy of the Raman technique can provide critical information about vertical and lateral variability of thermal maturity at basin scale in a short period of time, helping to understand the burial history and its relationship with the variability of hydrocarbon properties.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) Equatorial Guinea's Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has notified Ophir Energy that it will not gain an extension for the offshore Block R license. The block contains the deepwater Fortuna gas discovery. Ophir had been seeking to develop the gas using a Golar-converted floating liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) vessel, but failed to secure sufficient financial backing for the project. Front-end engineering design had begun in July 2015. Targeted production was approximately 330 MMcf/D, with a plateau of 30 years. Located approximately 140 km west of Bioko Island, the Fortuna project was to see development of six commercial discoveries in a phased manner.
Temizel, Cenk (Aera Energy) | Balaji, Karthik (University of North Dakota) | Canbaz, Celal Hakan (Ege University) | Palabiyik, Yildiray (Istanbul Technical University) | Moreno, Raul (Smart Recovery) | Rabiei, Minou (University of North Dakota) | Zhou, Zifu (University of North Dakota) | Ranjith, Rahul (Far Technologies)
Due to complex characteristics of shale reservoirs, data-driven techniques offer fast and practical solutions in optimization and better management of shale assets. Developments in data-driven techniques enable robust analysis of not only the primary depletion mechanisms, but also the enhanced oil recovery in unconventionals such as natural gas injection. This study provides a comprehensive background on application of data-driven methods in oil and gas industry, the process, methodology and learnings along with examples of data-driven analysis of natural gas injection in shale oil reservoirs through the use of publicly-available data.
Data is obtained and organized. Patterns in production data are analyzed using data-driven methods to understand key parameters in the recovery process as well as the optimum operational strategies to improve recovery. The complete process is illustrated step-by-step for clarity and to serve as a practical guide for readers. This study also provides information on what other alternative physics-based evaluation methods will be able to offer in the current conditions of data availability and the understanding of physics of recovery in shale oil assets together with the comparison of outcomes of those methods with respect to the data-driven methods. Thereby, a thorough comparison of physics-based and data-driven methods, their advantages, drawbacks and challenges are provided.
It has been observed that data organization and filtering takes significant time before application of the actual data-driven method, yet data-driven methods serve as a practical solution in fields that are mature enough to bear data for analysis as long as the methodology is carefully applied. The advantages, challenges and associated risks of using data-driven methods are also included. The results of comparison between physics-based methods and data-driven methods illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of each method while providing the differences in evaluation and outcome along with a guideline for when to use what kind of strategy and evaluation in an asset.
A comprehensive understanding of the interactions between key components of the formation and the way various elements of an EOR process impact these interactions, is of paramount importance. Among the few existing studies on natural gas injection in shale oil with the use of data-driven methods in oil and gas industry include a comparative approach including the physics-based methods but lack the interrelationship between physics-based and data-driven methods as a complementary and a competitor within the era of rise of unconventionals. This study closes the gap and serves as an up-to-date reference for industry professionals.
Huang, Hai (Xi'an Shiyou University, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Advanced Stimulation Technology for Oil & Gas Reservoirs) | Babadagli, Tayfun (University of Alberta) | Chen, Xin (University of Alberta) | Li, Huazhou (University of Alberta)
Tight sands are abundant in nanopores leading to a high capillary pressure and normally a low fluid injectivity. As such, spontaneous imbibition might be an effective mechanism for improving oil recovery from tight sands after fracturing. The chemical agents added to the injected water can alter the interfacial properties, which could help further enhance the oil recovery by spontaneous imbibition. This study explores the possibility of using novel chemicals to enhance oil recovery from tight sands via spontaneous imbibition. We experimentally examine the effects of more than ten different chemical agents on spontaneous imbibition, including a cationic surfactant (C12TAB), two anionic surfactants (O242 and O342), an ionic liquid (BMMIM BF4), a high pH solution (NaBO2), and a series of house-made deep eutectic solvents (DES3-7, 9, 11 and 14). Experimental results indicate that the ionic liquid and cationic surfactant used in this study are detrimental to spontaneous imbibition and decrease the oil recovery from tight sands. The high pH NaBO2 solution does not demonstrate significant effect on improving oil recovery, even though it significantly reduces oil-water interfacial tension (IFT). The anionic surfactants (O242 and O342) are effective in enhancing oil recovery from tight sands through oil-water IFT reduction and emulsification effects. The DESs drive the rock surface to be more water-wet and a specific formulation (DES9) leads to much improvement on oil recovery under counter-current imbibition condition. This preliminary study would provide some knowledge about how to optimize the selection of chemicals for improving oil recovery from tight reservoirs.
Hashim Noori, Wildan (Istanbul Technical University) | Cinar, Murat (Istanbul Technical University) | Salehian, Mohammad (Istanbul Technical University) | Alkouh, Ahmad (College of Technological Studies)
Steam injection is one of the well-known thermal recovery processes that has been extensively applied to heavy oil reservoirs. Several efforts have been made to understand theoretical and practical aspects of steam injection and alkali flooding. However, the detailed information about the performance of steam-alkali flooding in field applications has not been deeply addressed yet. In this sense, in order to shed light on the background and applications in this area, this study comparatively investigates the efficiency of different strategies of pure steam injection and cyclic steam-alkali flooding in Bati Raman oil field, Turkey.
Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the advantage of steam-alkali injection compared to pure steam injection for an 11.6° API Bati Raman crude oil. The steam injection system consists of two reservoirs for water and the alkali solution, an electrical pump, and an electric steam generator. Those three experiments are as follows; conventional pure steam injection, cyclic injection of steam and alkali solution 4.0 wt%, and cyclic injection of steam and alkali solution 8.0 wt%. Steam was injected with the rate of 10 ml/min at 110°C and the system pressure was set to be the atmospheric pressure. The liquid produced from the separators is sampled periodically to determine the oil recovery.
Observation of sand packs after the experiments indicates the tendency for steam channeling in the vertical direction around the upper thermocouple. Since the upper thermocouple was inserted after the sand packing operation by pressing and rotation, steam could be passed through these channels without entering the all pores in the porous media. The average oil recovery by conventional pure steam injection, steam-alkali solution 4.0 wt% injection, and steam-alkali solution 8.0 wt% are 8%, 3% and 5.5% OOIP (original oil in place), respectively. This indicates that although the oil recovery in conventional pure steam injection was maximum, increasing the alkali concentration in the aqueous solution from 4% to 8% has caused the improvement in the recovery.
The theoretical and practical information is supported by the experimental examples to evaluate the performance of different steam-alkali flooding strategies with Borax in heavy oil reservoirs of Bati Raman. This study also examines the challenges of steam-alkali flooding in extremely heavy oil reservoirs and explains that the pure steam injection is preferred due the insufficient change in interfacial tension during Borax injection process.
Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) from heavy oil reservoirs is challenging. The higher viscosity of oil in such reservoirs, add more challenges and severe the difficulties during any EOR method (i.e. high mobility ratio, inadequate sweep, reservoir heterogeneity) compared to that of EOR from light oil reservoirs. Foam has gained interest as one of the EOR methods especially for challenging and heterogeneous reservoirs containing light oil. However, the foam and especially polymer enhanced foam (PEF) potential for heavy oil recovery is less studied.
The current study aims to evaluate the performance of CO2 foam and CO2 PEF during heavy oil recovery from both unconsolidated (i.e. sandpack) and consolidate (rock sample) porous media with the help of fluid flow experiments. The injection pressure profile, oil recovery, and CO2 gas production were monitored and recorded to analyze and compare the performance of CO2 foam and PEF for heavy oil recovery. A visual sandpack made of glass column and a core-flood system capable of measuring the pressure at different sections of the core were used in this study. Homogenous and fractured sandstone core samples, as well as a fractured carbonate core sample, were selected for the core-flood study.
Static stability results revealed slower liquid drainage and collapse rates for PEF compared to that of foam even in the presence of heavy crude oil. The addition of polymer significantly improved the performance of CO2 foam flooding during heavy oil recovery in dynamic experiments. This result was inferred from faster propagation rate, higher dynamic stability, and higher oil recovery of CO2 PEF over CO2 foam injection. Moreover, the visual analysis demonstrated more stable frontal displacement and higher sweep efficiency of PEF compared to the conventional foam flooding. In the fractured porous media, additional heavy oil recovery was obtained by liquid diversion into the matrix area rather than gas diversion inferred from pressure profile and gas production data.
The results obtained from this study show that CO2 PEF could significantly improve the heavy oil recovery and CO2 sequestration, especially in homogeneous porous media.