Today, almost half of Western Canada's natural-gas production comes from the Triassic-aged Montney formation, a sixfold increase over the last 10 years while gas production from most other plays has declined. In the last few years, demand for condensate as diluent for shipping bitumen has driven development of liquids-rich Montney natural gas leading to a surge in gas production and gas-on-gas competition in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), which has driven local natural gas prices down. This has had a material effect on the operations and finances of companies active in the Western Canada and is reshaping the Canadian gas industry. A significant portion of this growth has taken place in NE British Columbia and with the planned electrification of the industry in British Columbia, including the nascent LNG operations, will influence tomorrow's power industry in this region. NE British Columbia is a geographically large area with sparse population and the power supply into this region has lagged behind development of oil and natural gas resources. The area was originally served from geographically closer NW Alberta. More recently, supply was established from the BC Hydro power grid with the most significant developments being Dawson Creek-Chetwynd Area Transmission (DCAT) completed in 2016 and the additional 230 kV transmission projects scheduled for completion in 2021.
Rivero, Jose A. (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Faskhoodi, Majid M. (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Mukisa, Herman (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Zaluski, Wade (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Ali Lahmar, Hakima (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Andjelkovic, Dragan (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Xu, Cindy (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Ibelegbu, Charles (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Kadir, Hanatu (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Sawchuk, William M. (Pulse Oil) | Pearson, Warren (Pulse Oil) | Ameuri, Raouf (Schlumberger Canada Limited) | Gurpinar, Omer (Schlumberger)
The Bigoray area of the Pembina field in western Alberta consists of approximately 50 naturally-fractured Nisku carbonate reefs. Production from the Bigoray Nisku D and E Pools started in 1978, and shortly after, water injection was initiated to maintain reservoir pressure as a secondary drive mechanism. By 2013, the pools had reached high water-cuts, making them uneconomical to produce. In 2017, a decision was made to reactivate the pools and initiate a solvent injection Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project feasibility assessment.
A multi-disciplinary team was assembled to review and reinterpret all the geoscience data with modern methodologies to characterize the reservoirs and create new static model descriptions to be used in a dynamic model. Data from well logs, seismic, core measurements and image logs was integrated into a comprehensive and consistent model that could be used with certainty as a prediction tool.
A history-matching process was carried out by creating different realizations of the static model to honor well-to-well connectivity and water movement within the pools. The history-matching process was performed while ensuring that the model updates were global in nature and consistent with the geological understanding of the reservoirs.
The history-matched model was used to optimize the location of new producers and injectors based on remaining oil saturations and reservoir structure. Optimization of the EOR scheme involved testing a matrix of scenarios to investigate the effect of injection rates, solvent volumes as well as production pressures and voidage ratios. Additionally, in an effort to improve displacement efficiency, a large number of simulation runs were devoted to test and establish the most efficient locations for the well perforations in both the new injectors and producers.
Time does not feature in the equations. However, there are significant advantages if time is incorporated into the analysis. For example: a) identifying if all the wells belong to the same reservoir; b) identifying the effect of external energy sources such as gas or water drive; c) incorporating the contribution of communicating tight reservoirs; d) visualization of the results in pressure-time format. The time-based analysis presented in this paper supplements the conventional methods. It helps reduce the non-uniqueness of the solution. In contrast to the conventional Havlena-Odeh plotting variables, which are complex and non-intuitive, the pressure-time plot and corresponding pressure-history match are much easier for an engineer to comprehend and to evaluate the validity or uniqueness of the results.
Costin, Simona (Imperial Oil) | Smith, Richard (Imperial Oil) | Yuan, Yanguang (Bitcan Geoscience and Engineering) | Andjelkovic, Dragan (Schlumberger Canada) | Garcia Rosas, Gabriel (Schlumberger Canada)
Open-hole mini-frac tests are seldom performed in the Athabasca and Cold Lake oil sands due to the complexity of operations. In this paper we present the results of open-hole injections tests performed in Cold Lake, Alberta (AB), Canada. The objective of the injection tests was to assess the in-situ stress condition in the Cretaceous Colorado Group. The injection tests results combined with the run of formation image logs (FMI) before and after the injection have enabled not only the determination of the in-situ minimum stress in the rock, but also the full 3-D stress tensor, along with the orientation and inclination of the hydraulic fracture. The tests were performed in IOL 102/08-02-066-03W4 (N10 Passive Seimic Well, 'PSW'). The injection tests have revealed that the vertical stress in the area is the in-situ minimum stress, consistent with previous measurements. The hydraulically-induced fracture has sub-horizontal to moderate dip angle, mostly owing to the preexisting fabric of the rock, and peaks in the general NE-SW direction. Numerical modeling of the in-situ stresses has shown that the values of the vertical and the minimum horizontal stresses are close, with the vertical stress consistently being smaller than the minimum horizontal stress in all tested zones.
Initial rate and decline are the two main parameters defining the economics of unconventional shale oil development. To improve economics, companies drill longer horizontal wells with more than twenty equidistant stages, different completion strategies and various additives such as surfactants and nano surfactants. This procedure evolves to factory mode in which tasks are optimized in timing and performance without attention to the matrix aspects of improving the recovery. Here, we report the design of a mutual solvent injection pilot in the Vaca Muerta unconventional reservoir during the completion of four unconventional shale oil wells. Reducing
Vaca Muerta has been long regarded as a water wet shale because of the limited water backflow post-fracking job. Alternating water injection was implementing assuming that the well productivity is driven by spontaneous imbibition, but this strategy has been unsuccessful as capillary pressure hysteresis drives this mechanism. We started studying Vaca Muerta from the rock microstructure using energy-dispersive spectrometry and focused gallium Ion Beam ablation FIB SEM images. The microstructure varied widely from millimeters in the same plug which could be expected because in shale rocks millimeters represent more years of deposition than in a conventional reservoir. We identified intercalations of massive water wet zones and strongly oil wet zones in the Vaca Muerta kitchen zone. The oil wet intercalations have high porosity and adsorption isotherm indicating 100 to 1000 times more permeability than the water wet zone. The water wet intercalations are highly saturated with water, and on the contrary, the oil wet intercalations are highly saturated with oil. The pilot designed consisted of four wells in which we will test different injection concentrations but keeping the total mass constant. In this manner, we will estimate the volume contacted by the solvent.
The laboratory protocol indicates a large percentage of macro and meso-pores. We implemented the dimethyl-ether injection which changes the interfacial tension, viscosity and wettability and we obtained the modified relative permeabilities which were the injection of dimethyl ether at 30% concentration along with the hydraulic fracture stimulation stages doubled the initial oil production rate.
The pilot consisted of five wells in which we will test different injection concentrations but keeping the total mass constant. In this manner, using the numerical simulation, we will estimate the volume contacted by the solvent.
Intercalations of high porosity high permeabilities zones in which the injection of a mutual solvent that reduces viscosity and could change wettability in oil wet/water-wet Vaca Muerta improving matrix connectivity.
Feustel, Michael (Clariant) | Goncharov, Victor (Clariant) | Kaiser, Anton (Clariant) | Smith, Rashod (Clariant) | Sahl, Mike (Clariant) | Kayser, Christoph (Clariant) | Wylde, Jonathan (Clariant) | Chapa, Amanda (Clariant)
Transportation of waxy crude oils and mitigation of wax deposition are major challenges especially in regions with cold climate. A viable solution for minimizing organic precipitation and fouling in pipelines or storage tanks is the use of inhibitors and dispersants, however, often those pour point depressants (PPDs) have their own challenges due to their own high product pour points. To overcome these issues a series of high active winterized polymer micro-dispersions were developed. Composition and physical properties of several light to heavy waxy crudes were fully explored based on SARA analysis, wax content and paraffin carbon chain distribution. Performance of candidate chemistries from four major classes of polymeric paraffin inhibitors were studied using industry standard methods. Selected high performing chemistries were processed into micro-dispersions using solvents and surfactants under high shear/ high pressure blending. The new polymer micro-dispersions (MDs) were characterized by their pumpability and stability at cold climates. Series of pour point measurements, rheology profiles and wax deposition tests were carried out for performance comparison of MDs to standard polymers in solution. Processes developed here were versatile to convert polymers from all classes of chemistries into micro-dispersion. Binary and ternary polymeric dispersions were also created showing synergistic effects on the pour point reduction and inhibition of wax deposition of the selected challenging crude oils. The performance of the new polymer micro-dispersions was found comparable to superior with standard polymers in solution. Hence, it was possible to create pumpable inhibitors for extreme cold climates without compromising on performance. The systematic approach used here allowed development of more customized solution based on crude characteristics and desired performance. Micro-dispersions were found stable for long term storage in temperatures ranging from -50°C to +50°C. Multiple global field trials are on-going with very positive results demonstrating early success in lab-to-field deployment. Based on lab and field data, this paper demonstrates that highly active micro-dispersed polymers can perform at significantly lower dosage rate when compared to winterized polymers in solution. Cold storage stability and pumpability eliminated the needs for heated tanks and lines reducing operation and capital expenditures.
This paper outlines methods to characterize hydraulic fracture geometry and optimize full-scale treatments using knowledge gained from Diagnostic Fracture Injection Tests (DFITs) in settings where fracturing pressures are high.
Hydraulic fractures, whether created during a DFIT or larger scale treatment, are usually represented by vertical plane fracture models. These models work well in a relatively normal stress regime with homogeneous rock fabric where fracturing pressure is less than the Overburden (OB) pressure. However, many hydraulic fracture treatments are pumped above the OB pressure, which may be caused by near well friction or tortuosity but, may also result in more complex fractures in multiple planes.
Procedures are proposed for picking Farfield Fracture Extension Pressure (FFEP) in place of conventional ISIP estimates while distinguishing between storage, friction and tortuosity vs. fracture geometry indicators.
Analysis of FFEP and ETFRs identified in the DFIT PTA analysis method combined with the context of rock fabric and stress setting are useful for designing full-scale fracturing operations. A DFIT may help identify potentially problematic multi-plane fractures, predict high fracturing pressures or screen-outs. Fluid and completion system designs, well placement and orientation may be adjusted to mitigate some of these effects using the intelligence gained from the DFIT early warning system.
Ketineni, Sarath Pavan (Chevron Corporation) | Tan, Yunhui (Chevron Corporation) | Hoffman, Katrina L. (Chevron Corporation) | Jones, Matthew (Chevron Corporation) | Ghoraishy, Mojtaba (Chevron Corporation)
Demonstrating the viability of multistage hydraulic fractured horizontal wells to unlock otherwise trapped resources is presented through a case study on Rangely. A combination of high-fidelity reservoir models was employed for accurate forecasts and evaluation of hydraulically fractured horizontal wells to improve resources in this mature conventional oil field with ongoing pressure support and tertiary recovery operations. The modeling techniques used in this method can be extended to other mature oil fields to unlock bypassed oil setting a precedent to re-evaluate mature oil fields with the new unconventional completion technologies.
The Rangely Weber Sand Unit is an Eolian sandstone depositional system consisting of 2 billion bbls of oil in place. The Weber Formation is Pennsylvanian to Permian in age, and typically consists of fine-grained and cross bedded calcareous sandstones. Structurally oil is trapped in an anticline with varying dip angles on the flanks. The oil production from this reservoir was managed through primary depletion for the first two decades of production followed by secondary recovery via water flood and concluding through water alternating CO2 injection (WAG) over the last three decades. Due to the heterogeneity in depositional environment, the recovery factors have been low in the eastern end of the field. The east end of the field has relatively lower permeability and lower porosity compared to the rest of the field. A modeling workflow is presented to assist with evaluation and optimization of hydraulically fractured horizontal infill wells to recover bypassed oil in the eastern end of the Rangely field.
A full fidelity static model was built based on dense, high quality well control data. A sector model was history matched, and then used to update pressure, saturations, and stress distribution to present day. The history matched model was subsequently used to evaluate horizontal well performance and hydraulic fracturing completion options to overcome these heterogeneities and improve recovery from a lower quality reservoir.
Completions optimization opportunities were focused on fracture geometry, incremental Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR), and economics. Sensitivity studies demonstrated that an optimal balance of cost and recovery is found at the low end of fracture volumes and wider perforation cluster spacing. Forecasting runs show incremental economic recovery which otherwise could not have been recovered through ongoing WAG operations.
Hirschmiller, John (GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd.) | Biryukov, Anton (Verdazo Analytics) | Groulx, Bertrand (Verdazo Analytics) | Emmerson, Brian (Verdazo Analytics) | Quinell, Scott (GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd.)
This machine learning study incorporates geoscience and engineering data to characterize which geological, reservoir and completion data contribute most significantly to well production performance. A better understanding of the key factors that predict well performance is essential in assessing the commercial viability of exploration and development, in the optimization of capital spending to increase rates of return, and in reserve and resource evaluations.
Machine learning models provide an objective, analytical means to interpret large, complex datasets. Generally, such models demand large databases of consistently evaluated data. As geological data is interpretive, often varying from one geologist to another, or from one pool to another, it can be difficult to incorporate geological data into regional machine learning models. Consequently, efforts to use machine learning in the oil and gas industry to predict well performance are often focused exclusively on engineering completion technology. However, this case study has utilized a regional geological Spirit River database with consistent petrophysical evaluation methodology across the entire play. This geological database is complemented with public completion and fracture data and production data to build predictive models using inputs from all subsurface disciplines.
Redundancies in the data were identified and removed. Features explaining a significant proportion of the variance in production were also removed if their effect was captured by more fundamental, correlated features that were more straightforward to interpret. The dataset was distilled to 13 key features providing predictions with a similar precision to those obtained using the full-featured dataset.
The thirteen features in this case study are a combination of geological, reservoir and completion data, underlining that an approach integrating both geoscience and engineering data is vital to predicting and optimizing well performance accurately for future wells.
A single-point entry completion architecture has been implemented in several hydraulically stimulated resource plays across North America. The objective is to understand whether the innate properties of the rock and what we can diagnose about how it hydraulically fractures can inform the question of applicability of single-versus multi-point completion designs.
Wells were treated using a single-point entry design in the Montney and the Duvernay and an assessment of well performance was carried out. Multiple diagnostic pads have been carried out over several years in both formations, including microseismic and geochemical fingerprint data allowing for a general characterization of the gross geometry and connectivity. Initial results from a fiber are available in the Montney with a single point completion design. The fracture diagnostic data was compiled and described in the context of the nine main sub-surface controls on the connectivity.
In the Montney, it is relatively clear how completion intensity changes, like stage length, in single-point entry wells change the production performance outcome. In the Duvernay, there is significantly more uncertainty. This contrast contributed to the decision to treat several follow-up pads in the Montney via a single-point entry design, whereas a multi-point plug and perf completion is preferred for the Duvernay wells. Costs and stage isolation are considerations, but one other contributing explanation is that the dominantly planar fracture geometry in the Montney enables each stage to contribute proportionally, thus ensuring the stimulation distribution effectiveness from the near-to the far-field.
The dry-gas area of the Montney is very stiff, with an absence of natural fractures, a paucity of faults, no containment issues and no significant frac barriers. Conversely, in the Duvernay, the inherent complexity in the fracture geometry complicates the stimulation distribution effectiveness in the far-field. Furthermore, the lower mobility of a liquids-rich hydrocarbon system probably benefits from the potentially tighter frac spacing, possible in a multi-cluster design, even with a probable increase in non-uniformity over single-point.
It is hypothesized that in formations that develop complex fracture geometries, ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’ with a single-point entry design, needs to be assessed along with the other value drivers for the well architecture selection.