A horizontal-steam-injection pilot project has been under way for the last 4 years in the Kern River heavy-oil field in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. This paper presents an investigation into the effect of catalytic nanoparticles on the efficiency of recovery from continuous steam injection. The operator has initiated a cyclic-steam-stimulation project in the Opal A diatomite of the Sisquoc formation on the Careaga lease in the Orcutt oil field in Santa Barbara County, California.
The strategy supports the Maximise Economic Recovery from UK Oil & Gas Strategy and Vision 2035, whose goal is to achieve £140 billion additional gross revenue from UKCS production by that time. The projects are designed to reduce technical risks in enhanced oil recovery and expand application of EOR methods in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. In recent years, some effort has been made to use EOR techniques, particularly CO2 injection, to extract additional oil and gas from unconventional resources. This has the potential to change the dynamics (again) of oil production from these tight and difficult reservoirs. One of my best moments is to have made the technical case for polymer flooding and to see the fruits of this several decades later.
California is known for being at the forefront of renewable technology adoption and greenhouse gas emissions curtailment. Even in an industry seen by many residents as archaic, oil producers are increasingly seeking out alternative sources of energy to use in operations. The high number of aging heavy oilfields, high quantity of sunshine, and state's environmental sensibilities make for an ideal proving ground for a technology that brings two divergent industries together: solar thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR). In 2011, Berry Petroleum and solar energy provider GlassPoint started up a 300-kW thermal project at McKittrick oilfield in Kern County that ultimately produced 1 million Btus/hr of solar heat over its 5-year lifespan while reducing the field's gas consumption. That same year, Chevron Technology Ventures and BrightSource Energy launched a 29-MW thermal solar-to-steam facility as part of a 3-year pilot project at Coalinga oilfield in Fresno County.
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We studied the applicability of Step Rate Tests (SRTs) for estimation of suitable injection gradients and reviewed various diagnostic plots to examine their relationship with injection rate and pressure. While dealing with multi-layered systems and those consisting of unconsolidated formations and examining the causes of injection increase seen, we identified some shortfalls associated with the SRT procedure. We also examined the force balance of formation response to injection gradients and concluded that formation resistance to water injection changes with time. That means the injection gradient to maintain constant injectivity is affected by the near wellbore conditions and as such, has a dynamic nature and can change with time. For unconsolidated formations, changes in pore pressure may also affect the rock effective permeability which alone can influence the required injection gradients.
To realize the potential of heavy oil assets in achieving the long term production targets of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), various pilots are currently under operation. This paper provides an overview of a recent multi-pattern pilot under steam injection to evaluate reservoir potential and to reduce the uncertainties in future investments. The implementation of a comprehensive surveillance plan is described and the early results of the pilot are discussed.
Analytical techniques, statistical methods and engineering tools have been implemented to understand the reservoir performance and to evaluate operational variables. These techniques include injectivity analysis, pressure transient analysis, and multivariate analysis of production data.
The size of steam chest is estimated by indirect techniques such as pressure fall off test which have been qualitatively confirmed by analytical methods. The analysis includes integration with other techniques such as seismic data and Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) in observation wells. Modified Hall plots for steam injection were used to evaluate the possibility of formation parting, where further insight was gained from interpretation of anomalous signatures in the modified Hall plots for some wells. It is also shown that the impact of steam injection volume on reservoir response could be better understood by multivariate statistical analysis where numerous parameters influence the results.
This work presents the early results and shares the experience of operating a thermal pilot in the Middle East where limited thermal heavy oil operations exist.
A seminal event last year was the Climate Change Conference in Paris, where participating countries agreed to reduce their carbon output "as soon as possible" and to do their best to keep global warming "to well below 2 C." History will be the judge of whether 2015 turns out to be a turning point in the journey to reducing global warming. There is still a long way to go to turn good intention into substantive action if the world is to transition to a low-carbon economy and ultimately to one of net zero carbon emissions. This challenge is all the tougher given increasing demand for energy, with the International Energy Agency expecting growth by one-third between 2013 and 2040. In the US, there has been a gradual shift in the balance of enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) production between thermal and gas-injection projects. Since 2006, production from gas injection has outstripped that from thermal, and it is continuing to grow.
The operator has initiated a cyclic-steam-stimulation (CSS) project in the Opal A diatomite of the Sisquoc formation on the Careaga lease in the Orcutt oil field in Santa Barbara County, California. The operator has received entitlement to proceed with an expansion consisting of 110 additional new wells. The target zone contains high oil content ranging from 1,800 to 3,000 bbl/acre-ft in massive intervals with 200- to 700‑ft thickness at depths of 600 to 1,000 ft and with a permeability of 5 to 15 md. The pilot currently consists of 19 cyclic-steam-injection wells configured in a 4 5 matrix spaced approximately 120 ft apart, producing from an average depth of 925 ft.
California is known for being at the forefront of renewable technology adoption and greenhouse gas emissions curtailment. Even in an industry seen by many residents as archaic, oil producers are increasingly seeking out alternative sources of energy to use in operations. In 2011, Berry Petroleum and solar energy provider GlassPoint started up a 300-kW thermal project at McKittrick oilfield in Kern County that ultimately produced 1 million Btus/hr of solar heat over its 5-year lifespan while reducing the field's gas consumption. That same year, Chevron Technology Ventures and BrightSource Energy launched a 29-MW thermal solar-to-steam facility as part of a 3-year pilot project at Coalinga oilfield in Fresno County. Aera is teaming up with GlassPoint to build an 850-MW solar thermal facility to produce 12 million bbl/year of steam for reservoir injection and a 26.5-MW photovoltaic facility to generate electricity for operations.