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Alfarge, Dheiaa (Iraqi Ministry of Oil, Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Alsaba, Mortadha (Australian College of Kuwait) | Wei, Mingzhen (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Bai, Baojun (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
Over the last decade, Unconventional Liquids Rich Reservoirs (ULR) have become the main target for oil and gas investors as conventional formations started to deplete and diminish in numbers. These unconventional plays have a huge oil reserve; however, the primary oil recovery factor is predicted to be less than 10%. Unconventional Improved Oil Recovery (UIOR) techniques are still a new concept in the oil industry since there is no commercial project reported for any IOR technique yet. Miscible gas based EOR technique might be the most potential strategy to improve oil recovery in such complex plays.
In this study, a comprehensive and critical review has been conducted to evaluate the feasibility of miscible gas based EOR technique in ULR. The reports and studies from three different approaches (lab, simulation and pilot tests) were summarized and combined to provide in-depth insights and lessons learned from the applicability of miscible gas based EOR in ULR. Firstly, the main problems in the previous lab and simulation approaches, which were used to investigate the viability of different EOR methods, have been diagnosed. Secondly, the performance of injecting different miscible gases to enhance oil recovery in the pilot tests conducted in ULR has been extensively discussed. Thirdly, the physical and chemical reasoning behind the performance gap for the injected gases in the lab scale versus the field scale of ULR been diagnosed.
This study reported that most of the previous lab and simulation approaches suffered from significant lacks and drawbacks, which created a clear gap in the performance of the injected gases in the lab scale versus the field scale. This research clearly found that the performance of Natural Gas (NG) injection is significantly better than the performance of CO2 injection in terms of enhancing oil recovery in the field pilots. This study also found that the production response of unconventional reservoirs to the injected NGs is much faster than that for the injected CO2. Combining the pilot tests data and simulation studies showed that the number of cycles in huff-n-puff operations has a negative impact on CO2-EOR while it has a positive impact on NGs-EOR. Finally, this research provided deep insights on what the operators can expect from the EOR performance by injecting different miscible gases in the lab scale versus the field scale of ULR.
Due to their potential instabilities, deploying personnel onto icebergs to make direct in-situ measurement is hazardous. The preliminary results from an investigation into the usage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for surveying and monitoring icebergs are presented. The project had four objectives: (i) acquisition of imagery for the generation of iceberg topside reconstructions using photogrammetry; (ii) development of a GPS tracking device and a deployment mechanism to place it onto an iceberg; (iii) development of a motion sensor to record the motion of an iceberg and a deployment mechanism to deliver it onto an iceberg; and (iv) iceberg draft measurements from a UAV-mounted ice penetrating radar.
The project has used both commercially available and custom-built UAVs. The sensor packages (cameras, tracking devices, accelerometers and ground penetrating radar) were commercial products that have been modified for this study and, when required, mountings and delivery mechanisms have been designed and manufactured to integrate the system together.
Fieldwork was performed during the 2017 iceberg season in a near-shore environment (Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) aboard a survey vessel and, in 2018, from an operational supply vessel offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. The field campaigns were conducted in parallel with an iceberg profiling system that uses an integrated multibeam sonar and LiDAR system to generate composite (topside and subsurface) iceberg reconstructions. These reconstructions can be compared with the results obtained from the photogrammetry and the radar survey.
During the 2017 program, iceberg imagery for photogrammetry was acquired and GPS tracking devices were deployed onto icebergs and sea-ice. The longest iceberg track obtained was 21 days. For the 2018 campaign, further photogrammetric data was collected and ground penetrating radar surveys of icebergs were performed. The photogrammetry topside reconstructions and the draft estimates from the ground penetrating radar produced results comparable to measurements from the iceberg profiling system.
This project has explored the capability of UAVs to deliver sensor packages onto icebergs, and to take aerial measurements over and around them. They are an emerging technology that, although challenging to work with in the harsh North Atlantic environment, have proved useful.
Al-Ameri, Aymen A. (Texas Tech University) | Gamadi, Talal D. (Texas Tech University) | Heinze, Lloyd (Texas Tech University) | Ispas, Ion (Texas Tech University) | Gorell, Sheldon (Texas Tech University)
This paper was prepared for presentation at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 23-25 July 2018. The URTeC Technical Program Committee accepted this presentation on the basis of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). The contents of this paper have not been reviewed by URTeC and URTeC does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information herein.
Kwan, Karl (Geotech Ltd.) | Legault, Jean M. (Geotech Ltd.) | Prikhodko, Alexander (Geotech Ltd.) | Card, Daniel (EarthEx Geophysical Solutions Inc.) | Orta, Marta (Orta Technologies Inc.) | Hoy, Donald (Wolfden Resources Corp.)
In September 2015, a deep penetrating VTEM helicopter time-domain EM survey was used to explore the Rice Island Ni-Cu-Co property, located southeast of Snow Lake, Manitoba. In addition to highlighting Rice Island’s known flat-lying Main Zone Ni-Cu-Co deposit and several other favorable targets on the property with similar characteristics, the VTEM survey results also identified a subvertical conductive zone, open at depth, which represented a potential feeder zone. The subsequent 2015-2016 drill program in combination with Fixed-loop and borehole time-domain EM surveys, tested two new conductive targets proximal to the Main Zone (MZ) and encountered significant mineralization at depth, leading to the discovery of the “New Lower Zone” (NLZ). Modelling of the VTEM and Fixed-loop and borehole conductors associated with the MZ and NLZ suggests that mineralization persists to depth and also along strike.
Presentation Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Start Time: 4:45 PM
Presentation Type: ORAL
With the advance of technology in multi-fractured horizontal wells, production from shale plays has improved significantly, making them become viable sources of oil and gas production. While these unconventional resources bring great benefits to the industry, production prediction from these wells has proven to be challenging.
In this paper, our goal is to present a statistical method for the prediction of production from liquid-rich shale and other ultra-low permeability reservoirs. This method starts from the learning process from multiple wells with sufficiently long production histories. Functional principal component analysis (FPCA) is applied to extract key features of production patterns. Then, principal component functions obtained from the training production data set are used as the basis to construct a linear production model from which we can predict production from other wells. Multiple test wells are selected for validation to compare predicted results to true production data. The approach in this paper is driven by production data and it has several advantages over empirical models used in decline curve analysis.
Production forecasting has significant consequences in investment decision making and is also a major component of reserves estimation required for reports to regulatory agencies. With the aid of the approaches proposed in this work, we can improve reserves estimation, field management and evaluation of project economics.
Unconventional resources are becoming an increasingly significant source of hydrocarbon supply in the global energy market (Holditch 2010). The great economic success in developing these resources have been largely driven by the advances in technologies such as multistage horizontal well drilling and multistage fracturing. However, the lack of sufficient knowledge in physical properties and the physics controlling production from shale formation limits our ability to model and forecast with confidence production and reserves from these important plays. Advances in the industry’s ability to forecast future production more accurately impacts financial forecasts, perceived asset values and accuracy of reserves disclosed to the public.
Estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) and well economics are two subjects of high interest for unconventional wells, especially during the downturn of the market when the profitability of unconventional oil/gas becomes marginal. In this work, the authors investigated a few models that are commercially available for EUR assessment and developed a mathematical model for evaluating shale oil economics.
EUR is typically assessed by a Decline Curve Analysis (DCA). The authors applied different models (including Arps’ and multi-segment) to estimate EURs. The influence of the length of production data on EUR is also analyzed. A comprehensive approach was taken to analyze all major costs that occur in every phase from leasing to well abandonment. Eventually, a mathematical model is established which enables the estimation of well economics by use of publicly available data, e.g., production data, well total depth, and stimulation treatment.
By applying the estimated EURs in the newly developed model, the authors analyzed the economics of more than 3900 shale oil wells in Eagle Ford and Bakken. Results show that the mean breakeven oil prices in Eagle Ford and Bakken are, respectively, $69/bbl and $63/bbl. At an oil price of $50/bbl, more than 60% of the wells in those two shale plays are not profitable.
Li, Junjian (China University of Petroleum at Beijing) | Pei, Yanli (China University of Petroleum at Beijing) | Jiang, Hanqiao (China University of Petroleum at Beijing) | Zhao, Lin (China University of Petroleum at Beijing) | Li, Linkai (China University of Petroleum at Beijing) | Zhou, He (China University of Petroleum at Beijing) | Zhao, Yuyun (China University of Petroleum at Beijing) | Zhang, Zhentao (China University of Petroleum at Beijing)
Horizontal multi-stage fracturing has been currently the primary method for developing tight reservoirs. However, the unavailability of quantitative fracture network characterization remains an impediment in this regard. In light of this, this present work aims at characterizing the fracture morphology of each fracturing stage by using tracer breakthrough curve (BTC) from fracturing fluid recovery. This shall provide a solid guidance for the quantitative recognition of discrete fracture network in tight reservoirs development.
Based on field-scale tracer application in Xinjiang oilfield, fracture networks mapped through microseismic monitoring were firstly categorized upon fracture scales. Then correlative relationship between tracer BTCs and fracture morphology categories was built through statistics approach. A single-well tracer injection-withdrawal seepage model which permits an explicit modeling of discrete fractures was developed based on discrete fracture model (DFM) to perform history matching of field tracer BTC. Finally, sensitivity analysis was conducted to quantitatively uncover the general influence of fractures statistical parameters, i.e. central point density, mean and standard deviation of orientation, length and aperture, on the initial concentration, peak concentration and signal duration of BTC.
According to microseismic monitoring results, fracture network can be roughly categorized into micro fractures, large fractures and their mix. Corresponding tracer BTCs for different fracture network categories indicate: when micro fractures dominate, tracer BTC gives a normal distribution type with a lower initial and peak concentration and a longer signal duration; when essentially large fractures present, tracer BTC behaves as a unimodal type with a higher initial and peak concentration and a shorter signal duration; when large and micro fractures coexist, tracer BTC resembles a parabolic unimodal type with a higher initial concentration and a longer signal duration. Sensitivity studies based on DFM simulation show: (1) the statistical parameter of mean has a more profound impact on tracer BTC than that of standard deviation; (2) a higher fracture central point density contributes to a larger fracturing range, lower initial and peak concentration and a longer signal duration; (3) fracture orientation exerts a determinant role in the number of fracture intersections with horizontal wellbore, and a higher initial and peak concentration occurs when fractures are approximately parallel to the wellbore; (4) a shorter fracture length will lead to a higher initial and peak concentration due to the limited tracer propagation area underground; (5) with the increase of fracture aperture, more serious flow-filed dispersion happens and thus lower initial and peak concentration occurs.
A correlative relationship between fracture network spacial configuration and tracer BTC in tight reservoirs has been obtained via statistically analyzing tracer BTCs for different fracture network types. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis helped single out the key controlling factors for quantitatively recognizing complex fracture networks, which will offer practical means of characterizing discrete fractures for fracturing effect assessment and dynamics prediction.
Production rapid decline is the major problem for the tight sandstone reservoirs in Jilin oilfield. For the particular reservoir investigated in this study, production is not only subjected to the reservoir properties, but also the well completion designs especially fracturing. A comprehensive study has been conducted for multi-stage fractured horizontal wells. New fracturing improvement strategies are presented in this paper for future operations in the studied field and also those who may have similar tight sandstone reservoirs to share.
Through the integrated studies of the petrophysical characteristics, geomechanical properties and fracturing data from the fractured wells of the tight oil reservoirs in Jilin Field, numerous fracturing modeling scenarios were compared with actual fracturing monitoring data. A fully three dimension finite element simulation, associated with the analytical result from earlier production data, and the theory of interaction between fracture clusters, were built in this study. We conducted the inversing design parameters from the multi-stage hydraulic fracture with some monitoring data to improve the understanding of the reservoir properties. Additionally, a calibrated geomechanical stress model for a completed well in this field was built. At the end, the production model was presented. Data was provided to facilitate later comparison with the actual multi-stage hydraulic fracture production and valuable lessons have learned through those iteration studies.
With thoroughly trained and well calibrated model, a new fracturing strategy has been developed for the studied tight oil field. The best NPV can be achieved with the optimal fracture conductivity, fracture geometry and well performance. But first of all, the most valuable lesson we learned is that, the Effective Propped Volume (EPV) is the dominating factor for the fractured well performance, instead of the so-called Stimulated Reservoir Volume (SRV). SRV is a misinterpreted concept yet un-calculable. By adopting a numerical simulator and a proficient technology, we developed the most suitable design (perforation, fracture spacing etc.) and the fluid system (slick water, linear gel etc.) for this reservoir so that the optimal fracture geometry and fracture conductivity can be achieved. Besides that, the fracture geometry and proppant distribution were simulated. The simulated oil production data from the finite element fracture and production software is highly matched with the recorded oil production data.
An adaptability evaluation was conducted along with this study. To ensure the relevance and the authenticity of design, we analyzed the effective factors of treating material from both the laboratory and the field data in this field. A novel fracturing fluid system was applied. The fluids are more effective and leave less damage to the formation.
Successful activities in the Eagle Ford shale in Texas through drilling of horizontal wells and completions using multistage hydraulic fracturing jobs suggest that the potential of shale reservoirs south of the border will be quite significant. This observation leads to the objective of this paper: To examine geoscience and engineering data of tight and shale reservoirs in Mexico with a view to estimating the oil and gas endowment and to determine the economics of developing these plays under current and forecasted possible oil and gas prices. Plays considered in this study include the Burgos, Sabinas, Tampico, Tuxpan (Platform), Veracruz and Chihuahua Basins. Endowment refers to the sum of known volumes of oil and gas (cumulative production plus remaining reserves) and undiscovered volumes (United States Geological Survey, USGS, 2010). The economics of these plays are examined with the use of cumulative long run supply (or availability) curves. These are presented as crossplots of production costs per barrel of oil or per Mcf of gas vs. endowments for shales in Mexican basins and are very useful to demonstrate how endowment volumes vary at different price levels. Forecasted oil and gas prices have been generated with the use of a variable shape distribution (VSD) model. It is concluded that the potential of unconventional resources in Mexico is quite significant and will help to change the slope of production rates in the country from negative to positive. As a result, it is anticipated that Mexico will become an important part of the shale petroleum revolution initiated in the United States.