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Reservoir engineers use relative permeability and capillary pressure relationships for estimating the amount of oil and gas in a reservoir and for predicting the capacity for flow of oil, water, and gas throughout the life of the reservoir. Relative permeabilities and capillary pressure are complex functions of the structure and chemistry of the fluids and solids in a producing reservoir. As a result, they can vary from place to place in a reservoir. Most often, these relationships are obtained by measurements, but network models are emerging as viable routes for estimating capillary pressure and relative permeability functions. Before defining relative permeability and capillary pressure, let us briefly review the definition of permeability. Permeability represents the capacity for flow through porous material. It is defined by Darcy's law (without gravitational effects) as ....................(15.1) Darcy's law relates the flow rate q to the permeability k, cross-sectional area A, viscosity μ, pressure drop ΔP, and length L of the material. High permeability corresponds to increased capacity for flow. The dimensions of permeability are length squared, often expressed as darcies (1 darcy 0.987 10–8 cm2), millidarcies, or micrometers squared.
The capacity to flow fluids is one of the most important properties of reservoir rocks. As a result, extensive research has been applied to describe and understand the permeability of rocks to fluid flow. In this chapter, only single-phase or absolute permeability will be considered. Multiphase relative permeabilities must be derived using relations described in the chapter on relative permeability and capillary pressure. Permeability (k) is a rock property relating the flow per unit area to the hydraulic gradient by Darcy's law, ....................(14.1) The ratio q/A has the units of velocity and is sometimes referred to as the "Darcy velocity" to distinguish it from the localized velocity of flow within pore channels. The natural unit of k is length squared; however, petroleum usage casts Eq. 14.1 in mixed units, so that the unit of k is the darcy, which is defined as the permeability of a porous medium filled with a single-phase fluid of 1-cp viscosity flowing at a rate of 1 cm3/s per cross-sectional area of 1 cm2 under a gradient of 1 atm pressure per 1 cm.
Oil and gas executives across the North American shale sector are continuing to come to the table and negotiate a steady stream of deals to consolidate portfolios. During the second quarter, the deal making amounted to more than $33 billion in mergers and acquisitions, according to data from Enverus. The energy-focused analytics firm said last month in its quarterly review the combined figure represents more than 40 deals, with seven of them topping $1 billion each. The third quarter has so far not seen any announced transactions surpass the $1-billion mark. Instead, most deals struck in July were between mid-sized and small US-based operators.
Relative permeability and capillary pressure defined capillary pressure as the difference in pressure across the interface between two phases. Similarly, it has been defined as the pressure differential between two immiscible fluid phases occupying the same pores caused by interfacial tension between the two phases that must be overcome to initiate flow. With Laplace's equation, the capillary pressure Pcow between adjacent oil and water phases can be related to the principal radii of curvature R1 and R2 of the shared interface and the interfacial tension σow for the oil/water interface: The relationship between capillary pressure and fluid saturation could be computed in principle, but this is rarely attempted except for very idealized models of porous media. Methods for measuring the relationship are discussed in Measurement of capillary pressure and relative permeability. Figure 1 shows a sketch of a typical capillary pressure relationship for gas invading a porous medium that is initially saturated with water; the gas/water capillary pressure is defined as Pcgw pg-pw.
US shale producers Cabot Oil & Gas and Cimarex Energy are the latest to declare a "merger of equals" in a deal valued at around $17 billion, based on recent equity prices. Announced today, the terms of the deal will result in Cimarex shareholders owning about 50.5% of the combined company and Cabot shareholders owning approximately 49.5%. The deal brings together Houston-based Cabot's gas-rich portfolio, comprising almost 173,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale, with Cimarex's oil-dominated 560,000 net acres in the Permian Basin and Anadarko Basin. On a pro forma basis, the merged company will produce around 600,000 BOE/D from the three basins. The companies expect $100 million in savings to materialize within 2 years of the deal closing and to generate around $4.7 billion in free cash flow from 2022 to 2024.
Abstract Subsurface characterization of fluid volumes is typically constrained and validated by core analytical fluid saturation measurement techniques (example Dean-Stark or Open Retort methodology). As production in resource plays has progressed over time, it has been noted that many of these methods have a large error when compared to production data. A large source of the error seems to be that water saturations in tight rocks have been consistently underestimated in the traditional laboratory measurement techniques. Operators need improved fluid saturation measurements to better constrain their log-based oil-in-place estimates and forward-looking production trends. The overall goal of this study is to test a new laboratory workflow for fluid saturation quantification. Recent advancements have led to an innovative methodology where a closed retort laboratory technique is applied to samples from lithological rock types in the Williston, Uinta and Denever-Julesburg (DJ) basins. This new technique is specifically designed to better quantify and validate water measurements throughout the tight rock analysis process, as well as improved oil recovery and built-in prediction. A comparison of standard crushed rock analysis employing Dean-Stark saturation methods is compared to the closed retort results and observations discussed. Results will also be compared against additional laboratory methods that validate the results such as geochemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance. Finally, open-hole wireline logs will be utilized to quantify the impact on total water saturation and the oil-in place estimates based on the improved accuracy of the closed retort technique.
Abstract The problem of capricious log response is one that has persistently troubled formation evaluation experts since the Schlumberger brothers ran their first log in Pechelbronn, France. Since the advent of 6FF40 induction logs in the 1950’s, subtle differences have been noted between laterolog and induction response. As field resistivity measurements have evolved to array induction and array laterolog tools, resultant resistivity variability has increased. (Gianzero, 1999) This paper examines how the resistivity discrepancies between laterolog and induction response in an electrically anisotropic rock can greatly affect calculated water saturations (Sw), and ultimately oil in place. Further, several possible solutions are posited to resolve the riddle of resistivity. The root cause of the differences between the two measurement techniques is in how each tool measures the vertical resistivity (Rv) and horizontal resistivity (Rh) in addition to dielectric effects. In isotropic formations, the difference between Rv and Rh is miniscule. However most organic shales and many laminated low porosity formations are anisotropic. (Klein et al., 1997) In anisotropic formations, the ratio of Rv/Rh is not constant over the possible range of resistivities. This ratio has been observed to be as high as 5 at less than 1 ohmm of Rh, and approaches unity at infinite resistivity. Due to the high Rv/Rh ratio, at low resistivities, differences between laterolog response (Rh + fraction of Rv) and induction response (Rh) has a dramatic impact on resultant water saturation values. Laterolog array measurements exhibit a systematically higher resistivity than array induction measurements in the same formation. Variances in Sw as high as 30% has been observed. Since most North American unconventional fields have a mix of historical laterolog and induction data from different eras, it is imperative to address this apparent contradiction in values. Further confounding the issue, the mud salinity required to run both tools at peak performance is nearly mutually exclusive. This complicates efforts to resolve the conundrum because the tools cannot be run simultaneously. The closest measurements on the same rock come from sidetracked wells where one has a laterolog and the other induction. The next best possible measurement is the tri-axial resistivity which can be used to model the Rv and Rh. The issue with tri-axial tools, is that the laterolog apparent resistivity does not conform to either end member of the Rv or Rh. Since the detailed field measurements have been lost to time and only the measured resistivities are available in public LAS data sets, several practical solutions have been devised by the authors to untangle this mess. First, sets of proximal wells (<1000 ft apart) with either tool were depth-shifted and oriented for analysis. Wells with tri-axial resistivity modeled Rv and Rh supplemented the data set. Once the data was collected, the authors utilized simple x-y regression, multilinear regression, artificial neural net, and random forest regression to predict true Rh. The results of each predictor algorithm is discussed, as the optimal solution is situationally dependent.
Abstract Reducing well costs in unconventional development while maintaining or improving production continues to be important to the success of operators. Generally, the primary drivers for oil and gas production are treatment fluid volume, proppant mass, and the number of stages or intervals along the well. Increasing these variables typically results in increased costs, causing additional time and complexity to complete these larger designs. Simultaneously completing two wells using the same volumes, rates, and number of stages as for any previous single well, allows for more lateral length or volume completed per day. This paper presents the necessary developments and outcomes of a completion technique utilizing a single hydraulic fracturing spread to simultaneously stimulate two or more horizontal wells. The goal of this technique is to increase operational efficiency, lower completion cost, and reduce the time from permitting a well to production of that well—without negatively impacting the primary drivers of well performance. To date this technique has been successfully performed in both the Bakken and Permian basins in more than 200 wells, proving its success can translate to other unconventional fields and operations. Ultimately, over 200 wells were successfully completed simultaneously, resulting in a 45% increase in completion speed and significant decrease in completion costs, while still maintaining equivalent well performance. This type of simultaneous completion scenario continues to be implemented and improved upon to improve asset returns.
Abstract A seven-step workflow to help subsurface teams establish an initial thesis for optimal completion design (cluster spacing, proppant per cluster) and well spacing in emerging / under-explored resource plays is proposed and executed for the Powder River Basin Niobrara unconventional oil play. The workflow uses Rate Transient Analysis (RTA) to determine the parameter and then walks the reader through how to sequentially decouple the parameter into its constituent parts (frac height (h), number of symmetrical fractures achieved (nf), permeability (k) and fracture half-length (xf)). Once these terms were quantified for each of the case study wells, they were used in a black oil reservoir simulator to compare predicted verses actual cumulative oil performance at 30, 60, 90,120 & 180 days. A long-term production match was achieved using xf as the lone history match parameter. xf verses proppant per effective half-cluster yielded an R value of > 0.90. 28 simulation scenarios were executed to represent a range of cluster spacing, proppant per cluster and well spacing scenarios. Economics (ROR and/or NPV10/Net Acre) were determined for each of these scenarios under three different commodity pricing assumptions ($40/$2.50, $50/$2.50 and $60/$2.50). An initial thesis for optimal cluster spacing, proppant per designed cluster and well spacing were determined to be 12’, 47,500 lbs and 8-14 wells per section (based on whether or not fracture asymmetry is considered) when WTI and Henry Hub are assumed to be $50 & $2.50 flat.
Ajisafe, Foluke (Schlumberger) | Reid, Mark (Lime Rock Resources) | Porter, Hank (Lime Rock Resources) | George, Lydia (Former employee of Schlumberger) | Wu, Rhonna (Former employee of Schlumberger) | Yudina, Kira (Former employee of Schlumberger) | Pena, Alejandro (Schlumberger) | Ejofodomi, Efe (Schlumberger) | Artola, Pedro (Schlumberger)
Abstract Increased drilling of infill wells in the Bakken has led to growing concern over the effects of frac or fracture hits between parent and infill wells. Fracture hits can cause decreased production in a parent well, as well as other negative effects such as wellbore sanding, casing damage, and reduced production performance from the infill well. An operator had an objective to maximize production of infill wells and decrease the frequency and severity of frac hits to parent wells. The goal was to maintain production of the parent wells and avoid sanding, which had the potential to cause cleanouts. Infill well completion technologies were successfully implemented on multiwell pads in Mountrail County, Williston basin, to minimize parent-child well interference or negative frac hits on parent wells for optimized production. Four infill (child) wells were landed in the Three Forks formation directly below a group of six parent wells landed in the Middle Bakken. The infill well completion technologies used in this project to mitigate frac hits included far-field diverter, near-wellbore diverter, and real-time pressure monitoring. The far-field diverter design includes a blend of multimodal particles to bridge the fracture tip, preventing excessive fracture length and height growth. The near-wellbore diverter consists of a proprietary blend of degradable particles with a tetra modal size distribution and fibers used to achieve sequential stimulation of perforated clusters to maximize wellbore coverage. Hydraulic fracture modeling with a unique advanced particle transport model was used to predict the impact of the far-field diverter design on fracture geometry. Real-time pressure monitoring allowed acquisition of parent well pressure data to identify pressure communication or lack of communication and implement mitigation and contingency procedures as necessary. Real-time pressure monitoring was also used to optimize and validate the far-field diversion design during the job execution. The parent well monitored was 800 ft away from the closest infill well and at high risk for frac hits due to both the proximity to the infill well and depletion. In the early stages of the infill well stimulation, an increase in pressure up to 600 psi was observed in the parent well. The far-field diverter design was modified to combat the observed frac hit, after which a noticeable drop in both frequency and magnitude of frac hits was observed on the parent well. This is the first time the far-field diverter design optimization process was done in real time. After the infill wells stimulation treatment, production results showed a positive uplift in oil production for all parent wells at an average of 118%. Also, only two out of seven parent wells required a full cleanout, resulting in savings in well cleanup costs. Infill well production data was compared with the closest parent well landed in the same formation (Three Forks). At about a year, the best infill well production was only 10% less than the parent well with similar completion design and the average infill well production approximately 18% less than the parent well. Considering the depletion surrounding the infill wells, production performance exceeded expectations.