Penghui, Su (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Zhaohui, Xia (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Ping, Wang (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Liangchao, Qu (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | xiangwen, Kong (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Wenguang, Zhao (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development)
Interest has spread to potential unconventional shale reservoirs in the last decades, and they have become an increasingly important source of hydrocarbon. Importantly, pore structure of shale has considerable effects on the storage, seepage and output of the fluids in shale reservoirs so that reliable fractal characteristics are essential. To better understand the evolution characteristics of pore structure for a shale gas condensate reservoir and their influence on liquid hydrocarbon occurrences and reservoir physical properties, we conducted high-pressure mercury intrusion tests (HPMIs), field emission scanning electron microscopies (FESEM), total organic carbon (TOC), Rock-Eval pyrolysis and saturation measurements on samples from the Duvernay formation. Furthermore, the fractal theory is applied to calculate the fractal dimension of the capillary pressure curves, and three fractal dimensions D1, D2 and D3 are obtained. The relationships among the characteristics of the Duvernay shale (TOC, organic matter maturity, fluid saturation), the pore structure parameters (permeability, porosity, median pore size), and the fractal dimensions were investigated.
The results show that the fractal dimension D1 ranges from 2.44 to 2.85, D2 ranges from 2.09 to 2.15 and D3 ranges from 2.35 to 2.48. D2 and D3 have a good positive correlation. The pore system studied mainly consists of organic pores and microfractures, with the percentage of micropores being 50.38%. TOC has a positive relationship with porosity and D3 due to the development of organic pores. D3 has a positive correlation with gas saturation. With increased D3, median pore size shows a decreasing trend and an increase in permeability and porosity, demonstrating that D3 has a large effect on pore size distribution and the heterogeneity of pore size. In general, D3 has a better correlation with petrophysical and petrochemical parameters. Fractal theory can be applied to better understand the pore evolution, pore size distribution and fluid storage capacity of shale reservoirs.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) A drillstem test was performed on the Zafarani-2 well--located about 80 km offshore southern Tanzania. Two separate intervals were tested, and the well flowed at a maximum of 66 MMscf/D of gas. Statoil (65%) is the operator, on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, with partner ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Tanzania (35%). The FA-1 well--located in 600 m of water in the Foum Assaka license area offshore Morocco--was spudded. The well targets Eagle prospect Lower Cretaceous resources. Target depth is 4000 m. Kosmos Energy (29.9%) is the operator, with partners BP (26.4%),
Africa (Sub-Sahara) ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso Exploration Angola has started oil production at the Kizomba Satellites Phase 2 project offshore Angola. The project involves the development of subsea infrastructure for the Kakocha, Bavuca, and Mondo South fields. Mondo South is the first field to begin production, and the other two satellite fields will follow later this year. The goal is to increase Block 15's production to 350,000 BOPD. Esso (40%) is the operator with BP Exploration Angola (26.67%), Kosmos Energy discovered gas at the Tortue West prospect in Block C-8 offshore Mauritania.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) Bowleven's Moambe exploration well on the Bomono Permit onshore Cameroon has encountered hydrocarbons. The well was drilled to a planned total depth of 5,803 ft and made its discovery in Paleocene-aged (Tertiary) target reservoir intervals. Moambe is the second in a two-well exploration program on the permit. The first well, Zingana, also discovered hydrocarbons. The Moambe well will be tested before further testing takes place at Zingana. Bowleven holds 100% interest in the permit. Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production has begun production at the Bonga Phase 3 project, an expansion of the deepwater Bonga project in Nigeria. Peak production from the expansion is expected to be 50,000 BOEPD, which will be shipped by pipelines to the Bonga floating production, storage, and offloading facility.
The Cliff Head is one of the most significant discoveries in the offshore Northern Perth Basin. Hence, understanding the structure and geology of the field is essential to further evaluate the offshore region in the basin. Two structural models were developed with the objective to achieve a better understanding of this field. The first model is focused on the Permian and older strata, while the second model is for the overburden. In addition, reservoir properties models (e.g. porosity model and water saturation model) were developed to better understand the reservoir facies and hydrocarbon distribution. Examination of the structural models has shown that there are two main sets of faults within the Cliff Head area, which can be categorized into the following: the deep Permian faults that are truncated against the Late Permian unconformity, and younger Cretaceous faults that were developed during the Early Cretaceous rifting. It has also shown that the oil accumulation within the field is structurally trapped within Permian aged set of horsts and is mainly reservoired within the Irwin River Coal Measures. The secondary target (e.g. the underlying High Cliff Sandstone) is mostly beneath the regional oil-water contact of −1257.8 m TVDss, except in the highest structural point in the field, where Cliff Head-6 was drilled. The Irwin River Coal Measures in the study area contained four high resolution depositional sequences that displayed a finingupward pattern as depicted by the Gamma Ray log response and are interpreted to have mainly deposited in a fluvial depositional system. The High Cliff Sandstone, in contrast, contained two high resolution depositional sequences that displayed a coarsening upward sequences as supported by Gamma Ray log response and were interpreted to have mainly deposited in marginal marine settings. Reservoir properties modeling was also conducted utilizing the 3D models, where a 3D porosity model was calculated and shows that the Irwin River Coal Measures, in general, exhibit higher porosity distribution than the underlying High Cliff Sandstone, even though the later has coarser and more laterally extensive sand sheets. This is probably attributed to diagenetic porosity reduction within the High Cliff Sandstone caused by the formation waters. The calculated 3D water saturation model also confirms the presence of a single regional oil-water contact within the field and hence, reservoir heterogeneities and fault seal capacities did not affect the hydrocarbon distribution within the field. Finally, all the calculated models (e.g. lithofacies model, porosity model, and water saturation model) were integrated to estimate the recoverable hydrocarbons in place, where the Cliff Head is estimated to contain a total of 15.2 million barrels.
Hydraulic fracturing is considered to be a vital cornerstone in decision making of unconventional reservoirs. With an increasing level of development of unconventional reservoirs, many questions have arisen regarding enhancing production performance of tight carbonate reservoirs, especially the evaluation of the potential for adapting multistage hydraulic fracturing technology in tight carbonate reservoirs to attain an economic revenue.
In this paper we present a feasibility study of multistage fractured horizontal well in typical tight carbonate reservoirs covering different values of permeability. We show that NPV is the suitable objective function for deciding on the optimum number of fractures and fracture half-length. Multistage fractured horizontal well has been found to be a feasible technique to produce from tight carbonate reservoirs with permeability in the range of 0.01-0.05 mD, while it is not economic reservoirs with permeability of around 0.001 mD. In addition, our study suggests that for feasibility study purposes simplified homogeneous reservoir models can be used instead of a heterogeneous one without compromising the quality of conclusions. This will save time, money and efforts in evaluating production performance of various options like, number, length and other fracture properties of multistage fractured horizontal wells.
Cheng, Zhilin (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Engineering in China University of Petroleum) | Ning, Zhengfu (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Engineering in China University of Petroleum) | Wang, Qing (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Engineering in China University of Petroleum) | Li, Mingqi (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Engineering in China University of Petroleum) | Sui, Weibo (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Engineering in China University of Petroleum)
As potential alternative resources, tight oil and gas reservoirs are generally exploited with multistage hydraulic fracturing technology to meet the rising demand for energy in the world. Considerable production recovered by the infiltration of fracturing fluids into the rock matrix shows that spontaneous imbibition (SI) is an effective oil recovery method. Through the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) detection technique, the features of SI in oil-water and gas-water systems for tight sandstones were studied. The T2 spectra of these samples were used to reflect the migration patterns of fluids in various pores under different imbibition systems. In addition, the impacts of the boundary conditions on imbibition outcomes were also determined via the variations in T2 spectra under imbibition stages. The results indicate that tight sandstone samples display the feature of complex pore structure with a wide range of pore size distribution, and the dominant types are micropores and small mesopores. With the progression of imbibition experiments, oil in micropores will be more easily displaced by wetting fluid and flow out through interconnected smaller pores due to greater capillary pressure. The majority of the production through imbibition can be attributed to the contribution made by the micropores. However, water could not enter the mesopores readily under the gas-water system if it is only driven by capillary pressure owing to the snap-off effect of gas. The boundary conditions have notable effects on the imbibition rate and ultimate recovery for the oil-water system and increasing the areas available for water imbibition helps to maintain higher imbibition rate and recovery. However, regarding the gas-water system, boundary conditions have little influence on the imbibition recovery but have a remarkable influence on the imbibition rate. The traditional scaling equations used to scale the imbibition data for both the oil-water and gas-water systems and predict imbibition recovery is acceptable if the wettability of the tight medium remains unchanged. This research aims to uncover the imbibition characteristics of fluids and the nontrivial effect of boundary conditions in tight sandstone samples, which would contribute to the successful development of tight formations.
Hassan, Amjed (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Mahmoud, Mohamed (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Al-Majed, Abdulaziz (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Alade, Olalekan (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Al-Nakhli, Ayman (Saudi Aramco) | BaTaweel, Mohammed (Saudi Aramco) | Elktatany, Salaheldin (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals)
In petroleum industry, great challenges are associated with producing hydrocarbon from unconventional reservoirs. Tight reservoirs are characterized with low permeability which reduces the hydrocarbon flow into the wellbore. Water blockage is considered as a potential damage issue in tight reservoirs due to increasing the water saturation around wellbore region and eventually decreasing the relative permeability of hydrocarbons. Acid fracturing or hydraulic fracturing are required to remove the damage and enhance the formation conductivity. The objective of this paper is to propose a new technique to remove the water blockage from tight formations using thermochemical treatment. Chemicals that generate pressure and heat at reservoir conditions are used to remove the water bank from tight core samples.
Coreflooding experiments, capillary pressure and NMR measurements were conducted as well as routine core analysis. The impact of thermochemical treatment on improving the formation productivity was quantified. The effect of thermochemical injection on rock integrity was analyzed by evaluating the pore geometry before and after the chemical treatment. Thermochemical treatment resulted in a significant improvement in the core conductivity. NMR indicated that, tiny fractures were created in the core samples due the thermochemical flooding. Capillary pressure measurements showed that, the capillary pressure was reduced by 55.6% after the chemical treatment.
The results of this study highlight that water blockage is great challenge in tight gas reservoirs. Injecting thermochemical fluids into tight samples reduces the capillary forces significantly, which leads to remove the water accumulation. Therefore, considerable enhancement was observed in the rock conductivity. This study provides a novel approach for removing the water blockage from tight formations using environmentally friendly chemicals. Chemicals that generate heat and pressure at downhole conditions were used to create tiny fractures. This treatment was able to remove the water blockage from tight sandstone cores and improve the productivity index by reducing the capillary forces.
Advanced levels of depletion cause unexpected reduced pore pressures and thus reduced reservoir fracture gradients, presenting considerable drilling challenges in the Burgan Field in Kuwait. This can lead to matrix damage due to mud losses and result in borehole collapse due to the relative increase of effective stress concentration in the vicinity of the borehole. The area of the study showed high levels of non-productive time (NPT) as well as increased costs due to the drilling of unplanned sidetracks in highly deviated wells. LWD Penta-combo measurements including azimuthal sonic and formation pressure have been utilized to model fracture gradient and borehole collapse gradient in real-time, and proved effective at reducing risks and rig time by allowing proactive management of these challenges.
Borehole collapse in offset wells was analyzed to predict and simulate the wellbore stability of a planned well via a pre-drill geomechanics model prior to drilling the well. The well was planned with a high deviation of 56° and oil based mud. The salinity of the water phase was recognized as an essential factor in assessing wellbore stability risk with respect to shale-dependent time failure.
The integration of real-time LWD sonic and density data with formation pressure testing data in the geomechanics model for the first time in the 12 ¼-in. section showed excellent correlation and confirmed different levels of depletion in the reservoir. Uncertainty in the modeled fracture gradient was significantly reduced and effectively eliminated with the inclusion of real-time formation pore pressure testing data. This successful combination of modeled pore-pressure curves from the real-time LWD sonic data with the real-time formation pressure test data acquired while drilling in the same run is a first in Kuwait. A total of 15 pressure points were sampled in real time while drilling, allowing for proactive mud window optimization and borehole stability geomechanical analysis.
This real-time wellbore stability technique based on advanced LWD azimuthal acoustic technology in conjunction with real-time formation pressure testing while drilling has been developed with a unique process and workflow allowing the operator to drill the well with no significant wellbore stability issues and with the optimized shape of the borehole for a safe casing run. In addition, NPT was reduced to 0 hours and overall days per well were reduced significantly.
After hydraulically fracturing of shale gas wells, theoretical and experimental studies showed that over 75% of the injected water-based fracture fluids left unrecovered. The trapped water causes permeability damage and productivity impairment. The flowback water also tends to be highly saline, often with TDS contents of as much as 200,000 ppm. This study aims to investigate the effect of well shut-in before flowback stage (the soaking process) on the production of shale and tight sandstone formations.
Shale and sandstone samples were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Marcellus shale and Kentucky sandstone cores were used. A modified core flood setup was used to allow porosity measurements by gas expansion method, then pulse decay permeability measurements, and fluid injection during the leak-off process. Nitrogen was used for gas expansion and permeability measurements, while 5 wt% KCl brine was used as representative of leak-off fracturing fluid. The fracturing fluid was injected under a constant pressure gradient (300 in the case of sandstone cores and 1,500 psi in the case of shale cores. After removing the pressure gradient, gas permeability was measured at different soaking times. Computed tomography (CT) was used to scan the cores during the experiment to observe the propagation of fracturing fluid in the core with time.
The results show increasing the regain permeability for sandstone formation was 60% of its initial value directly after the leak-off stage. Then, the regain permeability decreased with increasing the soaking time 38% of its initial value after the core completely invaded with leak-off fluid. The regain permeability was then increased with longer soaking time, as a result of reducing the chocking effect at the core inlet. The propagation rate of water saturation front from CT-scan data decreased with time until reaching the core outlet. The regain permeability on shale cores was 0.14 of its initial value and decreased with soaking time, due to depressed relative permeability curve on this tight pore-space cores.
This study addresses the mechanism of production enhancement or reduction as a result of the soaking process for shale and tight sandstone formations.