Yang, Zhaopeng (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration&Development) | Li, Xingmin (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration&Development) | Chen, Heping (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration&Development) | Ramachandran, Hariharan (The University of Texas at Austin, Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering) | Shen, Yang (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration&Development) | Yang, Heng (China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation) | Shen, Zhijun (China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation) | Nong, Gong (China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation)
The block M as a foamy extra-heavy oil field in the Carabobo Area, the eastern Orinoco Belt, has been exploited by foamy oil cold production utilizing horizontal wells. The early producing area has been put into production about 10 years, existing problems of productivity declining and produced gas-oil ratio rising. Therefore, the development optimization for the early producing area should be conducted in order to obtain the more profitable oil recovery. A typical foamy oil reservoir simulation model using 5 components was created to understand the remaining oil distribution features. Based on above understandings, technical strategies were proposed for infilling well deployment in the early producing area. Results show that the gravity drainage and gravity differentiation of oil and gas during the cold production of foamy extra-heavy oil from horizontal wells by foam flooding are the main mechanisms for formation of remaining oil. And the influence factors of remaining oil distribution include horizontal well spacing, reservoir thickness, reservoir heterogeneity, interlayer distribution and reservoir rhythm. Thus tor foamy extra-heavy oil CHOP process, the enriched remaining oil area is the place between two adjacent horizontal wells with well spacing of 600m. Therefore, well infilling is an effective measure improving oil recovery factor of cold production, and the well infilling should be implemented as soon as possible to obtain better performance of cold production.
In the present context of oil price down turn and enhanced competitiveness, cost saving becomes more important than ever. As part of cost reduction solutions in offshore projects, it may be envisaged to leave field joints bare on subsea pipelines instead of applying a field anticorrosion coating after welding of the joints on board the laying vessels. This approach would need to be applied to specific cases, where it would lead to reduction of cycle time and consequently laying rate improvement during offshore installation campaigns when field joint coating activities are on the critical path, like with pipeline J-laying method. Although cathodic protection is an efficient, reliable and field proven method for seawater corrosion prevention on steel exposed areas of subsea coated pipelines, a quantitative assessment of the long term behavior of the pipeline coating at the transition zone with the bare field joint is recommended in order to support such a radical change in the pipeline external corrosion protection philosophy.
Therefore, a bespoke experimental setup was designed to simulate bare field joint configuration under cathodic protection over a long term exposure in seawater together with long term cathodic disbondment tests for comparative purpose. The bespoke experimental test was performed at full scale on 3LPE coated pipe section with a field joint area left bare and protected by galvanic anodes. The pipe was immersed in a vessel containing renewed seawater and half-buried in mud to reproduce actual pipelines exposure on seabed. It was heated also with an internal fluid at 65°C to simulate actual operating conditions. Long term cathodic disbondment tests were performed on 3LPE coated pipe samples with internal heating of the samples at 23°C and at 65°C. Reference samples without CP were also exposed to the same conditions. The two experimental works were conducted during 12 months.
For each of the tests above, a visual assessment was performed at regular intervals together with a quantitative assessment of the disbonded area (removal and recording of disbonded coating area). With these tests, it was possible to characterize the influence, over the time (up to one year) of the temperature over the normalized cathodic disbondment test results. The effect of the cathodic protection was also evaluated. For the full scale test evaluation and characterization, comparison was made between the disbonded coating length in the mud and the seawater exposure conditions. Correlation between cathodic disbondment tests and full scale test was also drawn. In light of the results obtained so far in this study, these tests results conclude positively that the bare field joint alternative concept for subsea pipelines is possible upon certain operating temperature limitation.
Qin, Huimin (Institute for Advanced Materials and Technology) | Du, Yanxia (Institute for Advanced Materials and Technology) | Liu, Jie (Institute for Advanced Materials and Technology) | Liu, Zhengxiong (Southwest Oil & Gas Field Branch Company) | He, Xin (Southwest Oil & Gas Field Branch Company)
For a buried pipeline under dynamic DC stray current interference, field experiments of corrosion coupons were carried out at two selected test stations by burying coupons of different bare areas at two different depths. Twenty-four hour on/off potential and coupon current density monitoring were also carried out for each coupon which leaded to a new method for the evaluation of dynamic stray current interference and related corrosion possibility. Corrosion rate of the stray current affected pipeline was estimated via coupon current monitoring and was compared to weight loss measurements.
With urbanization and infrastructure development, city metro system is becoming more and more widespread. Electric traction systems are the biggest and best known sources of dynamic stray current due to the longitudinal resistance of the rails as current returning circuit and the insufficient insulation between the rails and the ground. The expansion of the subway poses a threat to corrosion control of underground pipelines. Due to the low electrical resistance, underground pipelines tend to pick up stray currents from subway systems, carrying them as an alternative route, and subsequently discharge them into the earth, going back to their original source. Current pick-up areas of the buried structure will be electrochemically protected, while the current discharge areas can be subjected to corrosion . Many corrosion cases of buried pipeline caused by stray current interference have been reported in the past decades [2-6]. In addition to China, some other countries in the world, such as the United States, Canada, Russia, Britain, Italy, and so on, also encountered the corrosion problems produced by metro stray current [7-11]. Not to mention the fact that in case of failure, it can lead to pollution of the environment and subsequently create hazards to human life.
Dynamic nature of the stray current generated by rail transit system is due to continuous track to earth potential changes in the railway. In most cases, there is alternating current flowing in and out at the same area of the buried pipeline which is accordance with the field measured potentials varying with time. These fluctuations are affected by transit vehicle acceleration and deceleration, and the number and location of vehicles on the system, among other influencing factors. So far, considerable studies concerning dynamic stray current interference have mainly focused on field tests of potential or current fluctuation and interference mitigation methods for buried pipelines [12-21]. There is lack of research on corrosion law and mechanism on DC dynamic stray current interference which may not be the same as steady DC stray current corrosion due to its dynamic nature. The quantitative relationship between corrosion rate and dynamic stray current parameters hasn't been obtained, which is important to the evaluation of corrosion risk. Meanwhile there haven't been agreed criteria in the world for corrosion risk evaluation under dynamic DC stray current interference.
A Cathodic Protection system can provide effective corrosion control against external corrosion threats to aboveground storage tanks; be it related to tank construction materials, coating degradation over operational life span or environmental corrosion caused by tank foundation, soil etc. Traditionally, several different types of anode installation schemes were practiced for current distribution to the tank bottom. These were'Horizontal or vertical' anode installation distributed around the tank periphery or angular drilled anode installation to extend the anodes toward center of the tank bottom. Deep-well anode systems with multiple anodes in a single long bore-hole at relatively remote location were also used to provide common cathodic protection system for multiple tanks in tank farm area. These conventional anode-beds were easy to install, monitor and maintained. For safety and environmental reasons in new storage tank construction, an impermeable plastic membrane is now required to be laid under the tank to contain any corrosion leak if it happens. The use of a membrane beneath the tank bottom as secondary containment and as a means of leak detection thwarts any attempt of conventional anode-bed outside the tank periphery to be effective. The anode-bed and references electrodes or other monitoring systems are therefore installed within the space available between the membrane and the tank bottom during construction of the tank, as retrofitting of anodes during operational service life would not work because of the inaccessibility below the tank bottom. A robust design of the cathodic protection system for a tank bottom is therefore imperative to ensure intended design life. This paper briefly discusses the changing perspectives of the cathodic protection system from conventional anode-beds to a grid system showing the detail design approach adopted and highlights the implications of miss-design based on a practical example of a newly constructed 100 meter dia crude oil storage tank with 40 years design life if relevant design considerations are not addressed.
Buell, R. S. (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Gurton, R. (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Sims, J. (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Wells, M. (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Adnyana, G. P. (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Shirdel, M. (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Muharam, C. (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Gorham, T. (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Riege, E. (Chevron North America Exploration and Production) | Dulac, G. B. (Chevron North America Exploration and Production)
A horizontal steam injection pilot project has been underway for the last four years in the Kern River heavy oil field located in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. This pilot project was designed to address the following four prioritized learning objectives for horizontal steam injection in a mobile heavy oil reservoir, which were: What is the mechanical reliability and operability of horizontal steam injectors? Can acceptable steam conformance control along the horizontal section be achieved? Can steam conformance along the horizontal section be quantified with surveillance? What is the reservoir response and longer-term operability with horizontal steam injection?
What is the mechanical reliability and operability of horizontal steam injectors?
Can acceptable steam conformance control along the horizontal section be achieved?
Can steam conformance along the horizontal section be quantified with surveillance?
What is the reservoir response and longer-term operability with horizontal steam injection?
The 12-acre pilot area on the northwest flank of section 24 of the Kern River field was equipped with two horizontal steam injectors and nine vertical producing wells. The pilot area also had 12 vertical temperature observation wells (TOW) to understand steam conformance around each of the injectors and in the far-field reservoir. The TOWs were logged frequently to establish temperature trends. Based upon temperature trends steam identification and saturation logs were also acquired periodically.
Five injector completions of increasing complexity were installed to understand the injectors' mechanical integrity, recovery of flow control devices, performance of isolation packers and fiber optic surveillance systems. A history-matched reservoir simulation model with coupled wellbore hydraulics was used for forecasting throughout the project life to conduct operational sensitivity analysis and to improve reservoir characterization. Fiber optic flow profiling methods were developed in the injectors that were validated with the observation wells and reservoir models. During each workover torque and drag measurements were acquired which were analyzed with both soft and stiff string analysis to understand wellbore mechanical conditions in the horizontal section. After each workover, all available reservoir and workover surveillance data, TOW logs and production and injection well information were used in a multidisciplinary review to understand progress against the four prioritized learning objectives. The performance of offsetting traditional, vertical steamflood developments were also evaluated.
Rodriguez, Ricardo (PDVSA) | Villavivencio, Elvio (PDVSA) | Bellorin, Pavel (PDVSA) | Rendon, Lerrys (PDVSA) | Orozco, Jose (Schlumberger) | Quintero, Andreina (Schlumberger) | Chapellin, Alvaro (Schlumberger) | Mutina, Albina (Schlumberger) | Bammi, Sachin (Schlumberger)
The Orinoco Oil Belt (Faja) is the largest known heavy oil reserve in the planet. Geologically, its reservoirs are composed mainly of sequences of shales and unconsolidated sands. The properties of the sand units such as shale volume, water saturation, porosity, and thickness can present lateral heterogeneity at a few hundred feet scale. The high viscosity of the oil and its variation both laterally and vertically is one of the key features of the Faja. Prediction of water saturation from resistivity can be difficult due to multiple reasons, including the low salinity of the formation water and wettability changes.
For the field development, Faja reservoirs are drilled following a specific drilling pattern called a “macolla”. A macolla is composed of a vertical stratigraphic well followed by a group of two to four highly deviated wells (slant wells). These deviated wells play a fundamental role in cluster delineation, because they are key calibration points in the trajectory planning of the subsequent set of horizontal wells, which are completed with a slotted liner to maximize production.
Usually, in Faja, only vertical stratigraphic wells include comprehensive logging suites. These suites include elemental gamma ray spectroscopy, microresistivity images, sonic, dielectric, and magnetic resonance measurements at multiple depths of investigation. Moreover, due to the complexity of logging highly deviated wells in unconsolidated formations, many slant wells are not logged or logged only for correlation (gamma ray and resistivity logs). The ability to acquire more log data in the slant wells improves reservoir description and reduces the uncertainty in the planning of horizontal production wells.
The case study presented here illustrates the value of integrating data from vertical and slant wells in a macolla cluster. Comprehensive logging suites acquired in the vertical wells are complemented with through-the-bit logging suites acquired in the slant wells. Through-the-bit technology has recently been introduced in Venezuela and has proved to enable the acquisition of high quality logs through unconsolidated sand shale sequences in highly deviated boreholes. Rig time due to the logging operation and the risk of sticking of the logging string was also reduced.
This case study presents the workflow for and the results of the multiwell data integration in which different formation properties, including lithology-based facies, are propagated and incorporated into a 3D structural model. This workflow provides critical input to reservoir characterization and facilitates significantly the planning of horizontal wells.
Extraheavy-oil (XHO) reservoirs in South America represent some of the largest hydrocarbon accumulations (>500 billion bbl) in the world. Primary production (PP) that uses long horizontal wells is a commercially proved technology for XHO reservoirs. The expected ultimate recovery with primary production is generally less than 12% of original oil in place (OOIP), and thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is critical for increasing recovery to 30–60% OOIP. Economic and environmentally viable thermal development of these reservoirs will require the use of horizontal steam injectors. Our results reveal that continuous steam injection (CSI) with a horizontal injector placed vertically above a horizontal producer (CSI-HIHP) is a very effective method for XHO reservoirs, with high peak-oil rate and significantly high recovery. This study, the first of its kind for an XHO reservoir, outlines an integrated work flow to evaluate the production potential of a large XHO greenfield with PP followed by thermal exploitation. The work flow, based on a probabilistic framework [involving design of experiment (DOE), proxy methods, and Monte Carlo simulations], evaluates reservoir performance for the whole life cycle of the field under a range of uncertainties, and quantifies the impact of key parameters affecting the reservoir performance. XHO reservoirs usually have significantly higher pressures than typical conventional heavy-oil reservoirs, where CSI has been applied commercially. Therefore, pressure in these reservoirs must be reduced before CSI can begin. Cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) after the initial stage of PP can be used to accelerate pressure reduction in the reservoir, while providing additional recovery. Our results demonstrate that geological features such as shale baffles have a significant impact on delaying pressure reduction during PP and CSS. Under a broad range of conditions investigated in this study, PP for 1 year followed by CSS for 4 years has been found to be successful in reducing pressure to the target pressure for CSI. High pressure drop in the horizontal steam injector can cause pressure near the toe region of the injector to be lower than the producer pressure. This results in poor steam injection and poor steam-chest development in that region, thus greatly reducing the efficiency of the thermal-recovery process. We quantify pressure drop in a horizontal steam injector and its impact on the thermal performance and suggest a novel well configuration that uses two injectors for every long producer during CSI. The proposed configuration with a sequential development plan can significantly improve economics of the projects. A novel probabilistic work flow for a full-field (FF) development plan (PP, CSS, and CSI) of XHO reservoirs provides robust production forecast during the entire life cycle. The work flow developed and the insights obtained would be very valuable in preparing effective exploitation plans and optimal facility design, a key economic variable in large projects of developing giant XHO reservoirs.
The first thermal pilot project in the Huyaparí field (formerly Hamaca) in the Orinoco Belt in eastern Venezuela was designed to use'nonthermal' wells in an existing cold producing field to explore steam stimulation injection and production response while maintaining wellbore integrity and safe operations. The pilot project consisted of performing cyclic steam stimulations in active horizontal producers. The selected candidates were active wells producing extra heavy crude oil (8-9 API) from prolific unconsolidated sands with 30% porosity and 5 Darcy permeability. A selection process was implemented to identify wells based on favorable sand quality and dynamic reservoir conditions to address potential issues of relatively high-pressure high-temperature saturated steam injection conditions. A risk analysis was implemented to design the injection completion and workover program to maintain well integrity during high-temperature steam injection (550 F). Well injection completion consisted of concentric vacuum-insulated-tubing (VIT), thermal hydraulic-set packer, thermal wellhead conversion, and high temperature downhole sensors; all designed to protect Class B cement and 9.625-in.
This paper presents the workflow and learned lessons during the construction of a fully compositional integrated subsurface/surface model for the Santa Barbara and Pirital fields, which are important oil production units located to the east of Venezuela. In this approach, the numerical reservoir simulation models, wells and surface facilities were coupled in order to obtain production profiles considering both changes in the reservoir conditions and surface restrictions, achieving an assertive planning of asset development.
The applied methodology is based on the construction of more than 150 compositional well models, performing sensitivity analysis to define multiphase flow correlations for vertical pipe and chokes. A network model, which comprises more than 900 Km of lines, 3 main flow stations, and 3 separation levels, was also built in compositional mode honoring line sizes, lengths and elevation changes. Two numerical simulation models represent the most reliable characterization of the main reservoirs. Each model was initialized and ran separately, in order to discard internal inconsistencies. Then, the integration was performed considering the sand face on the wells as the coupling point.
The integrated asset modeling allowed predicting the production behavior of the reservoirs taking into account the constraints of the surface facilities, reducing the uncertainty of forecasts and identifying limitations and bottlenecks at surface level. It was also possible to accurately determine the details of the hydrocarbons streams (NGL) at different pressure stages of the network, which reasonably matched with field data (less than 3% of difference). The result is a versatile tool for the integrated asset management, which allows to sensitize all the elements of the production chain and estimate how each one affect the performance of the asset, discarding the division between departments upstream and downstream and establishing a common management strategy for all disciplines.
The novelty of this work is based on the challenge of building fully compositional coupled models considering giants and complex reservoirs with large surface networks. The proposed methodology and learned lessons will certainly serve as reference for similar future works.
Huyapari is a giant field, located in the Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt of eastern Venezuela. Huyapari contains huge original oil in place (OOIP) of extra heavy crude oil (7 to 9°API) with excellent reservoir properties that enable primary production of the extra heavy crude oil by using long horizontal wells. Nevertheless, the live oil viscosity variation at reservoir conditions (1,500 to 20,000 cp) represents a production challenge in the field. This study aims to improve the fluid heterogeneity understanding in the field through the application of PVT (Pressure, Volume and Temperature) and geochemical analysis for oil viscosity estimation.
Fluid heterogeneity mapping using crude fingerprint analyses was performed to understand the variability of the oil biodegradation level across the field. PVT data provided reservoir GOR and supported the oil chemical variation. Biomarkers correlations were also evaluated to obtain a better estimation of oil viscosity, and then compared with oil viscosity measurements performed at surface and reservoir conditions.
The integration of geochemical analysis with the PVT data allowed to improve the Huyapari field correlations used for well potential estimation. A shallow reservoir of the field with few production wells and larger prospective areas was chosen to evaluate its oil viscosity variation and the methodology application. A better well placement and reservoir management strategy was established, thus demonstrating the value of this data integration.
This study demonstrates that reservoir geochemistry coupled with reservoir engineering data is a cost-effective reservoir management tool. This methodology could be useful for application in other extra-heavy oil fields where little reservoir geochemistry input has been considered in their field simulation procedures.