Assessing Drainage Dynamics in the Eagle Ford Using Produced Water Geochemistry

Jweda, Jason (ConocoPhillips) | Deptola, Travis (ConocoPhillips) | Gross, Ben (ConocoPhillips) | Michael, Eric (ConocoPhillips) | McLin, Kristie (ConocoPhillips) | Hofer, Robert (ConocoPhillips)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Objectives/Scope: The continuous drive by the E&P industry to deliver additional value and performance improvements in unconventional reservoirs has created the need for innovative advances in technology to meet evolving challenges. Jweda et al. (2017) and Liu et al. (2017) developed a novel time-lapse geochemistry technology calibrated to core extracted oils to cost effectively ascertain vertical drainage, which is among the most critical parameters used in determining optimal field development strategies. Aqueous geochemistry, well-established in academic and environmental investigations, is another technology that can be used in conjunction with time-lapse hydrocarbon geochemistry to evaluate drainage behavior, vertical connectivity between stacked wells and to ascertain the efficacy of different stimulation designs. Methods/Procedures/Process: More than 300 produced water samples from approximately 60 different Eagle Ford wells have been collected across ConocoPhillips’ Eagle Ford acreage. Sampling campaigns have included collecting several long-term time-series and baseline samples from individual wells across the field. The analytical program consists of a suite of total ion chemistry (cations and anions), salinity, alkalinity, and isotopic geochemistry (δ18O, δD, 87Sr/86Sr, δ11B). Results/Observations/Conclusions: Produced waters, contain a robust arsenal of geochemical signals that can be analyzed to understand the provenance(s) and change(s) in composition with time of these produced waters. A combination of interpretative and multivariate statistical tools were used to gain a deeper understanding of water-rock interactions and mixing/diffusion processes in the subsurface. Stimulation water was differentiated from in-situ formation water, and the evolution of that process was tracked over time. Time-series water analyses were also used to evaluate differences between completion designs, determine the vertical drainage and/or communication between wells, and ultimately understand the drained rock volume through time. Applications/Significance/Novelty: We clearly demonstrate that produced waters are mixtures of stimulation and formation water and that long-term geochemical signals from different layers within the Eagle Ford can be differentiated using aqueous geochemistry. Furthermore, we show that the formation waters vary vertically, coincident with hydrocarbon indicators (oil biomarkers and gas isotopes). To our knowledge, this is among the first published studies of aqueous geochemical behavior of produced waters in the Eagle Ford and the first to establish that intra-formational waters can be discerned, which is particularly novel and important for evaluating completion designs and strategies within a stacked development.

  Country: North America > United States (1.00)
  Geologic Time: Phanerozoic (0.68)
  Industry: Energy > Oil & Gas > Upstream (1.00)
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