The Evolution of Light Oil Thermal Pilots in Mauddud Reservoir from Lab, Simulation to Pilot Scale

AL-Muftah, Ali (Tatweer Petroleum) | Mansoor, Mohamed (Tatweer Petroleum) | AlOwainati, Ebrahim (Tatweer Petroleum)



The Light Oil Steam Flood (LOSF) is proposed to increase the recovery from Mauddud reservoir in Bahrain Field. Mauddud has been on gas injection since 1938, yet residual oil saturation is still high in the gas cap due to its oil wettability. Several core lab studies were conducted confirming the high oil saturation in the gas cap. Steam flood core lab experiments were conducted recently and confirmed the residual oil saturation could reach to less than 10%. The thermal pilot project in Mauddud has gone through the following stages:

The first pilot started in 2013 and operated for 2.5 years: It has one horizontal well in the gas cap, one vertical producer, four vertical injectors with three Temperature Observation Wells (TOWs) clustered around one of the injectors.

First pilot performance was assessed and confirmed in reducing the residual oil in the gas cap by distillation and wettability alteration.

Second pilot was designed and initiated in 2016 to assess the economic viability for full field expansion.

Throughout these stages, production monitoring, logging, core studies and simulation studies have been carried to understand the LOSF mechanisms to increase Mauddud recovery from the gas cap.

This paper presents the evolution of pilot design concepts and simulation of the thermal recovery in Mauddud. It also study and assess the well configurations and pilot operating strategies designed for the thermal pilots. A sector model was constructed and calibrated, then used to select a well concept for the LOSF pilots. Seventeen different pilot concepts were considered during the selection process. The well configuration and operating strategies were driven to observe a quicker steam response in the first pilot. A number of sensitivities were conducted to develop a better understanding of the effects of the various reservoir factors.

A comprehensive study was then carried out to recommend a phase development approach for full-scale field development and establish a methodology for a full-field LOSF forecast. Full Field compositional model was built in thermal reservoir simulator and was then successfully history matched with seven components equations of state (EOS). A phased development approach was then proposed for full-scale field development. The initial development will focus on the mid-dip areas with higher remaining oil saturations and a thicker oil column. After establishing production in the mid-dip flanks, development could proceed to the crestal areas, which have lower oil saturations and would likely result in higher steam/oil ratios (SORs).