One of the North Kuwait Carbonate fields which starts its production in 1957 has very low recovery factor after 60 years of production although the field was under water flooding since 1997. A workflow was developed to first understand the reason behind the low recovery and second to propose the best way to improve it.
The workflow starts with first building a material balance model to understand the main reservoir driving mechanisms. Second, a fine-scale history matched simulation model was used to understand the main reasons of the current low recovery. A Produce High and Inject Low (PHIL) concept was proposed with locating all the injectors at the deepest zone and the producers at the shallow zones. Finally, the proposed PHIL concept with inverted 5-spot horizontal wells was examined compared to the inverted 9-spot vertical wells and to the peripheral PHIL concept using the simulation model to examine the best approach to maximize the recovery.
Different outcomes from the above-mentioned workflow can be summarized as follows; first, it was found that the main driving mechanism is water injection which represents 70% of the reservoir recovery factor. Hence the importance of creating an artificial aquifer along the whole area of the field to provide the required pressure support which calls for the implementation of the PHIL concept with inverted 5-spot pattern background as the best development concept for the field. Second, the thorough data review used on building the fine-scale model shows that the current recovery is dominated by single zone which represents only 15 % of the in-place and on top of this, it was found that all the developed wells are located only on 30% of the field leaving 70% of the field undeveloped. These are the main reasons behind the low recovery. Finally, the developed PHIL concept with inverted 5-spot background shows that the recovery can be increased by five times with less number of new wells and less water injection volume required compared to the 9-spot vertical wells and the peripheral PHIL concepts. This five-folds increase in recovery encourages the asset to do a pilot to implement the proposed development strategy.
Unlike the commonly used inverted 5-spot vertical wells, this work proposes a novel approach of inverted 5-spot horizontal wells with directing the horizontal injectors at the deepest zones and the horizontal producers at the shallow zones. Hence creating an artificial bottom aquifer with minimizing the water production and maximizing the water injection distribution along the whole area of the reservoir.