Research of Drilling and Completion Technologies for Heavy Oil in Venezuela and Offshore Presalt Hydrocarbons in Brazil

Fu, Jin (CNPC Engineering Technology R&D Company Ltd.) | Wang, Xi (CNPC Engineering Technology R&D Company Ltd.) | Zhang, Shunyuan (CNPC Engineering Technology R&D Company Ltd.) | Chen, Chen (CNPC Engineering Technology R&D Company Ltd.)



Located in south of Eastern Venezuela Basin, Orinoco Oilfield is an onshore heavy oil field in South America. The heavy oil is known for its high content of acids, heavy metals and asphaltenes with a viscosity of 1000-10000mPa·s. According to the reserve report released by PDVSA by the end of 2016, JUNIN Block that is situated in east of Orinoco Oilfield has an OOIP of 178*108bbl.

Data of drilled wells and distances between offset horizontal intervals in Orinoco were both studied to improve ultimate production rates. 3-dimension borehole trajectories were designed and the most effective anti-collision measures were taken.

After optimziation 8-12 horizontal wells are distributed on one pad. As the horizontal interval extends, the stable production time is prolonged and the accumulative production per well improves. However, the recovery rate stops increasing when the horizontal interval is over 1600m in JUNIN Block. Economically a large space between offset horizontal intervals results in fewer wells and lower costs, but a smaller space contributes to a higher production efficiency per well. If the space exceeds 600m, the accumulative production rate increases much more slightly. A three-dimension well trajectory consists of a vertical interval, an angle building interval, an angle holding interval, an angle building & direction changing interval, a direction turning interval as well as an absolute horizontal interval.

Since Petrobras developed the first ever offshore deep reservoir (Lula) by scale in 2006, Brazil has been conducting a progressive campaign targeting hydrocarbons buried under deep water, which contributes to discovery of Lula, Carioca, Jupiter, Buzios, Libra and other giant presalt reservoirs in Santos Basin after Campos Basin, where there are 9 oil fields ranking among the top 20 offshore oil fields in terms of OOIP. By June 2017 over 160×104bbl oil and gas were produced per day in deep water of Santos Basin, taking up 57.1% of the total yield of Campos and Satos.

Creep deformation of ultra-thick salt beds, severe loss of limestones, poor drillability of formations and insufficiency of deep water drilling equipment all make drilling and completion challenges more complicated. Mud systems and casing programs are optimized to conquer creep of salt and formation of hydrates due to low downhole temperature. Turbines + impregnated bits are deployed to improve drilling efficiency of siliceous carbonates (Lagoa Feia A Group). Precise control of ECD and efficient LCMs solved engineering challenges caused by narrow density windows (Lagoa Feia B Group and Lagoa Feia C Group).