Oilfield Performance in the Presence of Asphaltene Using a Dynamic Flow Simulation

Al-Qasim, Abdulaziz (Saudi Aramco) | AlAnazi, Amer (Saudi Aramco) | Miftakhov, Ruslan (GridPoint Dynamics)

OnePetro 

Abstract

This paper discusses a method for optimizing production and operation for onshore/offshore wells. Optimizing the production of oil and gas fields necessitates the use of accurate predication techniques to minimize uncertainties associated with day-to-day operational challenges related to serious operational problems caused by asphaltene deposition. It involves the use of a dynamic flow simulator for modeling oil and gas production systems and reservoir management to determine the feasibility of its economic development. Many studies have focused on relating asphaltene precipitation flocculation and deposition in oil reservoirs and flow assurance in the wellbores. Experimental techniques and theoretical models have been developed trying to understand and predict asphaltene behavior. Nevertheless, some ambiguities still remain with regard to the characterization asphaltene in crude oil and its stability during the primary, secondary, and tertiary recovery stages within the near-wellbore regions.

A synthetic onshore full-field scale that is based on a heterogeneous three-dimensional Cartesian single-well model is considered in this paper. Two wells (a producer and an injector) and one reservoirs are considered to evaluate the dynamic properties under the influence of asphaltene. The size of the reservoir is 25 ft × 25ft × 20 ft and is represented by grid numbers of 50 columns × 50 rows × 5 layers with 12 hydrocarbon components constituting the constant crude composition of this model. The model comprised a total of 12,500 grid blocks. The three-dimensional simulation employed 5-layers, incorporating all relevant production and reservoir data. Different production scenarios were investigated to define the most appropriate and efficient production strategy. This paper provides a method to assess the effect of asphaltene precipitation, flocculation, and deposition in the well productivity and the economic impacts related to it and investigating prevention techniques and other related in-situ pore level flow assurance parameters.

The results will include a comparison of production rates with and without asphaltene precipitation, flocculation, and deposition. In addition, it provides a comparison of asphaltene precipitation, flocculation, and deposition at different times using varying bottomhole and production rate constraints. Several cases (i.e., WAG cycles, completion, target layers of injection, etc.) are tested to help in selection of the optimum completion and operating strategy in the presences asphaltene. The paper will provide insight into factors affecting the flow assurance of oil and gas reservoirs.