Production Forecast and Optimization Utilizing In-Situ Determined Relative Permeability in a Highly Unconsolidated Sour Heavy Oil Clastic Reservoir

Ayyad, Hazim (Schlumberger) | Dashti, Bashaiyer (Kuwait Oil Company) | AL-Nabhan, Abdulrazzaq (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Ajmi, Afrah (Kuwait Oil Company) | Khan, Badruzaman (Kuwait Oil Company) | Sassi, Khaled (Schlumberger) | Liang, Lin (Schlumberger) | Nagaraj, Guru (Schlumberger)



In Umm Niqa field, Lower Fars (LF) is a shallow, unconsolidated, sour heavy oil and low-pressure sand reservoir. During the current appraisal and exploratory phases, oil production forecasts based on reservoir simulation models were observed to be significantly higher than actual production. Furthermore, unexpected early water breakthrough and the rapid increase in the water cut added more complexity to the reservoir production. This paper will focus on how these challenges were addressed with a unique workflow.

If the reservoir is producing more than one phase, then relative permeability determination becomes essential for the production forecast as well as production optimization to delay the water breakthrough. Due to the unconsolidated nature of LF reservoir, it was challenging to perform coring operation in this environment. In the few cases where cores were obtained, it was almost impossible to perform the relative permeability analysis on the core plugs. Therefore, there was a need to obtain this information by exploring other technique or methodology. Hence in-situ relative permeability technique was implemented in three different wells.

To address the relative permeability determination challenge, an innovative approach was implemented in three different wells. This approach determines the relative permeability at downhole conditions by utilizing the fluids clean-up and sampling data during the wireline downhole formation testing as well as some advanced petrophysical measurements such as the array resistivity, the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and the dielectric dispersion. The data obtained were used as inputs for a multi-physics integrated workflow, which inverts for the relative permeability curves based on the modified Brooks-Corey model.

In this paper, it will be demonstrated how the relative permeability results obtained from this technique in these three wells were applied to update the reservoir simulation models. The production forecasts were found to be significantly improved and close to the actual production figures. The early water breakthrough is better anticipated; therefore, the production rate can be adjusted to delay it and maximize the oil recovery. This method provides an alternative and efficient way to derive the relative permeability curves when it is challenging to obtain from the conventional core analysis techniques. This helped to better understand the number of wells required to be drilled to achieve the planned production target.

This paper adds to the literature unique case studies where relative permeability determination is required, however, not possible to be obtained through conventional industry techniques such as core analysis due to a highly unconsolidated formation. Hence, an innovative workflow was adopted to measure the relative permeability at downhole conditions.