Reservoir Permeability Evolution in Sand Producing Wells

Ibukun, Opeyemi (Innovative Engineering Systems Global) | Tovar, Juan (Innovative Engineering Systems Global) | Heinemann, Niklas (Innovative Engineering Systems Global) | Chalmers, Frances (Centrica Energy) | Mokdad, Belkhir (Centrica Energy) | Katoozi, Kia (Taqa)



Reservoirs in the Niger Delta oil province are predominantly weak sandstones and unconsolidated sands of the Agbada formation. Wells in these reservoirs are susceptible to sand production as production entails high water cut. Sand production is triggered by mechanical failure near the wellbore and occurs when the near-well deformation process changes. The deformation process is controlled by parameters such as production rate, drawdown, reservoir pressure changes and reservoir formation properties. Mechanical failure of the reservoir leads to the mobilisation of failed material and changes the near wellbore porosity and permeability of the rock.

The Chestnut Field operated by Centrica Energy and partners (block 22/2a, Central North Sea, UK sector) has been under production since 2008 despite continuous sand production. The reservoir consists of unconsolidated sand with a porosity average above 30% and permeability of 0.5 to 2 Darcy similar to many Niger Delta sand reservoirs. This paper introduces the Sand Production and Pore Pressure Management Program which was implemented to control sand production and maintain hydrocarbon production. Additionally, an analysis of near wellbore porosity and permeability changes is presented.

Real-time data acquired from four wells over a period of more than four years and the production of over 140 tons of sand were utilised. The results indicate a change in porosity and permeability which is consistent with a change from compaction to dilatancy conditions near the wellbore. These changes have had a significant impact on the sand management strategy implemented to optimise the production through the field life to date.

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