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Well-to-well tracer tests contribute significantly to the reservoir description, which is essential in determining the best choice of production strategy. Direct dynamic information from a reservoir may be obtained, in principle, from three sources: production history, pressure testing, and tracer testing. The value and importance of tracer tests are broadly recognized. Tracer testing has become a mature technology, and improved knowledge about tracer behavior in the reservoir, improved tracer analysis, and reduction of pitfalls have made tracer tests reliable. Many tracer compounds exist; however, the number of suitable compounds for well-to-well tracers is reduced considerably because of the harsh environment that exists in many reservoirs and the long testing period. Radioactive tracers with a half-life of less than one year are mentioned only briefly in this chapter because of their limited applicability in long-term tests. Tracers may be roughly classified as passive or active. In principle, a passive tracer blindly follows the fluid phase in which it is injected. Interpretation of tracer-production curves must account for this. The results from the application of active tracers may give information about fluid saturation and rock surface properties. This information is especially important when enhanced-oil-recovery techniques that use expensive fluids such as surfactants, micellar fluids, or polymers are considered. In the last 50 years, many tracer studies have been reported and even more have been carried out without being published in the open literature. Wagner pointed out six areas in which tracers could be used as a tool to improve the reservoir description. Many companies apply tracer on a routine basis. The reservoir engineer's problem generally is a lack of adequate information about fluid flow in the reservoir. The information obtained from tracer tests is unique, and tracer tests are a relatively cheap method to obtain this information. The information is an addendum to the general field production history and is used to reduce uncertainties in the reservoir model. Tracer tests provide tracer-response curves that may be evaluated further to obtain relevant additional information. Primarily, the information gained from tracer testing is obtained simply by observing breakthrough and interwell communication.
Interwell tracer tests are widely used. This article reviews some of the studies reported in open literature. The selection introduces different problems that have been addressed, but the original papers should be studied to obtain a more detailed description of the programs. The Snorre field is a giant oil reservoir (sandstone) in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Injection water and gas were monitored with tracers, 18 and the resulting tracer measurements are discussed in this page.
Summary Oil-based drilling fluids are used extensively in drilling activities worldwide. During the drilling process, because of overbalance pressure in the mud column, the filtrate of oil-based mud invades the formation. This hydrocarbon-based filtrate mixes with the formation hydrocarbon, which can cause major difficulties in obtaining a representative reservoir-fluid sample. Despite the recent improvements in sampling, obtaining a contamination-free formation fluid is a major challenge, particularly in openhole wells. Depending on the type and conditions of the reservoir, the oil-based-mud filtrate is totally or partially miscible with the formation fluid. Oil-based-mud filtrate dissolves completely in reservoir oil; therefore, the captured sample contains the true reservoir oil with added filtrate. Gas condensate (lean gas condensate in particular) is often not fully miscible with mud filtrate. In this case, the mass exchange between gas condensate and mud filtrate makes the sample unrepresentative of the reservoir fluid. In this study, the impact of sample contamination with oil-based-mud filtrate on different types of reservoir fluids, including gas condensate and volatile-oil samples, is investigated. Two simple methods are suggested to retrieve the uncontaminated composition from a contaminated sample in which mud filtrate is totally dissolved in the formation fluid (i.e., reservoir-oil samples). A tracer-based technique is also developed to determine the composition of an uncontaminated reservoir-fluid sample from a sample contaminated with oil-based-mud filtrate, particularly for those cases in which the two fluids are partially miscible. The tracers are added to the drilling fluid, with the additional cost to the drilling-mud preparation being negligible. The capability of the developed techniques has been examined against deliberately contaminated reservoir-fluid samples under controlled conditions in the laboratory. The results indicate the reliability of the proposed methods. Introduction Historically, most drilling in the North Sea has used water-based muds; however, drilling certain formations with water-based muds can be difficult, primarily because of the hole instability caused by the swelling of water-absorbing rock. Problems of this type can be greatly alleviated by using mud suspended in an oil (rather than water) base. These oil-based muds also provide better lubrication and achieve significant increases in drilling progress (Davies et al. 1984). In recent years, oil-based drilling fluid has been used extensively in drilling activities in the North Sea. During the drilling process, because of overbalance pressure in the mud column, the mud filtrate invades the reservoir formation. Using an oil-based mud in the drilling, the mud filtrate can mix with the formation fluid. This can cause major difficulties in obtaining high-quality formation-fluid samples. Depending on the type and conditions of the reservoir, the mud filtrate can be totally or partially miscible with the formation fluid. This can alter the composition and phase behavior of the reservoir fluid significantly. Hence, the measured data using the collected formation-fluid samples need to be corrected for the contamination. In this study, contamination of different types of reservoir fluids with oil-based-mud filtrate, where the two fluids are partially or totally miscible, is discussed. Practical decontamination techniques are proposed to retrieve the original fluid composition from contaminated samples.
Tracers are used in well to well tests to gather data about the movement and saturation of fluids and hydrocarbons in the subsurface. Radioactive tracers can be used to gather data about water or gas. This article discusses some of the commonly used radioactive gas tracers. Several authors report the use of radioactive gas tracers in oilfield applications. The tracers most frequently applied have been tritiated methane, tritiated ethane, and 85Kr.
Tracers are used in well to well tests to gather data about the movement and saturation of fluids and hydrocarbons in the subsurface. Chemical tracers can be used to gather data about water or gas. This article discusses some of the commonly used chemical water tracers for well to well tests. Chemical tracers can also be used in a single well configuration to estimate residual oil saturation or connate water saturation. Application of several nonradioactive chemical tracers has been reported in the literature.