Gas-assisted plunger lift (GAPL) could be an effective and economically favorable artificial lift (AL) method to be considered during the AL life cycle for North American shale wells. The main advantage of GAPL is that it improves the well production by reducing liquid fallback and boosts the plunger efficiency through gas injection and increases the gas lift efficiency by assisting in delivering the slugs to the surface. The objective of this study is to capture the GAPL dynamic behavior through a transient multiphase flow simulator. The entire GAPL production cycle was modeled, including plunger fall, gas injection, pressure buildup, and production. First, the GAPL well production history was analyzed to evaluate the well operating condition. Then, a transient simulator was used to model the well flow behavior and production performance with GAPL. The study demonstrated the GAPL impact on flowing bottomhole pressure and the improvement in the well productivity.
A Delaware Basin well case study demonstrates the benefits of dynamic modeling and provides a comprehensive comparison between dynamic simulation results and field data. The simulation work provides insights into the fluid flow, GAPL behavior, and pressure and rate transients of a GAPL well.
The modeling results were validated against field data. A commercially available transient multiphase flow simulator was used and produced outcomes that were in alignment with field data collected. The dynamic plunger cycles were reproduced in the simulation, and the results showed the benefits of GAPL in a typical shale oil well. This could extend the gas lift life by delaying the transition to rod pumps or potentially act as an end-of-life AL solution. In the long term, this reduces the overall AL life cycle cost. The use of transient simulation helps validate AL design concepts, especially for unconventional wells where the flow behavior is very dynamic. This study encourages the use of this analysis in the AL selection workflow to help optimize the overall AL life cycle cost and maximize the net present value (NPV).
In shale formations, operators are constantly seeking new technologies to improve proppant transport and conductivity in order to boost production. A novel technique known as surface modified proppant (SMP) has been pumped in more than a dozen wells in the United States, with proven results of increased production. This paper demonstrates and analyzes a case study for a Marcellus shale development where two wells are presented. Well A applied the SMP technique while the offset, Well B, was stimulated without the technology. After three years, Well A yielded an 18% increase in normalized cumulative gas production over the offset Well B.
In presenting the benefits of this technique, the paper provides a brief overview of the development of the conductivity enhancer; the case study; 3D reservoir and hydraulic fracturing simulator selection; model setup and simulation results. SMP is a chemical additive that, when pumped, creates a buoyancy effect of proppant particles upon entering the fracture network. This dynamic SMP application also propels proppant transportation, prevents proppant settling and enhances the fracture network conductivity by increasing the volume by which sand inhabits the fracture network. Increasing the proppant pack height enables deeper penetration into the fracture network, allowing for an increase in proppant distribution and ultimately enhancing the stimulated rock volume (SRV). We have been able to prove the application in both the lab and field scale tests. The impact of the SMP proppant is investigated by performing numerical simulations of hydraulic fracturing and subsequent production.
Along with clear results showing better proppant placement using the simulator with the conducted study, we further explain the completion effectiveness. We outline advantages and the ease of pumping the SMP, including design optimization, thus making this technology cost beneficial.
Underbalanced drilling via air drilling is deeply rooted in the Northeast United States due to its distinct geology, high rates of penetration (ROP) and drilling efficiency, and low cost of circulating material. The active drilling programs of several independent operators in the Marcellus and Utica Basins are well suited for air drilling down to the final kick off point by virtue of competent, stable formations, low static reservoir pressures, and manageable water ingress to the wells. Air drilling provides near-atmospheric pressure at the borehole bottom, since there is no fluid column with resulting hydrostatic pressure. The result is very high ROP with essentially 100% drilling efficiency, allowing the completion of intervals in one or two bit runs. A service company deployed a cross-functional product development team to optimize oilfield air bits for these applications over the last two years, resulting in decreased drilling costs through increased performance and reliability.
The oilfield air drilling environment places unique challenges on drill bit design due to the increased risk of downhole vibrations, corrosion, abrasive wear, heat generation, and seal infiltration of very fine cuttings. The application requirements have increased due to deeper intervals requiring passage through multiple high unconfined compressive strength formations, extended tangent angles, and rising input energy levels. Accordingly, enhancements to both the cutting structures and sealed bearing systems were vigorously pursued. Several cutting structure design iterations were evaluated in both laboratory and field tests. A new sealed bearing system was developed and implemented for increased life and reliability. Modifications to the bit body for stability were included, and the bit hydraulics were further optimized.
Through an understanding of the objectives and application challenges, unique solutions were developed for Northeast oilfield air drilling applications. The optimization process for the new air bit designs is described, and the resulting positive performance metrics are presented. Improvements were observed in distance drilled, ROP, seal effective rate, and dull condition. Lessons learned were also used to refine the recommended drilling parameters and practices through the challenging formations encountered in these tangent sections, which can span in excess of 7000 feet. These enhancements all contributed to reduced drilling cost and days per well, for increased rig productivity.
The natural gas fields throughout the Marcellus and Utica Basins in the Northeast U.S. continue to deliver rising total gas production for the U.S. and the world through increased capacities in pipelines and LNG trains. Improved drilling performance as documented in this paper are driving continuous improvement in the overall upstream drilling economics of the region.
Al-Shammari, Asrar (Kuwait Oil Company) | Gonzalez, Fabio A (BP Kuwait) | Gonzalez, Doris L (BP America) | Jassim, Sara (Kuwait Oil Company) | Sinha, Satyendra (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Nasheet, Anwar (Kuwait Oil Company) | Datta, Kalyanbrat (Kuwait Oil Company) | Younger, Robert (BP Kuwait) | Almahmeed, Fatma (Kuwait Oil Company)
Magwa-Marrat reservoir fluid is an asphaltenic hydrocarbon, exhibiting precipitation and deposition of asphaltene in the production system including the reservoir rock near wellbore and the tubing. The main objective of this work was to optimize production in Magwa-Marrat wells by remediation of tubing plugging and formation damage. Well interventions were prioritized based on potential production benefit resulting from the removal of productivity impairment. It was required to understand current formation damage in all wells, including those without recent pressure transient analysis (PTA).
All PTA tests since 1983 for Magwa-Marrat reservoir were analyzed to determine the different reservoir parameters such as flow capacity (KH), Skin (S), reservoir boundaries, and the extrapolated reservoir pressure (P*). PTA derived permeability was compared to log derived permeability to quality control skin determination. Independently formation damage was estimated using the radial form of the solution of the diffusivity equation for pseudo steady state flow. Once a skin correlation for both PTA vs. Darcy's law equation was derived using out of date well performance, the formation damage for all wells was accessed using current productivity index to identify production optimization opportunities in wells without recent PTA. This work was combined with nodal analysis to separate vertical lifting performance and inflow performance relationship impact on total productivity detriment.
Cross plot of PTA derived flow capacity (Kh) vs. Log derived Kh correlates very well with a slope and a coefficient of correlation close to 1.0. This was observed for wells located in the reservoir where there are not heterogeneities near wellbore such as boundaries or natural fractures. For these cases the higher than normally observed estimated skin explained poorer well productivity. After skin values were accessed for all wells, a production gain was estimated, and the wells were ranked based on potential benefit. A stimulation campaign was put in place based on the type of rock, formation damage and vertical lifting performance. Eight (8) wells were stimulated and they delivered approximately an additional 20% production for the field.
This work was innovative in the sense that there was not pressure build up tests run prior to the interventions and such, there was not any production deferral. This was achieved by building the well performance understanding on a correlation that required petrophysical description, production rates and estimates of drainage area reservoir pressure.
Mauddud Formation is a major oil-producing reservoir in Raudhatain Field of North Kuwait. The Mauddud Formation is an early Albian in age and it was generated an environment of the shallow-water carbonate and consists of Grainstones, Wackestones and Mudstones deposited in ramp settings. In Raudhatain field (RAMA) is undertaking massive development efforts with planned enhancement in Oil production. Reservoir description and distribution of rock properties in 3D space are challenging due to inherent reservoir heterogeneity, in this case primarily driven by depositional and diagenetic patterns.
KOC North Kuwait Reservoir Studies Team (NK RST) has been challenged to increase the production from several key NK oil fields. To achieve this goal, KOC has partnered with Schlumberger to rebuild integrated model with Petrophysics, Geophysics, and Geology and Reservoir data of the Mauddud Reservoir. The original model was required to minimize challenges in new infill locations, increase Oil recovery factor and detect water breakthrough to minimize water production. One of the key issues in creating RAMA reservoir model is integration of all available data in identifying the horizontal permeability, reservoir heterogeneity and identification of thief zones.
A fine Geological grid model with 35M cells, 10 Geological horizons has been built to characterize the Mauddud reservoirs of the RAMA field including the permeability from PLT logs combined with petrophysical and lithological / facies data to add more understanding of the distribution of reservoir properties. Log response group methodology and the undeveloped area in the Saddle (structurally low area) has been modelled for the first time in Raudhatain NK Field. This combined study utilizes the available data and cutting-edge technology using Geo2Flow which resulted in fluid compartmentalization and free water level identification. STOOIP has been upgraded and unlocking potential in new segments of the developed field. The original model was built based on vertical/Deviation wells (345) which lead to discrepancies in the structural interpretation. The new update has been carried out including all horizontal wells to minimize the uncertainty in the structure framework.
Dashti, Qasem (Kuwait Oil Company) | Moosa, M.H. (Schlumberger) | Erdman, M. (Shell Kuwait Exploration & Production) | Jensen, P. (Shell Kuwait Exploration & Production) | Olusegun, Kolawole (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Qadeeri, Bashar (Kuwait Oil Company) | Dhote, Prashant (Kuwait Oil Company)
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is going through many new challenging projects that aim to increase its hydrocarbons production capacity by 70%. The North Kuwait Jurassic Gas Fields project is one of the key projects with unique challenges from the subsurface complex and challenging characteristics of deep reservoirs, high pressure high temperature (HPHT), high in H2S and CO2 concentration-to the design, construction and operating of surface facilities. The Gas Field Development (GFD) group was established in 2007 to manage and accomplish KOC’s desired objectives from the NKJ Gas Fields project. The new group had to recruit manpower and build the required technical skills to address the unique challenges. End of 2010, KOC-GFD entered into an Enhanced Technical Service Agreement (ETSA) with Shell in order to benefit from the International Oil Company (IOC) expertise. One of ETSA objectives is to develop local KOC staff through Knowledge Transfer, whereas challenge was more than 60% of the total GFD population were juniors, i.e. less than 4 years of experience.
The need to fast track the development of the new recruited staff was identified by the management as a critical key element to overcome the project complex challenges. The development of a new approach for staff development using the best of both worlds’ i.e. building on KOC’s training programs and supplementing with Shell Jurassic ETSA Knowledge Transfer resulted in the creation of the Technical Competence Ladder, TCL, framework for all GFD staff in 2017. This technical paper will describe how the Jurassic ETSA Knowledge Transfer progressed over the course of the contract; connected with GFD business objectives; used key methodologies for successful application in the day-to-day activities; promoted a performance-based learning environment; used critical resources with clear accountabilities; was monitored and measured continually; Implemented with structured approached.
progressed over the course of the contract;
connected with GFD business objectives;
used key methodologies for successful application in the day-to-day activities;
promoted a performance-based learning environment;
used critical resources with clear accountabilities;
was monitored and measured continually;
Implemented with structured approached.
The results include the development of Structure and detailed competence skills development program for main subsurface disciplines like: Reservoir Engineering, Petrophysics, Geosciences, & Petroleum Engineering. Each main discipline includes number of specialization and focused sub-programs. The TCL program was implemented, and the Knowledge Transfer are proven. The progress of junior staff competences has been tracked and measured over the years; the creation of motivated and competent workforce has resulted in improved performance and increased team productivity. The overall results reduced ‘existing’ competency gaps within the company, enhanced communication between junior and senior staff, improved staff confidence and work performance. Key examples of success will illustrate the points covered in the technical paper.
The Middle cretaceous Wara sandstone reservoir in Minagish Field is considered as highly heterogenetic sandstone which implying lateral facies extensive variations, stacked sand bodies with varying petrophysical properties. Several horizontal wells has been successfully drilled in lower part of Wara 6 sand channel, best thicker clean sand channel with very good oil production rate. Recently some wells have shown depleting of oil and increase water production. To develop such a challenging reservoir to maximize the oil production, a new plan has been developed to explore for new opportunities in Wara reservoir. The objective is to target different good stacked sand bodies in different Wara layers by drilling deviated wells. Some of old depleted Minagsih Oolite reservoir wells have shown good opportunities to sidetrack the wells into good Wara sand layers. This paper presents the integration between geostatistical models, well logs, well test results and different seismic elastic properties maps to identify best subsurface locations for drilling new deviated wells which combine the best quality sand bodies in different Wara layers. A few years ago geostatistical reservoir model along with core data and well log data were utilized to drill successful horizontal wells in W6 sand channels. However due to low resolution seismic data, Wara highly heterogonous lithology and uncertainty in geo-statistical model, it was challenging to continue identify good quality stacked sand bodies in different Wara layers without drilling unwanted silty sand or shale layers. Seismic inversion related elastic impedance data could discriminate between the good quality oil-bearing sand, shaly, and silty sandstones. Several old vertical wells that include good stacked sand bodies in different Wara layers; have been selected to validate the accuracy of elastic impedance maps along Wara layers.
Numerous integrative approaches can be taken to link subsurface rock-type characterization to related openhole wireline log attributes. In this study, focus and emphasis was geared towards developing rock-typing models that link depositional environments to petrophysical property space trends and variations to then guide subsurface modeling. Multiple technical paths were taken, and tools used to link observed rock types in full-diameter conventional cores and related measured geological attributes to electrofacies and the refined petrofacies characterization. The data integration used a significant volume of core analytical and openhole wireline log suites including a base suite of triple-combo data (gamma ray, neutron, density, and resistivity) and expanding to include resistivity borehole image data. We present how the addition of various subsurface datasets impacts rock-typing efforts and accuracy. A cluster-based, least-mean-squares analytical result is observed and discussed in an unsupervised model application and is compared to a supervised model application. The relative importance of various attributes is discussed and used to recommend a workflow for Permian-focused rock typing that allows the subsurface characterization to be extrapolated to regional (basinwide) and local (single-well) scales. In short, we focus on sharing a workflow to effectively link core description (sedimentologic observations) and raw log analytics to refine and upscale rock property distributions for use in sequence stratigraphic frameworks, regional basin depositional models and multiscale modeling efforts.
Petrophysical analysis of downhole logs requires accurate knowledge of matrix properties, commonly referred to as matrix adjustments. In organic-rich shale, the presence of abundant kerogen (solid and insoluble sedimentary organic matter) has a disproportionate impact on matrix properties because kerogen is compositionally distinct from all inorganic minerals that comprise the remainder of the solid matrix. As a consequence, matrix properties can be highly sensitive to kerogen properties. Moreover, the response of many downhole logs to kerogen is similar to their response to fluids. Relevant kerogen properties must be accurately known to separate tool responses to kerogen (in the matrix volume) and fluids (in the pore volume), to arrive at accurate volumetric interpretations. Unfortunately, relevant petrophysical properties of kerogen are poorly known in general and nearly always unknown in the formation of interest.
A robust method of “thermal maturity-adjusted log interpretation” replaces these unknown or assumed kerogen properties with a consistent set of relevant properties specifically optimized for the organic shale of interest, derived from only a single estimate of thermal maturity of the kerogen. The method is founded on the study of more than 50 kerogens spanning eight major oil- and gas-producing sedimentary basins, 300 Ma of depositional age, and thermal maturity from immature to dry gas (vitrinite reflectance, Ro, ranges from 0.5 to 4%). The determined kerogen properties include measured chemical (C, H, N, S, O) composition and skeletal (grain) density, as well as computed nuclear properties of apparent log density, hydrogen index, thermal- and epithermal-neutron porosities, macroscopic thermal-neutron capture cross section, macroscopic fast-neutron elastic scattering cross section, and photoelectric factor. For kerogens relevant to the petroleum industry (i.e., type II kerogen with thermal maturity ranging from early oil to dry gas), it is demonstrated that petrophysical properties are controlled mainly by thermal maturity, with no observable differences between sedimentary basins. As a result, universal curves are established relating kerogen properties to thermal maturity of the kerogen, and the curves apply equally well in all studied shale plays. Sensitivity calculations and field examples demonstrate the importance of using a consistent set of accurate kerogen properties in downhole log analysis. Thermal maturity-adjusted log interpretation provides a robust estimate of these properties, enabling more accurate and confident interpretation of porosity, saturation, and hydrocarbon in place in organic-rich shales.
Quintero, Harvey (ChemTerra Innovation) | Abedini, Ali (Interface Fluidics Limited) | Mattucci, Mike (ChemTerra Innovation) | O’Neil, Bill (ChemTerra Innovation) | Wust, Raphael (AGAT Laboratories) | Hawkes, Robert (Trican Well Service LTD) | De Hass, Thomas (Interface Fluidics Limited) | Toor, Am (Interface Fluidics Limited)
For optimizing and enhancing hydrocarbon recovery from unconventional plays, the technological race is currently focused on development and production of state-of-the-art surfactants that reduce interfacial tension to mitigate obstructive capillary forces and thus increase the relative permeability to hydrocarbon (
A heterogeneous dual-porosity dual-permeability microfluidic chip was designed and developed with pore geometries representing shale formations. This micro-chip simulated Wolfcamp shale with two distinct regions: (i) a high-permeability fracture zone (20 µm pore size) interconnected to (ii) a low-permeability nano-network zone (100 nm size). The fluorescent microscopy technique was applied to visualize and quantify the performance of different flowback enhancers during injection and flowback processes.
This study highlights results from the nanofluidic analysis performed on Wolfcamp Formation rock specimens using a microreservoir-on-a-chip, which showed the benefits of the multi-functionalized surfactant (MFS) in terms of enhancing oil/condensate production. Test results obtained at a simulated reservoir temperature of 113°F (45°C) and a testing pressure of 2,176 psi (15 MPa) showed a significant improvement in relative permeability to hydrocarbon (
Measurements using a high-resolution spinning drop tensiometer showed a 40-fold reduction in interfacial tension when the stimulation fluid containing MFS was tested against Wolfcamp crude at 113°F (45°C). Also, MFS outperformed other premium surfactants in Amott spontaneous imbibition analysis when tested with Wolfcamp core samples.
This work used a nanofluidic model that appropriately reflected the inherent nanoconfinement of shale/tight formation to resolve the flowback process in hydraulic fracturing, and it is the first of its kind to visualize the mechanism behind this process at nanoscale. This platform also demonstrated a cost-effective alternative to coreflood testing for evaluating the effect of chemical additives on the flowback process. Conventional lab and field data were correlated with the nanofluidic analysis.