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ABSTRACT The industry is facing significant challenges due to the recent downturn in oil prices, particularly for the development of tight reservoirs. It is more critical than ever to 1) identify the sweet spots with less uncertainty and 2) optimize the completion-design parameters. The overall objective of this study is to quantify and compare the effects of reservoir quality and completion intensity on well productivity. We developed a supervised fuzzy clustering (SFC) algorithm to rank reservoir quality and completion intensity, and analyze their relative impacts on wells' productivity. We collected reservoir properties and completion-design parameters of 1,784 horizontal oil and gas wells completed in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Then, we used SFC to classify 1) reservoir quality represented by porosity, hydrocarbon saturation, net pay thickness and initial reservoir pressure; and 2) completion-design intensity represented by proppant concentration, number of stages and injected water volume per stage. Finally, we investigated the relative impacts of reservoir quality and completion intensity on wells' productivity in terms of first year cumulative barrel of oil equivalent (BOE). The results show that in low-quality reservoirs, wells' productivity follows reservoir quality. However, in high-quality reservoirs, the role of completion-design becomes significant, and the productivity can be deterred by inefficient completion design. The results suggest that in low-quality reservoirs, the productivity can be enhanced with less intense completion design, while in high-quality reservoirs, a more intense completion significantly enhances the productivity. Keywords Reservoir quality; completion intensity; supervised fuzzy clustering, approximate reasoning,tight reservoirs development
Abstract Most waterfloods in California target sandstone formations that are unconsolidated in nature with high porosities and high permeabilities. These formations are also characterized by high Poisson ratios and low values of Young's Moduli. There has been a concern if, during the waterfloods of these types of formations, fracturing takes place at high-injection gradients. The influence of various factors on leak-off is studied in detail, indicating that with an increase in rock permeability, the leak-off velocity increases. This study included a comprehensive analysis of the characteristics of such soft formations and their responses to high injection gradients. We show that if the leak-off factors are adjusted to reflect high permeability and proper geomechanical properties, the probability of fracture formation is nil at injection gradients up to 0.9 psi/ft, for unconsolidated rooks. We computed estimated fracture width, fracture height, fracture length and noted for all three calculations, it takes gradients approaching 1psi/ft to note a non-trivial estimated value for these characteristics. This study shows that for unconsolidated formations like those in California targeted for waterfloods, the probability of fracture formation under pressure gradients of 0.9 psi/ft. is nil, and high injectivities can be exercised without the fear of fracture formation.
Koparal, Gulcan Bahar (The University of Texas at Austin, Turkish Petroleum) | Sharma, Himanshu (The University of Texas at Austin, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur) | Liyanage, Pathma J. (The University of Texas at Austin,Ultimate EOR Services) | Panthi, Krishna K. (The University of Texas at Austin) | Mohanty, Kishore (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract High surfactant adsorption remains a bottleneck for a field-wide implementation of surfactant floods. Although alkali addition lowers surfactant adsorption, alkali also introduces many complexities. In our systematic study, we investigated a simple and cost effective method to lower surfactant adsorption in sandstones without adding unnecessary complexities. Static and dynamic surfactant adsorption studies were conducted to understand the role of sacrificial agent sodium polyacrylate (NaPA) on adsorption of anionic surfactants n outcrop and resevoir sandstone corefloods. The dynamic retention studies were conducted with and without the presence of crude oil. Surfactant phase behavior studies were first conducted to identify surfactant blends that showed ultralow interfacial tension (IFT) with two crude oils at reservoir temperature (40°C). Base case dynamic retention data, in the absence of crude oil, was obtained for these surfactant formulations at their respective optimum salinities. NaPA was then added to these surfactant formulations and similar adsorption tests were conducted. Finally, oil recovery SP corefloods were conducted for each surfactant formulations, with and without adding NaPA, and oil recovery data including the surfactant retention was compared. Static adsorption of these surfactant formulations at their respective optimum salinities on crushed sandstone varied from 0.42-0.74 mg/g-rock. Their respective adsorptions lowered to 0.37-0.49 mg/g-rock on adding a small amount of NaPA. Surfactant retention in single-phase dynamic SP corefloods in the absence of crude oil in outcrop Berea cores was between 0.17 to 0.23 mg/g-rock. On adding a small amount of NaPA, the surfactant adsorption values lowered to 0.1 mg/g-rock. Oil recovery SP corefloods showed high oil recovery (~91% ROIP) and low surfactant retention (~0.1 mg/g-rock) on adding NaPA to the surfactant formulations.
Abstract Monitoring and surveillance (M&S) is one of the key requisites for assessing the effectiveness and success of any Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) or Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project. These projects can include waterflooding, gas flooding, chemical injection, or any other types. It will help understand, track, monitor and predict the injectant plume migration, flow paths, and breakthrough times. The M&S helps in quantifying the performance of the IOR/EOR project objectives. It provides a good understanding of the remaining oil saturation (ROS) and its distribution in the reservoir during and after the flood. A comprehensive and advanced monitoring and surveillance (M&S) program has to be developed for any given IOR/EOR project. The best practices of any such M&S program should include conventional, advanced and emerging novel technologies for wellbore and inter-well measurements. These include advanced time-lapse pulsed neutron, resistivity, diffusion logs, and bore-hole gravity measurements, cross-well geophysical measurements, water and gas tracers, geochemical, compositional and soil gas analyses, and 4D seismic and surface gravity measurements. The data obtained from the M&S program provide a better understanding of the reservoir dynamics and can be used to refine the reservoir simulation model and fine tune its parameters. This presentation reviews some proven best practices and draw examples from on-going projects and related novel technologies being deployed. We will then look at the new horizon for advanced M&S technologies.
Abstract Low salinity waterflooding has been an area of great interest for researchers for almost over three decades for its perceived "simplicity," cost-effectiveness, and the potential benefits it offers over the other enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques. There have been numerous laboratory studies to study the effect of injection water salinity on oil recovery, but there are only a few cases reported worldwide where low salinity water flooding (LSW) has been implemented on a field scale. In this paper, we have summarized the results of our analyses for some of those successful field cases for both sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. Most field cases of LSW worldwide are in sandstone reservoirs. Although there have been a lot of experimental studies on the effect of water salinity on recovery in carbonate reservoirs, only a few cases of field-scale implementation have been reported for the LSW in carbonate reservoirs. The incremental improvement expected from the LSW depends on various factors like the brine composition (injection and formation water), oil composition, pressure, temperature, and rock mineralogy. Therefore, all these factors should be considered, together with some specially designed fit-for-purpose experimental studies need to be performed before implementing the LSW on a field scale. The evidence of the positive effect of LSW at the field scale has mostly been observed from near well-bore well tests and inter-well tests. However, there are a few cases such Powder River Basin in the USA and Bastrykskoye field in Russia, where the operators had unintentionally injected less saline water in the past and were pleasantly surprised when the analyses of the historical data seemed to attribute the enhanced oil recovery due to the lower salinity of the injected water. We have critically analyzed all the major field cases of LSW. Our paper highlights some of the key factors that worked well in the field, which showed a positive impact of LSW and a comparative assessment of the incremental recovery realized from the reservoir visa-a-vis the expectations generated from the laboratory-based experimental studies. It is envisaged that such a comparison could be more meaningful and reliable. Also, it identifies the likely uncertainties (and their sources) associated during the field implementation of LSW.
Abstract A large percentage of petroleum reserves are located in carbonate reservoirs, which can be divided into limestone, chalk and dolomite. Roughly the oil recovery from carbonates is below the 30% due to the strong oil wetness, low permeability, abundance of natural fractures, and inhomogeneous rock properties Austad (2013). Injection of adjusted brine chemistry into carbonate reservoirs has been reported to increase oil recovery by 5-30% of the original oil in place in field tests and core flooding experiments. Previous studies have shown that adjusted waterflooding recovery in carbonate reservoirs is dependent on the composition and ionic strength of the injection brine (Morrow et al. 1998; Zhang 2005). Many research works have focused on the role of the brine composition in altering the initial wettability state of carbonate rock, which is usually intermediate- to oil-wet. Crude oils contain carboxyl group, -COOH, that can be found in the resin and asphaltenes fractions. The negatively charged carboxyl group, -COOH bond very strongly with the positively charged, sites on the carbonate surface. The carbonate surface, which is positively charged is believed to adsorb the that is negatively charged. On the other side cations Ca and Mg bind to the negatively charged carboxylic group and release it from the surface. In this study we use a closed system geochemical model to study the effect of the surface-charge dominant species; Ca, Mg and on the carbonate surfaces at 80 °C. The proposed geochemical interactions can possibly lead to a change in the surface charge, altering wettability of the rock by exchanging ions/cations. Brines with various concentrations of Mg and were prepared in the lab and contact angle between carbonate substrate and crude oil was measured using a rising/captive bubble tensiometer at 80 °C. The composition of the carbonate system was collected from previous literature review and the composition of adjusted brines was used to build a surface sorption database to develop a geochemical model. This model is focused on identifying the reaction paths and the surface behavior that may represent the real system. Changes in carbonate surface wettability were further evaluated using a series of contact angle experiments. Experimental observations and modeling results are concordant and imply that ions may alter the wettability of carbonate surface at high temperature.
Abstract Seawater injection is widely used to maintain the offshore oil reservoir pressure and improve oil recovery. However, injecting seawater into reservoirs can cause many issues such as reservoir souring and scaling, which are tightly related to the seawater breakthrough percentage. Accurately calculating the seawater breakthrough percentage is important for estimating the severity of those problems and further developing corresponding strategies to solve those issues. The validation of using natural ion boron as tracer to calculate seawater breakthrough percentage was investigated. Boron can interact with clays, which can influence the accuracy in seawater breakthrough calculation using boron. Therefore, the interaction between boron and different clays at various conditions were studied, and Freundlich adsorption equation was used to describe the boron adsorption isotherms. Then boron adsorption isotherms were coupled into the reservoir simulator to investigate the boron transportation in porous media, and the results in turn were further analyzed to calculate the accurate seawater breakthrough percentage. Results indicated that boron adsorption by different clays varied. pH value of solution can significantly influence the amount of boron adsorbed. As a result, the boron concentration profile was delayed in coreflood test. The results of reservoir model fit perfectly with that of coreflood test, indicating the validation of boron reaction model. Based on the reservoir simulator results, boron concentration profile in produced water was successfully used to calculate seawater breakthrough percentage by considering the clay content distribution. However, the seawater breakthrough point cannot be calculated by boron as boron concentration is still at the formation level due to boron desorption.
Abstract Castillo1 suggested the use of the G-Function plot based on the work of Nolte2. It has been a standard practice in the fracturing community to estimate the fracture closing pressure from a tangent to the G*dp/dg plot. In this analysis technique, the assumption is that a fracture has already developed under the high-pressure fracturing fluid. Then when the pumping is relaxed, one can estimate the fracture closing pressure. In many California waterfloods, the issue of maximum allowable injection gradient has been debated. Various solutions have been proposed to calculate a safe injection gradient. One method that has been promoted is the application of the G-function plot. In this paper, we maintain that this application can be misleading using the prescribed cartesian G function plots. We present the results of an extensive research study for analyzing pressure fall-off data using the G-Plot function. We studied a reappraisal of the G function plot using waterflood conditions where no prior fractures had formed, and no fracture closing pressure was meaningful or applicable. We show from analysis of generated data, using both numerical reservoir modeling and analytical derivations for a radial flow system, that fall-off tests analyzed using the cartesian G function can generate false indications of fracture closing where in fact, the entire injection has been based on radial flow homogeneous injection systems. We also studied systems with a pre-existing fracture before injection. We show that if such a reservoir system is subjected to injection and fall-off tests, again, one may compute a false indication of the irrelevant fracture closure pressure. We discuss how the cartesian scale used for the G function plot can be misleading for the analysis of fall-off test data.
Gopani, Paras Himmat (University of Calgary) | Singh, Navpreet (University of Calgary) | Sarma, Hemanta Kumar (University of Calgary) | Negi, Digambar S. (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) | Mattey, Padmaja S. (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited)
Abstract As carbonate reservoirs are mostly oil-wet, the potential for the success of a waterflooding is lower. Therefore, a primary focus during waterflooding such reservoirs is on the ionic composition and salinity of injected brine which are able to impact the alteration of the rock wettability favorably by altering the surface charge towards a higher negative value or close to zero. The objective of this study is to employ zeta potentiometric studies comprising streaming potential and streaming current techniques to quantify the surface interactions and charges between the carbonate rock and fluid type as a function of the variations in its ionic state and rock saturation. Zeta potentiometric studies were conducted on carbonate rock samples to understand the behavior of different aqueous solutions by variation in the brine's salinity and ionic composition and the results were integrated with wettability studies. The concentrations of potential-determining ions (PDIs) such as SO4, Mg and Ca in the injected brines are deemed responsible for altering the wettability state of the carbonate rocks. Several diluted brines (25%, 10% and 1% diluted seawater) and smart brines have been investigated. Smart brines were prepared by spiking the concentration of major PDIs. All zeta potential measurements were conducted using a specially designed zeta potentiometer sample-holding clamp capable of using the whole core plugs rather than pulverized rock samples. A major advantage of using the whole core sample is that the same core can be used in subsequent coreflooding tests, thus making zeta potentiometric results more relevant and representative for a particular rock-fluid system used in the study. The classical streaming potential and streaming current techniques were used for zeta potential measurement. The Fairbrother-Mastin approach was used where the streaming potential is measured against different pressure differentials. Measurements were also carried out for brines with rock samples of different states: oil-saturated, water-saturated and rock samples cleaned with organic solvents to determine any likely variations in surface charge interactions. The results of our experiments imply that the value of zeta potential either increases or becomes more negative with increasing percentage of dilution (25%, 10%, and 1%). This can be attributed to electrical double-layer expansion which is primarily caused by reduced ionic strength. Furthermore, with measurements done on smart brines, zeta potential value was also found to be increased when different diluted brines are spiked with ionic concentration of PDIs such as sulfate. This could have been caused by surface ion alteration mechanism where PDIs get adsorbed on rock surface causing possible detachment of oil droplets. Both the phenomena are known mechanisms for altering wettability towards more water wetness in carbonate rocks and are discussed in detail.