Shubham, Agrawal (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Martavaltzi, Christina (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Dakik, Ahmad Rafic (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Gupta, Anuj (Texas A&M University at Qatar)
It is well known that the majority of carbonate reservoirs are neutral to oil-wet. This leads to much lower oil recovery during waterflooding since there is no spontaneous imbibition of water in heterogeneous reservoir displacement. It has been verified by a number of researchers that Adjustment of ion concentration in brine solutions, or adding surfactant solutions can enhance the oil recovery by altering the wettability. In the published literature, contact angle studies usually refer to measurement on calcite crystals and there are no results for the contact angle of carbonate porous media representative of reservoir rocks. Moreover, there are few studies on the effect of non-ionic surfactants, compared to those for ionic surfactants. Understanding the effect of various ions and their concentration in the injection brine on the wettability of the Limestone outcrop core samples is the first step for tailoring of the optimum injection brine. This will be followed by a study of the effect of surfactant on the wettability of calcite crystal samples. The evaluation of the results may provide guidelines for the design of injection brines for efficient enhanced oil recovery from carbonate reservoirs.
In this work, a procedure is established for the measurement of the contact angle on limestone outcrop core samples. Results showed that, at atmospheric conditions, low salinity CaCl2 solution induced the most significant improvement on the wettability of the outcrop sample. Moreover, among all the non-ionic surfactants studied, only the presence of the two first members of the 15S analogous series might lead to a slight decrease of the contact angle.
The success of recent applications in underbalanced drilling (UBD) and managed pressure drilling (MPD) has accelerated the development of technology in order to optimize drilling operations. The increased number of depleted reservoirs and the necessity for reducing formation damage has also increased the need to apply UBD/MPD to such candidate fields. Several methods used the latest mechanistic multiphase flow models in order to predict bottomhole circulation pressure when performing UBD/MPD operations. A new model is developed that utilizes the latest mechanistic multiphase flow models; the developed model calculates the bottomhole circulation pressure as a function of surface injection rates, choke pressure and time.
The developed model can be used in designing and optimizing UBD/MPD operations in terms of determining the correct injection rate and/or choke pressure. In addition, the developed model is used to utilize the reservoir energy to attain correct bottomhole conditions. The developed model in addition to utilizing the latest mechanistic models also reduce the error in calculating the bottom hole pressure by incorporating an algorithm in which the injection rates are calculated in-situ rather than assuming constant injection rates.
The model is validated against data from literature and against a commercial simulator. Results show that the developed algorithm has increased the accuracy in predicting bottomhole pressure by incorporating the changes in new gas and liquid injection rates.
At Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) most of the ESP wells are running with downhole sensors to enhance the daily monitoring routine and for having a better knowledge of the pumps performances. However, one of the most important parameter of these ESP Wells is only known after a time period within 3-6 months: The Flow Rate. Production Tests are obtained using Multiphase Flow Testing Units which usually last between 4 and 6 hours that are also utilized to conduct some sensitivities such as choke size and motor speed changes. At Well Surveillance Group, a tailored fit model was developed from which the ESP flow rate can be estimated based on the downhole sensor data and basic fluid properties with an overall deviation below 2% (when they are compared to the results obtained from the Testing Unit). In this sense, flow rate monitoring can be performed at any time and flow testing time and associated cost can be reduced among other benefits. The method requires knowing the ESP model and total number of stages installed in the well, and then using the corresponding performance curve of the ESP model usually provided by the manufacturer, the data is processed and the calculation performed. This work aims to show how this model works, advantages, limitations, implementation status and future improvements.
Determining the optimum location of wells during waterflooding contributes significantly to efficient reservoir management. Often, Voidage Replacement Ratio (VRR) and Net Present Value (NPV) are used as indicators of performance of waterflood projects. In addition, VRR is used by regulatory and environmental agencies as a means of monitoring the impact of field development activities on the environment while NPV is used by investors as a measure of profitability of oil and gas projects. Over the years, well placement optimization has been done mainly to increase the NPV. However, regulatory measures call for operators to maintain a VRR of one (or close to one) during waterflooding.
A multiobjective approach incorporating NPV and VRR is proposed for solving the well placement optimization problem. We present the use of both NPV and VRR as objective functions in the determination of optimal location of wells. The combination of these two in a multiobjective optimization framework proves to be useful in identifying the trade-offs between the quest for high profitability of investment in oil and gas projects and the desire to satisfy regulatory and environmental requirements. We conducted the search for optimum well locations in three phases. In the first phase, only the NPV was used as the objective function. The second phase has the VRR as the sole objective function. In the third phase, the objective function was a weighted sum of the NPV and the VRR. A set of four weights were used in the third phase to describe the relative importance of the NPV and the VRR and a comparison of how these weights affect the optimized NPV and VRR values is provided.
We applied the method to determine the optimum placement of wells using two sample reservoirs: one with a distributed permeability field and the other, a channel reservoir with four facies. Two evolutionary-type algorithms: the covariance matrix adaptation evolutionary strategy (CMA-ES) and differential evolution (DE), were used to solve the optimization problem. Significantly, the method illustrates the trade-off between maximizing the NPV and optimizing the VRR. It calls the attention of both investors and regulatory agencies to the need to consider the financial aspect (NPV) and the environmental aspect (VRR) of waterflooding during secondary oil recovery projects. The multiobjective optimization approach meets the economic needs of investors and the regulatory requirements of government and environmental agencies. This approach gives a realistic NPV estimation for companies operating in jurisdiction with requirement for meeting a VRR of one.
This paper analyzes reaction and thermal front development in porous reservoirs with reacting flows, such as those encountered in shale oil extraction. A set of dimensionless parameters and a 3D code are developed in order to investigate the important physical and chemical variables of such reservoirs when heated by in situ methods. This contribution builds on a 1D model developed for the precursor study to this work. Theory necessary for this study is presented, namely shale decomposition chemical mechanisms, governing equations for multiphase flow in porous media and necessary closure models. Plotting the ratio of the thermal wave speed to the fluid speed allows one to infer that the reaction wave front ends where this ratio is at a minimum. The reaction front follows the thermal front closely, thus allowing assumptions to be made about the extent of decomposition solely by looking at thermal wave progression. Furthermore, this sensitivity analysis showed that a certain minimum permeability is required in order to ensure the formation of a traveling thermal wave. It was found that by studying the non-dimensional governing parameters of the system one can ascribe characteristic values for these parameters for given initial and boundary conditions. This allows one to roughly predict the performance of a particular method on a particular reservoir given approximate values for initial and boundary conditions. Channelling and flow blockage due to carbon residue buildup impeded each method's performance. Blockage was found to be a result of imbalanced heating.
Facies modeling forms an integral part of geological numerical modeling. Over the last two decades, different facies modeling methods have been developed using geostatistical algorithms. Most of these methods rely on the assumption of discrete or binary modeling during which each model cell is assigned a single facies. In this study, the size of the cells is on average 100 meters by 100 meters laterally by one meter thick. Based on comparisons to outcrops and subsurface data, such cells should, in fact, include a mixture of facies.
The discrete-facies approach assumes a single facies per cell. The distribution of the facies between wells is described using classical categorical geostatistical algorithms. Reservoir properties are then populated by facies within mapped environments of deposition. This process is well-established and straightforward, especially with regard to tying well data, handling property trends, and applying net rock cut-offs.
A mixed-facies approach can be performed using effective property modeling in which multiple small, fine-scale models are built for each environment of deposition. These models are re-sampled to the full-field cell volume using static and flow-based upscaling methods. The resulting statistics are then used with geostatistics, conditioned to the proportion of each facies present, to populate the full-field model. Such models allow the incorporation of core-scale heterogeneity potentially important in improved oil recovery projects, and may reduce modeling cycle times, especially when multiple iterations are required, such as during history-matching or uncertainty analysis.
This paper compares the impact on simulated fluid flow of modeling facies using discrete modeling versus a mix of facies per cell. Shoreface and subordinate fluvial environments of deposition facies, and five reservoir lithofacies, were modeled.
Fluid-flow simulation of the mixed-facies model, under both primary depletion and pressure maintenance conditions, was smooth and uniform, with a highly conformable flood front. The discrete model was more stratified, with faster and less conformable water movement.
The assignment of discrete facies to large model cells (few hundred meters laterally & few meters vertically) takes less time than a mixed-facies approach and does a better job of preserving organized extremes of permeability important at the production timescale. In the early stages of field development, when there is much uncertainty and a rapid, scenario-based modeling approach is desirable, the discrete approach can be used to flag heterogeneity-related risks more quickly and confidently than the mixed-facies technique. Inaccuracies in performance parameters resulting from the assignment of unscaled discrete values can be corrected using fine-scale sector models tailored to the highest risk cases.
The reliability of the estimated parameters in well test analysis depends on the accuracy of measured data. Early time data are usually controlled by the wellbore storage effect. However, this effect may last for the pseudo-radial flow or the boundary dominated flow. Eliminating this effect is an option for restoring the real data. Using the data with this effect is another option that can be used successfully for reservoir characterization.
This paper introduces a new technique for interpreting the pressure behavior of horizontal wells and fractured formations with wellbore storage. A new analytical model describes the early time data has been derived for both horizontal wells and horizontal wells intersecting multiple hydraulic fractures. Several models for the relationships of the peak points with the pressure, pressure derivative and time have been proposed in this study for different wellbore storage coefficients. A complete set of type curves has been included for different wellbore lengths, skin factors and wellbore storage coefficients. The study has shown that early radial flow for short to moderate horizontal wells is the most affected flow regime by the wellbore storage. For long horizontal wells, the early linear flow is the most affected flow regime by the wellbore storage effect.
The most important finding in this study is the ability to run a short test and use the early time data only for characterizing the formation. This means there is no need to run a long time test to reach the pseudo-steady state. Therefore, from the wellbore storage dominated flow, the early radial and pseudo-radial flow can be established for horizontal wells and hydraulic fractured formations. A step-by-step procedure for analyzing pressure tests using the analytical models (TDS) and the type curves is also included in this paper for several numerical examples.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) flooding is a conventional process in which the CO2 is injected into the oil reservoir to increase the quantity of extracting oil. This process also controls the amount of released CO2 as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere which is known as CO2 sequestration process. However, the mobility of the CO2 inside the hydrocarbon reservoir is higher than the crude oil and always viscous fingering and gravity override problems occur during a CO2 injection. The most common method to overcome these problems is to trap the gas bubbles in the liquid phase in form of aqueous foam prior to CO2 injection. Although, the aqueous foams are not thermodynamically stable, the special care should be considered to ensure about bulk foam preparation and stability. Selection of a proper foaming agent from a large number of available surfactants is the main step in the bulk foam preparation. To meet this purpose, many chemical and crude oil based surfactants have been reported but most of them are not sustainable and have disposal problems. The objective of this experimental study is to employ Lingosulfonate and Alkyl Polyglucosides (APGs) as two sustainable foaming agents for the bulk foam stability investigations and foam flooding performance in porous media. In the initial part, the bulk foam stability results showed that APGs provided more stable foams in compare with Lingosulfonate in all surfactant concentrations. In the second part, the results indicated that the bulk foam stability measurements provide a good indication of foam mobility in porous media. The foaming agent’s concentration which provided the maximum foam stability also gave the highest value of mobility reduction in porous media.
Transverse fractures created from horizontal wells are a common choice in tight and shale gas reservoirs. Previous work has shown that proppant pack permeability reduction due to non-Darcy flow in a transverse fracture from a horizontal well causes significant reduction in the fracture performance when the gas formation permeability exceeds 0.5 md. There are other configurations and architectures such as aligning the well trajectory with the fracture, either by drilling horizontal wells in the direction that results in longitudinal fractures or by just sticking with drilling vertical wells. However, when drilling and fracturing costs are considered, productivity is not the only optimization consideration.
The field example illustrates a case when the apparent choice to use transverse fractures from horizontal wells proved to be suboptimal from the productivity perspective, but fundamental considering economics. Parametric studies for permeability ranging from 0.01 to 5 md illustrate the importance of economics in addition to physical performance. For similar reservoir characteristics, the optimum fractured well architecture varies considerably, and therefore an extensive reservoir engineering approach may be necessary beyond the well completions and/or current prejudices and inadequate understanding.
Al-Kandary, Ahmad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Fares, Abdulaziz (Kuwait Oil Company) | Mulyono, Rinaldi (Kuwait Oil Company) | Ammar, Nada Mohammed (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al naeimi, Reem (Baker Hughes) | Hussain, Riyasat (Kuwait Oil Company) | Perumalla, Satya (Baker Hughes)
Role of geomechanics is becoming increasingly important with maturing of conventional reservoirs due to its implications in drilling, completion and production issues. Exploration and development of unconventional reservoirs involve maximizing the reservoir contact and hydraulic fracturing both of which are heavily dependent on geomechanical architecture of the reservoirs and thus require application of geomechanical concepts from the very beginning.
To support the unconventional exploration and conventional reservoir development in Kuwait, country-wide in-situ stress mapping exercise has been carried out in nine fields of Northern Kuwait. Stringent customized quality control measures were put in place to evaluate stress orientation. Cretaceous and sub-Gotnia Salt Jurassic rocks exhibit distinct patterns of stress orientations and magnitudes. While the variations in stress orientation in the Cretaceous rocks are within a small range (N40°E-N50°E) and consistent across major fault systems, the Jurassic formations exhibit high variability (N20°E-N90°E) with anomalous patterns across faults as well as in the vicinity of fracture corridors. Moreover, the overall stress magnitudes were found to be much higher in the strong Jurassic section compared with the relatively less strong Cretaceous strata. During the analysis, it was also observed that several natural fractures in Jurassic reservoirs appear to be critically stressed with evidences of rotation of breakouts.
Using geomechanical models from a specific field, the effects of in-situ stress, pore pressure and rock properties on formations were evaluated in inducing wellbore instability during drilling operations in a tight gas reservoir. It was found that the most favorable orientation for directional drilling is parallel to the maximum horizontal stress (SHmax) within that field.
The geomechanical study provided inputs not only for wellbore stability during drilling, but also regarding the response of natural fractures to in-situ stresses to become hydraulically conductive (permeable) to act as flow conduits. The fracture model of the field shows that the dominant fracture corridor trend in the field is NNE coinciding with present day in-situ maximum principal stress direction.