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.
Pressure maintenance support in mature fields where permeability heterogeneity is present requires proper distribution of injected water into the respective zones of interest. This process can be extremely challenging, if no method for allocating the proper amount of water into each zone is available. An operator in the South China Sea, who had initiated a water injection project using legacy single-string two-zone completion technologies, found himself in this predicament, since no selective control for pressure maintenance had been considered for the project.
During the past few years, the application of intelligent completion (IC) technology has increased rapidly. This acceptance has been due primarily to its proven capabilities for reservoir monitoring and corresponding optimization of well performance without well interventions. Historically, the majority of IC applications have been in production wells; however, an increasing number of operators have started adopting IC technology for their injector wells.
This paper presents a case study in which IC technology was successfully applied in an offshore field in the South China Sea to provide an efficient water-injection method for optimizing pressure support as well as sweep. The operator selected this technology, as it presented a solution for optimizing the water injection. In addition to eliminating problems experienced with the incapability of the legacy completion technology to monitor water allocation and pressure maintenance for each zone, the IC technology would allow selective well testing for each zone. By evaluating the reservoir properties and characteristics of each zone independently, an intelligent completion would provide another key benefit to the operator, since it would comply with the platform size restrictions for the pumping equipment.
The paper will discuss field objectives, the conceptual design, the design obstacles, and the operational challenges experienced during the job execution.
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.
Al Hamad, Abdullah (Halliburton) | Abdul-Razaq, Eman (KOC) | Al Bahrani, Hasan (KOC) | Surjaatmadja, Jim Basuki (Halliburton) | Bouland, Ali (Kuwait Oil Company) | Turkey, Naween (KOC) | Brand, Shannon (Halliburton) | Al-Saqabi, Mishari Bader (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Zankawi, Omran (Kuwait Oil Company) | Vishwanath, Chimmalgi (KOC) | Gazi, Naz H. (Kuwait Oil Company)
There are many ways to stimulate an unlined openhole horizontal well using acid. The simplest way is to just pump acid into the well (i.e., bullhead) without placement control. However, this can often be ineffective. Although still used, such approaches can create massive enlargements at the entry point or high injectivity area, thus causing ineffective treatments and re-entry issues. Wellbore collapse often follows. The use of coiled tubing (CT) as a "pin-point?? delivery method is therefore preferred. Using CT allows dispersal of the acid either uniformly or intermittently along the lateral, as desired. CT also allows acid washing to be performed, which is another common process that can improve stimulation without much additional expense to the operator. Using a jetting tool with many jets, acid can be sprayed onto the wellbore wall, and the active agitation caused by the acid-wash process increases the chemical reactivity of the acid at the desired locations.
Another beneficial approach of using CT is the hydrajet assisted acid fracturing (HJAAF) method. With focused jetting of acid at much higher pressures, the process initiates microfractures in the wellbore walls. When etched with acid, this approach effectively bypasses near-wellbore (NWB) damage much deeper than common washes, thus providing much better results. Further modification of the process by exerting high annular pressures offers the capability of delivering medium to large fractures.
This paper discusses two HJAAF processes uniquely combined into one process used in two large horizontal wells. Because of the large dimension of the inner diameter (ID) of the wells combined with the small production tubing the tool must pass through, the implementation had to be further improved by using a unique jetting mechanism, which positioned the jet nozzles closer to the target. Actual results of such stimulations are presented.
Dashti, Qasem M. (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-anzi, Ealian H.D. (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al- Doheim, Aref (Kuwait Oil Company) | Kabir, Mir Md Rezaul (Kuwait Oil Company) | Acharya, Mihira Narayan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Ajmi, Saad (Kuwait Oil Company)
Robustness of measurement while drilling (MWD) and logging while drilling (LWD) tools is laboratory-tested and rigorously field-tested for the expected operating and measurement specifications. Such tools have been used in the industry for decades with proven track record of stability. However, a typical tool string deployed as a part of bottom-hole assembly (BHA) has recently failed to withstand the unexpected BH conditions during drilling of the pilot hole using potassium formate mud (KFM), a heavy water based mud. The failure occurred within a deep-fractured calcareous kerogen section (CKS).
The tools had multiple surface communication failures; the first one was resolved as debris was found obstructing the rotor-starter part before drilling the CKS. The second failure occurred in the back-up tools, after drilling into the CKS and remained unexplained throughout drilling with the expectation of BH data recorded on memory. Inspection of the tool components, once the drilling was completed, revealed two major findings: First, some parts of the BHA, specifically the components of the CuBe tool had "vanished??. Secondly, the recovered tool parts had further damage due to corrosion and pitting. In addition, an unexpected color change in metal body parts was observed.
In the paper, the authors explain the unique mystery of tool eating "down-hole ghost??. Similar tools were previously used without an issue at comparable high pressure and temperature conditions and in geological sections alike in Kuwait in drilling with oil-based mud. The service provider's operational experience elsewhere has failed to explain the bizarre outcome, as they had not encountered similar incidents of vanishing tool parts and down-hole color change. The claim was that similar tools were successfully operated in water-based mud drilling including KFM. This claim was confirmed prior to the field execution with metallurgical compatibility tests carried out by the mud supplier.
Telang, Milan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Matrook, Mohammad F. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Oskui, Gh. Reza (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Mali, Prasanna (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Jasmi, Ahmad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Rashed, Abeer M. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Ghloum, Ebtisam Folad (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research)
Asphaltene deposition problems in Kuwait have become a serious issue in a number of reservoirs during primary production in different fields, resulting in a severe detrimental effect on the economics of oil recovery. Hence, one of the mitigation approaches in the field is using remedial solvent treatments, such as Xylene or Toluene, which is very costly and harmful to the environment.
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is planning to produce from asphaltinic Marrat wells that have been shut down due to low bottom-hole pressure (BHP), by artificial lifting technique using an Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) supported with continuous chemical injection, as a pilot. The main objective of this study was to investigate in the lab the effectiveness of various concentrations of toluene/diesel (T/D) mixtures on Marrat reservoir fluid in order to mitigate asphaltene deposition problem during the actual pilot implementation.
Preliminary screening tests were conducted on the surface oil sample using Solid Detection System (SDS) "laser technique?? to determine the optimum dose of the T/D mixture ratio. The results showed that pure diesel accelerated the asphaltene precipitation; however, mixing T/D inhibited the precipitation process. Series of pressure depletion tests was then conducted on live oil , single phase samples, to determine the Asphaltene Onset Pressure (AOP) with and without adding various ration of T/D solvents at different temperatures from reservoir to surface conditions.
The results revealed that using 15% (by volume of oil) from the (50T:50D) mixture reduced the AOP close to the bubble point pressure. Furthermore, the amount of the precipitated asphaltene was physically quantified using a bulk filtration technique. It was observed that, based on blank sample, the wt% of the precipitated asphaltene was minimized at the AOP and maximized at the bubble point. However, using the recommended mixture of 50T/50D, the amount of asphaltene that precipitated was almost negligible. Therefore, from a health, safety, and economic point of view, this study recommends using a low dose of 7.5% (by volume of oil) from toluene mixture with diesel (50%:50%) rather than using pure toluene to prevent the precipitation.
The need to develop new tools that allow reservoir engineers to optimize reservoir performance is becoming more demanding by the day. One of the most challenging and influential problems facing reservoir engineers is well placement optimization.
The North Kuwait field (NKF) consists of six fields containing four naturally fractured carbonate formations. The reservoirs are composed of relatively tight limestone and dolomite embedded with anhydrate and shale. The fields are divided into isolated compartments based on fault zones and supported by a combination of different fluid compositions, initial pressures, and estimated free-water levels. Due to natural complexity, tightness, and high drilling costs of wells in the NKF, it is very important to identify the sweet spots and the optimum well locations.
This paper presents two intelligent methods that use dynamic numerical simulation model results and static reservoir properties to identify zones with a high-production potential: reservoir opportunity index (ROI) and simulation opportunity index (SOI). The Petrel* E&P software platform was chosen as the integrated platform to implement the workflow. The fit-for-purpose time dependent 2D maps generated by the Petrel platform facilitated the decision-making process used for locating new wells in the dominant flow system and provided immense support for field-development plans.
The difference between the two methods is insignificant because of reservoir tightness, limited interference, and natural uncertainty on compartmentalization. At this stage, pressure is not a key parameter. As a result, unlike brown fields, less weight was given to simulated pressure, and SOI was used to select the well locations.
The results of this study show that implementing these workflows and obtaining the resulting maps significantly improve the selection process to identify the most productive areas and layers in a field. Also, the optimum numbers of wells using this method obtained in less time and with fewer resources are compared with results using traditional industry approaches.
Offshore production of heavy oil can be challenging due largely to adverse fluid properties, sand production and flow assurance concerns. Recent technology advancements effectively driving management of these challenges and government support through tax relief have significantly contributed to the increased appraisal activity over the last several years in the North Sea heavy oil fields. Application of appropriate technologies and techniques has always been of paramount importance for acquiring high quality information throughout welltest for reservoir characterization at appraisal stage of the fields. It also provides high level of confidence in technology and "proof of concept?? prior to further application in a full field development at investment intensive offshore operating environment.
This paper describes an integrated approach in analytical modeling and design developed and applied in the planning of flow test in a number of North Sea heavy oil fields. This includes a comprehensive pre-evaluation of well productivity, PVT properties modeling as well as design and selection of appropriate artificial lift method. A series of technical solutions considered relevant in relation to enhancing the low flowing well head temperature conditions, typically observed during the cold heavy oil production offshore and often leading to operational constraints on fluid handling capabilities is also discussed. Additionally, a probablistic approach considering base case, low and high case scenarios has been developed and implemented as part of the evaluation process, given the limited amount of available information and high level of uncertainties.
The study demonstrates the benefits of applying analytical techniques for uncertainties handling during flow test planning and thereby enabling accentuation of potential issues, properly planning for mitigation actions and predicting the entire flow test sequence. Finally the study underlines some important guidelines pertaining to planning for further appraisal and development of new heavy oil fields.
The field X is a brown heavy oil field producing under strong bottom water drive since the mid-1980. Production is from a combination of Amin aeolian and Al Khlata glacial reservoir sediments. At present, the development is focused on drilling horizontal infill wells. One of the biggest challenges is the unfavorable mobility contrast between the heavy oil and water causing early water breakthrough.
The Amin Formation, the primary reservoir, is characterized by a high net to gross ratio and an average porosity of 30 %. However the initial hydrocarbon saturation at the same porosity often varies by 20 % in different parts of the field. Furthermore, core measurements show an order of magnitude scatter in permeability at the same porosity, indicating the presence of different facies. In early studies these variations were attributed mainly to the grain size variations. A later petrographical study found that the abundance of clays and feldspars could also severely reduce permeability, but may retain high porosity.
In the current Study it was found that the rocks have variable radioactivity due to the presence of radioactive Potassium isotope associated with feldspars. A fare correlation was observed between the grain size and the content of feldspars from core. A novel approach to reservoir characterization integrating core and logs was developed leading to a major breakthrough in the reservoir characterization including:
• Enhanced permeability prediction using normalized Gamma Ray (GR) log as 3rd parameter;
• Facies identification using normalized Gamma Ray cut-off;
• Facies based Saturation-Height models.
This work is a good example of advances in reservoir characterization achieved by integrating core and log data. It results in better understanding of reservoir properties distribution, optimization of completions of new wells and improvement of further development scenarios. In particular, abnormally high gross production and high water cut in the north of the field is currently in line with new facies scheme.
Stanitzek, Theo (AkzoNobel) | De Wolf, Corine (AkzoNobel) | Gerdes, Steffan (Fangmann Energy Services) | Lummer, Nils R. (Fangmann Energy Services) | Nasr-El-Din, Hisham A. (Texas A&M University) | Alex, Alan K. (AkzoNobel)
Matrix acidizing of high temperature gas wells is a difficult task, especially if these wells are sour or if they are completed with high chrome content tubulars. These harsh conditions require high loadings of corrosion inhibitors and intensifiers in addition to hydrogen sulfide scavengers and iron control agents. Selection of these chemicals to meet the strict environmental regulations adds to the difficulty in dealing with such wells. Recently, a new environmentally friendly chelating agent, glutamic acid -diacetic acid (GLDA), has been developed and extensively tested for carbonate and sandstone formations. Significant permeability improvements have been shown in previous papers over a wide range of conditions. In this paper we evaluate the results of the first field application of this chelating agent to acidize a sour, high temperature, tight gas well completed with high chrome content tubulars.
Extensive laboratory studies were conducted before the treatment, including: corrosion tests, core flood experiments, compatibility tests with reservoir fluids, and reaction rate measurements using a rotating disk apparatus. The treatment started by pumping a preflush of mutual solvent and water wetting surfactant, followed by the main stage consisting of 20 wt% GLDA with a low concentration of a proper corrosion inhibitor. Following the treatment, the well was put on production, and samples of flow back fluids were collected. The concentrations of various ions were determined using ICP. Various analytical techniques were used to determine the concentration of GLDA and other organic compounds in the flow back samples.
The treatment was applied in the field without encountering any operational problems. A significant increase in gas production that exceeded operator expectations was achieved. Unlike previous treatments where HCl or other chelates were used, the concentrations of iron, chrome, nickel, and molybdenum in the flow back samples were negligible, confirming low corrosion of well tubulars. Improved productivity and longer term performance results confirm the effectiveness of the new chelate as a versatile stimulation fluid.