Over the last several years, horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing have become the norm across the industry and proved crucial for economic production of natural gas from unconventional shale gas and ultra tight sandstone reservoirs, also referred to as nano-Darcy reservoirs.
Following the success of the Barnett shale, horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing has spread across North America with new emerging shale gas plays such as the Eagle Ford, Woodford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Utica, Horn River
changing the industry's landscaping. In the current economic environment of high drilling and completion costs, coupled with lower commodity prices, the economic success of shale gas developments has become reservoir specific.
Evaluation of well's initial performance in a particular field and especially the ability to accurately predict the long term production behavior and EUR is critical to the efficient deployment of large capital investments. Field analogies making use
of arbitrary "type curves?? can have a significant negative impact on the project's bottom line.
With the growing number of multi-stage horizontal wells producing from shale gas reservoirs, many "unconventional?? production analysis techniques have been developed based on new concepts such as stimulated reservoir volume (SRV),
fracture contact area (FCA), or sophisticated mathematical relationships (power law decline curves, linear flow type curves, to name a few). These sophisticated engineering processes are well documented in the literature and have been presented at
numerous industry work shops and conferences. However, for the majority of these techniques there is one common reoccurring theme: performance evaluation of shale gas production cannot be analyzed using conventional methods (e.g.
This paper will demonstrate how the conventional approach of reservoir characterization, well performance evaluation and forecasting, can be implemented for all unconventional gas reservoirs, using traditional well testing and production data
analysis techniques. We will present one simple analytical model based on the solution of the pseudo steady state equation and will introduce the concept of a shale gas normalized production plot. In our view, the shale gas normalized production
plot is one type curve generally applicable to any shale gas reservoir.
Finally, pre-frac in-situ testing techniques will be reviewed and special consideration will be given to the perforation inflow diagnostic (PID) testing. We will emphasize the importance of specific reservoir parameters (pore pressure and in-situ shale
matrix permeability) and show their impact on drilling and completion strategy and design. Field case examples including well test results and production data from wells completed in several shale gas reservoirs are presented.
Low matrix permeability and significant damage mechanisms are the main signatures of tight gas reservoirs. During drilling and fracturing of tight formations, the wellbore liquid invades the tight formation, increases liquid saturation around wellbore and eventually reduces permeability at near wellbore. The liquid invasion damage is mainly controlled by capillary pressure and relative permeability curves.
Water blocking and phase trapping damage is one of the main concerns in use of water based drilling fluid in tight gas reservoirs, since due to high critical water saturation, relative permeability effects and strong capillary pressure, tight formations are sensitive to water invasion damage. Therefore, use of oil based mud may be preferred in drilling or fracturing of tight formation. However invasion of oil filtrate into tight formations may result in introduction of an immiscible liquid hydrocarbon drilling or completion fluid around wellbore, causing entrapment of an additional third phase in the porous media that would exacerbate formation damage effects.
This study focuses on phase trapping damage caused by liquid invasion using water-based drilling fluid in comparison with use of oil-based drilling fluid in water sensitive tight gas sand reservoirs. Reservoir simulation approach is used to study the effect of relative permeability curves on phase trap damage, and results of laboratory experiments core flooding tests in a West Australian tight gas reservoir are shown in which the effect of water injection and oil injection on the damage of core permeability are studied. The results highlights benefits of using oil-based fluids in drilling and fracturing of tight gas reservoirs in term of reducing skin factor and improving well productivity.
Tight gas reservoirs normally have production problems due to very low matrix permeability and different damage mechanisms during well drilling, completion, stimulation and production (Dusseault, 1993). The low permeability gas reservoirs can be subject to different damage mechanisms such as mechanical damage to formation rock, plugging of natural fractures by invasion of mud solid particles, permeability reduction around wellbore as a result of filtrate invasion, clay swelling, liquid phase trapping, etc (Holditch, 1979).
In general, for tight sand gas reservoirs, average pore throat radius might be very small and therefore it may create tremendous amounts of capillary forces. Capillary forces cause the spontaneous imbibition of a wetting liquid (in this case water) in the porous medium in the absence of external forces such as a hydraulic gradient (Bennion and Brent, 2005). This causes significantly high critical water saturation (Bennion et al., 2006). Two forces drive capillary flow (Adamson and Gast, 1997). The first is the reduction in the surface free energy by the wetting of the hydrophilic surface (wettability). In hydraulic fracturing, water in the fracturing fluid wets the surface of the pores in the rock, resulting in a decrease in the surface free energy of the pores. The other force that drives capillary flow is the capillary pressure.
Tight gas reservoirs might be different in term of initial water saturation (Swi) compared with critical water saturation (Swc), depending on the geological time of gas migration to the reservoir. Initial water saturation might be normal, or in some cases sub-normal (Swi less than Swc) due to water phase vaporization into the gas phase (Bennion and Thomas, 1996). The initial water saturation might also be more than Swc if the hydrocarbon trap is created during or after the gas migration time. A sub-normal initial water saturation in tight gas reservoirs can provide higher relative permeability for the gas phase (effective permeability close to absolute permeability), and therefore relatively higher well productivity (Bennion and Brent, 2005).
The design team for the Wheatstone offshore platform successfully deployed an ‘Inherently Safe Design' (ISD) approach to engineering the gas processing complex. Through a program of initiatives focused on ISD, a substantial improvement in the safe design of the platform has been delivered.
Major accident events:
The Texas City incident in 2005 initiated the most detailed and far reaching investigation ever undertaken by the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) at the time. The CSB report included a recommendation that BP form an independent panel to conduct a review of the company's corporate safety culture, safety management systems, and corporate safety oversight at its U.S. refineries. This independent review was conducted and a separate report known as the Baker Report was developed, with the key conclusion being that the process safety culture was deficient.
Major incidents such as the Macondo and Montarra well blow-outs still occur. NOPSA newsletter Issue 86, February 2010 presented data on gas releases, a recognised precursor to major accident events and showed "Design problems at root of most major gas releases??.
Conference review - No abstract available.
Streamline and streamtube methods have been used in fluid flow computations for many years. Early applications for hydrocarbon reservoir simulation were first reported by Fay and Pratts in the 1950s. Streamline-based flow simulation has made significant advances in the last 15 years. Today's simulators are fully three-dimensional and fully compressible and they account for gravity as well as complex well controls. Most recent advances also allow for compositional and thermal displacements.
In this paper, we present a comprehensive review of the evolution and advancement of streamline simulation technology. This paper offers a general overview of most of the material available in the literature on the subject. This work includes the review of more than 200 technical papers and gives a chronological advancement of streamline simulation technology from 1996 to 2011. Firstly, three major areas are identified. These are development of streamline simulators, enhancements to current streamline simulators and applications. In view of the fact that this state of-the-art technology has been employed for a wide range of applications, we defined three major application areas that symbolize the relevance and validity of streamline simulation in addressing reservoir engineering concerns. These are history matching, reservoir management and upscaling, ranking and characterization of fine-grid geological models.
Streamline simulation has undergone several phases within its short stretch in the petroleum industry. Initially, the main focus was on the speed advantage and less on fluid flow physics. Next, the focus was shifted to extend its applicability to more complex issues such as compositional and thermal simulations, which require the inclusion of more physics, and potentially reducing the advantage of computational time. Recently, the focus has shifted towards the application of streamline technologies to areas where it can complement finite difference simulation such as revealing important information about drainage areas, flood optimization and improvement of sweep efficiency, quantifying uncertainties, etc.
Introduction of Streamlines Simulation
Streamlines are integrated curves that are locally tangential to a defined velocity field at a given instant in time (Datta-Gupta 2007 and Thiele et al. 2010) as illustrated in Figure 1. Modeling fluid flow and transport using streamlines dates back to the study of well pattern and total recovery by Muskat and Wyckoff in 1934. Streamline-based flow simulation has made significant advances in the last 15 years. A great historical overview of the earlier streamlines work was presented by Batycky (1997), Datta-Gupta and King (1998), Thiele (2001), Moreno et al. (2004), Datta-Gupta (2007).