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.
Gomez, Ernest (Schlumberger) | Al-Faresi, Fahad A. Rahman (Kuwait Oil Company) | Belobraydic, Matthew Louis (Schlumberger) | Yaser, Muhammad (Schlumberger) | Gurpinar, Omer M. (Schlumberger) | Wang, James Tak Ming (Schlumberger) | Husain, Riyasat (Kuwait Oil Company) | Clark, William (Schlumberger) | Al-Sahlan, Ghaida Abdullah (Kuwait Oil Company) | Datta, Kalyanbrata (KOC) | Mudavakkat, Anandan (KOC) | Bond, Deryck John (Kuwait Oil Company) | Crittenden, Stephen J. (KOC) | Iwere, Fabian Oritsebemigho (Schlumberger) | Hayat, Laila (KOC) | Prakash, Anand (KOC)
The Burgan Minagish reservoir in the Greater Burgan Field is one of several reservoirs producing from the Minagish formation in Kuwait and the Divided Zone. The reservoir has been produced intermittently since the 1960s under natural depletion. A powered water-flood is currently being planned. The pressure performance of the reservoir has proved hard to explain without invoking communication with other reservoirs. Such communication could be either with other reservoirs through the regional aquifer of through faults to other reservoirs in the Greater Burgan field. Recent pressures are close to the bubble point.
A coarse simulation model of the nearby fields and the regional aquifer was constructed based on data from the fields and regional geological understanding. This model could be history matched to allow all regional pressure data to be broadly matched, a result which supports the view that communication is through the regional aquifer. Using this model to predict future pressure performance suggested that injecting at rates that exceeded voidage replacement by about 50 Mbd could keep reservoir pressure above bubble point. It was recognized that the process of history matching performance was non-unique. This is a particular concern in the context of this study because the model inputs that were varied in the history matching process included aquifer data that was very poorly constrained. To address this problem multiple history matched models were created using an assisted history matching tool. Using prediction results from the range of models has increased our confidence that a modest degree of over-injection can help maintain reservoir pressure.
This paper demonstrates the utility of computer assisted history match tools in allowing an assessment of uncertainty in a case where non-uniqueness was a particular problem. It also emphasizes the importance of understanding aquifer communication when relatively closely spaced fields are being developed.
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.
During recent years there has been a significant increase in the use of filter cake removal systems that involve in-situ release of formic or lactic acid during the clean-up stages of the reservoir section, particularly in limestone formations. Furthermore, there have been opportunities to compare the field performance of these relatively small applications of weak, organic acids with significantly larger application volumes of highly concentrated hydrochloric acid (HCl). Surprisingly, some results showed that the smaller volumes of the weaker, organic acids could have equivalent or better performance than that produced by the more traditional HCl-based treatments. In particular this relationship was also observed in cases where the volume of HCl applied had significantly greater power to dissolve limestone than was the case for treatment with the more successful organic acid.
It is well known that productivity of wells in carbonate reservoirs is usually greatly improved by treatments designed to remove the filter cake and the low-permeability zone created by the drilling process, but it is not obvious why smaller volumes per foot of weak organic acid should be more effective than larger volumes per foot of stronger and more concentrated mineral acid.
It has been observed that the acid precursors which release the in-situ acids are applied to the formation in a neutral condition. The paper discusses the implications of using neutral acid precursors, and laboratory data is presented showing the effects of such treatments on the near-wellbore matrix permeability.
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.
The significance of exploring deep and ultra-deep wells is increasing rapidly to meet the increased global demands on oil and gas. Drilling at such depth introduces a wide range of difficult challenges and issues. One of the challenges is the negative impact on the drilling fluids rheological properties when exposed to high pressure high temperature (HPHT) conditions and/or becoming contaminated with salts, which are common in deep drilling or in offshore operations.
The drilling engineer must have a good estimate for the values of rheological characteristics of a drilling fluid, such as viscosity, yield point and gel strength, and that is extremely important for a successful drilling operation. In this research work, experiments were conducted on water-based muds with different salinity contents, from ambient conditions up to very elevated pressures and temperatures.
In these experiments, water based drilling fluids containing different types of salt (NaCl and KCl) and at different concentrations were tested by a state-of-the-art high pressure high temperature viscometer. In this paper, the effect of different electrolysis (NaCl and KCl) at elevated pressures (up to 35,000 psi) and elevated temperatures (up to 450 ºF) on the viscosity of water based mud has been presented.
The matrix blocks in fractured reservoirs are the primary storage of hydrocarbons, so matrix-fracture transfer mechanisms are of crucial importance in recovery from fractured reservoirs. During gas injection into fractured reservoirs, fractures are filled with injected gas while matrix blocks contain the reservoir fluid. In this condition due to compositional difference between the gas in fractures and the fluid in matrix, diffusive exchanges of components between matrix and fracture may have significant contribution on matrix oil recovery in addition to gravity drainage or other transfer mechanisms.
In this work, to evaluate the significance of molecular diffusion, the laboratory experiment of "Gas Injection into Fractured cores?? is simulated using a compositional model and this model is used to run several experiments which help in understanding the way that each recovery mechanism acts. The advantage of running simulation in core scale is that in this way there is the possibility of using small grid size which significantly reduces the issues of numerical dispersion. And more over the existing experimental data can be used for model adjustment. In the experimental works the procedure is to place a core sample into a core holder in such a way that the annulus space between the core boundary and the core holder is very small. This annulus space is representative of the fracture surrounding the matrix blocks in the reservoir. Then after using special techniques the core is saturated with the representative reservoir oil, and after this primary core initialization, gas is injected into the annulus and the amount of recovered oil is measured versus time.
This study reveals that, molecular diffusion acts like a catalyst and improves the recovery mechanism by enhancing the gas movement within matrix. At the prevalent conditions of this work, the main recovery mechanisms are the miscibility effects (Condensing or Vaporizing gas drives) that are enhanced by molecular diffusion. Sensitivity analysis done in this work reveals that significance and contribution of molecular diffusion in recovery changes with different parameters such as matrix permeability and porosity, gas composition, etc.
Fractured reservoirs contain a significant portion of the world's reserves, and Gas injection is a common recovery practice in these reservoirs and understanding the recovery mechanisms is of crucial importance for correct simulation of this process. This study shows, although significance of molecular diffusion changes with reservoir parameters, any way neglecting it in simulation studies will result in underestimation of gas injection efficiency.
Alomair, Osamah Ali (Kuwait University) | Alarouj, Mutlaq Abdullah (Kuwait University) | Althenayyan, Abdullah Ahmed (Kuwait University) | Al Saleh, Anwar Hassan (Kuwait University) | Almohammad, Humoud (Kuwait University) | Altahoo, Younes (Kuwait University) | Alhaidar, Yousef (Kuwait University) | Al Ansari, Sara Ebrahem (Kuwait University) | Alshammari, Yousif (Kuwait University)
Thermal recovery methods have the objective of accelerating hydrocarbon recovery by raising the temperature of the formation and reducing hydrocarbon viscosities. Thermal recovery involves several well-known processes such as steam injection, in situ combustion, steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), and a more recent technique that consists of heating the reservoir with electrical energy. The most common thermal method is steam injection. However, some difficulties occurs with steam injection includes; water availability, the cost of water vaporization process, and how to keep steam temperature above the condensation temperature at reservoir conditions. Also it is limited to relatively shallow, thick, permeable, and homogenous sand reservoirs that are located onshore.
In this project three unconventional thermal approaches were developed in laboratory scale to improve the recovery of heavy oil. Those methods are; electrical resistant electrodes, electromagnetic inductors, and microwaves. Designing and experimenting were prepared using low cost material to achieve the success of the new approaches. In the electrical resistance approach, a potential difference was applied between two electrodes; one act as anode and the other one as a cathode. A sufficient heat has been introduced between the electrodes, which improved the oil recovery by adding a maximum of 21% additional recovery to the primary recovery. For the electromagnetic induction, a coil has been wrapped around a core through which the introduced heat was transmitted to the fluid inside and hence increasing the oil recovery by a maximum of 34%. As for the microwave method, microwaves were applied on the core to vibrate water molecules. These microwaves were created and applied by using normal microwave oven, where the waves were transmitted from the source, and reflected inside an isolating body to prevent any wave leakage. The molecules movement resulted in heat generation and thus a reduction in the oil viscosity. The conducted test revealed an increase of 30% in the oil recovery which varies according to the operating power. Finally, economical comparison between the proposed methods was conducted. The three methods were compared by combining recovery and power consumption. Average power consumption per unit production for electromagnetic induction, Electrical Resistance, and microwave were 39, 2570, and 3.775 watt.hr/cc, respectively. The comparison revealed that the Microwave Heating is the most economical choice followed by electromagnetic induction and finally the electrical resistance heating.
Nghiem, Long X. (Computer Modelling Group Ltd.) | Mirzabozorg, Arash (University of Calgary) | Chen, Zhangxin John (University of Calgary) | Hajizadeh, Yasin (Computer Modelling Group Ltd.) | Yang, Chaodong (Computer Modelling Group Inc.)
History matching of reservoir flow models based only on production data may not reveal deficiencies that affect future predictions. Incorporating saturation and temperature profile data that come from 4D seismic surveys in the history matching process can reduce the uncertainty of reservoir models for the prediction stage. We constructed a field reservoir model from which production history, saturation and temperature profile history were obtained. We started the history matching process with a base reservoir model, the petro-physical properties of which were substantially different than those of the field reservoir model. We propose a new methodology for matching the fluid and temperature profiles by adjusting reservoir petro-physical properties. In this methodology, some grid blocks in a reservoir model were selected judiciously to capture the overall saturation and temperature distribution profiles. In addition to well production data, we included the saturation and temperature profiles at these grid blocks as extra objective functions during the history matching process. The DECE optimization is used to reduce the objective function. We applied this method in a Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) process and matched the saturation and temperature profiles with an average error of less than 2%.
Currently, many reservoirs in the region approach the end of primary recovery phase where new techniques are needed to enhance recovery. Therefore, the need to optimize oil recovery from the current resources is very well understood by regional oil companies. To enhance oil recovery from current oil resources, field operators need to overcome the forces responsible for oil entrapment. Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques (EOR) introduce new energy into oil reservoirs to reduce the influence of these forces. Most of these resources contain light oil and are considered suitable candidates for either miscible or chemical EOR techniques. The first technique is challenged by the availability of suitable miscible gas. While, chemical EOR techniques are challenges by the high salt concentrations in the maturing oil reservoirs. The high salinity conditions encourage deficiencies in the performance of chemical EOR processes. Therefore, minimizing the effect of in situ salt on the injected chemical would impose tremendous improvement that leads to higher oil recovery. One way to diminish salt effect is to condition the oil reservoirs by injecting a slug of preflush water prior to chemical injection.
In this paper, the performance of polymer flooding, after preflush slug, in high salinity reservoir is investigated by numerical simulation means. The injected slugs, both preflush and polymer, are driven by water. The objective is to identify the relationship between preflush, polymer, and drive water characteristics and oil recovery. Seven parameters were considered: preflush slug size, preflush salinity, polymer slug size, polymer concentration, polymer slug salinity, and drive water salinity. The results show that these parameters have various degree of influence on oil recovery. For example, increasing the preflush slug size would results in more oil recovery especially during the early time. Detailed findings will be presented in the paper.