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.
Historically, shale instability is a challenging issue when drilling reactive formations using water-based muds (WBM). Shale instability leads to shale sloughing, stuck pipe, and shale disintegration causing an increase in fines that affects the rate of penetration. To characterize shale instability, laboratory tests including Linear Swell Meter (LSM), shale-erosion and slake-durability are conducted in industry. These laboratory tests, under different flow conditions, provide shale-fluid interaction parameters which are indicative of shale instability. The composition of WBM is designed to optimize these interaction parameters, so that when used in the field the fluid helps achieve efficient drilling.
This paper demonstrates modeling of shale-fluid interaction parameters obtained from the LSM test. In the standard LSM test, a laterally confined cylindrical shale sample is exposed to WBM at a specific temperature and its axial swelling is measured with time. The swelling reaches a plateau which is characterized by a shale-fluid interaction parameter called % final swelling volume (A). A typical LSM test runs for around 48-72 hours and many tests may be needed to optimize fluid composition.
In this work, a method/model is developed to predict final swelling volume (A) as a function of the Cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the shale and salt concentration in the fluid (prominent factors affecting shale swelling). An empirical model in the form of A = f(CEC)*f(salt) which describes the explicit dependence on the influencing variables is developed and validated for 16 different shale samples at various salt concentrations. This model would significantly reduce LSM laboratory trials saving time and money. It could also enable rig personnel to obtain quick measure of shale characteristics so that WBM composition could be adjusted immediately to avoid shale instability issues.
Carbonate formations are very complex in their pore structure and exhibit a wide variety of pore classes. Pore classes such as interparticle porosity, moldic porosity, vuggy porosity, intercrystalline porosity, and microporosity. Understanding the role of pore class on the performance of emulsified acid treatment and characterizing the physics of the flow inside is the objective of our study.
The study was performed using vuggy dolomite cores that represent mainly the vuggy porosity dominated structure, while the homogenous cores represent the intercrystalline pore structure. Core flood runs were conducted on 6 x 1.5 in. cores using emulsified acid formulated at 1 vol% emulsifier and 0.7 acid volume fraction. The objective of this set of experiments is to determine the acid pore volume to breakthrough for each carbonate pore class at different injection rates.
In this paper, a novel approach to interpret the core flood run results using thin section observations, tracer experiments, SEM, and resistivity measurements will be presented. Thin section observations provide means to study the vugs size and their distribution, connectivity, and explain the contribution of the pore class in the acid propagation. Relating the rotating disk experiments of emulsified acid with dolomite to our core flood run results will be also conducted in order.
The acid pore volumes to breakthrough for vuggy porosity dominated rocks were observed to be much lower than that for homogenous carbonates (intercrystalline pore structure). Also, the wormhole dissolution pattern was found to be significantly different in vuggy rocks than that in homogenous ones. Comparison of thin section observations, tracer results and the core flood runs results indicates that the vugs are distributed in a manner that creates a preferential flow path which can cause a rapid acid breakthrough and effective wormholing than those with a uniform pore structure. Rotating disk experiment results, demonstrating that the reaction of emulsified acid with dolomite is much lower than that with calcite, showed that the reaction kinetics played a role in determining the wormhole pattern.
Thread compound "dope?? in the vernacular, has been used routinely in assembling joints of casing and tubing. The practice in almost universal application in the oil and gas industry involves the manual application of the lubricant in a fashion that is rudimentary, non-systematic and unquantifiable. There is evidence presented in this paper that damage to the near-well zone and other unpleasant events may be associated with the thread compound.
This paper presents the results of both laboratory and field investigations quantifying the effects of the dope on near-well damage. During the assembly of tubing and casing a portion of the thread compound is exuded inside and outside the connection and gets access to the well fluids through the tubing and annular space. Studies presented here show that the dope forms a suspension which penetrates and damages the formation. The studies used standard fluid circulation velocities during typical completion operations.
To characterize and quantify the problem, core samples from the El Tordillo field, with different permeabilities were used. The samples were subjected to the circulation of the suspension created by the thread compound and the completion fluid, measuring the change in the core permeability. The work simulated the well conditions during water injection for water injection wells and during acid treatments for producer wells. A significant reduction in permeability, manifested by a fast and a very large increase in pressure, was measured, at the front face of the core sample. The same measurements showed a far smaller impact in the core body suggesting very minor penetration of dope particles.
This paper describes the laboratory and field work, with description of the test protocols, well conditions and laboratory emulation of field conditions that were used.
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.
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.
A live oil sample was subjected to a solid detection system (SDS) to measure asphaltene onset point (AOP) at 3850 psi, and asphaltene content of 1.3%. A high-resolution digital camera was used to measure asphaltene particle size distribution. The result showed that asphaltene particles were not uniform in size, but has a normal distribution of 100-120 µm. Asphaltene reversibility to dissolved back into the oil with increasing pressure was only 35% of the original deposition. Two core samples were examined for formation damage due to asphaltene deposition. A Low permeability core showed significant permeability reduction exceeding 50% of its baseline permeability, and the higher permeability core showed less permeability decline, even with the same asphaltene precipitation.
In order to develop the design requirement with current regulatory and contemporary HSE practices, for a typical sour oil/gas production facility, a hypothetical case of about 3 mol % v/v H2S in gas and 300 ppm w/w H2S in oil, of multiphase feed stream, has been studied through the dispersion modeling for the conceptual stage. The findings indicated credible downwind lethal / semi lethal threat distance up to 300 meters. The conclusions of the H2S toxic risk assessment combined with the inherent safe design guidelines have yielded an entirely new set of requirement for the risk reduction. To start with it was realized that safe distance control room should be constructed and facilities should be designed for the remote operation, utilizing the new trends of foundation field bus, electronic marshaling and SIL-3 fiber optic sensors. The facility should be access controlled with mandatory PPE requirement of personal H2S monitors and personal quick donning (5 sec) escape SCABA (15 minutes capacity). The centrifugal compressors should be new generation design of enclosed and hermetically sealed type, levitated with magnetic bearing, without dry gas seals and oil lubrication. The vessels should be ASME Section VIII "lethal service?? design and plant piping should be as per fluid category "M?? of ASME B31.3 chapter VIII. Furthermore, stress relieving for thicknesses as low as 10 mm, rather than ASME B31.3 code specified >19 mm would be required. Small valves <4?? sizes should be of forged steel instead of cast steel. The export oil/gas pipelines and flow lines should be designed for =< 50~60 % of SMYS. Plate instead of Shell and Tube Exchangers. Adequate margins between vessels design and operating pressures to avoid PSV chattering. The PSV's to have acoustic monitoring. The facilities should be designed free of valve pits and internal corrosion monitoring pits.
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.
Offshore exploration and production operations in sea ice conditions mustface the challenges of working in frontier environments. In the context of thecorresponding regulatory environment, operators will be expected to show thatnew technical and operational challenges have been addressed. Emergencyresponse in sea ice conditions is a case in point. In the event that marineevacuation of an installation is necessary, the lifeboat will have to becapable of being launched safely into ice, propelling itself away from thehazard area to some safe distance, and then affording a haven until personnelcan be recovered.
Some ideas are presented in this paper for improving the capabilities oflifeboats and for meeting the expectations embodied in regulations. The designand operational elements contemplated here are broadly based on model scaleexperiments and full-scale trials with conventional TEMPSC lifeboats that havebeen done over the course of a multi-year test program. Design considerationsinclude powering and propulsion, maneuvering, structural resistance to iceloads, and arrangement of the coxswain's cockpit (visibility). Operationalconsiderations include the coxswain's tactics in ice, simulator training forcoxswains, and ice management of evacuation routes. Finally, the use oftraining simulators for evaluating and demonstrating the efficacy of these andother improvements is discussed.
A program of model scale experiments and full-scale field trials has beenunderway for a period of several years to investigate the performancecapabilities and limitations of evacuation craft in sea ice. This paper focuseson a series of field trials with a small, conventional totally enclosed motorpropelled survival craft (TEMPSC). The lifeboat was tested in pack iceconditions in an ice channel cut in landfast ice on a freshwater lake. Thechannel was about 55m long and 32m wide and the ice was between 300mm and 400mmthick (with an average measured thickness of 340mm). The ice that was cut outof the level ice sheet to make the channel was further cut into floes of twobasic sizes, the smaller about 1.65m×2m and the larger about 3.2×2m. Thesecorresponded to floes that were about 30% and 50% the mass of the lifeboatitself. The ice concentration in the channel was controlled by removing some ofthe ice floes from the channel. Several ice channel transit tests werecompleted, starting with a pack concentration of 9/10ths. At the end of thetests in those conditions, more ice was removed from the channel until thegross concentration was 8/10ths and another set of transit trials was done.This process was repeated for consecutive concentrations of 7/10ths, 6/10ths,5/10ths, and 4/10ths. The same procedure was used in model scale tests reportedby the same authors (Simões Ré & Veitch 2003, Simões Ré et al. 2006).Indeed, the field tests replicated the model scale experiment conditions to theextent practicable. The field trials were done over a five-day period in March2010.