Influenced by the success of shale gas production worldwide and to meet requirements for clean energy supply, a multidisciplinary team of petroleum specialists was established in Saudi Aramco. Meeting the growing requirement in industrial consumption and especially electricity production is driving force for developing unconventional gas reserves. "The initial focus is in the northwest and in the area of Ghawar, where gas infrastructure exists. Initial knowledge building from similar plays in North America is being supplemented with internal technical studies and research programs to help solve geological and engineering challenges unique to Saudi Arabia and to locate specific wells planned for 2011. The company is innovatively combining knowledge and research to maximize gas reserves and production from conventional and unconventional resources in order to meet growing domestic demand.?? 
During years 2010 - 2011 major international petroleum industry players - Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes - were invited to share their experience in a series of workshops held in Dhahran. Exchange of expert ideas developed into appreciation of complexity of the shale gas reservoir and helped to identify the scope of work for the first Silurian Qusaiba shale gas well. The SHALE-1 well was drilled in 2007 as a gas exploration well. Recent drilling and geophysical data obtained in the well were beneficial for detailed sidetrack and fracture stimulation design.
The Multidisciplinary Saudi Aramco - Halliburton SHALE-1 task group was established and positioned in Dhahran. This allowed them to have regular face-to-face meetings and improve the most critical criteria of any new venture - communication. The draft work plan was developed 8 months before actual operations commenced on the well site. Thorough examination of the draft work plan progressed to the final work plan with a number of improvements. For example, "R?? Nipples were dropped from the monobore 4-1/2?? completion string. The Frac Stimulation design was fine-tuned, involving expertise from Saudi Aramco and Halliburton. The Complete Well on Paper exercise involved over 25 specialists from both sides and helped to rectify remaining completion/stimulation design issues, and put everyone on the same page in terms of the work program. Well site operations commenced in May 2011; the well was successfully re-entered and window cut in 7?? liner. An S-shaped 5-7/8?? hole was drilled in the direction of minimum horizontal stresses, to the required depth in Qusaiba Shale with a maximum DLS of 4°. The well was completed with 4-1/2?? cemented liner and monobore 4-1/2?? string to surface. The Hot Qusaiba interval was perforated; frac stimulated with mixed results and successfully flowed. A temporary isolation FasDrill plug was set above the perforation interval. The Warm Qusaiba interval was perforated; successfully frac stimulated and flowed with mixed results. Finally, the FasDrill plug was drilled out with CTU and both intervals flowed and required production log runs.
All targets set for the SHALE-1 re-entry well were successfully achieved and the well was suspended for future utilization as an observation well.
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.
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.
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.
Al-salali, Yousef Zaid (Kuwait Oil Company) | Ayyavoo, ManiMaran (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-ibrahim, Abdullah Reda (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Bader, Haifa (Kuwait Oil Company) | Duggirala, Vidya Sagar (Kuwait Oil Company) | Subban, Packirisamy (Kuwait Oil Company)
This paper discusses the outstanding performance achieved in a deep HPHTJurassic formation drilled using Potassium Formate based fluid. This paper alsodescribes methodology adopted for short term testing and stimulation of anexploratory well and finally the field results.
Drilling and completion of deep Jurassic formations in the state of Kuwaitis generally done with Oil Base Mud (OBM) weighted with Barite. Duringdrilling, barite causes significant formation damage to the carbonates withnatural fractures and it is essential to stimulate the well to evaluate thereal reservoir potential. Formation damage is usually treated with matrix acidstimulation, however barite does not respond to acid. Kuwait Oil Company (KOC)was in search for an alternative drilling fluid causing relatively lessformation damage and also responds to remedial actions. Potassium Formate brinewith suitable weighting agent to achieve sufficient mud weight around 16ppg wasselected for field trial in one of the exploratory wells. Formate based brineis a high-density Water Base Mud (WBM) which maintains rheological stability athigh temperature and minimizes formation damage.
Last 2,000 feet in 6" hole section of 18,000 feet well was drilled using15.9 ppg Potassium Formate WBM. During short term testing, acid wash alone wassufficient to remove the formation damage and productivity has tripled which isunlikely in case of wells drilled with OBM.
This case study shows how Potassium Formate based mud enhanced theproductivity and reduced the testing time and cost. Based on the successfulfield test results, it is planned to drill future Jurassic deep formation withPotassium Formate based fluids in future.
Najmah-Sargelu Formations of Kuwait show considerable potential as a new unconventional hydrocarbon play and produces mainly from fractures. The key uncertainties which affect the productivity are the nature and distribution of permeable fracture networks, and the limits of oil accumulation.
This paper presents the results from whole-rock elemental analysis of three cored wells in UG field. The main objectives of this study are to use high-resolution elemental chemostratigraphy to gain a better understanding of the detailed stratigraphy and correlation of the Najmah-Sargelu Formations, to assess the chemo-sedimentology for determining the intervals of high organic content, to estimate the mineralogy of the sequence using an algorithm developed for an analog formation in North America; and to determine the most likely intervals to contain fractures, using a brittleness algorithm.
A clear chemo stratigraphic zonation is recognized within the Najmah-Sargelu Formation. The larger divisions are driven mainly by inherent lithological variation. The finer divisions are delineated by more subtle chemo stratigraphic signals (K2O/Th and Rb/Al2O3 ratios) and preservation of organic matter (high V, Ni, Mo, and U abundances). Zones of alternating brittleness and ductility are clearly identified within the interbedded limestones and marlstones of Najmah-Sargelu Formation.
Two unexpected but important features of the Najmah-Sargelu limestones were elucidated by the elemental data. Brittle, high-silica spiculites, with virtually no clay or silt, are more common than previously recognized from petrophysical logs and core descriptions in the upper Najmah limestones. In addition, the limestones adjacent to the spiculites tend to contain bitumen as pore-filling are recognized by the trace metal proxies. Ternary plots of V, Ni, and Mo differentiate the combinations of kerogen and bitumen present in the Najmah-Sargelu Formations.
The clarity and sensitivity of the chemostratigraphic signals are sufficient to enhance formation evaluation, and can also assist borehole positioning using the RockWiseSM ED-XRF instrument at wellsite.
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.
Oil or gas effective and relative permeabilities can be reduced to a great extent due to the invading liquid phase of the drill-in or completion fluid, contrary to the misconception that formation damage is less of a concern in lower permeability reservoirs (e.g., less than 5 md). Many laboratory, well logging, and formation tester data proved that mud filtrate (both from water- and oil-based muds) can deeply invade the formation enhanced by capillary forces. This will result in reduction of the oil or gas effective permeability, especially if the formation exhibits fluid emulsion blocks and phase trapping. Unfavorable interaction of the filtrate with the reservoir fluids and rock minerals can generate emulsions and precipitates. The same scenario may occur in hydraulically fractured formations.
An integrated multidisciplinary approach is pursued in this study to evaluate formation damage/remediation potential of low permeability reservoirs. The techniques involve different formation evaluation methods including core analysis, well logging, and well testing along with various cleanup scenarios. Furthermore, results from petrographic analysis and laboratory experiments (Micro and Macroscopic scales) are related and correlated with the larger Mesoscopic and Megascopic scales of well logs and well testing, respectively.
Results of these efforts lead to the following technical contributions; a) Delineation of the low permeability heterogeneous reservoirs, e.g. the Leduce carbonates, into their hydraulic units. b) Determination of the undamaged formation absolute and relative permeabilities along with the diameter of filtrate invasion. c) A rule of thumb is to minimize or prevent damage from taking place by selecting a drilling fluid that quickly forms an easily removable mudcake. d) Cleaning up damage due to water filtrate may be accomplished by just flowing the well and can be accelerated using solvents or surfactants. However, once the formation reaches its irreducible water saturation, remediating water saturation below the irreducible value may not significantly improve its permeability.
The demand for hydrocarbons is expected to grow worldwide. As a result, deeper reservoirs are being explored. Emulsified acid systems are preferred for the stimulation of high-temperature carbonate reservoirs with bottomhole temperatures (BHTs) of 275°F and above. The retarded nature of an emulsified acid system decreases both the acid reaction rate and the rate of corrosion. However, the lack of emulsion stability of these systems is a major problem associated with high-temperature applications (at 300°F and above).
Corrosion inhibitors and intensifiers can interfere with the stability of an emulsified acid system, which consequently leads to higher corrosion losses. At the same time, there is a need for better inhibition systems to counteract the effects of corrosion at higher temperatures. In this paper, a combination of three intensifiers was used, based on the differences in their mechanisms for inhibitor intensification action. The study includes the effect of varying the concentration of each component, hydrochloric (HCl) acid strength (20 to 28%), and temperature (275 to 325°F) on the stability and corrosion rate using P-110/N-80 coupons. The unique combination of the corrosion inhibitor and three intensifiers with proper optimization created a system capable of passing a corrosion test at 300°F using 28% HCl acid. The temperature limit of the system can be extended up to 325°F using an additional intensifier with 25% acid strength.
The present system can be used for acid stimulation of carbonate reservoirs with BHTs up to 325°F. This study revealed a better understanding of the effect of the intensifiers in an emulsified acid system and the synergism amongst them. This enabled the use of an emulsified acid stimulation on carbonate reservoirs having BHTs up to 325°F while reducing the corrosion rate to a level that meets the current market demand for acidizing operations. This work shows that emulsified acid systems can be used with HCl acid strengths ranging from 20 to 28% at high temperatures. The resultant better wormholing at high temperatures should also lead to enhanced oil production.