Sanyal, Tirtharenu (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Hamad, Khairyah (KOC) | Jain, Anil Kumar (KOC) | Al-Haddad, Ali Abbas (KISR) | Kholosy, Sohib (KISR) | Ali, Mohammad A.J. (Kuwait Inst. Scientific Rsch.) | Abu Sennah, Heba Farag (Kuwait Oil Company)
Improved oil recovery for heavy oil reservoirs is becoming a new research study for Kuwaiti reservoirs. There are two mechanisms for improved oil recovery by thermal methods. The first method is to heat the oil to higher temperatures, and thereby, decrease its viscosity for improved mobility. The second mechanism is similar to water flooding, in which oil is displaced to the production wells. While more steam is needed for this method than for the cyclic method, it is typically more effective at recovering a larger portion of the oil.
Steam injection heats up the oil and reduce its viscosity for better mobility and higher sweep efficiency. During this process, the velocity of the moving oil increases with lower viscosity oil; and thus, the heated zone around the injection well will have high velocity. The increase of velocity in an unconsolidated formation is usually accompanied with sand movement in the reservoir creating a potential problem.
The objective of this study was to understand the effect of flowrate and viscosity on sand production in heavy oil reservoir that is subjected for thermal recovery process. The results would be useful for designing completion under steam injection where the viscosity of the oil is expected to change due to thermal operations.
A total of 21 representative core samples were selected from different wells in Kuwait. A reservoir condition core flooding system was used to flow oil into the core plugs and to examine sand production. Initially, the baseline liquid permeability was measured with low viscosity oil and low flowrate. Then, the flowrate was increased gradually and monitored to establish the value for sand movement for each plug sample. At the end of the test, the produced oil containing sand was filtered for sand content.
The result showed that sand production increased with higher viscosity oil and high flowrate. However, sand compaction at the injection face of the cores was more significant than sand production. In addition, high confining pressure contributes to additional sand production. The average critical velocity was estimated ranged from 18 to 257 ft/day for the 0.74 cp oil, 2 to 121 ft/day for the 16 cp oil, and 1 to 26 ft/day for the 684 cp oil.
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.
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.
A multilateral (MLT) well with an advanced intelligent completion string was recently completed in the Middle East. The well was designed as a "stacked?? dual producer in the upper and lower reservoir, and was drilled using the latest geo-steering techniques to accurately place the wellbore in a highly faulted and geologically complex structure. Rotary-steerable drilling systems (RSS) were used in several of the hole sections, along with advanced logging-while-drilling (LWD) tools including multi-pole acoustic, azimuthal deep resistivity, and resistivity at bit. Encounters with unstable shale and faults made the drilling difficult, but the decisions made in real-time to navigate the well resulted in a very high percentage of net pay in both laterals.
This well combined TAML Level 4 multilateral (MLT) technology with passive inflow control devices in the laterals and an advanced intelligent completion system in the mainbore. The TAML Level 4 multilateral junction was cemented to isolate unstable shale above the reservoir and to provide zonal isolation from the lateral completions, which were compartmentalized into stages with proprietary swellable packers and inflow control devices (ICDs). The intelligent completion was run in the mainbore with two interval control valves (ICVs) and isolation ball valve (LV ICV) to manage the production from each of the two laterals independently. The ICVs and LV ICV are controlled hydraulically through four control lines to surface, which were run in a flat-pack with one electric line to control a downhole gauge package for each lateral. Finally, the well was configured to allow the installation of a large electric submersible pump (ESP) to be run inside the upper 9-5/8-in. production tubing.
This project required intensive planning and coordination for more than a year in advance, which made the project successful despite the difficult drilling conditions and resulted in very little NPT for wellbore construction operations. This paper will focus on the planning, execution and lessons learned from the project.
In the existing horizontal wells in the target sand reservoir of the target field, premature water breakthrough caused the water cut trend to increase within months of production. . This occurred because the reservoir has a very high permeability sands along with active faults containing high viscous reservoir fluids.
New technologies were required to overcome the issue, maximize reservoir contact and enhance a more uniform oil production from a single location. Introducing the smart TAML Level-4 MLT well design to this reservoir along with inflow control device (ICD), inflow control valve (ICV), isolation ball valve (LV ICV) and other downhole gauges proved to be the optimum solution. It also aided in managing the production and the reservoir proactively to achieve maximum oil recovery. Moreover, drilling several laterals from a single wellbore with the ability to control production from both laterals had a great economic advantage because of the optimized cost effective field management.
Blunt, Martin Julian (Imperial College) | Al-Jadi, Manayer (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Qattan, Abrar (KOC) | Al-Kanderi, Jasem M. (Kuwait Oil Company) | Gharbi, Oussama (Imperial College) | Badamchizadeh, Amin (CMG) | Dashti, Hameeda Hussain (Kuwait Oil Company) | Chimmalgi, Vishvanath Shivappa (Kuwait Oil Company) | Bond, Deryck John (Kuwait Oil Company) | Skoreyko, Fraser A. (CMG)
The Magwa Marrat reservoir was discovered in the mid-1980s and has been produced to date under primary depletion. Reservoir pressure has declined and is approaching the asphaltene onset pressure (AOP). A water flood is being planned and a decision needs to be taken as to the appropriate reservoir operating pressure. In particular the merits of operating the reservoir at pressures above and below the AOP need to be assessed.
Some of the issues related to this decision relate to the effects of asphaltene deposition in the reservoir. Two effects have been evaluated. Firstly the effect of in-situ deposition of asphaltene on wettability and the influence that this may have on water-flood recovery has been investigated using pore scale network modes. Models were constructed and calibrated to available high pressure mercury capillary pressure data and to relative permeability data from reservoir condition core floods. The changes to relative permeability characteristics that would result from the reservoir becoming substantially more oil-wet have been evaluated. Based on this there seems to be a very limited scope for poorer water flood performance at pressures below AOP.
Secondly the scope for impaired well performance has been evaluated. This has been done using a field trial where a well was produced at pressures above and substantially below AOP and pressure transient data were used to estimate near wellbore damage "skin??. Also compositional simulation has been used to estimate near wellbore deposition effects. This has involved developing an equation of state model and identifying, using computer assisted history matching, a range of parameters that could be consistent with core flood experiments of asphaltene deposition. Results of simulation using these parameters are compared with field observation and used to predict the range of possible future well productivity decline.
Overall this work allows an evaluation of the preferred operating pressure, which can drop below the AOP, resulting in lower operating costs and higher final recovery without substantial impairment to either water-flood efficiency or well productivity.
This paper presents a novel implementation for evolutionary algorithms in oil and gas reservoirs history matching problems. The reservoir history is divided into time segments. In each time segment, a penalty function is constructed that quantifies the mismatch between the measurements and the simulated measurements, using only the measurements available up to the current time segment. An evolutionary optimization algorithm is used, in each time segment, to search for the optimal reservoir permeability and porosity parameters. The penalty function varies between segments; yet the optimal reservoir characterization is common among all the constructed penalty functions. A population of the reservoir characterizations evolves among subsequent time segments through minimizing different penalty functions. The advantage of this implementation is two fold. First, the computational cost of the history matching process is significantly reduced. Second, problem constraints can be included in the penalty function to produce more realistic solutions. The proposed concept of dynamic penalty function is applicable to any evolutionary algorithm. In this paper, the implementation is carried out using genetic algorithms. Two case studies are presented in this paper: a synthetic case study and the PUNQ-S3 field case study. A computational cost analysis that demonstrates the computational advantage of the proposed method is presented.
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.
Facies modeling forms an integral part of geological numerical modeling. Over the last two decades, different facies modeling methods have been developed using geostatistical algorithms. Most of these methods rely on the assumption of discrete or binary modeling during which each model cell is assigned a single facies. In this study, the size of the cells is on average 100 meters by 100 meters laterally by one meter thick. Based on comparisons to outcrops and subsurface data, such cells should, in fact, include a mixture of facies.
The discrete-facies approach assumes a single facies per cell. The distribution of the facies between wells is described using classical categorical geostatistical algorithms. Reservoir properties are then populated by facies within mapped environments of deposition. This process is well-established and straightforward, especially with regard to tying well data, handling property trends, and applying net rock cut-offs.
A mixed-facies approach can be performed using effective property modeling in which multiple small, fine-scale models are built for each environment of deposition. These models are re-sampled to the full-field cell volume using static and flow-based upscaling methods. The resulting statistics are then used with geostatistics, conditioned to the proportion of each facies present, to populate the full-field model. Such models allow the incorporation of core-scale heterogeneity potentially important in improved oil recovery projects, and may reduce modeling cycle times, especially when multiple iterations are required, such as during history-matching or uncertainty analysis.
This paper compares the impact on simulated fluid flow of modeling facies using discrete modeling versus a mix of facies per cell. Shoreface and subordinate fluvial environments of deposition facies, and five reservoir lithofacies, were modeled.
Fluid-flow simulation of the mixed-facies model, under both primary depletion and pressure maintenance conditions, was smooth and uniform, with a highly conformable flood front. The discrete model was more stratified, with faster and less conformable water movement.
The assignment of discrete facies to large model cells (few hundred meters laterally & few meters vertically) takes less time than a mixed-facies approach and does a better job of preserving organized extremes of permeability important at the production timescale. In the early stages of field development, when there is much uncertainty and a rapid, scenario-based modeling approach is desirable, the discrete approach can be used to flag heterogeneity-related risks more quickly and confidently than the mixed-facies technique. Inaccuracies in performance parameters resulting from the assignment of unscaled discrete values can be corrected using fine-scale sector models tailored to the highest risk cases.
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.
The Middle Minagish Oolite Formation is 450 to 550 feet thick interval of porous limestone reservoir, composed of peloidal/skeletal grainstones with lesser amount of packstone, oolitic grainstone, wackstone and mudstone in Umm Gudair field, West Kuwait. It is characterized by small scale reservoir heterogeneity, primarily related to the depositional as well as diagenetic features. Capturing reservoir properties in micro scale and its spatial variation needs special attention in this reservoir due to its inherent anisotropy. Reservoir properties will depend on the level that we are analyzing on reservoir (millimeter to meter scale). Here we used Electrical Borehole Image (EBI) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to capture small scale feature of Umm Gudair carbonate reservoir and compared them with core data
In present work, reservoir properties (including texture, facies, porosity and permeability) interpreted by the EBI shows good match with NMR driven properties and core data. Textural changes in image logs also match well with pore size distribution from NMR logs. Further highly porous zones which are considered either due to primary porosity or vugs match with larger pores of NMR logs and these corroborates with also core derived porosity. A good match has been observed between EBI, NMR and cored derived porosity. Permeability calculations have also been made and compared with core data. A detail workflow has been developed here to interpret reservoir properties on un-cored wells, where only low vertical resolution data is available. This technique is quite useful to identify the characters and mode of origin highly porous zones in reservoir section which are generally not identifiable by low resolution standard logs. This workflow will allow us to interpret the heterogeneity at high resolution level in un-cored wells, as results are validated with integration of EBI, NMR and core data.