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.
Telang, Milan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Matrook, Mohammad F. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Oskui, Gh. Reza (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Mali, Prasanna (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Jasmi, Ahmad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Rashed, Abeer M. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Ghloum, Ebtisam Folad (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research)
Asphaltene deposition problems in Kuwait have become a serious issue in a number of reservoirs during primary production in different fields, resulting in a severe detrimental effect on the economics of oil recovery. Hence, one of the mitigation approaches in the field is using remedial solvent treatments, such as Xylene or Toluene, which is very costly and harmful to the environment.
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is planning to produce from asphaltinic Marrat wells that have been shut down due to low bottom-hole pressure (BHP), by artificial lifting technique using an Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) supported with continuous chemical injection, as a pilot. The main objective of this study was to investigate in the lab the effectiveness of various concentrations of toluene/diesel (T/D) mixtures on Marrat reservoir fluid in order to mitigate asphaltene deposition problem during the actual pilot implementation.
Preliminary screening tests were conducted on the surface oil sample using Solid Detection System (SDS) "laser technique?? to determine the optimum dose of the T/D mixture ratio. The results showed that pure diesel accelerated the asphaltene precipitation; however, mixing T/D inhibited the precipitation process. Series of pressure depletion tests was then conducted on live oil , single phase samples, to determine the Asphaltene Onset Pressure (AOP) with and without adding various ration of T/D solvents at different temperatures from reservoir to surface conditions.
The results revealed that using 15% (by volume of oil) from the (50T:50D) mixture reduced the AOP close to the bubble point pressure. Furthermore, the amount of the precipitated asphaltene was physically quantified using a bulk filtration technique. It was observed that, based on blank sample, the wt% of the precipitated asphaltene was minimized at the AOP and maximized at the bubble point. However, using the recommended mixture of 50T/50D, the amount of asphaltene that precipitated was almost negligible. Therefore, from a health, safety, and economic point of view, this study recommends using a low dose of 7.5% (by volume of oil) from toluene mixture with diesel (50%:50%) rather than using pure toluene to prevent the precipitation.
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 aims to study the miscibility features of CO2 miscible injection to enhanced oil recovery from Thani-III reservoir. A Comprehensive simulation model was used to determine multi contact miscibility and suitable equation of state with CO2 as a separate pseudo component using one of the industry's standard simulation software. Experimental PVT data for bottom hole and separator samples including compositional analysis, differential liberation test, separator tests, constant composition expansion, viscosity measurements and swelling tests for pure CO2 were used to generate and validate the model. In addition to that, simulation studies were conducted to produce coreflooding and slimtube experimental models, which were compared with the conclusions drawn from experimental results. Results of this study have shown comparable results with the lab experimental data in regards to minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) calculation and recovery factor estimation, where the marginal errors between both data sets were no more than 7% at its worst. Results from this study are expected to assist the operator of this field to plan and implement a very attractive enhanced oil recovery program, giving that other factors are well accounted for such as asphaltene deposition, reservoir pressure maintenance, oil saturation, CO2 sequestering and choosing the most appropriate time to maximize the net positive value (NPV) and expected project gain.
Viscosity and Density are important physical parameter of crude oil, closely related with the whole processes of production and transportation, and are very essential properties to the process design and petroleum industries simulation. As viscosity increases, a conventional measurement becomes progressively less accurate and more difficult to obtain. According to the literature survey, most published correlations that are used to predict density and viscosity of heavy crude oil are limited to certain temperatures, API values, and viscosity ranges. The objective of present work is to propose accurate models that can successfully predict two important fluid properties, viscosity and density covering a wide range of temperatures, API, and viscosities. Viscosity and density of more than 30 heavy oil samples of different API gravities collected from different oilfield were measured at temperature range 15oC to 160oC (60oF to 320oF), and the results were used to ensure the capability of proposed and published correlations to predict the experimental viscosity and density data. The proposed correlation can be summarized in two stages. The first step was to predict the heavy oil density from API and temperature for different crudes. The predicted values of the densities were used in the second step to develop the viscosity correlation model. A comparison of the predicted and actual viscosities data, concluded that the proposed model has successfully predict all data with average relative errors of less than 12% and with the correlation coefficient R2 of 0.97, and 0.92 at normal and high temperatures respectively. Meanwhile, the results of most of the available models has an average relative error above 40%, with R2 values between 0.19 to 0.95. These comparisons were made as a quality control to confirm the reliability of the proposed model to predict density and viscosity values of heavy crudes when compared with other models.
Significant advances have been made in formation testing since the introduction of wireline pumpout testers (WLPT), particularly with respect to downhole fluid compositional measurements. Optical sensors and the use of spectroscopic methods have been developed to improve sample quality and minimize sampling time in downhole environments. As a laboratory technique, spectroscopy is a ubiquitous and powerful technology that has been used worldwide for decades to measure the physical and chemical properties of many materials, including petroleum, geological, and hydrological samples. However, laboratory-grade, high-resolution spectrometers are incompatible with the hostile environments encountered downhole, at wellheads, and on pipelines. Only limited resolution techniques are available for the rugged conditions of the oil field. This paper introduces a new optical technology that can provide high-resolution, laboratory-quality analyses in harsh oilfield environments.
A new technology for optical sensing, multivariate optical computing (MOC), has been developed and is a non-spectroscopic technique. This new sensing method uses an integrated computation element (ICE) to combine the power and accuracy of high-resolution, laboratory-quality spectrometers with the ruggedness and simplicity of photometers. Many modern sensors typically merge the sensor with the electronics on an integrated computing chip to perform complex computations, resulting in an elegant yet simplistic design. Now, optical sensing using ICE features an analogue optical computation device to provide a direct, simple, and powerful mathematical computation on the optical information, completely within the optical domain. Because the entire optical range of interest is used without dispersing the light spectrum, the measurements are obtained instantly and rival laboratory-quality results.
A proof of concept MOC with ICE has been demonstrated, logging more than 7,000 hours, in nearly continuous use for 14 months. Oils with gravities ranging from 14 to 65°API have been measured in downhole environments that range from 3,000 to 20,000 psi, and from 150 to 350°F. Hydrocarbon composition measurements, including saturates, aromatics, resins, asphaltenes, methane, and ethane, have been demonstrated using the MOC configuration. As compositional calculations therein, GOR and density are validated to within 14 scf/bbl and 1%, respectively. The paper discusses the details of the new ICE-based sensor and describes its adaptations to downhole applications.
Oil and gas producers have shown renewed interest in developing reservoirslocated both onshore and offshore within the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canadaand Russia. In many cases, the hydrocarbon reservoirs are known to be overlainby a massive permafrost interval that extends over depths of up to 700 m belowthe surface active layer. These conditions create unique design and operationalchallenges for production and injection wells from the perspective of ensuringthat well integrity will not be compromised by the inevitable thaw subsidenceof the permafrost soil layers.
The permafrost soil layers surrounding arctic wells will thaw gradually withtime due to wellbore heat loss. As the thaw zone advances radially outward fromeach well, the ice-to-water phase change within the pore space of thefrozen/partially frozen sediments will lead to changes in the permafrost soilproperties and to the loading conditions within the thaw column region. Thesechanges will result in soil deformations (including both vertical settlements(subsidence) and horizontal displacements) which can, in turn, inducesignificant well casing strains that need to be considered in selecting thewell design and layout. The magnitude of the soil deformations that occurthroughout the permafrost interval are highly dependent on the depositionhistory, insitu temperature and the physical and mechanical properties of theindividual soil layers. Therefore, in order to accurately predict the soildeformations and resultant localized casing strain levels, it is essential toobtain reliable data to properly characterize the lithology (soil types) withinthe permafrost interval, as well as the frozen state and the relevantmechanical and thermal properties (both frozen and thawed) of individual soillayers. This paper describes the various information and geotechnical test datathat has been used to establish the thaw and deformation response of differentpermafrost soils at a number of arctic locations for the purpose of evaluatingthe effects of thaw subsidence loading on wells. Overall, the paper serves tohighlight the importance of collecting the appropriate geotechnical data toallow thaw subsidence-induced ground deformations and associated casing loadingconditions to be properly considered at the well/project design stage.
Adhi gas-condensate field is located near Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan Petroleum Limited started fluid processing and recovery of Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Condensate around in 1990. The liquid stream was processed with no solids deposition in the past. Recently, the liquid processing circuit of the plant has experienced an increasing amount of black solid deposition, which is trapped into the liquid filters located in the plant.
To identify the root causes of the problem of these solids depositional systematic approach was applied including taking various solid, liquid and gas samples from the plant inlet and various locations inside the processing plant and analyzing them for diagnostics.
Based on the outcome of the root-cause analysis, a chemical mitigation strategy has been developed, tested and implemented, resulting in significant reduction in problems related with solid depositions in processing plant.
Adhi gas condensate field is located near Islamabad, Pakistan. The fluid in Adhi is processed in two liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)/Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) plants (plants I and II) and Oil Stabilization Facility (OSF). The condensate was processed without solid deposition in these plants from 1990 to 2007.
The black solid deposits started to accumulate on the process equipment and plants' filters (Figure-1)leading to a high filter change frequency and consequent production loss.
Due to the continuous increase of the severity of the problem, a full Flow Assurance (FA) review of the field was carried out in order to mitigate the solid precipitation and problem of its depositions in plant. The first phase of the FA review was to conduct a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) where the main causes were identified including fluid compositional changes, temperature and pressure changes across the system, and incompatibility of mixing well streams with different compositions were identified to be the main causes for the asphaltenes dropout.
The RCA was based on the historical plant production data, fluid sampling, analysis results and asphaltene thermodynamic modeling.
The outcomes were:
This article details the methodology followed in solving the solid deposition problem at Adhi.
On the basis of micro- and mesoscale investigations, a new mathematical formulation is introduced in detail to investigate multiscale gas-transport phenomena in organic-rich-shale core samples. The formulation includes dual-porosity continua, where shale permeability is associated with inorganic matrix with relatively large irregularly shaped pores and fractures, whereas molecular phenomena (diffusive transport and nonlinear sorption) are associated with the kerogen pores. Kerogen is considered a nanoporous organic material finely dispersed within the inorganic matrix. The formulation is used to model and history match gas-permeation measurements in the laboratory using shale core plugs under confining stress. The results indicate significance of molecular transport and strong transient effects caused by gas/solid interactions within the kerogen. In the second part of the paper, we present a novel multiscale perturbation approach to quantify the overall impact of local porosity fluctuations associated with a spatially nonuniform kerogen distribution on the adsorption and transport in shale gas reservoirs. Adopting weak-noise and mean-field approximation, the approach applies a stochastic upscaling technique to the mathematical formulation developed in the first part for the laboratory. It allows us to investigate local kerogenheterogeneity effects in spectral (Fourier-Laplace) domain and to obtain an upscaled "macroscopic" model, which consists of the local heterogeneity effects in the real time-space domain. The new upscaled formulation is compared numerically with the previous homogeneous case using finite-difference approximations to initial/boundary value problems simulating the matrix gas release. We show that macrotransport and macrokinetics effects of kerogen heterogeneity are nontrivial and affect cumulative gas recovery. The work is important and timely for development of new-generation shale-gas reservoir-flow simulators, and it can be used in the laboratory for organic-rich gas-shale characterization.
Xing, Dazun (University of Pittsburgh) | Wei, Bing (University of Pittsburgh) | McLendon, William J. (University of Pittsburgh) | Enick, Robert M. (University of Pittsburgh) | McNulty, Samuel (University of Pittsburgh) | Trickett, Kieran (University of Bristol) | Mohamed, Azmi (University of Bristol) | Cummings, Stephen (University of Bristol) | Eastoe, Julian (University of Bristol) | Rogers, Sarah (ISIS Facility Science and Technology Facilities Council) | Crandall, Dustin (URS Washington Division) | Tennant, Bryan (URS Washington Division) | McLendon, Thomas (US Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory) | Romanov, Vyacheslav (US Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory) | Soong, Yee (US Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory)
Several commercially available, nonionic surfactants were identified that are capable of dissolving in carbon dioxide (CO2) in dilute concentration at typical minimum- miscibility-pressure (MMP) conditions and, upon mixing with brine in a high-pressure windowed cell, stabilizing CO2-in-brine foams. These slightly CO2-soluble, water-soluble surfactants include branched alkylphenol ethoxylates, branched alkyl ethoxylates, a fatty-acid-based surfactant, and a predominantly linear ethoxylated alcohol. Many of the surfactants were between 0.02 to 0.06 wt% soluble in CO2 at 1,500 psia and 25°C, and most demonstrated some capacity to stabilize foam. The most- stable foams observed in a high-pressure windowed cell were attained with branched alkylphenol ethoxylates, several of which were studied in high-pressure small-angle-neutron-scattering (HP SANS) tests, transient mobility tests using Berea sandstone cores, and high-pressure computed-tomography (CT)-imaging tests using polystyrene cores. HP SANS analysis of foams residing in a small windowed cell demonstrated that the nonylphenol ethoxylate SURFONIC® N-150 [15 ethylene oxide (EO) groups] generated emulsions with a greater concentration of droplets and a broader distribution of droplet sizes than the shorter-chain analogs with 9-12 ethoxylates. The in-situ formation of weak foams was verified during transient mobility tests by measuring the pressure drop across a Berea sandstone core as a CO2/surfactant solution was injected into a Berea sandstone core initially saturated with brine; the pressure-drop values when surfactant was dissolved in the CO2 were at least twice those attained when pure CO2 was injected into the same brine-saturated core. The greatest mobility reduction was achieved when surfactant was added both to the brine initially in the core and to the injected CO2. CT imaging of CO2 invading a polystyrene core initially saturated with 5 wt% KI brine indicated that despite the oil-wet nature of this medium, a sharp foam front propagated through the core, and CO2 fingers that formed in the absence of a surfactant were completely suppressed by foams formed because of the addition of nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactant to the CO2 or the brine.