Cinar, Yildiray (The University of New South Wales) | Arns, Christoph (The University of New South Wales) | Dehghan Khalili, Ahmad (The University of New South Wales) | Yanici, Sefer (The University of New South Wales)
Resistivity measurements play a key role in hydrocarbon in place calculations for oil and gas reservoirs. They are a direct indi-cator of fluid saturation and connected pore space available in the formation. Carbonate rocks, which host around half of the world's hydrocarbons, exhibit a wide range of porosities with scales spanning from nanometres to centimetres. The often sig-nificant amount of microporosity displayed by Carbonate rocks emphasizes the necessity of an adequate characterization of their micro-features and their contribution to hydrocarbon in place. In this paper we examine upscaling methods to probe for-mation factor of a fully saturated carbonate sample using an X-ray CT based numerical approach and compare to experimental measurements.
Three-dimensional high-resolution X-ray CT enables the numerical calculation of petrophysical properties of interest at the pore scale with resolutions down to a few microns per voxel. For more complex and heterogeneous samples however, a direct calculation of petrophysical properties is not feasible, since the required resolution and a sufficient field of view cannot be obtained simultaneously. Thus an integration of measurements at different scale is required. In this study a carbonate sample of 38mm in diameter is first scanned using the X-ray CT method with a resolution of 26µm. After accompanying experimental measurements on the full plug, four 5mm plugs were drilled vertically from this sample and X-ray CT images of these plugs acquired at resolutions down to 2.74 µm. We calculate the porosity of the sample (macro- and micro-porosities) using the phase separation methods and then predict the formation factor of the sample at several scales using a Laplace solver. The formation factor is calculated by using a general value of m=2 as cementation factor for intermediate porosity voxels. We compare to experimental measurements of formation factor and porosity both at the small plug and full plug scale and find good agreement.
To assess the degree of uncertainty of the numerical estimate, we probe the extent of heterogeneity by investigating the size of a representative elementary volume (REV) for formation factor. We find that for the considered heterogeneous carbonate sam-ple, formation factor varies considerably over intervals less than a centimetre. Our results show that this variation could be explained by different cementation exponents applied at the micro-voxel scale, with the exemption of one plug, for which the cementation exponent would have to be unreasonably low. These cementation factors are derived by direct comparison be-tween numerical simulation and experiment. We conclude that for one plug an error in experimental measurement might have occurred. The numerical approach presented here therefore aids in quality control. Excluding this plug in the upscaling proce-dure improves the agreement with the experimental result for the whole core while still underestimating formation factor. Al-lowing for a constant m=2 in the simulation at the small scale and using directly the resulting relationship between porosity and formation factor in the upscaling process leads to an overestimation of formation factor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Relative permeability to formation fluids is an essential input into reservoir characterization, dynamic modeling, and production prediction. In this work, a method combining evaporation and unsteady-state pressure-falloff technique is developed to measure gas-phase relative permeability on tight-gas cores for both drainage and imbibition cycles. Toluene is used to mimic formation water and its saturation is varied by evaporation and determined by mass balance. Nitrogen gas is used to imitate the hydrocarbon fluid, and the gas effective permeability at certain toluene saturations is measured by the pressure-falloff technique.
The method greatly reduces the measurement duration, and provides a relatively simple and effective way to characterize the gas-phase relative permeability for tight-gas cores. It has been applied on ~30 tight-gas cores from various fields. Results show that the gas relative permeabilities follow the Corey model with a Corey exponent of ~2 for the drainage cycle and ~3 for the imbibition cycle. The assumptions are studied by both numerical modeling and separate experiments.
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.
Coiled tubing is a continuous pipe that, having been coiled around a reel for storage, can be deployed and used as a pipeline or riser. During deployment as a riser, the coiled tubing is unspooled from the reel, run into the water, and connected to the wellhead. This process plastically strains the pipe, causing plastic (or low-cycle) fatigue damage. When the coiled tubing is connected to the wellhead, the environmental loading causes elastic-stress cycles, resulting in elastic (or high-cycle) fatigue damage. Numerous methods are available to determine fatigue life from either plastic or elastic cycling; however, few data are available within the industry on how the fatigue damages from elastic and plastic cycles combine. This paper presents the experimental work conducted to show the combined fatigue life of notched samples of flat steel used to manufacture coiled tubing that has been plastically and elastically cycled. The data show that the combined fatigue life can be lower than the total of the plastic and elastic fatigue damages by use of Miner's rule. Existing theory suggests that the combined fatigue life could be as low as 10% of the Miner?s-rule fatigue damages; however, the experimental data indicate that a more appropriate value is closer to 75%.
Clarkson, Christopher R. (University of Calgary) | Wood, James (Encana Corporation) | Burgis, Sinclair (Encana Corporation) | Aquino, Samuel (University of Calgary) | Freeman, Melissa (University of Calgary)
The pore structure of unconventional gas reservoirs, despite having a significant impact on hydrocarbon storage and transport, has historically been difficult to characterize because of a wide poresize distribution (PSD), with a significant pore volume (PV) in the nanopore range. A variety of methods is typically required to characterize the full pore spectrum, with each individual technique limited to a certain pore size range. In this work, we investigate the use of nondestructive, low-pressure adsorption methods, in particular low-pressure N2 adsorption analysis, to infer pore shape and to determine PSDs of a tight gas siltstone reservoir in western Canada. Unlike previous studies, core-plug samples, not crushed samples, are used for isotherm analysis, allowing an undisturbed pore structure (i.e., uncrushed) to be analyzed. Furthermore, the core plugs used for isotherm analysis are subsamples (end pieces) of cores for which mercury-injection capillary pressure (MICP) and permeability measurements were previously performed, allowing a more direct comparison with these techniques. PSDs, determined from two isotherm interpretation methods [Barrett-Joyner-Halenda (BJH) theory and density functional theory (DFT)], are in reasonable agreement with MICP data for the portion of the PSD sampled by both. The pore geometry is interpreted as slot-shaped, as inferred from isotherm hysteresis loop shape, the agreement between adsorption- and MICP-derived dominant pore sizes, scanning-electron-microscope (SEM) imaging, and the character of measured permeability stress dependence. Although correlations between inorganic composition and total organic carbon (TOC) and between dominant pore-throat size and permeability are weak, the sample with the lowest illite clay and TOC content has the largest dominant pore-throat size and highest permeability, as estimated from MICP. The presence of stress relief-induced microfractures, however, appears to affect laboratory-derived (pressure-decay and pulse-decay) estimates of permeability for some samples, even after application of confining pressure. On the basis of the premise of slot-shaped pore geometry, fractured rock models (matchstick and cube) were used to predict absolute permeability, by use of dominant pore-throat size from MICP/adsorption analysis and porosity measured under confining pressure. The predictions are reasonable, although permeability is mostly overpredicted for samples that are unaffected by stressrelease fractures. The conceptual model used to justify the application of these models is slot pores at grain boundaries or between organic matter and framework grains.
Carboxybetaine viscoelastic surfactants have been applied in acid diversion and fracturing treatments in which high temperatures and low pH are usually involved. These surfactants are subjected to hydrolysis under such conditions because of the existence of a peptide group (-CO-NH-) in their molecules, leading to changes in the rheological properties of the acid. The objective of this paper is to study the impact of hydrolysis at high temperatures on the apparent viscosity of carboxybetaine viscoelastic surfactant-based acids, and propose the mechanism of viscosity changes by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations.
Surfactant-acid solutions with different compositions (surfactant concentration varied from 4 to 8 wt%) were incubated at 190°F for 1 to 6 hours. Solutions were then partially spent by CaCO3 until the sample pH was 4.5, and the apparent viscosity was measured using a high-temperature/high-pressure (HT/HP) viscometer. To understand the mechanism for viscosity changes on the molecular level, MD simulations were carried out on spent surfactant-acid aqueous systems using the Materials Studio 5.0 Package.
It was found that short-time hydrolysis at high temperatures (for example, 1 to 2 hours at 190°F) led to a significant increase in surfactant-acid viscosity. However, after incubation for 3 hours, phase separation occurred and the acid lost its viscosity. Simulation results showed that viscosity changes of amido-carboxybetaine surfactant acid by hydrolysis at high temperatures may be caused by different micellar structures formed by carboxybetaine and fatty acid soap, its hydrolysis product. The optimum molar ratio of amido-carboxybetaine and fatty acid soap to form worm-like micelles was found to be nearly 3:1 from our simulations.
Our results indicate that hydrolysis at high temperatures has a great impact on surfactant-acid rheological properties. Short time viscosity build-up and effective gel breakdown can be achieved if surfactant-acid treatments are carefully designed; otherwise, unexpected viscosity reduction and phase separation may occur, which will affect the outcome of acid treatments.