Tar mats at the oil-water contact (OWC tar mats) in oilfield reservoirs can have enormous, pernicious effects on production due to possibly preventing of any natural water drive and precluding any effectiveness of water injectors into aquifers. In spite of this potentially huge impact, tar mat formation is only now being resolved and integrated within advanced asphaltene science. Herein, we describe a very different type of tar mat which we refer to as a "rapid-destabilization tar mat??; it is the asphaltenes that undergo rapid destabilization. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to describe such rapid-destabilization tar mats at least in this context. Rapid-destabilization tar mats can be formed at the crest of the reservoir, generally not at the OWC and can introduce their own set of problems in production. Most importantly, rapid-destabilization tar mats can be porous and permeable, unlike the OWC tar mats. The rapid-destabilization tar mat can undergo plastic flow under standard production conditions rather unlike the OWC tar mat. As its name implies, the rapid-destabilization tar mat can form in very young reservoirs in which thermodynamic disequilibrium in the oil column prevails, while the OWC tar mats generally take longer (geologic) time to form and are often associated with thermodynamically equilibrated oil columns. Here, we describe extensive data sets on rapid-destabilization tar mats in two adjacent reservoirs. The surprising properties of these rapid-destabilization tar mats are redundantly confirmed in many different ways. All components of the processes forming rapid-destabilization tar mats are shown to be consistent with powerful new developments in asphaltene science, specifically with the development of the first equation of state for asphaltene gradients, the Flory-Huggins-Zuo Equation, which has been enabled by the resolution of asphaltene nanostructures in crude oil codified in the Yen-Mullins Model. Rapid-destabilization tar mats represent one extreme while the OWC tar mats represent the polar opposite extreme. In the future, occurrences of tar in reservoirs can be better understood within the context of these two end members tar mats. In addition, two reservoirs in the same minibasin show the same behavior. This important observation allows fluid analysis in wells in one reservoir to indicate likely issues in other reservoirs in the same basin.
Ozyurtkan, Mustafa Hakan (Istanbul Technical University) | Altun, Gursat (Istanbul Technical University) | Ettehadi Osgouei, Ali (Istanbul Technical University) | Aydilsiz, Eda (Istanbul Technical University)
Static filtration of drilling fluids has long been recognized as an important parameter for drilling operations. Since the standard laboratory testing procedures only consider static conditions, the filtration and cake properties under continuous circulation and dynamic borehole conditions are not usually well determined. Therefore, the measurement of dynamic filtration is particularly important in order to mimic actual downhole conditions.
An experimental study has been carried out by the ITU/PNGE research group to characterize the dynamic filtration properties of clay based drilling fluids. This study is an impressive attempt to figure out the dynamic filtration phenomena of clay based muds. The experimental results obtained from a dynamic filtration apparatus (Fann Model 90) are reported in this study.
Bentonite and sepiolite clays based muds formulated with commercial additives have been investigated throughout the study. Numerous dynamic filtration histories with test duration of 45 to 60 minutes at temperature conditions ranging from 150 to 400 oF, and a differential pressure of 100 psi have been applied to muds. Three key parameters namely spurt loss volume, dynamic filtration rate (DFR), and cake deposition index (CDI) have been determined to characterize the dynamic filtration properties of mud samples.
Results have revealed that bentonite based muds have better dynamic filtration properties than those of sepiolite muds at temperatures up to 250 oF. However, they have lost their stability over 250 oF. Furthermore, formulated sepiolite based muds have remarkable dynamic filtration rates and cake depositions above 300 oF. To sum up, the experimental results of this study point out that sepiolite based muds might be a good alternative to drill wells experiencing high temperatures, particularly in deep oil, gas and geothermal wells.
Fracture ballooning usually occurs in naturally fractured reservoirs and is often mistakenly regarded as an influx of formation fluid, which may lead to misdiagnosed results in costly operations. In order to treat this phenomenon and to distinguish it from conventional losses or kicks, several mechanisms and models have been developed. Among these mechanisms under which borehole ballooning in naturally fractured reservoirs take place, opening/closing of natural fractures plays a dominant role. In this study a mathematical model is developed for mud invasion through an arbitrarily inclined, deformable, rectangular fracture with a limited extension. A governing equation is derived based on equations of change and lubrication approximation theory (Reynolds’s Equation). The equation is then solved numerically using finite difference method. Considering an exponential pressure-aperture deformation law and a yield-power-law fluid rheology has made this model more general and much closer to the reality than the previous ones. Describing fluid rheology with yield-power-law model makes the governing equation a versatile model because it includes various types of drilling mud rheology, i.e., Newtonian fluids, Bingham-plastic fluids, power-law, and yield-power-law rheological models. Sensitivity analysis on some parameters related to the physical properties of the fracture shows how fracture extension, aspect ratio and length, and location of wellbore can influence fracture ballooning. The proposed model can also be useful for minimizing the amount of mud loss by understanding the effect of fracture mechanical parameters on the ballooning, and for predicting rate of mud loss at different formation pressures.
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.
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.
The reliability of the estimated parameters in well test analysis depends on the accuracy of measured data. Early time data are usually controlled by the wellbore storage effect. However, this effect may last for the pseudo-radial flow or the boundary dominated flow. Eliminating this effect is an option for restoring the real data. Using the data with this effect is another option that can be used successfully for reservoir characterization.
This paper introduces a new technique for interpreting the pressure behavior of horizontal wells and fractured formations with wellbore storage. A new analytical model describes the early time data has been derived for both horizontal wells and horizontal wells intersecting multiple hydraulic fractures. Several models for the relationships of the peak points with the pressure, pressure derivative and time have been proposed in this study for different wellbore storage coefficients. A complete set of type curves has been included for different wellbore lengths, skin factors and wellbore storage coefficients. The study has shown that early radial flow for short to moderate horizontal wells is the most affected flow regime by the wellbore storage. For long horizontal wells, the early linear flow is the most affected flow regime by the wellbore storage effect.
The most important finding in this study is the ability to run a short test and use the early time data only for characterizing the formation. This means there is no need to run a long time test to reach the pseudo-steady state. Therefore, from the wellbore storage dominated flow, the early radial and pseudo-radial flow can be established for horizontal wells and hydraulic fractured formations. A step-by-step procedure for analyzing pressure tests using the analytical models (TDS) and the type curves is also included in this paper for several numerical examples.
Blunt, J.D. (ExxonMobil Upstream Research) | Mitchell, D.A. (ExxonMobil Upstream Research) | Matskevitch, D.G. (ExxonMobil Upstream Research) | Younan , A.H. (ExxonMobil Upstream Research) | Hamilton, J.M. (ExxonMobil Upstream Research)
The ability to keep station is recognized as a key technical demand for yearround hydrocarbon exploration, development and production operations in thehigh arctic deepwater environment. Ice management has been used as ameans to improve station keeping ability in sea ice and extend operabilitybeyond the relatively short, ice free season in the Canadian BeaufortSea. The reliability of ice management is contingent upon accurate icedrift forecasting so decisions about operation suspension in the event of apotentially unmanageable ice intrusion can be conducted in a timelymanner. This paper demonstrates tactical level sea ice drift forecastingand proposes a model for free ice drift applicable to the shoulder seasons ofthe Canadian Beaufort Sea exploration window. Model calibration isdemonstrated with real ice drift time histories and the assumptions andlimitations of the approach are discussed.
Ilyas, Muhammad (Mari Gas Company Limited) | Sadiq, Nauman (Dowell Schlumberger Western S.A.) | Mughal, Muhammad Ali (Mari Gas Company Limited) | Pardawalla, Hassan (Dowell Schlumberger Western S.A.) | Noor, Sameer Mustafa (Dowell Schlumberger Western S.A.)
This research work "Improvement of Cementing in Deep Wells" was carried out with the collaboration of Mari Gas Company Limited (MGCL), Pakistan and Schlumberger Pakistan, to recommend the designs and practices by which future cementing operations for zonal isolation in deep Wells may be improved.
Mari Gas Company Limited had successfully drilled, tested and completed Halini Well - 1 (Total Depth = 5350 m) in the Karak Block. The Karak Block is located in Northern Region of Pakistan which is known for its challenges, such as high pressure water influxes and weak zones, which led to a number of cementing challenges in this Well. The Cementing related problems that were faced on this Well were:
1- Sustained Casing Annulus Pressure in 13 3/8" x 9 5/8" Casing Annulus
2- Poor CBL-VDL results in 13 3/8" and 9 5/8" Casing
The scope of the project was to investigate the root cause of cementing challenges faced at Halini Well-1 and to propose recommendations for improving future cementing in deep Wells.
s to the above, the cementing of Halini Well- 1 was thoroughly analyzed along with similar case histories and problems in offset fields. On the basis of observations made, various recommendations have been proposed, mostly related to areas of fluid rheology, fluid contamination, fluid channeling, density and friction pressure hierarchy between fluids, fluid loss, temperature differential, and setting of casing slips etc. The idea for this project is to serve as a guideline for cementing the future deep Wells.
Primary Cementing is the process of placing cement between casing and the formations exposed to wellbore . The objective is to provide Zonal Isolation by creating a hydraulic seal thereby preventing the flow of wellbore fluids like oil, water or gas between formations or to surface. The life of the Well is directly dependent on the quality of this hydraulic seal, making cementing job a vital operation.
Incomplete zonal isolation can prevent either the Well from being completed at all to a loss of a producing well. The importance of cementing operation can be magnified by the fact that the cement has to survive the complete life of the Well that could vary anywhere between a year to fifty or more years.
Successful cementing operation would include a good casing to cement bond, good cement to formation bond and the ability of the cement placed itself to prevent any flow through it. In the event of this hydraulic seal being ineffective, it can allow fluids to migrate and channel through in the annulus and potentially even flow to the surface. This destroys the integrity of the Well. Any remedial job is extremely difficult to plan, execute and usually carries very low chances of success.
The hunt for further oil and gas recovery from old wells isbooming, and the industry look to new and improved technology for addingseveral years of operational time to exicting wells. New methods like lightwell intervention procedures sets high stress on old wellheads andinfrastructure, and a general increase in development of marginal fields haveraised issues over safety aspects.
Aside from developing improved procedures around cementingoperations, leakage detection and oil spill recovery, additional successfactors will be the ability to monitor pressure and temperature fluctuations inB annulus, as well as finding models and produce technology to manage suchpressure build upsuccessfully.
This paper introduces a new method of B-annulus monitoring using ultrasoundsignals originating from a device in the A-annulus providing measurements basedon time of flight in chambers placed in the B-annulus as a means of determiningthe temperature and pressure in the B-annulus.
Wang, Cynthia (Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Centre) | Quah, Matthew (Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Centre) | Noble, Peter G. (ConocoPhillips) | Shafer, Randall (ConocoPhillips) | Soofi, Khalid A. (ConocoPhillips) | Alvord, Chip (ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc.) | Brassfield, Tom (ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc.)
Jack-up drilling units have been used in Arctic open water seasons and areaswith icebergs. They have not been used in areas where significant sea ice canmove in with high concentrations. These areas have typically been drilled usinga floating mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) although the water depths aretypically less than 50 meters. Floating MODUs in shallow water depths can havesignificant downtime due to the limited offset in shallow water and typicallyrequire placing the well control equipment in a seabed cellar. In these areas,jack-ups can improve both operational safety and efficiency as they havelimited weather related downtime.
Several studies were carried out to determine the feasibility of using amodern high capacity jack-up MODUs for exploratory drilling in these areas.This paper will review the studies including structural analysis, icemanagement approaches, and well control considerations. It will also review thefurther potential of jack-ups in the Arctic.
Studies showed that using a jack-up drilling unit is feasible in shallowArctic seas such as the Chukchi Sea when coupled with an effective icemanagement system. The jack-up unit has sufficient ice resistance to withstandinteraction with thin early winter ice. Specific designs of jack-ups arecapable of taking impact forces from thicker ice floes that may occur during anice incursion event during the open water season. The maximum floe size duringan ice incursion is limited and controlled by the associated icemanagement system.
An ice management system was developed using a combination of satelliteimagery, ice management vessels, and ice alert procedures. This system wasdetermined as effective in managing ice to allow the jack-up to operate in theChukchi Sea area.
Environmental and personnel safety is enhanced by the use of aPre-positioned Capping Device, an in place source control device. The device isindependent from the rig's well control system and provides another level ofprotection in additional to the jack-up's BOP.
The conclusion, based on structural and ice management studies, is thatmodern high capacity jack-up drilling units can be an effective way to drillwells during the open water season in shallow waters of Arctic seas includingareas in to which sea ice can move. The studies also show that there ispotential for use in other areas.