The paper presents compositional simulation studies of miscible water-alternating-gas (WAG) flooding in stratified reservoirs with respect to compositional variation with vertical depth and temperature. Two series of fluid system were selected from fifth and third SPE comparative study for Reservoir-A and Reservoir-B respectively. The Reservoir-A is an undersaturated black oil reservoir and has initial gas-oil ratio (GOR) of 557 scf/stb. Meanwhile Reservoir-B is near-critical oil reservoir with initial GOR of 3519 scf/stb. The minimum miscible pressure (MMP) variation with depth was calculated using equation of state in both reservoirs. In this study, temperature gradient sensitivity is ranging from 10 to 30 oF per 1000 ft for both active and passive thermal gradient.
The existence of thermal diffusion in WAG process is also discussed. It is investigated that active and passive thermal gradient will give opposite composition variation trend. In active temperature gradient, the amount of light components will increase and heavy components will opposite with respect to depth. Unlike active thermal gradient, the gravity isothermal and passive thermal gradients segregate the heavy components toward the bottom.
The initial oil in place (IOIP) varies due to compositional variation which is again due to gravity and thermal gradients. These issues should be even more obvious when we have oil reservoir with higher GOR or near-critical reservoir. In these particular reservoirs, the presence of gravity and passive thermal gradients will decrease IOIP calculation whereas both reservoirs will have less C7+ components than in basecase. Otherwise, considering thermal diffusion effect by applying active thermal gradients will increase IOIP.
Several parameters were also evaluated during WAG process in both reservoirs such as: various hydrocarbon injection gases, cyclic injection scheme, WAG cycle and ratio, and reservoir heterogeneities. Therefore the effect of compositional variation due to gravity and thermal gradients can be conclusively evaluated.
Chemical EOR projects were very active during 1980?s, however, during 90?s the interest in chemical EOR has fallen due to the low oil prices and also technical challenges that the methods poses. While surfactant flooding has difficult design considerations of chemicals, large capital requirements and is very sensitive to local reservoir heterogeneities, alkali can react strongly with minerals in the connate water and reservoir rocks may adversely impact the process. This complex process is yet to be understood. If the field is offshore, chemical EOR becomes even more challenging due to sophisticated logistics, incremental costs, highly deviated wells, larger well spacing and limited well slots on the platform. However, recently there has been a renewed interest in chemical flooding mainly due to valuable insights gained through chemical floods done in the past and better technical understanding of the processes and favorable economic conditions
For robust production forecasts, various uncertainties due to complex chemical processes should be quantified thoroughly. Some of the important uncertainties for full field production forecasts are chemical adsorption on rock surface, interfacial tension (IFT) and residual oil saturation reduction by chemical. Proper coreflood experiments are critical to reduce these uncertainties. Careful matching of coreflood experiments in numerical simulations is also important which provides key inputs for full field forecast. Another important element in the successful commercial application for chemical EOR process is a well-designed pilot. After the completion of pilot, the results should be carefully matched in the simulation model. Once satisfactory match is obtained, the key step would be to upscale the results to the full field level.
Discussed in this paper are the impact of some of these uncertainties and the method used to reduce them. In this paper the workflow and key tasks in dealing with the simulation of chemical EOR process elements like residual oil saturation, IFT reduction and adsorption parameters are discussed. The results show that the incremental oil is very sensitive to the various simulation inputs.
Screening for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) processes is a critical step in evaluating future development strategies for depleted reservoirs under primary and secondary recovery. However, selecting the optimum EOR process for a given reservoir is challenging because it requires evaluating and comparing performance for various EOR processes, which is complex and time consuming.
This paper presents a new EOR screening model that can predict the performance of various gas- and water-based EOR processes based on simple reservoir properties. The model estimates the oil recovery from miscible and immiscible gas/solvent injection (CO2, N2, and hydrocarbons), low salinity water flood, polymer, surfactant-polymer, alkaline-polymer and alkaline-surfactant-polymer floods. The screening model is based on a set of correlations that were developed using the response surface methodology, which correlates the oil recovery at dimensionless times to the important reservoir and fluid properties and EOR process variables identified for each process. The results of the model have been validated against a number of field test and numerical simulation results.
The screening model provides the capability to screen a large set of reservoirs for a wide spectrum of EOR processes, to identify the good EOR targets and the optimum EOR process for the target reservoirs. In addition, this model easily performs sensitivity analysis without the need for numerical simulations, allowing teams to account for uncertainty in reservoir properties and optimization of flood design. Finally, the methodology can be applied for developing screening models for other oil recovery mechanisms such as thermal (steam injection, SAGD), microbial EOR and other methods.
The Pelican Lake heavy oil field located in northern Alberta (Canada) has had a remarkable history since its discovery in the early 1970s. Initial production using vertical wells was poor because of the thin (less than 5m) reservoir formation and high oil viscosity (600 to over 40,000cp). The field began to reach its full potential with the introduction of horizontal drilling and was one of the first fields worldwide to be developed with horizontal wells. Still, with primary recovery less than 10% and several billion barrels of oil in place, the prize for EOR is large.
Initially, polymer flooding had not been considered as a viable EOR technology for Pelican Lake due to the high viscosity of the oil, until the idea came of combining it with horizontal wells. A first - unsuccessful - pilot was implemented in 1997 but the lessons drawn from that failure were learnt and a second pilot met with success in 2006. The response to polymer injection in this pilot was excellent, oil rate climbing from 43bopd to over 700bopd and remaining high for over 6 years now; the water-cut has generally remained below 60%.
This paper presents the history of the field then focuses on the polymer flooding aspects. It describes the preparation and results of the two polymer flood pilots as well as the extension of the flood to the rest of the field (currently in progress).
Polymer flooding has generally been applied in light or medium gravity oil and even today, standard industry screening criteria limit its use to viscosities up to 150cp only. Pelican Lake is the first successful application of polymer flooding in much higher viscosity oil (1,000-2,500cp) and as such, it opens a new avenue for the development of heavy oil resources that are not accessible to thermal methods.
Choudhuri, Biswajit (Petroleum Development Oman) | Kalbani, Ali (Petroleum Development Oman) | Cherukupalli, Pradeep Kumar (Petroleum Development Oman) | Ravula, Chakravarthi V. (Petroleum Development Oman) | Hashmi, Khalid (Petroleum Development Oman) | Jaspers, Henri F (Petroleum Development Oman)
In viscous oil reservoirs, Polymer flooding is often used to improve oil recovery either after a short period of waterflooding or as a tertiary recovery process following extensive period of waterflood. After six years of water flooding in a major reservoir in Sultanate of Oman having viscous oil (90cp), a field development plan was developed to implement polymer flooding in this reservoir with anticipated incremental oil recovery of around 10% over and above that of waterflood. Necessary facilities were constructed, injection and production wells were drilled, completed, converted and the polymer flood project was initiated and ongoing since the last three years through 27 polymer injectors. By implementing proactive Well and Reservoir Management (WRM) strategies, the actual oil recoveries have been better than predicted levels so far. It is demonstrated here that proactive well and reservoir management through proper well and reservoir surveillance and dynamic adjustment of injection and production rates play a very important role in improving the performance of polymer floods as in waterfloods.
Well and Reservoir Management (WRM) principles in case of a polymer flood are similar to that of high mobility ratio waterfloods with some additional aspects that are specific to a polymer flood scenario. Polymer chemical costs, its higher viscosity and non Newtonian fluid flow behavior all create unique conditions that are nonexistent in normal waterfloods. This, in turn, dictates the strategies and methods employed to optimize polymer flood performance. This paper details successful implementation of proactive WRM strategy that has played a key role in sustaining production from this polymer flood field to date. It describes the pattern management processes to optimize pattern wise polymer injection and oil recoveries, conformance control measures implemented to increase sweep and oil recovery, innovative surveillance techniques to monitor fracture growth in polymer injection wells and for evaluation and optimization of production/injection profiles. Production wells and facilities issues arising from polymer breakthrough are being addressed to mitigate any adverse effects.
Thakuria, Chandan (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al-Amri, Mohsin Saud (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al-Saqri, Kawthar Ahmed (Petroleum Development Oman) | Jaspers, Henri F (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al-Hashmi, Khalid Hamad (Petroleum Development Oman) | Zuhaimi, Khalid (Petroleum Development of Oman)
The first field scale Polymer flood project in the Middle East region is being implemented in an oil field of Sultanate of Oman from early 2010. The oil field discussed here containing viscous oil (90 cp) was discovered in 1956 and is located in eastern part of South Oman Salt basin. First commercial production started in 1980 from this field. The field has gone through different development phases in its 30 years of history prior starting tertiary recovery phase by polymer flooding.
This field scales Polymer flood project comprising 27 patterns as Phase-1 covers about one third of the total field IOIP (initial oil in place). It is worth mentioning that whole field is under water flooding and water injection was going on prior to initiation of Polymer flood in all these 27 injectors. Further extension in phases to full field polymer flooding is under evaluation.
Till now this Polymer flood project has successfully completed 3 years of good performance contributing to significant oil gain. This paper describes briefly about the principles involved in polymer flooding, planning of this polymer flood project, field implementation and field examples of polymer response. In addition, a few practical aspects of managing key issues in polymer flooding like- fracture growth in injectors, shear degradation of polymer solution, pattern conformance and back produced polymer has been covered in this paper.
Polymer flooding is a well established tertiary EOR technique to improve mobility control of a waterflood. Currently partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) is the industry workhorse in polymer EOR in reservoirs with low salinity and temperature. Biopolymers including hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) and Xanthan are soluble and excellent viscosifiers in high salinity conditions. This paper will provide a literature review on the use of biopolymers for EOR and focus specifically on the benefits of HEC as a mobility control polymer.
With the depletion of light oil, heavy oil is becoming one of the most promising resources to meet future energy consumption. It is estimated that total resources of heavy oil are 3396 billion barrels worldwide. Water flooding can only achieve less than 20% of heavy oil recovery. Thermal recovery has been proven as a feasible method to recover heavy oil. But it is not suitable for thin layers and deep reservoirs due to excessive heat loss. Polymer flooding and CO2 flooding are potential EOR techniques for the heavy oil reservoirs not suitable for thermal recovery. However, polymer degradation and high costs seriously hinder its field applications. Carbon Dioxide immiscible flooding effectively recovers heavy oil thanks to several mechanisms, such as oil swelling, viscosity reduction and blow-down recovery. This paper discusses the developments in CO2 immiscible flooding at laboratory scale as well as field scale. Laboratory tests show that CO2 can significantly improve heavy oil recover by 30%. Several field cases in USA, Turkey and Trinidad are reviewed. Field experiences show that CO2 flooding is a successful EOR method for heavy oil fields. However, some issues are encountered in field applications, including early gas breakthrough, corrosion, CO2 availability and high costs.
Foam assisted CO2 enhanced oil recovery has attracted increasing attention of oil companies (operators and service companies) and research institutions mainly due to the potentially high benefit of foam on CO2-EOR.
Miscible and immiscible CO2 flooding projects are respectively proven and potential EOR methods. Both methods have suffered from limited efficiency due to gravity segregation, gas override, viscous fingering and channeling through high
permeability streaks. Numerous theoretical and experimental studies as well as field applications have indicated that foaming of CO2 reduces its mobility, thereby helping to control the above negative effects. However, there are still various conceptual and operational challenges, which may compromise the success and application of foam assisted CO2-EOR.
This paper presents a critical survey of the foam assisted CO2-EOR process to reveal its strengths, highlight knowledge gaps and suggest ways. The oil recovery mechanisms involved in CO2 foam flood, the effect of gaseous and soluble CO2 on the process, synergic effect of foaming agent and ultra-low IFT surfactants, logistic and operational concerns, etc. were identified as among the main challenges for this process. Moreover, the complex flow behaviour of CO2, oil, micro-emulsion and brine system dictates a detailed study of the physical-chemical aspects of CO2 foam flow for a successful design. Unavailability of reliable predictive tools due to the less understood concepts and phenomena adds more challenges to the process results and application justifications.
The study highlights the recent achievements and analysis about foam application and different parameters, which cannot be avoided for a successful foam assisted CO2 flood design and implementation. Accordingly, the study also addresses prospects and suggests necessary guidelines to be considered for the success of CO2 foam projects.
Sorop, Tiberiu Gabriel (Shell Global Solutions International) | Suijkerbuijk, Bart M.J.M. (Shell Global Solutions International) | Masalmeh, Shehadeh K (Shell Technology Oman) | Looijer, Mark T. (Shell Global Solutions International) | Parker, Andrew R (Shell Global Solutions International) | Dindoruk, Deniz M (Shell Exploration & Production Co) | Goodyear, Stephen Geoffrey (Shell E&P UK) | Al-Qarshubi, Ibrahim S.M. (Shell Global Solutions International)
Low Salinity Waterflooding (LSF) is an emerging IOR/EOR technology that can improve oil recovery efficiency by lowering the injection water salinity. Field scale incremental oil recoveries are estimated to be up to 6% STOIIP. Being a natural extension of conventional waterflooding (WF), LSF is easier to implement than other EOR methods. However, the processes of screening, designing and executing LSF projects require an increased operator competence and management focus compared to conventional waterflooding. This paper discusses the practical aspects of deploying LSF in fields, focusing on the maturation stages, while highlighting the key success factors.
LSF deployment starts with a portfolio screening against specific surface and subsurface screening criteria to prioritize opportunities. Next, the identified opportunities are run through reservoir conditions SCAL tests to quantify the LSF benefits, while de-risking the potential for any injectivity loss due to clay swelling or deflocculation. Standardized LSF SCAL protocols have been incorporated into the general WF guidelines, so that any suitable new WF project conducts LSF SCAL. For mature waterfloods, this SCAL program provides additional reservoir condition relative permeability data, enabling operating units to optimize well and reservoir management (WRM). The next steps in the process are production forecasting, facilities design, and project economics for the LSF opportunity. The multidisciplinary nature of LSF deployment requires integrated (sub)surface technology teams closely collaborating with R&D and asset teams. The standardization of the facilities design, including cost models, can significantly accelerate the deployment effort.
In Shell, LSF is currently at different stages of deployment around the world and across the whole spectrum of WF projects, from the rejuvenation of brown fields to green field developments (offshore and onshore). The LSF deployment effort is combined with the screening of other EOR technologies, to identify where LSF may be able to unlock additional value by creating the appropriate conditions for subsequent chemical flooding.