Wang, Yang (China University of Petroleum – Beijing and Pennsylvania State University) | Cheng, Shiqing (China University of Petroleum – Beijing) | Zhang, Kaidi (Lusheng Petroleum Development Co., Ltd, SINOPEC Shengli Oilfield Company) | Xu, Jianchun (China University of Petroleum – East China) | Qin, Jiazheng (China University of Petroleum – Beijing) | He, Youwei (China University of Petroleum – Beijing and Texas A&M University) | Luo, Le (China University of Petroleum – Beijing) | Yu, Haiyang (China University of Petroleum – Beijing)
Pressure-transient analysis (PTA) of water injectors with waterflood-induced fractures (WIFs) is much more complicated than hydraulic fracturing producers due to the variation of fracture properties in the shutting time. In plenty of cases, current analysis techniques could result in misleading interpretations if the WIFs are not well realized or characterized. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis for five cases that focuses on the interpretation of different types of pressure responses in water injectors.
The characteristic of radial composite model of water injector indicates the water erosion and expansion of mini-fractures in the inner region. The commonplace phenomena of prolonged storage effect, bi-storage effect and interpreted considerably large storage coefficient suggest that WIF(s) may be induced by long time water injection. Based on this interpreted large storage coefficient, fracture half-length can be obtained. In the meanwhile, the fracture length shrinks and fracture conductivity decreases as the closing of WIF, which has a considerable influence on pressure responses. Results show that the upward of pressure derivative curve may not only be caused by closed outer boundary condition, but also the decreasing of fracture conductivity (DFC). As for multiple WIFs, they would close successively after shutting in the well due to the different stress conditions perpendicular to fracture walls, which behaves as several unit slopes on the pressure derivative curves in the log-log plot.
Aiming at different representative types of pressure responses cases in Huaqing reservoir, Changqing Oilfield, we innovatively analyze them from a different perspective and get a new understanding of water injector behaviors with WIF(s), which provides a guideline for the interpretation of water injection wells in tight reservoirs.
Wang, Shuoshi (University of Oklahoma) | Yuan, Qingwang (University of Regina) | Kadhum, Mohannad (Cargill, Incorporated) | Chen, Changlong (University of Oklahoma) | Yuan, Na (University of Oklahoma) | Shiau, Bor-Jier (University of Oklahoma) | Harwell, Jeffrey H. (University of Oklahoma)
While injection of CO2 has great potential for increasing oil production, this potential is limited by site conditions and operational constraints such as lack of proper infrastructure, limited cheap CO2 sources, viscous fingering, gravity override at the targeted zones, and so forth. To mitigate some of these common limitations, we explore alternative methodologies which can successfully deliver CO2 through gas generation in situ, with superior IOR performance, while offering reasonable chemical cost.
While dissolved easily in reservoir brine, urea is thermally hydrolyzed to CO2 and NH3 after equilibration under reservoir conditions. Therefore, given its exceptional compatibility with reservoir fluids, its CO2 producing capacity and reasonable cost benefit, urea appears to be a promising candidate for delivering CO2 to increase oil recovery. The in-situ gas generation requires single chemical slug, which can minimize the complexity of the injection system.
One-dimensional sand pack tests and core flooding experiments were operated at pre-set conditions: different API gravity oils were used, varying from 27 to 57.3. In addition, the reaction rates of the urea hydrolysis and urea solution PVT property were tested separately under reservoir conditions.
Most importantly, results of injecting urea solution (as low as 10 % solution) showed superior tertiary recovery performance (as high as 37.97%) are realized as compared to the most recent efforts at our group (29.5%) as well as similar in situ CO2 generation EOR (2.4% to 18.8%) approaches proposed by others.
The economic feasibility and operational advantages of this newly developed method were demonstrated in this work. In brief, results of this work served further as a proof of concept for designing in situ CO2 generation formulations for tertiary oil recovery at both onshore and offshore fields under proper conditions.
The Gas and Downhole Water Sink-Assisted Gravity Drainage (GDWS-AGD) process has been developed to overcome of the limitations of Gas flooding processes in reservoir with strong aquifers. These limitations include high levels of water cut and high tendency of water coning. The GDWS-AGD process minimizes the water cut in oil production wells, improve gas injectivity, and further enhance the recovery of bypassed oil, especially in reservoirs with strong water coning tendencies.
The GDWS-AGD process conceptually states installing two 7 inch production casings bi-laterally and completing by two 2-3/8 inch horizontal tubings: oil producer above the oil-water contact (OWC) and one underneath OWC for water sink drainage. The two completions are hydraulically isolated by a packer inside the casing. The water sink completion is produced with a submersible pump that prevents the water from breaking through the oil column and getting into the horizontal oil-producing perforations.
The GDWS-AGD process was evaluated to enhance oil recovery in the heterogeneous upper sandstone pay in South Rumaila Oil field, which has an infinite active aquifer with a huge edge water drive. A compositional reservoir flow model was adopted for the CO2 flooding simulation and optimization of the GDWS-AGD process. Design of Experiments (DoE) and proxy metamodeling were integrated to determine the optimal operational decision parameters that affect the GDWS-AGD process performance: maximum injection rate and pressure in injection wells, maximum oil rate and minimum bottom hole pressure in production wells, and maximum water rates and minimum bottom hole pressure in the water sink wells. More specifically, Latin hypercube sampling and radial basis neural networks were used for the optimization of the GDWS-AGD process performance and to build the proxy model, respectively.
In the GDWS-AGD process results, the water cut and coning tendency were significantly reduced along with the reservoir pressure. That resulted to improve gas injectivity and increase oil recovery. Further improvement in oil recovery was achieved by the DoE optimization after determining the optimal set of operational decision factors that constrains the oil and water production with gas injection. The advantage of GDWS-AGD process comes from its potential feasibility to enhance oil recovery while reducing water coning, water cut, and improving gas injectivity. That gives another privilege for the GDWSAGD process to reach significant improvement in oil recovery in comparison to other gas injection processes, such as the Gas-Assisted Gravity Drainage (GAGD) process, particularly in reservoirs with strong water aquifers.
Polymer flooding has been applied to the development of an offshore oil field S18 located in Bohai Gulf, China, where the water and polymer injection wells are alternately distributed. Field tests have indicated that the oil production and economic profit are significantly affected by the interference between alternately injected water and polymer. Therefore, it is of great importance to quantify the water-polymer interference (WPI) and thus improve the oil production. In this paper, the polymer flooding performance for the offshore oil field S18 has been evaluated by using a newly proposed WPI factor. The developed model provides a new way to evaluate the polymer flooding performance for the offshore oil field. More specifically, onshore and offshore polymer injection processes are thoroughly compared in terms of field performance, reservoir properties, and polymer flooding parameters. Then, a conceptual model is developed to analyze and quantify the interference between the injected water and polymer. The WPI factor is firstly introduced and quantified by a water cut funnel prediction method. The WPI factor is found to increase with the water injection rate and decrease with the polymer concentration. Subsequently, the reservoir simulation model of S18 oil field is well developed including 50 injectors and 93 producers with well-matched field production data. The WPI factor is accordingly optimized by tuning the water injection rate and polymer concentration at different blocks of the S18 oil field with the assistance of orthogonal design method. Consequently, the overall WPI factor of the S18 oil field is decreased by 8.20% after the optimized polymer & water injection scheme is applied, resulting in an increased oil recovery by 0.24%.
The in-situ steam based technology is still the main exploitation method for bitumen and heavy oil resources all over the world. But most of the steam-based processes (e.g., cyclic steam stimulation, steam drive and steam assisted gravity drainage) in heavy oilfields have entered into anexhaustion stage. Considering the long-lasting steam-rock interaction, how to further enhance the heavy oil recovery in the post-steam injection era is currently challenging the EOR (enhanced oil recovery) techniques. In this paper, we present a comprehensive review of the EOR processes in the post steam injection era both in experimental and field cases. Specifically, the paper presents an overview on the recovery mechanisms and field performance of thermal EOR processes by reservoir lithology (sandstone and carbonate formations) and offshore versus onshore oilfields. Typical processes include thein-situ combustion process, the thermal/-solvent process, the thermal-NCG (non-condensable gas, e.g., N2, flue gas and air) process, and the thermal-chemical (e.g., polymer, surfactant, gel and foam) process. Some new in-situ upgrading processes are also involved in this work. Furthermore, this review also presents the current operations and future trends on some heavy oil EOR projects in Canada, Venezuela, USA and China.
This review showsthat the offshore heavy oilfields will be the future exploitation focus. Moreover, currently several steam-based projects and thermal-NCG projects have been operated in Emeraude Field in Congo and Bohai Bay in China. A growing trend is also found for the in-situ combustion technique and solvent assisted process both in offshore and onshore heavy oil fields, such as the EOR projects in North America, North Sea, Bohai Bay and Xinjiang. The multicomponent thermal fluids injection process in offshore and the thermal-CO2and thermal-chemical (surfactant, foam) processes in onshore heavy oil reservoirs are some of the opportunities identified for the next decade based on preliminary evaluations and proposed or ongoing pilot projects. Furthermore, the new processes of in-situ catalytic upgrading (e.g., addition of catalyst, steam-nanoparticles), electromagnetic heating and electro-thermal dynamic stripping (ETDSP) and some improvement processes on a wellbore configuration (FCD) have also gained more and more attention. In addition, there are some newly proposed recovery techniques that are still limitedto the laboratory scale with needs for further investigations. In such a time of low oil prices, cost optimization will be the top concerns of all the oil companies in the world. This critical review will help to identify the next challenges and opportunities in the EOR potential of bitumen and heavy oil production in the post steam injection era.
Hosseininoosheri, P. (The University of Texas at Austin) | Hosseini, S. A. (The University of Texas at Austin) | Nunez-Lopez, V. (The University of Texas at Austin) | Lake, L. W. (The University of Texas at Austin)
The relative partitioning of CO2 during and after CO2 injection in a CO2-EOR process is affected by several parameters. While many geological properties cannot be changed in a specific hydrocarbon (HC) reservoir, it could be shown that an intelligent selection of CO2 injection strategy improves both the incremental oil recovery and CO2 storage capacity and security. Therefore, we investigated and discussed the partitioning of CO2 among different phases (oil, gas, and brine) after two well-known CO2 inejction schemes using field-scale compositional reservoir flow modeling in the SACROC (Scurry Area Canyon Reef Operators Committee) unit, Permian Basin. First, we used a high-resolution geocellular model, which was constructed from wireline logs, seismic surveys, core data, and stratigraphic interpretation. As the initial distribution of fluids plays an important role in CO2 partitioning, a comprehensive pressure-production history matching of primary, secondary, and tertiary recovery was completed. The hysteresis model was used to calculate the amount of CO2 trapped as residual. CO2 solubility into brine was verified based on previous experiments. The model results showed a new understanding of relative CO2 partitioning in porous media after a CO2-EOR process. We compared the contribution of CO2 trapping mechanisms and the sweep efficiency of Walter-Alternating-Gas (WAG) and Continous-Gas-Injection (CGI). We found that WAG injection showed a significantly superior behaviour over CGI. WAG not only decreased the amount of mobile CO2 (structural trapping), but also resulted in a competitive incremental oil recovery in comparison with CGI. Thus, clearly WAG injection ispreferred as it strongly enhances CO2 storage efficiency and containment security. The present work provides valuable insights for optimizing oil production and CO2 storage in carbonate reservoirs like SACROC unit. In other words, this work helps decision makers to set storage goals based on optimized project risks.
A polymer pilot in the 8 TH reservoir in Austria showed promising results. The Utility Factors were below 2 of kg polymer injected / incremental barrel of oil produced (polymer cost are 2 – 4 USD/kg). Furthermore, substantial incremental oil was produced which might result in economic field implementation. The results triggered the planning for field implementation of polymer flooding.
To optimize the economics of field implementation, a workflow was chosen ensuring that the uncertainty was covered. 1200 geological models were generated covering a variety of different geological concepts. These geological models were clustered based on the dynamic response into 100 representative geological realizations and then used for history matching.
For infill drilling, probabilistic quality maps can be used to find locations. However, injection and production well optimization is more challenging. Introducing probabilistic incremental Net Present Value (NPV) maps allows for selection of locations of injection and production well patterns.
The patterns need to be optimized for geometry and operating parameters under uncertainty. The geometry was optimized in a first step followed by operating parameter optimization. In addition, injectivity effects of vertical and horizontal wells due to the non-Newtonian polymer rheology were evaluated. The last step was full-field simulation using the probabilistic NPV map, optimized well distance and operating parameters.
The resulting Cumulative Distribution Function of incremental NPV showed a Probability of Economic Success (PES) of 91 % and an Expected Monetary Value of 73 mn EUR.
Yu, Wei (Texas A&M University) | Zhang, Yuan (China University of Geosciences Beijing) | Varavei, Abdoljalil (The University of Texas at Austin) | Sepehrnoori, Kamy (The University of Texas at Austin) | Zhang, Tongwei (The University of Texas at Austin) | Wu, Kan (Texas A&M University) | Miao, Jijun (SimTech LLC)
The effectiveness of CO2 injection as a Huff-n-Puff process in tight oil reservoirs with complex fractures needs to be investigated due to the fast decline of primary production and low recovery factor. Although numerous experimental and numerical studies have proven the potential of CO2 Huff-n-Puff, relatively few numerical compositional models exist to comprehensively and efficiently simulate and evaluate CO2 Huff-n-Puff considering CO2 molecular diffusion, nanopore confinement, and complex fractures based on an actual tight-oil well. The objective of this study is to introduce a numerical compositional model with an embedded discrete fracture model (EDFM) method to simulate CO2 Huff-n-Puff in an actual Eagle Ford tight oil well. Through non-neighboring connections, the EDFM method can properly and efficiently handle any complex fracture geometries without the need of local grid refinement (LGR) nearby fractures. Based on the actual Eagle Ford well, we build a 3D reservoir model including one horizontal well and multiple hydraulic and natural fractures. Six fluid pseudocomponents were considered. We performed history matching with measured flow rates and bottomhole pressure using the EDFM and LGR methods. The comparison results show that a good history match was obtained and a great agreement between EDFM and LGR was achieved. However, the EDFM method performs faster than the LGR method. After history matching, we evaluated the CO2 Huff-n-Puff effectiveness considering CO2 molecular diffusion and nanopore confinement. The traditional phase equilibrium calculation was modified to calculate the critical fluid properties with nanopore confinement. The simulation results show that the CO2 Huff-n-Puff with smaller CO2 diffusion coefficients underperforms the primary production without CO2 injection; nevertheless, the CO2 Huff-n-Puff with larger CO2 diffusion coefficients performs better than the primary production. In addition, both CO2 molecular diffusion and nanopore confinement are favorable for the CO2 Huff-n-Puff effectiveness. The relative increase of cumulative oil production after 7300 days with CO2 diffusion coefficient of 0.01 cm2/s and nanopore size of 10 nm is about 12% for this actual Eagle Ford well. Furthermore, when considering complex natural fractures, the relative increase of cumulative oil production is about 8%. This study provides critical insights into a better understanding of the impacts of CO2 molecular diffusion, nanopore confinement, and complex natural fractures on well performance during CO2 Huff-n-Puff process in the Eagle Ford tight oil reservoirs.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) flooding is a mature technology in oil industry, which finds broad attention in oil production during tertiary oil recovery (EOR). After five decade’s developments, there are many successful reports for CO2 miscible flooding. However, operators recognized that achieving miscible phase is one of big challenge in fields with extremely high minimum miscible pressure (MMP) after considering the safety and economics. Compared with CO2 miscible flooding, immiscible CO2 flooding demonstrates the great potentials under varying reservoir/fluid conditions. A comprehensive and high-quality data set for CO2 immiscible flooding are built by collecting various data from books, DOE reports, AAPG database, oil and gas biennially EOR survey, field reports and SPE publications. Important reservoir/fluid information, operational parameters and project performance evaluations are included, which provides the basis for comprehensive data analysis. Combination plot of boxplot and histogram are generated, where boxplots are used to detect the special cases and to summarize the ranges of each parameter; histograms display the distribution of each parameter and to identify the best suitable ranges for propose guidelines.
Results show that CO2 immiscible flooding could recover additional 4.7 to 12.5% of oil with average injection efficiency of 10.07 Mscf/stb; CO2 immiscible technique can be implemented in light/medium/heavy oil reservoirs with a wide range of net thickness (5.2 - 300 ft); yet in heavy oil specifically reservoir (oil gravity <25 °API) with thin layer (net thickness< 50 ft) is better.
Ross, T. S. (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology) | Rahnema, H. (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology) | Nwachukwu, C. (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology) | Alebiosu, O. (ConocoPhillips Co) | Shabani, B. (Oklahoma State University)
Steam injection—a thermal-based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) process—is used to improve fluid mobility within a reservoir, and it is well known that it yields positive results in heavy-oil reservoirs. In theory, steam injection has the potential of being applied in light-oil reservoirs to enable vaporization of in-situ reservoir fluids, but field developments and scientific studies of this application are sparse. Conventional displacement methods like water-flooding and gas-flooding have been applied to some extent, however, oil extraction in such reservoirs relies on recovery mechanisms like capillary imbibition or gravity drainage to recover oil from the reservoir matrix. Furthermore, low-permeability reservoir rocks are associated with low gravity drainage and high residual oil saturation.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the potential of steam injection for light (47°API) oil extraction in naturally-fractured reservoirs. It is theorized that this method will serve as an effective tool for recovery of light hydrocarbons through naturally-fractured networks with the benefit of heat conduction through the rock matrix. This research investigates the application of light-oil steamflood (LOSF) in naturally- fractured reservoirs (NFR).
A simulation model comprised of a matrix block surrounded by fracture network was used to study oil recovery potential under steam injection. To simulate gravity drainage, steam was injected through a horizontal well completed in the upper section of the fracture network, while the production well was completed at the bottom of the fracture network. The simulation included two different porous media: (1) natural fractures and (2) matrix blocks. Each of these porous media was assumed to be homogeneous and characterized based on typical reservoir properties for carbonate formations. This study also analyzed the impact of different recovery mechanisms during steam injection for a light-oil sample in NFR, with reservoir sensitivity examined, based on varying amounts of vaporization, injection rate, permeability, matrix height and capillary pressure. Of these, vaporization was found to be the dominant factor in the application of LOSF in NFR, as described in detail within the results.