Rognmo, Arthur U. (University of Bergen) | Al-Khayyat, Noor (University of Bergen) | Heldal, Sandra (University of Bergen) | Vikingstad, Ida (University of Bergen) | Eide, Øyvind (University of Bergen) | Fredriksen, Sunniva B. (University of Bergen) | Alcorn, Zachary P. (University of Bergen) | Graue, Arne (University of Bergen) | Bryant, Steven L. (University of Calgary) | Kovscek, Anthony R. (Stanford University) | Fernø, Martin A. (University of Bergen)
The use of nanoparticles for CO2-foam mobility is an upcoming technology for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) in mature fields. Silane-modified hydrophilic silica nanoparticles enhance the thermodynamic stability of CO2 foam at elevated temperatures and salinities and in the presence of oil. The aqueous nanofluid mixes with CO2 in the porous media to generate CO2 foam for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by improving sweep efficiency, resulting in reduced carbon footprint from oil production by the geological storage of anthropogenic CO2. Our objective was to investigate the stability of commercially available silica nanoparticles for a range of temperatures and brine salinities to determine if nanoparticles can be used in CO2-foam injections for EOR and underground CO2 storage in high-temperature reservoirs with high brine salinities. The experimental results demonstrated that surface-modified nanoparticles are stable and able to generate CO2 foam at elevated temperatures (60 to 120°C) and extreme brine salinities (20 wt% NaCl). We find that (1) nanofluids remain stable at extreme salinities (up to 25 wt% total dissolved solids) with the presence of both monovalent (NaCl) and divalent (CaCl2) ions; (2) both pressure gradient and incremental oil recovery during tertiary CO2-foam injections were 2 to 4 times higher with nanoparticles compared with no-foaming agent; and (3) CO2 stored during CCUS with nanoparticle-stabilized CO2 foam increased by more than 300% compared with coinjections without nanoparticles.
Two-phase oil/water relative permeability measurements were conducted at ambient and high temperatures in two different rock-fluid systems; one using a clean Poly-Alpha-Olefin (PAO) oil and the other with Athabasca bitumen. The tests were performed in a clean sand-pack with the confining pressure of 800 psi, using deionized water as the aqueous phase. Both the JBN method and the history match approach were utilized to obtain the relative permeability from the results of isothermal oil displacement tests. The contact angle and IFT measurements were carried out to assess any possible wettability alteration and change in fluid/fluid interaction at higher temperatures.
Results, Observations, Conclusions: The results of the clean system using the viscous PAO oil confirmed that the two-phase oil/water relative permeability in this ultra-clean system is practically insensitive to the temperature. The slight variation in oil endpoint relative permeability, especially at ambient condition, was attributed to variations in the packing of sand. It was found that the history matching derived two-phase relative permeability from the highest temperature test provides reasonably good history matches of the other displacements that were conducted at lower temperatures. In addition, it is shown that the JBN approach based relative permeability curves show larger variations, primarily due to insufficient volume of water injection at lower temperatures, which makes the practical residual oil saturation much higher than the true residual. In contrast with the ultra-clean system, the results obtained with bitumen showed much larger variations in relative permeability with temperature.
Most of the reported studies involving history matching approach treat the low-temperature measurements as the base case and show that changes in relative permeability are needed to history-match the tests at higher temperatures. We have shown that the displacement done at the highest temperature provides a more reliable estimate of the relative permeability and, in some cases, this relative permeability can successfully history match tests done at lower temperatures. In view of the impracticality of injecting sufficient water to reach close to real residual oil saturation at low temperatures, it would be better to obtain relative permeability data at high temperatures for characterizing the two-phase flow behavior of viscous oil systems.
Rate-transient analyses (RTA) is a useful reservoir/hydraulic fracture characterization method that can be applied to multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHWs) producing from low permeability (tight) and shale reservoirs. In this paper, a recently-developed three-phase RTA technique is applied to the analysis of production data from a MFHW completed in a low-permeability volatile oil reservoir in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
This new RTA technique is used to analyze the transient linear flow regime for wells operated under constant flowing bottomhole pressure conditions. With the new method, the slope of the square-root-of-time plot applied to any of the producing phases can be used to directly calculate the linear flow parameter,
The subject well, a MFHW completed in 15 stages, produces oil, water and gas at a nearly constant (measured downhole) flowing bottomhole pressure. This well is completed in a low-permeability, near-critical volatile oil system. For this field case, application of the new RTA method leads to an estimate of
The new three-phase RTA technique developed herein is a simple-yet-rigorous and accurate alternative to numerical model history-matching for estimating
Dong, Xiaohu (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Liu, Huiqing (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Lu, Ning (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Zheng, Aiping (Xinjiang Oilfield Company, CNPC) | Wu, Keliu (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Xiao, Qianhua (Chongqing University of Science & Technology) | Wang, Kung (University of Calgary) | Chen, Zhangxin (University of Calgary)
Considering the non-uniform steam conformance of conventional horizontal well, dual-pipe steam injection technique has currently demonstrated technical potential for improving heavy oil recovery. It can delay the occurrence of steam fingering and homogenize the steam injection profile along horizontal wellbore. But in some field tests, it is observed that the results were far greater than such an approach would have justified. In addition, the actual physics are still unclear, and not demonstrated. In this paper, first, we built a cylindrical wellbore physical model to experimentally study steam injection profiles of a single pipe horizontal well and a concentric dual-pipe horizontal well. Thus, the heat and mass transfer behavior of steam along horizontal well with a single-pipe well configuration and a dual-pipe well configuration was addressed. Subsequently, considering the effect of pressure drops and heat loss, a semi-analytical model for the gas-liquid two-phase flow in horizontal wellbore was developed to numerically match the experimental observation. Next, a sensitivity analysis on the physical parameters and operation properties of a steam injection process was conducted. The effect of the injection fluid type was also investigated.
Experimental results indicated that under the same steam injection condition, an application of the dual-pipe well configuration can significantly enhance the oil drainage volume by about 35% than the single-pipe well configuration. During the experiments, both a temperature distribution and liquid production along the horizontal wellbore were obtained. A bimodal temperature distribution can be observed for the dual-pipe well configuration. From this proposed model, an excellent agreement can be found between the simulation results and the experimental data. Because of the effect of variable-mass flowing behavior and pressure drops, the wellbore segment closed to the steam outflow point can have a higher heating radius than that far from the steam outflow point. From the results of sensitivity analysis, permeability heterogeneity and steam injection parameters have a tremendous impact on the steam injection profile along wellbore. Compared with a pure steam injection process, the co-injection of steam and NCG (non-condensable gas) can improve the effective heating wellbore length by over 25%. Furthermore, this model is also applied to predict the steam conformance of an actual horizontal well in Liaohe oilfield. This paper presents some information regarding the heat and mass transfer of a dual-pipe horizontal well, as well as imparts some of the lessons learned from its field operation. It plays an important role for the performance evaluation and remaining reserve prediction in a dual-pipe thermal recovery project.
Aminfar, Ehsan (University of Calgary) | Sequera-Dalton, Belenitza (University of Calgary) | Mehta, Sudarshan Raj (University of Calgary) | Moore, Gordon (University of Calgary) | Ursenbach, Matthew (University of Calgary)
The injection of air into mature steam chambers is a promising technology to reduce the steam-to-oil-ratios (SOR) in late stages of the Steam-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage (SAGD) recovery process in Athabasca oil sand reservoirs in Alberta, Canada. Air injection allows sustaining steam chamber pressures with reduced steam injection rates. The steam capacity that becomes available due to the replacement of steam with air in mature well-pairs or pads could serve new pads optimizing steam utilization and decreasing the overall environmental footprint of the project. A novel large scale three-dimensional (3-D) physical model was designed to evaluate the prospect of the "hybrid" air and steam injection technology in a SAGD configuration utilizing up to three well-pairs. This paper discusses the 3-D model design, commissioning, experimental procedure and main results of the first tests.
For each test, the 3-D model was packed with a low oil saturation core or lean zone, representing the reservoir portion swept by steam, and a high oil saturation core or rich zone representing the un-drained zone between two coalesced steam chambers. These zones were made with preserved native "lean" and "rich" cores from Athabasca reservoirs. Once the model was packed, it was placed inside a pressure jacket where it was pressurized to reservoir pressure. Steam was injected into the model to develop a representative steam chamber in the lean zone. Once steam conditions were attained in the lean zone, steam injection was switched to air injection. Temperatures distributed in the 3-D model as well as injection and production pressures and produced gas compositions were monitored constantly and recorded during the test. Produced liquid samples were regularly captured and stored for subsequent analysis. Post-processing analyses of produced fluids and residual extracted core material allowed for determination of clean-burned zones, material balance, upgrading of the produced bitumen samples and efficiency of the process.
High peak temperatures, gas compositions, clean-burned sand in post-test cores and significant oil production indicate the development of a high temperature combustion front in the 3-D experiments. The test results confirm the injection of air into mature SAGD chambers is a very promising method not only to reduce the cumulative steam-to-oil-ratios (CSOR) and to sustain the steam chamber pressures but also to increase oil production in SAGD late life.
Microseismicity can be triggered by various dynamic processes related to a hydraulic fracturing treatment. These processes alter the
Sabet, Nasser (University of Calgary) | Mohammadi, Mohammadjavad (University of Calgary) | Zirahi, Ali (University of Calgary) | Zirrahi, Mohsen (University of Calgary) | Hassanzadeh, Hassan (University of Calgary) | Abedi, Jalal (University of Calgary)
This work focuses on modeling the miscible viscous fingering in porous media accounting for asphaltene precipitation and deposition. The mass balance equations for solvent and asphaltene are defined, and the highly nonlinear system of equations is solved numerically through hybridization of compact finite difference and pseudo-spectral methods. We explain how asphaltene precipitation and the resulting formation damage influence the growth of viscous fingers.
To conduct our analysis, we use the experimental data for the amount of asphaltene precipitation at different solvent mass fractions and also oil viscosity at various asphaltene and solvent contents. This data is measured in our lab and is used as input for the nonlinear numerical simulations. For these simulations, the conventional finite difference schemes cannot be applied as they suffer from the excessive computational time and most importantly, numerical dispersion. Therefore, we employ hybrid techniques to benefit from the high accuracy of spectral methods and capture the nonlinear dynamics of fingerings on very fine grids.
Hydrocarbons such as light n-alkanes are widely used as diluents in the production and upgrading of heavy oils. The addition of a diluent to heavy oil or bitumen alters the chemical forces acting within the mixture, leading to the precipitation of asphaltenes. It is hypothesized that precipitation of asphaltene from oil changes the viscosity behavior of the mixture, influences the dynamics of viscous fingering, and therefore affects the oil recovery. Moreover, asphaltene deposition alters the porosity and permeability of the porous media and might modify the flow paths, leading to possible formation damage. Our results show that asphaltene precipitates are mostly accumulated in the contact interface between the solvent and oil. The major asphaltene deposition occurs along the growing fingers leading to permeability reductions up to 30% in the studied cases.
Straight-line analysis (SLA) methods, which are a sub-group of model-based techniques used for rate-transient analysis (RTA), have proven to be immensely useful for evaluating unconventional reservoirs. Transient data can be analyzed using SLA methods to extract reservoir/hydraulic fracture information, while boundary-dominated flow data can be interpreted for fluid-in-place estimates. Because transient flow periods may be extensive, it is also advantageous to evaluate the volume of hydrocarbons-in-place contacted over time to assist with reserves assessment. The new SLA method introduced herein enables reservoir/fracture properties and contacted fluid-in-place (CFIP) to be estimated from the same plot, which is an advantage over traditional SLA techniques.
The new SLA method utilizes the
Validation of the new SLA method for an undersaturated oil case is performed through application to synthetic data generated with an analytical model. Thenew SLA results in estimates of LFP and OFIP that are in excellent agreement with model input (within 2%). Further, the results are consistent with the traditional SLA methods used to estimate LFP(e.g. the square-root of time plot) and OFIP (e.g. the flowing material balance plot).
Practical application of the new SLA method is demonstrated using field cases and experimental data. Field cases studied include online oil production from a multi-fractured horizontal well (MFHW) completed in a tight oil reservoir, and flowback water production from a second MFHW, also completed in a tight oil reservoir. Experimental (gas) data generated using a recently-introduced RTA core analysis technique, were also analyzed using the new SLA method. In all cases, the new SLA method results are in excellent agreement with traditional SLA methods.
The new SLA method introduced herein is an easy-to-apply, fully-analytical RTA technique that can be used for both reservoir/fracture characterization and hydrocarbons-in-place assessment. This method should provide important, complementary information to traditionally-used methods, such as square-root of time and flowing material balance plots, which are commonly used by reservoir engineers for evaluating unconventional reservoirs.
Cronkwright, David (University of Calgary) | Ghanizadeh, Amin (University of Calgary) | DeBuhr, Chris (University of Calgary) | Song, Chengyao (University of Calgary) | Deglint, Hanford (University of Calgary) | Clarkson, Chris (University of Calgary) | Ardakani, Omid (Geological Survey of Canada)
This paper was prepared for presentation at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference held in Denver, Colorado, USA, 22-24 July 2019. The URTeC Technical Program Committee accepted this presentation on the basis of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). The contents of this paper have not been reviewed by URTeC and URTeC does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information herein. All information is the responsibility of, and, is subject to corrections by the author(s). Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this paper does so at their own risk. The information herein does not necessarily reflect any position of URTeC. Any reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper by anyone other than the author without the written consent of URTeC is prohibited. Abstract Fluid distribution and fluid-rock interactions within the nano-/macro-porous pore network of tight oil reservoirs will affect both primary and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes. Focusing on selected samples obtained from the liquids-rich reservoirs within the Montney Formation (Canada), the primary objective of this work is to evaluate the impact of mineralogical composition on micro-scale fluid distribution at different saturation states: 1) "partially-preserved" and 2) after a series of core-flooding experiments using reservoir fluids (oil, brine) under "in-situ" stress conditions. Small rock chips (cm-sized), sub-sampled from "partially-preserved" (using dry ice) core plugs, were cryogenically frozen and analyzed using an environmental field emission scanning electron microscope (E-FESEM) equipped with X-ray mapping capability (EDS).
Gao, Yanling (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum) | Wu, Keliu (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum) | Yang, Sheng (University of Calgary) | Dong, Xiaohu (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum) | Chen, Zhongliang (State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum) | Chen, Zhangxing (University of Calgary / State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum)
In this work, we derive an effective mean free path (MFP) model for the confined gases in nanopores of shale gas reservoirs by taking into account the effects of the geometrical termination and the surface-gas interaction of the boundary. Among which, the effect of the surface-gas interaction is represented by a probability distribution function for the free flight directions of the gas molecules depending on the surface-gas potential strength ratio (εwf/εff). The validity of the model is verified by comparing the obtained MFP distribution with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation data in previous literatures. Results show that the effective MFP decreases with the increasing Knudsen number (Kn) as well as the increasing surface-gas potential strength ratio, and it is more sensitive to Kn; moreover, the reduction extent is more obvious in the center of the channel than that near channel wall region at both conditions.
With the improvement of manufacturing technology in recent years, the application of micro/nano scale devices is more and more extensive (Cao, et al., 2009; Giordano, et al., 2001; Arlemark1, et al., 2010), which has attracted considerable attention and interests of many experts and scholars. Compared with macro-scale apparatus, the micro/nano scale one has a much larger surface-to-volume ratio, which even shows a huge difference with several orders of magnitude according to Cao et al. (2009). In shale gas reservoirs, most of the pores are also nanoscale and the specific surface area is generally large (some even up to 103.7 m2/g), which are significantly different from that of conventional oil and gas reservoirs (Wu and Chen, 2016). The surface-related factors have a great impact on the flow of confined gas, and among these factors, the surface force or the surface-gas interaction strength plays an important role in the momentum and energy transport, and it cannot be neglected (Barisik and Beskok, 2012).