Borehole measurements are often subject to uncertainty resulting from the effects of mud-filtrate invasion. Accurate interpretation of these measurements relies on properly understanding and incorporating mud-filtrate invasion effects in the calculation of petrophysical properties. Although attempts to experimentally investigate mud-filtrate invasion and mudcake deposition have been numerous, the majority of published laboratory data are from experiments performed using linear rather than radial geometry, homogeneous rock properties, and water-based (WBM) rather than oil- or synthetic oil-based drilling mud (OBM or SOBM).
We introduce a new experimental method to accurately reproduce conditions in the borehole and near-wellbore region during, and shortly after the drilling process, when the majority of wellbore measurements are acquired. Rather than using a linear-flow apparatus, the experiments are performed using cylindrical rock cores with a hole drilled axially through the center. Radial mud-filtrate invasion takes place while injecting pressurized drilling mud into the hole at the center of the core while the outside of the core is maintained at a lower pressure. During the experiments, the core sample is rapidly and repeatedly scanned using high-resolution X-ray microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), allowing for visualization and quantification of the time-space distribution of mud filtrate and mudcake thickness. Because of the size of the core sample, the developed experimental method allows for accurate evaluation of the influence of various rock properties, such as the presence of spatial heterogeneity and fluid properties, including WBM versus OBM, on the processes of mud-filtrate invasion and mudcake deposition. Results indicate that our experimental procedure reliably captures the interplay between the spatial distributions of fluid properties and rock heterogeneities during the process of mud-filtrate invasion.
We provide experimental evidence of wettability alteration using seawater salinity brine of an oil-wet system composed of a three-dimensional carbonate micromodel, crude oil, and connate-water brine salinity. We designed this procedure as a first step for evaluation of using seawater as an Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) agent. Our innovative design combines two main experimental best practices: micromodels, for repeatable experiments and X-ray computed tomography (CT) as a non-invasive technique for monitoring in situ fluid distribution. Both practices merge into a new three-dimensional micromodel set-up that uses only reservoir species (no high x-ray contrast chemicals).
Wettability alteration plays a key role to improve oil recovery from matrix blocks surrounded by water-invaded fractures in carbonate reservoir rocks. We designed a simple and replicable experimental apparatus and procedure to quantify contact angle distributions inside of porous media with a controlled level of heterogeneity in roughness and mineralogy. This experiment consists of visualizing the in-situ contact angle distribution of the aqueous phase inside a three-dimensional carbonate micromodel. Using Micro Computerized Tomography (MicroCT), we obtained three-dimensional images of fluid distribution with a voxel size of 3.8 microns.
We successfully studied the wettability state after connate water displacement and we also altered wettability of the carbonate porous medium from more oil wet to less water wet conditions. The water contact angle of the ganglia showed a 70% reduction in contact angle from an oil-wet to a water-wet system using an approximate seawater salinity and a 63% reduction in contact angle in the case of a full synthetic seawater. The initial average contact angles were 140° and 142° for the two solutions, respectively. After EOR seawater flooding, the average contact angle declined to 44° and 51°, respectively.
Banack, Ben (Halliburton) | Burke, Lyle H. (Devon Canada Corporation) | Booy, Daniel (C-FER Technologies 1999 Inc.) | Chineme, Emeka (Cenovus Energy) | Lastiwka, Marty (Suncor Energy) | Gaviria, Fernando (Suncor Energy) | Ortiz, Julian D. (ConocoPhillips Canada) | Sanmiguel, Javier (Devon Canada Corporation) | Dewji, Ayshnoor (Halliburton)
It is becoming common to install inflow control devices (ICDs) along steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) production liners to enhance temperature conformance and accelerate depletion. Additionally, some operators advocate the installation of similar outflow control devices (OCDs) along the injection well of the SAGD well pair. Collectively, these inflow and outflow devices are often referred to as FCDs. Industry adoption of flow control devices (FCDs) has increased, and several devices are commercially available for use in SAGD.
In an effort to optimize FCD design and selection, a joint industry partnership (JIP) was formed (
Fiber-optic-based instrumentation was deployed within FCD-equipped wells using permanently installed coiled tubing. Well architecture design changes to a typical completion were not required because fiber-optic sensors are used for most non-FCD wells to collect distributed temperature sensing (DTS) data. Although DTS is a common tool for optimizing SAGD production, it has certain limitations; specifically, temperature changes along production wells do not typically allow a detailed definition or quantification of the inflow distribution along the wellbore.
In addition to DTS, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) was periodically performed on the FCD wells. DAS logging of SAGD producers has several potential uses, including flow profiling, steam breakthrough and/or noncondensable gas (NCG) detection, multiphase flow characterization, electric submersible pump (ESP) performance, completion failure analysis, and four-dimensional seismic analysis. Although FCD characterization with DAS appears promising, a knowledge gap exists as to how to move beyond qualitative analysis to more quantitative analysis of FCD performance and the lateral emulsion inflow distribution. Pending satisfactory results, DAS logging on active wells can potentially be completed to accelerate improvements of SAGD FCD performance and design as well as increase the efficiency of SAGD recovery through improved steam/oil ratio (SOR) and an associated reduction in greenhouse gases.
This paper describes piloting the collection and analysis of DTS and DAS data to help improve understanding of SAGD inflow distribution. Logs were performed on multiple wells during stable and transient flowing conditions. Early surveillance demonstrated suitability and limitations of fiber-optic-based logging to validate FCD performance in active wells. In addition to field logging, acoustic recording using JIP flow loop testing was completed with accelerometers, geophones, and fiber-optic cables during FCD characterization. The goal was to cross reference the acquired acoustic signals for quantification of flow at devices and validation of performance. An overview of the JIP flow loop FCD acoustic characterization program is described.
Wang, Zhihua (Northeast Petroleum University) | Zhu, Chaoliang (Northeast Petroleum University) | Lou, Yuhua (PetroChina Daqing Oilfield Engineering Company Limited) | Cheng, Qinglin (Northeast Petroleum University) | Liu, Yang (Northeast Petroleum University) | Wang, Xinyu (PetroChina Daqing Oilfield Company Limited)
Wax crystals can aggregate and precipitate when the oil temperature decreases to below the wax appearance temperature (WAT) of waxy crude oil, which has undesirable effects on the transportation of crude oil in pipelines. Thermodynamic models considering the molecular diffusion, shearing dispersion, and shear stripping as well as hydrodynamic models have been developed for predicting the wax deposition in crude oil pipelines. However, the aggregation behavior of wax crystals during crude oil production and transportation is not well understood. The microscopic rheological parameters have not been related to the bulk flow parameters in the shearing field, and the prediction of the wax deposition behavior under complex conditions is restricted by the vector characteristics of the shearing stress and flow rate. A set of microscopic experiments was performed in this study to obtain the basic information from images of wax crystals in shearing fields. A novel method of fractal dimensional analysis was introduced to elucidate the aggregation behavior of wax crystals in different shear flow fields. The fractal methodology for characterizing wax crystal aggregation was then developed, and a blanket algorithm was introduced to compute the fractal dimension of the aggregated wax crystals. The flow characteristics of waxy crude oil in a pipeline were correlated with the shearing stress work, and a wax deposition model focusing on shearing energy analysis was established. The results indicate that a quantitative interpretation of the wax crystal aggregation behavior can be realized using the fractal methodology. The aggregation behavior of the wax crystals is closely related to the temperature and shearing experienced by the waxy crude oil. The aggregation behavior will be intensified with decreasing temperature and shearing effect, and a wider fractal dimension distribution appears at lower temperatures when the same shear rate range is employed. The lower the fractal dimensions obtained at high temperature and strong shear action, the weaker will be the nonlinear characteristics of the wax crystal aggregation structure, and thus, the potential wax deposition will be inhibited during waxy crude oil production and transportation. Furthermore, the improved model provides a method for discussing the effects of the operating conditions on wax deposition. The average relative deviation between the improved model prediction results and experimental results from the literature is 3.01%–5.32%. The fractal methodology developed in this study and the improvement in wax deposition modeling are beneficial for understanding and optimizing flow assurance operations in the pipeline transportation of waxy crude oils, and the results are expected to facilitate a better understanding of the wax crystallization and deposition mechanism.
Fiber optic technology has been used in several wells at an oilfield to measure strain to monitor overburden deformation. The application of this technology involved a series of bench tests and field tests to gather some key learnings to enhance well design, well construction, and fiber optic operation. Prior to installation of the fiber optic, a series of bench tests were conducted to evaluate the coupling of fiber with the capillary lines to determine its impact on the measurement of strain. The testing demonstrated that anchoring the fiber at the top and bottom of the capillary line was sufficient to hold the fiber in place and enabled the effective measurement of strain along the length of the well, which was proven when applied to field conditions. To enhance well design for strain measurement, several wells had fiber optic capillary lines installed on the inside and outside of casing to investigate the potential dampening effect due to fiber being located inside a string of casing. This was used to determine the optimal casing string to install fiber optic to measure strain in the overburden. Additionally, a novel concept was utilized in the well design that involved using the fiber optic capillary clamps as borehole centralizers, which resulted in equipment and rig cost savings. The details of the bench tests, well design, operational experience, and their associated lessons learned are presented.
The need for monitoring individual well production in unconventional fields is rising. The drivers are primarily related to accurate reporting for production allocation between wells. The main driver in North American operations for a meter-per-well flow rate monitoring has been the need for accurate per well production accounting due to the complexity of the land-owner interest.
There are additional benefits from the monitoring of early decline and determination of the transient evolution of the reverse productivity index (RPI) to evaluate the well performance. The availability of long-term rate transient data supports decline analysis and rate transient analysis, leading to better understanding of the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR), which may drive the selection of infill drilling locations. Finally, the identification of interference between flowing wells can help mitigate the issues of parent/child wells.
A specific case in the Eagle Ford is the systematic deployment of full gamma-spectroscopy multiphase flowmeters at well pads. This intelligent pad architecture consists of one multiphase flowmeter per well and a production manifold that enables commingling of the production to a single flowline connected to the inlet manifold of the production facility.
The rationale of the decision for the installation of such solution in lieu of a metering separator per well is based on the evaluation of the impact of this technology on capex and opex reductions.
Several lessons learned are provided. They include a discussion of the change management issues related to the installation of the meters, the modifications necessary to the production facility at the receiving side, and the data management and data analytics that were enabled from the gathering of systematic, continuous, and high-resolution measurements.
The impact of the installation of the meters in the field is noticeable and quantifiable. with several prior wells used as a benchmark. The effects are not limited to cost reduction, but also lead to an increase in production related to the release of operational crews from daily well testing tasks that used to be necessary. The data quality and coverage are also increased.
A few suggestions are made concerning optimization of the deployment and use of remote monitoring options for enhanced efficiency. Automated data workflows are also discussed.
The reduction of HSE risks through a better management of field operators is also assessed.
An optical fiber has been utilized to continuously acquire liquid production profiles in horizontal well in X oilfield. The results obtained from the dynamical monitoring system confirm the time-varying law of the physical property under the condition of high-water flooding, which can serve as the guidelines to explore the potential of remaining oil in high water-cut/high recovery factor oilfield.
Usually, the sound wave shows different propagation speeds in different medium, which is the basic principle of this test. Firstly, optical cable is used for sound wave detection and signal demodulation.Meanwhile, a series of other processes are applied to calculate the sound velocity of mixed medium; Then the volume velocity and holdup of mixed medium for each phase are determined.The measure of liquid-producing profile along the whole horizontal well has been realized in real time. Finally, numerical simulation model considering the time-varying physical properties is established based on the core flooding laboratory experiment. This result will provide guidelines for the exploration of remaining oil in the well.
The results obtained from optical fiber monitoring system during last two years show that 80% of the fluid produced from the 502-meter horizontal well is mainly contributed to the first 90-meter horizontal section. Experimental results of core flooding under excessive water flooding (2000 pore volume) indicate that the permeability is 1.4 times of the original. The results of numerical simulations considering the time-varying physical properties illustrate that there is still internal remaining oil along the horizontal well section. So, the strategy of exploiting potential oil is proposed using an accurate directional water plugging, which will decrease 10% water cut and obtain more recoverable reserves.
Based on the dynamical monitoring results of optical fiber, this paper innovatively provides the strategy of exploiting potential remaining oil in the horizontal wells, which can provide a valuable suggestion for offshore oilfield with high productivity at high water-cut stage.
Obtaining high-resolution borehole images in oil-based mud (OBM) from logging-while-drilling (LWD) tools has been made possible through the recent development of ultrasonic imaging technologies. High-resolution acoustic impedance images enable reservoir evaluation through the identification of faults and fractures, bedding and laminations, and assessment of rock fabric. This paper presents examples of high-resolution images from a 4¾-in. ultrasonic imaging tool in OBM applications and discusses their value in assessing reservoir quality.
This paper provides details of field trials of an LWD ultrasonic imaging tool for use in boreholes ranging from 5¾ to 6¾ in. High-resolution images detailing both borehole caliper and acoustic impedance in both vertical and horizontal wellbores are shown, illustrating the high level of formation evaluation now available when OBM is used. The methodology used to address the impact of tool motion on the impedance images will also be covered. The value of real-time data on borehole stability assessment will be discussed, along with additional applications made possible from the real-time data, such as wellbore placement enhancement.
Both real-time and recorded data from field trials show the potential applications for the ultrasonic imaging tool. High-resolution impedance images covering different formations and lithologies show bedding planes and laminations and enable the calculation of stratigraphic dip, while the identification and assessment of fractures show the potential to aid operators during the development of their hydraulic fracturing program. Borehole caliper and shape assessment in real time can be used to modify the drilling parameters and to adjust mud weight, while providing an input into geomechanics assessment.
The LWD logs presented illustrate the factors that influence data quality and the methodology used to ensure high-resolution images are available in both vertical and high-angle wellbores using OBM. A direct comparison between data acquired while drilling and while re-logging sections is shown, highlighting the repeatability of the measurement while also illustrating the impact of time-since-drilled on the borehole. A comparison with wireline measurements highlights the potential for using the high-resolution LWD images as an alternative to wireline, where cost and risk of deploying the wireline may be high.
The ability to collect high-resolution images in OBM in wellbores ranging from 5¾ to 6¾ in. ensures that increased reservoir characterization is possible, leading to significant improvements in determining the viability of unconventional and other challenging reservoirs. The high-resolution amplitude images are comparable with those available on wireline technologies, and the real-time application of borehole size and shape for input into wellbore stability and geomechanics analysis ensures that common drilling hazards can be avoided.
JPT Technology Minute Poll: To Which of the Top Five UN Sustainability Development Goals Do You Think the Oil and Gas Industry Will Contribute the Most? The papers identified in the article cover sustainable development of oil and gas resources in various aspects. Flaring and emissions challenges have recently made news headlines around the world. The goal of this article is to engage you with this important topic by presenting a selection of recent SPE papers which address these challenges through various approaches. Operators face a dilemma in balancing the need for mud weight (MW) to remain below the fracture gradient to avoid losses, while also providing sufficient density to block influxes into the well. JPT Technology Minute Poll: Which Technology Would You Choose for Offshore Compression?
Leaders from two large US onshore rig contractors said their expectations that the rig-count slide would hit a second-quarter bottom were off and are now refraining from making new predictions as to when it will end. Moving their directional drillers into their Houston real-time remote operations centers has improved drilling efficiency for two of the top shale producers. Regulators say the blowout that killed five workers on a Patterson-UTI rig in Oklahoma was the product of a slow-moving series of missed signals, misleading testing, and miscalculations that failed to control a natural gas influx. The biggest drilling company appears interested in becoming the most innovative. It is testing inventions ranging from a blowout preventer that is not hydraulically powered to power systems designed like a hybrid car.