Telang, Milan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Matrook, Mohammad F. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Oskui, Gh. Reza (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Mali, Prasanna (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Jasmi, Ahmad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Rashed, Abeer M. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Ghloum, Ebtisam Folad (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research)
Asphaltene deposition problems in Kuwait have become a serious issue in a number of reservoirs during primary production in different fields, resulting in a severe detrimental effect on the economics of oil recovery. Hence, one of the mitigation approaches in the field is using remedial solvent treatments, such as Xylene or Toluene, which is very costly and harmful to the environment.
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is planning to produce from asphaltinic Marrat wells that have been shut down due to low bottom-hole pressure (BHP), by artificial lifting technique using an Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) supported with continuous chemical injection, as a pilot. The main objective of this study was to investigate in the lab the effectiveness of various concentrations of toluene/diesel (T/D) mixtures on Marrat reservoir fluid in order to mitigate asphaltene deposition problem during the actual pilot implementation.
Preliminary screening tests were conducted on the surface oil sample using Solid Detection System (SDS) "laser technique?? to determine the optimum dose of the T/D mixture ratio. The results showed that pure diesel accelerated the asphaltene precipitation; however, mixing T/D inhibited the precipitation process. Series of pressure depletion tests was then conducted on live oil , single phase samples, to determine the Asphaltene Onset Pressure (AOP) with and without adding various ration of T/D solvents at different temperatures from reservoir to surface conditions.
The results revealed that using 15% (by volume of oil) from the (50T:50D) mixture reduced the AOP close to the bubble point pressure. Furthermore, the amount of the precipitated asphaltene was physically quantified using a bulk filtration technique. It was observed that, based on blank sample, the wt% of the precipitated asphaltene was minimized at the AOP and maximized at the bubble point. However, using the recommended mixture of 50T/50D, the amount of asphaltene that precipitated was almost negligible. Therefore, from a health, safety, and economic point of view, this study recommends using a low dose of 7.5% (by volume of oil) from toluene mixture with diesel (50%:50%) rather than using pure toluene to prevent the precipitation.
Shubham, Agrawal (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Martavaltzi, Christina (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Dakik, Ahmad Rafic (Texas A&M University at Qatar) | Gupta, Anuj (Texas A&M University at Qatar)
It is well known that the majority of carbonate reservoirs are neutral to oil-wet. This leads to much lower oil recovery during waterflooding since there is no spontaneous imbibition of water in heterogeneous reservoir displacement. It has been verified by a number of researchers that Adjustment of ion concentration in brine solutions, or adding surfactant solutions can enhance the oil recovery by altering the wettability. In the published literature, contact angle studies usually refer to measurement on calcite crystals and there are no results for the contact angle of carbonate porous media representative of reservoir rocks. Moreover, there are few studies on the effect of non-ionic surfactants, compared to those for ionic surfactants. Understanding the effect of various ions and their concentration in the injection brine on the wettability of the Limestone outcrop core samples is the first step for tailoring of the optimum injection brine. This will be followed by a study of the effect of surfactant on the wettability of calcite crystal samples. The evaluation of the results may provide guidelines for the design of injection brines for efficient enhanced oil recovery from carbonate reservoirs.
In this work, a procedure is established for the measurement of the contact angle on limestone outcrop core samples. Results showed that, at atmospheric conditions, low salinity CaCl2 solution induced the most significant improvement on the wettability of the outcrop sample. Moreover, among all the non-ionic surfactants studied, only the presence of the two first members of the 15S analogous series might lead to a slight decrease of the contact angle.
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.
Najmah-Sargelu Formations of Kuwait show considerable potential as a new unconventional hydrocarbon play and produces mainly from fractures. The key uncertainties which affect the productivity are the nature and distribution of permeable fracture networks, and the limits of oil accumulation.
This paper presents the results from whole-rock elemental analysis of three cored wells in UG field. The main objectives of this study are to use high-resolution elemental chemostratigraphy to gain a better understanding of the detailed stratigraphy and correlation of the Najmah-Sargelu Formations, to assess the chemo-sedimentology for determining the intervals of high organic content, to estimate the mineralogy of the sequence using an algorithm developed for an analog formation in North America; and to determine the most likely intervals to contain fractures, using a brittleness algorithm.
A clear chemo stratigraphic zonation is recognized within the Najmah-Sargelu Formation. The larger divisions are driven mainly by inherent lithological variation. The finer divisions are delineated by more subtle chemo stratigraphic signals (K2O/Th and Rb/Al2O3 ratios) and preservation of organic matter (high V, Ni, Mo, and U abundances). Zones of alternating brittleness and ductility are clearly identified within the interbedded limestones and marlstones of Najmah-Sargelu Formation.
Two unexpected but important features of the Najmah-Sargelu limestones were elucidated by the elemental data. Brittle, high-silica spiculites, with virtually no clay or silt, are more common than previously recognized from petrophysical logs and core descriptions in the upper Najmah limestones. In addition, the limestones adjacent to the spiculites tend to contain bitumen as pore-filling are recognized by the trace metal proxies. Ternary plots of V, Ni, and Mo differentiate the combinations of kerogen and bitumen present in the Najmah-Sargelu Formations.
The clarity and sensitivity of the chemostratigraphic signals are sufficient to enhance formation evaluation, and can also assist borehole positioning using the RockWiseSM ED-XRF instrument at wellsite.
Cinar, Yildiray (The University of New South Wales) | Arns, Christoph (The University of New South Wales) | Dehghan Khalili, Ahmad (The University of New South Wales) | Yanici, Sefer (The University of New South Wales)
Resistivity measurements play a key role in hydrocarbon in place calculations for oil and gas reservoirs. They are a direct indi-cator of fluid saturation and connected pore space available in the formation. Carbonate rocks, which host around half of the world's hydrocarbons, exhibit a wide range of porosities with scales spanning from nanometres to centimetres. The often sig-nificant amount of microporosity displayed by Carbonate rocks emphasizes the necessity of an adequate characterization of their micro-features and their contribution to hydrocarbon in place. In this paper we examine upscaling methods to probe for-mation factor of a fully saturated carbonate sample using an X-ray CT based numerical approach and compare to experimental measurements.
Three-dimensional high-resolution X-ray CT enables the numerical calculation of petrophysical properties of interest at the pore scale with resolutions down to a few microns per voxel. For more complex and heterogeneous samples however, a direct calculation of petrophysical properties is not feasible, since the required resolution and a sufficient field of view cannot be obtained simultaneously. Thus an integration of measurements at different scale is required. In this study a carbonate sample of 38mm in diameter is first scanned using the X-ray CT method with a resolution of 26µm. After accompanying experimental measurements on the full plug, four 5mm plugs were drilled vertically from this sample and X-ray CT images of these plugs acquired at resolutions down to 2.74 µm. We calculate the porosity of the sample (macro- and micro-porosities) using the phase separation methods and then predict the formation factor of the sample at several scales using a Laplace solver. The formation factor is calculated by using a general value of m=2 as cementation factor for intermediate porosity voxels. We compare to experimental measurements of formation factor and porosity both at the small plug and full plug scale and find good agreement.
To assess the degree of uncertainty of the numerical estimate, we probe the extent of heterogeneity by investigating the size of a representative elementary volume (REV) for formation factor. We find that for the considered heterogeneous carbonate sam-ple, formation factor varies considerably over intervals less than a centimetre. Our results show that this variation could be explained by different cementation exponents applied at the micro-voxel scale, with the exemption of one plug, for which the cementation exponent would have to be unreasonably low. These cementation factors are derived by direct comparison be-tween numerical simulation and experiment. We conclude that for one plug an error in experimental measurement might have occurred. The numerical approach presented here therefore aids in quality control. Excluding this plug in the upscaling proce-dure improves the agreement with the experimental result for the whole core while still underestimating formation factor. Al-lowing for a constant m=2 in the simulation at the small scale and using directly the resulting relationship between porosity and formation factor in the upscaling process leads to an overestimation of formation factor.
Significant advances have been made in formation testing since the introduction of wireline pumpout testers (WLPT), particularly with respect to downhole fluid compositional measurements. Optical sensors and the use of spectroscopic methods have been developed to improve sample quality and minimize sampling time in downhole environments. As a laboratory technique, spectroscopy is a ubiquitous and powerful technology that has been used worldwide for decades to measure the physical and chemical properties of many materials, including petroleum, geological, and hydrological samples. However, laboratory-grade, high-resolution spectrometers are incompatible with the hostile environments encountered downhole, at wellheads, and on pipelines. Only limited resolution techniques are available for the rugged conditions of the oil field. This paper introduces a new optical technology that can provide high-resolution, laboratory-quality analyses in harsh oilfield environments.
A new technology for optical sensing, multivariate optical computing (MOC), has been developed and is a non-spectroscopic technique. This new sensing method uses an integrated computation element (ICE) to combine the power and accuracy of high-resolution, laboratory-quality spectrometers with the ruggedness and simplicity of photometers. Many modern sensors typically merge the sensor with the electronics on an integrated computing chip to perform complex computations, resulting in an elegant yet simplistic design. Now, optical sensing using ICE features an analogue optical computation device to provide a direct, simple, and powerful mathematical computation on the optical information, completely within the optical domain. Because the entire optical range of interest is used without dispersing the light spectrum, the measurements are obtained instantly and rival laboratory-quality results.
A proof of concept MOC with ICE has been demonstrated, logging more than 7,000 hours, in nearly continuous use for 14 months. Oils with gravities ranging from 14 to 65°API have been measured in downhole environments that range from 3,000 to 20,000 psi, and from 150 to 350°F. Hydrocarbon composition measurements, including saturates, aromatics, resins, asphaltenes, methane, and ethane, have been demonstrated using the MOC configuration. As compositional calculations therein, GOR and density are validated to within 14 scf/bbl and 1%, respectively. The paper discusses the details of the new ICE-based sensor and describes its adaptations to downhole applications.
A Jurassic oil field in Saudi Arabia is characterized by black oil in the crest, with heavy oil underneath and all underlain by a tar mat at the oil-water contact (OWC). The viscosities in the black oil section of the column are similar throughout the field and are quite manageable from a production standpoint. In contrast, the mobile heavy oil section of the column contains a large, continuous increase in asphaltene content with increasing depth extending to the tar mat. Both the excessive viscosity of the heavy oil and the existence of the tar mat represent major, distinct challenges in oil production. A simple new formalism, the Flory-Huggins-Zuo (FHZ) Equation of State (EoS) incorporating the Yen-Mullins model of asphaltene nanoscience, is shown to account for the asphaltene content variation in the mobile heavy oil section. Detailed analysis of the tar mat shows significant nonmonotonic content of asphaltenes with depth, differing from that of the heavy oil. While the general concept of asphaltene gravitational accumulation to form the tar mat does apply, other complexities preclude simple monotonic behavior. Indeed, within small vertical distances (5 ft) the asphaltene content can decrease by 20% absolute with depth. These complexities likely involve a phase transition when the asphaltene concentration exceeds 35%. Traditional thermodynamic models of heavy oils and asphaltene gradients are known to fail dramatically. Many have ascribed this failure to some sort of chemical variation of asphaltenes with depth; the idea being that if the models fail it must be due to the asphaltenes. Our new simple formalism shows that thermodynamic modeling of heavy oil and asphaltene gradients can be successful. Our simple model demands that the asphaltenes are the same, top to bottom. The analysis of the sulfur chemistry of these asphaltenes by X-ray spectroscopy at the synchrotron at the Argonne National Laboratory shows that there is almost no variation of the sulfur through the hydrocarbon column. Sulfur is one of the most sensitive elements in asphaltenes to demark variation. Likewise, saturates, araomatics, resins and asphaltenes (SARA); measurements also support the application of this new asphaltene formalism. Consequently, the asphaltenes are very similar, and our new FHZ EoS with the Yen-Mullins formalism properly accounts for heavy oil and asphaltene gradients.
Thread compound "dope?? in the vernacular, has been used routinely in assembling joints of casing and tubing. The practice in almost universal application in the oil and gas industry involves the manual application of the lubricant in a fashion that is rudimentary, non-systematic and unquantifiable. There is evidence presented in this paper that damage to the near-well zone and other unpleasant events may be associated with the thread compound.
This paper presents the results of both laboratory and field investigations quantifying the effects of the dope on near-well damage. During the assembly of tubing and casing a portion of the thread compound is exuded inside and outside the connection and gets access to the well fluids through the tubing and annular space. Studies presented here show that the dope forms a suspension which penetrates and damages the formation. The studies used standard fluid circulation velocities during typical completion operations.
To characterize and quantify the problem, core samples from the El Tordillo field, with different permeabilities were used. The samples were subjected to the circulation of the suspension created by the thread compound and the completion fluid, measuring the change in the core permeability. The work simulated the well conditions during water injection for water injection wells and during acid treatments for producer wells. A significant reduction in permeability, manifested by a fast and a very large increase in pressure, was measured, at the front face of the core sample. The same measurements showed a far smaller impact in the core body suggesting very minor penetration of dope particles.
This paper describes the laboratory and field work, with description of the test protocols, well conditions and laboratory emulation of field conditions that were used.
Historically, shale instability is a challenging issue when drilling reactive formations using water-based muds (WBM). Shale instability leads to shale sloughing, stuck pipe, and shale disintegration causing an increase in fines that affects the rate of penetration. To characterize shale instability, laboratory tests including Linear Swell Meter (LSM), shale-erosion and slake-durability are conducted in industry. These laboratory tests, under different flow conditions, provide shale-fluid interaction parameters which are indicative of shale instability. The composition of WBM is designed to optimize these interaction parameters, so that when used in the field the fluid helps achieve efficient drilling.
This paper demonstrates modeling of shale-fluid interaction parameters obtained from the LSM test. In the standard LSM test, a laterally confined cylindrical shale sample is exposed to WBM at a specific temperature and its axial swelling is measured with time. The swelling reaches a plateau which is characterized by a shale-fluid interaction parameter called % final swelling volume (A). A typical LSM test runs for around 48-72 hours and many tests may be needed to optimize fluid composition.
In this work, a method/model is developed to predict final swelling volume (A) as a function of the Cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the shale and salt concentration in the fluid (prominent factors affecting shale swelling). An empirical model in the form of A = f(CEC)*f(salt) which describes the explicit dependence on the influencing variables is developed and validated for 16 different shale samples at various salt concentrations. This model would significantly reduce LSM laboratory trials saving time and money. It could also enable rig personnel to obtain quick measure of shale characteristics so that WBM composition could be adjusted immediately to avoid shale instability issues.
Stanitzek, Theo (AkzoNobel) | De Wolf, Corine (AkzoNobel) | Gerdes, Steffan (Fangmann Energy Services) | Lummer, Nils R. (Fangmann Energy Services) | Nasr-El-Din, Hisham A. (Texas A&M University) | Alex, Alan K. (AkzoNobel)
Matrix acidizing of high temperature gas wells is a difficult task, especially if these wells are sour or if they are completed with high chrome content tubulars. These harsh conditions require high loadings of corrosion inhibitors and intensifiers in addition to hydrogen sulfide scavengers and iron control agents. Selection of these chemicals to meet the strict environmental regulations adds to the difficulty in dealing with such wells. Recently, a new environmentally friendly chelating agent, glutamic acid -diacetic acid (GLDA), has been developed and extensively tested for carbonate and sandstone formations. Significant permeability improvements have been shown in previous papers over a wide range of conditions. In this paper we evaluate the results of the first field application of this chelating agent to acidize a sour, high temperature, tight gas well completed with high chrome content tubulars.
Extensive laboratory studies were conducted before the treatment, including: corrosion tests, core flood experiments, compatibility tests with reservoir fluids, and reaction rate measurements using a rotating disk apparatus. The treatment started by pumping a preflush of mutual solvent and water wetting surfactant, followed by the main stage consisting of 20 wt% GLDA with a low concentration of a proper corrosion inhibitor. Following the treatment, the well was put on production, and samples of flow back fluids were collected. The concentrations of various ions were determined using ICP. Various analytical techniques were used to determine the concentration of GLDA and other organic compounds in the flow back samples.
The treatment was applied in the field without encountering any operational problems. A significant increase in gas production that exceeded operator expectations was achieved. Unlike previous treatments where HCl or other chelates were used, the concentrations of iron, chrome, nickel, and molybdenum in the flow back samples were negligible, confirming low corrosion of well tubulars. Improved productivity and longer term performance results confirm the effectiveness of the new chelate as a versatile stimulation fluid.