Application of polymer flooding as a chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has increased over recent years. The main type of polymer used is partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM). This polymer still has some challenges especially with shear stability and injectivity that restrict its utility, particularly for low permeability reservoirs. Injectivity limits the possible gain by acceleration in oil production due to polymer flooding. Hence, good polymer injectivity is a requirement for the success of the operation. This paper aims to investigate the influence of formation permeability on polymer flow in porous media.
In this study, a combination of core flooding with rheological studies is presented to evaluate the influence of permeability on polymer in-situ rheology behavior. The in-situ flow of HPAM polymers has also been studied for different molecular weights. The effect of polymer preconditioning prior to injection was studied through exposing polymer solutions to different extent of mechanical degradation.
Results from this study reveal that the expected shear thinning behavior of HPAM that is observed in rheometer measurements is not observed in in-situ rheology in porous media. Instead, HPAM in porous media exhibits near-Newtonian behavior at low flow rates representative of velocities deep in the reservoir, while exhibiting shear thickening behavior at high flow rates representative of velocities near wellbore region. The pressure build-up associated with shear thickening behavior during polymer injection is significantly higher than pressure differential during water injection. The extent of shear thickening is high during the injection of high Mw polymer regardless of cores' permeability. In low permeable Berea cores, shear thickening and mechanical degradation occur at lower velocities although the degree of shear thickening is lower in Berea to that observed in high permeable Bentheimer cores. This is ascribed to high polymer retention in Berea cores that results in high residual resistance factor (RRF). Results show that preshearing polymer before injection into porous media optimizes its injectability and transportability through porous media. The effect of preshearing becomes favorable for the injection of high Mw polymers into low permeability formation.
This study discusses polymer in-situ rheology and injectivity, which is a key issue in the design of polymer flood projects. The results provide beneficial information on optimizing polymer injectivity, in particular, for low permeability porous media.
Engineers need to predict the production characteristics from hydraulically fractured wells in tight gas fields. Decline curve analysis (DCA) has been widely used over many years in conventional oil and gas fields. It is often applied to tight gas, but there is uncertainty regarding the period of production data needed for accurate prediction.
In this paper decline curve analysis of simulated production data from models of hydraulically fractured wells is used to to develop improved methods for calibrating decline curve parameters from production data. The well models were constructed using data from the Khazzan field in Oman. The impact of layering, permeability and drainage area on well performance is also investigated. The contribution of each layer to recovery and the mechanisms controlling that contribution is explored.
The investigation shows that increasing the amount of production data used to fit a hyperbolic decline curve does not improve predictions of recovery unless that data comes from many years (20 years for a 1mD reservoir) of production. This is because there is a long period of transient flow in tight gas reservoirs that biases the fitting and results in incorrect predictions of late time performance. Better predictions can be made by estimating the time at which boundary dominated flow is first observed (tb), omitting the preceding transient data and fitting the decline curve to a shorter interval of data starting at tb. For single layer cases, tb can be estimated analytically using the permeability, porosity, compressibility and length scale of the drainage volume associated with the well. Alternatively, tb can be determined from the production data allowing improved prediction of performance from 2-layer reservoirs provided that a) there is high cross-flow or b) there is no cross-flow and the lower permeability layer either does not experience BDF during the field life time or it is established quickly.
Flow zonation and permeability estimation is a common problem in reservoir characterization; usually, integration of openhole log data with conventional and special core analysis solves the latter. We present a Bayesian based method for identifying hydraulic flow units in uncored wells using the theory of Hydraulic Flow Units (HFU) and subsequently compute permeability using wireline log data.
First, we use the F-test and the Akaike's criteria coupled with a nonlinear optimization scheme based on the probability plot to determine the optimal number of HFU present in the core dataset with the regression match giving the pertinent statistical parameters of each flow unit. Second, we cluster core data into its respective HFU by using the Bayes' rule. Finally, we apply an inversion algorithm based on Bayesian inference to predict permeability using only wireline data.
We illustrate the application of the procedure with a carbonate reservoir having extensive core data. The results showed the Bayesian-based clustering and inversion technique delivered permeability estimates in agreement with core data as well as with results obtained from pressure transient analysis.
Among the applications of the workflow presented are better productivity index assessments, enhanced petrophysical evaluations, and improved reservoir simulation models. Coupling of Nonlinear optimization with Bayesian inference proves a robust way for performing data clustering providing unbiased estimations
Taher, Ahmed (ADNOC Upstream) | Celentano, Maria (ADNOC Upstream) | Franco, Bernardo (ADNOC Upstream) | Al-Shehhi, Mohammed (ADNOC Upstream) | Al Marzooqi, Hassan (ADNOC Upstream) | Al Hanaee, Ahmed (ADNOC Upstream) | Da Silva Caeiro, Maria (ADNOC Upstream)
In early Aptian times, subtle tectonic movements may have been activated along the NW-SE strike-slip faults and have resulted in a vertical displacement along these faults. The displacement would have allowed the carbonate-producing organisms to colonize along the shallower southern margin and generate well developed reservoir facies. The basinal facies were deposited to the north of the shelf margin, which is known to be the Bab Basin.
Significant oil was discovered in the Shuaiba shelf facies. However, the lagoonal and basinal facies have potential for discovering a significant volume of hydrocarbon, especially in the fields that are located in the Upper Thamama hydrocarbon migration pathways. This potential is supported by the absence of an effective seal separating Thamama Zone-A from Shuaiba basinal facies above, which allowed for the Zone-A hydrocarbon to migrate vertically into the Shuaiba basinal facies. In addition, this potential was supported by the hydrocarbon shows while drilling and by the interpreted well logs, which confirm the presence of movable hydrocarbon in the Shuaiba lagoonal and basinal facies.
The Shuaiba Formation is comprised of two supersequences (
The Shuaiba basinal facies were deposited in an intrashelf basin that was enclosed by the Shuaiba shelfal facies sediments. This resulted in restricted water circulation, anoxic condition and deposition below the wave base. Such depositional environment is favourable for source rock preservation.
Lithologically, Shuaiba basinal facies consist of pelagic lime-mudstone, wackestone and packstone with abundant planktonic microfossils. These facies are characterized by low permeability values, but their porosity can reach up to 20%. The lagoonal sediments consists of a deepening sequence of carbonate sediments, with shallow marine algal deposits at the base and fine hemipelagic to pelagic carbonates in the upper section.
The differences between the Shuaiba Shelf and the Shuaiba Basin are mainly in permeability values. By applying the latest technology in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the Shuaiba basinal facies will produce a significant volume of hydrocarbon.
Thermal EOR projects are technically and economically challenging projects. Improving the geological understanding and implementing these geological concepts into the static model were key to increase the robustness of, not only the geological model but also of the dynamic simulation.
The initial believe was that fine grained and mm scale laminated sediments act as vertical baffles for the steam distribution. The fine grained sands were low in permeability and the lamination were further reducing the vertical permeability. Grain size had the main impact on permeability and grain size was correlated with V-shale. Then, V-shale was used as a proxy for grain size and was integrated into a V-shale base porosity-permeability transformation.
After modeling the baffles explicitly, it was shown that against the initial belief, the main control on fluid flow was not a patchy baffle distribution. Instead the reservoir was overall reduced in vertical permeability. A lager impact had the V-shale base poro-perm transform, predicting an order of magnitude permeability range for a given porosity. Reducing the impact of the facies also reduced overall the uncertainty and improved the predictive power of the models. This in turn, helped to take development decisions with much higher confidence.
Geomechanical modeling of hydraulic fracturing in deep gas reservoirs in Oman is complicated by high uncertainties in key parameters. This study aims to adopt a physics-based data analytics technique to model geomechanical behavior of rocks. The paper also presents the methodology of linking geomechanics with well performance. Finally, the integration of the results into a decision support system is discussed.
The majority of deep gas reservoirs in Oman are tight. The permeabilities are in the sub-millidarcy range. Hydraulic fracturing helps to unlock the reserves. Meanwhile, proper hydrofracture design is required to optimize the development of these complex reservoirs. Due to high stresses, unclear processes governing hydrofracture propagation, and complex depositional and diagenetic histories, the applicability of standard hydrofracture modeling techniques becomes questionable. Proper surveillance design and in-depth analysis of the monitoring data assist in testing the range of applicability of the modeling tools. The analysis also aids in characterizing the influence of the processes not captured within the models.
Recently the development of deep gas reservoirs in Oman started to benefit from horizontal well technology. Similarly to other horizontal developments, the question of proper well architechture and stimulation design was raised. In this study, the data pertaining to historical vertical wells was collated to understand the processes governing hydrofracture placement. The data indicated the presence of strong fracture barriers and of highly stressed zones which affect the ability to create sufficient fracture conductivity. Further, geomechanical models were calibrated to allow for realistic estimate of the contact area between the fracture and reservoir. Analysis of the production data indicated that productivity was often limited by the factors not captured in the models (e.g., suboptimal cleanup). For proper planning, risk factors may be chosen to reflect the loss of productivity. In the next step, the learnings from the vertical wells served for characterizing hydrofracturing in horizontals. Analysis of the data indicated that due to near-wellbore complexity and choking effect the productivity of an individual fracture in a horizontal well was only a fraction of that in a vertical well. As a final step all the data along with their interpretation are being incorporated into the library of hydrofracture scenarios. Future development will rely on searching for the analogs and selecting a design fitting all applicable scenarios. The paper presents an overview of the surveillance data analysis. The results of the analysis allow for creating a library of the development scenarios, which serve as a basis for a decision support system aimed at streamlining hydrofracture and well planning design.
The aim of this study is to propose a stratigraphic and sedimentary framework though the integration of available sedimentary, diagenetic and petrophysical data, which will be utilized in the construction of a high resolution stratigraphic framework, as an input into comprehensive review and update of an existing model of heterogeneous carbonate reservoir in a mature field in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Depositional facies have been defined in cored wells, subsequently were associated taking into account the biologic and sedimentary processes in response of carbonate growing and sea level changes, allowing the identification of the main stratigraphic surfaces.
Surfaces can extend the correlation along the field and define the model of facies that, with the evidence provided by cores, can recreate and predict the different regressive-transgressive cycles in high resolution which the carbonate platform were undergone during its evolution.
Diagenetic evolution, interpreted through laboratory observations, was integrated with facies and petrophysical evaluation allowing the understanding of the spatial distribution of petrophysical properties within a heterogeneous reservoir and define a new set of facies which will be used in the generation of geological static model.
Application of sequence stratigraphy methods in cores, and extended in logs allowed the identification of six depositional sequences, with thicknesses of 2 to 4 meters each, corresponding to the phases of carbonate platform growth. Within each depositional sequences, typical cycles were defined that support the understanding in the association of facies and their relationship during the deposition.
The identification of sedimentological cycles not only genetically organizes the facies and predicts the stacking pattern, but also makes possible to find an excellent correspondence between cycles from lowstand system track intervals with good to excellent permeability values, and cycles from transgressive system track intervals with low permeabilities.
Many of the sequence stratigraphy published articles driven for the most important reservoirs along the Arabian Plate, provide an excellent tool in the regional correlation. However, they are not enough to be used in the reservoir characterization in detail that is required during the development of the field neither as input data in the generation of geological static models that use the sedimentary trends as constrain to populate the petrophysical properties.
Alsop, D. B. (Petroleum Development) | Pentland, C. (Petroleum Development) | Hamed, W. (Petroleum Development) | Al Ghulam, J. (Petroleum Development) | Al Ma‘Mary, T. S. H. (Petroleum Development) | Svec, R. (Petroleum Development) | Al Kiyumi, A. (Petroleum Development) | Al Daoudi, Y. (Petroleum Development)
The Gharif Formation is one of the most prolific oil and gas producing clastic reservoirs in the Sultanate of Oman with production spanning five decades and thousands of wells. The depositional environment for the Gharif varies both vertically as well as spatially across Oman making identification of appropriate field analogues challenging. A thematic study of the Gharif Formation over the last few years has added new insights into the impact of these geologically complex reservoirs on connectivity and field development options. The objectives of the development catalogue is to utilize the geological, petrophysical and reservoir engineering knowledge and data to support the decision making process.
The Gharif is divided into three main units with the depositional environments ranging from fluvio-deltaic, shoreface, tidal flats, semi-arid and humid tropical fluvial systems. Each environment has its own respective reservoir characteristics such as reservoir properties, body geometry, vertical and lateral connectivity and net to gross. These environments vary between units as well as regionally across Oman. Standardization of core facies and well picks with the application of sequence stratigraphy has enabled regional palaeogeography maps to be created at flow unit level. Production is often co-mingled with nine possible reservoir combinations and fluids range from heavy oil (<20 °API) to gas. Development areas have been identified based on regional palaeogeography maps, diagenetic trends and fluid properties. For each area and unit, an assessment of the rock and fluid properties has been undertaken and key uncertainties are identified and captured in a matrix. A review of development decisions and approaches resulted in an understanding of how optimal field development varies throughout the Gharif; the key development decisions were captured in a decision matrix.
The distillation and analysis of the extensive Gharif dataset has resulted in specific tools and workflows that are available to aid better, and faster, decision making in Gharif field developments. Technical databases put the appropriate quality controlled data at the field developer's finger tips while development workflows utilizing uncertainty and decision matrices empower teams in their decision making process. We envisage field development studies benefiting from the consistent application of identified best practices resulting in significant multi-month time savings.
This work has shown how formation specific data, covering a wide geographical area, can be integrated and analysed to quickly assess subsurface uncertainties and identify appropriate analogues. This in turn enables development teams to make better and faster decisions on development options. This approach will now be replicated for other formations in Oman.
This paper relates the successful water shut-off treatment of a heavy-oil Omani well combining the use of microgel and gel.
As many sandstone reservoir with strong aquifer in Southern Oman, this vertical well faced early water breakthrough along with sand production. Water cut increased dramatically until reaching 100%. The average permeability was around 500 mD but effective permeability ranged from milli Darcy to several Darcy. Due to well characteristics (several perforation intervals, gravel pack, etc…), it was not possible to identify and isolate the water production zones, which oriented the strategy towards the use of RPM products (Relative Permeability Modifiers). The treatment consisted of microgel and gel injections which were bullheaded into the whole open interval. After the treatment, the water cut dropped from 100% to 85% and sand production was stopped over a period of time superior to one year. The treatment was cost effective, producing more than 9000 bbl of extra oil in one year.
In this paper, we describe the treatment design methodology combining laboratory study and near wellbore simulations, and the optimization of injection sequences. Finally, the treatment execution is detailed followed by the presentation of the results obtained since the realization of the operations.
The results show that combining low-risk approach and low-cost RPM technology is an attractive way to restore productivity of watered out wells, in which conventional water shut-off zone isolation is not feasible.
Complex carbonate reservoirs provide many challenges for characterization and modeling not least because diagenetic overprints may lead to increases in heterogeneities on a small scale. This study examines a complex carbonate reservoir from onshore Abu Dhabi where diagenetic overprints have led to the development of high permeability streaks. Additional complication is the presence of a low resistivity pay (LRP), where analysis of resistivity logs has resulted in the calculation of high water saturation which contradicts production tests that confirm dry oil. This study used a combination of core, thin section, MICP, well logs and dynamic data to develop a holistic and robust reservoir characterization and reservoir model. A methodology was developed specifically to characterize and model the subsurface conditions identified in this field due to the simultaneous existences of high permeability streaks and LRP intervals. The methodology included: 1. detailed core, thin section and lithofacies description; 2. paleoenvironmental interpretation; 3. high resolution sequence stratigraphy (HRSS) interpretation; 4. diagenetical analysis; 5. reservoir rock typing (RRT); 6. assessment of the relationship between lithofacies, diagenetic processes, and RRT; 7. saturation height function (SHF); 8. integrated static model building, and; 9. flow simulation and history match validation. Three lithofacies were identified using faunal content, texture, sedimentary structures and Dunham Classification. The depositional setting varied from lagoon to shoal. Reservoir Rock Typing (RRT) defined seven rock types based on capillary pressure trend, pore throat distribution and porositypermeability. HRSS interpretation recognized three 5th order highstand sequences that separated by two transgressive sequences.