Hydrocarbons are trapped at great depths with pressure and temperature higher than surface conditions which would vary depending on reservoir properties. When the well is set on production, these hydrocarbons travel through the wellbore over reducing geothermal and formation pressure gradients. Hence, at shallower depths the temperature drops below the cloud point and sometimes, below pour point of crude thus creating an ambient temperature for the formation of wax and deposition of paraffin on the inner side of production tubing.
It has been observed that when hot fluid passes through a pipe which is covered by a continuously circulating hot water bath, the temperature difference of the fluid at surface outlet and sub-surface reservoir is reduced to a minimal value. This paper therefore proposes a practical application of such heat transfer within a wellbore for passively solving major industrial issues of paraffin depositions. The idea lies in minimizing the heat losses, which can be effectively done by insulating the inner side of the casing so that the annulus and fluid flowing within the tubing is isolated from exterior losses. According to the First law of Thermodynamics the fluid flowing within the tubing will experience reduction in thermal gradient. These loses can be compensated by injecting hotter brine through a pipe at the bottom of the annulus, which is isolated, using production packer. Further, circulating hot fluid in the annulus would result in isothermal heating of the fluid flowing through the tube which would minimize the heat loss across tubing, causing an increase in temperature of fluid at the surface above pour point. Several researchers have put forth heat transfer equations across the tubing's, annulus, insulator, casing, cement and the formation which can be used to calculate the overall heat transfer coefficient and thus, the amount of heat losses. Quartz sensors placed at the bottom of a wellbore would detect bottom borehole temperature based on which the injection temperature of fluid can be manipulated. The entire process can be automated by applying an artificial intelligent system which would monitor, control and respond. This method would increase the capex but would decrease the operating cost thus leading to an increase in the life of the well.
A successful water injection management is a key to increase or stabilize oil production and to maximize oil recovery from a mature field. This paper describes an approach to draw maximum benefit through existing set up of a water injection in a mature offshore carbonate field of India. Water injection initiated after the six years of oil production and field is under water flood since last 28 years. The field witnessed favorable water flood condition and almost negligible aquifer support. During its long production period most of the producers had been sideracked from one to three times to target better saturation areas which has led to uneven subsurface water distribution. The field has also suffered less voidage compensation for quite some time.
To understand and mitigate the problem, a small pilot area within a field has been selected for implementing a good surveillance and monitoring program with pattern injection and possible intervention strategy. It was decided that based on the success of this pilot, the concept would be developed for implementation in step by step manner for entire field. The importance of multidisciplinary team has been recognized and detailed SWOT analysis was done for effective implementation of plan. Initially pilot area comprised of 15 oil producers and 4 water injectors. Conversion of one producer to water injector and restoration of water injection in 3 injectors were done as per plan and optimized injection rate (in this case maximum 3000 bbl per day) per injector were implemented. Peripheral pattern for pilot area with 5 injectors and 5 spot inverted patterns from rest 3 injectors were decided.
After one year of the implementation a thorough performance analysis of the pilot has been carried out which indicates the overall improvement of liquid and oil production rates along with reduction in GOR and decreasing trend of oil decline rates of producers.
The pilot approach has certainly helped to understand the Reservoir conformance in short duration of time. Encouraging results of this methodology guides to extent and implement this approach in other parts of field to cover the entire field in phased manner.
Abdulhadi, Muhammad (Dialog Group) | Tran, Toan Van (Dialog Group) | Chin, Hon Voon (Dialog Group) | Jacobs, Steve (Halliburton) | Suggust, Alister Albert (PETRONAS) | Usop, Mohammad Zulfiqar (PETRONAS) | Zamzuri, Dzulfahmi (PETRONAS) | Dolah, Khairul Arifin (PETRONAS) | Abdussalam, Khomeini (PETRONAS) | Munandai, Hasim (PETRONAS) | Yusop, Zainuddin (PETRONAS)
The first successful natural dump-flood in the Malaysian offshore environment provided numerous lessons learned to the operator. The minimal investment necessary for implementing the dump-flood coupled with the lack of recompletion opportunities in the subject wells suggested that direct execution without spending on expensive data gathering activity and extensive reservoir study makes more sense from a business point of view. A similar oil gain compared to a water injection project can be achieved at a significantly lower cost of USD 0.01 to 0.15 million in an offshore environment through dump-flooding.
The existing oil producers in the depleted reservoirs in Field B were originally completed and successfully drained oil from in a high-pressured watered-out reservoir below, making it an ideal dump-flood water source. The dump-flood was initiated by commingling the target and water source reservoir through zone change, allowing water to naturally cross-flow into the pressure depleted target reservoir. Once a memory production logging tool (MPLT) confirmed the cross-flow, the offtake well was monitored to determine the impact of the dump-flood and produce once the pressure was increased. Minimal investment was necessary because the operations were executed using slickline. The reservoir model will be calibrated once the positive impact of dump-flood is realized in the offtake well.
The first natural dump-flood in Reservoir X-2 has successfully produced 0.29 MMstb as of August 2018 with 600 BOPD incremental oil gain. The incremental recovery factor (RF) from the first dump-flood is predicted to be from 5 to 8%. Based on this success, it was decided to replicate the dump-flood project in other depleted reservoirs with Reservoir X-2 as an analog. Four reservoirs were subsequently identified, each with an estimated operational cost of approximately USD 0.01 million and potential incremental reserves of 0.10 to 0.20 MMstb per reservoir. The minimal investment necessary, the idle status of the wells and reservoirs, and the potential incremental reserves suggested that it is more appealing to proceed with implementing the dump-flood without undergoing an extensive and costly reservoir study. With reservoir connectivity being important to the success of dump-flooding, a more cost-effective approach would be to confirm the connectivity by monitoring the offtake well after the dump-flood is initiated. This approach provides more value because the cost of interference or pulse testing is significantly more expensive than the cost of the dump-flood itself while reservoir connectivity was already indicated as likely by geological data (map and seismic). Through a value driven approach, these dump-flood opportunities become more economically viable, allowing the operator to prolong the life of the assets and maximize the field profit.
This paper discusses using a value driven and business approach to implement the dump-flood in a mature field. Valuable insight into the business and technical considerations of implementing dump-floods are described, which are relevant to the industry, especially in today's low margin business climate.
Oil production decline and excessive water production are prevalent in mature fields and unconventional plays, which significantly impact the profitability of the wells and result in costly water treatment and disposal. To seek for a sustainable development of those wells, reducing the operation cost and extending their economic lives, this paper presents a method of synergistic production of hydrocarbon and electricity, which could harvest the unexploited geothermal energy from the produced water and transfer heat to electricity in the wellbore. Such method is cost-effective, since it does not require any surface power plant facility, and it is replicable in numerous wells including both vertical wells and horizontal wells. By simultaneous coproduction of oil and electricity, the value of existing assets could be fully developed, operation cost could be offset, and the economic life of the well could be extended.
This recently proposed method incorporated thermoelectric power generation technology and oil production. In this method, electricity could be produced by thermoelectric generator (TEG) mounted outside of the tubing wall under temperature gradient created by produced fluid and injected fluids. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the economic practicability of oil-electricity coproduction by using thermoelectric technology in oil wells based on previously proposed design. We examined the technical data of high water-cut oil wells in North Dakota and collected required information with respect to performance thermoelectric power generations. Special emphasis was placed on the key parameters related to project economics, such as thermoelectric material, length of TEG and injection rate. Sensitive studies were carried out to characterize the impact of the key parameters on project profits. We showed that by simultaneously production of oil and electricity, $234,480 of additional value could be generated without interfering with oil production.
The proposed method capitalizes on the unexploited value of produced water and generates additional benefits. This study could provide a workflow for oil and gas operators to evaluate an oil-electricity coproduction project and could act as a guidance to perform and commercialize such project to balance parts of the operation cost and extend the life of the existing assets.
Reservoirs which produce under active water drive offer a significant uncertainty towards implementation of Chemical EOR processes. This paper describes a successful pilot testing of ASP process in a clastic reservoir which is operating under strong aquifer drive. The field has ~ 30 years of production history. The objective of the pilot was to understand response of ASP process in a mature reservoir, which is operating under active edge water drive. The build-up permeability of the reservoir is 2-8 Darcy with viscosity~ 50 cP. Salient key observations like production performance, incremental oil gain, polymer breakthrough etc. are discussed in this paper after completion of the pilot.
On the basis of laboratory study and simulation, ASP pilot was implemented in the field in 2010.The pilot was designed with single inverted five spot pattern and one observation well. The pilot envisaged injection of 0.3 pore volume (PV) Alkali-Surfactant-Polymer (ASP) slug, 0.3 PV graded polymer buffer followed by 0.4PV chase water. The pilot was meticulously monitored for production performance and breakthrough of chemicals. All the pilot producers have more than 20 years of production history. Base oil rate and water cut were fixed before start of the pilot, on the basis of test data which was used to monitor pilot performance. Interwell Tracer Test (IWTT) was conducted before starting of ASP injection so as to understand sweep in the pilot area. In addition, quality of injection water and chemical concentration in ASP slug was checked regularly to ensure best quality.
Significant response of the pilot was observed within 15 months of the start of the pilot which was published in 2012. This paper aims to describe the learning and conclusion after successful completion of the pilot. ~40-50% jump in oil rate was observed during the ASP injection period which sustained for 12-18 months. However preferential breakthrough of ASP slug in one of the producer impacted the incremental oil gain. The preferential breakthrough of polymer was due to presence of high permeability streaks which was rectified by profile modification job. In addition, strong aquifer movement was experienced during ASP injection which leads to rise in water cut of a pilot well. However, the pilot well was restored through water shutoff jobs. After completion of ASP and mobility buffer, a cumulative incremental oil ~28000 m3 was obtained. Cumulative incremental oil gain is in line with simulation studies prediction. 12-14% decrease in water cut was observed which sustained for ~ 6-18 months. Regular monitoring of produced fluid indicated breakthrough of polymer and alkali in 2-3 producers. During the pilot, produced fluid handling issues like tough emulsion formation, lift malfunctioning etc. was not observed. These collective observation indicated success of the ASP pilot project.
There are very few case histories of successful ASP pilot implementation are available, in which the reservoirs has been operating under active aquifer drive. Learning of this ASP project can be taken forward for expansion of ASP flood and also designing of ASP pilot/commercial projects for analogous reservoirs.
Temizel, Cenk (Aera Energy) | Balaji, Karthik (University of North Dakota) | Canbaz, Celal Hakan (Ege University) | Palabiyik, Yildiray (Istanbul Technical University) | Moreno, Raul (Smart Recovery) | Rabiei, Minou (University of North Dakota) | Zhou, Zifu (University of North Dakota) | Ranjith, Rahul (Far Technologies)
Due to complex characteristics of shale reservoirs, data-driven techniques offer fast and practical solutions in optimization and better management of shale assets. Developments in data-driven techniques enable robust analysis of not only the primary depletion mechanisms, but also the enhanced oil recovery in unconventionals such as natural gas injection. This study provides a comprehensive background on application of data-driven methods in oil and gas industry, the process, methodology and learnings along with examples of data-driven analysis of natural gas injection in shale oil reservoirs through the use of publicly-available data.
Data is obtained and organized. Patterns in production data are analyzed using data-driven methods to understand key parameters in the recovery process as well as the optimum operational strategies to improve recovery. The complete process is illustrated step-by-step for clarity and to serve as a practical guide for readers. This study also provides information on what other alternative physics-based evaluation methods will be able to offer in the current conditions of data availability and the understanding of physics of recovery in shale oil assets together with the comparison of outcomes of those methods with respect to the data-driven methods. Thereby, a thorough comparison of physics-based and data-driven methods, their advantages, drawbacks and challenges are provided.
It has been observed that data organization and filtering takes significant time before application of the actual data-driven method, yet data-driven methods serve as a practical solution in fields that are mature enough to bear data for analysis as long as the methodology is carefully applied. The advantages, challenges and associated risks of using data-driven methods are also included. The results of comparison between physics-based methods and data-driven methods illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of each method while providing the differences in evaluation and outcome along with a guideline for when to use what kind of strategy and evaluation in an asset.
A comprehensive understanding of the interactions between key components of the formation and the way various elements of an EOR process impact these interactions, is of paramount importance. Among the few existing studies on natural gas injection in shale oil with the use of data-driven methods in oil and gas industry include a comparative approach including the physics-based methods but lack the interrelationship between physics-based and data-driven methods as a complementary and a competitor within the era of rise of unconventionals. This study closes the gap and serves as an up-to-date reference for industry professionals.
Mandal, Dipak (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd) | Baruah, Nabajit (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd) | Jena, Smita Swarup (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd) | Nayak, Bichitra (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd)
Hydrocarbon gas injection into the reservoir is one of the most effective EOR processes. In case of a dipping and light oil reservoir, immiscible gas injection can give further impetus to the oil recovery. Since, average current gas saturation in the subject reservoir has become high due to depletion rendering water injection at this late stage is found to be ineffective, scope of gravity assisted immiscible gas injection as an alternative has been evaluated to assess its impact on reservoir pressure and ultimate recovery.
The present study pertains to a high permeable clastic light oil reservoir with reasonable dip, belonging to an old field of South Assam Shelf of India under production since 1990 with current recovery of 22% of STOIIP. The reservoir being undersaturated with no aquifer support, shows significant decline in reservoir pressure (260 ksc of initial pressure to current level of 50 ksc). Simulation study has been carried out on a fine scale geo-cellular model. Multiple realizations have been created considering combinations of oil producers and gas injection wells assigning varied rates to study the different development scenarios and impact on recovery improvement. The study indicates an incremental oil recovery of about 14% of STOIIP by immiscible gas injection.
Based on the study, immiscible gas injection has been initiated in the reservoir on pilot scale basis through two gas injectors with continuous monitoring. After gas injection during last one year, reservoir pressure increased about 25 ksc and consequently per well productivity also increased. Non-flowing well starts producing and currently sand is producing nearly 25% higher than earlier production before gas injection. Based on the encouraging result from pilot gas injection, decided to expand the process at field level and subsequently drilling of new oil producers after jacking up of reservoir.
The study has brought out that the gas injection into shallower portion of the reservoir yields better sweep efficiency to displace the oil to the deeper portion of the reservoir due to the gravity effects and hence, appropriate locales of the reservoir are targeted for additional input generation to augment the oil recovery.
The objectives of the present study are to evaluate a zwitterionic surfactant for applicability in EOR. The surfactant was tested in terms of its salt tolerance, thermal stability, interfacial reduction capability, wettability alteration and resistance to adsorption. The effect of salinity and alkalinity was also tested on the above stated physico-chemical properties of the surfactant.
The salt tolerance of the surfactant was tested by testing for precipitation of surfactant solution with increasing salinity at 30 °C and 80 °C. The thermal stability of the surfactant was tested by TGA testing. The interfacial tension of the crude oil and surfactant solution with varying surfactant concentration, salinity and alkalinity was tested by spinning drop technique. The wettability alteration by surfactant solution was tested by measuring contact angle on an oil wet sample. The adsorption study was done by measuring the concentration of surfactant after its solution was exposed to adsorption on crushed rock sample.
The surfactant had salt tolerance of 20% salinity. The surfactant was found stable to 130 °C as per TGA curve. The interfacial tension (IFT) was reduced to ultralow value by surfactant solution for concentration at and above its critical micelle concentration. The presence of salt had minimal effect on the IFT reduction capability of the surfactant solution. Presence of alkali had synergetic effect on IFT reduction. The wettability of the oil wet sample was altered to preferentially water wet by surfactant. The loss of surfactant due to adsorption was found to be within recommenced range for applicability in EOR. These excellent physico-chemical properties of the zwitterionic surfactant suggest that it can be used in the mature oil fields for recovery of trapped oil.
Baruah, Nabajit (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) | Mandal, Dipak (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) | Jena, Smita Swarupa (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) | Sahu, Sunil Kumar (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation)
This paper examines the prospect of Gas Assisted Gravity Drainage (GAGD) process in improving recovery from a sandstone reservoir by injecting produced gas back into the crestal part of the reservoir. Besides recovery improvement, immiscible gas injection ensures near Zero Flaring strategy. The process has been found to be ideal in reservoirs with high permeability and reasonable dip to maximize oil production wherever a sufficient gas source exists. Based on the study, gas injection is recommended at the crestal part of the reservoir under study at the rate equivalent to the produced gas to maintain pressure, arrest gas cap shrinkage and improve recovery.
Gupta, M K (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd) | Sukanandan, J N (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd) | Singh, V K (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd) | Pawar, A S (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd) | Deuri, BUDHIN (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd)
In an offshore field, mitigation of H2S from natural gas itself is a big challenge. A situation where high H2S present in well fluid increases the challenges several fold to sweet both processed oil and gas. In a wellhead platform/remote location where manual intervention requirement is minimal, conventional process has several limitation such as space availability, load on structure, frequent monitoring etc., hence may not be suitable for mitigation of H2S from processed gas and oil.
In this work, an approach is adopted for sweetening of sour gas and sour crude in an optimum way, keeping offshore constraints in mind and without usage of rotating equipment's. An integrated simulation model is developed in Aspen HYSYS process simulator wherein well fluid from well manifold is processed in three phase oil and gas separator. The gas liberated from the separator is first sweetened in adsorption columns considering three bed systems unlike general usage of two. The oil is sweetened in an envisaged stripper column utilizing sweet gas from adsorption column as stripping gas. In this work, a three bed adsorption column is envisaged wherein 1st two column in used for sweetening of gas liberated from separator which consists of around 7500ppm H2S. Sour oil from the separator which contains around 2000 ppm of dissolved H2S is processed in a stripper column for mitigation of H2S dissolved in the oil. Sweet gas liberated from 1st two column of adsorber bed is used as stripping gas for oil sweetening. H2S liberated from stripper column is routed to the 3rd column for sweetening. After this gas from all the adsorber column is combined and routed to process platform along with the sweet oil. Analysis reveals that, this scheme can sweeten altogether both oil and gas to the desired H2S level without the need of any rotating equipment's and must be a suitable for remote location.
A holistic approach was taken for sweetening of oil and gas without the need of any rotating equipment's, & any chemicals, unlike the conventional method and hence can be suitably adopted for an offshore environment or at remote location where requirement of manual intervention is bare minimum.