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Abstract Subsurface characterization of fluid volumes is typically constrained and validated by core analytical fluid saturation measurement techniques (example Dean-Stark or Open Retort methodology). As production in resource plays has progressed over time, it has been noted that many of these methods have a large error when compared to production data. A large source of the error seems to be that water saturations in tight rocks have been consistently underestimated in the traditional laboratory measurement techniques. Operators need improved fluid saturation measurements to better constrain their log-based oil-in-place estimates and forward-looking production trends. The overall goal of this study is to test a new laboratory workflow for fluid saturation quantification. Recent advancements have led to an innovative methodology where a closed retort laboratory technique is applied to samples from lithological rock types in the Williston, Uinta and Denever-Julesburg (DJ) basins. This new technique is specifically designed to better quantify and validate water measurements throughout the tight rock analysis process, as well as improved oil recovery and built-in prediction. A comparison of standard crushed rock analysis employing Dean-Stark saturation methods is compared to the closed retort results and observations discussed. Results will also be compared against additional laboratory methods that validate the results such as geochemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance. Finally, open-hole wireline logs will be utilized to quantify the impact on total water saturation and the oil-in place estimates based on the improved accuracy of the closed retort technique.
Johnson, Andrew C. (Schlumberger) | Miles, Jeffrey (Schlumberger) | Mosse, Laurent (Schlumberger) | Laronga, Robert (Schlumberger) | Lujan, Violeta (Schlumberger) | Aryal, Niranjan (Schlumberger) | Nwosu, Dozie (Schlumberger)
Abstract Formation water saturation is a critical target property for any comprehensive well log analysis program. Most techniques for computing saturation depend heavily on an analyst’s ability to accurately model resistivity measurements for the effects of formation water resistivity and rock texture. However, the pre-requisite knowledge of formation water properties, particularly salinity, is often either unknown, varying with depth or lateral extent, or is difficult to derive from traditional methods. A high degree of variability may be present due to fluid migration from production, water injection, or various geological mechanisms. In unconventional reservoirs, the complexity of the rocks and pore structure further complicates traditional interpretation of the available well logs. These factors introduce significant uncertainties in the computed fluid saturations and therefore can substantially affect final reserves estimates. A novel technique in geochemical spectroscopy has recently been introduced to distinguish the chlorine signals of the formation and borehole. The new, quantitative measurement of formation chlorine enables a direct calculation of bulk water volume for a given formation water salinity. When integrated into a multi-physics log analysis workflow, the chlorine-derived water volume can provide critical information on fluid saturations, hydrocarbon-in-place, and producibility indicators. This additional information is especially useful for characterizing challenging and complex unconventional reservoirs. We present the new technique through several full petrophysical evaluation case studies in organic shale formations across the U.S., including the Midland, Delaware, Marcellus, and DJ basins. We solve for formation-specific water salinity and bulk water volume through an optimization that combines chlorine concentration with resistivity and dielectric measurements. These outputs are integrated into comprehensive petrophysical evaluations, leveraging a suite of advanced well log measurements to compute final fluid and rock properties and volumetrics. The evaluations include geochemical mineralogy logs, 2D NMR analyses, dielectric dispersion analyses, basic log measurements, and multi-mineral models. The results underscore the utility of the new spectroscopy chlorine log to reduce petrophysical model uncertainties in an integrated workflow. While this workflow has been demonstrated here in several U.S. organic shale case studies, the fundamental challenges it addresses will make it a valuable solution for a range of unconventional reservoirs globally.
Abstract Petrophysicists often find sonic velocities difficult to interpret, especially when choosing values for the mineral and fluid endpoints. This difficulty is always caused by stress sensitive formations where dipole sonic velocities vary with stress, even when the petrophysical properties are constant. The goal of this coupled workflow is to quantify the compositional influences of porosity, mineralogy, and fluids, while isolating and quantifying the geomechanical influence of stress. I first estimate the petrophysical properties using a standard multi-mineral petrophysical solver void of sonic inputs. This allows one to independently observe and quantify variations in both compressional and shear velocities with variations in petrophysical properties. I then normalize the sonic velocities to an idealized formation having compositional properties constant with depth by applying both matrix and fluid substitution algorithms. If these normalized velocities are constant with depth, then the formations are insensitive to stress, and I apply the standard petrophysical workflow using the measured sonic inputs. In addition, the standard geomechanical workflow that assumes linear elasticity is appropriate to estimate the in-situ stresses. However, if the normalized velocities vary with depth, the formations are sensitive to stress, which requires modifications to both the standard petrophysical and geomechanical workflows. Specifically, one must quantify and remove the velocity variations due to stress or else misinterpret velocity changes due to stress for changes in petrophysical properties. For formations sensitive to stress, I quantify the stress sensitivity by using the observed change in normalized velocity with depth with an estimate of the change in stress with depth. I then compute a second velocity normalization that quantifies and removes the acoustical sensitivity to stress in favor of a constant reference stress. I can now more accurately quantify the petrophysical properties by including the stress normalized velocities in the multi-mineral petrophysical solver. At this point in the workflow, there are two methods for quantifying the in-situ horizontal stress. The first method uses the velocities normalized to the constant reference stress to compute the dynamic elastic moduli. These dynamic elastic moduli are now appropriate to input into the standard geomechanical workflow. The second method uses the velocities normalized for the changing petrophysical properties, together with the stress sensitivity coefficients, to directly invert the velocities for the in-situ horizontal stresses. A comparison between the two methods supplies a consistency check. I emphasize both methods require in-situ horizontal stress calibration data for correct results. To clearly illustrate the workflow, this paper specifies the mathematical formulations with example calculations. This coupled workflow is novel because it highlights and clarifies improper assumptions while acknowledging the rock physics of stress sensitive formations. In the process, it improves the accuracy of both the derived petrophysical properties and geomechanical stresses.
Abstract A few researches have been conducted to study effects of cryogenic treatment (known as thermal shocking) on unconventional rock properties, while they have been extensively studied in geothermal projects. The results show that cryogenic treatment significantly alters the rock mechanical properties by creation of new cracks owing to thermally induced stresses resulting in the permeability enhancement. In this laboratory study, effects of cryogenic treatment (thermal shocking) on permeability and dynamic elastic properties of three Wolfcamp core samples (one outcrop and two downhole samples) at downhole conditions were experimentally evaluated. Permeability and dynamic rock mechanical properties were measured before and after conducting each cycle of thermal shock. Using X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis, the mineral compositions of the cores were determined. The results demonstrate that implementing the thermal shock technique on the core samples results in increasing their permeability and ductility.
Abstract Leveraging publicly available data is a crucial stepfor decision making around investing in the development of any new unconventional asset.Published reports of production performance along with accurate petrophysical and geological characterization of the areashelp operators to evaluate the economics and risk profiles of the new opportunities. A data-driven workflow can facilitate this process and make it less biased by enabling the agnostic analysis of the data as the first step. In this work, several machine learning algorithms are briefly explained and compared in terms of their application in the development of a production evaluation tool for a targetreservoir. Random forest, selected after evaluating several models, is deployed as a predictive model thatincorporates geological characterization and petrophysical data along with production metricsinto the production performance assessment workflow. Considering the influence of the completion design parameters on the well production performance, this workflow also facilitates evaluation of several completion strategies toimprove decision making around the best-performing completion size. Data used in this study include petrophysical parameters collected from publicly available core data, completion and production metrics, and the geological characteristics of theNiobrara formation in the Powder River Basin. Historical periodic production data are used as indicators of the productivity in a certain area in the data-driven model. This model, after training and evaluation, is deployed to predict the productivity of non-producing regions within the area of interest to help with selecting the most prolific sections for drilling the future wells. Tornado plots are provided to demonstrate the key performance driversin each focused area. A supervised fuzzy clustering model is also utilized to automate the rock quality analyses for identifying the "sweet spots" in a reservoir. The output of this model is a sweet-spot map that is generated through evaluating multiple reservoir rock properties spatially. This map assists with combining all different reservoir rock properties into a single exhibition that indicates the average "reservoir quality"of the formation in different areas. Niobrara shale is used as a case study in this work to demonstrate how the proposed workflow is applied on a selected reservoir formation whit enough historical production data available.
Kazak, Ekaterina S. (Lomonosov Moscow State University) | Kazak, Andrey V. (Center for Hydrocarbon Recovery, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology) | Bilek, Felix (Dresden Groundwater Research Centre)
Summary In this study, we aim to develop a new integrated solution for determining the formation water content and salinity for petrophysical characterization. The workflow includes three core components: the evaporation method (EM) with isotopic analysis, analysis of aqueous extracts, and cation exchange capacity (CEC) study. The EM serves to quickly and accurately measure the contents of both free and loosely clay-bound water. The isotopic composition confirms the origin and genesis of the formation water. Chemical analysis of aqueous extracts gives the lower limit of sodium chloride (NaCl) salinity. The CEC describes rock-fluid interactions. The workflow is applicable for tight reservoir rock samples, including shales and source rocks. A representative collection of rock samples is formed based on the petrophysical interpretation of well logs from a complex source rock of the Bazhenov Formation (BF; Western Siberia, Russia). The EM employs the retort principle but delivers much more accurate and reliable results. The suite of auxiliary laboratory methods includes derivatography, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Water extracts from the rock samples at natural humidity deliver a lower bound for mineralization (salinity) of formation water. Isotopic analysis of the evaporated water samples covered δO and δH. A modified alcoholic ammonium chloride [(NH4Cl)Alc] method provides the CEC and exchangeable cation concentration of the rock samples with low carbonate content. The studied rock samples had residual formation water up to 4.3 wt%, including free up to 3.9 wt% and loosely clay-bound water up to 0.96 wt%. The latter correlates well to the clay content. The estimated formation water salinity reached tens of grams per liter. At the same time, the isotopic composition confirmed the formation genesis at high depth and generally matched with that of the region's deep stratal waters. The content of chemically bound water reached 6.40 wt% and exceeded both free and loosely bound water contents. The analysis of isotopic composition proved the formation water origin. The CEC fell in the range of 1.5 to 4.73 cmol/kg and depended on the clay content. In this study, we take a qualitative step toward quantifying formation water in shale reservoirs. The research effort delivered an integrated workflow for reliable determination of formation water content, salinity lower bound, and water origin. The results fill the knowledge gaps in the petrophysical interpretation of well logs and general reservoir characterization and reserve estimation. The research novelty uses a unique suite of laboratory methods adapted for tight shale rocks holding less than 1 wt% of water.
At some point during the first half of this year, Colombia replaced politically and economically crippled Venezuela as Latin America's third-largest oil-producing country. Since Brazil ended state-owned Petrobras' monopoly and opened up its industry to international companies in the late 1990s, the country's oil output has almost tripled as it found and tapped into its giant offshore presalt fields. Output from Mexico's state-owned Pemex, meanwhile, has fallen to its lowest level since at least 1990, and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is working to stymie energy reforms implemented in 2013 to rejuvenate industry in the country. With the lessons of its resource-rich neighbors in mind, Colombia finds itself in a similar position where it must carefully choose a path forward for its industry or risk squandering great potential, or worse, losing what took years to build. The Andean country in the early 2000s overhauled its regulatory framework, reduced government take, and held licensing rounds with the intent of attracting foreign investment.
A method that integrates data from many sources, improving the understanding of reservoir variability and structural challenges, can enable optimal shale well completions for increased production vs. geometric completions, Schlumberger Senior Petrophysicist Kevin Fisher told the SPE Gulf Coast Section Reservoir Study Group recently. It is a subject he has also been addressing as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer for 2016–2017. "How can we exploit our assets and get more oil out of the ground?" "I think one of the things that hurts us the most is when we can have an economic well. I know that's kind of a weird statement. So when we have an economic well, somehow we get complacent. We say, 'It's good enough, we've made money.' I'm going to challenge that."
Chen, Ming (China University of Petroleum, China) | Zhang, Shicheng (China University of Petroleum, China) | Zhou, Tong (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Sinopec) | Ma, Xinfang (China University of Petroleum, China) | Zou, Yushi (China University of Petroleum, China)
Summary Creating uniform multiple fractures is a challenging task due to reservoir heterogeneity and stress shadow. Limited‐entry perforation and in‐stage diversion are commonly used to improve multifracture treatments. Many studies have investigated the mechanism of limited‐entry perforation for multifracture treatments, but relatively few have focused on the in‐stage diversion process. The design of in‐stage diversion is usually through trial and error because of the lack of a simulator. In this study, we present a fully coupled planar 2D multifracture model for simulating the in‐stage diversion process. The objective is to evaluate flux redistribution after diversion and optimize the dosage of diverters and diversion timing under different in‐stage in‐situ stress difference. Our model considers ball sealer allocation and solves flux redistribution after diversion through a fully coupled multifracture model. A supertimestepping explicit algorithm is adopted to solve the solid/fluid coupling equations efficiently. Multifracture fronts are captured by using tip asymptotes and an adaptive time‐marching approach. The modeling results are validated against analytical solutions for a plane-strain Khristianovic-Geertsma de Klerk (KGD) model. A series of numerical simulations are conducted to investigate the multifracture growth under different in‐stage diversion operations. Parametric studies reveal that the in‐stage in‐situ stress difference is a critical parameter for diversion designs. When the in‐situ stress difference is larger than 2 MPa, the fracture in the high‐stress zone can hardly be initiated before diversion for a general fracturing design. More ball sealers are required for the formations with higher in‐stage in‐situ stress difference. The diverting time should be earlier for formations with high in‐stage stress differences as well. Adding more perforation holes in the zone with higher in‐situ stress is recommended to achieve even flux distribution. The results of this study can help understand the multifracture growth mechanism during in‐stage diversion and optimize the diversion design timely.
Completion designs in horizontal, multi-stage wellbores is a complex problem and has many potential scenarios depending on the desired well performance. Up until recently the industry has been focused on improving early-time productivity; 90-day cumulative production, 24-hour initial potential (IP) or achieving a target daily rate. Many operators are now refocusing on a desired economic outcome; achieving free cash flow, improving return on investment and increased net present value. Our paper will discuss the effects that different completion design changes have on these desired results and present examples of past well performance and new well performance utilizing these changes.
Our methodology will include the analysis of producing well histories to determine average reservoir permeability and completion effectiveness as described by the number of created, producing transverse fractures and the average effective length of those fractures. From this characterization of the reservoir and past completions we will forward model completion design scenarios to determine the effect changes in design have on the performance parameters we wish to achieve. The process used includes hundreds of completion design scenarios which are compared to each other to find the design which maximizes the desired economic result. Multiple examples of this will be presented.
Increasing early-time production performance has resulted in increasing capital expenditure. Several completion design parameters lead to increases in this performance parameter (IP); increasing lateral length, increasing stage volume and decreasing stage spacing. However, all of these changes increase the capital spent on the completion. To achieve improved economic performance parameters, balancing the total capital expenditure against the revenue generated becomes the primary focus. What may have worked in the past to meet past goals does not work to meet new, economic focused goals. The most important parameter we must know when designing the completion is the reservoir permeability. This value determines the reservoirs ability to deliver hydrocarbons to the well and how effective the reservoir can be to creating the revenue necessary to pay for the capital spent. Identifying the balance between capital spent and revenue generated leads to completion designs that reduce well cost while maximizing economic parameters versus maximizing early-time production alone.
The results and conclusions from this paper will run contrary to the industry's past trends in completion design. However, the focus on economic improvement can be a pathway to our industry to achieve better economic results. Our industry has provided increased energy independence for our nation, but far too many companies are suffering financially while doing so. Billions of barrels of oil have been produced, yet many are going broke.