The Gas and Downhole Water Sink-Assisted Gravity Drainage (GDWS-AGD) process has been developed to overcome of the limitations of Gas flooding processes in reservoir with strong aquifers. These limitations include high levels of water cut and high tendency of water coning. The GDWS-AGD process minimizes the water cut in oil production wells, improve gas injectivity, and further enhance the recovery of bypassed oil, especially in reservoirs with strong water coning tendencies.
The GDWS-AGD process conceptually states installing two 7 inch production casings bi-laterally and completing by two 2-3/8 inch horizontal tubings: oil producer above the oil-water contact (OWC) and one underneath OWC for water sink drainage. The two completions are hydraulically isolated by a packer inside the casing. The water sink completion is produced with a submersible pump that prevents the water from breaking through the oil column and getting into the horizontal oil-producing perforations.
The GDWS-AGD process was evaluated to enhance oil recovery in the heterogeneous upper sandstone pay in South Rumaila Oil field, which has an infinite active aquifer with a huge edge water drive. A compositional reservoir flow model was adopted for the CO2 flooding simulation and optimization of the GDWS-AGD process. Design of Experiments (DoE) and proxy metamodeling were integrated to determine the optimal operational decision parameters that affect the GDWS-AGD process performance: maximum injection rate and pressure in injection wells, maximum oil rate and minimum bottom hole pressure in production wells, and maximum water rates and minimum bottom hole pressure in the water sink wells. More specifically, Latin hypercube sampling and radial basis neural networks were used for the optimization of the GDWS-AGD process performance and to build the proxy model, respectively.
In the GDWS-AGD process results, the water cut and coning tendency were significantly reduced along with the reservoir pressure. That resulted to improve gas injectivity and increase oil recovery. Further improvement in oil recovery was achieved by the DoE optimization after determining the optimal set of operational decision factors that constrains the oil and water production with gas injection. The advantage of GDWS-AGD process comes from its potential feasibility to enhance oil recovery while reducing water coning, water cut, and improving gas injectivity. That gives another privilege for the GDWSAGD process to reach significant improvement in oil recovery in comparison to other gas injection processes, such as the Gas-Assisted Gravity Drainage (GAGD) process, particularly in reservoirs with strong water aquifers.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) flooding is a mature technology in oil industry, which finds broad attention in oil production during tertiary oil recovery (EOR). After five decade’s developments, there are many successful reports for CO2 miscible flooding. However, operators recognized that achieving miscible phase is one of big challenge in fields with extremely high minimum miscible pressure (MMP) after considering the safety and economics. Compared with CO2 miscible flooding, immiscible CO2 flooding demonstrates the great potentials under varying reservoir/fluid conditions. A comprehensive and high-quality data set for CO2 immiscible flooding are built by collecting various data from books, DOE reports, AAPG database, oil and gas biennially EOR survey, field reports and SPE publications. Important reservoir/fluid information, operational parameters and project performance evaluations are included, which provides the basis for comprehensive data analysis. Combination plot of boxplot and histogram are generated, where boxplots are used to detect the special cases and to summarize the ranges of each parameter; histograms display the distribution of each parameter and to identify the best suitable ranges for propose guidelines.
Results show that CO2 immiscible flooding could recover additional 4.7 to 12.5% of oil with average injection efficiency of 10.07 Mscf/stb; CO2 immiscible technique can be implemented in light/medium/heavy oil reservoirs with a wide range of net thickness (5.2 - 300 ft); yet in heavy oil specifically reservoir (oil gravity <25 °API) with thin layer (net thickness< 50 ft) is better.
Ross, T. S. (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology) | Rahnema, H. (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology) | Nwachukwu, C. (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology) | Alebiosu, O. (ConocoPhillips Co) | Shabani, B. (Oklahoma State University)
Steam injection—a thermal-based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) process—is used to improve fluid mobility within a reservoir, and it is well known that it yields positive results in heavy-oil reservoirs. In theory, steam injection has the potential of being applied in light-oil reservoirs to enable vaporization of in-situ reservoir fluids, but field developments and scientific studies of this application are sparse. Conventional displacement methods like water-flooding and gas-flooding have been applied to some extent, however, oil extraction in such reservoirs relies on recovery mechanisms like capillary imbibition or gravity drainage to recover oil from the reservoir matrix. Furthermore, low-permeability reservoir rocks are associated with low gravity drainage and high residual oil saturation.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the potential of steam injection for light (47°API) oil extraction in naturally-fractured reservoirs. It is theorized that this method will serve as an effective tool for recovery of light hydrocarbons through naturally-fractured networks with the benefit of heat conduction through the rock matrix. This research investigates the application of light-oil steamflood (LOSF) in naturally- fractured reservoirs (NFR).
A simulation model comprised of a matrix block surrounded by fracture network was used to study oil recovery potential under steam injection. To simulate gravity drainage, steam was injected through a horizontal well completed in the upper section of the fracture network, while the production well was completed at the bottom of the fracture network. The simulation included two different porous media: (1) natural fractures and (2) matrix blocks. Each of these porous media was assumed to be homogeneous and characterized based on typical reservoir properties for carbonate formations. This study also analyzed the impact of different recovery mechanisms during steam injection for a light-oil sample in NFR, with reservoir sensitivity examined, based on varying amounts of vaporization, injection rate, permeability, matrix height and capillary pressure. Of these, vaporization was found to be the dominant factor in the application of LOSF in NFR, as described in detail within the results.
Smalley, P. C. (Imperial College London) | Muggeridge, A. H. (Imperial College London) | Dalland, M. (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) | Helvig, O. S. (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) | Høgnesen, E. J. (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) | Hetland, M. (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) | Østhus, A. (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate)
This paper presents an improved approach for rapid screening of candidate fields for EOR and estimation of the associated incremental oil recovery, and the results of applying it systematically to oil fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), an area that already has a high average recovery factor (47%). Identifying, piloting and implementing new improved recovery methods within a reasonable time is important if substantial remaining oil volumes on the NCS are not to be left behind.
The approach uses up-to-date screening criteria, and has more sophisticated routines for calculating screening scores and incremental oil recovery compared to previous published methods. The EOR processes screened for are: hydrocarbon miscible and immiscible WAG, CO2 miscible and immiscible WAG, alkaline, polymer, surfactant, surfactant/polymer, low salinity, low salinity/polymer, thermally activated polymers and conventional near well gel treatments. Overall screening scores are derived from sliding-scale scores for individual screening criteria, weighted for importance, and with the ability to define non-zero scores when non-critical criteria are outside their desired range, so avoiding the problem of processes being ruled out completely even though rock or fluid properties are only marginally outside the threshold of applicability. Incremental recoveries are estimated taking into account the existing recovery processes in the field and are capped by theoretical maximum recovery factors derived from theoretical/laboratory values for displacement and sweep. The methodology calculates the expected increment (and uncertainty range) for each EOR process and the increments for the top three compatible process combinations.
The methodology was implemented in a spreadsheet-based tool that allowed multiple fields to be screened and the results compared and evaluated. The new tool was used to estimate the potential EOR opportunity for 53 reservoirs from 27 oil fields on the NCS. The results indicate a mid case EOR technical potential of 592 million standard cubic metres (MSm3) with a low- to high case range of 320-860 MSm3. The most promising processes are low salinity with polymer, surfactant with polymer, and miscible hydrocarbon and CO2 gas injection. Some field clusters were identified that could provide economies of scale for such processes.
The EOR screening study has enabled the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to advocate EOR-technology studies, including pilots, in specific regions or fields. Such pilots will play an important role in verifying process feasibility and narrowing the uncertainty range for incremental recovery potential.
Wang, Haitao (State Key Laboratory of Shale Oil and Gas Enrichment Mechanisms and Effective Development) | Lun, Zengmin (Petroleum Exploration & Production Research Institute, SINOPEC) | Lv, Chengyuan (State Key Laboratory of Shale Oil and Gas Enrichment Mechanisms and Effective Development) | Lang, Dongjiang (Petroleum Exploration & Production Research Institute, SINOPEC) | Luo, Ming (State Key Laboratory of Shale Oil and Gas Enrichment Mechanisms and Effective Development) | Zhao, Qingmin (Petroleum Exploration & Production Research Institute, SINOPEC) | Zhao, Chunpeng (State Key Laboratory of Shale Oil and Gas Enrichment Mechanisms and Effective Development)
The reservoirs in Qian 34 10 rhythmic layer of Qianjiang Basin were shale oil with intersalt sediments. During natural depletion development process production rapidly decreased. Water injection and CO2 injection were considered as potential technology for shale oil EOR. Due to high salt content of shale rock and dissolution of salt in water, water injection damaged the reservoirs. CO2 injection didn't react with salt to damage the reservoirs. Meanwhile, CO2 could enter micro pores of reservoir rock and mobilize oil by the mechanisms of diffusion, extraction and swelling and so on. In order to verify oil mobilization in shale exposed to CO2 exposure experiments based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) were conducted in this study.
NMR T2 spectrum can measure the oil signal and determine the oil content of rock with low permeability. In this study 10 fresh shale samples (from 6 depths) were measured and oil contents were determined using NMR T2 spectrum. Two shales with higher oil content were selected and performed exposure experiment. Under the temperature of 40 °C and the pressure of 17.5 MPa fresh shale was exposed to CO2 and NMR T2 spectrum was used to measure the oil content of shale continuously. Oil mobilization in shale exposed to CO2 was determined.
The results of NMR T2 spectrum showed that NMR signals of 9 fresh shale samples were good and oil contents of fresh shales were high. Recovery of S5# shale exposed to CO2 was 51.2% after 8 days. Recovery of S9# shale exposed to CO2 was 55.8% after 6.1 days. These results indicated that more than half of shale oil were mobilized with relative long exposed time during CO2 injection. The results of NMR T2 spectrum showed that oil in all pores could be mobilized as exposure time increased.
This study showed the quantitative results for CO2 injection and EOR in shale oil of Qianjiang Basin. All conclusions provided confidence to start CO2 EOR pilot project in shale oil with intersalt sediments with ultra-low permeability.
Al-Rushaid, Mona (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Rashidi, Hamad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Ahmad, Munir (Kuwait Oil Company) | Azari, Mehdi (Halliburton) | Hadibeik, Hamid (Halliburton) | Kalawina, Mahmoud (Halliburton) | Hashmi, Gibran (Halliburton) | Hamza, Farrukh (Halliburton) | Ramakrishna, Sandeep (Halliburton)
Reservoir relative permeability and capillary pressure, as a function of saturation, is important for assessing reservoir hydrocarbon recovery, selecting the well completion method, and determining the production strategy because they are fundamental inputs to reservoir simulation for predicting lifetime production of a well. Estimation of relative permeability and capillary pressure curves at reservoir conditions is also an important task for successful planning of waterflooding and enhanced oil recovery. The relative permeability and capillary pressure data estimated from core analysis might cause concern regarding representativeness, and adjustments are typically necessary for successful production forecasting. This paper proposes a new method to obtain relative permeability and capillary pressure curves with downhole pressure-transient analysis (PTA) of mini-drillstem tests (miniDSTs) and well log-derived saturations.
The new approach was based on performing miniDSTs in the free water, oil, and oil-water transition zones. Analyses of the miniDST buildup tests provided absolute formation permeability, endpoints of relative permeability to both oil and water, and curvature of the relative permeability data. Additionally, resistivity, dielectric, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logs were used to determine irreducible water, residual oil, and transition zone saturations. Combining these downhole measurements provided the relative permeability and capillary pressure curves.
Poulsen, Anette (Chevron North Sea Limited) | Shook, G. Michael (Mike Shook & Associates, formerly Chevron ETC) | Jackson, Adam (Chevron North Sea Limited) | Ruby, Nicolas (Chevron North Sea Limited) | Charvin, Karl (Chevron North Sea Limited) | Dwarakanath, Varadarajan (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Thach, Sophany (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Ellis, Mark
An enhanced oil recovery (EOR) pilot was conducted by Chevron North Sea Limited ("Chevron") at the Captain Field in the UK North Sea between 2011 and 2013. Results from the polymer injection are presented along with an assessment of incremental oil recovery.
The polymer solution was selected and qualified using a combination of laboratory and yard tests to determine optimum specifications for injection. The selected polymer was initially tested in an injectivity test in 2010, followed by continuous polymer injection in 2011, after establishing a waterflood baseline. Continuous polymer injection was terminated in 2013 due to injectivity decline associated with polymer emulsion injection. An unambiguous response from the reservoir was observed with a significant uplift in oil production.
The three mechanisms of a successful polymer flood were observed and evaluated: (1) acceleration of oil production, (2) incremental oil production due to improved polymer sweep, and (3) water production and injection minimization. Our results demonstrate that waterflood recovery can be accelerated by polymer flooding. Secondly, incremental oil was produced due to increased volumetric sweep by changing the displacing phase fluid mobility with the viscosified polymer. Finally, the reduction in water production translates into reduced water handling and thereby lower operating costs.
Before and during the pilot chemical injection, production logging tools were run in the injector and producer to measure their respective outflow and inflow phase profiles along the horizontal completions. These logs confirmed that polymer promotes crossflow to make injection rates more uniform along the wellbore. We also drilled a post-polymer observation well in the swept zone between the pilot wells. Logs from this well established remaining oil saturations to polymer that we used to confirm our calculations for polymer flood volumetric sweep. The post-polymer flood oil saturations confirmed the performance of the polymer flood.
We show a full suite of surveillance data and its use in quantitative interpretation. We also show innovative uses of the surveillance data in our interpretation methods. The results prove the subsurface and operational success of polymer flooding a heavy oil reservoir with horizontal wells, even in a harsh offshore environment such as the UK North Sea.
Sabiriyah Upper Burgan is a clastic reservoir in North Kuwait, under active development through water flooding and ongoing development drilling. The reservoir is one of the most heterogeneous reservoirs in NK, both geologically and with respect to pressure-production performance. There is wide variance in rock & fluid quality laterally and vertically, compounding the development challenges while water flooding.
The crestal portion of the dome-shaped reservoir exhibited a sharp drop in reservoir pressure. As a result of which, Sea Water injection was started at 3 vertical injectors. Surprisingly, the injectivity in 500-1000 md rock was found to be very poor. Well interventions were attempted to improve the injectivity, including a proppant frac. A series of Step rate tests were conducted to understand & evaluate the possibility of injecting above the parting pressure. The wellhead injection pressure requirement was estimated to be about 3700 psia to attain the desired level of injectivity. This was a turning point on the water flooding strategy for the reservoir, as a new project for water flooding was needed with the surface injection pressure capability.
During the preliminary water flood response, it was observed that there were compartments, even 250 ft. away from the injector. In addition, a major part of the mid-flank & lower-flank segments had questionable connectivity. Expansion of water flood was delayed in order to provide sufficient time for data acquisition, interpretation, and analysis, using the sub surface data of all wells penetrating the Upper Burgan. The strategy was to produce and further develop the reservoir with limited drilling of new wells in high pressure channels/segments and adopting Integrated Reservoir Management (IRM) approach. Now the expanded Injection facility is complete, and enhanced injection quantum have been initiated since March 2014. An active surveillance master plan & segment wise review of pressure-production data are under implementation to maximize the benefit of the water flood to this reservoir.
The reservoir response due to water flood has been realized to get 100% production increase with sustainable rates. The pressure sink locales are re-vitalized with indications of pressure increase. The Voidage Replacement Ratio has improved to 1:1 at identified segments (producer-injection combinations) as per channelized architecture. There is indeed a positive response despite a few premature water breakthrough instances in producers located very close to the injectors. The results have led to plan for water flow regulators in injectors so that zonal conformance control can be achieved to improve the areal & vertical sweep. The reservoir simulation model is being updated with all dynamic pressure-production as well as surveillance data so as to optimize the ultimate recovery.
The paper is focused to share the learning curve and the quick adoption of the implementation of actions adhering to the best practice reservoir management.
This paper presents the basic reservoir characteristics and the key improved oil recovery/enhanced oil recovery (IOR/EOR) methods for sandstone reservoir fields that have achieved recovery factors toward 70%. The study is based on a global analog knowledge base and associated analytical tools. The knowledge base contains both static (STOIIP, primary and ultimate recovery factors, reservoir/fluid properties, well spacing, drive mechanism, and IOR/EOR methods etc.) and dynamic data (oil rate, water-cut, and GOR, etc.) for more than 730 sandstone oil reservoirs. These reservoirs were subdivided into two groups: heavy and conventional oil reservoirs. This study focuses on the reservoirs with recovery factors great than 50% for heavy oil, and recovery factors from 60% to 79% for conventional oil with a view to understand the key factors for such a high recovery efficiency. These key factors include reservoir and fluid properties, wettability, development strategies and the IOR/EOR methods.
The high ultimate recovery factors for heavy oil reservoirs are attributed to excellent reservoir properties, horizontal well application, high efficiency of cyclic steam stimulating (CSS) and steam flood, and very tight well spacing (P50 value of 4 acres, as close as 0.25 acres) development strategy. The 51 high recovery conventional clastic reservoirs are characterized by favorable reservoir and fluid properties, water-wet or mixed-wet wettability, high net to gross ratio, and strong natural aquifer drive mechanism. Infill drilling and water flood led to an incremental recovery of 20% to 50%. EOR technologies, such as CO2 miscible and polymer flood, led to an incremental recovery of 8% to 15%. Homogeneous sandstone reservoirs with a good lateral correlation can reach 79% final recovery through water flood and adoption of close well spacing.
The lessons learned and best practices from the global analog reservoir knowledge base can be used to identify opportunities for reserve growth of mature fields. With favorable reservoir conditions, it is feasible to move final recovery factor toward 70% through integrating good reservoir management practices with the appropriate IOR/EOR technology.
Mishra, Ashok (Conoco Phillips) | Abbas, Sayeed (Conoco Phillips) | Braden, John (Conoco Phillips) | Hazen, Mike (Conoco Phillips) | Li, Gaoming (Conoco Phillips) | Peirce, John (Conoco Phillips) | Smith, David D. (Conoco Phillips) | Lantz, Michael (TIORCO, a Nalco Champion Company)
This paper is a field case review of the process and methodologies used to identify, characterize, design, and execute a solution for a waterflood conformance problem in the Kuparuk River Unit in late 2013. In addition, post treatment analysis in a complex WAG flood will be discussed. The Kuparuk River Field is a highly fractured and faulted, multi-layer sandstone reservoir located on the North Slope of Alaska. Large scale water injection in the field was initiated in 1981 and overall the field responded favorably to waterflood operations. In 1996, Kuparuk implemented a miscible WAG flood in many areas of the field. However, natural fault and fracture connectivity has resulted in some significant conformance issues between high angle wells in the periphery. Methodologies employed to identify and characterize one specific conformance issue will be outlined. Details of diagnostic efforts, and how they were used to identify, characterize and mitigate an injector/producer interaction through a void space conduit will be discussed. The solution selected to resolve this conformance issue involved pumping a large crosslinked hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) gel system. The solution used a tapered concentration design with one of the highest molecular weight HPAM polymers available. Before execution of this solution, extensive history matching and modeling of the solution design and benefits were used to justify this effort. These modeling efforts and their projections will be reviewed. This solution was pumped into the offending injector in late 2013, and offset producers were carefully monitored for gel breakthrough. The polymer treatment design parameters, including rates and pressure limits were used to generate an effective solution. A discussion of this active design approach, a complete review of the well problem dynamics, treatment operations, products used, and potential complications associated with these products will be discussed. Post solution execution performance analysis was difficult due to the active nature of this MWAG flood. A variety of plotting and analysis techniques were used to identify and quantify the results. A discussion of these results will be provided. Finally, a summary of lessons learned, and a limited discussion of future plans will be presented.