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.
The cold-production-recovery process, also known as cold heavy-oil production with sand (CHOPS), is a method for enhancing primary heavy-oil production by aggressively producing sand. It is successful in vertical (or slanted or deviated) wells in western Canada. In this process, large amounts of sand are produced on a continuing basis along with heavy oil. Attempts at cold production in horizontal wells have not been particularly successful. When sand production has been generated in horizontal wells, these wells have tended to become plugged with sand.
This paper presents the results of experiments performed to assess the feasibility of applying cold heavy-oil production in horizontal wells that have been completed with slotted liners using less-aggressive (i.e., managed) sand-production strategies. Specifically, the effects of slot size, confining stress, fluid velocity, and sand-grain sorting on sand production were investigated.
The results indicate that slot-size selection is critical for establishing "sand on demand." From the experiments, a correlation between slot size and controlled sand production was found for well-sorted sands. This correlation should allow for the specification of appropriate slot sizes for target reservoirs containing well-sorted sands.
In the experiments, when flow rates resulted in low but persistent sand production, channels and/or elliptical dilated zones were created that greatly enhanced the effective permeability near the slot. This observation suggests that producing at low and steady sand cuts for a long period of time might bring two benefits: a way to transport the sand out of the well without causing plugging and the creation of high-permeability channels or zones that can improve production from the reservoir.
To summarize, if the appropriate slot size were combined with the right drawdown rates, controlled sand production could be achieved, with attendant significant increases in permeability. This suggests that substantially increased oil-production rates could be achieved from horizontal wells if sand-production rates could be maintained at low but persistent levels.
Using a breakthrough process, which does not require microbes to be injected, more than 100 microbial enhanced-oil-recovery (MEOR) treatments were conducted from 2007 to the end of 2010 in oil- producing and water-injection wells in the United States and Canada. On average, these treatments increased oil production by 122%, with an 89% success rate. This paper reviews the MEOR process, reviews the results of the first 100+ treatments, and shares what has been learned from this work. Observations and conclusions include the following:
MEOR can be applied to many more reservoirs than thought originally with little downside risk. This review of more than 100 MEOR well treatments expands the types of reservoirs in which MEOR can be applied successfully. Low-risk and economically attractive treatments can be accomplished when appropriate scientific analysis and laboratory screening are performed before treatments.
Rock mechanics tests on core from Early Cretaceous carbonate reservoirs from a super-giant field offshore Abu Dhabi has allowed definition of rock mechanical facies (RMF). Each of four RMF are based on stress-strain curves and associated strength and elastic parameters. The lab-based RMF correlate with mechanical stratigraphy classes previously defined from core (and that reflect visible differences in lithology and cementation). The RMF are correlated to reservoir zones and inter-reservoir, impermeable dense intervals, with three facies predominantly correlating with reservoir lithologies and one corresponding with primarily dense intervals. However, some reservoir zones, or sub-zones, can lie in more than one RMF. The RMF are, therefore, partly predictable: for any reservoir zone in the field prediction accuracy is to one or one of two RMF classes. This ambiguity is due to two factors: (i) lateral variation of RMF within some reservoir zones based on lithofacies; and (ii) continuity of mechanical properties between RMF classes. There is a change in RMF from crest to flank of the reservoir, as expected, but there is also local lateral variation within the crest of the field. The two RMF representing most of the reservoirs are expected to respond differently to field operations. Therefore, mapping lateral variation of RMF for some reservoir zones may provide a basis for implementing different reservoir management practices in different areas/zones of the field. The ultimate use of this information will be to enable full-field rock mechanics simulation of the reservoir to help understand the long-term effects of different production strategies.
Introduction & Background
The concept of mechanical stratigraphy is widely used, commonly to correlate fracture distribution and intensity to stratigraphy. The concept of rock mechanical facies (RMF) whereby a number of measured rock mechanical properties are correlated to stratigraphy is not new and is referred to in a number of papers, for example: Alhilali & Shanmugam (1991); Corbett & Friedman (1987); Yale & Jamieson (1994); McDermott et al., (2006); Khaksar, et al. (2009). However, RMF do not seem to be commonly used as a concept. We believe that characterising formations in terms of RMF has the potential to simplify characterisation for use for drilling; reservoir management; and history matching for simulation. In this paper we will describe how we have defined RMF for an oil-field and will discuss one way in which RMF could be used in the field.
The studied oil-field comprises a stack of limestone reservoirs separated by impermeable "dense?? limestone layers of Early Cretaceous age in a giant field located offshore Abu Dhabi (Figures 1 & 2). Production in the field has been by variably patterned water-flood over the last 30+ years. The dense layers measure up to a few tens of feet in thickness; the main reservoirs are up to 150 ft. The reservoirs are typically characterized by moderate to low matrix permeability, generally, but not exclusively, from 50 mD to 2 mD. Porosity is mostly in the range of 15-25%, more than half of which is microporosity. Depositional textures are predominatly wacke- to packstone with high-permeability streaks due to rudist and algal floatstone to rudstone and grainstones. Although intense bioturbation has destroyed most of the depositional textures, heterogeneities remain in some reservoirs in the form of dolomite-filled burrows, patchy/nodular cementation, stylolites and wispy solution seams, and fractures; all can occur as different layers within the reservoir. The reservoirs are not highly fractured although diffuse fractures are concentrated at the top and base of most reservoirs.
Mosher, Charles C. (ConocoPhillips) | Keskula, Erik (ConocoPhillips) | Kaplan, Sam T. (ConocoPhillips) | Keys, Robert G. (ConocoPhillips) | Li, Chengbo (ConocoPhillips) | Ata, Elias Z. (ConocoPhillips) | Morley, Larry C. (ConocoPhillips) | Brewer, Joel D. (ConocoPhillips) | Janiszewski, Frank D. (ConocoPhillips) | Eick, Peter M. (ConocoPhillips) | Olson, Robert A. (ConocoPhillips) | Sood, Sanjay (ConocoPhillips)
Brown, Morgan P. (Wave Imaging Technology Incorporated) | Higginbotham, Joseph H. (Wave Imaging Technology Incorporated) | Macesanu, Cosmin M. (Wave Imaging Technology Incorporated) | Ramirez, Oscar E. (Wave Imaging Technology Incorporated) | List, Dave (Fidelity E&P Company) | Lang, Chris (Fidelity E&P Company)