Influenced by the success of shale gas production worldwide and to meet requirements for clean energy supply, a multidisciplinary team of petroleum specialists was established in Saudi Aramco. Meeting the growing requirement in industrial consumption and especially electricity production is driving force for developing unconventional gas reserves. "The initial focus is in the northwest and in the area of Ghawar, where gas infrastructure exists. Initial knowledge building from similar plays in North America is being supplemented with internal technical studies and research programs to help solve geological and engineering challenges unique to Saudi Arabia and to locate specific wells planned for 2011. The company is innovatively combining knowledge and research to maximize gas reserves and production from conventional and unconventional resources in order to meet growing domestic demand.?? 
During years 2010 - 2011 major international petroleum industry players - Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes - were invited to share their experience in a series of workshops held in Dhahran. Exchange of expert ideas developed into appreciation of complexity of the shale gas reservoir and helped to identify the scope of work for the first Silurian Qusaiba shale gas well. The SHALE-1 well was drilled in 2007 as a gas exploration well. Recent drilling and geophysical data obtained in the well were beneficial for detailed sidetrack and fracture stimulation design.
The Multidisciplinary Saudi Aramco - Halliburton SHALE-1 task group was established and positioned in Dhahran. This allowed them to have regular face-to-face meetings and improve the most critical criteria of any new venture - communication. The draft work plan was developed 8 months before actual operations commenced on the well site. Thorough examination of the draft work plan progressed to the final work plan with a number of improvements. For example, "R?? Nipples were dropped from the monobore 4-1/2?? completion string. The Frac Stimulation design was fine-tuned, involving expertise from Saudi Aramco and Halliburton. The Complete Well on Paper exercise involved over 25 specialists from both sides and helped to rectify remaining completion/stimulation design issues, and put everyone on the same page in terms of the work program. Well site operations commenced in May 2011; the well was successfully re-entered and window cut in 7?? liner. An S-shaped 5-7/8?? hole was drilled in the direction of minimum horizontal stresses, to the required depth in Qusaiba Shale with a maximum DLS of 4°. The well was completed with 4-1/2?? cemented liner and monobore 4-1/2?? string to surface. The Hot Qusaiba interval was perforated; frac stimulated with mixed results and successfully flowed. A temporary isolation FasDrill plug was set above the perforation interval. The Warm Qusaiba interval was perforated; successfully frac stimulated and flowed with mixed results. Finally, the FasDrill plug was drilled out with CTU and both intervals flowed and required production log runs.
All targets set for the SHALE-1 re-entry well were successfully achieved and the well was suspended for future utilization as an observation well.
The field X is a brown heavy oil field producing under strong bottom water drive since the mid-1980. Production is from a combination of Amin aeolian and Al Khlata glacial reservoir sediments. At present, the development is focused on drilling horizontal infill wells. One of the biggest challenges is the unfavorable mobility contrast between the heavy oil and water causing early water breakthrough.
The Amin Formation, the primary reservoir, is characterized by a high net to gross ratio and an average porosity of 30 %. However the initial hydrocarbon saturation at the same porosity often varies by 20 % in different parts of the field. Furthermore, core measurements show an order of magnitude scatter in permeability at the same porosity, indicating the presence of different facies. In early studies these variations were attributed mainly to the grain size variations. A later petrographical study found that the abundance of clays and feldspars could also severely reduce permeability, but may retain high porosity.
In the current Study it was found that the rocks have variable radioactivity due to the presence of radioactive Potassium isotope associated with feldspars. A fare correlation was observed between the grain size and the content of feldspars from core. A novel approach to reservoir characterization integrating core and logs was developed leading to a major breakthrough in the reservoir characterization including:
• Enhanced permeability prediction using normalized Gamma Ray (GR) log as 3rd parameter;
• Facies identification using normalized Gamma Ray cut-off;
• Facies based Saturation-Height models.
This work is a good example of advances in reservoir characterization achieved by integrating core and log data. It results in better understanding of reservoir properties distribution, optimization of completions of new wells and improvement of further development scenarios. In particular, abnormally high gross production and high water cut in the north of the field is currently in line with new facies scheme.
Telang, Milan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Matrook, Mohammad F. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Oskui, Gh. Reza (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Mali, Prasanna (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Jasmi, Ahmad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Rashed, Abeer M. (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) | Ghloum, Ebtisam Folad (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research)
Asphaltene deposition problems in Kuwait have become a serious issue in a number of reservoirs during primary production in different fields, resulting in a severe detrimental effect on the economics of oil recovery. Hence, one of the mitigation approaches in the field is using remedial solvent treatments, such as Xylene or Toluene, which is very costly and harmful to the environment.
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is planning to produce from asphaltinic Marrat wells that have been shut down due to low bottom-hole pressure (BHP), by artificial lifting technique using an Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) supported with continuous chemical injection, as a pilot. The main objective of this study was to investigate in the lab the effectiveness of various concentrations of toluene/diesel (T/D) mixtures on Marrat reservoir fluid in order to mitigate asphaltene deposition problem during the actual pilot implementation.
Preliminary screening tests were conducted on the surface oil sample using Solid Detection System (SDS) "laser technique?? to determine the optimum dose of the T/D mixture ratio. The results showed that pure diesel accelerated the asphaltene precipitation; however, mixing T/D inhibited the precipitation process. Series of pressure depletion tests was then conducted on live oil , single phase samples, to determine the Asphaltene Onset Pressure (AOP) with and without adding various ration of T/D solvents at different temperatures from reservoir to surface conditions.
The results revealed that using 15% (by volume of oil) from the (50T:50D) mixture reduced the AOP close to the bubble point pressure. Furthermore, the amount of the precipitated asphaltene was physically quantified using a bulk filtration technique. It was observed that, based on blank sample, the wt% of the precipitated asphaltene was minimized at the AOP and maximized at the bubble point. However, using the recommended mixture of 50T/50D, the amount of asphaltene that precipitated was almost negligible. Therefore, from a health, safety, and economic point of view, this study recommends using a low dose of 7.5% (by volume of oil) from toluene mixture with diesel (50%:50%) rather than using pure toluene to prevent the precipitation.
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.
Cinar, Yildiray (The University of New South Wales) | Arns, Christoph (The University of New South Wales) | Dehghan Khalili, Ahmad (The University of New South Wales) | Yanici, Sefer (The University of New South Wales)
Resistivity measurements play a key role in hydrocarbon in place calculations for oil and gas reservoirs. They are a direct indi-cator of fluid saturation and connected pore space available in the formation. Carbonate rocks, which host around half of the world's hydrocarbons, exhibit a wide range of porosities with scales spanning from nanometres to centimetres. The often sig-nificant amount of microporosity displayed by Carbonate rocks emphasizes the necessity of an adequate characterization of their micro-features and their contribution to hydrocarbon in place. In this paper we examine upscaling methods to probe for-mation factor of a fully saturated carbonate sample using an X-ray CT based numerical approach and compare to experimental measurements.
Three-dimensional high-resolution X-ray CT enables the numerical calculation of petrophysical properties of interest at the pore scale with resolutions down to a few microns per voxel. For more complex and heterogeneous samples however, a direct calculation of petrophysical properties is not feasible, since the required resolution and a sufficient field of view cannot be obtained simultaneously. Thus an integration of measurements at different scale is required. In this study a carbonate sample of 38mm in diameter is first scanned using the X-ray CT method with a resolution of 26µm. After accompanying experimental measurements on the full plug, four 5mm plugs were drilled vertically from this sample and X-ray CT images of these plugs acquired at resolutions down to 2.74 µm. We calculate the porosity of the sample (macro- and micro-porosities) using the phase separation methods and then predict the formation factor of the sample at several scales using a Laplace solver. The formation factor is calculated by using a general value of m=2 as cementation factor for intermediate porosity voxels. We compare to experimental measurements of formation factor and porosity both at the small plug and full plug scale and find good agreement.
To assess the degree of uncertainty of the numerical estimate, we probe the extent of heterogeneity by investigating the size of a representative elementary volume (REV) for formation factor. We find that for the considered heterogeneous carbonate sam-ple, formation factor varies considerably over intervals less than a centimetre. Our results show that this variation could be explained by different cementation exponents applied at the micro-voxel scale, with the exemption of one plug, for which the cementation exponent would have to be unreasonably low. These cementation factors are derived by direct comparison be-tween numerical simulation and experiment. We conclude that for one plug an error in experimental measurement might have occurred. The numerical approach presented here therefore aids in quality control. Excluding this plug in the upscaling proce-dure improves the agreement with the experimental result for the whole core while still underestimating formation factor. Al-lowing for a constant m=2 in the simulation at the small scale and using directly the resulting relationship between porosity and formation factor in the upscaling process leads to an overestimation of formation factor.
The Middle Minagish Oolite Formation is 450 to 550 feet thick interval of porous limestone reservoir, composed of peloidal/skeletal grainstones with lesser amount of packstone, oolitic grainstone, wackstone and mudstone in Umm Gudair field, West Kuwait. It is characterized by small scale reservoir heterogeneity, primarily related to the depositional as well as diagenetic features. Capturing reservoir properties in micro scale and its spatial variation needs special attention in this reservoir due to its inherent anisotropy. Reservoir properties will depend on the level that we are analyzing on reservoir (millimeter to meter scale). Here we used Electrical Borehole Image (EBI) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to capture small scale feature of Umm Gudair carbonate reservoir and compared them with core data
In present work, reservoir properties (including texture, facies, porosity and permeability) interpreted by the EBI shows good match with NMR driven properties and core data. Textural changes in image logs also match well with pore size distribution from NMR logs. Further highly porous zones which are considered either due to primary porosity or vugs match with larger pores of NMR logs and these corroborates with also core derived porosity. A good match has been observed between EBI, NMR and cored derived porosity. Permeability calculations have also been made and compared with core data. A detail workflow has been developed here to interpret reservoir properties on un-cored wells, where only low vertical resolution data is available. This technique is quite useful to identify the characters and mode of origin highly porous zones in reservoir section which are generally not identifiable by low resolution standard logs. This workflow will allow us to interpret the heterogeneity at high resolution level in un-cored wells, as results are validated with integration of EBI, NMR and core data.
The demand for hydrocarbons is expected to grow worldwide. As a result, deeper reservoirs are being explored. Emulsified acid systems are preferred for the stimulation of high-temperature carbonate reservoirs with bottomhole temperatures (BHTs) of 275°F and above. The retarded nature of an emulsified acid system decreases both the acid reaction rate and the rate of corrosion. However, the lack of emulsion stability of these systems is a major problem associated with high-temperature applications (at 300°F and above).
Corrosion inhibitors and intensifiers can interfere with the stability of an emulsified acid system, which consequently leads to higher corrosion losses. At the same time, there is a need for better inhibition systems to counteract the effects of corrosion at higher temperatures. In this paper, a combination of three intensifiers was used, based on the differences in their mechanisms for inhibitor intensification action. The study includes the effect of varying the concentration of each component, hydrochloric (HCl) acid strength (20 to 28%), and temperature (275 to 325°F) on the stability and corrosion rate using P-110/N-80 coupons. The unique combination of the corrosion inhibitor and three intensifiers with proper optimization created a system capable of passing a corrosion test at 300°F using 28% HCl acid. The temperature limit of the system can be extended up to 325°F using an additional intensifier with 25% acid strength.
The present system can be used for acid stimulation of carbonate reservoirs with BHTs up to 325°F. This study revealed a better understanding of the effect of the intensifiers in an emulsified acid system and the synergism amongst them. This enabled the use of an emulsified acid stimulation on carbonate reservoirs having BHTs up to 325°F while reducing the corrosion rate to a level that meets the current market demand for acidizing operations. This work shows that emulsified acid systems can be used with HCl acid strengths ranging from 20 to 28% at high temperatures. The resultant better wormholing at high temperatures should also lead to enhanced oil production.
The high-profile blowout at Macondo well in the US Gulf of Mexico, brought the challenges and the risks of drilling into high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) fields increasingly into focus. Technology, HSE, new standards, such as new API procedures, and educating the crew seem to be vital in developing HPHT resources. High-pressure high-temperature fields broadly exist in Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, South East Asia, Africa, China and Middle East. Almost a quarter of HPHT operations worldwide is expected to happen in American continent and the majority of that solely in North America. Oil major companies have identified key challenges in HPHT development and production, and service providers have offered insights regarding current or planned technologies to meet these challenges. Drilling into some shale plays such as Haynesville or deep formations and producing oil and gas at HPHT condition, have been crucially challenging. Therefore, companies are compelled to meet or exceed a vast array of environmental, health and safety standards.
This paper, as a simplified summary of the current status of HPHT global market, clarifies the existing technological gaps in the field of HPHT drilling, cementing and completion. It also contains the necessary knowledge that every engineer or geoscientist might need to know about high pressure high temperature wells. This study, not only reviews the reports from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and important case studies of HPHT operations around the globe but also compiles the technical solutions to better maneuver in the HPHT market. Finally, the HPHT related priorities of National Energy Technology Laboratories (NETL), operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE), and DeepStar, as a strong mix of large and mid-size operators are investigated.
The oil-water interfacial tension (IFT) is by all means important in capillary pressure estimation and fluid-fluid and fluid-rock interactions analysis. Observations from experimental data indicate that oil-water IFT is a function of pressure, temperature, and compositions of oil and water. A reliable correlation to estimate oil-water IFT is highly desire. Unfortunately to our best knowledge no correlation that uses the compositions of oil and water as inputs is available. Our work is to fill this gap.
In this research, we collected data from former studies and investigations and developed a correlation for oil-water IFT. In the proposed correlation oil-water IFT is a function of system pressure, temperature, and compositions of oil and water. Error analysis was conducted to check the accuracy of the equation by comparing the calculated values with the experimental data. The results indicated that the new correlation predicts reliable oil-water IFTs. Our correlation calculates the oil-water IFT from system pressure, temperature, and compositions of oil and water. It addresses the effect of composition of oil on IFT, which is not presented in existing correlations. Therefore it can not only be applied in the calculation of capillary pressure in the compositional simulation, but also be used in daily petroleum engineering calculation such as waterflooding analysis.
This paper characterizes the spatial and temporal variability of riveroverflooding on the sea ice and related pipeline and facility siting concernsfor the nearshore region of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. This phenomenon occurseach spring during a brief period when river discharge precedes the break-up ofthe landfast sea ice. The river water flows on top of the grounded and floatingsea ice, and can spread several kilometers offshore and encompass vast areas.The overflood waters drain through holes and discontinuities in the ice, andcan create large scour depressions on the sea floor when the drainage rate ishigh. These so called "strudel scours" can constitute a significant designconsideration for subsea pipelines.