The amount of tight formations petrophysical work conducted at present in horizontal wells and the examples available in the literature are limited to only those wells that have complete data sets. This is very important. But the reality is that in the vast majority of horizontal wells the data required for detailed analyses are quite scarce.
To try to alleviate this problem, a new method is presented for complete petrophysical evaluation based on information that can be extracted from drill cuttings in the absence of well logs. The cuttings data include porosity and permeability. The gamma ray (GR) and any other logs, if available, can help support the interpretation. However, the methodology is built strictly on data extracted from cuttings and can be used for horizontal, slanted and vertical wells. The method is illustrated with the use of a tight gas formation in the Deep Basin of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). However, it also has direct application in the case of liquids.
The method is shown to be a powerful petrophysical tool as it allows quantitative evaluation of water saturation, pore throat aperture, capillary pressure, flow units, porosity (or cementation) exponent m, true formation resistivity, distance to a water table (if present), and to distinguish the contributions from viscous and diffusion-like flow in tight gas formations. The method further allows the construction of Pickett plots without previous availability of well logs. The method assumes the existence of intervals at irreducible water saturation, which is the case of many tight formations currently under exploitation.
It is concluded that drill cuttings are a powerful direct source of information that allows complete and practical evaluation of tight reservoirs where well logs are scarce. The uniqueness and practicality of this quantitative procedure is that it starts from only laboratory analysis of drill cuttings, something that has not been done in the past.
Fractal and power law distributions have been found in the past to be useful for modeling some reservoir properties following the assumptions of constant shape and self-similarity. This study shows, however, that pore throat apertures, fracture apertures, petrophysical and drill cuttings properties of unconventional formations are better matched with a variable shape distribution model (as opposed to constant shape). This permits better reservoir characterization and forecasting of reservoir performance.
Pore throat apertures, fracture apertures, petrophysical properties and drill cutting sizes from tight and shale reservoirs are shown to follow trends that match the variable shape distribution model (VSD) with coefficients of determination (R2) that are generally larger than 0.99. The good fit of the actual data with the VSD allows more rigorous characterization of these properties for use in mathematical models. Data that could not be described previously by a single equation can now be matched uniquely by the VSD. Examples are presented using data from conventional, tight and shale formations found in Canada, the United States, China, Mexico and Australia.
In addition, the study shows that the size of cuttings drilled in vertical and horizontal wells can also be matched with the VSD. This allows the use of drill cuttings, an important direct source of information, for quantitative evaluation of reservoir and rock mechanics properties. The results can be used for improved design of stimulation jobs including multi stage hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells. This is important as the amount of information collected in horizontal wells drilled through out tight formations, including cores and well logs, is limited in most cases.
It is concluded that the VSD is a valuable tool that has significant potential for applications in conventional, low and ultra-low permeability formations and for evaluating distribution of rock properties at the micro and nano-scale.
Fractal geometry was introduced by Mandelbrot (1982) in his seminal work "The Fractal Geometry of Nature.?? He indicated that this type of geometry applies to many irregular objects in nature. Since then, fractals have been shown to be useful in many disciplines including geology, petroleum engineering, earthquakes, and economics to name a few. In geology, the approach has been used, for example, to evaluate the distribution of natural fractures in outcrops and reservoir rocks; also for evaluating stratigraphic units. In petroleum engineering, they have been used in efforts to capture the distribution of natural fractures for well test analysis. In the case of telluric movements, fractals have been used to evaluate very small to very large earthquakes. In economics, fractals have been used to analyze the distribution of income amongst populations. In the case of the oil and gas industry as a whole, fractal geometry has been used for estimating the spatial distribution of hydrocarbon accumulations (Barton and Scholz, 1995).
Producing and delivering North West Australia (NWA) deepwater gas reserves to LNG plants poses unique challenges. These include extreme metocean conditions, unique geotechnical conditions, long distances to infrastructure and high reliability/availability requirement of supply for LNG plants. A wet or dry tree local floating host platform will be required in most cases. Whereas semisubmersible, TLP, Spar and floating LNG (FLNG) platform designs all have the attributes to be a host facility, none has been installed in this region to date.
This paper will address important technical, commercial and regulatory factors that drive the selection of a suitable floating host platform to develop these deepwater gas fields off NWA. Linkages between key reservoir and fluid characteristics and surface facility requirements will be established. A focus will be on the unique influence of regional drivers and site characteristics including metocean and geotechnical conditions, water depths and remoteness of these fields.
There have been 17 FPSOs producing oil in Australian waters. These facilities have been chosen because of the remoteness of the fields and the lack of pipeline and process infrastructure. Storing oil on the FPSO for offloading and shipping from the fields becomes an obvious solution. Semisubmersible, TLP or Spar platforms show little advantage in such developments.
For deepwater gas developments, the product has to be processed, compressed and piped to shore for liquefaction. As host processing facilities, Semisubmersible, TLP and Spar platforms have clear advantages over FPSOs because of their superior motion performance in the harsh Australian metocean environment and other benefits such as facilitating drilling, dry tree completion and well services. FPSOs or FSOs may be applied for storage of associated oil and condensates. For marginal and remote gas field developments, an LNG FPSO (FLNG) may be an attractive option as it eliminates long pipelines and land-based liquefaction plants.
As discussed by Dorgant and Stingl (2005), a deepwater field development life cycle following discovery usually involves five distinct phases, Figure 1. The "select?? phase occurs after a discovery has been appraised sufficiently to further evaluate it for development. It consists of evaluating multiple development concepts and scenarios and selecting the one that will most likely achieve the identified commercial and strategic goals. Selecting a floating platform and its functions for a deepwater development is an important subset of the select phase and the overall field development planning.
The process of field development planning involves a complex iterative interaction of its key elements (subsurface, drilling and completions, surface facilities) subject to regional and site constraints (D'Souza, 2009). The objective is to select a development plan that satisfies an operator's commercial, risk and strategic requirements. It entails developing a robust and integrated reservoir depletion plan with compatible facility options. The selection occurs while uncertainty in critical variables that determine commercial success (well performance, reserves) is high. One of the challenges is to select a development plan that manages downside reservoir risk (considering the very large capital expense involved) while having the flexibility to capture its upside potential.
Thermal maturity is an important parameter for commercial gas production from gas shale reservoirs if the shale has considerable organic content. There is a common idea that gas shale formations with higher potential for gas production are at higher thermal maturity status. Therefore estimating this parameter is very important for gas shale evaluation. The present study proposes an index for determining thermal maturity of the gas shale layers using the conventional well log data. To approach this objective, different conventional well logs were studied and neutron porosity, density and volumetric photoelectric adsorption were selected as the most proper inputs for defining a log derived maturity index (LMI). LMI considers the effects of thermal maturity on the mentioned well logs and applies these effects for modelling thermal maturity changes. The proposed methodology has been applied to estimate thermal maturity for Kockatea Shale and Carynginia Formation of the Northern Perth Basin, Western Australia. A total number of ninety eight geochemical data points from seven wells were used for calibrating with well log data. Although there are some limitations for LMI but generally it can give a good in-situ estimation of thermal maturity.
Thermal maturity and total organic carbon (TOC) are very important geochemical factors for evaluation of the gas shale reservoirs. There is a common hypothesis that gas shale layers with the higher potential for gas production (i.e. sweet spots) are located at the higher thermal maturity. Thermal maturity is an indicator for determining maximum temperature that a formation reached during different stages of hydrocarbon generation.
Quinlan, Timothy Michael (Schlumberger) | Sibbit, Alan Matthew (Services Techniques Schlumberger) | Rose, David Alan (Schlumberger) | Brahmakulam, Jacob V. (Schlumberger) | Zhou, Tong (Schlumberger) | Fitzgerald, John Barry (Steve Kimminau Consulting) | Kimminau, Stephen John
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) sequestration and enhanced recovery projects require the evaluation of rocks containing mixtures of CO2, water, and gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons. Pulsed neutron logs of various designs and measurement types have been used since the 1960s to evaluate formations containing gaseous hydrocarbons, but they were not originally designed or characterized specifically for quantitative CO2evaluation. Computer modeling, test pit data, and field examples are presented in this work to highlight the issues of CO2 evaluation and to compare these with gaseous hydrocarbons.
Pulsed neutron tools emit 14 MeV neutrons from an accelerator source, but a wide variety of timing sequences, detector types, source-detector spacings, and signal processing techniques are employed by the industry to extract formation description parameters from the recorded counts. For the non-specialist petroleum engineer this variety can confuse and distract from effective use of the measurements. We organize all categories of pulsed neutron logs into simple types based upon the measurement physics to provide an effective guide to field use of these logs.
Examples of commercial and experimental tools in clastic and carbonate environments are presented. The examples show how CO2 can be quantified and demonstrate critical design requirements for successful pulsed neutron logging campaigns. We outline the lessons learned and make recommendations for the design of logging programs and interpretation of the acquired data in stand-alone or in time-lapse modes.
The prediction of dynamic elastic constants of reservoir rocks is one of the most important aspects of petroleum engineering. In recent years, several studies have been performed for this purpose. Because of uncertainty and variability in natural materials, deterministic prediction of rock properties in the reservoir is not reasonable. The purpose of this study is to evaluate uncertainty in dynamic-elastic-constant prediction for reservoir rock. Dipole-shear-sonic-image (DSI) log data from one of the Saudi Arabian reservoirs are used to evaluate uncertainty in dynamic-elastic-property prediction. For this purpose, a multiple linear regression (MLR) is carried out to present an empirical equation for shear-wave (S-wave) velocity prediction. Then, probabilistic analysis using Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) is performed to evaluate the uncertainty and reliability in prediction of dynamic elastic constants (Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio). On the basis of the analysis, uncertainty and variability of rock elastic constants are considered, and the value of Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio in a special interval from the reservoir are determined with a certain probability. Finally, the impact of log-data parameters on the value of rock elastic constants in the reservoir interval is assessed.
Collett, Timothy S. (US Geological Survey) | Boswell, Ray (US Department of Energy) | Lee, Myung W. (US Geological Survey) | Anderson, Brian J. (West Virginia University) | Rose, Kelly (US Department of Energy) | Lewis, Kristen A. (US Geological Survey)
The results of short-duration formation tests in northern Alaska and Canada have further documented the energy-resource potential of gas hydrates and have justified the need for long-term gas-hydrate-production testing. Additional data acquisition and long-term production testing could improve the understanding of the response of naturally occurring gas hydrate to depressurization-induced or thermal-, chemical-, or mechanical-stimulated dissociation of gas hydrate into producible gas. The Eileen gashydrate accumulation located in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area in northern Alaska has become a focal point for gas-hydrate geologic and production studies. BP Exploration (Alaska) Incorporated and ConocoPhillips have each established research partnerships with the US Department of Energy to assess the production potential of gas hydrates in northern Alaska. A critical goal of these efforts is to identify the most suitable site for production testing. A total of seven potential locations in the Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk River, and Milne Point production units were identified and assessed relative to their suitability as a long-term gas-hydrate-production test sites. The test-site-assessment criteria included the analysis of the geologic risk associated with encountering reservoirs for gas-hydrate testing. The site-selection process also dealt with the assessment of the operational/logistical risk associated with each of the potential test sites. From this review, a site in the Prudhoe Bay production unit was determined to be the best location for extended gas-hydrate-production testing. The work presented in this report identifies the key features of the potential test site in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area and provides new information on the nature of gas-hydrate occurrence and the potential impact of production testing on existing infrastructure at the most favorable sites. These data were obtained from well-log analysis, geological correlation and mapping, and numerical simulation.
Shale gas exploration activities have been growing rapidly in Australia. A flow rate of up to 2 MMSCFD has been reported recently from the first exploratory vertical well in the Cooper Basin in South Australia. Perth and Canning Basins in Western Australia are also reported to be highly prospective. However, shale gas production differs from conventional reservoirs primarily because of extremely low permeability and other petrophysical characteristics. Commercial production requires massive hydraulic fracturing often in long horizontal completions.
The potential development of a shale gas field in Western Australia has been simulated to optimize production and minimize development cost through sensitivity analyses. Conditions in Australia are particularly challenging often because of significantly higher costs in drilling, completion and fracturing than those of the US. The minimum number of wells and the maximum Net Present Value (NPV) was iterated by simulation. The factors influencing their overall success of the field
development project were investigated in order to generate a workflow model suitable for a variety of cases. The influence of well fracture and other parameters such as completion length, fracture geometry, permeability and gas price was tested against NPV to optimize the development. Optimization of any development should be possible by iterating on any parameter and the related variables. Whilst in conventional gas there is a clear understanding of what is economically viable, this is not the case in shale gas particularly in Australia. Before embarking on any drilling, testing or development activities simulation sensitivity studies of this nature are essential.