La Cira Infantas is the oldest oil field in Colombia. It has approximately 100 years of production, and it is located in the Middle Magdalena Valley Basin, producing from a black oil multilayered and heterogeneous sandstone reservoir. Primary production began in 1918 until 1959 when the first water flooding process began. In 2005, Oxy Colombia and Ecopetrol initiated a joint venture of a new redeveloped water flooding process. Since the joint venture, the field has expanded to 400 patterns and 1,000 active producer wells, 95% of which are under a water flooding process. The redesign of the field considers 20-acre to 25-acre on average and 5-spot to 7-spot inverted patterns. Injector wells have a selective string completion, with mandrels and packers that allow having control on the vertical distribution of the volume of water per mandrel group. In order to monitor water flood performance in the field, a reservoir surveillance methodology, based on dimensionless variables, has been implemented.
The methodology was originally applied for a CO2 flood surveillance and was later extended to fit water flooding monitoring purposes. The paper presents the application of the dimensionless methodology, which allows the evaluation of water flood areas independently of their pattern configuration. This allows the comparison between patterns, sector or areas versus a theoretical ideal performance curve and quickly identify underperforming patterns in order to propose remedial actions.
The application of this methodology has opened new opportunities in the field including the identification of well candidates for chemical stimulation jobs and conformance jobs, isolation jobs in producer wells as well as pump upsize opportunities. Additionally, it has improved the technical evaluation of workover jobs. Because of this, in the last four years La Cira Infantas has extended its portfolio activity, executing over 400 workover jobs. More importantly, it has allowed the transfer of more than 20MMBO into PDP reserves, and the production of 3,000BOPD of incremental oil production per year since 2014.
This paper will provide an insight into the water flooding surveillance carried out in La Cira Infantas, which has proven to be very successful in Oxy's business units.
Wang, Yang (China University of Petroleum – Beijing and Pennsylvania State University) | Cheng, Shiqing (China University of Petroleum – Beijing) | Zhang, Kaidi (Lusheng Petroleum Development Co., Ltd, SINOPEC Shengli Oilfield Company) | Xu, Jianchun (China University of Petroleum – East China) | Qin, Jiazheng (China University of Petroleum – Beijing) | He, Youwei (China University of Petroleum – Beijing and Texas A&M University) | Luo, Le (China University of Petroleum – Beijing) | Yu, Haiyang (China University of Petroleum – Beijing)
Pressure-transient analysis (PTA) of water injectors with waterflood-induced fractures (WIFs) is much more complicated than hydraulic fracturing producers due to the variation of fracture properties in the shutting time. In plenty of cases, current analysis techniques could result in misleading interpretations if the WIFs are not well realized or characterized. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis for five cases that focuses on the interpretation of different types of pressure responses in water injectors.
The characteristic of radial composite model of water injector indicates the water erosion and expansion of mini-fractures in the inner region. The commonplace phenomena of prolonged storage effect, bi-storage effect and interpreted considerably large storage coefficient suggest that WIF(s) may be induced by long time water injection. Based on this interpreted large storage coefficient, fracture half-length can be obtained. In the meanwhile, the fracture length shrinks and fracture conductivity decreases as the closing of WIF, which has a considerable influence on pressure responses. Results show that the upward of pressure derivative curve may not only be caused by closed outer boundary condition, but also the decreasing of fracture conductivity (DFC). As for multiple WIFs, they would close successively after shutting in the well due to the different stress conditions perpendicular to fracture walls, which behaves as several unit slopes on the pressure derivative curves in the log-log plot.
Aiming at different representative types of pressure responses cases in Huaqing reservoir, Changqing Oilfield, we innovatively analyze them from a different perspective and get a new understanding of water injector behaviors with WIF(s), which provides a guideline for the interpretation of water injection wells in tight reservoirs.
Wang, Shuoshi (University of Oklahoma) | Yuan, Qingwang (University of Regina) | Kadhum, Mohannad (Cargill, Incorporated) | Chen, Changlong (University of Oklahoma) | Yuan, Na (University of Oklahoma) | Shiau, Bor-Jier (University of Oklahoma) | Harwell, Jeffrey H. (University of Oklahoma)
While injection of CO2 has great potential for increasing oil production, this potential is limited by site conditions and operational constraints such as lack of proper infrastructure, limited cheap CO2 sources, viscous fingering, gravity override at the targeted zones, and so forth. To mitigate some of these common limitations, we explore alternative methodologies which can successfully deliver CO2 through gas generation in situ, with superior IOR performance, while offering reasonable chemical cost.
While dissolved easily in reservoir brine, urea is thermally hydrolyzed to CO2 and NH3 after equilibration under reservoir conditions. Therefore, given its exceptional compatibility with reservoir fluids, its CO2 producing capacity and reasonable cost benefit, urea appears to be a promising candidate for delivering CO2 to increase oil recovery. The in-situ gas generation requires single chemical slug, which can minimize the complexity of the injection system.
One-dimensional sand pack tests and core flooding experiments were operated at pre-set conditions: different API gravity oils were used, varying from 27 to 57.3. In addition, the reaction rates of the urea hydrolysis and urea solution PVT property were tested separately under reservoir conditions.
Most importantly, results of injecting urea solution (as low as 10 % solution) showed superior tertiary recovery performance (as high as 37.97%) are realized as compared to the most recent efforts at our group (29.5%) as well as similar in situ CO2 generation EOR (2.4% to 18.8%) approaches proposed by others.
The economic feasibility and operational advantages of this newly developed method were demonstrated in this work. In brief, results of this work served further as a proof of concept for designing in situ CO2 generation formulations for tertiary oil recovery at both onshore and offshore fields under proper conditions.
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.
Polymer flooding has been applied to the development of an offshore oil field S18 located in Bohai Gulf, China, where the water and polymer injection wells are alternately distributed. Field tests have indicated that the oil production and economic profit are significantly affected by the interference between alternately injected water and polymer. Therefore, it is of great importance to quantify the water-polymer interference (WPI) and thus improve the oil production. In this paper, the polymer flooding performance for the offshore oil field S18 has been evaluated by using a newly proposed WPI factor. The developed model provides a new way to evaluate the polymer flooding performance for the offshore oil field. More specifically, onshore and offshore polymer injection processes are thoroughly compared in terms of field performance, reservoir properties, and polymer flooding parameters. Then, a conceptual model is developed to analyze and quantify the interference between the injected water and polymer. The WPI factor is firstly introduced and quantified by a water cut funnel prediction method. The WPI factor is found to increase with the water injection rate and decrease with the polymer concentration. Subsequently, the reservoir simulation model of S18 oil field is well developed including 50 injectors and 93 producers with well-matched field production data. The WPI factor is accordingly optimized by tuning the water injection rate and polymer concentration at different blocks of the S18 oil field with the assistance of orthogonal design method. Consequently, the overall WPI factor of the S18 oil field is decreased by 8.20% after the optimized polymer & water injection scheme is applied, resulting in an increased oil recovery by 0.24%.
The in-situ steam based technology is still the main exploitation method for bitumen and heavy oil resources all over the world. But most of the steam-based processes (e.g., cyclic steam stimulation, steam drive and steam assisted gravity drainage) in heavy oilfields have entered into anexhaustion stage. Considering the long-lasting steam-rock interaction, how to further enhance the heavy oil recovery in the post-steam injection era is currently challenging the EOR (enhanced oil recovery) techniques. In this paper, we present a comprehensive review of the EOR processes in the post steam injection era both in experimental and field cases. Specifically, the paper presents an overview on the recovery mechanisms and field performance of thermal EOR processes by reservoir lithology (sandstone and carbonate formations) and offshore versus onshore oilfields. Typical processes include thein-situ combustion process, the thermal/-solvent process, the thermal-NCG (non-condensable gas, e.g., N2, flue gas and air) process, and the thermal-chemical (e.g., polymer, surfactant, gel and foam) process. Some new in-situ upgrading processes are also involved in this work. Furthermore, this review also presents the current operations and future trends on some heavy oil EOR projects in Canada, Venezuela, USA and China.
This review showsthat the offshore heavy oilfields will be the future exploitation focus. Moreover, currently several steam-based projects and thermal-NCG projects have been operated in Emeraude Field in Congo and Bohai Bay in China. A growing trend is also found for the in-situ combustion technique and solvent assisted process both in offshore and onshore heavy oil fields, such as the EOR projects in North America, North Sea, Bohai Bay and Xinjiang. The multicomponent thermal fluids injection process in offshore and the thermal-CO2and thermal-chemical (surfactant, foam) processes in onshore heavy oil reservoirs are some of the opportunities identified for the next decade based on preliminary evaluations and proposed or ongoing pilot projects. Furthermore, the new processes of in-situ catalytic upgrading (e.g., addition of catalyst, steam-nanoparticles), electromagnetic heating and electro-thermal dynamic stripping (ETDSP) and some improvement processes on a wellbore configuration (FCD) have also gained more and more attention. In addition, there are some newly proposed recovery techniques that are still limitedto the laboratory scale with needs for further investigations. In such a time of low oil prices, cost optimization will be the top concerns of all the oil companies in the world. This critical review will help to identify the next challenges and opportunities in the EOR potential of bitumen and heavy oil production in the post steam injection era.
Hosseininoosheri, P. (The University of Texas at Austin) | Hosseini, S. A. (The University of Texas at Austin) | Nunez-Lopez, V. (The University of Texas at Austin) | Lake, L. W. (The University of Texas at Austin)
The relative partitioning of CO2 during and after CO2 injection in a CO2-EOR process is affected by several parameters. While many geological properties cannot be changed in a specific hydrocarbon (HC) reservoir, it could be shown that an intelligent selection of CO2 injection strategy improves both the incremental oil recovery and CO2 storage capacity and security. Therefore, we investigated and discussed the partitioning of CO2 among different phases (oil, gas, and brine) after two well-known CO2 inejction schemes using field-scale compositional reservoir flow modeling in the SACROC (Scurry Area Canyon Reef Operators Committee) unit, Permian Basin. First, we used a high-resolution geocellular model, which was constructed from wireline logs, seismic surveys, core data, and stratigraphic interpretation. As the initial distribution of fluids plays an important role in CO2 partitioning, a comprehensive pressure-production history matching of primary, secondary, and tertiary recovery was completed. The hysteresis model was used to calculate the amount of CO2 trapped as residual. CO2 solubility into brine was verified based on previous experiments. The model results showed a new understanding of relative CO2 partitioning in porous media after a CO2-EOR process. We compared the contribution of CO2 trapping mechanisms and the sweep efficiency of Walter-Alternating-Gas (WAG) and Continous-Gas-Injection (CGI). We found that WAG injection showed a significantly superior behaviour over CGI. WAG not only decreased the amount of mobile CO2 (structural trapping), but also resulted in a competitive incremental oil recovery in comparison with CGI. Thus, clearly WAG injection ispreferred as it strongly enhances CO2 storage efficiency and containment security. The present work provides valuable insights for optimizing oil production and CO2 storage in carbonate reservoirs like SACROC unit. In other words, this work helps decision makers to set storage goals based on optimized project risks.
A polymer pilot in the 8 TH reservoir in Austria showed promising results. The Utility Factors were below 2 of kg polymer injected / incremental barrel of oil produced (polymer cost are 2 – 4 USD/kg). Furthermore, substantial incremental oil was produced which might result in economic field implementation. The results triggered the planning for field implementation of polymer flooding.
To optimize the economics of field implementation, a workflow was chosen ensuring that the uncertainty was covered. 1200 geological models were generated covering a variety of different geological concepts. These geological models were clustered based on the dynamic response into 100 representative geological realizations and then used for history matching.
For infill drilling, probabilistic quality maps can be used to find locations. However, injection and production well optimization is more challenging. Introducing probabilistic incremental Net Present Value (NPV) maps allows for selection of locations of injection and production well patterns.
The patterns need to be optimized for geometry and operating parameters under uncertainty. The geometry was optimized in a first step followed by operating parameter optimization. In addition, injectivity effects of vertical and horizontal wells due to the non-Newtonian polymer rheology were evaluated. The last step was full-field simulation using the probabilistic NPV map, optimized well distance and operating parameters.
The resulting Cumulative Distribution Function of incremental NPV showed a Probability of Economic Success (PES) of 91 % and an Expected Monetary Value of 73 mn EUR.
Aqueous foam has been demonstrated through laboratory and field experiments to be a promising conformance control technique. This study explores the foaming behavior of a CO2-soluble, cationic, amine-based surfactant. A distinguishing feature of this surfactant is its ability to dissolve in supercritical CO2 and to form Wormlike Micelles (WLM) at elevated salinity. Presence of WLM led to an increase in viscosity of the aqueous surfactant solution. Our study investigates how the presence of WLM structures affect transient foam behavior in a homogenous porous media (sand pack).
Sand pack foam flooding experiments were performed with two aqueous phase salinities: low salinity (15 wt. % NaCl) associated with spherical-shaped micelle and high salinity (20 wt. % NaCl) associated with WLM. We compared the onset of strong foam propagation and foam apparent viscosity buildup rate between the two salinity cases. The effect of WLM presence in transient foam behavior was investigated for co-injection and water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection strategies. In all foam flooding experiments, the surfactant was delivered in the CO2 phase.
Strong foam was generated in all foam flooding experiments, with an apparent foam viscosity of at least 600 cp for co-injection and 200 cp for WAG floods after five total injected pore volumes. The observed strong foam indicated that the delivery of surfactant in the CO2 phase was successful and that the surfactant molecules partition to the water phase in the sand pack. In comparison to the low salinity cases, the high salinity foam floods associated with the presence of WLM led to better foam performance. We observed an earlier onset of strong foam propagation as well as a higher apparent viscosity buildup rate. Better foam performance at higher salinity may be attributed in large part to the presence of WLM structures in the foam liquid phase. Entanglement of these WLM structures may have led to in-situ viscosification of the foam liquid phase and an increase in disjoining pressure between foam films. Both phenomena may have reduced the rate of foam film coalescence.
WLM structures behave similarly to polymer molecules. Our study may offer evidence that WLM is a valid alternative to polymer as an additive to enhance foam conformance control performance. Some potential advantages of WLM over polymer include: Delivery of surfactant in the gas phase (to alleviate the injectivity issue typically associated with high viscosity polymer-surfactant solution), resistance to extreme temperature and salinity, and reversible shear degradation.
A miscible injectant was used in a single injection well pilot in the Yates field to mobilize remaining oil in the gas cap and accelerate gravity drainage. Nitrogen, CO2 and recycled gas injection, all immiscible with Yates oil due to low original and current reservoir pressure, have been used historically to assist the gas-oil gravity drainage (GOGD) development. The result of immiscible injection has been a lowering of the gas-oil contact, a thinning of the oil column, and leaving a remaining oil saturation in the gas cap of up to 40 percent. A hydrocarbon mixture rich in ethane and propane and miscible with Yates oil was injected in a CO2 injector for six months after which the well was returned to pure CO2 injection.
Data collection during the pilot included repeat saturation logging of a newly drilled observation well, well tests of nearby horizontal producers, frequent gas and oil sampling, and chromatographic analysis. Phase behavior PVT experiments were also conducted which confirmed miscibility of the injectant and improvement over CO2 injection. Numerical simulation of pilot performance was also used as part of the interpretation.
Pilot results to date show a doubling of oil rate at peak over base oil decline, breakthrough in horizontal producers within 3-5 months matching an a priori prediction from numerical simulation, 10 percent reduction in oil saturation in the target interval in the gas cap, and the return of two wells to continuous production after having been shut-in due to high gas-oil ratios. Early interpretation of pilot results showed that most of the incremental oil and back produced enriched hydrocarbons came from one well. During the follow-up CO2 injection phase, one of the horizontal wells completed in the gas cap (unlike other pilot producers), was redrilled deeper into the oil column to improve the pilot areal and vertical sweep.
The pilot design, results, and interpretation will be discussed. Results from the pilot will be used to support evaluation of a field wide development, which could lead to substantial incremental reserves and extension of the field life.