In-situ upgrading (IU) is a promising method of improved viscous and heavy oil recovery. The IU process implies a reservoir heating up and exposition to temperature higher than 300°C for long enough time to promote a series of chemical reactions. The pyrolysis reactions produce lighter oleic and gaseous components while a solid residue remains underground. In this work, we developed a numerical model of IU based on lab experiences (kinetics measurements and core experiments) and validated results applying our model to an IU test published it the literature. Finally, we studied different operational conditions searching for energy-efficient configurations.
In this work, two types of IU experimental data are used from two vertical-tube experiments with Canadian bitumen cores (0.15 m and 0.69 m). A general IU numerical model for the different experimental setups has been developed and compared to experimental data, using a commercial reservoir simulator framework. This model is capable to represent the phase distribution of pseudo-components, the thermal decomposition reactions of bitumen fractions and the generation of gases and residue (solid) under the cracking conditions.
Simulation results for the cores submitted to 370°C and production pressure of 15 bar, have shown that oil production (per pseudo-component) and oil sample quality were well-predicted by the model. Some differences in gas production and total solid residue were observed with respect to laboratory measurements. Computer-assisted history matching was performed using an uncertainty analysis tool on the base of the most important model parameters. In order to better understand IU field-scale test results, the Shell’s Viking pilot (Peace River) was modeled and analyzed with proposed IU model. The appropriated grid-block size was determined and calculation time was reduced using the adaptive mesh refinement technique. The quality of products, the recovery efficiency and the energy expenses obtained with our model were in good agreement with the field test results. Also the conversion results (upgraded oil, gas and solid residue) from the experiments were compared to those obtained in the field test. Additional analysis was performed to identify energy efficient configurations and to understand the role of some key variables, e.g. heating period and rate, the production pressure, in the global IU upgrading performance. We discuss these results which illustrate and quantify the interplay between energy efficiency and productivity indicators.
Aamodt, G. (ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS) | Abbas, S. (ConocoPhillips Co) | Arghir, D. V. (ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS) | Frazer, L. C. (ConocoPhillips Co) | Mueller, D. T. (ConocoPhillips Co) | Pettersen, P. (ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS) | Prosvirnov, M. (ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS) | Smith, D. D. (ConocoPhillips Co) | Jespersen, T. (Halliburton Co.) | Mebratu, A. A. (Halliburton Co.)
This paper discusses a field case review of the processes used to identify, characterize, design and execute a solution for a waterflood conformance problem in the Ekofisk Field that developed in late 2012. The Ekofisk Field is a highly-fractured Maastrichtian chalk reservoir located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Large scale water injection in the field began in 1987 and overall the field has responded well to waterflood operations. However, fault reactivation coupled with extensive natural fractures and rock dissolution has resulted in some challenging conformance issues. In late 2014, a solution was executed to control this problem. Details of the diagnostic efforts and how this data was used to identify, characterize and mitigate an injector/producer connection through a void space conduit (VSC) will be outlined and discussed. These diagnostics include pressure transient analysis (PTA), interwell tracers, injection profiles, seismic mapping, fluid rate analysis, fluid composition and temperature monitoring. The importance of this data analysis is the key element necessary to select an effective solution.
The selected approach involved pumping a large tapered nitrified cement treatment into the offending injector, which is believed to be the single largest nitrified cement operation ever pumped within the oil industry. Because of extremely rapid communication with an offset producer, a protective gel was used to reduce the risk of cement entry into that producer. A brief review of alternative mitigation options and the reasons for selecting the nitrified cement treatment will be discussed. Additionally, a complete review of the shutoff technique, product, damage mitigation strategy, and complications associated with timing and coordination in an offshore environment will also be discussed. Finally, a summary of lessons learned, job execution observations, post-treatment performance results over the past three years, and forward plans will be presented. Based on these results it is believed that there are a number of opportunities to add strong value through conformance engineering.
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.
This paper describes the use of advanced completions employing passive inflow control devices (ICD) and autonomous inflow control devices (AICD) in multi-zone horizontal wells to improve the distribution of gas injection and to restrict premature production of gas in gas injection soak EOR process for unconventional oil wells.
The recovery efficiency of unconventional oil reserves is very low due to the micro-permeability of these reservoirs and rapid depletion of pore pressure proximal to the fractures and wellbore. Several enhanced oil recovery schemes have been proposed to stimulate production and increase recovery efficiency in these reservoirs by injecting gas or carbon dioxide in fracture stimulated, long horizontal wells, and either producing oil from adjacent wells (gas injection flooding drive mechanism), or by back-producing the injectant and reservoir fluids in the same wellbore after a suitable "soak" period (huff and puff).
The effective distribution of the injected gas in these wells and the ability to keep the gas in the reservoir to maintain energy can greatly affect the recovery efficiency that can be achieved. Advanced completions utilizing appropriately designed ICDs and AICDs can enhance the performance of these EOR schemes.
ICDs can be used to balance the distribution of gas injection along the length of the wellbore, while AICDs can help control the early back-production of gas. The Autonomous Inflow Control Device (AICD) is an active flow control device that delivers a variable flow restriction in response to the properties (viscosity) of the fluid flowing through it. Water or gas flowing through the device is restricted more than oil. When used in a horizontal well, segmented into multiple compartments, this design prevents excessive production of gas after breakthrough occurs in one or more compartments.
The implementation of advanced completions in EOR applications has been studied by reservoir and well performance simulation. This proper use of ICDs and AICDs in these applications can significantly improve recovery efficiency without further well intervention.
To evaluate the performance of the AICD, a comprehensive multi-phase flow model of the autonomous performance has been developed and workflow created for simulation of performance within the reservoir. This paper will describe the experience with the technology and modelling prediction for EOR projects.
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.
This work presents the conceptual development and experimental evaluation for a new technique to create blocking foams in matrix rock systems by the injection of the foaming agent dispersed in the hydrocarbon gas stream. This new technique aims at simplifying the operation and reducing costs for the deployment of EOR foams in gas injection based projects, and overcoming the disadvantage of limited reservoir volume of influence obtained in the SAG technique.
A systematic experimental work is implemented to investigate the effect of the dispersed chemical (surfactant) concentration and the gas velocity on the ability to create blocking foams at high pressure and temperature, and using representative consolidated porous medium and fluids coming from the Piedemonte fields in Colombia. The concept behind this new technique is the transfer of chemical foamer from the gas dispersion into the connate or residual waters present in the hydrocarbon reservoirs under exploitation, due mainly to the chemical potential derived from the contrast in chemical concentration between the dispersed phase and the in-situ water.
Results herein confirm that it is possible to create blocking foam by this technique in a consolidated sandstone core at residual oil and water conditions, after being submitted to a gas flooding displacement. This condition is obtained as far as the gas velocity is above a minimum threshold, and the concentration of the active chemical is above certain limit (138 ppm for this case). Successful experiments with foams created by gas dispersed surfactant showed much longer stability periods when compared with results from foams created by the SAG technique at much higher chemical concentration (2,000 ppm). Application of this foams technique was done in a field pilot. About 600 Bbls of foaming solution were dispersed in the hydrocarbon gas stream in one gas injector of a Piedemonte field (Colombia, South America). Gas injectivity in the well was impaired after two weeks of injection, and the oil production well influenced by this injector changed its performance showing incremental oil production and flattening of the gas oil ratio (GOR) shortly after the dispersed chemical injection period. This innovative foams technique could also be extended to other non-condensable gases at field operating conditions like CO2, Nitrogen, Air, and Flue Gas.
Immiscible Water Alternating Gas (IWAG) is an EOR process whereby water and immiscible gas are alternately injected into a reservoir to provide better sweep efficiency and reduce gas channelling from injectors to producer wells, aiming to stabilize the displacement front and increase contact with the unswept areas of the reservoir. In this work, we present a summary of best practices for laboratory evaluation of IWAG. This work was motivated by observations related to the way laboratory measurements are normally done, which could result in erroneous interpretation if the results were to be used directly for the design of a field application.
The set of best practices were collected from own work expanding over two decades of laboratory work, discussion with experts from laboratory services and research centres, and a comprehensive literature review. They were tested in a laboratory workflow and compared to conventional workflows used by most laboratories. The recommended approach covers steps from sample preparation, experimental setup, measurement protocols, guideline for process design, and data QA/QC for later use in reservoir simulation.
Among the best practices, particular attention is given to the type of fluids and samples used for the measurements based on the strong effect of rock-fluid interactions on the IWAG performance. The layout of the experimental setup, and how the injection and displacement process is done and the flow effects quantified. Other best practices relate to the selection of the WAG slug ratio, and required initial conditions of the core where the laboratory testing is done. The number of cycles in the WAG injection affects the recovery. On the initial condition of the sample, the knowledge of the sample wettability at the start of the WAG is critical since the optimum ratio is influenced by the wetting state of the rock. A WAG ratio of 1:1, which is the most popular in field applications, is not necessarily the most appropriate.
Regarding flow properties, relative permeability should be evaluated under three-phase conditions and making sure hysteresis effects are well captured data in general not readily available. Special attention should be given to the selection of correlations for calculating three-phase relative permeability widely reported in the literature; in most cases they are not accurate for WAG injection since they do not consider special treatment of water-gas cycle.
We present a side by side comparison of the impact on the laboratory results will be given on using recommended best practices to more routine laboratory implementations. These best practices, with focus on immiscible WAG, provide a new unique workflow for the execution of laboratory programs supporting a better understanding of the involved phenomena and providing accurate data for immiscible WAG process design.
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.
The sustained lower oil price for the last three years has shifted tight oil industry interest from an intensive drilling and completion based approach to more cost effective methods aimed at maximizing rates and ultimate recovery from existing wells. In that framework, application of conventional EOR methods to unconventional tight oil well has gained momentum in the recent period, with theoretical and experimental evaluation of approaches ranking from water and CO2 flooding to huff’n puff with chemicals. For that purpose, usual EOR experiments used for conventional rock cannot always be applied due to the extremely low volumes and permeability of tight reservoir rocks. This can lead to inaccurate results or extremely long experimental times. Here, we present a novel method for rapidly evaluating oil production by EOR methods in micro-Darcy permeability reservoir rock, and apply it to evaluate various chemical EOR approaches for unconventional tight oil wells.
Our method relies on a fast screening and a continuous NMR monitoring of fluid saturations during imbibition experiments at reservoir temperature in miniaturized plugs. This permits to evaluate oil and water saturations in the rock samples as a function of time without having to interrupt the experiment for carrying out measurements. We validate this method by evaluating recovery from 10 μD sandstones and carbonates during imbibition of LowIFT formulations with various chemical additives. Despite the extremely low permeability, oil production from plugs using various chemicals can be evaluated and compared in less than 72 hours.
Our new protocol shall be of interest to all laboratories trying to adapt EOR techniques to unconventional reservoirs, by permitting a real-time accurate and quantitative evaluation of various EOR options. In addition, the data we generated using various chemical EOR techniques support the interest of using low-IFT inspired chemical EOR methods to improve the ultimate recovery from tight reservoirs.
While synthetic polymer floods are being deployed in mild temperature and low salinity fields, many oilfields (harsh conditions) remain inaccessible due to performance limitations, and concentration requirements, which adversely affect project economics. Historically, biopolymers have been considered in such reservoirs, with mixed results. Xanthan was used in the 1980's, while more recently schizophyllan polymer was tested in a pilot study. This study presents scleroglucan polymers as a class of viscosifiers that demonstrate excellent performance in harsh temperature and salinity reservoirs. Scleroglucan polymers do not suffer from catastrophic drop in viscosity in the presence of high concentration of divalent ions. This makes produced water re-injection projects without water treatment a reality. This work demonstrates that cost-effective, high purity EOR grade Scleroglucan polymers, show excellent performance in lab trials as related to excellent rheological properties, injectivity, bio and thermal stability and with minimal shear degradation.
Injectivity tests demonstrated good propagation through cores without blockage or injectivity issues. Resistance factors and residual resistance factors are in the desirable range. Core floods carried out in sandstone and carbonate outcrop cores demonstrated that adsorption values and oil recoveries are consistently in the expected range for polymer recoveries. Shear degradation studies showed that recycling scleroglucan through a centrifugal pump causes less than 5% drop in viscosity after 100 passes while synthetic polymer showed substantial loss after a single pass and a 50% drop after 10 passes through the same pump. Capillary shear testing (API RP 63 method) of scleroglucan shows little change in viscosity upon multiple passes through shear regimes greater than 150,000 s−1. Scleroglucan polymer solution showed less than 25% drop in viscosity after exposure to 115 °C for six months. No change in viscosity was observed at 95 °C after one year. Scleroglucan has no compatibility issues through 6 months (at 37, 85, and 95 °C) with glutaraldehyde and tributyl tetradecyl phosphonium chloride (TTPC) biocides. Long term biostability studies at various temperatures and salinities are ongoing - current data will be presented. Scleroglucan has excellent stability in the presence of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ferrous species (Fe2+) under fully
This work provides insight on the potential of using EOR grade scleroglucan for CEOR in harsh condition reservoirs. Currently, the program is moving towards pilot implementation of a scleroglucan formulation to demonstrate large scale hydration, long term injectivity and oil recovery.