Pressure maintenance support in mature fields where permeability heterogeneity is present requires proper distribution of injected water into the respective zones of interest. This process can be extremely challenging, if no method for allocating the proper amount of water into each zone is available. An operator in the South China Sea, who had initiated a water injection project using legacy single-string two-zone completion technologies, found himself in this predicament, since no selective control for pressure maintenance had been considered for the project.
During the past few years, the application of intelligent completion (IC) technology has increased rapidly. This acceptance has been due primarily to its proven capabilities for reservoir monitoring and corresponding optimization of well performance without well interventions. Historically, the majority of IC applications have been in production wells; however, an increasing number of operators have started adopting IC technology for their injector wells.
This paper presents a case study in which IC technology was successfully applied in an offshore field in the South China Sea to provide an efficient water-injection method for optimizing pressure support as well as sweep. The operator selected this technology, as it presented a solution for optimizing the water injection. In addition to eliminating problems experienced with the incapability of the legacy completion technology to monitor water allocation and pressure maintenance for each zone, the IC technology would allow selective well testing for each zone. By evaluating the reservoir properties and characteristics of each zone independently, an intelligent completion would provide another key benefit to the operator, since it would comply with the platform size restrictions for the pumping equipment.
The paper will discuss field objectives, the conceptual design, the design obstacles, and the operational challenges experienced during the job execution.
The Schoonebeek heavy-oil field was first developed by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM) in the late 1940s. Because of economics, it was abandoned in 1996. In 2008, the Schoonebeek Redevelopment Project, using a gravity-assistedsteamflood (GASF) design concept, was initiated with 73 wells (44 producers, 25 injectors, and 4 observation wells). Steam injection and cool-down cycles subject a cement sheath to some of the most severe load conditions in the industry. Wellbore thermal modeling predicted that surface and production sections would experience temperatures in excess of 285°C (545°F) and considerable stress across weak formations. A key design requirement was long-term integrity of the cement sheath over an expected 25- to 30-year field life span. Complicating this requirement was the need for lightweight cementing systems, because lost-circulation issues were expected in both hole sections, particularly in the mechanically weak Bentheim sandstone. The long-term integrity challenge was divided into chemical and mechanical elements. Prior research on high-temperature cement performance by the operator provided necessary guidance for this project. Laboratory mechanical and analytical tests were conducted to confirm the high-temperature stability of the chosen design. In addition to using lightweight components, foaming the slurry allowed the density, mechanical, and economic targets to be met. A standardized logistical plan was put in place to allow use of the same base blend for the entire well, adjusted as needed, using liquid additives, and applying the foaming process when necessary. This single-blend approach greatly simplified bulk-handling logistics, allowing use of dedicated bulk-handling equipment. The first well was constructed in January 2009; all 73 wells have been successfully cemented to surface. The steaming process, initiated in May 2011, has progressed with no well integrity issues to date.
UK's Gas Heritage May Become Its Legacy Tom Pickering, Independent Consultant Tom Pickering is an independent consultant to operators and service companies operating in European unconventional gas, and was chairman of the Unconventional Gas Aberdeen 2012 conference held in November. He was a cofounder of Composite Energy, an early entrant into the United Kingdom unconventional sector before it was sold to Dart Energy in a deal worth more than GBP 40 million last year. Earlier in his career, Pickering worked for Amerada Hess in Aberdeen and London in well technology and global asset performance, and as an executive assistant. He is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen Business School. The United Kingdom is attempting to emulate the unconventional gas bonanza that has transformed the United States from having an energy industry that was in its "sunset" era to a nation rich in energy resources.
Tom Neville, SPE, and Adam Donald, SPE, Schlumberger A two-step analysis can provide the key information needed to design optimal shale completions. The first step is to evaluate reservoir quality, which describes the hydrocarbon potential of a shale. The second step is to evaluate completion quality, which describes stimulation potential. Core analysis provides the basis to help calibrate the results of these two steps. The intersection of good reservoir quality and good completion quality leads to the best chance for success in shale completion.
Kennedy, Robert L. (Baker Hughes Inc.) | Gupta, Rajdeep (Baker Hughes Ltd.) | Kotov, Sergey Vasilyevich (Baker Hughes Inc.) | Burton, William Aaron (Baker Hughes Inc.) | Knecht, William N. (Energy International Corp.) | Ahmed, Usman (Baker Hughes Inc.)
During the past six years, the technology for shale gas/oil developments in North America has seen many improvements and optimizations as the industry experiences a sharp rise in the contribution of hydrocarbons from these resources. More recently, Europe and Australia have joined the US in expanding recoverable hydrocarbons from these unconventional resources, and initial activities are on the rise in Latin America, China, Saudi Arabia and India. Despite such improvements and optimizations, a closer look at the performance reveals that not all wells are producing commercially. In addition, the hydraulic fracture stages are not all contributing within the producing wells. This scenario potentially suggests that it is important to target the field's sweet spots while dealing with shale resources (like most other hydrocarbon-bearing formations). Hence, resource development based on the current concepts of geometric placement of hydraulic fracture stages (e.g., using fixed well/fracture spacing) may not be appropriate to develop such heterogeneous unconventional resource basins. In the discussion we illustrate certain well-defined criteria that can identify the sweet spot locations within a field/basin for the optimal well placement. We further document the vital formation/zone characteristics that define the locations for hydraulic fracture stages and thus move away from the arbitrary geometric placement.
The paper will discuss the well-placement optimization process and identify the required combination of proposed special petrophysical, geochemical, and geomechanical investigations (wireline, Logging While Drilling and cores). The hydraulic fracture stage placement analysis as presented, shoulders on the need to understand the existing natural fracture system. This understanding is achieved through geophysical log measurements and comprehensive analysis of the hydraulic fracture development pattern, as well as interaction of hydraulic fractures at each stage with the natural fractures. A naturally fractured reservoir can be drained more efficiently if a complex fracture network can be created by the hydraulic fracture stimulation. This begins by drilling the well in the direction of minimum principle horizontal stress in the area.
The paper concludes by presenting examples demonstrating the practical application of some of the specific aspects of the methodology discussed and with a number of specific conclusions. In summary, the three key points to Proper Placement of Wells and Hydraulic Fracture Stages, in order to maximize the net value of an operator's asset are:
1. Begin With a Complete Understanding of the Reservoir
2. Use a Multidiscipline and Integrated Approach Across Each Phase of the Life Cycle
3. Effectively Use Modern Technology