The Marcellus formation has begun to attract more attention from the oil and gas industry. Despite being the largest shale formation and biggest source of natural gas in the United States, it has been the subject of little research. To fill this gap, this study experimentally examined the rock properties of twenty core samples from the formation.
Five tests were performed on the core samples: X-ray computerized tomography (CT) scan, porosity, permeability, ultrasonic velocity, and X-ray diffraction (XRD). CT-scans were performed to identify the presence of any existing fracture(s). Additionally, helium was injected into the core samples at four different pressures (100 psi, 200 psi, 300 psi, and 400 psi) to determine the optimal pressure for porosity measurements. Complex Transient Method was employed to measure the permeabilities of the core samples. Ultrasonic velocity tests were conducted to calculate the dynamic Young's moduli (E) and the Poisson's ratios (ν) of the core samples at various confining pressures (in increments of 750 psi between 750 psi and 4,240 psi). Finally, the mineralogical compositions of the core samples were determined using the XRD test.
The results of the CT-scan experiments revealed that seven core samples contained fractures. The porosity tests yielded an optimal pressure of 200 psi for porosity measurement. The measured porosities of the samples were between 6.43% and 13.85%. The permeabilities of the samples were between 5 nD and 153 nD. The results of the ultrasonic velocity tests revealed that at the confining pressure of 750 psi, the compressional velocity (Vp) ranged from 18,411 ft/s to 19,128 ft/s and the average shear velocities (Vs1 and Vs2) ranged from 10,413 ft/s to 11,034 ft/s. At the same confining pressure, the Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio ranged from 9.8 to 10.8 million psi and 0.25 to 0.28, respectively. Increase in the confining pressure resulted in increases in the Vp, Vs, Young's moduli, and Poisson's ratios of the samples. The results of the XRD test revealed that the samples were composed of calcite, quartz, and dolomite.
This study is one of the first to characterize core samples obtained from the formation outcrop by performing five tests: CT-scan, porosity, permeability, ultrasonic velocity, and XRD. The results provide detailed insights to researchers working on the formation rock properties.
Xu, Wei (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Chen, Kaiyuan (Beijing Key Laboratory of Unconventional Natural Gas Geological Evalution and Development Engineeing, China University of Geosciences Beijing) | Fang, Lei (Beijing Key Laboratory of Unconventional Natural Gas Geological Evalution and Development Engineeing, China University of Geosciences Beijing) | Zhang, Yingchun (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Jing, Zhiyi (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Liu, Jun (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Zou, Jingyun (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.)
The lacustrine delta sandbody deposited in the north of Albert Basin is unconsolidated due to the shallow burial depth, which leads to an ultra-high permeability (up to 20 D) with large variation and poor diagenesis. Log derived permeability differs greatly with DST results. Thus, permeability simulation is challenging in 3D geomodeling. A hierarchical geomodeling approach is presented to bridge the gap among the ultra-high permeability log, model and DST results. The ultimate permeability model successfully matched the logging data and DST results into the geological model.
Based on the study of sedimentary microfacies, the new method identifies different discrete rocktypes (DRT) according to the analyis of core, thin section and conventional and special core analysis (e.g., capillary pressure). In this procedure, pore throat radius, flow zone index (FZI) and other parameters are taken into account to identify the DRT. Then, hierarchical modeling approach is utilized in the geomodeling. Firstly, the sedimentary microfacies model is established within the stratigraphic framework. Secondly, the spatial distribution model of DRT is established under the control of sedimentary microfacies. Thirdly, the permeability distribution is simulated according to the different pore-permeability relation functions derived from each DRT. Finally, the permeability model is compared with the logging and testing results.
Winland equation was improved based on the capillary pressure (Pc) data of special core analysis. It is found that the highest correlation between pore throat radius and reservoir properties was reached when mercury injection was 35%. The corresponding formula of R35 is selected to calculate the radius of reservoir pore throat. Reservoirs are divided into four discrete rock types according to parameters such as pore throat radius and flow zone index. Each rock type has its respective lithology, thin section feature and pore-permeability relationship. The ultra-high permeability obtained by DST test reaches up to 20 D, which belongs to the first class (DRT1) quality reservoir. It is located in the center of the delta channel with high degree of sorting and roundness. DRT4 is mainly located in the bank of the channels. It has a much higher shale content and the permeability is generally less than 50 mD. Through three-dimensional geological model, sedimentary facies, rock types and pore-permeability model are coupled hierarchically. Different pore-permeability relationships are given to different DRTs. After reconstructing the permeability model, the simulation results are highly matched with the log and DST test results.
This hierarchical geomodeling approach can effectively solve the simulation problem in the ultra-high permeability reservoir. It realizes a quantitative characterization for the complex reservoir heterogeneity. The method presented can be applied to clastic reservoir. It also plays a significant positive role in carbonate reservoir characterization.
Faster production declines than initially forecast were observed in numerous deep-water assets. These wells were completed as Cased Hole Frac-Pack (CHFP) completions (
Seven key damage mechanisms were identified as forming the basis for PI degradation: 1) off-plane perforation stability, 2) fines migration, 3) fracture conductivity, 4) fracture connectivity, 5) fluid invasion, 6) non-Darcy flow and 7) creep effects. A near wellbore production model incorporating the completion, fracture geometry and reservoir is coupled with a geomechanics model to assess each mechanism. A Design of Experiment setup varies the input ranges associated with each of the seven damage mechanisms. Input parameters for the model are risked and rely on ranges from standard and newly developed well and lab tests. The model assesses well performance and driving mechanisms at different points in time within the production life.
Primarily the study focused on high permeability and highly over pressured reservoirs. For the types of wells/fields assessed in the study, the results indicated three phases of decline based on the interaction between the formation properties, the completion components and the operating parameters. The three phases breakdown into: (1) a pre-rock failure stage where declines are relatively small, (2) an ongoing rock failure stage where declines are rapid and (3) a post failure stage where declines are again moderate. In each of these stages different parameters and damage mechanisms were assessed to be impactful. The workflow was also utilized to match pre and post acidizing treatments. A comparison for varying rock types was included looking at the impact of rock strength and formation permeability on the ranking of the damage mechanisms. The impact of operating parameters such as drawdown can also be assessed with the tool showing that increased drawdowns may not always be beneficial to the long-term production of the well.
The paper presents the underlying drivers for PI Decline for deep-water assets of a specific attribute set. Through accurate representation of reservoir and completion, the workflow highlights the impact and combined impact of different damage mechanisms. The paper also shows a direct link between the mechanical properties (moduli and strength) and boundary conditions (pore pressure and stress) and the well performance and productivity. The workflow provides a methodology by which lab and field tests can be transformed into assessments of future well performance without strictly relying on analogs that may or may not be appropriate.
Reservoir depletion can induce substantial changes in the stress state of the rock. The coupled interaction between the pore fluid pressure and rock stress will then alter the reservoir permeability, which in turn reversely affects the productivity index of the production well. A new nonlinear analytical solution is developed for the drawdown-dependent productivity index of reservoirs under steady-state flow. Biot's theory of poroelasticity is used to derive the depletion-induced changes in the reservoir rock porosity and permeability. The well-known Mindlin's solution for a Nucleus of Strain in a semi-infinite elastic medium is applied as Green's function and integrated over the depleted volume of reservoir rock to obtain the 3D distribution of stress and volumetric strain distributions. The fluid transport equation is nonlinearly coupled to the solid mechanics solution via the stress-dependent permeability coefficients. A perturbation technique is applied to mathematically treat the described nonlinearity to solve for the coupled equations of pore fluid flow and rock stress under steady-state flow. The good match between the obtained analytical approximations for productivity index and the numerical solutions verifies the correctness and robustness of the proposed model.
Results indicate and confirm the expected strong dependency of the well productivity index to the drawdown magnitude as well as the poroelastic constitutive parameters of the reservoir rock, with the highest sensitivity to drained bulk modulus, followed by the reservoir depth and solid-grain modulus. The lowest PI sensitivity is to the pore fluid modulus and Poisson's ratio. The resulting productivity index is found out to be drawdown-dependent, which can render values substantially different than the productivity index estimate from the conventional flow-only analysis. The presented estimates for the related nonlinear productivity index can be readily used by the practicing engineers.
Long-term integrity and practical storage of CO2 is contingent upon its seal performance and the dynamic sealing capacity of faults for the CO2 storage site. Faults are prone to reactivation with reservoir pressurization caused by CO2 injection. The goal of this study is to create and verify a reservoir elasto-plastic model capable of capturing short-term evolution of fault reactivation and the resulting change of permeability. This model is then used to explore the effects of coupling geomechanics with reservoir fluid flow on the reactivation of faults.
In this paper, we introduce a workflow for modeling of fault reactivation with fault elements as gridblocks instead of surfaces. Reservoir simulation, with coupled fluid flow and geomechanics, was used for this purpose. The simulation models utilize a geomechanical module to capture elasto-plasticity and a compositional numerical scheme based on an equation of state (EOS) to calculate CO2-brine interaction. The geomechanical module used in this study is based on Hierarchical Single Surface (HISS) model that captures strain softening and hardening, and therefore post-yield plastic deformations related to fault reactivation. The compositional numerical scheme based on EOS calculates the amount of CO2 solubilization in brine as well as the density and viscosity of the CO2- and aqueous-rich phase. In this approach, the flow properties, i.e. permeability and porosity, dynamically change in response to geomechanical effects. The dynamic change was captured through a volumetric strain-permeability law.
Our simulation results show that the model is capable of capturing short-term evolution of fault reactivation and the resulting change of permeability along the fault. The dynamic changes of fault properties control the extent of fault reactivation, the pressure relief during injection, and the fault sealing capacity.
Many investigations have been discussed and it is a well-recognized fact that sonic wave velocity is not only influenced by its rock matrix and the fluids occupying the pores but also by the pore architecture details of the rock bulk. This situation still brings a lack of understanding, and this study is purposed to clearly explain how acoustic velocity and quality factor correlate with porosity, permeability and details internal pore structure in porous rocks.
This study employs 67 sandstone and 120 carbonate core samples collected from several countries in Europe, Australia, Asia, and USA. The measured values are available for porosity
At least eight rock groups are established from rock typing with its Kozeny constant. This constant is a product of pore shape factor
As a novelty, the empirical equations are derived to estimate compressional velocity and quality factor based on petrophysical parameters. Furthermore, this study also establishes empirical equations for predicting porosity and permeability by using compressional wave velocity, critical porosity, and PGS rock typing.
A sizeable portion of the Athabasca oil sand reservoir is classified as Inclined Heterolithic Stratification lithosomes (IHSs). However, due to the significant heterogeneity of IHSs and the minimal experimental studies on them, their hydro-geomechanical properties are relatively unknown. The main objectives of this study are investigating the geomechanical constitutive behavior of IHSs and linking their geological and mechanical characteristics to their hydraulic behavior to estimate the permeability evolution of IHSs during a Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operation. To that end, a detailed methodology for reconstitution of analog IHS specimens was developed, and a microscopic comparative study was conducted between analog and in situ IHS samples. The SAGD-induced stress paths were experimentally simulated by running isotropic cyclic consolidation and drained triaxial shearing tests on analog IHSs. Both series of experiments were performed in conjunction with permeability tests at different strain levels, flow rates, and stress states. Additionally, an analog sample with bioturbation was tested to examine the hydro-geomechanical effects of bioturbation. Finally, the hydro-mechanical characteristics of analog IHS were compared with its constituent layers (sand and mud).
The microscopic study showed that the layers’ integration and grain size distribution are similar in analog and in-situ IHS specimens. The results also revealed that geomechanical properties of IHSs, such as shear strength, bulk compressibility, Young's modulus, and dilation angle, are stress state dependent. In other words, elevating confining pressure could significantly increase the strength and elastic modulus of a sample, while decreasing the compressibility and dilation angle. In contrast, the friction angle and Poisson's ratio are not very sensitive to changes in the isotropic confining stress. An important finding of this study is that the effect of an IHS sample's volume change on permeability is contingent on the stress state and stress path. Volume change during isotropic unloading-reloading resulted in permeability increases and sample dilation during compression shearing resulted in permeability decreases, especially at high effective confining stresses. Moreover, the tests revealed that the existence of bioturbation dramatically improves permeability of IHSs in comparison to equivalent non-bioturbated specimens but has negligible effects on its mechanical properties, which remain similar to non-bioturbated specimens. The results also showed that bioturbation has minimal impact on permeability changes during shearing. Lastly, experimental correlations were developed for each of the parameters mentioned above.
For the first time, specialized experimental protocols have been developed that guide the infrastructure and processes required to reconstitute analog IHS specimens and conduct geomechanical testing on them. This study also delivered fundamental constitutive data to better understand the geomechanical behavior of IHS reservoir and its permeability evolution during the in-situ recovery processes. Such data can be used to accurately capture the reservoir behavior and increase the efficiency of SAGD operations in IHS reservoirs.
Zones of increased fracture density related to the tectonic disturbances and connected to the protrusions and recesses of the consolidated basement were identified with the application of seismo-dynamic analysis of the seismic data. This is done for the first time on Povkhovskoe oil field located in Western Siberia.
Daily and monthly rates of the producing wells in relation to their location within the geological structure were analyzed. The analysis showed a pattern of increased well productivity by more than 2 times when approaching the areas with high density of fractures. At a distance of more than 500 m from the tectonic disturbances the fluid inflow rates significantly decrease and the performance of hydraulic fracking provides only short-term effect. The deterioration of the reservoir properties is due to a decrease in the value of the reservoir rock permeability because of the decrease in the proportion of fractures and the predominance of the pore space. Reservoir type changes from fractured or fractured-porous reservoir type to porous-only type.
The dependence of high oil saturation of the productive formation from the presence of the tectonic disturbances was recorded. Exploitation of producing wells confirms the assumption of oil moving along the sub-vertical zones of destruction and contributing to the primary target Upper Jurrasic-1 reservoir. Drilling of sidetracks from low oil rate and high water saturation wells in the areas with increased fracture network identified by seismo-dynamic analysis showed a high efficiency of the operations leading to a high-rate production including a substantially lower water-cut oil production (up to 5% of water) at the site where the surrounding production wells have water-cut of 99-100%. Meanwhile, reservoir characteristics of the Upper Jurrasic-1 formation are identical. Based on the results of research identified were prospective deposits for the drilling of production wells on the edges of the hydrocarbon accumulation in areas with high fracture density and suggested were the borehole sidetracks of wells that are plugged and abandoned.
Thus, the detailed structural and tectonic structure of the basement surface and the Jurassic sediments allows to select complex, small-scale geological features, which will be very prospective for the detection of small oil deposits, to specify the location of exploration wells, to start the search for deposits in areas of sub-vertical degradation in the Middle and Lower Jurassic sediments, basement rocks in areas with overlying hydrocarbon deposits already in development. Identifying zones of high density fracturing, including those associated with horizontal shear zones, allows to adjust the contour outlines of the alleged existing deposits and to discover prospective areas with the increased permeability. Described zones and areas are likely to be located close to faults originating in the basement.
This paper shows how greater scientific rigor in discussions of modelling 3D saturations in the Middle East can lead to better understanding of the reservoirs. It demonstrates with examples how vocabulary limits ability to solve problems related to saturations, compartmentalization, and permeability. It raises the bar on technical discussions of saturation.
"Saturation-height modelling", "transition zones", and "Thomeer hyperbolas" are examples of terms that repeatedly confuse discussions of modelling 3D saturations in the Middle East. Vocabulary exposes a lack of scientific rigor, impedes progress, and leads to notable failures. Saturation is not merely a function of height. At the very least, it also depends on porosity, permeability, fluid densities, interfacial tension, and contact angle. Limiting it to height requires adding in all of these other functionalities as afterthoughts rather than incorporating them naturally through dimensional analysis. Most glaringly, it obscures the very useful role that saturations have in constraining permeability modelling and identifying reservoir compartments.
"Transition zones" focus on saturation and take emphasis away from relative permeability and fractional flow. Bimodal pore systems (abundant in the Middle East) can have such low relative permeability to water at high saturations that even 70% water saturation can produce dry oil. In such cases, talk of a transition zone is counterproductive as it implies high water production.
"Thomeer hyperbolas" reveal biases in how to fit capillary pressure curves. Force-fitting all data with a single model is inadequate. It takes emphasis away from understanding pore systems of rocks in favor of promoting a single-minded view. These examples and their implications are discussed in detail.
The existing literature is replete with incomplete explanations and misunderstandings that lead to notable failures in modelling Middle Eastern fields. Understandings predicated on simplified descriptions of homogeneous reservoirs are no longer sustainable. A more scientifically rigorous methodology is presented.
Multi-rock type cores can be characterized by complex higher order connectivity relationships within an agglomerated petrophysical system. A solution that relates multiphase flow simulation in cores to time-lapse seismic properties in order to examine closed-loop 4D integration is performed at a high level on a plug. While a 4D workflow is not explicitly examined in this work, the requisite petro-elastic modeling (PEM) method based on a simulation-driven interpretation of the Gassmann equation is described and a comparison is made with its empirically derived counterpart. This work illustrates that a simulation-driven petro-elastic modeling approach can be used to generate time-dependent saturated rock properties consistent with seismic attribute description at the plug and core scales. The results demonstrate the simulation-driven approach, of a petro-elastic model embedded in a reservoir simulator, as an alternative to relating pressure and saturation from reservoir simulator-to-seismic-derived properties using a priori empirically based correlations. The method discussed in this paper maintains appreciable continuity with the results of empirically based petro-elastic methods but demonstrates differences commensurate with principal fluid differentiation capability inherent to reservoir simulator-derived data and observed time-lapse seismic response. The significance of applied multi-porosity relationships is further realized upon examination of the time-dependent petro-elastic model results.