With maturing oil fields there is an increasing focus on improving the oil recovery factor and pushing the envelope toward a 70% target. This target is indeed very challenging and depends on a number of factors including enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods, reservoir heterogeneities, displacement efficiency, and reservoir sweep. Other factors also play a role including vertical sweep due to flow behind the casing, well integrity issues, presence of conductive faults, or fractures. Proper surveillance performed to evaluate the injectant plume front, reservoir conformance, well connectivity, assessment of the integrity of wells, and other factors can be crucial for the success of the project and its future development.
The paper discusses special downhole logging techniques including a set of conventional multiphase sensors alongside high precision temperature (HPT) and high-definition spectral noise logging (SNL-HD). It was run to provide complete assessment of the injection – production distribution and any associated well integrity issues that might impair the lateral sweep of injectants into the target layer. This will be done for an injector and producer pair near the wellbore area. The operation was carried out with a tool string that contained no mechanical parts and was not affected by downhole fluid properties. It was conducted under flowing and shut-in conditions to identify flow zones and check fracture signatures. It also provided multiphase fluid velocity profiles.
The results of the survey allowed for in-depth assessment of borehole and behind casing flow, confirming lateral continuity, and provided an assessment of production-injection outside the pay zone. Results will allow for better well planning and anticipation of possible loss of well integrity that might impair production in the future. Combining the behind casing flow assessment with borehole multiphase flow distribution can be used for production optimization by sealing unwanted water contributing zones.
Ba Geri, Mohammed (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Ellafi, Abdulaziz (University of North Dakota) | Flori, Ralph (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Noles, Jerry (Coil Chem LLC) | Kim, Sangjoon (Coil Chem LLC)
Viscoelastic property of high-viscosity friction reducers (HVFRs) was developed as an alternative fracturing fluid system because of advantages such as the ability to transport particles, higher fracture conductivity, and potential lower cost due to fewer chemicals and equipment on location. However, concerns remain about using HVFRs to transport proppant in DI water and harsh brine solution (e.g. 2wt% KCl and 10 lbs. brine). The primary objective of this study is to investigate the viscoelastic property that can help to understand the true proppant transporting capacity of fracturing fluids in high-TDS environment.
To address the evaluation performance of HVFRs, a comprehensive review of numerous papers associated to viscoelastic property of hydraulic fracturing fluids were investigated and summarized. This paper also provides a full comparison study of viscosity and elastic modulus between HVFRs and among fracturing fluids such as xanthan, polyacrylamide-based emulsion polymer, and guar. Moreover, viscosity profiles and elastic modulus were conducted at different temperatures. Better proppant transportation effect though higher viscosity through Stoke's law and the effect on proppant transportation from elastic modulus comparison were also investigated. Finally, HVFR Conductivity test and successful field test result were explained.
The results of the experimental work show that viscoelastic property HVFRs provides good behavior to transport proppant. Viscosity profile decreased slightly as the temperature increased from 75 to 150 when the DI water was used. While using 10 lbs. Brine the viscosity was reduced by 33%. The longer polymer chains of HVFR indicated better elastic modulus in DI water. The elastic modulus also indicated that the highest values at frequency 4.5 Hz from each amplitude, and lower values as amplitude was increased. Although high molecular weight HVFRs were utilized on the conductivity test, the results observed that the regained permeability was up to 110%. Finally, the promising results from the case study showed that using HVFRs could be performed economically and efficiently for the purpose of proppant transportation and pressure reduction in high TDS fluids.
Unal, Ebru (University of Houston) | Rezaei, Ali (University of Houston) | Siddiqui, Fahd (University of Houston) | Likrama, Fatmir (Halliburton) | Soliman, M. (University of Houston) | Dindoruk, Birol (Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc.)
In the last decade, technical advancements have greatly improved the design and execution efficiency of well completions, leading to improved recovery from unconventional reservoirs. However, analyzing fracture diagnostic tests in unconventional plays are still challenging due to high uncertainty in predictive capabilities in the context of fracture dynamics during treatment. The main objective of this study is to identify fracture behavior during injection and pressure fall-off periods in hydraulic fracturing treatments and diagnostic fracture injection tests (DFIT), respectively.
In this study, discrete wavelet transformation (DWT) was used to analyze real field injection and fall-off data in the wavelet domain. The analyzed data are from multi-stage hydraulic fracturing operations and DFIT in unconventional horizontal wells. DWT coefficients reveal very crucial information related to the nature of the events within recorded signals; they also reveal various patterns that are hard to recognize otherwise. The high-frequency components of the pressure and rate signals (detail coefficients) that are calculated by the wavelet transformation determine localization and separation of various events. We compared the identified events for injection and fall-off periods with moving reference point (MRP) and G-function analysis, respectively.
The main advantage of our proposed approach is that it is based on real-time data and does not require any assumptions related to existing or created fractures. Also, it is very sensitive to physical changes in the system; thus, it reveals hidden information related to those changes. Consequently, the energy of detail coefficients represents several events at different frequencies. We used pseudo-frequency of wavelet coefficients as a diagnostic tool for an accurate comparison of fracture propagation and fracture closure events to determine similarities and differences between them. For example, the signal energy of detail coefficients from the wavelet transformation of hydraulic fracturing data demonstrates abrupt frequency changes during dilation or fracture height growth during fracture propagation. Therefore, we were able to identify those events by energy density analysis in both time and pseudo-frequency domains in an objective manner, which otherwise was not possible with conventional methodologies such as G- function derivative analysis.
This paper details the successful methodology for effective implementation of a new fracture diagnostic technique for fracturing operations or DFITs in unconventional horizontal wells. This new fracture diagnostic method does not require any reservoir or fracture pre-assumptions; it mainly relies on the pressure behavior, which is a result of various events at different frequencies. Pressure fall-off behavior of a DFIT gives essential information related to closure event of the created mini-fracture. Identification of these events at different pseudo-frequency ranges improves the understanding of the dynamic fracture behavior also the characteristics of the reservoir. Unlike many other diagnostic techniques, this data-driven approach requires minimum input/data for analysis. This approach also lends itself to real-time application quite easily.
Lolla, Sri Venkata Tapovan (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co) | Bailey, Jeffrey (ExxonMobil Development Co) | Costin, Simona (Imperial Oil Resources Ltd) | Hons, Michael (Imperial Oil Resources Ltd) | Liu, Xinlong (Imperial Oil Resources Ltd) | Yam, Helen (Imperial Oil Resources Ltd) | Akhmetov, Arslan (ExxonMobil Canada Properties) | Hayward, Timothy (Imperial Oil Resources Ltd) | Brisco, Colin (Imperial Oil Resources Ltd)
Continuous subsurface surveillance is important for heavy oil in-situ recovery processes where induced stresses in the overburden can compromise the integrity of the wellbores. Wellbore failure may lead to the undesirable loss of fluids into the overburden. In recent years, there has been a rapid growth in the use of Passive Seismic monitoring systems to aid in subsurface surveillance activities, with the ultimate goal of detecting potential integrity issues as early as possible. However, the massive volume of data recorded by these instruments is time-consuming and error-prone to process manually. This paper introduces EMMAA (ExxonMobil Microseismic Automated Analyzer), an automated workflow to reliably process continuous microseismic data, detect subsurface integrity issues, and ultimately reduce the latency in responding to wellbore integrity issues.
A novel cloud-based technology for managing microseismic data is briefly described. The seismic waveforms, recorded by a distributed array of geophone receivers, are automatically analyzed to determine the type and source of subsurface disturbances (
First, novel frequency-domain and deep learning analyses are used to distinguish noisy signals from the seismic waveforms such as compressional and shear waves produced by the events. Next, the location of the event is calculated and its seismic attributes are computed. Finally, the type and severity of the seismic event are determined by an event classifier.
The performance of the automated workflow is examined in the context of accurate detection of casing failures in a heavy oil Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) application. The event features that distinguish casing breaks from other seismic events are described. It is shown that the methodology is able to achieve a high detection rate when back-tested against a historical data-set of known casing failures. False positives are adequately contained by preventing waveforms of electrical or mechanical noise from being processed.
In a production environment, the event processing workflow is run on distributed servers and analyzes triggered seismic data in real-time. Depending on the severity of the microseismic events detected, operators are immediately alerted via email and text messages, so that remedial actions may be swiftly initiated. The utility of this integrated system is further exemplified by the massive reduction in the time taken to detect casing breaks—from up to 36 hours historically, down to less than one hour in most instances.
Extensions of EMMAA that enable the detection of a wide variety of microseismic events are also discussed. These events include surface casing slips that occur at the casing shoe, cement de-bonding events near the wellbores, and events indicative of potential fluid migration in the overburden.
Banack, Ben (Halliburton) | Burke, Lyle H. (Devon Canada Corporation) | Booy, Daniel (C-FER Technologies 1999 Inc.) | Chineme, Emeka (Cenovus Energy) | Lastiwka, Marty (Suncor Energy) | Gaviria, Fernando (Suncor Energy) | Ortiz, Julian D. (ConocoPhillips Canada) | Sanmiguel, Javier (Devon Canada Corporation) | Dewji, Ayshnoor (Halliburton)
It is becoming common to install inflow control devices (ICDs) along steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) production liners to enhance temperature conformance and accelerate depletion. Additionally, some operators advocate the installation of similar outflow control devices (OCDs) along the injection well of the SAGD well pair. Collectively, these inflow and outflow devices are often referred to as FCDs. Industry adoption of flow control devices (FCDs) has increased, and several devices are commercially available for use in SAGD.
In an effort to optimize FCD design and selection, a joint industry partnership (JIP) was formed (
Fiber-optic-based instrumentation was deployed within FCD-equipped wells using permanently installed coiled tubing. Well architecture design changes to a typical completion were not required because fiber-optic sensors are used for most non-FCD wells to collect distributed temperature sensing (DTS) data. Although DTS is a common tool for optimizing SAGD production, it has certain limitations; specifically, temperature changes along production wells do not typically allow a detailed definition or quantification of the inflow distribution along the wellbore.
In addition to DTS, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) was periodically performed on the FCD wells. DAS logging of SAGD producers has several potential uses, including flow profiling, steam breakthrough and/or noncondensable gas (NCG) detection, multiphase flow characterization, electric submersible pump (ESP) performance, completion failure analysis, and four-dimensional seismic analysis. Although FCD characterization with DAS appears promising, a knowledge gap exists as to how to move beyond qualitative analysis to more quantitative analysis of FCD performance and the lateral emulsion inflow distribution. Pending satisfactory results, DAS logging on active wells can potentially be completed to accelerate improvements of SAGD FCD performance and design as well as increase the efficiency of SAGD recovery through improved steam/oil ratio (SOR) and an associated reduction in greenhouse gases.
This paper describes piloting the collection and analysis of DTS and DAS data to help improve understanding of SAGD inflow distribution. Logs were performed on multiple wells during stable and transient flowing conditions. Early surveillance demonstrated suitability and limitations of fiber-optic-based logging to validate FCD performance in active wells. In addition to field logging, acoustic recording using JIP flow loop testing was completed with accelerometers, geophones, and fiber-optic cables during FCD characterization. The goal was to cross reference the acquired acoustic signals for quantification of flow at devices and validation of performance. An overview of the JIP flow loop FCD acoustic characterization program is described.
The low-frequency dielectric response of sedimentary rocks is dominated by rock fabric, volumetric concentrations of fluids and minerals, and interfacial properties. The rock physics models for interpretation of multi-frequency complex permittivity measurements generally rely on simplified geometries for which analytical solutions are obtainable. Consequently, interpretation of permittivity measurements can be challenging in reservoirs with complex pore structure, mineralogy, and mixed-wet conditions. The objectives of this paper include the development of a rigorous numerical simulation framework to enhance the interpretation of multi-frequency, complex dielectric permittivity measurements and also to quantify the influence of polarization of the electric double layer, lithology, fluid properties, and pore-network geometry on dielectric permittivity measurements. We develop a simulator to calculate permittivity dispersion of sedimentary rocks by applying a combination of finite-difference and finite-volume methods to solve the nonlinear Poisson and Nernst-Planck equations in the time domain. We perform a sensitivity analysis of dielectric permittivity to the dominant mineral (e.g., quartz, calcite), pore geometry, and fluid properties (e.g., salt concentration). The main contribution of this paper consists of introducing a simulator that provides the complete and accurate description of electric field, ionic distribution, and effective dielectric permittivity in porous media for enhanced petrophysical interpretation of electromagnetic measurements. Results suggest that incorporating the introduced simulation into a workflow for broadband interpretation of dielectric measurements can improve petrophysical evaluation in formations with complex lithology, rock fabric, and in mixed-wet rocks. This unique approach provides a more rigorous characterization of the dielectric permittivity of rocks than previously documented analytical and numerical models.
By miniaturizing and ruggedizing equipment used for quantum paramagnetic spectroscopy, it is now possible to take a real-time chemical snapshot of molecules flowing through the wellhead or other surface fixtures. The digital time-series captures unique chemical properties of the fluid, such as the percentage of asphaltene in the oil, the oil-water ratio and gas-oil ratio. That data can be transmitted via industry-standard cloud protocols and be monitored from a global service center. 12 months of real-time data has been collected from operations around the world and the real-time monitoring has enabled prompt feedback for upgrades in both hardware and software. In a three-phase well configuration that had high rates of both water (over 90%) and gas (~1 MMSCf/day), this feedback drove some significant hardware modifications in order to optimize the consistency of asphaltene data.
The heart of the system is a microwave resonator that was designed to receive fluid at wellhead conditions with minimal reduction from wellhead pressure and temperature. The parameters of the resonator were optimized to maximize microwave intensity for typical oilfield fluids. A tailor-made set-up of fluid accumulator and control-valves upstream of the resonator ensured that the resonator could obtain samples that were mostly oil. By combining the resonator with a solenoid that created a large magnetic field across the oil, the resulting system provided spectroscopic data similar to that available in chemical laboratories but in a smaller package and one that tolerates some gas and conductive water in the oil. The combined quantum data is now provided continuously to the operator via a cloud or other communication architecture of operator choosing. It is anticipated that the resulting Internet of Things (IoT) system will make possible the optimization of chemical program and asphaltene remediation by incorporating system data with integrated flow assurance management. Qualification for offshore is ongoing with 5ksi pressure certification already achieved.
It was not obvious before installation, but once the 3-phase system was installed and the data transmitting in real-time, it became clear that software to automatically extract asphaltene information from spectral data needed to be able to cope with sudden and large changes in both asphaltene level and water-cut/gas-oil ratio which in turn required building an adaptive software model. Asphaltene percentage at one producing well was seen to vary from 0.3% to 3% in a single day. It was also discovered from the cloud-based monitoring that daily temperature variation introduced a phase variation in the shape of the sensor response. Correct derivation of spectral voltages was achieved through the combination of machine learning, model-based analysis and additional diagnostic data such as the quality factor of the resonator and its resonance frequency. As a consequence, the AI-based software could extract the not only the asphaltene percentage but the oil-water cut in the resonator and its gas-oil ratio.
For the first time, it is now possible to make a change in, say injected chemicals, look at the times-series data for the corresponding change in asphaltene and then adjust the chemicals accordingly. Such frequency of sampling (and volume of data) would be too much to handle with samples collected by hand. This device lays the platform for a multiplicity of chemical sensors to be connected to the cloud in real-time and in turn sets the stage to take the hardware offshore and eventually to subsea.
In this paper the dielectric constant of shaly sands both the real and imaginary parts is investigated and compared. An empirical model has been developed in the one MHz to one GHz frequency range for the real part of the dielectric constant. The equations developed involve the same pore systems as those governing the conductivity response. The dielectric constant contains an additionalfrequency independent high frequency limit. The dispersive terms are due to the clays and interfacial phenomena. The salinity and frequency dependence of these parameters are then discussed.
This salinity dependence of the dielectric model is compared to the salinity dependence both predicted and measured for the conductivity. Conductive inclusions are modeled similar to previously published work (
During the last few years, the petroleum industry has been experiencing significant changes in various areas including, workforce, targets of exploration, application of (new) technologies, and general operational areas of focus. A prolonged depression of oil prices, changes in geopolitical atmosphere, the rise of investment in unconventional resources, as well as the implementation of emerging technologies (including digital) have been the primary catalysts of change within the industry. In terms of workforce, these changes have produced leaner organizations, along with the unintended consequence of losing some critical expertise and creating knowledge-gaps at many organizations. The changes, particularly in technology, necessitate a look at the need for the acquisition of new skills, for current and future petroleum engineers, that match new areas of interest – such as data analytics and artificial intelligence.
As the oil industry continues to evolve, it is imperative for academic organizations to consider these changing dynamics and be responsive. This paper outlines the results of a recent survey that targeted industry managers or supervisors who have direct experience with newly minted petroleum engineering graduates (less than five years of experience). The survey asked the participants their opinions regarding the preparedness of recent graduates as they enter the workforce. The survey's intent was to identify the potential need to modify the skills and knowledge currently acquired in academic institutions during the undergraduate study.
A comprehensive survey that posed questions regarding classical and contemplated new petroleum engineering curriculum was sent to recipients, primarily within the reserves and reservoir-engineering sector. The recipients were industry professionals working in operating, service, financial, and consulting sectors of the petroleum industry. More than 200 responses were received. The tabulated results are presented in the paper, along with interpretation of the results. The raw data will be made available through OnePetro as an accompaniment to the published paper.
The paper presents the survey conclusions, proposed action items, and discusses plans for a follow-up survey.
Lu, Chuan (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta) | Brandl, Jakob (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta) | Deisman, Nathan (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta) | Chalaturnyk, Richard (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta)
In this study, a novel experimental system has been developed for static and dynamic elastic properties measurements at seismic frequencies under anisotropic stress and shear deformation conditions. This system focuses on static and seismic range frequencies dynamic (0.1 Hz to 20 Hz) elastic deformation properties of poorly consolidated oil sands and highly overconsolidated (clay) shales. The main body of the experimental system is a computer control servo-hydraulic system. A pair of laser displacement sensors measure nanometer scale displacement during the dynamic tests. A coarse scale and fine scale load cell system was developed for measuring force with high precision during dynamic testing. A novel triaxial cell for use with the loading system was also developed to simulate the reservoir stress and pore pressure condition during static and dynamic testing and allows permeability to be measured during testing. The loading system, dual load cell calibration procedure and results, and results for acrylic and 3D printed sand specimens are presented. The stable and reasonable results demonstrate the capacity of the new experimental system.