However, other technologies can often be employed to investigate properties of the earth that correlate better with the properties of interest. If the images from these technologies can be provided at appropriate resolution, and if the knowledge required for interpretation and wise application of these technologies is available within the industry, they should be used. For example, electrical methods are extremely sensitive to variations in saturation, yet surface-based methods provide very poor resolution. Reservoir compaction can be directly observed from surface deformation, and pore-volume or gas-saturation changes can be detected from changes in the gravitational field. Dramatic examples of surface deformation induced by reservoir compaction have been provided by releveling studies (involving repeated high-accuracy surveying) and satellite-based interferometry.
There are different definitions of what is Well Integrity. The most widely accepted definition is given by NORSOK D-010: "Application of technical, operational and organizational solutions to reduce risk of uncontrolled release of formation fluids throughout the life cycle of a well." Other accepted definition is given by ISO TS 16530-2 "Containment and the prevention of the escape of fluids (i.e. Well Integrity is a multidisciplinary approach. Well lifecycles have three primary areas of focus or stages; design and construction, well operation and intervention, and abandonment.
The Long Beach Unit (LBU) area of the Wilmington oil field (southern California, US) is mainly under the Long Beach harbor and contains more than 3 billion bbl of original oil in place (OOIP). This oil field is a large anticline that is crosscut by several faults with displacements of 50 to 450 ft. It consists of seven zones between 2,500 and 7,000 ft true vertical depth subsea (TVDSS), the upper six of which are turbidite deposits of unconsolidated to poorly consolidated sandstone (1 to 1,000 md and 20 to 30% BV porosity) interbedded with shales. The gross thickness of 3,300 ft contains 900 ft of sandstone. From its discovery in 1936 to the 1950s, most of the onshore portion of this oil field (the non-LBU area of the Wilmington oil field) was produced using the pressure-depletion oil-recovery mechanism.
Yong, Wen Pin (PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd.) | Azahree, Ahmad Ismail (PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd.) | M Ali, Siti Syareena (PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd.) | Jaafar Azuddin, Farhana (PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd.) | M Amin, Sharidah (PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd.)
This paper presents a two-way coupled modelling approach to simulate CO2 movement and containment with geochemical reactions and geomechanical effects. CO2 storage simulation studies cover three main disciplines, reservoir engineering, geochemistry and geomechanics. This new approach of coupled modelling simulation, by simultaneously simulate both effects of geochemistry and geomechanics, is considered as a more representative and better predictive modelling practice.
The integration of geochemistry and geomechanics effects is important for CO2 sequestration modelling. There are a number of published studies on coupled modelling for CO2 storage. However, the majority of the studies has only covered dynamic-geomechanics or dynamic-geochemistry interaction, without considering any direct geomechanics-geochemistry interaction in a reservoir condition. It is crucial to understand the integrated effects when injected CO2 dissolves into formation water and interacts with formation rock. Depending on in-situ conditions, the formation water with dissolved CO2 could weak or strengthen the formation stress due to geochemical reactions of formation minerals. Therefore, coupled modelling is needed to ensure the long-term safety of CO2 containment at a CO2 storage site with the interactions among geomechanical, geochemical and dynamic fluid flow, and especially to understand the slow and not experimentally accessible mineral reactions.
In this paper, a high CO2 content gas field in Malaysia with high temperature (150°C) and high pressure (350 bar) has been studied using integrated coupled modelling approach. The simulation input parameters are first investigated and collected from literature and laboratory studies. A two-way coupled modelling simulation with the consideration of geochemistry and geomechanics effects is desirable because it allows the updates of reservoir properties back and forth in every time step. Different CO2 trapping mechanisms, long term fate analysis, subsidence and heaving analysis, and changes of porosity and permeability are investigated. The time frame of simulation studies consists of CO2 injection period (15 years) and post CO2 injection period (500 years).
During the first 15 years of CO2 injection, 95.13% of injected CO2 is structurally trapped, 3.67% of CO2 is soluted in formation water and 1.2% is trapped by mineralization. About 0.041m of heaving is observed at the injection area while about 0.05m of subsidence is observed at the production area. In the investigation of long-term CO2 fate, it is observed that CO2 gas will be trapped between the lighter hydrocarbon gas layer and aquifer due to density difference.
Mohd Ali, Siti Syareena (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | Teng, Kevin Ging Ern (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | A Jalil, M Azran (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | Sedaralit, M Faizal (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | Trianto, Adi (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd) | Wan Sagar, Siti Fatimah Sarah (PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd)
The scope of the geomechanical study is to investigate the risk associated with different reservoir depletion strategies and to numerically simulate the geomechanical response of the reservoir rocks. The study focused on the large karstic distribution of the reservoir for the prediction of the best drilling direction and optimum well trajectories, and also to model the pore collapse behavior observed in the high porosity carbonate which will result in surface subsidence and impact the platform facilities placement.
A methodological risk evaluation approach based on numerical simulations with stringent experimental programme has been applied to the field study. The regional geological understanding and operational experience of the nearby fields have been considered for the study via extensive assessment of constitutive models relating to pore collapse. Advanced 4D geomechanical simulations were carried out to incorporate the seismic-based karstic models and to strengthen understanding of the pore collapse phenomena during reservoir depletion. The obtained prediction results were compared to nearby fields and subsequently use for wells, facilities planning and engineering considerations.
The results obtained in the study identified a few key outcomes which are being considered for detailed surface engineering design and well planning. The results have impacted the decision to place the location of the platform away from the center of the seabed subsidence bowl. The predicted reservoir compaction and subsidence described the rate and the magnitude of the subsidence which are use to design the height of the platform to mitigate potential damage induced by wave deck shearing. In addition, the distribution of karst has been mapped through seismic imaging and incorporated in the geomechanical modelling. The results are also used to determine the hazard of the weak zones in each formation and high stress anisotropy regions which are to be avoided for future well placement and to be used for well trajectory optimization. Key findings of the geomechanical-related risk have been identified and considered in the field development plan. Consequently, a Risk Ranking Criteria incorporating the results of advanced simulations and rock testing programme have been developed based on comprehensive weightage and the technical categories.
The paper offers a detailed insight on the geomechanical risk evaluation obtained using 4D finite element coupled reservoir geomechanical simulations. The study addressed the challenging development of a highly karstified limestone reservoir by offering valuable inputs for the well design and facility engineering through prediction of reservoir compaction and seabed subsidence, best drilling direction and optimum well trajectories. This will avoid potential geomechanical related hazards and ensure adequate operational safety levels.
Nik Kamaruddin, Nik M Fadhlan (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) | Teng, Kevin Ging Ern (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) | Musa, Ikhwanul Hafizi (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) | Tan, Chee Phuat (Petroliam Nasional Berhad)
This paper presents a study on the risk associated with CO2 injection in geological storage and fault reactivation through a comprehensive workflow for determining the feasibility of CO2 storage campaign in carbonate reservoir in Malaysia. The study includes constructing a 4-D coupled reservoir geomechanical model and developing a workflow that can be used to evaluate geomechanics risks associated with carbon capture and storage (CCS) by outlining results and findings that drive key decisions in the planning of CCS strategy.
The workflows aims to better delineate and enumerate the risks with CCS as it constructing and calibrating single well models by corroborating numerous inputs including stringent laboratory testing data and drilling analysis, and combining with structural model and reservoir model to create a field wide 4-D geomechanical model using advanced time lapsed geomechanics simulation. Coupled simulations with the dynamic reservoir model provided predictions of the fault stability by considering fault deformation. The paper further highlights the geomechanics evaluation consideration (economics and engineering trade-off) in designing maximum safe injection pressure for CO2 sequestration program.
The results of the study show fault condition subjected to different time-steps of the coupled simulation during depletion and injection. At each time-step, the development of plastic shear strain and absolute displacement are plotted and risks associated with the change in reservoir pressure are assessed and quantified. Different injection plans are modelled to determine the impact on final storage capacity, long term fluid containment and upper safe injection limit to avoid breaching the caprock.
The study offers the utilization of the latest techniques in 4-D coupled geomechanical modelling which reduced the study time and cost significantly, making it affordable for in-time solution for decision making. The paper also aims to encourage the consideration of the applied novel workflow involved in CCS strategye valuation focusing on risk assessment which ultimately will affect reservoir maximum safe injection limit, capacity, long term storage safety, and monitoring program to mitigate potential geohazard leakage.
Differential compaction is an inherent process in carbonate systems that is thought to produce early natural fractures prior to any significant burial. Such fractures can persist and can be major permeability pathways, including areas of minor tectonic overprint. We forward model differential compaction fracturing in a carbonate reservoir in effort to predict the location of fractures in the subsurface.
3D finite-element geomechanical models are created to simulate differential compaction fracturing at a carbonate platform scale (kilometers) and the smaller carbonate build-up scale (10s of meters) commonly present within carbonate platforms. Interpreted seismic surfaces of key reservoir horizons are used as an input for the platform-scale model. Geometry of carbonate build-up from an outcrop analog is used for the build-up scale models. In both type of models layers identified to be compaction prone are restored to their expected pre-compaction state. A simplified mechanical stratigraphy scheme is adopted to distribute mechanical properties within the models consistent with their expected pre-burial properties.
Geomechanical modeling in this study was applied to a field which includes two carbonate platforms at different stratigraphic levels. Modeling results predict increased fracture intensity at the windward margin of the carbonate platform. This coincides with increased windward-leeward asymmetry of an underlying older platform. Increased fracture intensity is predicted at the center of the platform where the underlying older platform displays significantly less asymmetry. Predicted fracture locations over the platform top also correspond with the location of carbonate build-ups identified from seismic data. Fracture observations from image logs and indirectly from mud loss data within the upper platform are consistent with our modeling results. Predicted areas of greatest fracture intensity correspond with the location of wells with the highest fracture intensity observed from image logs.
Build-up scale models suggest that the build-up shape exerts a major control on the resulting differential compaction fracture pattern. Elongate build-ups tend to produce fractures oriented parallel to their axes. Circular build-ups tends to produce radial fracture patterns. Fracture orientation from image logs along with build-up shape observed using the coherence seismic attribute are consistent with these findings.
This study offers a process-based fracture modeling approach that can enhance the predictability of the location and orientations of natural fractures in carbonate reservoirs.
Zhu, Haiyan (Chengdu University of Technology) | Zhao, Ya-Pu (State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation) | Feng, Yongcun (Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) | Wang, Haowei (Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) | Zhang, Liaoyuan (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences) | McLennan, John D. (University of Texas at Austin)
Haiyan Zhu, Chengdu University of Technology, State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, and Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Ya-Pu Zhao, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Yongcun Feng, University of Texas at Austin; Haowei Wang, Southwest Petroleum University; Liaoyuan Zhang, Sinopec Shengli Oilfield Company; and John D. McLennan, University of Utah Summary Channel fracturing acknowledges that there will be local concentrations of proppant that generate high-conductivity channel networks within a hydraulic fracture. These concentrations of proppant form pillars that maintain aperture. The mechanical properties of these proppant pillars and the reservoir rock are important factors affecting conductivity. In this paper, the nonlinear stress/strain relationship of proppant pillars is first determined using experimental results. A predictive model for fracture width and conductivity is developed when unpropped, highly conductive channels are generated during the stimulation. This model considers the combined effects of pillar and fracture-surface deformation, as well as proppant embedment. The influence of the geomechanical parameters related to the formation and the operational parameters of the stimulation are analyzed using the proposed model. The results of this work indicate the following: 1. Proppant pillars clearly exhibit compaction in response to applied closure stress, and the resulting axial and radial deformation should not be ignored in the prediction of fracture conductivity. Introduction In conventional hydraulic-fracturing treatments, it is presumed that proppant is distributed uniformly in the fracturing fluid and generates a uniform proppant pack in the fracture (left-hand side of Figure 1). The propped fracture serves as a high-conductivity channel facilitating fluid flow from the reservoir to the well. Channel fracturing is a new fracturing concept, and replaces a nominally homogeneous proppant pack in the fracture with a heterogeneous structure containing a network of open channels (Figure 1, right) (Gillard et al. 2010). This channel-like structure is achieved by using fiber-laden fluids or self-aggregating proppant together with a pulsed-pumping strategy. In channel fracturing, the interaction between the proppant and fracture surfaces is a "point" contact, in contrast to the "surface" contact assumed to exist in conventional fracturing.
The Middle to Late Cretaceous Natih formation in Oman can be highly compressible and undergo large compaction during depletion. Significant reservoir compaction and surface subsidence has potential risks for fault reactivation, integrity of wells and surface facilities. Petroleum Development Oman produces oil and gas from the Natih formation in a number of fields within its concession area. There are existing experiences in one of the analogue field in Oman, where the compaction of Natih formation has resulted in issues of well damage, well integrity, subsidence damage to facilities and experiences of surface tremors due to fault reactivation.
The focus of this work was for Fahud West oil field producing oil and gas from a Natih reservoir, where analysis of an analogue field had indicated a high potential impact of compaction. A Geomechanical assessment of the formation within the field was therefore undertaken to mitigate operational risks, and to assess the permeability impact with increased depletion.
The Integrated Geomechanical data acquisition and modeling minimized uncertainty and provided clarity on whether the reservoir can continue with increased depletion – without increased geomechanical risks of loss of integrity for wells and facilities, cap rock integrity or reduced productivity. Properly planned and rock mechanics measurements were conducted in the laboratory on core samples.
The measurements revealed that the expected compaction of Natih reservoir in Fahud West field is less severe compared to the analogue field. The maximum predicted surface subsidence expected at depleted reservoir pressure of 10 bars, is within the tolerable subsidence limit for surface facilities. In addition, permeability measurements showed that the permeability at reservoir pressure of 22 bars (the previous base case for end of production), will not change significantly with further depletion of reservoir pressure to as low as 10 bars.
The outcome of this integrated geomechanical assessment demonstrates that the field can be produced down to 10 bars from the previously estimated 22 bars (base case) limit, adding significant risked volume of oil production, allowing further drilling of wells to raise the final field recovery while ensuring safe well and facility integrity