Content of PetroWiki is intended for personal use only and to supplement, not replace, engineering judgment. SPE disclaims any and all liability for your use of such content. Materials that change the relationship between solids and viscosity of a fluid to lower the gel strength, yield point, yield strength or viscosity as it affected by solids.
Heavy oil is defined as liquid petroleum of less than 20 API gravity or more than 200 cp viscosity at reservoir conditions. No explicit differentiation is made between heavy oil and oil sands (tar sands), although the criteria of less than 12 API gravity and greater than 10,000 cp are sometimes used to define oil sands. The oil in oil sands is an immobile fluid under existing reservoir conditions, and heavy oils are somewhat mobile fluids under naturally existing pressure gradients. Unconsolidated sandstones (UCSS) are sandstones (or sands) that possess no true tensile strength arising from grain-to-grain mineral cementation. Many heavy oil reservoirs are located in unconsolidated sandstones.
Predicting the production response to in-situ combustion (ISC) has been the topic of various studies. Complete numerical simulation of in-situ combustion is difficult because of the complex reactions and the thin burning front that requires small gridblocks for representation. The easiest method is essentially a tank balance, adapted by Prats. The oil and water produced are given by If the volumes are in acre-ft and the production terms are in bbl, a multiplication factor of 7,758 must be used.
In a PCP system, produced fluid flows from the pump to surface through the annular area between the rod string and tubing. High fluid viscosities, elevated flow rates, or restricted flow paths can result in large shear stresses developing in the fluid, which cause large frictional forces to act on the rod string. Fluid-flow effects can range from having a minor to a dominant influence on PCP system design. This is illustrated in Figure 1, which shows pressure losses for a range of flow rates and viscosities through a 100 m [328 ft] length of 76 mm [3.0 in.] Note that the pressure-drop values range from nearly zero to values that exceed the corresponding hydrostatic pressure.
Hole cleaning is the ability of a drilling fluid to transport and suspend drilled cuttings. Throughout the last decade, many studies have been conducted to gain understanding on hole cleaning in directional-well drilling. Laboratory work has demonstrated that drilling at an inclination angle greater than approximately 30 from vertical poses problems in cuttings removal that are not encountered in vertical wells. Figure 1 illustrates that the formation of a moving or stationary cuttings bed becomes an apparent problem, if the flow rate for a given mud rheology is below a certain critical value.
There are several different types of drilling fluids, based on both their composition and use. Selecting the correct type of fluid for the specific conditions is an important part of successful drilling operations. Water-based fluids (WBFs) are the most widely used systems, and are considered less expensive than oil-based fluids (OBFs) or synthetic-based fluids (SBFs). The OBFs and SBFs--also known as invert-emulsion systems--have an oil or synthetic base fluid as the continuous(or external) phase, and brine as the internal phase. Invert-emulsion systems have a higher cost per unit than most water-based fluids, so they often are selected when well conditions call for reliable shale inhibition and/or excellent lubricity.
Designing a successful steamflooding project requires good candidate selection and an excellent understanding of the mechanisms by which recovery is enhanced. Screening criteria for identification of steamflood candidates have been published for many years. Table 1 shows the screening guides from five different sources. Table 1 - Steamflood project screening criteria It is obvious from Table 1 that there is a finite envelope of properties that define successful candidates. However, within that envelope there is a relatively wide spread of values for the indicators.
From a purely thermodynamic point of view, an emulsion is an unstable system because there is a natural tendency for a liquid/liquid system to separate and reduce its interfacial area and, hence, its interfacial energy. However, most emulsions demonstrate kinetic stability (i.e., they are stable over a period of time). Produced oilfield emulsions are classified on the basis of their degree of kinetic stability. Water-in-oil emulsions are considered to be special liquid-in-liquid colloidal dispersions.
Using heat to treat crude oil emulsions has four basic benefits; It reduces viscosity, increases droplets, dissolves paraffin crystals, and increases density between oil and water. Which allows the water droplets to collide with greater force and to settle more rapidly. The chart in Figure 1 can be used to estimate crude-oil viscosity/temperature relationships. Crude-oil viscosities vary widely, and the curves on this chart should be used only in the absence of specific data. If a crude oil's viscosity is known at two temperatures, it can be approximated at other temperatures by drawing a straight line along those temperature/viscosity points on the chart.