# Modelling of Tail Production by Optimizing Depressurization

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1 Modelling of Tail Production by Optimizing Depressurization Arne Skauge*, Dag Standnes, and Øystein Pettersen, Univ. of Bergen Bergen, Norway

2 Main effects of depressurization influencing oil recovery Change in fluid properties Change in fluid saturation Change in phase mobilities Change in rock properties + +

3 Main effects of depressurization Change in fluid properties Pressure decline will give: - larger phase viscosities and densities - G/O capillary pressure will increase ( because gas-oil IFT is larger at lower pressure ) Change in fluid saturation Pressure decline will give: - shrinkage of oil due to mass exchanges - gas expansion - immobile gas (Sgc) 0.1 Pressure below bubble point Depletion rate (dp/pb)/dt (1/hr) High Pressure Lower Pressure Critical Gas Saturation (%)

4 Production below bubblepoint Phenomenological events Pressure decline below saturation pressure supersaturation nucleation treshold nucleation bubble formation bubble coalesence boyancy movement of gas ganglia continuous gas phase Depletion rate (dp/pb)/dt (1/hr) General trend from literature data higher drawdown rate higher supersaturation more bubbles nucleated higher Sgc and Sgt Critical Gas Saturation (%)

5 Example of an oil field with poor pressure communication and therefore high Sgcr around production Wells Sgc = [log (dp*/dt) log C)] / D Example: C = 5.4x10-6 and D = The pressure decline rate used to calculate the critical gas saturation is defined as pressure decline from time t1 (hours) to time t2 (hours) relative to Pb per hour : dp*/dt = [ P(t1) - P(t2) ] / [ Pb x (t2-t1) ] Using a variable Sgcr gives better match of production GOR GOR (Sm3/Sm3) measured varied Sgc Sgc=0.02 no Sgc Examples from matching GOR in 3 production wells 50 0 A B C

6 Source: Egermann et al, SCA 2000 Change in phase mobilities Gas injection Discontinous gas from pressure decline Gas originating from depressurization has mobility that may be 2 orders of magnitude lower than injection gas

7 Background Experimental data show that relative permeability from internal and external gas drive processes can be different: Egermann, P., Vizika, O. (2000). A new Method to Determine Critical Gas saturation and Relative Permeability During Depressurisation in the Near-Wellbore Region. Soc. Core Analyst. Proceedings, Oct , 2000.

8 Visualisation of network model results Many small pores, many bubbles, low coordination number: Many large pores, few bubbles, high coordination number: oil gas gas oil Gas phase is poorly connected krg low & Sgc high Gas phase is well connected krg high & Sgc low

9 Summary pore structure and rel perms 1)k ro is controlled by coordination number rather than by the process, the pore size distribution or the bubble density 2)k rg is sensitive to both coordination number, process type, pore size distribution and bubble density k rg (external) k rg (internal) in well connected network with many large pores and at low bubble density k rg (external) >> k rg (internal) in poorly connected network with many small pores and a high bubble density Warning - Be careful about generating internal drive gas relative permeability data based on external drive experiments! Comparison of Relative Permeability Resulting From Internal and External gas Drive Processes A Network Modelling Study Susanne Poulsen 1, Steven McDougall 2, Ken Sorbie 2 and Arne Skauge 3 1. DTU, Denmark 2. Heriot-Watt U. UK 3. CIPR, UoB (Norsk Hydro) Norway SCA 2001

10 Can pressure depletion altered flow pattern caused by change in rock properties? If so, what are the condition needed to change the flow pattern?

11 Theory vs. experimental data Young s modulus vs. effective stress for typical sandstones Young's modulus (GPa) Rock A Rock D Rock B Rock C Effective stress (bars)

12 Permeability vs. load measured data Weak sands appear to have greater loss of conductivity than strong sands Proposition: Permeability reduction is proportional to initial value, i.e. Medium is homogenized by loading Permeability (md) Eff. stress (bars) GF A-23 test GF A5H US Texaco M, US Mobil U, US Mobil E, WS GF A5H WS WS: weak sandstone US: unconsolidated sand

13 Permeability vs. load assumption log(k) linear w. σ, K(σ*) = 1 md σ* = 1000 bars fits GF WS WS: weak sandstone US: unconsolidated sand Permeability (md) GF A-23 test GF A5H US Texaco M, US Mobil U, US Mobil E, WS GF A5H WS Teor. 1 Teor. 2 Teor. 3 Teor. 4 Teor. 5 Teor. 6 Teor Eff. stress (bars)

14 Theory vs. experimental data Permeability vs. effective stress ln k 0 ln k = σ' ln k 0 Permeability (m D) Well test A US B US C US D WS E WS F Theory Eff. stress (bars)

15 Oil production Water production

16 Remaining oil in place for different rock formations

17 Moderate channel perm, low background perm

18 Moderate channel perm, low background perm, Permeability reduction model σ* = 1000

19 Pressure distribution some time into depressurization, consequence for wells PI

20 Inferences effects of compaction during depressurization + Reduces pressure reduction rate energy supply + Reduces permeability contrasts stops water cycling through high permeability channels - Reduces well productivity - Reduces general conductivity - May induce pore collapse / sand production? Production scheme may be critical? Late stage injection may be advantageous? Stimulation, fracturing, gas lift may be necessary

21 Summary of change in rock properties Empirical data show that permeability reduction due to increase in stress is stronger for high initial permeability Selective permeability reduction may occur in reservoirs comprised of weak high-permeability soils in a background of stronger low-permeability soils This permeability homogenization may increase the sweep efficiency by reducing water cycling through high permeability layers

22 Guidelines for simulation of depressurization Capillary forces will vary with pressure decline, and may affect the buoyancy movement of gas Correct pvt data for the pressure decline range is needed The simulator has to handle gas relative permeabilities coming from different sources (influx versus internal generated gas in the grid block) Rock material with; - low coordination number - low permeability (more exact description - many small pores) - experiencing high depletion rate will have the largest demand for the complex gas rel perm model Sgcr should be coupled to grid block historical pressure decline rate The necessary geomechanical modelling (improved modelling of rock compaction) needs to be coupled to the reservoir simulator

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