Abstract

This paper explore the opportunities to maximize economic recovery by determining optimum well spacing, where simulation and economic optimization models are combined to illustrate a parametric solution for optimization of well spacing as a function of various reservoir heterogeneity.

The well spacing problem is one that has plagued the oil industry for many years. In the early days, the belief was held that the more wells completed in a given reservoir the higher would be the ultimate recovery, where economic is always the prime factor in deciding on optimum well spacing.

Determination of appropriate well spacing for maximum economics oil recovery is a complicated and controversial issue in oil field development. What engineers and geologists determine as the optimum number of wells to be drilled in an oil field at any time could change some years later as a result of the new information that becomes available, economics and changes in recovery mechanism, then optimum well spacing is usually controlled by economic and reservoir considerations.

Simulation study is shown to be a cumbersome process to investigate optimum well spacing using vertical and horizontal wells, where an extensive parametric sensitivity analysis of a wide range of low and high permeability, and a wide range of thin and thick reservoir were investigated to determine the optimum well spacing. The process involves setting up a simulation model, calculating profiles and subjecting them to economic analysis. Case study of Hassi R'mel oil rim of the Algerian field will be shown and discussed.

Introduction

The Hassi R'mel field is located approximately 500 kilometers South of Algiers in the Northern Grand Erg occidental of the Algerian Sahara, Fig.1. The Hassi R'mel field was discovered in November 1956 by the drilling of well HR-1. Early evaluations of the discovery revealed it to be one of the largest gas fields in the world which has an anomalous oil rim existing primarily along the Eastern and Southern margins of the field.

Well spacing analyses and their practical applications are among the most controversial issues in the petroleum industry. What engineers and geologist determine as the optimum number of wells to be drilled in an oil field at any time could change some years later as a result of the new information that becomes available, economics and changes in reservoir mechanism.

Determination of appropriate wells spacing for maximum economic oil recovery is a complicated and controversial issue in oil field development. The reservoir of Hassi R'mel oil rim, Algeria, contains thin oil columns of 30 feet average overlain by a huge gas cap with a bottom aquifer support. Recovery of the oil is difficult because water and gas coning results in low oil production rates.

Simulation is shown to be a cumbersome process to investigate optimum well spacing. The technique is used to illustrate the effect of well spacing on economic recovery.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

For the Hassi R'mel oil rim, recovery of the oil is difficult because of water and gas coning results in low oil production rates and high cost of production operations.

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