Summary

Horizontal wells are frequently used to increase injectivity and for cost-efficient production of mobilized oil in polymer-augmented waterfloods. Usually, only fluid and polymer production data at the wellhead of the production well are available. We used inflow tracer technology to determine changes in hydrocarbon influx owing to polymer injection and to determine the connection from various zones of the horizontal injector to the horizontal producer.

Inflow tracer technology was introduced in horizontal polymer injection and production wells. In the production wells, tracers are released when they are contacted by water and oil. Oil and water tracer systems were used in the horizontal production wells. The changes in the observed tracer concentration were used to quantify changes in influx from various sections of the horizontal producers owing to polymer injection. The inflow tracer technology applied in the horizontal injection wells demonstrates connectivity between different sections of the injection wells and two surrounding vertical and horizontal production wells and opens the usage of this technology for interwell water tracer applications.

Inflow tracer technology enables one to elucidate the inflow from various sections of the horizontal wells and the changes thereof, even quantifying changes in influx of various fluids (oil and water). The information shows which sections are contributing and the substantial changes in the influx of oil from the various zones due to polymer solution injection. The overall incremental oil could be allocated to the various horizontal well sections based on the tracer results. Even zones that almost exclusively produced water before polymer injection showed a significant increase in oil influx. The inflow tracer technology installed in the injection well allowed us to analyze the connectivity of the injector to producer not only globally but spatially along the horizontal well. These data are used for reservoir characterization, to condition numerical models, and for reservoir management.

Conventional interwell tracer technology allows one to determine the connectivity and connected volumes of horizontal well polymer field developments. However, it reveals neither information about influx of the sections nor the connectivity of various sections of the horizontal wells. Inflow tracer technology closes this gap; it allows one to quantify changes in influx of the fluids. Furthermore, the newly developed installed injection well tracer technology gives spatial information about the connectivity of the horizontal well sections.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.