Abstract

This paper focuses on a chemical EOR feasibility study for Raudhatain Zubair (RAZU) reservoir in North Kuwait. The study describes a methodical approach to enable pilot location selection, and a fit-for-purpose modeling strategy to guide the Alkaline Surfactant Polymer (ASP) pilot design decisions. The objective of the pilot is to test in the field that ASP chemicals could mobilize remaining oil and drive it to the producers, where it is captured, produced and separated at the surface.

A detailed study was conducted that focused first on mapping out the distribution of remaining oil in the Raudhatain Zubair (RAZU) sandstone reservoir, defining the subsurface uncertainties and identifying key decisions that needed to be addressed for the pilot design. Thereafter, a fit-for-purpose probabilistic dynamic model using a range of inputs based on available rock and fluid field data and ASP parameters from an in-house global Chemical EOR database was built. This model was used to predict the range of production outcomes and aid with pilot design decisions.

Based on the stated objective of the pilot, an inverted 5-spot pilot pattern was chosen and a representative area was identified that spanned a reasonable average of field properties. An uncertainty analysis on the pilot pattern revealed that the residual oil saturation to both water and chemical and the remaining oil saturation at the commencement of pilot are the largest uncertainties governing the incremental oil recovery from ASP over water flood. Another significant uncertainty was the presence of an aquifer and the influence of active injectors near the pilot area. Depending on the aquifer strength and heterogeneity of the reservoir, fluid drift and can sweep the chemical slug away from the intended target region of the 5 spot pattern. On the design side, the chosen surfactant concentration in ASP slug, which affects the residual oil saturation to chemical, can result in lower than optimal oil recovery if surfactant losses (via adsorption or chemical consumption) are not adequately managed. Other important decisions are injection rate and pattern size since they affect the incremental recovery due to different swept pore volumes in the pilot pattern. Moreover, the model helped in steering important decisions for the pilot – e.g optimum time to switch to ASP injection after water flood.

ASP sector models frequently suffer from being overly complex since they are not tailored to address practical questions that drive key pilot decisions in a timely manner. The unique practical modeling approach presented here focuses on identifying critical uncertainties and pilot design parameters while circumventing the need of detailed laboratory data and a full field model history match.

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