Waterflooding of fractured low permeability reservoirs are often associated with poor sweep and high water cut due to existence of natural fractures, hydraulic fractures, and artificially induced fractures. Therefore, reservoir simulation with coupled geomechanics and dynamic fractures is required for this application. In this work, we present the use of streamline-derived flux information to improve overall waterflooding performance in such complex simulation problems.

This work shows the waterflooding optimization workflow of a fractured low-permeability reservoir in ChangQing Oilfield, China. First, the finite difference simulator considering stress field and geomechanical properties is used to simulate the growth of dynamic fractures. Then, the newly formed fracture properties are included into the dual porosity/permeability reservoir simulation model. Afterwards, streamlines can be traced based on the velocity field of this model, which represent a snapshot of the inter-well fluxes. Finally, with the goal of minimizing field water production, we implement linear programming algorithms to optimize the waterflooding operation by considering the inter-well connectivity and well allocation factors.

Through reservoir simulation coupled with geomechanics, we have found that induced fracture growth rate is relatively limited at reasonable injection rate, which is also validated by field empirical observations. This can avoid fracture propagation and reduce the risk of rapid water breakthrough. We deploy our streamline tracing and linear programming based optimization program to work together with this simulation model. A controlled and cautious increase in injection rate has resulted in a positive production response in 28 producers in the pilot area. Reallocation of water to high-efficiency injectors improves sweep efficiency in the reservoir. Finally, the optimized scenario has resulted in more than 15% incremental swept volume as compared to the basic development case.

This work provides a comprehensive case study for better understanding the impact fracture growth on waterflooding performance in fractured low-permeability reservoirs. It further establishes the workflow of using streamline-based flux information for oil production optimizations in these complex simulation problems.

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