Free gas along with heavy oil production affects the progressive cavity pump (PCP) performance. This necessitates the strategy to perforate away from the free gas zone. To be able to do this, it requires an integrated approach to evaluate and map the spread of the free gas accumulation in the field. The paper shall present how this resulted in improved well performance with less free gas interference.

The methodology included the understanding of the production data, sub-surface geology and petrophysics; reservoir heterogeneity and free gas presence from wireline logs, core data and isotope analysis of gas collected during mud-logging and creation of maps and cross-sections showing both vertical and aerial spread of free gas accumulation. This was then integrated with existing production and well management practices, along with numerical simulation results. Such in-depth analysis helps to bring significant changes in well completion strategy and is a vital contribution to the WRFM strategy.

Unlike in conventional fields where depth is more and buoyancy pressures are large, gas can easily displace oil to accumulate in structural highs, in shallow heavy oil fields, free gas accumulation is a result of combination of structural and stratigraphic entrapment process. Vertical migration and lateral migration of gas is likely restricted by non-reservoir facies. As a result a consistent gas-oil contact (GOC) may not be present across large distances. Gas oil contact separates heavy oil by possible structural spill point and lithological boundary, dipping from south to north. Structurally higher areas are prone to localized gas accumulation. The completion stand-off from the gas base has a direct correlation with gas production. So the well management and production practice is to increase the stand-off from gas base to top perforations in future wells and to perform gas shut-off job in current wells to avoid free gas production.

The novelty of the current approach is that it will proactively help in completion strategy to reduce future free gas production, subsequent loss in natural reservoir energy and maintain the oil production target.

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