During produced water reinjection into an oilfield, the formation near the wellbore is progressively damaged due to total suspended solids (TSS) and oil particles in the injected water (OIW). This typically increases the bottom-hole injection pressure over time. Furthermore, if the water is injected in the oil zone, the initial bottom-hole injection pressure may already be high from the start due to water mobility constraint and oil viscosity. This study aims to model the generation of hydraulic fractures induced under different conditions, their geometrical characteristics and corresponding development over time. Such information is key to reservoir simulation for the secondary oil recovery and to reservoir integrity assessment.

Four disciplines are integrated into the proposed workflow: reservoir flow simulation, formation damage modeling, reservoir geomechanics, and the simulation of hydraulic fracturing. First, a sector model around an injector well is extracted from the full-field reservoir simulation of the case-study reservoir. In the reservoir flow simulation, a formation damage model is implemented, calibrated from injection rate, bottom-hole pressure, TSS and OIW actual data. At specified time steps, the flow simulator passes pore pressure profiles of the sector model to the geomechanical simulator, which computes the corresponding changes in stress and deformation.

The updated in-situ stress field, in combination with the petrophysical model applied for the flow simulation, is provided to the hydraulic fracturing simulator, which tests for the development of the hydraulic fracture and computes its geometry. The resulting hydraulic fracture is mapped back into the reservoir flow model to account for the local increase of permeability of the cells hosting the fracture. The workflow then enters into a loop starting again with the flow simulation, and the further development of the fracture under changing conditions is tested and modeled.

The proposed workflow was successfully applied to an injection well in an offshore field. Four scenarios considered different initial formation saturation, injected fluid viscosity and the conversion of a producing well into an injector. Multiple fractures with different characteristics, fully contained inside the reservoir, were predicted for each scenario and gave insights into the hydraulic fracture development during produced water reinjection.

The proposed method and workflow have the potential to significantly improve the reservoir simulation of the water injection process for secondary recovery or pressure maintenance by providing insights into how induced fracture geometries will influence the injection pressure and reservoir sweep efficiency. It also may provide valuable information to assess the integrity of reservoir cap rock during produced water reinjection.

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