A new Integrated Exploitation strategy to boost production and incorporate reserves at the Ecuadorian Bloque 61 was put on the table to radically change the production strategy from primary to secondary recovery in only two years timeframe. This was accomplished by drilling appraisal, development and infill wells in conjunction with peripherical and pattern waterflooding.
The project departed from reservoir characterization and modeling to identify the potential targets for waterflooding. The identified opportunities were assessed and ranked. Consequently, several pilots were implemented as a proof of concept.
Once the waterflooding pilots were in place, the complexity of the reservoir was evaluated. To account for the subsurface uncertainties, a probabilistic approach was followed to do the economical evaluation and risk management for the expansion.
Novel facilities configuration, implementation of new completion design and production enhacement techniques, along with a robust surveillance plan played a key role for the rapid implementation of a new exploitation strategy.
Positive reservoir pressure response and incremental production were observed within one to three months right after injection started in the pilots. This behavior was similar for the other fields where waterflooding was expanded. As such, new wells drilled and well reactivations in areas influenced by waterflooding has proven to have a threefold increase in expected initial productivity, therefore, the increase of reservoir pressure opened new development opportunities in Block 61 in former depleted reservoirs.
The implementation of a new exploitation philosophy focused in secondary recovery, increased recovery factor in about 10%, the contribution from waterflooding is about 30% of the total oil production. Additionally, 50% of the volume to be developed, corresponds to activity to be completed in Waterflooding areas.
This waterflooding strategy represents a shift in the exploitation paradigm in the Ecuadorian E&P industry, by going beyond the pilot execution through proper risk and uncertainty management as a path to full-field implementation. To fast-track this deployment of the water injection, a closed loop system was implemented between the water source and the injector to reduce facilities costs up to 80% as no treatment is required for the injected water.