In this paper, production characteristics of tight oil reservoirs are summarized and analyzed, the investigated reservoirs include Cardium sandstone reservoir and Pekisko limestone reservoir. The phenomenon that gas and oil or water and oil are co-produced at an early stage of exploitation has been observed. In addition, water cut of many tight oil producers remains constant or undergoes reduction as production proceeds within first 36 months.
Since an oil rate drops quite a lot in the first year's production of tight oil reservoirs, reservoir simulations are run to investigate an effect of different parameters on tight oil production. Randomized experiments are created with geological and engineering parameters as uncertain factors and an oil rate as the response factor. The method of analysis of variance (ANOVA) is used to analyze the difference between group means and to determine statistical significance.
Reservoir properties such as permeability, pressure, wettability, oil API, and oil saturation and engineering parameters including a fracture stage and well operations have tremendous effects on oil production. Oil recovery factor increment in tight oil reservoirs highly depends on enlarging a contact area, improving oil relative permeability, reducing oil viscosity and altering wettability. Future research and development trends in tight oil exploitation are highlighted.
As primary recovery is quite low in tight oil reservoirs, the multistage fracturing technology is a necessity and it must be conducted based on a deep understanding of petrophysical and geomechanical properties. Water alternating gas (WAG) seems the best fit for tight oil exploitation. The way to improve WAG performance, including CO2 foam stabilized with surfactant or nanoparticles, low salinity water or nanofluids alternating CO2, will earn more and more attention in the future of tight oil development.