Pressure maintenance by gas injection in gas cap is one of the well-established methods for improving the ultimate recovery. Gas injection in the crestal part of reservoir into the primary or secondary gas cap for pressure maintenance is generally used in reservoirs with thick oil columns and good vertical permeability and this process is called gravity drainage. This paper comprises methodology and results of study to evaluate the feasibility of gas injection in gas cap for maintenance of reservoir pressure and to envisage incremental oil gain of a mature offshore carbonate field located in western offshore of India.

Field has already produced more than 30% oil of its initial inplace volume. Water injection was started after 4 years of production and currently field is producing oil with 90% water cut. After one year of initial production phase the field producing GOR rose to two to three fold of its initial value mainly due to contribution of gas from gas cap. Depletion of gas cap gas made significant adverse impact on reservoir pressure and also fast pressure depletion from crestal part had allowed water breakthrough of injection and aquifer water to oil producers. At this stage to reduce the decline rate of wells for maximizing the future recovery without drilling of new wells and also without extension of existing infrastructure, the injection of gas in depleted small gas cap have been studied.

In order to evaluate the feasibility of gas injection in depleted gas cap and its overall impact on oil recovery, three aspects were seen. First the optimized quantity of gas injection and its sensitivity along with the number of gas injectors were decided through reservoir simulation. Therefore, suboptimal oil producers falling within gas cap area are chosen for conversion to Gas injectors. Secondly injection gas requirement for the process will be fulfilled partly through the recycling of produced gas and rest from free gas production from another pay of the same field. Finally it is examined that current existing facility of gas compression will sufficiently cater the additional requirement of gas compression. The process will have additional 10 to 11% contribution in future oil production.

The process of charging gas cap will provide additional support over ongoing water injection leading to a significant additional oil recovery by reducing the oil decline rate.

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