Field Pilots of Unconventional Shale EOR in the Permian Basin
- Xiaochun (Jacob) Jin (ULTRecovery Corporation) | Michael Pavia (ULTRecovery Corporation) | Michael Samuel (ULTRecovery Corporation) | Subhash Shah (University of Oklahoma, Norman) | Rixing Zhang (ULTRecovery Corporation) | James Thompson (ULTRecovery Corporation)
- Document ID
- Unconventional Resources Technology Conference
- SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, 22-24 July, Denver, Colorado, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference
- Huff-N-Puff, Permeable Stimulated Reservoir Volume, Permeable Stimulated Reservoir Volume, Formation Damage, Huff-N-Puff, Formation Damage, Deep Subsurface Microbiology, Deep Subsurface Microbiology, Rock-Fluid Interactions, Rock-Fluid Interactions, Unconventional Oil EOR, Unconventional Oil EOR
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Historical production data of unconventional oil wells shows rapid decline rate and low estimated ultimate recovery (EUR), although the records of “lateral length” and “number of stages” have been broken frequently in Permian Basin. The industry has been striving to develop a novel technically feasible and economic enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology to arrest the production decline curve; however, limited successes have been achieved.
According to the dialectical analysis of the four-dimensional dynamic interactions between unconventional rock-slickwater system-subsurface water-indigenous beneficial bacteria, it is concluded that the rapid decline rate and low EUR might be attributed to the potential formation damage caused by (1) the adsorption of high-weight big organic molecules (gellants and HPAM) on nanopores, (2) plugging of natural fractures, (3) plugging of propped fractures, and (4) pressure and energy loss while liquid flowing through the polluted zones. An advanced biotechnology is developed to unblock the contaminated zones by injecting microbial nutrients to the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) to grow the indigenous beneficial microbes to degrade the residual fracturing fluid chemicals. The otherwise blocked flow paths are re-opened, and the trapped fluids (oil, gas, and water) can be mobilized, the residual oil can flow from the reservoir to the borehole with less pressure loss. Therefore, the objective of the field pilots of unconventional EOR is to create a more permeable SRV.
A ULTRSHALE™ process for unconventional EOR is developed and has been proven to be effective based on the laboratory study and field tests. One depleted fractured vertical well (used crosslinked guar-based fracturing fluid, at about 9,000 ft) and one depleting fractured horizontal well (used slickwater system, at about 9,900 ft) were selected as the field pilots of unconventional EOR in the Permian Basin. The laboratory data indicated that the indigenous beneficial microbes residing in the deep reservoir could be stimulated to degrade the fracturing fluid additives in the high-salinity produced water at an elevated temperature. The field implementation was carried by a Huff-N-Puff process. The post-treatment liquid production was uplifted by 40%-127% within 180 days, which means the otherwise polluted SRV was unblocked by the stimulated beneficial microbes. Furthermore, the eight-months incremental oil of the vertical well was about 1,500 bbls, the six-months incremental oil of the fractured horizontal well was about 12,000 bbls. The incremental of EUR of the fractured vertical and horizontal wells were 2,100 bbls and 25,000 bbls, respectively. And the EUR after the treatment is increased by 9-12%. The payouts for both treatments were from 2-4 months. The Rate of Return (ROR) for both pilots is more than 100%.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||21|