Horizontal Barriers for Controlling Water Coning
- J.C. Karp (Gulf Research And Development Co.) | D.K. Lowe (Gulf Research And Development Co.) | N. Marusov (Gulf Research And Development Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1962
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 783 - 790
- 1962. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 2.2.2 Perforating, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.14 Casing and Cementing
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This paper considers, from an engineering viewpoint, several factors involved in creating, designing and locating horizontal barriers for controlling water coning. This is an effort to consolidate new concepts with previous in formation so that a reasonable selection of barrier materials, dimensions and vertical position can be made. Coning theories previously developed are briefly reviewed and an effort is made to reduce the results of coning-theory calculations to a point where routine calculations can be made with a desk calculator. It is expected that these simplified calculations will give usable predictions of the amounts of improvement attainable with barriers of various dimensions. Apparatus and procedures used for testing the suitability of commercial cements are described and test results are presented.
Just about as soon as the phenomenon of water coning was recognized as an oilfield problem, there were suggestions that the production of water coning could be controlled or completely suppressed by means of horizontal barriers. It was also suggested that natural barriers such as shale streaks were helpful in restricting bottom-water production. The implication was that wells not having the benefit of continuous shale streaks to suppress bottom waters should, in some way, be supplied with an artificial barrier. With regard to the selection of barrier materials, there are many references which give the merits of liquid barriers. These liquids include surface-active agents, precipitates and emulsions. There is no real need to review the merits of these materials again. This paper deals with the use of solid barriers which could be made from various cements. The two major restrictions placed on these barrier cements are that (1) they must be commercially available in large quantities, and (2) they must be applicable by means of standard tools and equipment with techniques that have been fully developed and are in general use at the present time.
THEORY AND DEFINITIONS
A schematic drawing of a horizontal barrier in a reservoir is shown in Fig. 1. Two maximum stable water cones are illustrated--one for the wellbore diameter and the other for a barrier. A maximum stable cone is one that has attained its maximum volume at the critical production rate and is on the threshold of producing water. The volume displaced by each water cone and the rise in water table are indications of the amount of water-free oil produced. Corrections for porosity, connate water and residual oil, of course, must be applied. The water-oil interface which defines a maximum stable cone is called a free surface. It is a surface over which the pressure is constant. This free surface has the shape of a limiting streamline at and below which there is no movement or transport. The shape of the water cone describes the pressure drop in the reservoir. The effect of a completely impermeable barrier on the cone shape is essentially the same as extending the wellbore out to the barrier radius. The placement of a horizontal barrier requires that a horizontal fracture be created using a single-point entry technique. Two methods may be employed for filling this fracture. One method consists of propping the fracture before filling with cement.
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