Generalized Methodology for Estimating Stress-Dependent Properties in a Tight Gas Reservoir and Extension to Drill-Cuttings Data
- Jaime Piedrahita (University of Calgary) | Bruno Lopez (University of Calgary) | Roberto Aguilera (University of Calgary)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- February 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 173 - 189
- 2019.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Cube root of normalized permeability, Porosity reduction, Compressibility, Net Confining Pressure, Permeability reduction
- 34 in the last 30 days
- 125 since 2007
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The volume of hydrocarbons contained in tight petroleum reservoirs is immense. Thus, their development is crucial to satisfy the worldwide energy demand. A critical aspect for the development of these formations is the stress dependency of rock properties. As pore pressure changes, porosity, permeability, and compressibility of both matrix and natural fractures in tight reservoirs also change, affecting the wells’ production behavior.
A practical problem in the estimation of stress-dependent properties is that the amount of core data available to perform the corresponding studies in tight formations is generally scarce. Under these circumstances, drill cuttings can be used to obtain this information. These observations lead to the key objective of this paper: to develop a reliable approach for estimating stress-dependent properties through the introduction of an innovative methodology that quantifies changes in properties of tight reservoirs and how to extend this methodology in drill cuttings.
The model developed is based on the relationship between the cube root of normalized permeability and the logarithm of net confining stress defined as confining pressure minus pore pressure applied on the rock. An empirical exponent α is introduced to fit the experimental data from confining tests conducted on both vertical and horizontal core samples. This exponent allows the development of an equation that works independently of the initial net confining stress, which is the main limitation of the models already available in the literature. It is our experience that, in many instances, laboratory tests are run at specific values of net confining stress that do not necessarily match the current stress of the reservoir. The correlation proposed in this paper is valuable because it provides a tool that allows correcting the laboratory results to the appropriate net confining stresses in the reservoir. A statistical analysis is performed to verify the appropriateness of the proposed model for the prediction of rock properties as a function of net confining stress.
It is shown that current formulations are particular cases of the proposed model based on the results obtained for the empirical exponent α. Semilog cross-plots of the cube root of normalized permeability versus the net confining stress using core laboratory data corroborate the robustness of the proposed method. The application of the method with drill cuttings is also demonstrated.
It is concluded that the proposed method provides a more accurate methodology for estimating stress-sensitive properties of rocks in tight formations, which are usually naturally fractured, such as the Nikanassin formation analyzed in this work. Porosity, permeability, and compressibility of tight formations are estimated by following the generalized methodology proposed in this study.
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