Predicting Reservoir Fluid Phase and Volumetric Behavior From Samples Contaminated With Oil-Based Mud
- F. Gozalpour (Heriot-Watt U.) | A. Danesh (Heriot-Watt U.) | D.-H. Tehrani (Heriot-Watt U.) | A.C. Todd (Heriot-Watt U.) | B. Tohidi (Heriot-Watt U.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- June 2002
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 197 - 205
- 2002. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.2.2 Fluid Modeling, Equations of State, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.8.8 Gas-condensate reservoirs, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.3.4 Scale
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The impact of sample contamination with oil-based mud filtrate on phase behavior and properties of different types of reservoir fluids, including gas condensate and volatile oil, has been investigated. Two simple methods are used to determine the uncontaminated fluid composition from contaminated samples. The capability of the methods is demonstrated against highly contaminated samples.
An equation-of-state (EOS)-based method also has been developed to predict the phase and volumetric properties of the retrieved composition. The method determines the required parameters of the EOS for the uncontaminated fluid using the developed phase-behavior models from contaminated-sample data. The method has been examined against experimental data of different types of reservoir fluids with successful results.
Accurate reservoir fluid composition and properties are essential for reservoir management and development. Reliable reservoir fluid samples are therefore required; however, major challenges can render the fluid analysis limited in value. The reservoir fluid samples for pressure/volume/temperature (PVT) tests can be collected by bottomhole and/or surface sampling techniques as appropriate. During the drilling process, owing to overbalance pressure in the mud column, mud filtrate invades the formation. If an oil-based mud is used in the drilling, it can cause major difficulties in collecting high-quality formation fluid samples. Because the filtrate of oil-based drilling mud is miscible with the formation fluid, it could significantly alter the composition and phase behavior of the reservoir fluid. Even the presence of a small amount of oil-based filtrate in the collected sample could significantly affect the PVT properties of the formation fluid.
Oil-based mud is used widely in the petroleum industry. Contamination with oil-based mud filtrate could affect reservoir fluid properties such as saturation pressure, formation volume factor, gas/liquid ratio, and stock-tank liquid density. Because collecting a reservoir fluid sample is expensive, and accurate reservoir fluid properties are needed in reservoir development, it is highly desirable to determine accurate composition and phase behavior for the reservoir fluid from contaminated samples.
This study investigates the impact of sample contamination with oil-based mud filtrates on composition and phase behavior properties of different types of reservoir fluids, including volatile oil and gas condensate samples. The samples were purposely contaminated with a known amount of oil-based mud filtrates in the laboratory. The methods developed in this study were then applied to determine the original composition of the reservoir fluid from contaminated samples. The phase behavior of the contaminated samples was also investigated by performing constant composition expansion (CCE) tests at reservoir and surface conditions. The measured experimental data were used to tune EOSs by adjusting their parameters. The determined parameters of EOS tuned to the contaminated samples were used to calculate the parameters of EOS for the uncontaminated sample.
EOSs are used extensively to simulate the volumetric behavior and phase equilibrium of petroleum reservoir fluids. Among different types of EOSs, cubic EOSs have enjoyed considerable success in modeling because they are simple and give reliable results in phase equilibrium calculations. Two EOSs, the Valderrama1 modification of the Patel-Teja (VPT) EOS and a modified Peng-Robinson2 (mPR) EOS, were used in this study to perform phase equilibrium calculations. All binary interaction parameters (BIP) in the mixing rule were set to zero, and the temperature dependency of the attractive term was used as the tuning parameter to fit the measured data.3
Extended compositional analyses (up to C20+) of fluids were used in phase equilibrium calculations. The required critical properties of petroleum fractions to calculate parameters of EOS were determined by perturbation expansion correlations.4 The required boiling-point temperatures were calculated from the Riazi- Daubert5 correlation using the molecular weight and specific gravity of petroleum fractions. The Lee-Kesler6 correlation was used to calculate the accentric factor of compounds.
Contaminated Reservoir Fluids
Hydrocarbon-based fluids (natural or synthetic oils) are generally used in oil-based drilling muds. Because these fluids are soluble in the reservoir fluid, they can render the fluid analysis limited in value. Determination of the original fluid composition from the analysis of a contaminated sample is feasible, but isolating the properties of the reservoir fluid free from contamination is not easily accomplished. Despite the recent improvements in sampling reservoir fluids,7,8 obtaining a contamination-free formation fluid is a major challenge, particularly in openhole wells. Therefore, modeling techniques are required, along with the laboratory studies, to determine the composition and PVT properties of the uncontaminated fluid.
We have demonstrated, as have other investigators,9,10 that an exponential relationship exists between the concentration of components in the C8+ portion of real reservoir fluids and the corresponding molecular weights. For example, if the molar concentration of single carbon number groups is plotted against their molecular weights, it will give a straight line on a semilogarithmic scale. Based on this feature of natural fluids, two methods have been developed in this study to retrieve the original composition of reservoir fluid from contaminated samples. The composition of the C8+ portion of contaminated sample is plotted against molecular weight on a semilogarithmic scale. The plotted data will show a departure from the line over the range affected by the contaminants (see Fig. 1). The concentrations of the contaminants are then skimmed from the semilog straight line, presumed to be valid for the uncontaminated reservoir fluid. The fitted line is used to determine the composition of the uncontaminated fluid.
The above method, referred to as the Skimming method, gives a reliable composition of the uncontaminated fluid if the contaminant comprises a limited hydrocarbon range. MacMillan et al.11 developed a similar method. They fitted a gamma distribution function to the composition of the C7+ portion of contaminated oil samples, excluding the composition of contaminants from the datafitting procedure.
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