Wettability Alteration to Intermediate Gas-Wetting in Gas-Condensate Reservoirs at High Temperatures
- Mashhad Mousa Fahes (Imperial College) | Abbas Firoozabadi (Reservoir Engr. Research Inst.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 397 - 407
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.8.8 Gas-condensate reservoirs, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 1.8 Formation Damage, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing
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Wettability of two types of sandstone cores, Berea (permeability on the order of 600 md), and a reservoir rock (permeability on the order of 10 md), is altered from liquid-wetting to intermediate gas-wetting at a high temperature of 140C. Previous work on wettability alteration to intermediate gas-wetting has been limited to 90C. In this work, chemicals previously used at 90C for wettability alteration are found to be ineffective at 140C. New chemicals are used which alter wettability at high temperatures. The results show that: (1) wettability could be permanently altered from liquid-wetting to intermediate gas-wetting at high reservoir temperatures, (2) wettability alteration has a substantial effect on increasing liquid mobility at reservoir conditions, (3) wettability alteration results in improved gas productivity, and (4) wettability alteration does not have a measurable effect on the absolute permeability of the rock for some chemicals. We also find the reservoir rock, unlike Berea, is not strongly water-wet in the gas/water/rock system.
A sharp reduction in gas well deliverability is often observed in many low-permeability gas-condensate reservoirs even at very high reservoir pressure. The decrease in well deliverability is attributed to condensate accumulation (Hinchman and Barree 1985; Afidick et al. 1994) and water blocking (Engineer 1985; Cimolai et al. 1983). As the pressure drops below the dewpoint, liquid accumulates around the wellbore in high saturations, reducing gas relative permeability (Barnum et al. 1995; El-Banbi et al. 2000); the result is a decrease in the gas production rate.
Several techniques have been used to increase gas well deliverability after the initial decline. Hydraulic fracturing is used to increase absolute permeability (Haimson and Fairhurst 1969). Solvent injection is implemented in order to remove the accumulated liquid (Al-Anazi et al. 2005). Gas deliverability often increases after the reduction of the condensate saturation around the wellbore. In a successful methanol treatment in Hatter's Pond field in Alabama (Al-Anazi et al. 2005), after the initial decline in well deliverability by a factor of three to five owing to condensate blocking, gas deliverability increased by a factor of two after the removal of water and condensate liquids from the near-wellbore region. The increased rates were, however, sustained for a period of 4 months only. The approach is not a permanent solution to the problem, because the condensate bank will form again. On the other hand, when hydraulic fracturing is used by injecting aqueous fluids, the cleanup of water accumulation from the formation after fracturing is essential to obtain an increased productivity. Water is removed in two phases: immiscible displacement by gas, followed by vaporization by the expanding gas flow (Mahadevan and Sharma 2003). Because of the low permeability and the wettability characteristics, it may take a long time to perform the cleanup; in some cases, as little as 10 to 15% of the water load could be recovered (Mahadevan and Sharma 2003; Penny et al. 1983). Even when the problem of water blocking is not significant, the accumulation of condensate around the fracture face when the pressure falls below dewpoint pressure could result in a reduction in the gas production rate (Economides et al. 1989; Sognesand 1991; Baig et al. 2005).
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