The Kuparuk River Field: A Regression Approach to Pseudo-Relative Permeabilities
- J.B. Johnson (ARCO Oil and Gas Company) | Michael M. Nanney (ARCO Oil and Gas Company) | John E. Killough (ARCO Oil and Gas Company) | Y.T. Lin (ARCO Oil and Gas Company)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium, 31 January-3 February, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 1982. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.4 Scale, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.5.8 History Matching, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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The Kuparuk River field located about twenty-five miles west of the Prudhoe Bay Unit, North Slope Alaska, represents a large accumulation of oil spread over a wide areal extent. The large areal extent of the reservoir presented a major difficulty for full scale reservoir simulation of this field especially under waterflood conditions. To overcome this difficulty a regression approach was used to match finely-gridded, three-dimensional waterflood models with coarse-grid models. Matches were obtained by varying in an optimal manner the pseudo-relative permeability relationship and the interblock weighting of relative permeabilities. It was found that for both the waterflood case and the reinjected gas displacement case excellent matches of the finely gridded model results could be obtained with an extremely coarse-gridded model. Matches were obtained automatically using a non-linear regression approach in a relatively small amount of computer time. In addition, sensitivity analysis showed that the pseudo-relative permeabilities thus generated were permeabilities thus generated were insensitive to reasonable variations in waterflood rate and to timing of waterflood initiation. With this technique it was possible to construct a fieldwide model for possible to construct a fieldwide model for facilities planning and to study the effect of facilities on ultimate recovery from the reservoir.
The Kuparuk River field lies 25 miles (90 km) west of the Prudhoe Bay Field on Alaska's North Slope and covers an area over 209 square miles (500 km2) (see Figure 1). The Kuparuk River sands are estimated to contain approximately 4.5 billion barrels (7.3 x 108 m3) of oil. production is scheduled to begin in early 1982.
The formation consists of two main sand members separated by a thick, continuous shale. A third or middle sand appears also in the thickest areas of the field. Both sands are highly stratified. A typical electric log response (see Figure 2), illustrates the thin shale streaks and vertical heterogeneity through the interval. To date, over 25 delineation wells have been drilled to define the areal extent and physical properties of the field. The physical properties of the field. The eastern portion of the field is currently undergoing development drilling on 320-acre 1300 x 103 m2) well spacing.
Predicting reservoir performance and planning the future field development called planning the future field development called for a fieldwide reservoir simulation model. A finely gridded, three-dimensional model would normally be needed to adequately simulate the reservoir performance of a stratified interval under natural depletion and waterflood conditions. However, the large areal extent of this field would have required a model with far too many grid blocks. In addition, reservoir data control in most of the field was too sparse to justify a finely gridded model. For these reasons, a fieldwide areal model with large grid blocks was built that would approximate the performance prediction of a three-dimensional model. To give realism to the results, a new pseudo-relative permeability treatment was developed which was based on a non-linear regression approach.
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