Troubleshooting Mature Waterfloods
- K. Robinson (Oil Plus Limited)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Offshore Europe, 6-9 September, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 1983. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 3.4.5 Bacterial Contamination and Control, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 3 Production and Well Operations, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics
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There has been quite a number of informative papers published recently describing seawater-injection facilities for fields such as B.P.'s Forties (Ref. 1) and Chevron's Ninian (Ref. 2) in the North Sea and GUPCO's El Morgan in the Gulf of Suez (Ref. 3), Those waterfloods described were for relatively new developments, with reservoir permeabilities varying from 100-2,000 millidarcies. They are generally recognised as being successful floods, although each author notes various operating problems caused, for example by corrosion, scale formation and bacterial fouling.
This paper attempts to provide a logical approach to identifying the essential causes of operating problems encountered in a waterflood. These problems can have a dramatic effect on the economics of oil production, problems can have a dramatic effect on the economics of oil production, particularly for older floods and with tighter formations, where particularly for older floods and with tighter formations, where permeabilities may be around 1-10 millidarcies or less. permeabilities may be around 1-10 millidarcies or less. OPERATING PROBLEMS
Before discussing troubleshooting specifically, consideration is first given to the effects which lead to recognition that there is an operating problem. Waterfloods which use seawater tend to be most common, and have problem. Waterfloods which use seawater tend to be most common, and have the highest flowrate. However, the following comments are just as appropriate to waterfloods using produced, aquifer or fresh surface waters. The problems may be classified into five groups:
1. Declining Water-Injection Plant Performance
Declining water-injection plant performance can be sub-divided into: a) lower injection-water quality, identified, for example, by - higher dissolved-oxygen content in treated water - lower particle-removal efficiency of filters - increased bacteria numbers
b) lower plant availability, resulting from:- - mechanical failure - corrosion - equipment overloads.
The effects of a) and b) are often very closely related, meaning that lower water quality may lead to increased corrosion and, conversely, corrosion may lead to partial or total equipment failure, thus causing lower water quality.
Only on very rare occasions would lower water quality result from a permanent change in the quality of the raw source water, although this may permanent change in the quality of the raw source water, although this may occur particularly if produced water is being used.
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