Steamflood Piloting the Wafra Field Eocene Reservoir in the Partitioned Neutral Zone, Between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
- David Lee Barge (Chevron Corp.) | Patricia Elva Carreras (Chevron ETC) | Donald Dale Uphold (Chevron Corp.) | Falah M. Al-Yami (Saudi Arabian Chevron) | Arthur Ruch Deemer (Saudi Arabian Chevron) | Talal Al-Anezi (Kuwait Gulf Oil Co)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference, 15-18 March, Manama, Bahrain
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 3.1 Artificial Lift Systems, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 4.3.4 Scale, 3.2.6 Produced Water Management, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.5.2 Construction of Static Models, 3.1.1 Beam and related pumping techniques, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 1.2.1 Wellbore integrity, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 5.2.2 Fluid Modeling, Equations of State, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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The concept of steamflooding the Wafra Eocene dolomite reservoir originated in various studies conducted in the 1980's. In 1999, a comprehensive EOR study and Eocene huff-n-puff pilot suggested that steamflooding could be a viable recovery process for the reservoir. As a result of these studies, a staged development approach was incorporated to test the viability of pattern steamflooding the Eocene reservoir. The objective was to assess key technical challenges associated with steamflooding an anhydrite and gypsum rich carbonate reservoir. Additional challenges were the lack of fresh water available for steam generation, high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas, and higher reservoir pressures compared to most active steamfloods. The staged approach called for a single pattern steamflood test followed by a larger multi-pattern pilot. As a result of this strategy, a single pattern steamflood test was implemented in 2006.
The design and initial performance of the small scale test (SST) single pattern steamflood pilot in the Wafra 1st Eocene reservoir are described in this paper. The pilot is comprised of one, 1.25 acre inverted five-spot pattern, consisting of four producing wells, a single injector and a single observation well. Continuous steam injection began in February 2006 at a rate of approximately 500 barrels per day cold water equivalent, 600 psig and a temperature of 489 ºF.
The primary goals of the single pattern test were to test application of a mechanical seeded slurry evaporator to process produced water for steam generation and to assess steam injectivity into dolomite reservoirs containing gypsum and/or anhydrite. Injectivity assessment included evaluating reservoir response to steamflooding and investigating the variation over time due to rock/fluid interactions. Secondary objectives included analyzing well productivity and evaluating well testing equipment, facilities, and well construction. The SST has a comprehensive data collection and surveillance plan to support evaluation of these goals and objectives. The surveillance plan includes the collection of pre-flood and post-flood core data, frequent well testing for rates and fluid compositions, daily temperature recordings and periodic logging.
After two years of operation, primary goals have been tested and exceeded expectations. A continuous thermal zone was developed in the 1st Eocene reservoir and steam breakthrough occurred at several of the producers. Generator feed quality water was produced at maximum throughput rate of 1,200 bwpd via mechanical seeded slurry evaporator equipment. Secondary objectives are currently being assessed with focus on current challenges of corrosion and scaling of producing wells.
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