Comparing the Benefits: Use of Various Wellhead Gas Coning Control Strategies To Optimize Production of a Thin Oil Rim
- Erik Nennie (TNO Science and Industry) | Slava Savanko (TNO Science and Industry) | G.J. N. Alberts (TNO Science and Industry) | M. F. Cargnelutti (TNO Science and Industry) | Edwin van Donkelaar (Shell Intl. E&P BV)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 4-7 October, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 2.3 Completion Monitoring Systems/Intelligent Wells, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 5.5.8 History Matching, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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With an increasing number of smart well applications being installed in the field, more knowledge is required to optimize their operation. This paper compares the benefits of various wellhead gas coning control strategies to optimize production of a thin oil rim. This study is performed within the "Integrated System Approach Petroleum Production (ISAPP)" knowledge center of TNO, TU Delft and Shell.
For this study a field case model is used, which has been validated with field data. The field case is a thin oil rim with a horizontal well. Due to the location of the horizontal well in the oil rim, the well is particularly susceptible to gas coning. Besides gas coning, wax precipitation is a second production constraint. This makes this well challenging to operate. Different production strategies are investigated and compared against each other: intermittent production and continuous production with pressure differential control.
The results of the different production strategies are presented by analyzing the advantages and disadvantages for the different gas coning control strategies, satisfying the given constraint of gas influx. This study reveals the difference in the cumulative production between the two strategies. The use of a closed loop control strategy can lead to a larger oil production in the same amount of time.
This paper shows the viability of using dynamic simulation models to quantitatively assess the benefits of various production optimization strategies. This allows operators to
compare emerging smart well technologies, and increase trust in specific technologies that could be of an added value to their operation. Even though much has been published about the potential benefits of a smart field philosophy, few published field cases are available. This paper offers a field case testimony of the comparison of various feedback control strategies for purpose of production optimization.
With increasing knowledge and improving technologies, more complex reservoirs (with respect to location and dimensions) can be explored and produced. This brings new challenges in exploration, drilling and production. Furthermore, existing reservoirs require new insights to be able to increase ultimate recovery. Dedicated simulation software tools can offer these new insights by helping to understand production instabilities and test new control strategies to avoid instabilities and to optimize production.
The field under investigation has most of its wells drilled with long laterals in a thin oil rim, making them particularly susceptible to gas coning. Gas coning is a phenomenon where the gas oil contact of a reservoir slowly moves towards a well as a result of high drawdown. Eventually, the free gas is being drawn into the well, see Figure 1. Furthermore, the reservoir temperature is low enough to cause wax deposition.
At high production rates, a well will suffer a large gas influx, which cannot be handled by the topside equipment. For low production rates, a well will suffer increased wax
deposition due to the lower fluid temperature [Nennie, 2008]. Therefore, due to gas coning and wax deposition, some of the wells are operated intermittently. Goal of this study is to determine whether instead of the intermittent production continuous production is more beneficial and if so, quantifying the difference between these control strategies.
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