Modeling/Forecasting Reservoir Souring in a Field Rajasthan, India with an Extremely Low Indigenous Volatile Fatty Acid VFA Concentration
- Edward Burger (EB Technologies, Inc.) | Panneer Selvam Venkat (Cairn Oil & Gas, Vedanta Ltd.) | Sauyma Mittal (Cairn Oil & Gas, Vedanta Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference on Oilfield Chemistry, 8-9 April, Galveston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- reservoir souring, SRB, H2S, model, waterflood
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- 86 since 2007
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The Rajasthan Field has been undergoing waterflood with produced water reinjection (PWRI) using makeup water with a moderate sulfate (≈500 mg/L) and negligible organic content since 2010. Initial analyses of the formation water indicated that the volatile fatty acid (VFA) content was quite low (≈ 20 mg/L), suggesting a priori that the levels of H2S biogeneration and production would not be problematic. However, after less than four years the H2S production rate from the field was over 1000 kg/day and the H2S concentration in the composite separator gas was about 200 ppmv. Consequently, studies were carried out using the H2S forecasting model previously discussed in four SPE papers to determine the cause for the high level of souring and to estimate future levels and trends of H2S production in the field.
The mechanistic reservoir souring model considers H2S biogeneration due to water-soluble VFAs and/or primarily oil-soluble organics such as BTEX components, the effects of H2S-siderite geochemical reactions within the reservoir to scavenge H2S, flow of H2S (and other components) through the reservoir to the surface, and partitioning of H2S into the oil, water and gas phases within the reservoir and in the surface separators. Also included in the Rajasthan model were the use of power water to lift the well production since it affects partitioning at the surface; and, the effect of chemical H2S scavengers added in selected well flowlines to maintain H2S partial pressures at safe levels.
The model determined that the observed H2S production was not possible even with complete consumption of the indigenous VFAs by sulfate-reducing bacteria and that only with the majority of their organic nutrients being provided by the BTEX-type components were the historical H2S production levels able to be matched. The model results have indicated that H2S production rates have already peaked in the field, primarily due to the reduction in makeup water which provides most of the sulfate being injected into the reservoir. Sulfate is the limiting microbial reactant since the oil-soluble organic supply is essentially infinite.
This study has shown even in non-seawater waterfloods and with minimal organic acids in the formation water that reservoir souring can occur, resulting in the need to handle significant levels of H2S on the surface. The significance of oil-soluble organics as a potential SRB nutrient must be considered when planning a waterflood if sulfate is injected.
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