Study of Carbonate Reservoirs Examines Fines Migration in CO2-Saturated-Brine Flow
- Chris Carpenter (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 76 - 77
- 2018. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 24 since 2007
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This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 189569, “Fines Migration During CO2-Saturated Brine Flow in Carbonate Reservoirs With Some Migratory Clay Minerals—Malaysian Formations,” by Y. Sazali, Petronas; S. Gödeke, SPE, Universiti Brunei Darussalam; W.L. Sazali and J.M. Ibrahim, Petronas; G.M. Graham and S.L. Kidd, Scaled Solutions; and H.A. Ohen, SPE, HPO Global Resources Ventures, prepared for the 2018 SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, 7–9 February. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
A high-carbon-dioxide (CO2) carbonate gas field offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, is scheduled for development. Reservoirs in this region have an average clay content of 8%; more than 50% of this clay content is migratory illite, and 15% is migratory kaolinite. Therefore, fines migration exacerbated by this low-permeability rock becomes a potential production and injection problem. A study was conducted involving rock mineralogy and dynamic flow to evaluate factors contributing to potential fines-migration damage within the production and injection interval.
Migration of fines is associated with oil and gas production in sandstones as well as carbonate reservoirs. Fine particles located on the surface of rock grains are affected by adhesion, drag, and electrostatic and gravitational forces. Drag and lifting forces detach the particle, whereas adhesion, electrostatic, and gravitational forces press the particle to the surface. Generally, the main sources of movable fine particles in sandstone reservoirs are kaolinite and illite clays. Kaolinite particles are flat plates usually stacked in the form of booklets. The surface area of clay minerals, for example, typically is large because of their structure and small size and is more reactive and prone to mobilization and migration.
Once mobilized, the fine particles are retained by size exclusion if their size exceeds the pore-throat size of the matrix. Fines damage also occurs when several small fine particles reach a larger pore throat at the same time and compete for passage through the throat with the result of bridging and sedimentation.
Usually, in the case of gas/water flow, the fines move with the wetting water phase. However, fines movement taking place before water movement has been observed in a number of gas reservoirs. The in-situ mobilization and migration of fines without a mobile wetting phase is primarily caused by hydrodynamic drag that exceeds the critical rate to mobilize the fines. It has long been realized during corefloods that colloidal controlled release of particles leading to fines migration may be caused by salinity change following flow rate that causes the fines to bridge at the pore throat. Generally, a decrease in salinity or an increased rate of salinity change leads to particle mobilization. This decrease in permeability caused by decreasing salt concentration has been found to be nonmonotonic.
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