A New Method for Vertical Leak Detection in Low to Moderate Permeability Flooded Reservoirs
- Douglas W. Walser (Pinnacle Technologies) | Dmitriy K. Astakhov (Pinnacle Technologies) | Gregory R. Stanley (Pinnacle Technologies)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- October 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 683 - 688
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 3 in the last 30 days
- 580 since 2007
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Rising commodity prices have resulted in an increase in secondary recovery projects that are associated with lower permeability reservoirs. These processes often inject fluids above the parting pressure for the duration of the life of the flood, and pressurization takes place as fluids leak off from the exposed surface area of the induced fracture into the surrounding moderate or low-permeability reservoir matrix. The primary difference between these situations and conventional flooding is that matrix fluid migration is initiating off an induced fracturing plane, as opposed to point-source initiation.
During the early history of a flood, mass-balance issues are often ignored, as average reservoir pressures are typically low, and injection rates can dramatically exceed production. As pressures rise, some localized portions of the reservoir not only can exceed virgin static pressures, but volumes near existing induced fractures can approach or equal the pressure in those fractures. When this occurs, vertical fracturing initiates within the reservoir, and can migrate either above or below the reservoir, depending upon the location of the closest lower stress interval.
A new method to detect the location of vertical "leakage" has been developed. This method uses existing surface tiltmeter (STM) technologies and a new surface deformation calculation regime to zero in on volumetric changes that occur above or below the limits of the given reservoir. This method uses measured surface deformation from observed tilt to extrapolate the volumetric change at different specified depths. With a number of constraints and using a linear geophysical model based on poroelastic equations, an inversion routine is used to find the reservoir compaction or expansion at different depths. When volumetric change best fits the measured deformation data (or tilt) at the surface, the depth and aerial location is then correlated to the area near a specific well or wells.
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