How To Improve Your Waterflood Brinkmanship
- Wilbur R. White (Cities Service Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1966
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 915 - 918
- 1966. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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This paper recognizes that most North Texas operators practice a certain amount of "brinkmanship" every time they start a new waterflood, even though good reservoir engineering is used. Eight possible methods of improving the brinkmanship are discussed and some examples are given. The eight methods are: (1) apply multi-zone floods, where possible; (2) acquire larger holdings in the reservoir through favorable lease purchase arrangements; (3) co-ordinate the proposed waterflood with development of water drive reservoirs; (4) merge the proposed waterflood with any existing saltwater disposal problems; (5) reduce investment by purchasing injection water; (6) consolidate leases where possible; (7) incorporate certain "poor boy" features based on judgment gained from local experience; and (8) arrange joint expenditures with other operators in the area. The author concedes that these eight considerations will not insure success, but concludes that a reasonable economic venture may be created where none existed before.
Our politicians and diplomats seem to think that they have a monopoly on "brinkmanship". This is not true. Waterflood operators in North Texas practice this dubious feat regularly. On almost every project, the operator must walk the brink between a reasonable profit and an unsatisfactory return on his investment. Too often the first economic projection on a proposed project shows the venture to be unfavorable or perhaps a borderline case. This paper deals with methods that might change the economic outlook from unfavorable to favorable. The obvious waterflood precautions, such as having cores checked and reservoir calculations made, will not be repeated here. Good engineering is even more important when second and third class reservoirs are being considered. Also, it is assumed that nobody would start a secondary project without some sort of economic analysis. This analysis may be a highly sophisticated projection, run on the latest million dollar computer and presented in great detail on rolls of perforated paper. Or, it may be a "cash register" estimate of future income and outgo carried only in the head of the intrepid operator. In either case, having made an accurate appraisal. the operator usually finds himself still on the brink. What then can he do to improve the economic outlook?
Apply Multi-Zone Waterfloods
Check the multi-zone prospects. Quite often a North Texas lease will have one blanket zone and perhaps two or three secondary stringers at various locations and depths. A paper by Moyer* estimated dual zone investment to be 32 per cent less than for separate facilities (Fig. 1).
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