New Cold-Production Technique for Heavy Oil with Strong Bottomwaterdrive
- Wenting Qin (China University of Petroleum (Beijing)) | Andrew K. Wojtanowicz (Louisiana State University) | Christopher D. White (Louisiana State University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- April 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 270 - 279
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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Few heavy-oil reservoirs with strong bottomwaterdrive have been developedsuccessfully, because severe water coning causes low ultimate recovery, lowwell productivity, and high water production. In these reservoirs, thermal andgravity-assisted methods that could improve recovery are perceived aseconomically unfavorable or technologically infeasible. In this paper, wepropose a new cold-production technique, called the bilateral water sink (BWS),to meet those challenges.
The BWS method suppresses water cresting by producing oil and watersimultaneously from bilateral horizontal wells completed in the oil and waterzones separately. Unlike conventional horizontal-well production, where watercresting causes water to bypass oil, making the waterdrive mechanismineffective, the BWS prevents water cresting by altering the potentialdistribution in the near-well region. With cresting suppressed, water drivesthe oil from the edges of the well drainage area to the well, resulting in highultimate recovery. By exploiting the natural reservoir energy of thebottomwaterdrive, the BWS becomes economically, technically, andenvironmentally appealing--especially for offshore fields where cold productionis the only option and oil/water separation is a problem.
In this paper, new analytical models are derived to design the water and oilrates for BWS and to quantify the method's effect of avoiding water crestingand improving oil recovery. The analytical models are verified with numericalsimulations. The BWS technique is also theoretically demonstrated by use ofdata from an actual oil field. The results show a considerable increase of oilrecovery, from less than 15% for a conventional horizontal well toapproximately 40% for a BWS well.
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