A Scale-Model Study of Bottom-Water Drives
- D.H. Henley (Pan American Petroleum Corp.) | W.W. Owens (Pan American Petroleum Corp.) | F.F. Craig Jr. (Pan American Petroleum Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 1961
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 90 - 98
- 1961. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.5.3 Scaling Methods, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 2 Well completion, 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 4.3.4 Scale
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The oil recovery performance of systems producing entirely by bottom-water encroachment has been experimentally determined in a series of scaled laboratory-model tests. The effects of well spacing, fluid mobilities, rate of production, capillary and gravity forces,well penetration and well completion techniques on the oil recovery performance have been investigated. The laboratory tests were performed using two uniform, unconsolidated sand-pack models. The models have ratios of the interwell distance to the formation thickness of 12 and 2, respectively. Tests at constant total fluid production rate were performed simulating a range of uniform reservoir characteristics and operating conditions encountered in field operations. The performance was determined by material balance and by observation of the encroachment of dyed fluids into the models. The results of the model tests agreed with those obtained mathematically when the conditions previously considered in theoretical studies were simulated, that is, when the oil and water are of equal density and no capillary forces exist.
The model study of bottom-water drive indicated that certain variables can affect the oil recovery performance to a greater degree than can be predicted by present analytical methods. In one comparison, the oil recovery at a water-oil ratio of 20 (obtained at a wide well spacing) varied as much as threefold, depending upon the system's properties and the production rate. Lesser effect of mobility ratio and no effect of capillary forces over the range studied were observed. The test results also showed that the deeper the well penetration into the oil column, the greater the total water production to a producing WOR of 20. However, the ultimate sweep efficiency, and so the oil recovery to this level of WOR, did not vary significantly with well penetration. Horizontal fractures at the top of the formation did not significantly change the sweep characteristics of the reservoir models when values of radius and fracture capacity encountered in actual reservoirs were used. Impermeable pancakes at the bottom of the well moderately increased the oil recovery efficiency both at water breakthrough and at high water-oil ratios. A method is outlined by which the oil recovery performance of other uniform bottom-water drive systems can be estimated from the information obtained in these model tests.
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