The Effect of Water-Induced Stress To Enhance Hydrocarbon Recovery in Shale Reservoirs
- Perapon Fakcharoenphol (Colorado School of Mines) | Sarinya Charoenwongsa (Colorado School of Mines) | Hossein Kazemi (Colorado School of Mines) | Yu-Shu Wu (Colorado School of Mines)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- June 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 897 - 909
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.4 Reduction of residual oil saturation, 5.1.10 Reservoir geomechanics
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Waterflooding has been an effective improved-oil-recovery (IOR) process forseveral decades. However, stress induced by waterflooding has not been wellstudied or documented. Water injection typically increases reservoir pressureand decreases reservoir temperature. The increase in reservoir pressure anddecrease in reservoir temperature synergistically reduce the effective stress.Because of such decrease in stress, existing healed natural fractures can bereactivated and/or new fractures can be created. Similar effects can enhancehydrocarbon recovery in shale reservoirs.
In this paper, we calculated the magnitude of water-injection-induced stresswith a coupled flow/geomechanics model. To evaluate the effect of waterinjection in the Bakken, a numerical-simulation study for a sector model wascarried out. Stress changes caused by the volume created by the hydraulicfracture, water injection, and oil production were calculated. The Hoek-Brownfailure criterion was used to compute rock-failure potential.
Our numerical results for a waterflooding example show that during waterinjection, the synergistic effects of reservoir cooling and pore-pressureincrease significantly promote rock failure, potentially reactivating healednatural macrofractures and/or creating new macrofractures, especially near aninjector. The rock cooling can create small microfractures on the surface ofthe matrix blocks. In shale oil reservoirs, the numerical experiments indicatethat stress changes during water injection can improve oil recovery by openingsome of the old macrofractures and creating new small microfractures on thesurface of the matrix blocks to promote shallow water invasion into the rockmatrix. Furthermore, the new microfractures provide additional interface areabetween macrofractures and matrix to improve oil drainage when using surfactantand CO2 enhanced-oil-recovery techniques. These positive effects areparticularly important farther away from the immediate vicinity of thehydraulic fracture, which is where much of the undrained oil resides.
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