Model Studies of Oil Displacement from Thin Sands by Vertical Water Influx from Adjacent Shales
- J.E. Bobek (Jersey Production Research Co.) | P.T. Bail (Jersey Production Research Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 1961
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 950 - 954
- 1961. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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In reservoirs containing soft shales interbedded with oil-producing sands, it is possible to have water movement from the shales into the sands during reservoir depletion.
This paper presents the results of scaled flow-model tests performed to investigate the efficiency of oil displacement by this vertical influx of water into oil-producing sands. In these model tests, the effects of rate of influx and rock wettability were considered.
Oil recoveries by shale-water influx and by water flooding were compared after 0.4 hydrocarbon volume of water entered the producing sand. This comparison was made for water-wet and oil-wet systems. In water-wet sand, shale-water influx produces slightly less oil than conventional water flooding; in oil-wet sand, shale-water influx produces about one-half as much oil as conventional water flooding. In another type of comparison, it was found that shale-water influx followed by water flooding recovers less oil than water flooding alone. This is true for both water-wet and oil-wet sands. A comparison of tests run at different rates of shale-water influx shows that oil recovery is insensitive to rate in water-wet sand; in oil-wet sand, oil recovery decreases with decreasing rate of influx.
Localized subsidence of the earth's surface has accompanied the depletion of some oil reservoirs, particularly in California, along the Texas Gulf Coast, and in the Bolivar Coastal fields of Venezuela. Subsidence occurs when fluid withdrawals reduce the pressure in the reservoir. The reasons for subsidence accompanying a reduction in reservoir pressure are not known with certainty. However, there is considerable evidence that compaction of soft shale beds adjacent to producing oil sands can be a major cause of this subsidence. When the shales compact, a limited amount of water moves from the shales into the producing sands. A schematic illustration of this oil-producing mechanism is shown in Fig. 1. As the pressure in the sand declines due to oil production, a predominantly vertical pressure gradient develops at the sand-shale boundary. This causes water to move from the shale into the sand as indicated by the solid arrows.
This paper reports the results of scaled flow-model tests to investigate the efficiency of oil displacement by the vertical influx of shale water into producing sands.
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