Predicting Geomechanical Dynamics of the Steam-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage Process. Part I: Mohr-Coulomb (MC) Dilative Model
- Mazda Irani (Ashaw Energy)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- August 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,223 - 1,247
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SAGD, Mohr-Coulomb (MC) Model, Dilation
- 7 in the last 30 days
- 134 since 2007
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In the steam-assisted-gravity-drainage (SAGD) recovery process, the injection of high-pressure/high-temperature steam causes significant stress changes at the edge of the heated zone or steam chamber. These stress changes include shear dilation, which can both enhance the absolute permeability and result in horizontal and vertical formation displacements. The importance of considering geomechanical effects in thermal-recovery processes has been extensively discussed in the literature, but the prediction and surveillance of the resulting effects, such as the impact on production enhancement and reservoir displacement, have in many cases been neglected. Furthermore, issues related to these geomechanical effects on thermal production have been the subject of considerable debate in the industry with no conclusive, meaningful assessments of the effect on reservoir deliverability and production, or of the associated risks that such geomechanical effects have on wellbore and caprock integrity.
This study will focus on identification of the main findings from an extensive monitoring program conducted on the original SAGD pilot project conducted at the Underground Test Facility (UTF) in the late 1980s and a seismic program conducted during the last several years by an SAGD operator at a commercial thermal-recovery project. The measured displacements and identified dilation shear zones in these applications were compared with a Mohr-Coulomb (MC) dilative model. This paper illustrates some of the pros and cons of using such analytical models through comparison of the results based on field evidence of the dilation and shearing effects, and how these mechanisms affect both reservoir productivity (revenue) and wellbore and caprock integrity. Although the discussion on the geomechanical effects in thermal-recovery processes will no doubt continue, this study will provide field-supported results to illustrate both beneficial and potentially challenging impacts that these geomechanical effects can have in a thermal-recovery project.
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