The Triangle "U" Sussex Unit - A Case History Comparing Two Chemical Enhanced Waterflood Methods
- J.E. Smith (TIORCO Inc.) | Dan Larsen (TIORCO Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- December 1998
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 545 - 550
- 1998. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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The Triangle "U" unit is located in Campbell County, Wyoming, in the Powder River basin. The field produces mainly from the Sussex A sandstone, with completions and limited production from the Sussex B. The flood recovered 12.8% original oil in place (OOIP) on primary before the waterflood, which began in March 1981. The Sussex A is relatively tight, with an average permeability of 15 md and porosity of 13.5%. The rock contains swelling and migrating clays, and the initial injection water source was fresh, leading to concerns about long-term injectivity. To stabilize clays, two different processes were applied. Earlier injection wells were treated with a combination of potassium chloride (KCl) and cationic polymer. Later injection wells were treated with potassium hydroxide (KOH). A recent comparison of long-term performance of the two groups of injection wells shows that the wells treated with KOH injected 476,437 bbls/porosity-ft more water than the wells treated with cationic polymer, in 1.4 years less time. This is an 83% increase in cumulative water injection. After KOH, all injection wells were put on a low concentration of imbibition agent to maximize in-depth penetration of water into low permeable rock. Cumulative oil recovery through March 1997 is 36.4% OOIP, compared to the original waterflood projection of 26.6% OOIP. A total of 37.7% pore volume (PV) water has been injected, and the water/oil ratio (WOR) is currently 0.71, for a fairly efficient flood in this tight, dirty sandstone.
The Triangle "U" unit produced 12.8% OOIP on primary before initiation of a waterflood. Several methods of secondary recovery were considered for this reservoir. Gas injection was not feasible because of limited supplies, and micellar injection was too expensive and risky. Waterflood susceptibility testing in cores showed favorable displacement of oil by water, making this the most appropriate secondary recovery method. The waterflood was projected to recover an additional 13.8% OOIP. Polymer flooding was not considered, because the mobility ratio was favorable and the reservoir was relatively tight, with an average permeability of 15 md. There were two basic challenges to waterflooding. First, there was concern that clays would limit injectivity over time. Also, the rock exhibited a permeability variation of 0.65, which could lead to bypassing of recoverable oil as water tended to establish channels through more permeable rock. Clays can exacerbate channeling.
SPE 53007 was revised for publication from paper SPE 39937, first presented at the 1998 SPE Rocky Mountain Regional/Low Permeability Reservoirs Symposium, Denver, Colorado, 5-8 April.
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