Characterization of a Carbonate Reservoir With Pressure-Transient Tests and Production Logs: Tengiz Field, Kazakhstan
- K.T. Chambers (Tengizchevroil) | W.S. Hallager (Tengizchevroil) | C.S. Kabir (Chevron Overseas Petroleum Technology Co.) | R.A. Garber (Chevron Petroleum Technology Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- August 2001
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 250 - 259
- 2001. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 3.3.1 Production Logging, 5.2.2 Fluid Modeling, Equations of State, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.8.6 Naturally Fractured Reservoir, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 1.8 Formation Damage, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 3 Production and Well Operations, 3.2.4 Acidising, 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.6.3 Pressure Transient Testing, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis
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The combination of pressure-transient and production-log (PL) analyses has proved valuable in characterizing reservoir flow behavior in the giant Tengiz field. Among the important findings is the absence of clear dual-porosity flow. This observation contradicts an earlier interpretation that the reservoir contains a well-connected, natural fracture network. Fracturing and other secondary porosity mechanisms play a role in enhancing matrix permeability, but their impact is insufficient to cause dual-porosity flow behavior to develop.
Flow profiles measured with production logs consistently show several thin (10 to 30 ft) zones dominating well deliverability over the thick (up to 1,040 ft) perforation intervals at Tengiz. A comparison of PL results and core descriptions reveals a good correlation between high deliverability zones and probable exposure surfaces in the carbonate reservoir.
Contrary to earlier postulations, results obtained from pressure-transient and PL data at Tengiz do not support rate-sensitive productivity indices (PI's). Inclusion of rate variations in reconciling buildup and drawdown test results addressed this issue.
We developed wellbore hydraulic models and calibrated them with PL data for extending PI results to wells that do not have measured values. A simplified equation-of-state (EOS) fluid description was an important component of the models because the available black-oil fluid correlations do not provide reliable results for the 47°API volatile Tengiz oil. Clear trends in reservoir quality emerge from the PI results.
A plethora of publications exists on transient testing. However, only a few papers address the issue of combining multidisciplinary data to understand reservoir flow behavior (Refs. 1 through 4 are worthy of note). We used a synergistic approach by combining geology, petrophysics, transient tests, PL's, and wellbore-flow modeling to characterize the reservoir flow behavior in the Tengiz field. Understanding this flow behavior is crucial to formulating guidelines for reservoir management.
Permeability estimation from pressure-transient data is sensitive to the effective reservoir thickness contributing to flow. Unfortunately, difficulties associated with the calibration of old openhole logs, sparse core coverage, and a major diagenetic overprint of solid bitumen combine to limit the identification of an effective reservoir at Tengiz based on openhole log data alone. Consequently, PL's have been used to identify an effective reservoir in terms of its flow potential. A limitation of production logs is that they only measure fluid entering the wellbore and are not necessarily indicative of flow in the reservoir away from the well.
Pressure data from buildup and drawdown tests, on the other hand, provide insights into flow behavior both near the well and farther into the reservoir. The combination of pressure-transient analysis using simultaneous downhole pressure and flow-rate data along with measured production profiles provides an opportunity to reconcile near-wellbore and in-situ flow behavior.
Expansion of reservoir fluids along with formation compaction provides the current drive mechanism at Tengiz because the reservoir is undersaturated by over 8,000 psia. As the field is produced, reservoir stresses will increase in response to pressure decreases.5 Increased stresses can significantly reduce permeability if natural fractures provide the primary flow capacity in the reservoir. Wells producing at high drawdowns provide an opportunity to investigate the pressure sensitivity of fractures within the near-wellbore region.
Early interpretations of pressure-transient tests at Tengiz uncovered a significant discrepancy between buildup and drawdown permeability, despite efforts to carefully control flow rates during the tests. Drawdown permeabilities typically exceeded the buildup results by 20 to 50%. Although this finding appears counterintuitive to the expectation that drawdowns (that is, higher stresses) would lead to lower permeability, it indicated a possible stress dependence on well deliverability. The method proposed by Kabir6 to reconcile differences between drawdown and buildup results proved useful in addressing this issue.
The opportunities to collect PL and downhole pressure data at Tengiz are limited by mechanical conditions in some wells and by the requirement to meet the processing capacity of the oil and gas plant. On the other hand, accurate wellhead-pressure and flow-rate data are routinely available. Wellbore hydraulic calculations provide a basis for calculating flowing bottomhole pressures (FBHP's) with the available surface data. Calculated FBHP's can be combined with available reservoir pressure data to determine PI's for wells lacking bottomhole measurements.
The ability to compute accurate fluid properties is critical in applying this approach. Unfortunately, the black-oil correlations routinely used in wellbore hydraulic calculations7-9 do not provide reliable results for the volatile Tengiz oil. We obtained good agreement between laboratory measurements of fluid properties and calculated values using a simplified EOS.10 Surface and bottomhole data collected during PL operations provide a basis for validating wellbore hydraulic calculations.
Networks of natural fractures can dominate the producing behavior of carbonate reservoirs such as Tengiz. Early identification of fractured reservoir behavior is critical to the successful development of these types of reservoirs.11 We present an approach for resolving reservoir flow behavior by combining production profiles, pressure-transient tests, and wellbore hydraulic calculations. Furthermore, we discuss the PL procedures developed to allow acquisition of the data required for all three types of analyses in a single logging run. Field examples from Tengiz highlight the usefulness of this approach.
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