Feeling the Pulse of Drill Cuttings Injection Wells - A Case Study of Simulation, Monitoring and Verification in Alaska
- Quanxin Guo (Advantek International Corp.) | Ahmed S. Abou-Sayed (Advantek International Corp.) | Harold Robert Engel (BP Exploration Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 458 - 467
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 2.2.2 Perforating, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 2 Well Completion, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 3.2.6 Produced Water Management, 1.8 Formation Damage, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.2.2 Geomechanics, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.6.3 Pressure Transient Testing, 6.5.3 Waste Management, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 460 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 10.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 30.00|
In April 1998, a program for continuous deep disposal of drill cuttings and open pit materials was initiated on the North Slope of Alaska. This ongoing injection project is commonly referred to as GNI, or "Grind and Inject.?? Accumulated drilling cuttings and mud slurry are injected into a receptive Cretaceous soft sandstone in three wells: GNI-1, GNI-2, and GNI-3. Typical operations involve injecting slurry into one of the three wells continuously for a number of days and then switching injection to another well. The average injection rate is approximately 30,000 B/D. As of 30 September 2002, project injection has included 12.7×106 bbl of water, 30.9×106 bbl of slurry containing 2.0×106 tons or 2.2×106 cubic yards of excavated frozen reserve pit material and drilling solids, and 1.31×106 bbl of fluid from ongoing drilling operations.
Knowledge of the fate of the drilling and open-pit materials during injection is paramount to assure the safe containment of the disposed materials without harm to the environment. Numerical modeling, well testing (including step-rate and pressure-falloff testing), and logging surveys were performed periodically to assess the operational integrity of the disposal wells and to ensure the safe containment of the disposed waste slurry. The high-volume capacity of these injectors highlighted the mechanisms for slurry being accepted by multiple and branched fractures—part of the slurry went to previous fractures during subsequent batch injections.
This paper will detail how to integrate numerical simulations, well testing/monitoring, and operational data to estimate storage capacity and construct a clear representation of what was happening underground during this GNI operation. The work has implications on other large drilling-waste injection projects worldwide.
Early drill sites on the North Slope of Alaska were designed with reserve pits for surface storage of mud and cuttings from drilling operations. In 1993, the operator at the time agreed to remove the mud and cuttings from all reserve pits. Additionally, the practice of storing drilling mud and cuttings in surface reserve pits was discontinued. These waste streams are now managed as they are generated by way of injection, thus eliminating the need for surface reserve pits. The estimated total volume of reserve pit mud and cuttings to be managed by this process is over 5 million cubic yards (not including drilling mud and cuttings generated from ongoing drilling operations).
After reviewing disposal options, slurry injection was selected as the preferred disposal technique to remediate the reserve pits. While drill cuttings injection projects have been operated worldwide since the early 1990s (Abou-Sayed et al. 1989; Malachosky et al. 1991; Sirevag and Bale 1993; Moschovidis et al. 1993). They were generally small in volume. Feasibility evaluation of large scale injection of oily waste injection in Alaska started in the late 1980s (Abou-Sayed et al. 1989). This field evaluation test also included a step-rate test, in-situ stress measurements, tiltmeter monitoring of ground surface deflections, and a wellbore hydraulic impedance test (Abou-Sayed et al. 1989). Approximately 2 million bbl of slurry, containing crude oil, unused frac sand, drilling muds, unset cement, and other elements, had been injected intermittently into this well at the time of the analysis. The injection rate varied from 500 to 4,000 B/D.
|File Size||3 MB||Number of Pages||10|
Abou-Sayed, A.S. and Guo, Q. 2001. Design Considerations in DrillCuttings Re-Injection Through Downhole Fracturing. Paper SPE 72308presented at the SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference, Bahrain,22-24 October. DOI: 10.2118/72308-MS.
Abou-Sayed, A.S., Andrews, D.E., and Buhidma, I.M. 1989. Evaluation of Oily Waste InjectionBelow the Permafrost in Prudhoe Bay Field. Paper SPE 18757 presented at theSPE California Regional Meeting, Bakersfield, California, 5-7 April. DOI:10.2118/18757-MS.
Abou-Sayed, A.S., Guo, Q., Wang, G., McLennan, J.D., and Zaki, K. 2002. Challenges for Monitoring andVerification of Drill Cuttings Reinjection Performance. Paper SPE 78186presented at the SPE/ISRM Rock Mechanics Conference, Irving, Texas, 20-23October. DOI: 10.2118/78186-MS.
Abou-Sayed, A.S., Guo, Q., Meng, F., and Zaki, K. 2003. Ultimate Capacity of a Disposal Wellin Drilling Waste Injection Operations. Paper SPE/IADC 79804 presented atthe SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Amsterdam, 19-21 February. DOI:10.2118/79804-MS.
Baker, B.D., Englehardt, J.M., and Reid, J.D. 1999. Large Scale NOW/NORM Disposal ThroughSlurry Waste Injection. Paper SPE 53821 was presented at the SPE LatinAmerican and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, Caracas, 21-23 April.DOI: 10.2118/53821-MS.
Guo, Q. and Abou-Sayed, A.S. 2003. Worldwide Drill Cuttings InjectionPermitting Requirements and Guidelines. Paper SPE 80587 presented at theSPE/EPA/DOE Exploration and Production Environmental Conference, San Antonio,Texas, 10-12 March. DOI: 10.2118/80587-MS.
Guo, Q., Dutel, L.J., Wheatley, G.B., McLennan, J.D., and Black, A.D. 2000.Assurance Increased for DrillCuttings Re-Injection in the Panuke Field Canada: Case Study of ImprovedDesign. Paper IADC/SPE 59118 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference,New Orleans, 23-25 February. DOI: 10.2118/59118-MS.
Keck R.G. 2002. Drill CuttingsInjection: A Review of Major Operations and Technical Issues. Paper SPE77553 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, SanAntonio, Texas, 29 September-2 October. DOI: 10.2118/77553-MS.
Koning, E.J.L. and Niko, H. 1985. Fractured Water-Injection Wells: APressure Falloff Test for Determining Fracture Dimensions. Paper SPE 14458presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas,Nevada, 22-26 September. DOI: 10.2118/14458-MS.
Malachosky, E., Shannon, B.E., Jackson, J.E., and Aubert, W.G. 1993. Offshore Disposal of Oil-BasedDrilling-Fluid Waste: An Environmentally Acceptable Solution. SPEDC8 (4): 283-287; Trans., AIME 295. SPE-23373-PA. DOI:10.2118/23373-PA.
Moschovidis, Z.A., Gardner, D.C., Sund G.V., and Veatch, R.W. 1994. Disposal of Oily Cuttings by DownholePeriodic Fracturing Injections, Valhall, North Sea: Case Study and ModelingConcepts. SPEDC 9 (4): 256-262; Trans., AIME,297. SPE-25757-PA. DOI: 10.2118/25757-PA.
Nagel, N.B. and Strachan, K.J. 1998. Implementation of CuttingsReinjection at the Ekofisk Field. Paper SPE 47218 presented at the 1998SPE/ISRM Rock Mechanics in Petroleum Engineering Meeting, Trondheim, 8-10 July.DOI: 10.2118/47218-MS.
Odeh, A.S. and Jones, L.G. 1965. Pressure Drawdown Analysis,Variable-Rate Case. JPT 17 (8): 960-964; Trans., AIME,234. SPE-1084-PA. DOI: 10.2118/1084-PA.
Paige, R.W., Roberts, J.D.M., Murray, L.R., and Mellor, D.W. 1992. Fracture Measurement Using HydraulicImpedance Testing. Paper SPE 24824 presented at the SPE Annual TechnicalConference and Exhibition, Washington DC, 4-7 October. DOI:10.2118/24824-MS.
Schmidt, J.H., Friar, W.L., Bill M.L., and Cooper, G.D. 1999. Large-Scale Injection of North SlopeDrilling Cuttings. Paper SPE 52738 presented at the SPE/EPA Exploration andProduction Environmental Conference, Austin, Texas, 1-3 March. DOI:10.2118/52738-MS.
Sirevag, G. and Bale, A. 1993. An Improved Method for Grinding andReinjecting of Drill Cuttings. Paper SPE/IADC 25758 presented at theSPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Amsterdam, 23-25 February. DOI:10.2118/25758-MS.
van den Hoek, P.J. 2002. Pressure Transient Analysis inFractured Produced Water Injection Wells. Paper SPE 77946 presented at theSPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, Melboume, 8-10 October.DOI: 10.2118/77946-MS.
Warpinski, N.R., Branagan, P.T., Mahrer, K.D., Wolhart, S.L., andMoschovidis, Z.A. 1999. Microseismic Monitoring of the Mounds Drill CuttingsInjection Tests. Proc., 37th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, RockMechanics for Industry, ed. Bernard Amadei et al.
Willson, S.M., Rylance, M., and Last, N.C. 1993. Fracture Mechanics Issues Relating toCuttings Re-Injection at Shallow Depth. Paper SPE 25756 presented at theSPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Amsterdam, 22-25 February. DOI:10.2118/25756-MS.
Willson, S.M. et al. 1999. Laboratory investigation of Drill CuttingsDisposal by Downhole Injection. Proc., 37th U.S. Rock MechanicsSymposium, Rock Mechanics for Industry, ed. Bernard Amadei et al.
Wright, C.A., Davis, E.J., Wang, G., and Weijers, L. 1999. DownholeTiltmeter Fracture Mapping: A New Tool for Direct Measurement of HydraulicFracture Growth. Paper presented at the 37th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium,Vail, Colorado.