INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................6 ORIGIN OF PETROLEUM...............................................................................................

7 Inorganic Theories.........................................................................................................7 Deep seated terrestrial hypothesis................................................................................7 Extraterrestrial hypothesis...........................................................................................7 Problems with inorganic hypotheses............................................................................8 Generation of crude oil................................................................................................13 Generation of Natural Gas..........................................................................................14 CHEMISTRY OF PETROLEUM....................................................................................15 Introduction:................................................................................................................15 Hydrocarbons ..............................................................................................................15 Paraffin Series............................................................................................................16 Unsaturated Hydrocarbons.........................................................................................18 Naphthene Hydrocarbons...........................................................................................19 Aromatic Hydrocarbons ............................................................................................19 Types of Crude Oils.....................................................................................................20 Paraffin-based Crude Oils..........................................................................................20 Asphaltic Based Crude Oils.......................................................................................20 Mixed Base Crude Oils..............................................................................................21 Natural Gas ..................................................................................................................21 PETROLEUM GEOLOGY..............................................................................................22 The Rock Cycle............................................................................................................22 The 3 basic types of rocks............................................................................................25 Igneous Rocks...............................................................................................................25 Texture.......................................................................................................................26 Composition...............................................................................................................26 Sedimentary Rocks......................................................................................................27 Clastic sedimentary rocks: ........................................................................................28 Sandstone...................................................................................................................28 Conglomerate.............................................................................................................28 Shale...........................................................................................................................29 Clays..........................................................................................................................29 Bentonite....................................................................................................................30 Chemical sedimentary rocks: ....................................................................................30 Organic sedimentary rocks........................................................................................30 Metamorphic Rocks.....................................................................................................31 The Geological Time Scale .........................................................................................31 GEOLOGICAL FEATURES............................................................................................34

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Reservoir Rock ............................................................................................................34 Traps .............................................................................................................................34 Anticline Trap............................................................................................................35 Fault trap....................................................................................................................35 Thrust Fault................................................................................................................36 Salt Dome Trap .........................................................................................................38 Stratigraphic Trap.......................................................................................................38 PETROLEUM RESERVOIRS.........................................................................................40 Reservoir Properties ...................................................................................................40 Permeability..................................................................................................................40 Darcy’s Equation for linear incompressible fluid flow..............................................41 Porosity and hydraulic conductivity..........................................................................43 Sorting and porosity..........................................................................................................43 Types of porosity........................................................................................................43 Measuring Porosity....................................................................................................43 Water Saturation..........................................................................................................44 Determining Fluids in Place .......................................................................................45 PETROLEUM RESERVES DEFINITIONS..................................................................46 Proved Reserves...........................................................................................................47 Unproved Reserves......................................................................................................48 Probable Reserves......................................................................................................48 Possible Reserves.......................................................................................................49 Reserve Status Categories...........................................................................................49 Developed Reserves...................................................................................................49 Producing Reserves....................................................................................................50 Non-producing Reserves............................................................................................50 Undeveloped Reserves...............................................................................................50 SURFACE EXPLORATION METHODS.......................................................................51 Field Reconnaissance...................................................................................................51 Aerial surveys ..............................................................................................................51 Surface Geochemical Analysis ...................................................................................51 GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION..................................................................................52 Seismic Surveys............................................................................................................53 Seismic Section .........................................................................................................53

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Seismic data acquisition ............................................................................................54 Seismic data processing ............................................................................................55 Marine Seismic acquisition.........................................................................................56 Seismic records and the synthetic seismogram..........................................................57 Gravity Surveys............................................................................................................62 Magnetic Surveys.........................................................................................................63 STRUCTURE CONTOUR MAPPING............................................................................65 Rules for Construction...............................................................................................67 Example.....................................................................................................................67 Subsurface Exploration Methods....................................................................................69 Rock Cuttings...............................................................................................................69 Reservoir Fluid Samples..............................................................................................69 Mud Logs......................................................................................................................69 Cores..............................................................................................................................70 Well Logs...........................................................................................................................71 The Spontaneous Potential (SP) log...........................................................................71 TheResistivity log.........................................................................................................77 The "Porosity" logs......................................................................................................80 Drill Stem Testing.........................................................................................................86 Appraisal Wells............................................................................................................86 Reservoir Development Plan............................................................................................87 Development Wells.......................................................................................................87 Producing Wells.........................................................................................................87 Injection Wells...........................................................................................................88 Reservoir Pressure Control........................................................................................88 Observation Wells......................................................................................................89 The Drilling Process.........................................................................................................90 Rigging up.....................................................................................................................91 Blowout prevention....................................................................................................94 Drilling..........................................................................................................................94 Well Completion...........................................................................................................96 Casing String and Design Factors..............................................................................96 Conductor Pipe...........................................................................................................97 The Surface String.....................................................................................................98 Intermediate String ....................................................................................................98 The Production String................................................................................................98 Production Choke.......................................................................................................98 3

..................................................................101 Conventional Single Zone Completion..........................109 Productivity Index.............................................................110 Flow Efficiency...............113 Gas Lift..................101 Well Completion..........................................................................112 Artificial Lift...................................116 Beam Pumping................................................................................................................................................................117 Electric Submersible Pump..................................................................................119 PCP System Applications...........................................................................99 Primary Cementing ............102 Open Hole Completion.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................108 Production EQUATIONS........104 Casing Gun Perforating..................103 Tubingless Completion...............................................................................................................104 Wellheads...........................................................................................................................................107 Tubing Conveyed Perforating...........................109 Inflow Performance Relationship ....................................................................................................................................123 4 .....................................................110 Darcy Equation for Radial Flow........120 Reservoir Development Practices......................................................................................122 Gas-Cap Drive..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................107 Through tubing perforating...............................................................................................................................115 Plunger Lift...................................122 Primary Recovery ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................Running the casing............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................114 Continuous Gas lift...................................................................................................................................118 Progressive Cavity Pump ............................................................................................................122 Dissolved Gas Drive..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................115 Intermittent Gas Lift............................................................103 Tubing...............................................................................................................121 Hydrocarbon Recovery Mechanisms..................................102 Single Zone Cased Hole Completion..........................................................................................................................................................110 Formation Damage and skin factor............116 Advantages of plunger lift........................................................................102 Conventional Multiple Completion..........................................100 Squeeze Cementing...............................................................................................................................104 Packers.....

.........137 5 ..........................................................................................................................................123 Secondary Recovery..................................................................................................................................................................................................................135 Gas Wells................................................................................................................................................................129 Recovery Efficiencies.........................................132 Acid Fracturing ....................................................................................................................................134 Oil Well Surface Processing System ...............................................................................................................................................................................................131 Gravel packing..........................................133 Processing of Produced Fluids................................................125 Miscible Processes...............................................128 Other EOR Processes...........................................132 Hydraulic Fracturing.....................................................123 Water Flood.....Water Drive..............................137 Gas Well Surface Processing System.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................130 REMEDIAL WELL WORK........................................131 Acidising...................................124 Gas –Cap Injection.....................................125 Thermal Processes.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................125 Enhanced Recovery......................127 Chemical Processes...................................133 Oil Wells........................................................................................................................................................

This “oil of rock”. but the reward of success can be great. When the price is up. resulting in high world demand for crude oil. resulting in ridiculously high prices. The general trend is to be reactionary to commodity prices. Processes include generation. with increasing demand. hoping to reap the rewards. Just a couple years ago. migration and trapping mechanisms.INTRODUCTION With the current oil prices in the $60US range. Crude oil remains a commodity in demand. All of the above require experts who build careers in the various fields. companies react and scale down their drilling and downsize their operations. and hence services such as rig rental are cheap. some companies sold oil (heavy crude) at less than $10 US per barrel (bottled water may have fetched a higher price). Problems experienced in “winning” the petroleum also lie in the same range. exploration. migration. When the price of oil is down. Gasoline and fuel oil still remain prime fuels. is found and produced from formations as shallow as a couple hundred feet to depths as deep at 3 miles beneath the earth’s surface. 6 . The challenge to companies is how to find and produce crude oil and natural gas. accumulation. transforming companies. nations and individuals into multi-millionaires in a short space of time. These processes are costly and high risk. A company can reap the benefits of proper planning by drilling when the price of crude oil is low. development and production phases. capturing the markets at an opportune time when the prices are attractive. Technololgies employed range from simple to very complex. Through the process of generation. resulting in higher production rates when the price rebounds. non-technical participants will be able to understand and appreciate the various processes that are involved in the production of petroleum for sale to the customer. waiting to be discovered by some innovative explorationist. This course seeks to trace the life petroleum from birth (generation) to the point of sales. As a result some companies switched their focus to natural gas. Petroleum is a non-renewable commodity and the next generation may well experience shortages in supply. At the end of this course. petroleum accumulates in the sub strata. they do the opposite. with alternative sources of energy still lagging way behind. the cyclic interest in the petroleum industry has heightened once again. in the timeliest fashion. as the name indicates. in the most cost effective way. The petroleum industry continues to attract individuals and companies who accept the challenge to take risk.

Sokoloff proposed a cosmic origin for petroleum.ORIGIN OF PETROLEUM There are two basic schools of thought surrounding the formation of petroleum deep within the earth’s strata. He reasoned that metallic carbides deep within Earth reacted with water at high temperatures to form acetylene (C2H2). Their theory was that the mantle of the earth contained iron carbide which would react with percolating water to form methane: FeC2 + 2H2O = CH4 + FeO2 The problem with this theory is the lack of evidence for the existence of iron carbide in the mantle. Inorganic Theories Deep seated terrestrial hypothesis From as early as 1877. In 1890. There is the more widely accepted organic theory and the not so popular inorganic theory. a Russian who developed the periodic table. The hydrocarbons were then ejected from earth's interior onto surface rocks. Dmitri Mendele'ev. Interest in this inorganic theory heightened in the 20th Century as a result of two discoveries: The existence of carbonaceous chondrites (meteorites) and the discovery that 7 . This theory was modified by Berthelot in 1860 and by Mendele'ev in 1902. This reaction can be easily performed under laboratory conditions. These theories are referred to as the deep-seated terrestrial hypothesis. This acetylene condensed to form heavier hydrocarbons. Extraterrestrial hypothesis. His theory was that hydrocarbons precipitated as rain from original nebular matter from which the solar system was formed. postulated an inorganic origin when it became apparent that there were widespread deposits of petroleum throughout the world.

isobutane). with methane (CH4) the most common. 1963) of a type of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites. but as high as 15% have been recorded. Morton. 1962) containing gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons (90% methane. ammonia. 1964). and Cooper. but the occurrences are rare and the volumes of accumulated oil (pools) are low. And thirdly. 1963) emanating from volcanoes. Gaseous hydrocarbons have been recorded (White and Waring. The only known source for methane would be through inorganic reactions. Other problematic issues: Commercial accumulations are restricted to sedimentary basins. propane. But the large pools are absent from igneous rocks. hydrogen and water vapor which could result is the creation of an oily. traces of ethane. It has been postulated that the original atmosphere of earth contained methane. congealed magma has been found on the Kola Peninsula in Russia (Petersil'ye. waxy surface layer that may have been host to a variety of developing prebiotic compounds including the precursors of life as a result of photochemical reactions (due to UV radiation). Problems with inorganic hypotheses. congealed magma. The discovery (Mueller. Similar reasoning applies to other celestial bodies. Volumes are generally less than 1%.atmospheres containing methane exists for some celestial bodies such as Saturn. The chief support of an inorganic origin is that the hydrocarbons methane. there should be large amounts of hydrocarbons emitted from volcanoes. Jupiter. in other words. For example. Chondritic meteorites contain greater than 6% organic matter (not graphite) and traces of various hydrocarbons including amino acids. and benzene have repeatedly been made from inorganic sources. Where commercial accumulations do occur. ethane. Titan. yet there is mounting evidence for an organic origin. there is no direct evidence that will show whether the source of the organic material in the chondritic meteorites is the result of a truly inorganic origin or was in an original parent material which was organically created. there is no field evidence that inorganic processes have occurred in nature. Paraffinic hydrocarbons have also been found in other igneous rocks (Evans. acetylene. and other igneous rocks if an inorganic origin is the primary methodology for the creation of hydrocarbons. Secondly. the hydrocarbons probably formed in the sedimentary sequence and migrated into the igneous material (more on this later when we discuss traps). also led to a renewed interest in an inorganic mechanism for creating organic compounds. Firstly. 8 . they are in igneous rocks that have intruded into or are overlain by sedimentary materials. Conclusion: There are unquestioned instances of indigenous magmatic oil.

and hydrocarbons are continually produced by the life processes of plants and animals. Furthermore. Presence of porphyrins also mean that anaerobic conditions must have developed early in the formation process because porphyrins are easily and rapidly oxidized and decompose under aerobic conditions. temperatures in the deeper petroleum reservoirs seldom exceed 300oF (141oC) . Nearly all petroleum occurs in sediments that are primarily of marine origin. Finally. this is based on more recent oil discoveries in Pliocene sediments. Nitrogen and porphyrins (chlorophyll derivatives in plants. Moreover. Organic Theory: There are a number of compelling reasons that support an organic development hypothesis. hydrogen.petroleum seeps and accumulations are absent from igneous and metamorphic rocks. But temperatures never exceeded 392oF (200oC) where porphyrins are present because they are destroyed above this temperature. A major breakthrough occurred when it was discovered that hydrocarbons and related compounds occur in many living organisms and are deposited in the sediments with little or no change. Thus there is a high probability that petroleum originates within an anaerobic and reducing environment. Thus current theory holds that most petroleum is formed by the thermal maturation of organic matter . Third were observations dealing with the physical characteristics. blood derivatives in animals) are found in all organic matter. and gas chromatography can fingerprint the organic matter in shales to that found in the adjacent pool. However. First and foremost. Additionally. time requirements may be less than 1MM years. physical conditions on the Earth may have been different in the geologic past and therefore it may have taken considerably more time to develop liquid petroleum. Petroleum contained in nonmarine sediments probably migrated into these areas from marine source materials located nearby. 9 . Second were observations dealing with the chemical characteristics of petroleum reservoirs. carbon. is the carbon-hydrogen-organic matter connection. Therefore the origin of petroleum is most likely a low-temperature phenomenon. both plant and animal. Carbon and Hydrogen are the primary constituents of organic material. they are also found in many petroleums. low Oxygen content also implies a reducing environment.An Organic Origin generated the vast reserves (pools) of oil and gas.

the ocean contains so many of them that over 95% of living matter in the ocean is plankton. 10 .primarily marine plankton. Simply stated. 1 & 1A). The organic theory became the accepted theory about the turn of the century as the oil and gas industry began to fully develop and geologists were exploring for new deposits. the organic theory holds that the carbon and hydrogen necessary for the formation of oil and gas were derived from early marine life forms living on the Earth during the geologic past -.Figure 1A Organic Hypothesis . Although plankton are microscopic. The Sun's energy provides energy for all living things including plankton and other forms of marine life (Fig.Summary.

As these early life forms died. buckled. Successive layers of organic-rich mud and silt covered preceding layers of organic rich sediments and over time created layers on the sea floor rich in the fossil remains of previous life (Fig. the liquid petroleum flowed upward 11 . broken. pressure) slowly converted the organic matter into oil and gas. Add more geologic time and the layers were deformed. and uplifted. Add additional geologic time (millions of years) and the organic rich sediments were converted into layers of rocks. 3). heat. their remains were captured by the processes of erosion and sedimentation (Fig 2). Thermal maturation processes (decay.

which are deposited with the organic materials introduced by the streams and rivers. according to the organic theory. take place between the deposition of the organic remains and the creation of the end product. gas) is: Petroleum End Product = ([Raw Material + Accumulation + Transformation + Migration] + Geologic Time) Petroleum. where they are deposited under deltaic. Temperature. As deposition of the organic material takes place in these environments. These factors result from depth. burial and protection by clay and silt accompany it. transformation. Accumulation of organic and clastic material on a sea or lake bottom is accompanied by bacterial action. temperature and thermal alteration and degradation. 4). This prevents decomposition of the organic material and allows it to accumulate. appears to be the most important criterion. Plant and animal remains contain abundant carbon and hydrogen. The hydrocarbons are of the same type as those found in living plants and animals and consist of asphalt. These rocks are not reservoir rocks and could be considered ultimately to be source beds. as thermogenic activity. It is assisted by pressure caused by burial. radioactivity and catalysis. Thus changes. The basic formula for the creation of petroleum (oil. These environments produce their own microscopic plant and animal life. which are fundamental elements in petroleum. aerobic bacteria act upon the organic matter and destroy it. If there is abundant oxygen. gas) differ somewhat from those we find in living things. is the product of altered organic material derived from the microscopic plant and animal life. kerogen and liquid 12 . some bacterial action in a closed nonoxidising chemical system. Conversion of the organic material is called catagenesis. with assistance other factors as applicable. lacustrine and marine conditions with finely divided clastic sediments. Shale and some carbonates contain organic material that bears hydrocarbons of types similar to those in petroleum. But the chemistry of the hydrocarbons found in the end product (oil.through porous rock until it became trapped and could flow no further forming the oil and gas reservoirs that we explore for at present (Fig. which are carried in great volumes by streams and rivers to lakes or the sea.

The best source rocks are considered to be organically rich. is a function of depth and increases 1 psi for each foot of depth. like temperature. quiet marine environment.000 feet under average heat-flow conditions. deposited in a non-oxidising. Maturation studies on various crude oil types indicate that temperatures required to produce oil occur between the depth of approximately 5. is thermally altered kerogen. kerogen is developed by the increasing temperature in the closed system.5 oF for each 100 feet of depth. high molecular weight. As alteration occurs. black-coloured shales. Temperature increases with depth. Pressure. Normal heat flow within the earth’s crust produces an average geothermal gradient of approximately 1.000 feet and 20. according to some researchers. Kerogen is an insoluble. Pressure is caused by the weight of the sedimentary overburden. Generation of crude oil Rock Mineral material 99% Organic Material 1% Organic Material Kerogen 90% Bitumens 10% Figure 5 – Organic composition in shales Organic material in shale averages approximately one (1) percent of the shale rock volume. polymeric compound which comprises about 90 percent of the organic material in shale.forms. The remaining 10 percent comprises bitumens of varying composition. 13 . which. Clay mineral constituents comprise the remaining 99 percent.

Thermal conversion of kerogen to bitumen is the important process of crude oil formation. As kerogen thermally matures and increases in carbon content.000 feet under anaerobic or conditions associated with high rates of marine sediment accumulation. Thermal alteration increases the carbon content of the migratable hydrocarbons. Biogenic gas forms at low temperatures at overburden depths of less than 3. And before reduction of sulfates in the system. forms after the sulfates are eliminated by hydrogen reduction of carbon dioxide. Methane. It contains methane and significantly larger amounts of heavier hydrocarbons than biogenic gas. Anaerobic oxidation of carbon dioxide produces methane. Current estimates suggest that approximately 20 percent of the world’s known natural gas is biogenic. Thermogenic gas forms at significantly higher temperatures and overburden pressures. which eventually become biogenic gas. progressively lighter hydrocarbons form as wet gas and condensate in the latter stages of thermogenesis.Bacterial action is important in the conversion of organic material to petroleum at shallow depths. Kerogen is a primary factor in forming bitumens that increase and migrate to accumulate as crude oil. It is involved in the process of breaking down the original material into hydrocarbon compounds. As time and temperature increase. Oxygen in the sediments is consumed or eliminated early. the most common of natural gas constituents. which is representative of a higher coal rank. Generation of Natural Gas Natural gas comprises biogenic gas and thermogenic gas with differences contingent upon conditions of origin. it changes from an immature light greenish-yellow color to an overmature black. Maturation of kerogen is a function of increased burial and temperature and is accompanied by chemical changes. 14 . which leaves the unmigratable kerogen components behind.

Second. 15 . Two atoms of hydrogen and an atom of oxygen (which made up the molecule) on their own have none of the characteristics of water. which still retains the characteristics of that substance. Those with up to 4 carbon atoms are gaseous. the more carbon atoms its molecules contain) the closer it is to being a solid and this may be especially noticeable as its temperature cools. First. The heavier a crude oil (i.which are different elements. or solid at normal temperature and pressure. such as: gasoline. therefore: hydrocarbons. liquid.e. those in between are liquid. fuel oil. Light oils will remain liquid even at very low temperatures. all molecules of water are identical and have the characteristics of water. kerosene propane. Crude oils are mixtures of many different substances. from which various petroleum products are derived. Although hydrocarbons consist of two elements only (carbon and hydrogen). there are physical processes which simply refine the crude oil (without altering its molecular structure) into useful products such as lubricating oil or fuel oil. there are chemical or other processes which alter the molecular structure and produce a wide range of products. some of them known by the general term petrochemicals. Crude oils are liquid but may contain gaseous or solid compounds (or both) in solution. Molecules can only be divided into atoms . The hydrocarbons may be classified according to their composition (type and number of atoms) and the structure (arrangements of atoms in space) of the molecule. naphtene and aromatic types. Refining crude oil involves two kinds of processes to produce the products so essential to modern society. depending on the number and arrangement of the carbon atoms in their molecules. those with 20 or more are solid. they exist in a wide variety of types and in large numbers. This arises from the ability of carbon atoms to form long chains. wax. and asphalt. Hydrocarbons Hydrocarbons may be gaseous. These substances are mainly compounds of only two elements: carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). For example. lubricating oil. is called a molecule. They are called. often difficult to separate. unsaturated.CHEMISTRY OF PETROLEUM Introduction: The smallest unit of a substance. Hydrocarbons are usually classified in the paraffin.

or a ring. The simplest hydrocarbon is methane.Paraffin Series This series. a branched chain. A hydrogen atom has only one bond and can never unite with more than one other atom. The first three members of the paraffin series methane. The larger hydrocarbon molecules have two or more carbon atoms joined to one another as well as to hydrogen atoms. 16 . The carbon atoms may link together in a straight chain. a gas consisting of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms: Figure 6 – Molecular structure of methane A carbon atom has four bonds that can unite with either one or more other carbon atoms (a property almost unique to carbon) or with atoms of other elements. is characterized by the fact that the carbon atoms are arranged in open chains (not closed rings) and are joined by single bonds. The hydrocarbons of the paraffin type are thus saturated (single bonds only between carbon atoms) and have the general formula CnH2n+2. propane and butane respectively have a single structural formula. also known as alkane series.

known as isomerism. shown below. An example of a branched chain. has a strong impact on the thermodynamic properties of the hydrocarbons.Examples include: Propane (C3H8). Figure 7 – Molecular structure of propane The remaining members may have two or more structural formulas for the same chemical formula. a straight chain molecule. Isobutane (C4H10). is shown below: Figure 7 – Molecular structure of Isobutane 17 . The phenomenon.

Another series of unsaturated hydrocarbons is known as diolefins. Natural gas consists mainly of the more volatile members of the paraffin series containing from one to four carbon atoms per molecule. they give off large amounts of heat and under proper conditions. The first three members (n=1…4) of this series. The first three members of this series (n=2…4) are ethine (commonly called acetylene). The reaction with oxygen occurs only at elevated temperatures. However. not only due to the branching of the carbon chains.1 oF. A third series of unsaturated hydrocarbons of considerable importance is the acetylene series. ethene. propine and butine. The paraffin series are characterized by their chemical inertness. Hence they are isomers with the diolefins. The general formula for the series is CnH2n-2. They are characterized by the fact that there are two double bonds in the molecule. The compounds have a triple bond and general formula CnH2n -2 . which explains the name unsaturated. this combustion is explosive. Unsaturated Hydrocarbons The unsaturated hydrocarbons are characterized by the presence of double or triple bonds between the carbon atoms. The members of the paraffin series are very important constituents of crude oil. 18 . The inertness of the paraffin hydrocarbons accounts for their presence in petroleum since their existence for geological periods of time would require a high degree of stability.Isobutene has a boiling point of 109 oF while normal butane boils at 31. but also to the position of the double bond in the molecule. They will not react with concentrated sulphuric or nitric acid at room temperature. propylene and butylene. when ignited on the presence of air or oxygen. under appropriate conditions. propene and butene are now commonly referred to using their traditional names ethylene. Isomerism occurs also with the olefins. The olefin series of hydrocarbons is characterized by the presence of a double bond in the molecule and has the general formula CnH2n. Some crude oils are largely composed of hydrocarbons of this series while others contain them to a lesser extent. The multiple bonds allow the addition of hydrogen atoms.

This structure is so common in organic compounds that chemists use a hexagon with a circle in the middle as a special symbol to represent the benzene molecule. they are formed in large amounts in petroleum cracking processes and have considerable industrial importance. Because of their high reactivity. These compounds. hence the name olefins (oil forming). this is not so and. they are saturated hydrocarbons in which the carbon chains form closed rings. Benzene has the formula C6H6. these unsaturated hydrocarbons are not found in crude oil to any great extent. However. also known as toluene.Figure 8 – Molecular structure of Ethine The unsaturated hydrocarbons are very reactive. Under the proper conditions they react rapidly with hydrogen. and the structure consists of a six-fold ring. the chemical properties of these hydrocarbons are very similar to those of the paraffins. being saturated. The first members of this series (n=3…6) are cyclopropane. methylbenzene. is of sufficient importance to warrant a common name. although they are not as stable as the paraffins. They react rapidly with chlorine to form oily liquids . However. they do not show the high reactivity that is so characteristic of the 19 . Aromatic Hydrocarbons These hydrocarbons are also cyclic and may be considered to be derivatives of benzene and have general formula CnH2n-6 (n greater than 5). Some of the simpler members of this series consist of benzene with one or more alkyl groups as side chains. Naphthene Hydrocarbons The naphthene hydrocarbons are also called cycloparaffins and. and so on. In general. cyclobutane and cyclohexane. as ther name implies. The general formula for this series is CnH2n (n greater than 2) and consequently they are isometric with the olefins. in contrast with the members of the paraffin series. They are named by placing the prefix cyclo before the names of the corresponding paraffin hydrocarbon. The fact that the benzene ring contains three double bonds suggests that the members of this series should be very reactive. An example. which saturates the double bonds and forms the corresponding paraffin. with alternate single and double bonds. are relatively stable and are important constituents of crude oil.

Asphaltic Based Crude Oils Contain large proportions of asphaltic matter. according to the nature of the hydrocarbons they contain. The variations may even influence its suitability for certain products and the quality of those products. Crudes are roughly classified into three groups. and in the properties they contain. Figure 9 – Molecular structure of Aromatics The aromatic hydrocarbons are either liquids or solids under standard conditions of temperature and pressure. 20 . mean that a crude is more or less easy to produce. Types of Crude Oils Crude oils vary widely in appearance and viscosity from field to field.olefins. They range in colour. but little or no asphaltic (bituminous) matter. They can produce high-grade lubricating oils. pipeline. odour. especially the variations in molecular structure. hencr the name aromatic given to this series. Petroleum is one of the important sources of these important hydrocarbons. Compounds of this series do occur in crude oil. While all crude oils are essentially hydrocarbons. and little or no paraffin. Paraffin-based Crude Oils These contain higher molecular weight paraffins which are solid at room temperature. Many of the members of this series are characterized by fragrant odors. the differences in properties. Some are predominantly naphthenes so yield a lubricating oil that is more sensitive to temperature changes than the paraffin-base crudes. Benzene is a colorless liquid with as boiling point of 176oF. and refine.

It consists mainly of the more volatile members of the paraffin series containing from one to four carbon atoms per molecule. Volatile oil : Natural Gas Natural gas can occur by itself or in conjunction with liquid crude oils . (Rs) less than 2. the percentage of which may be as high as 98 percent. Natural gas can be classified as sweet and sour and as wet or dry.000 scf/bbl 21 . A sour gas is one that contains appreciable amounts of hydrogen sulphide or carbon dioxide. nitrogen.2.0 Table 1 – Composition of typical Crude Oil Classification of crude oils based on Gas Oil Ratio: Black Oil . hydrogen sulphide. (Rs) greater than 2. Most natural gases consist predominantly of methane. In addition.1 . helium and water vapour.000 scf/bbl solution GOR. and consequently can be quite corrosive. Nearly all crude oils will give ultimate analyses within the limits shown below: Element Content (% in weight) Carbon Hydrogen Sulphur Nitrogen Oxygen 84 .87 11 . nitrogen and sulphur.14 0. Most crudes fit this category. solution GOR.0 0.1 .06 . Crude oils usually contain small amounts of combined oxygen. Both paraffins and naphthenes are present. as well as aromatic hydrocarbons. natural gases may contain varying amounts of carbon dioxide.4.2.Mixed Base Crude Oils The "gray area" between the two types above.0 0. Crude oils obtained from various localities have widely different characteristics indicating that the hydrocarbons have different properties.

2 1.5 0.4 0. krypton.5 0.005 Trace 96 2 0.The designation wet gas has nothing to do with the presence of water vapour but signifies that the gas will yield appreciable quantities of liquid hydrocarbons with proper treatment.1 0.18 0.6 6.01 0.08 Table 2 – Composition of typical Natural Gas Classification of natural gas based on Condensate/Gas Ratio: Gas/condensate : Dry gas: gas/condensate ratio greater than 5 stb/million scf gas/condensate ratio less than 5 stb/million scf PETROLEUM GEOLOGY The Rock Cycle 22 . This is due to the fact that hydrocarbons form solid hydrates with water at high pressure and low temperature.4 5.1 0.05 0.14 0. often present in natural gas and sometimes causes stoppages in high pressure gas lines during cold weather.12 0.2 0.4 0.6 0. however. Typical Compositions of wet and dry natural gas: Constituents Content (% in volume) Wet Dry Hydrocarbons Methane Ethane Propane Isobutane n-Butane Isopentane n-Pentane Hexanes Heptanes Non-hydrocarbons Carbon Dioxide Helium Hydrogen Sulphide Nitrogen Argon Radon.06 0. xenon 84. Water vapour is.3 1.4 0.

Although such temperatures would normally melt iron. transforming one rock type to another. the elements that make up rocks are never created or destroyed although they can be redistributed.500 miles in diameter.A mass of molten iron about 1. This process is referred to as erosion. parts of this layer become hot enough to liquify and become slow moving molten rock or magma. 3. The sediments are deposited in layers and become compacted and cemented (lithified) forming sedimentary rocks. pressure.425 miles deep that surrounds the solid inner core.A mass of iron with a temperature of about 7000 degrees F. water and gravity and eventually deposited as sediments. Liquid (molten) rock material solidifies either at or below the surface of the earth to form igneous rocks . Electrical currents generated from this area produce the earth's magnetic field. metamorphic rocks (or any other rock type for that matter) may be partially melted resulting in the creation once again of igneous rocks starting the cycle all over again. However. and/or the chemistry of the rock can cause chemical and/or physical changes in igneous and sedimentary rocks to form metamorphic rocks. 2. 4. The exposure of rocks to weathering and erosion at the earth's surface breaks them down into smaller grains producing soil. The grains (soil) are transported by wind.There are four main layers that make up the earth: 1. The core. 23 . The inner core is approximately 1.A layer from 4-25 miles thick consisting of sand and rock. immense pressure on it keeps it in a solid form. Variation in temperature. Mantle . Uplifting occurs forming mountains made of rock. The recycling machine works something like this. Crust . mantle and crust of the earth can be envisioned as a giant rock recycling machine.A rock layer about 1.750 miles thick that reaches about half the distance to the center of the earth. When exposed to higher temperatures. Outer Core . Inner Core .

it begins forming ridges adjacent to it. As shown in the figure. or crystallizes to form plutonic igneous rocks. we see that igneous rocks form on the sea floor as spreading ridges.molten material from inside the earth often breaks through the floor of the ocean and flows from fissures where it is cooled by the water resulting in the formation of igneous rocks. high temperature conditions cause partial melting of the crustal slab. As the molten material flows from the fissure.Figure 10 – Rock Cycle As you might expect . Some low grade metamorphism often occurs during and after the formation of the rock due to the intrusion of the material by the magma. the oceanic plate eventually "dives" under the adjacent continental plate.since most of the earth's surface is covered by water . As the rocks cool. as depicted in figure 10 above. the surrounding "country rock" (existing adjacent rock) is metamorphosed at high temperature conditions by the contact. in this case. If we examine the rock cycle in terms of plate tectonics. As the oceanic plate travels deeper. and acquires a sediment cover. The molten material is either driven to the surface as volcanic eruptions. 24 . the plate is forced away from the spreading ridge. and more magma is introduced from below. When that occurs.

sedimentary and metamorphic rocks: Figure 11 – Types of rocks Igneous Rocks Igneous rocks are crystalline solids. They are igneous. Granite. Each mineral forms a characteristic type of crystal. is composed of three main minerals. the well known igneous rock.The 3 basic types of rocks. White=Feldspar. This is an exothermic process (it loses heat) and involves a phase change from the liquid to the solid state. which form directly from the cooling of magma. all of which look different and can be clearly seen in a sample. Grey =Quartz 25 . all rocks can be put into one of three fundamentally different types of rocks. Figure 12 . Mica and Feldspar. For example. Just as any person can be put into one of two main categories of human being. Quartz.The three main minerals in granite Black=Mica.

there are innumerable intermediate stages to confuse the issue.The size of the crystals is usually determined by the speed at which the molten rock material cools.at least at the surface where our planet is exposed to the coldness of space. The earth is made of igneous rock . Obviously. In most cases. Quick cooling produces small crystals. Grain size can vary greatly. Igneous rocks are given names based upon two things: composition (what they are made of) and texture (how big the crystals are). Composition The other factor is composition: the elements in the magma directly affect which minerals are formed when the magma cools. Magmas associated with crustal spreading are generally mafic. Texture Texture relates to how large the individual mineral grains are in the final. the slower the cooling. Many different types of igneous rocks can be produced. The key factors to use in determining which rock you have are the rock's texture and composition. Basalt is an example. Fine grained rocks. the resulting grain size depends on how quickly the magma cooled. This allows the differentiation process to continue. are called aphanitic. and are said to exist in "magma chambers. down to glassy material which cooled so quickly that there are no mineral grains at all. It is important to remember that basalt and gabbro are two different rocks based purely on textural differences ." in that they cooled at depth in the crust where they were insulated by layers of rock and sediment. Magmas occur at depth in the crust. The most common glassy rock is obsidian. and produce basalt if the magma erupts at the surface. or gabbro if the magma never makes it out of the magma chamber. the larger the crystals in the final rock. In general. but there are countless intermediate compositions. slow cooling produces larger crystals. Coarse grain varieties (with mineral grains large enough to see without a magnifying glass) are called phaneritic. and the pressure is low enough to allow the material to expand and exist in the liquid state. Fine grained rocks are called "extrusive" and are generally produced through volcanic eruptions. The composition of igneous magmas is directly related to where the magma is formed. solid rock. and 26 .they are compositionally the same. In these areas. from extremely coarse grained rocks with crystals the size of your fist. we assume that coarse grained igneous rocks are "intrusive. Intermediate and felsic magmas are associated with crustal compression and subduction. Again. we will describe the extremes." a rather loose term indicating an area where the temperature is great enough to melt the rock. where it re-melts. Granite and gabbro are examples of phaneritic igneous rocks. where the individual grains are too small to see. rock and sediment from the surface is subducted back into the crust. Because of this.

some kind of Earth movement has occurred since the rock was formed. Most sedimentary rocks become cemented together by minerals and chemicals or are held together by electrical attraction. and sedimentary rocks show this fact by their appearance and the minerals they contain. some. the final purified result of the differentiation process. Felsic magmas.the resulting magma is enriched in the lighter elements. either in water or on land. Sedimentary Rocks Figure 13 – Sedimentary Rock Sedimentary rocks are formed at the surface of the Earth. or animal or plant material. Compacted and dried mud flats harden into shale. Sand and gravel on beaches or in river bars. if they are at high angles to the surface or are twisted or broken. Scuba divers who have seen mud and shells settling on the floors of lagoons find it easy to understand how sedimentary rocks form. lead to the formation of granite (intrusive) or rhyolite (extrusive). because they are often the result of the accumulation of small pieces broken off of pre-existing rocks. Intermediate magmas produce diorite (intrusive) and andesite (extrusive). minerals. They are layered accumulations of sediments-fragments of rocks. Temperatures and pressures are low at the Earth's surface. look like the sandstone and conglomerate they will become. The layers are normally parallel or nearly parallel to the Earth's surface. Sedimentary rocks are forming around us all the time. Sedimentary rocks are called secondary. however. remain loose and unconsolidated. 27 .

Sandstones are typically white. called porosity. If the fragments embedded in the matrix are angular instead of rounded. cliffs. arches. Sandstone Figure 14 – Sandstone rocks Sandstone is composed of mineral grains (commonly quartz) cemented together by silica. rapids. the rock is called a breccia (pronounced BRECH-i-a). brown. iron oxide. and cemented with silica. this property. cobbles. or calcium carbonate. Most sandstones feel gritty. 28 . and some are easily crushed (friable) and break up to form sand.There are three main types of sedimentary rocks: Clastic sedimentary rocks: Clastic sedimentary rocks are accumulations of clasts: little pieces of broken up rock which have piled up and been "lithified" by compaction and cementation. The rock fragments are rounded from being rolled along a stream bed or a beach during transportation. Sandstones are very resistant to erosion and form bluffs. gray. or calcium carbonate. Conglomerate Conglomerate is a sedimentary rock usually composed of rounded quartz pebbles. ridges. and waterfalls. The red and brown sandstone is colored by iron oxide impurities. and boulders surrounded by a matrix of sand and finer material. or red. Sandstones have pore spaces between each grain of sand. makes them good reservoirs for oil and natural gas. iron oxide.

Shale may be any color.Figure 15 -Conglomerate Rock Shale Figure 16 . Shales weather very easily to form mud and clay. Plasticity enables the clay 29 . It is composed primarily of soft clay minerals. The physical properties of a clay are plasticity. strength. It is relatively soft and has a smooth. greasy feel when freshly exposed. calcareous material. but may include variable amounts of organic matter. and quartz grains. Clays The term "clay" is applied to various earthy materials composed dominantly of hydrous aluminum magnesium silicate minerals. Most shales split into thin plates or sheets and are termed fissile. but is generally greenish gray to grayish black. The most familiar characteristic of clay is plasticity or the ability of moist clay to be fashioned into a desired shape. but others are massive (nonfissile) and break into irregular blocks. but is hard and brittle when dry.Shales Shale is the most abundant of all sedimentary rocks. and refractoriness.

especially to prevent pond leakage. • • • • • It looks like bits of other rocks stuck together. There are no. bentonite is effective as a water sealer. It is altered volcanic ash and is found in central Kentucky in beds up to 3 feet thick near the top of the Tyrone Limestone. low-specific-gravity. and to some extent flint. and refractoriness permits it to be burned into a hard body of permanent form Bentonite Bentonite is a soft. Many animals use calcium for shells. Chemical sedimentary rocks: Mny of these form when standing water evaporates. drying. 30 .to be molded. Clues that may help you recognize a sedimentary rock are. Organic sedimentary rocks Any accumulation of sedimentary debris caused by organic processes.. It contains fossils. and is also used in rotary drilling muds to prevent contaminating formations with drilling fluid. and burning processes. and teeth. Chalk and Coal. strength permits it to be handled during the forming. Because of its peculiar property of expanding when wet. leaving dissolved minerals behind. evaporites such as rock salt (Halite).. These are very common in arid lands. Drillers have labeled these bentonite beds the Mud Cave and Pencil Cave. All the grains look rounded and worn. bits of shell or pebbles. or very few crystals in it. These include Limestone. expandable clay. Thick deposits of salt and gypsum can form due to repeated flooding and evaporation over long periods of time. It has a gritty feel and bits can be rubbed off it. limestone and chert. where seasonal "playa lakes" occur in closed depressions. These bits of calcium can pile up on the seafloor and accumulate into a thick enough layer to form an "organic" sedimentary rock. Other chemical sedimentary rocks include sedimentary iron ores. bones.

Common metamorphic rocks include slate. Carboniferous. In most cases. Any rock can become a metamorphic rock. New minerals are created either by rearrangement of mineral components or by reactions with fluids that enter the rocks. The metamorphic changes in the minerals always move in a direction designed to restore equilibrium.Metamorphic Rocks The metamorphics get their name from "meta" (change) and "morph" (form). Cretaceous. 31 . Triassic. Silurian. Some kinds of metamorphic rocks--granite gneiss and biotite schist are two examples--are strongly banded or foliated. Jurassic. (Foliated means the parallel arrangement of certain mineral grains that gives the rock a striped appearance. and marble.) Pressure or temperature can even change previously metamorphosed rocks into new types. Permian. Devonian. Ordovician. Cambrian. The process of metamorphism does not melt the rocks. gneiss. schist. but instead transforms them into denser. The Geological Time Scale A sequence of divisions of geological time comprising in order from oldest to youngest: Precambrian. more compact rocks. this involves burial which leads to a rise in temperature and pressure. All that is required is for the rock to be moved into an environment in which the minerals which make up the rock become unstable and out of equilibrium with the new environmental conditions. Tertiary and Quaternary.

The Mesozoic Era commenced with the Triassic Period (starting about 245 million years ago) and concluded with the Cretaceous Period (66. Fossils such as trilobites. charcterised by dinosaurs and marine organisms such as the great marine reptiles and the ammonites. The last block of geological time is the Cenozoic Era with two geological periods.Each of the geological periods is characterised by groups. the Tertiary and the Quaternary. and concludes with the appearance of modern Homo sapiens (our own species). of fossils. The block of "ancient life" is dated from some 540 million years before present (the Cambrian) to about 245 million years before present (the Permian). early fish and ancestral plants belong to this "Era". known as the Paleozoic. This era is characterised by widespead evolution of the mammals. in late Quaternary time. graptolites. Figure 17 – Fossil embedded in a rock The geological periods are grouped into three major divisions of Phanerozoic time.4 million years ago). or suites. We are living in the Quaternary Period. The Paleozoic Era is replaced by the time of "middle life" (the Mesozoic Era). EON ERA PERIOD 32 . The picture below shows a typical fossil embedded in a rock.

540 to 500 mya Vendian Period. 540 mya through today "Age of Mammals" Quaternary Period "The Age of Man" 1. 600 to 540 mya - Proterozoic Eon 2.8 mya today Mesozoic Era "Age of Reptiles" 248 to 65 mya Cretaceous Period 146 to 65 mya Jurassic Period 208 to 146 mya Triassic Period 248 to 208 mya Permian Period "Age of Amphibians" 280 to 248 mya Pennsylvanian Period 325 to 280 mya Mississippian Period 360 to 325 mya Carboniferous 360 to 280 mya Paleozoic Era 540 to 248 mya Devonian Period.9 billion years ago - - 33 .8 mya Paleogene 65-24 mya 65 mya through Tertiary Period 65 to 1.5 billion years ago to 540 mya Archeozoic Eon (Archean) 3. 505 to 438 mya Cambrian Period."The Age of Fishes" 408 to 360 mya Silurian Period.8 mya to today Neogene 24-1. 438 to 408 mya Ordovician Period.9 to 2.6 to 3.5 billion years ago - Hadean Eon 4.Cenozoic Era P h a n e r o z o i c E o n "Visible Life" Organisms with skeletons or hard shells.

and geological traps. This causes the oil to accumulate to form a reservoir. but because it is relatively nonporous. It is possible for the oil to move through the reservoir rock all the way to the surface of the earth. The figure above shows oil pooling in the two different types of structural traps. The source rock is where the oil was formed (if you accept the organic theory). this rarely happens because its progress is blocked by some impermeable rock barrier. Figure 18 – Typical Traps Reservoir Rock The oil that migrates through the reservoir rock is not pure oil. the three components will separate. something that we are familiar with as the cause of earthquakes if the shifting motion is strong enough. Instead. The barrier and the resulting reservoir form what is known as a trap. and the water at the bottom. the oil migrates to more porous rock like sandstone or limestone. The dome-like structure on the right is an anticline. and natural gas. These are examples of reservoir rock. Traps There are two basic kinds of traps: structural and stratigraphic. the oil in the middle. while the structure on the left is a trap formed along a fault. If the gas does form a separate layer at the top. Stratigraphic traps form when reservoir rock is cut off by a horizontal layer of impermeable rock. However. water. reservoir rock. There are three basic forms of a structural trap in petroleum geology: 34 . Rather it is a mixture of oil. the gas may stay in solution. it is referred to as the gas cap. Examples of structural traps are anticlines and fault traps. The fault trap is associated with the shifting of fault layers along a fault line. with the gas at the top. it is actually dispersed throughout the reservoir rock.GEOLOGICAL FEATURES There are three geological features that need to be present before oil may be present underground: source rock. it cannot hold oil in appreciable amounts. When the reservoir forms. It is important to note that the oil/water/gas mixture does not form a large pool of liquid as some people often envision. Structural traps are the result of deformations of the rock layer. Depending on the pressure in the reservoir.

• • • Anticline trap Fault Trap Salt Dome Trap The common link between these three is simple: some part of the earth has moved in the past. Reseroir rock that isn't completely filled with oil also contains large amounts of salt water. Anticline Trap An anticline is an example of rocks which were previously flat. but have been bent into an arch. Figure 19 A cross section of the Earth showing typical Anticline Traps. that there is an impermeable trap rock above the arch to seal the oil in place). Oil that finds its way into a reservoir rock that has been bent into an arch will flow to the crest of the arch. of course. Figure 20 – Outcrop Anticline Fault trap 35 . creating an impedence to oil flow. and get stuck (provided.

in this case. In this example. The impermeable rock thus prevents the oil from escaping. if not for the fault seperating the two.000 years ago. an example of gouge. Clays within the fault zone are smeared as the layers of rock slip past one another. Figure 21 A cross section of rock showing a fault trap . 36 . and they most often occur in areas where two continental plates are running into one another.This is because the reservoir rock on both sides of the fault would be connected.Fault traps are formed by movement of rock along a fault line. faulting occured. The faults below can be clearly seen. When the glacier moved back over the sediments. In some cases. the reservoir rock has moved opposite a layer of impermeable rock. the photos below show sediments that were deposited by glaciers only 10. the fault itself can be a very effective trap. This is known as fault gouge. Thrust Fault Thrust faulting occurs when one section of the Earth is pushed up and over another section. and these sediments were then run over by a glacial readvance. it is the fault itself that is trapping the oil. In other cases. However.

Of course. and the layers that we've assigned to the rock are mostly 37 .Figure 22 – Outcrop Thrust Faults Below you can see the faults and rock horizons drawn in If the conditions were right. Figure 23 – Interpretation of Figure 22 Also drawn in is the possibility of oil being trapped by the shale above it. this outcrop is only a couple of meters wide. oil might become trapped in this rock. as well as by the fault and the shale to the left of it. there really is no oil here.

imaginary in this case. But the point is, this is exactly how many structural traps are set up below the Earth's surface. Salt Dome Trap Salt is a peculiar substance. If you put enough heat and pressure on it, the salt will slowly flow, much like a glacier that slowly but continually moves downhill. Unlike glaciers, salt which is buried kilometers below the surface of the Earth can move upward until it breaks through to the Earth's surface, where it is then dissolved by ground- and rainwater. To get all the way to the Earth's surface, salt has to push aside and break through many layers of rock in its path. This is what ultimately will create the oil trap.

Figure 24
Here we see salt that has moved up through the Earth, punching through and bending rock along the way. Oil can come to rest right up against the salt, which makes salt an effective trap. However, many times, the salt chemically changes the rocks next to it in such a way that oil will no longer seep into them. In a sense, it destroys the porosity of a reservoir rock.

Stratigraphic Trap A stratigraphic trap accumulates oil due to changes of rock character rather than faulting or folding of the rock. The term "stratigraphy" basically means "the study of the rocks and their variations". One thing stratigraphy has shown us is that many layers of rock change, sometimes over short distances, even within the same rock layer. As an example, it is possible that a layer of rock which is a sandstone at one location is a siltstone or a shale at another location. In between, the rock grades between the two rock types. From the section on reservoir rocks, we learned that sandstones make good reservoirs because of the many pore spaces contained within. On the other hand, shales, made up of clay particles, do not make good reservoirs, because they do not contain large pore spaces. Therefore, if oil migrates into a sandstone, it will flow along this rock layer until it hits the low-porosity shale, thus forming a stratigraphic trap.

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Figure 25- An example of a stratigraphic trap

The above series of diagrams is an attempt to illustrate a type of stratigraphic trap. In the diagram at the upper left, we see a river that is meandering. As it does so, it deposits sand along its bank. Further away from the river is the floodplain, where broad layers of mud are deposited during a flood. Though they seem fairly constant, rivers actually change course frequently, eventually moving to new locations. Sometimes these new locations are miles away from their former path. In the diagram at the upper right, we show what happens when a river changes its course. The sand bars that were deposited earlier are now covered by the mud of the new floodplain. These lenses of sand, when looked at from the side many years later (the bottom diagram), become cut off from each other, and are surrounded by the mud of the river's floodplain - which will eventually turn to shale. This makes for a perfect stratigraphic trap.

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PETROLEUM RESERVOIRS The term reservoir implies storage. Reservoir rock, therefore, is that rock in which the hydrocarbon can be stored and from which it can be produced. The fluids of the subsurface migrate according to density with the dominant fluids in hydrocarbon regions being hydrocarbon gas, hydrocarbon liquids and salt water. Since the hydrocarbons are the less dense of these fluids, they will tend to migrate upward, displacing the heavier salt water down elevation. Hydrocarbons may be forced from their source rock during lithification, and migrate into the reservoir rock in which they are stored. The fluids present will separate according to density as migration occurs. Reservoir Properties The key properties for describing a petroleum reservoir are porosity, pore saturation, and permeability. Definitions of these terms are as follows. Porosity refers to the capacity of the reservoir to hold fluids. It is basically the interstices, or pores, present within the reservoir rock. Typical porosities of oil reservoirs are of the order of 20%. While porosity represents the maximum capacity of a reservoir to hold fluids, pore saturation quantifies how much of this available capacity actually does contain fluids. For example, if a reservoir is 50% saturated with oil, this means that half of the available pore space in the reservoir actually contains oil. Permeability Permeability is a factor that quantifies how hard or how easy it is for the fluid to flow through the reservoir to the oil producing well; the greater the permeability, the easier the fluid flows. Permeability of a rock is a measure of the ability of the rock to transmit fluids through it. It is of great importance in determining the flow characteristics of hydrocarbons in oil and gas reservoirs, and of groundwater in aquifers. The usual unit for permeability is the darcy, or more commonly the milli-darcy or md (1 darcy = 1 x 10−12m²). Permeability is part of the proportionality constant in Darcy’s Law which relates discharge (flow rate) and fluid physical properties (e.g viscosity), to a pressure gradient applied to the porous media. The proportionallity constant specifically for the flow of water through a porous media is the hydraulic conductivity. Permeability is a portion of this, and is a property of the porous media only, not the fluid. In naturally occurring materials, it ranges over many orders of magnitude . For a rock to be considered as an exploitable hydrocarbon reservoir, its permeability must be greater than approximately 100 md (depending on the nature of the hydrocarbon - gas reservoirs with lower permeabilities are still exploitable because of the lower viscosity of

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Darcy’s Equation for linear incompressible fluid flow Darcy is a unit of permeability.g.gas with respect to oil). ko is the permeability to the flow of oil when ther is. Absolute permeability is the permeability of a rock which has only a single fluid flowing through it. It is not an SI unit. Definition Permeability measures the ability of fluids to flow through rock (or other porous media). It assumes laminar. e. Unconsolidated sands may have permeabilities of 5000+ md. The darcy is referenced to a mixture of unit systems. 41 . but it is widely used in petroleum engineering and geology. say. incompressible fluid flowing through the system. A medium with a permeability of 1 darcy permits a flow of 1 cm/s of a fluid of 1 cP viscosity under a 1 atm/cm pressure gradient. oil and water flowing throught the rock. Rocks with permeabilities significantly lower than 100 md can form efficient seals . The effective permeability to a fluid is the permeability of the rock to that particular fluid when there are more than one fluids flowing in the reservoir. We will assume that the reservoir is above the bubble point . steady state. The darcy has units of area. so that fluid flowing from the reservoir into the wellbore will be liquid. The darcy is defined using Darcy’s Law which can be written as: where: κ is the permeability of a medium v is the superficial (or bulk) fluid flow rate through the medium μ is the dynamic viscosity of the fluid ΔP is the applied pressure difference Δx is the thickness of the medium This is the basic form of the equation.

and is defined by the ratio: where Vp is the non-solid volume (pores and liquid) and Vm is the total volume of material. at a particular water saturation.2 0.1 0 0.9 Relative permeability % 0.5 0. including the solid and non-solid parts. 42 . depth of burial.3 0.Relative permeability is the ratio of the effective permeability of a rock to the absolute permeability of the rock.6 0.4 0.01 for solid granite to more than 0.2 0.9 Water Saturation % Kro Krw Porosity The porosity of a rock is the proportion of the non-solid volume to the total volume of material.4 0. typically ranging from less than 0.5 0.8 0.8 0. Porosity is a fraction between 0 and 1. or sedimentary layer. The porosity of a rock.3 0.7 0. the nature of the connate fluids.5 for peat and clay. although it may also be represented in percent terms by multiplying the fraction by 100%. Sedimentary porosities are a complex function of many factors.7 0. Both φ and n are used to denote porosity. the nature of overlying sediments (which may impede fluid expulsion).6 0. including but not limited to: rate of burial. is an important consideration when attempting to evaluate the potential volume of hydrocarbons it may contain. Relative Permeability Curve Relative Permeability curve 1 0.

This can create secondary porosity in rocks that otherwise would not be reservoirs for hydrocarbons due to their primary porosity being destroyed (for example due to depth of burial) or of a rock type not normally considered a reservoir (for example igneous intrusions or metasediments). This can replace the primary porosity or coexist with it (see dual porosity below). and leaky aquifer flow solutions are both mathematically similar solutions to that obtained for dual porosity. This can be a result of chemical leeching of minerals or the generation of a fracture system. Fracture porosity is porosity associated with a fracture system or faulting. but there are many complications to this relationship. This is very important in solute transport. which typically have very low hydraulic conductivity also have very high porosities (due to the structured nature of clay minerals). Sorting and porosity Well sorted (grains of approximately all one size) materials have higher porosity than similarly sized poorly sorted materials (where smaller particles fill the gaps between larger particles). drastically reducing porosity and hydraulic conductivity. In fractured rock aquifers. The graphic illustrates how some smaller grains can effectively fill the pores (where all water flow takes place). in all three cases water comes from two mathematically different reservoirs (whether or not they are physically different). Clays. often enhancing overall porosity of a rock. the one with a higher porosity will typically have a higher hydraulic conductivity (more open area for the flow of water). which means clays can hold a large volume of water per volume of bulk material.Porosity and hydraulic conductivity Porosity is indirectly related to hydraulic conductivity. or even caves. Measuring Porosity 43 . Dual porosity refers to the conceptual idea that there are two overlapping reservoirs which interact. but they do not release water very quickly. For two similar sandy aquifers. while only being a small fraction of the total volume of the material. vigs. Effective porosity (also called open porosity) refers to the fraction of the total volume in which fluid flow is effectively taking place (this excludes dead-end pores or non-connected cavities). the rock mass and fractures are often simulated as being two overlapping but distinct bodies. Vuggy porosity is secondary porosity generated by dissolution of large features (such as macrofossils) in carbonate rocks leaving large holes. Delayed yield. Types of porosity • • • • • • Primary porosity is the main or original porosity system in a rock Secondary porosity is a subsequent or separate porosity system in a rock.

Then remove the unsaturated water from the top of the beaker and measure its volume. (Make sure the beaker or container is large enough to hold your material as well. Take a fully saturated. Weigh your container so you know its empty weight.) and let it sit for a few hours to insure the material is fully saturated. Then weigh your dried sample.65g/cc. but is also the most accurate. So once again. • Water Saturation 44 . ect. Drying out your sample may take several days depending on the heat applied and the volume of your sample. (The assumed density of most rocks. If you have a different material. so you can subtract the weight of the container to know just the weight of just your material. which is exactly the pore volume. • The Volume/Density method is fast and suprisingly accurate (normally within 2% of the actual porosity).) Slowly dump your material into the water and let it saturate as you pour it in. then pour your material into the container. The total volume of the water originally in the beaker minus the amount of water not saturated is the volume of the pore space. (pore volume in cubic centemeters) = (weight of saturated sample in grams) . Tap the side of the container until it has finished settling and measure the volume in the container. The weight of your material divided by the density of your material gives you the volume that your material takes up. minus the pore volume. Since the density of water is 1 g/cc. So now you have both the volume and the weight of the material. or again more directly (pore volume) = (total volume of water) (unsaturated water). known volume of your material with no excess water on top. Then seal the beaker (with a piece of parafilm tape or if you don't have parafilm tape a plastic bag tied around the beaker will do. take a known volume of your material and also a known volume of water. or more directly (pore volume) = (total volume) . the difference of the weights of the saturated versus the dried sample is eqaul to the volume of the water removed from the sample (assuming you are measuring in grams). you may look up its density) So.There are several ways to estimate the porosity of a given material or mixture of materials. • Water Saturation Method is slightly harder to do. Water Evaporation Method is the hardest to do. Then weigh your container full of this material. Again. Weigh your container with the material and water and then place your container into a heater to dry it out. sand.(weight of dried sample in grams). the pore volume is simply equal to the total volume minus the mateial volume. To do this method you pour your material into a beaker. cylinder or some other container of a known volume. glass.(material volume). which is called your material matrix. but is more accurate and more direct. is assumed to be 2.

percent or saturation units. The saturation is known as the total water saturation if the pore space is the total porosity. it should be said that it is not possible to recover all of the oil in place. and the percent saturation of the oil. and by the percent saturation of oil. the term usually refers to the effective water saturation. In order to calculate the barrels of oil in place in a reservoir. by the porosity of the reservoir. fraction 45 . fraction h is the thickness of the oilsand Sw is the water saturation. so there are 7. 758 by the acre-feet of the reservoir.The fraction of water in a given pore space. OOIP = 7758*A*h*∅*(1-Sw) Where OOIP is the original oil in place in barrels A is the Area in acre-feet ∅ is the porosity. the porosity of the reservoir in percent. so an acre-foot is 43. In conclusion. and the effective water saturation if the pore space is the effective porosity. To determine the barrels of water and gas in place. we need to know the acre-feet of the reservoir (the area of the reservoir times its thickness in feet). fraction OGIP = 43. Unless otherwise stated. The acre-foot was originally an irrigation term and refers to the corresponding volume of an acre of fluid that is one foot deep. Note that the sum of the percent saturation of the three fluids must equal 100%. respectively. Determining Fluids in Place To calculate the volume of oil. If used without qualification. 560 ft2. we simply replace the percent saturation of oil with the water and gas saturation. we multiply 7. The amount that can be recovered depends on the reservoir pressure and permeability. as well as the oil viscosity. 560 ft3. water and gas in place in a reservoir.617 ft3. water and gas.560*A*h*∅*(1-Sw) Where OGIP is the original Gas in place in cubic feet A is the Area in acre-feet ∅ is the porosity. 758 barrels in one acrefoot. One barrel is equivalent to 5. It is expressed in volume/volume. An acre is equivalent to 43. fraction h is the thickness of the gas sand Sw is the water saturation. water saturation is the fraction of formation water in the undisturbed zone.

The uncertainty depends chiefly on the amount of reliable geologic and engineering data available at the time of the estimate and the interpretation of these data. cycling. formerly World Petroleum Congresses) in approving additional classifications beyond proved reserves is to facilitate consistency among professionals using such terms. and the use of miscible and immiscible displacement fluids. Reserves do not include quantities of petroleum being held in inventory. chemical flooding. engineering. and possible has been the most frequent classification method and gives an indication of the probability of recovery. waterflooding. Public disclosure of the quantities classified as unproved reserves is left to the discretion of the countries or companies involved. The intent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and World Petroleum Council (WPC. and economic data. Reserves estimates will generally be revised as additional geologic or engineering data becomes available or as economic conditions change. Unproved reserves are less certain to be recovered than proved reserves and may be further sub-classified as probable and possible reserves to denote progressively increasing uncertainty in their recoverability. The method of estimation is called deterministic if a single best estimate of reserves is made based on known geological. The relative degree of uncertainty may be conveyed by placing reserves into one of two principal classifications. thermal methods. Identifying reserves as proved.PETROLEUM RESERVES DEFINITIONS Reserves derived under these definitions rely on the integrity. stage of development. and judgment of the evaluator and are affected by the geological complexity. neither organization is recommending public disclosure of reserves classified as unproved. probable. Because of potential differences in uncertainty. Other improved 46 . Examples of such methods are pressure maintenance. The method of estimation is called probabilistic when the known geological. Improved recovery methods include all methods for supplementing natural energy or altering natural forces in the reservoir to increase ultimate recovery. and economic data are used to generate a range of estimates and their associated probabilities. In presenting these definitions. All reserve estimates involve some degree of uncertainty. engineering. Reserves may be attributed to either natural energy or improved recovery methods. Use of these definitions should sharpen the distinction between the various classifications and provide more consistent reserves reporting. caution should be exercised when aggregating reserves of different classifications. Estimation of reserves is done under conditions of uncertainty. and amount of available data. and may be reduced for usage or processing losses if required for financial reporting. either proved or unproved. degree of depletion of the reservoirs. Reserves are those quantities of petroleum which are anticipated to be commercially recovered from known accumulations from a given date forward. skill.

from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions. from a given date forward. (2) it is reasonably certain that such locations are within the known proved productive limits of the objective formation. there should be at least a 90% probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate. can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable. Proved Reserves Proved reserves are those quantities of petroleum which. and (4) it is reasonably certain the locations will be developed. proved reserves may be assigned on the basis of well logs and/or core analysis that indicate the subject reservoir is hydrocarbon bearing and is analogous to reservoirs in the same area that are producing or have demonstrated the ability to produce on formation tests. In certain cases. and government regulations. If deterministic methods are used. and (2) the undrilled portions of the reservoir that can reasonably be judged as commercially productive on the basis of available geological and engineering data. the lowest known occurrence of hydrocarbons controls the proved limit unless otherwise indicated by definitive geological. In general.recovery methods may be developed in the future as petroleum technology continues to evolve. (3) the locations conform to existing well spacing regulations where applicable. The area of the reservoir considered as proved includes (1) the area delineated by drilling and defined by fluid contacts. the term proved refers to the actual quantities of petroleum reserves and not just the productivity of the well or reservoir. reserves are considered proved if the commercial producibility of the reservoir is supported by actual production or formation tests. the term reasonable certainty is intended to express a high degree of confidence that the quantities will be recovered. by analysis of geological and engineering data. operating methods. engineering or performance data. and government regulations involved in reporting these reserves. In this context. If probabilistic methods are used. Reserves from other locations are categorized as proved undeveloped only where interpretations of 47 . corporate procedures. Reserves may be classified as proved if facilities to process and transport those reserves to market are operational at the time of the estimate or there is a reasonable expectation that such facilities will be installed. Establishment of current economic conditions should include relevant historical petroleum prices and associated costs and may involve an averaging period that is consistent with the purpose of the reserve estimate. Proved reserves can be categorized as developed or undeveloped. Reserves in undeveloped locations may be classified as proved undeveloped provided (1) the locations are direct offsets to wells that have indicated commercial production in the objective formation. In the absence of data on fluid contacts. appropriate contract obligations. if any.

when probabilistic methods are used. and. Unproved Reserves Unproved reserves are based on geologic and/or engineering data similar to that used in estimates of proved reserves. Reserves which are to be produced through the application of established improved recovery methods are included in the proved classification when (1) successful testing by a pilot project or favorable response of an installed program in the same or an analogous reservoir with similar rock and fluid properties provides support for the analysis on which the project was based. contractual. Unproved reserves may be estimated assuming future economic conditions different from those prevailing at the time of the estimate. Probable Reserves Probable reserves are those unproved reserves which analysis of geological and engineering data suggests are more likely than not to be recoverable. (2) it is reasonably certain that the project will proceed. (3) incremental reserves attributable to infill drilling that could have been classified as proved if closer statutory spacing had been approved at the time of the estimate. The effect of possible future improvements in economic conditions and technological developments can be expressed by allocating appropriate quantities of reserves to the probable and possible classifications. (4) reserves attributable to improved recovery 48 . probable reserves may include (1) reserves anticipated to be proved by normal step-out drilling where sub-surface control is inadequate to classify these reserves as proved. Reserves to be recovered by improved recovery methods that have yet to be established through commercially successful applications are included in the proved classification only (1) after a favorable production response from the subject reservoir from either (a) a representative pilot or (b) an installed program where the response provides support for the analysis on which the project is based and (2) it is reasonably certain the project will proceed. there should be at least a 50% probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the sum of estimated proved plus probable reserves. but technical.geological and engineering data from wells indicate with reasonable certainty that the objective formation is laterally continuous and contains commercially recoverable petroleum at locations beyond direct offsets. Unproved reserves may be further classified as probable reserves and possible reserves. (2) reserves in formations that appear to be productive based on well log characteristics but lack core data or definitive tests and which are not analogous to producing or proved reservoirs in the area. In general. or regulatory uncertainties preclude such reserves being classified as proved. In this context. economic.

possible reserves may include (1) reserves which. and (5) reserves in an area of the formation that appears to be separated from the proved area by faulting and geological interpretation indicates the subject area is structurally lower than the proved area. Improved recovery reserves are considered developed only after the necessary equipment has been installed. and (7) incremental reserves in proved reservoirs where an alternative interpretation of performance or volumetric data indicates more reserves than can be classified as proved. treatment. based on geological interpretations. when probabilistic methods are used. In general. Developed reserves may be sub-categorized as producing or non-producing. (4) reserves attributed to improved recovery methods when (a) a project or pilot is planned but not in operation and (b) rock. In this context. there should be at least a 10% probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the sum of estimated proved plus probable plus possible reserves.methods that have been established by repeated commercially successful applications when (a) a project or pilot is planned but not in operation and (b) rock. change of equipment. fluid. could possibly exist beyond areas classified as probable. and reservoir characteristics are such that a reasonable doubt exists that the project will be commercial. re-treatment. or other mechanical procedures. Developed Reserves Developed reserves are expected to be recovered from existing wells including reserves behind pipe. where such procedure has not been proved successful in wells which exhibit similar behavior in analogous reservoirs. Reserve Status Categories Reserve status categories define the development and producing status of wells and reservoirs. or when the costs to do so are relatively minor. and reservoir characteristics appear favorable for commercial application. 49 . (5) reserves in an area of the formation that appears to be separated from the proved area by faulting and the geologic interpretation indicates the subject area is structurally higher than the proved area. (3) incremental reserves attributed to infill drilling that are subject to technical uncertainty. (2) reserves in formations that appear to be petroleum bearing based on log and core analysis but may not be productive at commercial rates. Possible Reserves Possible reserves are those unproved reserves which analysis of geological and engineering data suggests are less likely to be recoverable than probable reserves. (6) reserves attributable to a future workover. fluid.

50 . (2) from deepening existing wells to a different reservoir. (2) wells which were shut-in for market conditions or pipeline connections. Improved recovery reserves are considered producing only after the improved recovery project is in operation. Undeveloped Reserves Undeveloped reserves are expected to be recovered: (1) from new wells on undrilled acreage. or (3) wells not capable of production for mechanical reasons. which will require additional completion work or future recompletion prior to the start of production. or (3) where a relatively large expenditure is required to (a) recomplete an existing well or (b) install production or transportation facilities for primary or improved recovery projects. Non-producing Reserves Reserves subcategorized as non-producing include shut-in and behind-pipe reserves. Behind-pipe reserves are expected to be recovered from zones in existing wells.Producing Reserves Reserves subcategorized as producing are expected to be recovered from completion intervals which are open and producing at the time of the estimate. Shut-in reserves are expected to be recovered from (1) completion intervals which are open at the time of the estimate but which have not started producing.

Surface Geochemical Analysis This can provide indicates of the presence of sub-surface hydrocarbon reservoirs. geological studies based on these surface outcrops can be of value in predicting sub-surface geology. Aerial surveys More recently. Analysis of this information can provided can sometimes be extrapolated to anticipate geology in other locations not accessible for observation and analysis. infra-red photography. surface geological outcrops imply sub-surface geological characteristics. satellite surveys might provide the same type of information as that by field reconnaissance. where hydrocarbon is actually escaping or seeping to the surface and being dissipated. The strike is the compass direction of a horizontal line drawn in the plane under consideration. The dip is the angle between a horizontal plane and a line drawn in the plane under consideration. into the environment. except over large regions. in geologic time. perpendicular to the intersection of the horizontal plane and the plane under consideration. Geological properties such as strike and dip of sedimentary beds. 51 . The conclusion can therefore be drawn that this surface hydrocarbon must be originating from sub-surface reservoirs. Extensive geologic information of importance in defining sub-surface geology has been gathered by such surveys as landsat survey. Many scientists speculate that all sub-surface hydrocarbon reservoirs give surface chemical indications of their presence. faults unconformities or other geologic exposures may be of major importance in anticipating subsurface geology. which led to this surface geology. The major sources of surface geological information are: i) ii) iii) iv) Field Reconnaissance Aerial Surveys Satellite Surveys Surface Geochemical Analysis Field Reconnaissance This involves observation and sample collection of surface geological exposures. The simplest example is the surface seep. In some regions. This surface observation might provide an indication of the sequence of geological events. radar photography and other sophisticated technologies.SURFACE EXPLORATION METHODS In regions where rocks are exposed at he surface.

Figure 26 – Seismic Acquisition 52 .GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION After identifying sedimentary basins thought to contain hydrocarbons. an oil company acquires the mineral rights from the individual or government holding them. The oil company will then contract with a seismic acquisition company to map the area's underground rock formations through seismic surveying.

are interpreted to generate maps of the formations. These waves travel downward. greatly speeding data collection. Early seismic surveys used mechanical plotters to record the received signals. seismic waves travel typically at about 6000 m/s so that 1 second of two-way travel time corresponds to about 3 km of depth. These models are more accurate than past 2-D maps. and the resulting seismic section is referred to as a migrated section. Seismic Section The seismic reflection method works by bouncing sound waves off boundaries between different types of rock. These are referred to as unmigrated data. The process that moves the reflections in their correct spatial position is referred to as migration. In the earth's crust.Seismic Surveys Seismic surveys use low frequency acoustical energy generated by explosives or mechanical means. but it still needs to be interpreted. and were restricted to a few geophones. rather than depth. These data resolve mappable features such as faults. The reflections recorded are plotted as dark lines on a seismic section. the development of digital recording systems allow the recording of data from more that 10. Seismic surveys are usually performed using multiple geophones set at known distances from the energy source. A seismic section resembles a geological cross-section. All the seismic sections presented in this atlas are plotted at 1:1 (no vertical exaggeration) assuming an average crustal velocity of 6000 m/s. The resulting data. These surveys placed the source and geophones in a straight line.000 geophones simultaneously. Sophisticated computer programs develop highly accurate 3-D models of rock structures. of accurately locating hydrocarbon-bearing formations. The science of LITHOPROBE is spearheaded by the seismic reflection method because it is the geophysical technique which produces the best images of the subsurface. and increase the likelihood of accurately identifying hydrocarbon-bearing formations. folds and lithologic boundaries measured 53 . The interpretations were subject to error. Another difference is that the reflections are plotted halfway between the source and the receiver. which increased the difficulty. Today. with the interpretation of the resulting data producing a 2-D cross section of the formation under that line. energy is reflected back to the surface and detected by sensors called geophones. and cost. and as they cross the boundaries between rock layers. combined with assumptions about the velocity of the waves through the rocks and the density of the rocks. One major difference between a geological cross-section and a seismic section is that the vertical axis is in time.

The reflected signals are recorded by geophones. 1992). large arrays of airguns. are deployed. At sea. or hydrophones at sea. LITHOPROBE has been using large truck-mounted vibrators as a source (the "Vibroseis" method). which rapidly eject compressed air. and image them laterally for 100's of kilometers and to depths of 50 km or more (Varsek. Its extension to deep crustal studies began in the 1960s. Figure 26 – Seismic data Acquisition 54 . seismic reflection profiling uses a controlled source to generate seismic waves. On land. where the location and time of the source is an unknown that needs to be solved for. and since the late 1970s reflection technology has become the principal procedure for detailed studies of the deep crust. and occasionally dynamite is used. As opposed to earthquake seismology.in the 10's of meters. Seismic reflection profiling is the principal method by which the petroleum industry explores for hydrocarbon-trapping structures in sedimentary basins. which resemble ordinary microphones. Seismic data acquisition The method works by bouncing sound waves off boundaries between different types of rock (Figure 1).

During a seismic survey. such as point P in Figure 1. Bad seismic traces. are edited out (2). such as point P in Figure 26. are sampled more than once by rays impinging on that point at different angles. a cable with receivers attached to it at regular intervals is laid out along a road or towed behind a ship. all traces recorded for a given shot) are displayed (1).e. Seismic data processing Digital data processing is applied to raw seismic data to produce a seismic section (Figure 27). producing a series of seismic traces. The seismic traces for each shot (called a shot gather) are saved on magnetic tape in the recording truck. The data are read from tape and the shot records (i. The traces are then reordered (3) so that each gather of traces belongs to a common reflection point. The following is an example of typical processing sequence. Seismic data processing. due to noise or a short circuit in the recording equipment. 55 . As a shot goes off. The source moves along the seismic line and generates seismic waves at regular intervals such that points in the subsurface. Figure 27. signals are recorded from each geophone along the cable for a certain amount of time.

Non-reflected arrivals. cancels out random noise and reinforces the reflected signals. Steps (4) to (7) are repeated for each common reflection point. Although modern oil-exploration methods are better than previous ones. This process.shoots pulses of air into the water (for exploration over water) The reflections of the shock waves are detected by sensitive microphones or vibration detectors (hydrophones) over water. referred to as stacking. These traces are then added to produce a single output trace (6). such as surface waves and direct arrivals. are removed by digital filtering and/or muting (zeroing of the data) (4). and the resulting seismic traces are displayed as a seismic section (8) which is then interpreted (9). 56 . the location is marked by marker buoys on water. A correction is made for the time the reflected ray spends travelling laterally. Once a prospective oil strike is found. The waveform is then shrunk by frequency filtering or deconvolution to improve the resolution (7). a shock wave is created by the following: • Compressed-air gun . Marine Seismic acquisition Figure 28 – Marine Seismic Acquisition In marine seismic surveys. so that the reflected arrivals now line up (5). they still may have only a 10-percent success rate for finding new oil fields.

This characteristic can be seen in Figure 1. but reflections generated by the sandstones within the Dakota Aquifer tend to overlap and merge.Seismic records and the synthetic seismogram Seismic energy sources used by the energy industry are required to generate reflections from rock units several thousand feet below the surface. Because the sound velocity changes continuously with depth the time record is not a simple transformation of depth. while the reflection troughs (white) match the reverse situation. This synthetic seismogram was computed using a sonic log recorded in a Dakota Aquifer program observation well in Ellis County. so that only fairly thick rock units with strong impedance contrasts can be distinguished. where the stratigraphic units are resolved easily. A simulation of a field record of this type is shown in Figure 1. Notice that the depth scale is not measured in feet but in units of two-way travel time in seconds that record the time that elapsed between the triggering of the energy source and the arrival of the reflection at the geophone. and so typically have frequencies of the order of 30 Hz. 57 . The 30 Hz frequency of the energy source results in a fairly coarse resolution. The reflection peaks (black) pick up rock boundaries where the acoustic velocity increased downwards going from a "slow" shale to a "faster" limestone or sandstone.

Figure 29. Gamma-ray and sonic logs are shown from a second observation well in Ellis County (Figure 30). Ellis County. Coyle (1990) made several field studies in the vicinity of Dakota Aquifer program observation wells to evaluate the feasibility of seismic methods in the location of channel sandstones. Synthetic seismogram for the Dakota aquifer and adjacent stratigraphic units. Sonic logs at the wells could be used to create synthetic seismograms. 58 . so that interpretations of field records could be correlated with geology. calculated from geophysical logs in the observation well KGS Braun #1 (NENENE 3012S-18W). Better precision can be obtained by high-frequency seismic shooting of Dakota Aquifer sections where they are fairly close to the surface. The sonic log was converted to a two-way reflection time record of velocity. Kansas.

By superimposing the synthetic seismogram at the observation well location on the East-West seismic line (Figure 32). Gamma-ray and sonic logs from observation well KGS Brungardt #1 (SESESE 25-12S-17W). 59 . Ellis Co. the field reflections can be related to specific geological features. The Stone Corral provides a strong reflector that is easily recognized on seismic records from the entire region Figure 30.which was then transformed to a train of reflection coefficients and convolved with a 100 Hz Ricker wavelet (Figure 31). Kansas..

modeling suggested that sandstones thicker than 30 feet would be resolvable.The contact between the Dakota Formation and the underlying Kiowa Shale can be seen . A field seismic line shot over a Dakota channel sandstone at another site gave some support to his conclusion (Figure 5). and the top of the Dakota Formation can also be identified on the field record from their signatures on the synthetic seismogram. where reflections of 200 Hz and 60 . The resolution and quality of seismic records were also found to be site dependent. and is caused by the sharp change in velocity at the contact (see Figure 30). Comparison between the synthetic seismogram computed from the Brungardt well sonic log (see Figure 3) and a field seismic line shot at the well site (from Coyle. 1990) Coyle concluded that while thin sandstone lenses within the Dakota would not be detectable at this frequency (100 Hz). Reflections from the Greenhorn Limestone. Thinner sandstones could be identified where reflections were recorded with frequencies higher than 180 Hz. The distinctive and laterally continuous reflection at 0. Figure 31. Graneros Shale. The best sites were located on fresh exposures of Graneros Shale.26 seconds was interpreted to coincide with the top of the Permian.

while low frequencies were recorded at levels higher than the Greenhorn.higher were recorded. Russell County. 61 . CDP seismic section tied to Dakota Aquifer program observation well KGS Haberer #1 (NESENE 14-12S-15W). Note channel sandstone. The worst sites occurred on the Greenhorn Limestone outcrop. Kansas. 1990. Figure 32. From Coyle.

or 0. Thus geological structures contribute very little to the earth’s gravity but the importance of that small contribution lies in the fact that it has a point-to-point variation that can be mapped.01% of its’ value anywhere.5%.Figure 33 – Seismic Section Gravity Surveys All materials in the earth influence gravity but because of the inverse-square law of behaviour. Changes in the densities of rocks within this region will produce variations in g which generally do not exceed 0. rocks that lie close to the point of observation will have a much greater effect than those farther away. The gravitational field of the earth has a world-wide average of ~980 gals with a total range of variation from equator to pole of about 5 gals. Fluctuations in the value of g which may be associated with bodies that have a commercial mineral value are unlikely to exceed even a small fraction of this minute amount.05g) is accounted for by the uppermost 5 kilometres of rock.3% of g is due to materials contained within the crust and of this small amount roughly 15% (0. perhaps 10-5 g altogether. Mineral ore bodies and 62 . The bulk of the gravitational pull of the earth (g) has little to do with the rocks of the earth’s crust but rather is caused by the enormous mass of the mantle and core. Only about 0.

The magnetic field has both an amplitude and a direction and instrumentation is available to measure both components. For more regional surveys.geological structures of interest seldom produce fluctuations in g exceeding a few milligals and for practical purposes of exploration. a reading sensitivity of 0. Line and station intervals are usually determined by the size and depth of the exploration targets. including such things as the tidal forces generated by the moon. Recent advances in global positioning (GPS) technology have reduced these costs considerably. The most common technique used in mineral exploration is to measure just the amplitude component using a proton precession magnetometer. This represents about 1 part in 108 of the gravitational field of the earth. No instrumentation is available that can measure g absolutely to this accuracy. identify faults. The instrument digitally records the survey line. For a typical survey. station.01 milligals is required.001 mgals. For small. total magnetic field and time of day 63 . local topography and the ellipticity of the earth. These factors can generate changes in the measured gravity that are several orders of magnitude greater than those generated by the density variations in the underlying rocks. topographic features within several hundred metres of the measurement location are considered. Compensation for these factors requires precise geographical survey precision. lakes. one obtains the field due to this anomalous mass. Magnetic Surveys Magnetic intensity measurements are taken along survey traverses (normally on a regular grid) and are used to identify metallic mineralization that is related to magnetic materials (normally magnetite and/or pyrrhotite). Gravity exploration typically involves taking measurements of the earth’s gravimetric field across a surface grid. In the past. oceans) within a radius of 150 kilometres must be included in the data reduction procedures. bedding. major topographic features (mountains. Magnetic data are also used as a mapping tool to distinguish rock types. topographic surveys of this accuracy often accounted for the bulk of survey costs. Characteristics of this field can be used to estimate the properties of the anomalous body. the distance from the equator must be measured to within ~3 metres and the absolute elevation to within 2-3 cm. Surface gravity measurements are affected by several factors. These data are processed to compensate for the various effects described above to produce a map showing the relative strength of the earth’s gravity across the area of interest. The presence of an anomalous mass beneath the surface will be superimposed on the background field. structure and alteration zones. By estimating this regional field and subtracting it from the observed data. Modern day gravimeters respond to variations in g by measuring minute changes in the weight of a small object as it is moved from place to place and can achieve reading sensitivities of 0. localized surveys.

The base station and field magnetometers are synchronized on the basis of time and computer software is used to correct the field data for the diurnal variations. 64 .at each station. This information is typically downloaded to a computer at the end of each day for archiving and further processing. The earth’s magnetic field is continually changing (diurnal variations) and field measurements must be adjusted for these variations. The most accurate technique is to establish a stationary base station magnetometer that continually monitors and records the magnetic field for the duration of the survey.

Just like rocks above ground can be seen to be bent. If you were to walk across a line. or heights.000 meters). so even below the ground's surface you can have positive contour values.. Therefore.000 meter contour. Therefore. you are changing elevation. (To be more accurate. generally. if the geologist understands what the structure of the layers of rock underground look like (either by well data or geophysical evidence such as seismic reflections). Each line represents the elevation at that line. a 1. subsurface contours are mapped relative to a SEA LEVEL datum. If the values of a  structure contour map are subtracted from the values on a corresponding topographic  65 .000 meter contour line equals a depth of 1000 meters (or NEGATIVE 1. he or she can draw a contour map which represents this structure Figure 34 – Contour Mapping Above ground. The steeper the slope. An individual curve  represents a part of the surface along which the surface "value" is constant.STRUCTURE CONTOUR MAPPING Contour lines help geologists (as well as hikers) understand the slope of the land. forming anticlines (domes) or synclines (saddles). Topographic  contour map: contour lines represent points of equal elevation of the ground surface.g. contour lines represent elevations. the numbers represent depths BELOW the surface. these structures extend beneath ground. and only get negative values when the contour depth is below sea level. the more lines you will cross in a short distance This concept of contour lines also works under ground.) Contour maps  Maps that represent surfaces in terms of a series of curves. the top of a geologic unit) that commonly is buried. and would actually be higher than the 2. Structure contour map: contour lines represent points of equal elevation along a geologic  surface (e. Below ground.

 It  shows the true dip and true thickness of the body. y.e. one can prepare a contour map of z (e. The contacts of horizontal layers parallel elevations contours. concentration of  contamination in ground water) vs. structure contours can violate many of the rules we are familiar with on topographic maps. y). The problem is very similar to contouring topographic data. Actually the contours themselves do not cross. A strike view cross section is taken perpendicular to the strike of a geologic body. 66 . a surface that is generally sub horizontal but irregular (i. In the example we consider here. Most geologic structures are not ideal planes. with some limited 3­D relief). we will be concerned only with data that is fairly wellbehaved: smooth. Geologic maps show the intersection (trace) of geologic features with the ground surface. In fact. (x. z). that lie along the  intersection of the geologic surface and a horizontal plane).g.. hence structure contours can cross. only their projections on the map. and structure contours on these structures are often neither straight nor equally-spaced. Isopach contour map: contour lines represent points of equal thickness of the geologic  unit Given a data set (x. Structure contours can terminate and not close. the difference gives the depth from the ground surface to the top of the geologic  unit. The contacts of vertical geologic surfaces appear as straight lines on geologic maps with a  topographic base.. with no overhangs or discontinuities.map. The strike of a geologic surface is obtained by determining the azimuth between two  points on the geologic surface that have the same elevation (i. Geologic structures often have discontinuities in the form of faults. Geologic maps are not top views of subsurface features as projected into a horizontal  plane. • • Geologic structures often have overhangs..e.

construct structure contours using the three-point method. 4. construct smooth contours to fit the data. Such contours are called form lines. you have no choice but to extrapolate surface data to deep levels and use your knowledge of geologic structures as a guide. Make sure the triangles are as nearly equilateral as possible. Once you have a clear mental picture of the structure. You will often have surface or near-surface data and little or no data at great depth. In cases like this. your contours will be little more than guesses to suggest the three-dimensional form of the structure. Keep the contours as simple as possible consistent with the data. Once the contours are constructed. Interpolate only between nearby points If the structure is only gently curved.Rules for Construction • • • • • • Structure contours must still be parallel to the strike of a structure at every point. you may find it useful to approximate the structure as a series of plane segments at first. For each group of three data points. Interpolate between nearby points. Keep the contours smooth. draw the final contours as smoothly as possible using the construction as a guide. In such cases. Figure 35 – Example of structure contouring 67 . Avoid extremely long-distance interpolations. Contour the data shown 2. Do not show abrupt changes in curvature or spacing unless you have sound geologic reasons to do so. 3. Sometimes it pays to treat the data as a series of three-point problems. Example 1.

• • • • Note that some of the data are negative. contours within each triangle must join the corresponding contours in neighboring triangles. It is perfectly possible to have data points below sea level when analyzing data from deep wells or when drawing form lines on large. but do not expect high precision from them. It's better to draw smooth contours that are as consistent as possible with both the interpolations and with other contours. These are examples of form lines.a user of the contour map may be misled into thinking the undulations in the contour are real features of the structure. If you treat the data as a series of three-point problems. 68 . but elsewhere. Worse yet. A data point at 210 meters elevation must be located on the uphill side of the 200 meter contour. it may create the impression of spurious detail . based on the overall shape of known contours. When drawing the smoothed contours. there is little control on the exact locations of these contours. We can be fairly sure the -100 contour passes just outside the -97 data point. Trying to fit all the interpolated points exactly may result in contours that are overly erratic. Note that the 0 and -100 contours are extended into areas of no data. But interpolated points are only estimates of the elevation of the structure. deep structures. the contours must be consistent with the data points but need not be perfectly consistent with points estimated by interpolation. We expect them to be roughly correct.

 rock removed from the subsurface formations by the drill  bit. cores. or  confirm data obtained from one or more of the potential sources of information.  There are many potential sources of important information from a wildcat well.SUBSURFACE EXPLORATION METHODS The wildcat well is defined as the first well to be drilled in a geographic region. which might be obtained. These  include rock cuttings. A cuttings analysis with well depth is used to complete a stratigraphic  column as a summary of subsurface geology. such as the pressure bomb. bubble point pressure. fluid formation volume factors. reservoir fluid samples. These fluid samples are sent to the laboratory for a P-V-T analysis. fluid properties and any other  significant data. are being returned to the surface on a continuous basis.  These samples are analysed  in order to describe the subsurface geology and for indications of hydrocarbon presence  within the cuttings. The  drilling of the wildcat well is the beginning of the final stages of exploration. Various collection techniques are available. mud logs. It is important to obtain as much information as possible  relative to subsurface conditions including rock properties. viscosity and density. well logs and Drill Stem  Tests. This provides important reservoir fluid data such as chemical composition. Rock Cuttings During the drilling operation. Mud Logs 69 . This is the  first opportunity to actually bring back to the surface for analysis samples of the  subsurface rocks and fluids. Some of  these information sources may provide data not otherwise available from other sources.  Reservoir Fluid Samples Reservoir fluid samples are collected from any reservoir rocks that are of potential interest. solution gas oil ratio.

porosity. plot of penetration rate. The core is sent to the laboratory for analysis.The drilling fluid. When drilling into a rock formation containing hydrocarbons. of the reservoir rock retrieved from the wellbore to the surface in a core barrel. normally 4” to 6” in diameter. radioactive properties and estimates of fluid saturations in the rock. oil cut based on washing the cuttings in toluene and ultraviolet fluorescence to determine presence of oil. Surface samples of the mud are collected and analysed for hydrocarbon presence. This is known as a mud log. carries rock samples back to the surface in the drilling mud. The mid log contains description of the rock type based on inspection under a microscope. permeability. source of the sediments. traces of reservoir fluids encountered will be returned to the surface in the drilling mud. which are less than 1” in diameter and less than 3” in length can be taken instead of the full hole cores which can be 30 – 60 feet in length. A typical core is a rock cylinder. Sidewall cores. Cores When a formation of interest is encountered while drilling. rock characteristics. gas composition based on gas chromatography. depositional environments. pumped through the inside of the drill string and exiting the drill bit while drilling. Potential information obtained includes rock type. one of the most important sources of downhole information is the core of the reservoir rock. 70 .

the "sand line". the potential is zero and the SP log should be a featureless line. there will be drift with depth because of the changing salinity of formation waters. radioactive logs and physical logs of various types. The Spontaneous Potential (SP) log The spontaneous potential tool measures natural electrical potentials that occur in boreholes and generally distinguishes porous. The stronger sandstone differentiation at greater depths on the SP log is caused by greater salinities in the deeper sandstones. 71 . porosity. Many types of logs are run in a borehole. The displacement on the log between the shale and sand lines is the "static self-potential" SSP. When the salinities of mud filtrate and formation water are the same. temperature. magnetic properties. Ions diffuse from the more concentrated solution (typically formation water) to the more dilute. Clean (shale-free) sandstone units with the same water salinity should show a common value. radioactive properties and sonic velocity. which generates a small natural potential measured by the SP tool in millivolts. The ion flow constitutes electrical current. Properties measured by these logs may include pressure. more saline formation water. causes two solutions to be in contact that have different ion concentrations. The "natural battery" is caused when the use of drilling mud with a different salinity from the formation waters. fluid saturations.WELL LOGS A log of a well is a determination of downhole properties relative to depth. rock density. permeability. magnetic logs. With a fresher mud filtrate and so. a sandstone will show a deflection in a negative potential direction (to the left) from a "shale base line" (Figure 8). Although they record different physical properties. In practice. The amount of the deflection is controlled by the salinity contrast between the mud filtrate and the formation water. depending upon the information desired and equipment available. sonic logs. permeable sandstones from intervening shales. Typical logs run are electric logs. In most instances more than one log is run simultaneously during a logging run. the two logs are comparable because of their sensitivities to shale and so both can be used to differentiate between sandstones and shales.

The highest sandstone in the well has a muted deflection on the SP log as compared with the lower sandstones. The SP log in Figure 35 is an example taken from a shallow section of the Dakota. the drilling mud filtrate is saltier than the formation water. In other wells it is not uncommon to see sandstone units where the SP deflection goes to the right of the shale baseline. Notice how the shale baseline shows a distinctive drift with depth. In these instances. Spontaneous potential (SP) and gamma-ray log from KGS Jones #1. A good example of this phenomenon is shown in Figure 9 from a well in north-west 72 .Figure 35. This contrast is an immediate indication that water in the upper sandstone may be significantly fresher than waters of the lower sandstone. This characteristic is commonly observed in shallow sections and has been suggested to be caused by increases in relative oxidation of the rocks that are close to the land surface.

Graham County. Figure 36. Spontaneous potential (SP) and gamma-ray logs of the Dakota Aquifer in Cities Service Montgomery #2 CNENW 7-8S-23W. "U. the deflection is to the left." This "reversal" occurs because the formation water in the upper sandstone is fresher than the drilling mud. Kansas. showing the formation water to be more saline. indicating formation water to be fresher than the drilling mud. the SP log shows a deflection to the right. "U". "L". 73 . but saltier than the drilling mud in the lower sandstone.Kansas. In the upper sandstone. while in the lower sandstone." but to the left in the lower sandstone "L. Note that the SP log deflects to the right in the upper sandstone.

The conductivity of the drilling mud filtrate is measured by the engineers at the well-site and recorded on the "header" of the log. The calculation is made very commonly by petroleum log analysts as an important variable in the search for potential oil or gas zones (see Figure 10). In general. aquifer waters. the equations used by petroleum log analysts are only approximate and must be adjusted to honor the ionic mix of the local aquifer water. the ions of calcium. care must be taken to ensure realistic conclusions. Although formation water compositions at greater depths tend to be mostly sodium chloride. 74 . the divalent ions of shallow waters tend to make them appear slightly more saline than they actually are when computed from the SP log. magnesium. This information combined with the SSP "battery effect" shown on the log can be used to estimate the conductivity of the formation water. When used to evaluate the quality of aquifer waters. As a result. bicarbonate and sulfate become more important in shallow.

Tf is the temperature of the formation. Flow chart from oil-industry log analysis to estimate formation water resistivity. generally estimated by interpolating between the bottom-hole temperature (BHT) at total depth (TD) and mean annual temperature at the surface. in deep formations from the SP log (Bateman and Konen. 75 . Rw. The method is particularly useful in Dakota Aquifer studies because it allows water quality studies to be extended beyond wells from which Dakota water samples were taken to wells that were unsampled but logged with an SP device. 1977). SSP is the static self-potential measured on the log between the "clean line" and "shale line" in millivolts (mv) AND with associated sign (positive or negative). An empirical chart was developed as part of the research in the Dakota to correct apparent water resistivities calculated from standard equations to estimates of real resistivities measured in Dakota Aquifer water samples (Figure 38). The corrected resistivities were then transformed to estimates of total dissolved solids. RMF is mud filtrate resistivity measured at temperature Tmf and recorded on the log header.Figure 37.

Custom-designed chart and function to convert apparent water resistivity (Rwe) calculated from oil-industry algorithms to actual resistivity (Rw) of Dakota Aquifer waters. and discrepencies with Rwe will be particularly noticable in the relatively fresher waters of shallow formations. From Boeken (1995). actual Rw values will be controlled by the ionic mix of natural waters. 76 . The correction is necessary because Rwe is calculated with the assumption that the dissolved solids in the water are from a single salt.Figure 38.

In addition to its other functions. 77 .TheResistivity log Resistivity logs measure the ability of rocks to conduct electrical current and are scaled in units of ohm-meters. These characteristics become important because of the process of formation "invasion" that occurs at the time of drilling. but a major difference between them lies in their "depth of investigation" (how far does the measurement extend beyond the borehole wall?) and their "vertical resolution" (what is the thinnest bed that can be seen?). drilling mud forms a mudcake seal on the borehole wall of permeable formations. There is a wide variety of resistivity tool designs.

the multiple resistivity curves are therefore excellent discriminators of aquifer and aquitard units.(ILD) induction resistivity logs from KGS Jones #1. The difference between the resistivity log measurements and the invasion process can be seen on Figure 12. 1942) that incorporates a "cementation factor" (m) expressing the tortuosity of the pore network as a modifier to the fractional volume of pore space (F): Rw = Ro x F**m where Ro is the resistivity reading of the zone when it is completely saturated with water whose resistivity is Rw. The replacement of formation water by mud filtrate involves a change of pore water resistivity. However. However. as is common in many drilling operations. but minimal separation in the shales which are effectively impermeable. Notice that the resistivities in the uppermost sandstone (depth. where separation between the curves can be seen in the more porous and permeable sandstones. in doing this. 100 feet) are contrasted with those in the lower sandstones by showing a much reduced separation. so that invasion effects on the resistivity logs are masked. resistivity variation is controlled by a variety of phenomena. displacing formation water and this is called "invasion". The water resistivity (Rw) is calculated from the resistivity and porosity log readings by the Archie equation (Archie. Therefore. some mud filtrate penetrates into the formation. The shallowest reading resistivity device (in this case. including cation-exchange mechanisms by clay minerals within the shalier zones. so that the deep induction log (ILD) probably records a reading close to the true resistivity of the undisturbed formation. and the dissolved ions within the pore water of the sandstones. The sensitivity of resistivity logs to water salinity can be used in an alternative method to SP log estimates of water quality. The two induction logs draw their responses from deeper in the formation. conduction by metallic minerals.(ILM) and deep. the spherically focused log) therefore records the highest resistivity because it responds mostly to formation invaded by the higher resistivity mud filtrate. As observed already. Results are less reliable in aquifers because of clay mineral effects as well as surface conduction on quartz grain surfaces. formation water resistivity may be calculated in shale-free sandstone zones that are logged by resistivity and porosity tools. Spontaneous potential (SP) spherically focussed (SFL) medium. the dampened deflection of this sandstone on the SP log shows that its contained water is only slightly more saline than the drilling mud. The mud used in the example well was less saline than formation waters in the deeper units.Figure 39. In a sandstone-shale sequence. The method is widely used by log analysts in the oil industry and generally gives good estimates of water resistivity in deeper (more saline) formation waters. invading mud filtrate is only slightly fresher than the connate water. 78 . From a hydrologic perspective. and much less saline than the lower sandstones.

The water resistivity curve is shown in Figure 40 and is indexed with two water sample measurements and a reference value from Rattlesnake Creek.Spontaneous potential (SP) log and profile of specific conductance of formation water estimated from resistivity and porosity logs in KGS Jones #1. Figure 40 .A water resistivity/specific conductance curve was computed for the Dakota Aquifer in the Jones well using the Archie equation with a cementation exponent (m) of 1.6 (an appropriate value for a slightly cemented sandstone). 79 .

Although either one or several of these types of logs are commonly run in oil exploration holes that penetrate the Dakota. rock properties other than water salinity may contribute to overall conductivity effects. and typically consists of the gamma-ray. rather than effective porosity. it must be emphasized that log estimates of water quality should only be used (and then with caution) where no samples are available for direct analysis. Commonly. The porosity reflects "free" water in the sandstones. mostly because of bound water. So.The curve is shown only for zones of sandstone that are relative low in clay content as indicated by the gamma-ray log. because oil exploration targets below the Dakota are usually limestone. rather than water salinity itself. However. with a general rule of a bias to pessimism in overpredicting salinity in fresher waters. they are not always recorded in the Dakota interval. log data estimates are valuable in extending knowledge of Dakota Aquifer water quality over larger geographic areas and greater depth ranges. However. The accuracy of the estimates degrades as water salinity decreases. In addition. the log is mainly a measure of hydrogen concentration (mostly contained by the pore fluids of the formation). 80 . but bound water in the shales. the log property is an indirect measure. Newer neutron logs are scaled directly in units of porosity (Figure 41). and acoustic velocity (or sonic) tool. porosities recorded in shale-free sandstones are a reasonable estimate of pore spaces that contain water that can be produced in a well. Older neutron logs are recorded in counts that require conversion to porosity units either by calibration to units of known porosity within the logged section or by reconciliation with cored samples from the same well. The "Porosity" logs There are three types of logging tools that are used to estimate the amount of pore space in a rock: the neutron. when used judiciously with water chemical measurements. SP. a full suite of logs is recorded in the deeper section. a more restricted suite may be run to be used for correlation purposes. because it records a physically dependent property. Again. Actual prosoities in the sandstones will be about 3% higher. In each case. A "limestone scale" is normally. Note match between profile and conductances measured from well water samples. The neutron log records counts of the collisions between neutrons that radiate from a tool source and hydrogen atoms within the rock of the borehole wall. density. Above the Stone Corral. and resistivity logs. Shales appear to have high porosities on the neutron log. The estimated specific conductance trace is a highly acceptable match with sample measurements and appears to show a transition zone between the fresher water of the upper sandstone and the more saline waters of the lower sandstones. where there is a potential for oil and gas up to the level of the Permian Stone Corral.

The two limits can be used to convert the density scale to values of equivalent porosity units. An example of a density log run in the Dakota is shown in Figure 42.65 grams per cubic centimeter. These two values correspond to the density of a sandstone with zero porosity and a hypothetical sandstone with a porosity of 100%. The density log is a measure of apparent density of the rock and is computed from the absorption of gamma rays emitted from a tool radioactive source by the formation.0. and that of water is approximately 1. a supplementary 81 .Figure 41. The density of quartz is about 2. On more recent density logs. Neutron porosity log from KGS Jones #1. Note that porosity increases from right to left.

82 . Newer density logs commonly have a photoelectric factor curve which is a useful lithology discriminator. Density log from KGS Jones #1 recorded in grams per cc (upper scale) and an equivalent sandstone scale (lower scale). Figure 42.curve of the photoelectric factor is also recorded. and is a useful measure of formation mineralogy.

that while both measurements are sensitive to shale content. 83 . while the neutron-density logs are influenced by the bound water and density of the shales. the gamma ray log responds to the natural radioactivity of the shale. The log overlay has sufficient information to be converted to a profile that graphically shows shale content and volume of effective pore space (Figure 7). The overlay allows shales. but there are also systematic differences. sandstones.It is common to see both the neutron and density logs recorded on the same logging run and shown as an "overlay" on a common scale of equivalent limestone porosity units (see Figure 6). The reason is. and other lithologies to be distinguished and a better estimate to be made of the true porosity of the formation at any depth. Notice that the overall shale composition estimated from the density-neutron log combination is similar to shale indicated by the gamma ray log.

Volumetric summary of shale. Neutron and density logs from KGS Jones #1 overlaid on a common equivalent limestone scale.Figure 43. 84 . quartz. and pore space indicated by gamma-ray and lithodensity-neutron logs from KGS Jones #1. Figure 44. The overlay allows the log analyst to recognize lithologies and read values of true porosity in zones of interest.

The log is measured as transit time in units of microseconds per foot. The sonic log is widely used by geophysicists to create synthetic seismograms for comparison with field records of seismic reflections from lines shot close to the well. Therefore. This physical relationship can be used to compute the porosity of a sandstone at any depth. Sound travels faster in rocks with low amounts of contained fluids than those with higher contents of fluid.5 microseconds per foot) and that of water (189 microseconds per foot) as extremes of a porosity scale of zero to 100% porosity. Observations from drill-cuttings and logs at the well site allow the geology in the borehole section to be established. reflection events on the synthetic seismogram can be tagged with specific rock formations and used as a key to identify reflections on field records. The log records the acoustic velocity of the rocks as a trace which is shown as a continuous function of depth. 85 .Note that shale estimation by the gamma-ray log is based on natural radioactivity and shows slight differences with shales from the lithodensity and neutron logs which are based on shale bound water and density characteristics. The third type of porosity estimate is computed from measurements of the speed of ultrasonic sound through the formation. by interpolating the measured value at any depth between the expected value of quartz (55. The sonic tool has a mechanical source of compressional energy that radiates sound through the rock formation in the borehole wall. Some exploratory seismic field studies were made by Coyle (1990) to determine what units in the stratigraphic section that contains the Dakota Aquifer could be resolved as distinct reflections and whether seismic shooting could be used in exploration for thick Dakota sandstones.

potential zones of interest in the subsurface may be tested for hydrocarbon presence by running a DST (drillstem test). so as to permit preparation of an effective reservoir development plan. 86 . The well is shut in and the pressure is allowed to build back to the initial reservoir pressure. A downhole shut in valve is installed in the DST Assembly so that the well can be shut in downhole. Skin factor is a measure of the damage done to the formation by drilling mud liquids and solids. A packer is set in the hole prior to perforating to prevent reservoir fluids from contacting the casing. More than one intervals can be tested in this manner. A drill stem test will provide the first opportunity to collect a major sample of reservoir and to evaluate reservoir flow potential. a pressure build up test is conducted. determining rock properties and reservoir fluid properties. This involves locating the boundaries of the reservoir and determining it’s shape and size. After the flow test. The well is perforated with completion fluid I the hole of appropriate density to achieve underbalance. a DST assembly is attached to the drillstring and run in the hole. reservoir permeability and skin factor can be obtained. He purpose of drilling these wells is to define the hydrocarbon reservoir limits. Underbalance is achieved when the hydrostatic pressure due to the column of completion fluid is less than the reservoir pressure. The well is flowed at pre-determined rates and the flowing bottomhole pressure is recorded in a downhole memory guage. From the data collected. then appraisal wells will be drilled. Provide additional data relative to the reservoir and it’s associated geologic environment. Appraisal wells are necessary to: i) ii) Gather sufficient information on which to base a decision as to whether there is economic justification for proceeding with development of the hydrocarbon reservoir. Appraisal Wells If sufficient hydrocarbon is encountered in a wildcat well. After drilling and casing well.Drill Stem Testing After drilling a wildcat well. Drillstem Tests are run more frequently in open hole than cased hole. These appraisal wells are also known as delineation wells. resulting in restriction to fluid flow in the reservoir. which can be used over the productive life of the reservoir. which may plug the pore throats of the reservoir rock.

south. They may be oil production wells or gas production wells. 1 acre = 43. Each well. to optimize the development of the reservoir. and other types of service wells. Development Wells The function of development wells is to “effectively and efficiently recover maximum hydrocarbon from the reservoir in a reasonable production lifetime. 1 mile = 5. If those quarters are further divided into quarters. maximizing economic return and resource recovery within necessary environmental limits. a development plan for the reservoir is prepared. Producing Wells These are the wells specified in the development plans.RESERVOIR DEVELOPMENT PLAN When the decision is made that sufficient information is available for acceptable definition of the reservoir. This plan is designed to optimize recovery of the hydrocarbon within anticipated economic and resource development limits. Some wells which are to be used as producing wells for the first several years may converted in injections wells later in the life of the reservoir. A 40 acre spacing for the drilling of development wells implies that one well will be drilled in each 40 acres. and that reservoir development and production should proceed. Consider the 1 mile2 area. A common spacing for oil reservoirs for onshore operations has been the 40 acre spacing. If that 1 mile2 is divided into quarters. therefore. each well is expected to drain a rock cylinder 660 ft in radius and of thickness equal to the hydrocarbon reservoir rock thickness. according to this development plan. will be ¼ mile or 1. but may also include gas injection.280 ft. The result will be 16 wells per 1 mile2. water injections.” These development wells not only include producing oil and gas wells. 87 . east and west). for production of the hydrocarbon to the surface. In the ideal production plan. the result will be 16 square area of acres each (16 times 40 acres = 640 acres). and 1 mile2 is equal to 640 acres of area. over a reasonable lifetime of production. each quarter = 160 acres.320 ft from its offset wells and will have 4 offsets (north. A part of that plan will be the development well spacing. The spacing of these wells will be selected based on reservoir properties and economics. This development plan will determine the reservoir production history and is extremely elaborate and specific.560 ft2.

for which there is no market. within fluid property limits. to store that gas for future production. Injection Wells Injection wells are drilled to serve various functions. the flowing bottomhole pressures can be maintained above the bubble point pressure by manipulating the production choke size in the wellhead. or others. nitrogen. a common spacing has been a 160 acre spacing. that there will only be liquid hydrocarbons in the reservoir and that only liquids will be produced into the wellbore at flowing bottomhole conditions. CO2. Injection wells may also be drilled to dispose of undesirable fluids. that are produced to the surface along with the hydrocarbons. water. This indicates. These would be considered as salt water disposal wells. Injection wells may previously have been utilized as producing wells.Many other spacings are also used. such as salt water. Excess solution gas. to enhance the recovery of the original hydrocarbons or to maintain reservoir fluid pressures during the production life of the reservoir. that the wildcat well and the appraisal wells be among the best producing wells. it is usually desirable to maintain the flowing bottomhole pressures of the producing wells above the bubble point pressure for a considerable portion of the production life of the reservoir. therefore. For gas reservoirs. there was included the conversion of some producing wells into injection wells at a particular time in the production life of the reservoir. and the salt may be injected into reservoirs other than hydrocarbon reservoirs. that the reservoir pressures in the producing region surrounding the wellbore will also be maintained above the bubble point pressure. including hydrocarbon (natural) gas. It is desirable. may also be injected into reservoirs other than those from which it was produced. It may be possible initially to maintain this condition by proper selection of the choke size in the wellhead. or 4 producing gas wells per 1 mile2. then. 88 . such as injection of external fluids into the reservoir. If the reservoir fluid pressure is sufficiently higher than the bubble point pressure of the reservoir hydrocarbons for the well depth and hydrocarbon density. but. This is normally desirable in the early production history of a reservoir. in the development plan for the reservoir. if practical. Reservoir Pressure Control For those reservoirs which initially have reservoir fluid pressures greater than the bubble point pressure of the hydrocarbons.

as determined by economics. it will finally be desirable to lower the flowing bottomhole pressure. The wells are equipped with pressure monitoring systems. it may reach its bubble point pressure. or at the beginning of the productive life of the reservoir. Gas injection into a natural gas cap. for each reservoir barrel of oil produced. if. for reservoir where increased water saturations have a significant adverse effect on permeability to the flow of oil. so that both gas and liquid may exist at the wellhead. which might exist above the oil zone. even though one did not exist under original natural conditions within the reservoir. could also be used for pressure maintenance. to recover the maximum volumes of remaining oil and gas (including solution gas) from the reservoir before it is depleted. this gas injection process for pressure maintenance could be initiated very early. These wells may also be converted for functions other than observation. however. and therefore abandoned. Oil production is a volume displacement process. such as production or injection later in the productive life of the reservoir. reservoir fluid pressure should maintained.As produced fluid returns to the surface. as well as progress of injected fluids such as the water front. Observation Wells Wells may also be drilled for the purpose of monitoring the reservoir development plan during the productive life of the reservoir. a reservoir barrel of water is injected beneath the oil zone into the water zone. through a controlled procedure. The observation wells may also be used to monitor encroachment of the gas-oil interface or the oil-water contact into the oil zone. Idealistically. 89 . during enhanced oil recovery by waterflood. As the natural reservoir fluid pressure reduces as hydrocarbons are produced. For example. to determine the extent of propagation of the pressure transient from the producing wells into the reservoir. basing volumes on reservoir conditions. If the initial reservoir fluid pressure is greater than the bubble point pressure of the reservoir hydrocarbons. a gas cap might created by gas injections. it may be necessary to inject external fluids into the reservoir to maintain reservoir pressure. As the reservoir nears the end of its productive life. to se low a pressure value as is feasible. however.

They dig a reserve pit. there must be a source of water nearby. the crew goes about preparing the land: 1. and access roads may be built. and is lined with a large-diameter conductor pipe. Lease agreements. 3.trucked away instead of placed in a pit. they drill a water well. Additional holes are dug 90 . The cellar provides a work space around the hole. based on the geophysical and geological mapping and interpretation. and environmental impact studies may be done. The land is cleared and leveled. Figure 45 – Offshore Jack-up Rig Once the legal issues have been settled. for the workers and drilling accessories. which is used to dispose of rock cuttings and drilling mud during the drilling process. The crew then begins drilling the main hole. Once the land has been prepared. then the cuttings and mud must be disposed offsite -. titles and right-of way accesses for the land must be obtained and evaluated legally. 2. If there is no natural source. several holes must be dug to make way for the rig and the main hole. called a cellar. the site is surveyed to determine its boundaries. The first part of the hole is larger and shallower than the main portion. legal jurisdiction must be determined. If the site is an ecologically sensitive area. A rectangular pit. For offshore sites. and line it with plastic to protect the environment. often with a small drill truck rather than the main rig.THE DRILLING PROCESS After choosing a prospect location. is dug around the location of the actual drilling hole. such as a marsh or wilderness. Because water is used in drilling.

Some rigs are built on ships or barges for work on inland water where there is no foundation to support a rig (as in marshes or lakes). equipment may be transported to the site by truck. the rig equipment can be brought in and set up. the rig is set up. Here are the major systems of a land oil rig: Figure 45 – Anatomy of an oil rig • Power system  large diesel engines burn diesel fuel to provide the main source of power  electrical generators are powered by the diesel engines to provide electrical power 91 .off to the side to temporarily store equipment -.when these holes are finished. helicopter or barge. Rigging up Depending upon the remoteness of the drill site and its access. Once the equipment is at the site.

end of the drill that actually cuts up the rock.pumps drilling mud (mixture of water. weighting material and chemicals.large-diameter concrete pipe that lines the drill hole.drives the rotating motion using power from electric motors  drill string . clay.where drilling mud is mixed and recycled  mud-mixing hopper . prevents the hole from collapsing.used for rotary drilling  swivel .large handle that holds the weight of the drill string. consists of a mechanical winch (drawworks) with a large steel cable spool. a block and tach\kle pulley and a receiving storage reel for the cable  turntable .collects rock cuttings separated from the mud  mud pits .shaker/sieve that separates rock cuttings from the mud  shale slide . allows the string to rotate and makes a pressure-tight seal on the hole  kelly . drill pipes and drill collars  pump .connects pump to drilling apparatus  mud-return line .conveys cuttings to the reserve pit  reserve pit .used for lifting heavy loads.driven by electric motors  hoisting system .sucks mud from the mud pits and Figure 46 pumps it to the drilling apparatus Mud circulation in the hole  pipes and hoses .• Mechanical system .consists of drill pipe (connected sections of about 30 ft / 10 m) and drill collars (larger diameter. and allows drilling mud to circulate Mud Circulation system . comes in many shapes and materials (tungsten carbide steel.returns mud from hole  shale shaker . used to lift rock cuttings from the drill bit to the surface) under pressure through the kelly.four.where new mud is mixed and then sent to the mud pits 92 . diamond) that are specialized for various drilling tasks and rock formations • • Casing .or six-sided pipe that transfers rotary motion to the turntable and drill string  turntable or rotary table .part of the drilling apparatus • Rotating equipment . heavier pipe that fits around the drill pipe and places weight on the drill bit)  drill bit(s) . rotary table.

Drill-mud circulation system Drilling mud is used to: • • • • • • lift soil/rock cuttings from the bottom of the borehole and carry them to a settling pit.Figure 47 . they can build-up on top of the bit and seize it in the hole). flow rate in the settling pits and shape/size of the pits). allow cuttings to drop out in the mud pit so that they are not re-circulated (influenced by mud thickness. tall enough to allow new sections of drill pipe to be added to the drilling apparatus as drilling progresses 93 . bearings. prevent cuttings from rapidly settling while another length of drill pipe is being added (if cuttings drop too fast. and lubricate the bit.support structure that holds the drilling apparatus. mud pump and drill pipe • Derrick . cool and clean the drill bit. seal the borehole wall to reduce fluid loss (minimizing volumes of drilling fluid is especially important in dry areas where water must be carried from far away). create a film of small particles on the borehole wall to prevent caving and to ensure that the upward-flowing stream of drilling fluid does not erode the adjacent formation.

First. often associated with fire) The BOP stack is usually located below the rotary table. There are five basic steps to drilling the surface hole: 94 .. The BOP stack is usually a combination of different types of blowout preventers. When a higher than normal reservoir pressure is drilled into. when the hydrostatic pressure due to the column of mud in the hole is less than the reservoir pressure. which is somewhere above where they think the oil trap is located.Blowout prevention A blowout occurs when there is loss of control of downhole reservoir fluid pressures. from the starter hole. they drill a surface hole down to a pre-set depth. A typical BOP stack consists of three (3) blowout preventers is shown below: Mud Return Annular Preventor Blind Rams Pipe Rams i) ii) iii) Annular Preventer (top) Blind Rams (middle) Pipe Rams (bottom) Drilling The crew sets up the rig and starts the drilling operations.high-pressure valves (located under the land rig or on the sea floor) that seal the high-pressure drill lines and relieve pressure when necessary to prevent a blowout (uncontrolled gush of gas or oil to the surface. • Blowout preventer . it may be necessary to activate the blowout prevention system (BOP stack) to provide time to kill the well.

collar and drill pipe in the hole. The gun has explosive charges to create holes in the casing through which oil can flow. When the rock cuttings from the mud reveal the oil sand from the reservoir rock. Place the drill bit. 5. they run a small-diameter pipe (tubing) into the hole as a conduit for oil and gas to flow up the well. they lower a perforating gun into the well to the production depth.lowering a device into the hole to measure the pressures. As drilling progresses. alignment and a proper seal. circulate mud through the pipe and out of the bit to float the rock cuttings out of the hole. The casing Figure 48. Add new sections (joints) of drill pipes as the hole gets deeper. they remove the drilling apparatus from the hole and perform several tests to confirm this finding: • • • Well logging . then drill again.1. Attach the kelly and turntable and begin drilling. Drilling continues in stages: They drill. First. A device called a packer is run down the outside of the tubing. 2. it is expanded to form a seal around the outside of the tubing. 95 . they may have reached the final depth. The cement crew pumps cement down the casing pipe using a bottom plug. the cement is allowed to harden and then tested for such properties as hardness. then run and cement new casings. At this point. which will reveal whether reservoir rock has been reached Core samples . they must run and cement the casing -. a cement slurry. pipe has spacers around the outside to keep it centered in Drill Floor workers trip drill the hole. Once they reach the pre-set depth. After the casing has been perforated. The pressure from the drill mud causes the cement slurry to move through the casing and fill the space between the outside of the casing and the hole. collar and bit when the pre-set depth (anywhere from a few hundred to a couple-thousand feet) is reached. Remove (trip out) the drill pipe. Finally.lowering electrical and gas sensors into the hole to take measurements of the rock formations there Drill-stem testing . the crew completes the well to allow oil to flow into the casing in a controlled manner. When the packer is set at the production level.taking samples of rock to look for characteristics of reservoir rock Once they have reached the final depth.place casing-pipe sections into the hole to prevent it from collapsing in on itself. 4. 3. a top plug and drill mud. pipe The casing crew puts the casing pipe in the hole.

Finally. Facilitate installation of surface equipment Facilitate installation of downhole equipment Provide means of controlling pressure Exclude water from producing formation Casing String and Design Factors The casing is the steel pipe which is run to different depths in the well. The pressure from this fluid makes small fractures in the sandstone that allow oil to flow into the well. the oil rig is removed from the site and production equipment is set up to extract the oil from the well. a specially blended fluid containing proppants (sand. they connect a multi-valved structure called a Christmas tree to the top of the tubing and cement it to the top of the casing. Confine production to the wellbore Prevent contamination of fresh water sands. ie potential hydrocarbon bearing zone present. aluminum pellets) is pumped down the well and out the perforations. Once the well is completed. until the reservoir is depleted. The Christmas tree allows them to control the flow of oil from the well. For sandstone reservoir rock. while the proppants hold these fractures open. For limestone reservoir rock. Once the oil is flowing. The acid dissolves channels in the limestone that lead oil into the well. particularly in the surface hole. 4. walnut shells. Well Completion If the evaluation of the well logs indicates a potential zone to be completed. The first and critical step is to run and cement casing in the hole. 6. 3. 5. 2. they must start the flow of oil into the well. 7. A casing liner is casing that is run from it’s casing depth back to a casing liner hanger downhole inside a previously run and cemented casing string or liner. The following are considered when selecting a casing to be run: i) ii) iii) iv) v) Axial load in tension Axial load in compression Burst as a thin walled cylinder (due to internal pressure) Collapse as a thin walled cylinder (due to external pressure) Corrosion 96 . The main reasons fore running and cementing casing in the open hole is to: 1. the well must be completed. Prevent caving of the hole. A casing string is casing that is run from it’s casing point back to the surface or to the seafloor in offshore wells. This will enable the well to produce hydrocarbons to the surface. This depth at which the casing is set is the casing point. acid is pumped down the well and out the perforations.

gravel. It is therefore desirable to set the conductor pipe either on solid rock or into solid rock. One function of the conductor pipe is to support the wellbore through the unconsolidated materials present in the surface ho. clay. rock boulders. sand. silt and sediment. A second function of the 97 .Typical casing and hole sizes. There are four typical types of casing that may be run in a well: i) ii) iii) iv) Conductor pipe Surface string Intermediate string or liner Production string or liner Conductor Pipe The conductor pipe may also be called drive pipe for offshore wells since it may be driven in to the seafloor with a pile driver.e such as dirt.vi) Abrasion 17 1/2 " hole 13 3/8" casing 12 1/4" hole casing liner hanger 9 5/8" casing 8 1/2" hole 7" casing liner Figure 49 .

a bolt flange connection is welded to the top of the casing to which the BOP stack will be attached. Another function of intermediate strings or liners is to seal off zones of wellbore washout in unconsolidated sandstones or mobile shales. The determining factor for this casing point will be to drill through an impermeable rock formation below the high pressure reservoir. It is usually desirable to produce hydrocarbons through production tubing rather than through the production casing in order to minimize exposure to possible corrosion from the reservoir fluids. The casing depth is therefore dependent on the depth of the bottom of the reservoir and the amount of rathole required for that particular well. the cohesive forces due to the cementing material 98 . and zones of potential wellbore washout. It is important that the surface string be set at sufficient depth within solid rock to provide protection against downhole pressures. The Surface String The surface string serves a primary function of protecting the surface environment from contamination from downhole fluids such as hydrocarbons and drilling mud. A second function of intermediate strings or liners is to seal off zones of lost circulation. thereby permitting further drilling with a less dense drilling mud. The combination of the casing head and BOP stack will protect against blowout during further drilling operations. Once the surface string is run. which may result from circulation of the drilling mud from the lower section of the wellbore. and therefore to restrict the well diameter at the surface to the ID of the conductor. which can occur when drilling a low pressure reservoir. This environmental protection requirement makes the cementing of the surface casing to the surface necessary. The production casing may also serve the functions of sealing off high pressure zones. Production Choke The production choke can be used to control the production flow rate of the well and hence the drawdown. The Production String The production string or liner is that casing through which the reservoir fluid will be produced. Intermediate String A primary function of intermediate strings or liners is to seal off zones of high fluid pressures. This casing is run all the way through the reservoir and set some depth below it.conductor is to protect the wellbore near the surface from washout. The drawdown is the difference between the reservoir pressure and the flowing bottomhole pressure. This is very important in preventing sand entry into the wellbore. zones of lost circulation. If the drawdown is too high.

The choke could be either adjustable or fixed choke (with a bean inserted). This valve prevents flow from occurring up through the inside of the casing. The guide shoe will allow the casing to be lowered in unconsolidated formations where there will be ledges in the well. This can result in plugged tubing. Factors affecting Production: i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii) ix) x) xi) xii) xiii) xiv) xv) xvi) xvii) Reservoir Fluid Pressure Reservoir Fluid Temperature Formation Volume Factor Bubble Point Pressure Reservoir Fluid Saturations Solution Gas Oil ratio Reservoir Fluid Viscosity Reservoir Fluid Compressibility Porosity Permeability Well Depth Flow area variations Perforation size. Within this float collar is a one-way check valve. preventing the breakout of gas out of solution at the bottom of the well. Adjustment of the choke and hence the flow rate can maintain a bottomhole pressure above the bubble point. joints of the casing are addad as the casing is lowered into the wellbore. The guide shoe also protects the end of the casing from damage while it is being run into the wellbore. penetration and density Choke size Flowing Bottomhole Pressure Production history of the reservoir Skin Factor Running the casing A casing guide shoe is attached to one end of one joint of the casing. The first joint of casing is now run into the wellbore and a float collar is attached to the top of that joint. Once the float collar has been connected. to keep it from hanging up.. The joint of casing is the brought to the rig floor and is suspended from the hoisting system in the derrick. with the guide shoe on the lower end. This will result in sand grains becoming loose and flowing into the wellbore.between the sand grains within the rock can be exceeded. The inside of the casing is filled with drilling mud to prevent the casing from floating out of the well due to buoyancy. The guide shoe will guide the casing past these ledges. but permits flow down through the casing. During the running of the 99 . This guarantees only liquids flowing into the well. washed out choke and plugged flowline.

When the diaphragm ruptures.casing. Any rock particles present in the annulus will be carried to surface because of the reciprocation and circulation as the well is prepared for cementing. This bottom plug separates the drilling mud from the cement. Scratchers have spring steel teeth. When the calculated volume of cement has been pumped into the casing. Drilling now proceeds to the next casing point. centralizes and scratchers are placed at pre-determined intervals along the outside of the casing string. which will rupture a diaphragm within the bottom plug. 100 . Once the bottom plug reaches the internal shoulder at the top of the float collar. Within this cementing head will be the bottom plug and the top plug. The functions of these centralizes are to centralize the casing in the center of the wellbore. The diameter of these plugs wil be slightly less than the casing ID. it will be known at the surface. and the calculated volume of cement is pumped into the casing behind this plug. The bottom joint of casing filled with set cement along with the guide shoe are now drilled out. Primary Cementing A cementing head (plug container) is attached to the top of the casing string. to provide a better cement bond with the rock formations. The bottom plug is now dropped on top of the mud column in the casing. further drilling can now proceed. since the pressure will drop and flow will resume. When the top plug seats the system is shut down to provide the pre-determined time for the cement to set. The result is a pressure increase . The top and bottom drillable plugs are then drilled out along with the float collar. the top plug is dropped on the cement column. The casing is reciprocated throughout the entire pumping process in order to break the gel in the annulus and permit the cement to distribute itself around the casing. indicating that the top plug has reached a position on top of the remains of the bottom plug. flow will be stopped when that plug seats on the shoulder. When this occurs. since flow is blocked by the plug. Pumping will continue until top plug seats on the remains of the bottom plug. The bit size for the next hole is attached to the bottom of the drill string and tripped into the hole and drilling is resumed. Once the cement has set. The mud is conditioned prior to cementing. as mud is circulated down th inside of the casing. This procedure will break the gel in the annulus. thereby opening the check valve in the float collar and returning up the annulus. by reciprocating the casing vertically with the hoisting system. ideally a distance at least equal to the spacing between centralizes and scratchers. thereby minimizing contamination of the cement by the mud as the wipers remove the mud from the wall of the casing in front of the cement. which scratch through the bentonite the bentonite wall cake on the wall of the wellbore. flow again will stop and pressure will rise.

and the plug set in the casing below the cement. After the cement has set the packer is released and the tubing is retrieved to the surface. Conventional Single zone Completion 2. It is then necessary to drill out the set cement remaining in the casing. to seal the annulus and therefore the leak at that location. or theough the leaks. This technique might be used to seal off casing leaks caused by corrosion or to repair channels that occur behind the casing during primary cementing. within the casing. WELL COMPLETION There are three basic types of well completion: 1. Tubingless Completion 101 .Squeeze Cementing Squeeze cementing is selective cementing downhole. Conventional Multiple zone Completion 3. Cement is the pumped under pressure through the pipe and squeezed into intervals perforated for this purpose. Tubing with a packer is then run into the wellbore. A drillable plug is placed in the casing below the point where the squeeze cementing is to occur. and the packer is set in the casing above the point at which the squeeze cementing is to occur.

Single zone cased hole completions may be with gravel packed screens or liners for sand control. The thickness of the casing is determined based on both the external and the internal pressures the casing must withstand.Conventional Single Zone Completion Open Hole Completion This is the simplest of all completion types. The open hole can also be widened using an under-reamer and then gravel packed. The size of the casing is determined based on the expected rate of production of the well. casing is run and cemented to the bottom of the pay zone. Another option is to run a gravel pack liner or screen and gravel pack the open interval. where casing is run and cemented just above the producing zone. Some features of open hole gravel pack completions: i) ii) iii) iv) v) It is easier to selectively stimulate using acid or fracturing Different intervals can be stimulated selectively Multiple completion is possible The well can be easily deepened Perforating cost can be high 102 . In some cases the well is drilled and cased beyond the pay zone. Productivity of open hole gravel packs is higher than the cased hole gravel packs because the hydrocarbon flows into a larger tube. The pay section is drilled with a non-damaging fluid. These are called collapse and burst pressures. leaving a “rat hole” below the perforated zone. where tubing is run and a packer is set in the casing above the open hole the well put on production. Some features of open hole gravel pack completions: i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii) It is run in consolidated sandstone or carbonate reservoirs Perforating expense is eliminated It provides good sand control The entire pay section is produced It can easily be converted to cased hole completion It is difficult to selectively stimulate using acid or fracturing The casing is set “in the dark” before the pay section is drilled It is difficult to eliminate water or gas production Single Zone Cased Hole Completion In this completion. This is known as an Open Hole Gravel Pack completion. Open hole completions can be barefoot.

Tubingless completions can be single zone or multiple zone. DUAL COMPLETION 17 1/2 " hole 13 3/8" casing 12 1/4" hole casing liner hanger 9 5/8" casing high pressure zone high pressure zone low pressure zone low pressure zone 7" casing liner Figure 50 – Dual Completion.vi) Various sand control techniques can be utilized Conventional Multiple Completion Conventional Multiple Completion is utilized when there are two zones in a well that contain significantly different reservoir pressures. especially when the well is shut in. some production from the higher pressure zone will preferably flow into the lower pressure zone. 103 . If both are produced together and allowed to mix. Thus it is necessary to isolate production from both zones. The zones are perforated using “orienting guns” which utilize magnetism to orient the guns away from the other casing strings in the hole. while perforating the selected zone. This is achieved by placing a dual packer between both zones and allowing flow up two different tubing strings (see diagram). Tubingless Completion In this type of completion the casing is small and no inner tubing is run in the hole.

To achieve this. Casing protection from pressure or fluid in the tubing Separation of zones Subsurface pressure and fluid control for safety Artificial lift support equipment 104 . The selection of the wellhead is based on the pressure. In choosing the optimum size of tubing the following is considered: i) ii) iii) iv) The desired flow rate Gas and liquid ratio for liquid loading in the tubing Possible artificial lift method to be employed.g 2 3/8”. sand control Packers Packers are set in the wellbore to provide a seal between the tubing and casing. 2 7/8”. Wellheads plays a major role in preventing oncontrolled flow from downhole. Another factor is gas expansion in the tubing. which assists in the lifting of the liquids to the surface. 3 ½”. temperature and corrosivity of the produced fluids. through it’s configuration of valves.g. Both the casing and tubing strings are landed in the wellhead.A packer may be classified by the way it is set: hydraulic or mechanical set. Packers are run for: i) ii) iii) iv) Wellheads Wellheads are the connection points for the tubing and the surface flow lines as well as being the surface control point in all wells.They also serve an anchors/hangers for the production tubing. with minimal pressure drop. tubing is usually small in diameter e. or by whether permanent or temporary. The casing also acts as a conduit allowing for all types of workover operations. Special requirements for completion e.Tubing Tubing is set inside the casing to transmit fluids from downhole to surface. by the way it is run: wireline or tubing.

Valve WKM 2 1/16" 5M RJ MM T-21. w/hold down screws. & 6" L. 2 Flanges threaded 2 1/16" 5M X 2" LP. 1-Bull Plug 2" LP X 1/2" NPT. 105 .A SECTION Casing head 13 5/8" 5M X l3 3/8" SOW w/2 1/16" 5M F.P.O. l-Bull Plug 2" LP plain.

Valve . 7. Valve WKM 2 9/16" 20M 6BX MM T-26.S. Valve WKM 1 13/16" 2OM 6OX MM T-25. w/2 7/8" Lift Threads.WKM 1 13/16" 20M 6BX MN T-26 w/weld neck flange. 6" X 3 1/2" 15.S.B SECTION 2. AP Flange Adp. 5.O.S. 15. 10. 14.S.80# PH6 CB L X S 2 1/2" BPV 17. RC22 W/K-Monel hold down Screws.. 11. Hanger w/metal to metal seals. Valve WKM 1 13/16" 15M 6BX MM T-22 w/weld neck flange. C SECTION 6. Valve WKH 1 13/16" 15M 6BX MM T-22 w/test flange 1 13/16" 15N X 1 1/8" autoclave.2OM FXF S. 12. S.s-600 actuator and bonnet kit.S. w/weld neck 1 13/16" 20M RC22 flange. BP Tapped 1 1/8" 12 NF. 13. Spool 7 1/16r X 2 9/16" 20H w/"P'" seals to accept metal to metal hanger S.4 PH S. Tubing head 11" 15M X 7 1/16" 20M w/1 13/16' 20M outlets.S. 3. Screws. w/weld neck I 13/16" 20M RC22 flange. Pos.S. Nom. and UEMM Tbg. Choke . AP Flange Packoff TS-5 13 5/8" 5M X 11" 10M W/9 5/8" "P" Seals. AP Top Adapter 2 9/16" 20M S.THC 1 13/16.WKM 1 13/16" 20M 6BX MN T-26 w/test flange 1 13/16" 20M X 1 1/8" S.T[[C 1 13/16" 20M FXF S. 16. 8. AP Casing Spool 11" 10M X 11" 15M "SF" w/1 13/16" 15H F. 2 9/16" 20M Run X 1 13/16" 20M out. Valve . Adj. AP Cross Stud. Choke . 4.20M T-26 w/. 106 . and hold down screws for wear bushing and 2-9 5/8" 'P" seals RC-22 w/K-Monel Hd. UPPER SECTION 9. Valve WKM 1 13/16.

The metal liner of the charge deforms under high pressure and provides mass. low rate wells. Usually four (4) one half inch (1/ inch) diameter holes per foot are required. The tubing is run in the hole . The “shaped charge” or “jet charge” is the most commonly used perforating technique used today. and hence the number of charges per run. An electric current. except in gravel packing operations where 4 to 8 three-quarter inch (3/4 inch) holes are shot. which detonated the primacord. packer set and well head installed. A wireline lubricator is installed on top of the wellhead. Casing Gun Perforating The casing guns are hollow steel carrier guns run on wireline. In order to achieve this. This gun is run without the tubing in the hole and requires a wireline lubricator connected on top of a shooting valve. booster charge and the main charge. The three (3) typical perforating guns used for perforating wells are: casing. through tubing and tubing conveyed guns. The advantage 107 . The perforations must be placed opposite the productive zones and are designed to penetrate both the casing and the cement placed behind it. thus allowing communication between the permeable part of the reservoir and the borehole. due to the density and weight of the perforating fluid. through the port or scalloped wall of the gun and then through the casing and cement into the formation. is greater than the reservoir pressure. fires the guns. A grease injector head is installed on the lubricator since this type of perforating can withstand some pressure from the well. This mechanism produces a hole in the casing by propagating a pressure wave front from the surface of the metal liner in the charge. This type of gun is used for overbalance perforating. a chain reaction is triggered from an electrically-fired detonator. The higher density larger holes accommodate transport of gravel through the perforations with less pressure drop across them. Multiple runs have to be made since the length of the perforating gun. The firing mechanism is the same as casing gun perforating. The tubing is run after the guns are fired and retrieved from the borehole. Through tubing perforating The through tubing guns contain charges that are screwed into a thin metal strip that can pass through the tubing. “Overbalance” occurs when the hydrostatic head. are restricted by the length of the lubricator. Casing gun perforating is cheaper than the other two types and is used for low pressure. which makes the charge more efficient. sent down the wireline to a detonator.Perforating Perforations are hole through casing to permit entry of fluids.

packer set and wellhead installed. The tubing is run in the hole. 108 . the drop bar method is utilized as a back-up mechanism. which sets off the detonator on impact. This results in gun debris being flowed back immediately upon perforating as the wellhead sees an immediate pressure and the well can be produced and cleaned up immediately. Sometimes. The guns are fired either by tubing pressure or by dropping a steel bar in the tubing.of this type of perforating is that the well can be flowed as soon as the last run is completed. and it is not as expensive as tubing conveyed perforating. This type of perforating is done underbalance (the hydrostatic head is less than the reservoir pressure). Tubing Conveyed Perforating Tubing Conveyed Perforating or TCP as it is more popularly known is the most expensive of the three and is used for high production rate wells. especially in deep wells. The perforating guns are run on hollow steel and attached at the end of the tubing.

A damaged well or other factors will effect the flow efficiency and could change the well's productivity. as given by the productivity index. the fluid flow is similar to single phase flow.PRODUCTION EQUATIONS The following is a simplification of procedures for predicting well performance. and the inflow performance curve is a straight line with slope J. = the well static pressure. PI: Where: Q = the fluid test production rate. Figure 57 109 . This discussion assumes a flow efficiency of one. Pwf = the well flowing pressure @ test rate . Productivity Index When the well flowing pressure (Pwf) is greater than bubble -point pressure (Pb).

resulting in multi-phase flow. The skin factor is a numerical representation of skin damage. Flow Efficiency The Vogel equation was modified by Standing. The relationship is given by the following equation: This relationship was first used by W. Water in the filtrate can swell the clays or fines from the solids can plug the pore throats.Inflow Performance Relationship If is less than . Vogel developed a dimensionless reference curve that can be used to determine the IPR curve for a particular well. The additional pressure drop in the near wellbore due to skin is called Δpskin. then the Flow Efficiency is less than 1 indicating that the well is damaged.V. the IPR method should be used. Both result in a reduction in the size of the flow channels and hence a reduction in the near wellbore permeability. This is referred to as skin damage. The flow efficiency can be estimated as: F. 110 . who represented the Vogel Equation as the situation when the Skin Factor is zero. then the Flow Efficiency is greater than 1 indicating that well is stimulated. If the skin factor is negative (s<0). Vogel2. Formation Damage and skin factor Wellbore damage occurs when filtrate (liquid) or solids from drilling mud or completion fluids interact or plug the formation near the wellbore.E = Where s is the skin factor. Gilbert1 and further developed by J.E. 7 7+s If the skin factor is positive (s>0).

0 3000.0 Q 2000.400 bopd.0 1000.750 bopd for a flowing bottomhole pressure of 1. 2. Wellbore Plan View of a wellbore. the unstimulated well will produce at a rate of approx. However. an increase of 650 bopd. 1. radial flow exists in a reservoir (flow from all directions in a radial pattern as shown below).000 psia. Darcy Equation for Radial Flow Previously we looked at the Darcy Equation for linear flow for incompressible fluids. while the production rate for the same flowing bottomhole pressure will be approx.0 500. depicting radial flow 111 .0 For the well represented in the graph above.0 1500.IPR Standing 4500 4000 3500 FE > 0 3000 2500 Pwf 2000 1500 Stimulated well IPR Curve 1000 500 0 0.0 2500.

(psia) Flowing Bottomhole Pressure. (psia) Oil Dynamic Viscosity. (ft) Initial reservoir Pressure.472 re/rw) + s ) Oil flow rate. 112 .Darcy developed an equation for radial flow. (ft) Skin Factor From the above equation. (STD/day) Reservoir Rock Thiockness. (Centipoise) Oil Formation Volume Factor.Pwf) µoB o( ln(0. This forms the basis for well stimulation. while a negative skin factor rill result in an increased flow rate in the well. which estimates the radial fluid flow thropugh porous media: qo = where: qo = h= P= Pwf = µo = Bo = re = rw = s= 7. (RB/STB) Radius of the boundary (limit of reservoir). we can see that a positive skin factor (s>0) will result in a reduction in the well’s oil rate.08 x 10-3 k h (P . (ft) Wellbore Radius.

Gas lift systems are selected for artificial lift if a low cost. Progressive cavity or screw type pumps particularly for heavy oil operations 5. downhole electric or hydraulic pump. high pressure gas is injected down the casing and enters the tubing at the bottom of the well through a pressurerated gas lift valve. the new wells flow under it’s natural pressure until such time that the reservoir pressure is reduced to the point that the well can no longer flow under it’s natural pressure. In gas lift operations. Gas Lift Gas lift systems can be used to effectively produce wells ranging from low productivity to high productivity.g. resulting in more inflow from the reservoir and also helps push the fluids out of the well. The well now becomes a prime candidate for artificial lift. In flowing wells. and rod pump. Figure 51 – Gas Lifting 113 . Gas Lift a) b) c) Continuous gas lift system Intermittent gas lift system Plunger lift system 2. The gas comes out of solution and expands as the pressure is reduced as it flows up the tubing. gas is produced along with the liquids. Electric submersible pumping 4. increasing the velocity of the fluid and decreasing it’s density just as in flowing wells. Artificial lift is simply a method of adding energy to lift liquid to the surface of a well. The design of lift systems also depends on the economics of the project.ARTIFICIAL LIFT In most fields. There are various artificial lift mechanisms such as: gas lift. plunger lift. flow rate and the reservoir pressure. As the gas rises the bubbles expand. Beam pumping or sucker rod pumping 3. and can be accomplished by any of the following means: 1. The selection of artificial lift depends on type of hydrocarbons. Various special techniques e. hydraulic pumps. The expanding gas assists in lightening the column of fluid. high pressure gas source is readily available. jet pumps etc.

The injection takes place again. The two different types of gas lift valves used in the industry are differential valves and bellows or charged valves. high pressure gas enters the tubing through gas lift valves continuously. the valve will not reopen until the tubing pressure has risen due to liquid loading or the injection pressure has decreased. The bellows pressure in the pressure charged bellows valve closes the valve.The applications of gas lift are: i) ii) iii) iv) To enable wells that will not flow naturally to produce To increase production rate in flowing wells To unload a well that will later flow naturally To remove or unload fluids from gas wellsand keep the gas wells unloaded (usually intermittent gas lift) Continuous Gas lift Under continuous gas lift. maintaining a constant flowing bottomhole pressure. The valves are arranged in a string down the tubing with the bellows-pressure charge being less as the valve location is deeper. the valve closes. Intermittent Gas Lift Intermittent gas lift is used on wells that have low volumes of produced fluids. The gas lift supply is shut down for a predetermined period of time. allowing the deeper valve to stay open when the valve above is closed. Some features of gas lift i) ii) iii) iv) Simple operation Very flexible – one gas lift design can handle a variety of changing well conditions Relatively low cost – both capital and operating Can be used in directional wells 114 . This action reduces the fluid gradient in the tubing and the well performs very similar to a natural flowing well. The differential valves are normally open and when the pressure in the annulus is high enough. As the pressure in the tubing is less than the injected gas. allowing fluid inflow from the reservoir. Intermitting is usually done using surface equipment. removing fluids from the wellbore and then the next cycle begins. The gas lift valves can be either loaded or pressure balance release valves. The valve opens when the annulus gas pressure acting on the area below the bellows plus the tubing pressure is greater than the bellows pressure.

A plunger cycle consists of three stages: Shut-in: A producing well is shut in to build casing pressure. Afterflow: The well is allowed to flow while the plunger is at surface. the well keeps producing gas and fluids until the next shut-in period. This is needed to build the pressure to lift the plunger with the liquid column on top of the plunger. At the end of the afterflow period. A plunger is a “pipeline pig” that runs vertically in a well to remove liquids from a wellbore after the well is unable to produce fluids on it’s own drive mechanism. and stored casing pressure lifts the liquid column and plunger to the surface. to recompress the gas for further gas lift use Plunger Lift Plunger lifting is an economical artificial lift alternative. especially in high gas oil ratio wells. Plunger lift is used mainly in: High producing GOR wells Wells where scale. During the afterflow period. paraffins. wax foul up the tubing Gas wells that require liquid unloading Reducing liquid fall back (used along with intermittent gas lift) Advantages of plunger lift i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) Low maintenance cost Increases the well’s own lifting efficiency Easy installation Reduces paraffin or hot oil expense for cleaning the deposits in the tubing as the moving plunger keeps the tubing clean No external energy is required except for low gas oil ratio wells Slows well decline and extends well life 115 . Unloading: The tubing is opened. the well is shut in and the plunger falls.v) vi) vii) Must have a high pressure gas supply Would not work on low API gravity crudes due to high specific gravity of the oil Requires a compressor.

When the bottom of the plunger (which contains the traveling valve) hits the surface of the liquid that has flowed into the pump. The standing valve is a one way valve in the bottom of the pump. The downstroke of the plunger forces the liquid in the pump up through the traveling valve. the downstroke begins. forming a low pressure area beneath the plunger and drawing in reservoir fluid through the standing valve into the wellbore chamber. The most difficult task in beam pumping is keeping the rod string in operation without high maintenance costs. frequent servicing and excessive downtime. the traveling valve is forced open as the valve moves through the liquid and the standing valve is closed. adding it to the tubing. As the plunger is lifted by the rod on the upstroke. The new fluid pushes all other fluid in the tubing up by the volume of the liquid in the pump. The beam pump (or rod pump) is a plunger with a two valve arrangement. At the end of the upstroke. which allows flow from the wellbore to the pump but stops reverse flow.Beam Pumping Figure 52 – Rod Pump Beam Pumping is the most widely accepted artificial lift method. the traveling valve is closed. The traveling valve is another one way valve that is attached to the rod string. It utilizes a mechanical linkage to actuate a piston type bottomhole pump. Problems associated with sucker rods result from: 116 .

i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) Corrosion Carelessness in handling High pumping speeds Wide range of loads Crooked hole Poor selection and string design Sucker rod pumping is controlled by variable frequency drive and timer mechanism at the surface. Figure 53 – ESP ESP systems are effective for pumping produced fluids to surface. The pump can either be connected to a pipe. The whole assembly is submerged in the fluid to be pumped. Submersible pumps are found in many applications. 117 . sewage pumping. general industrial pumping and slurry pumping. thereby connecting it to the delivery pipework. The advantage of this type of pump is that it can provide a significant lifting force as it does not rely on external air pressure to lift the fluid. single stage pumps are used for drainage. flexible hose or lowered down guide rails or wires so that the pump sits on a "ducks foot" coupling. Electric Submersible Pump A submersible pump is a pump which has a hermetically sealed motor close-coupled to the pump body. A system of mechanical seals are used to prevent the fluid being pumped entering the motor and causing a short circuit. Multiple stage submersible pumps are typically lowered down a borehole and used for water abstraction.

Submersible pumps are also used in oil wells. they are not very tolerant of solids such as sand. Progressive Cavity Pump Progressing Cavity Pumping (PCP) Systems typically consist of a surface drive. New varieties of ESP can include a water/oil separator which permits the water to be reinjected into the reservoir without the need to lift it to the surface. The energy to turn the pump comes from a high-voltage (3 to 5 kV) alternating-current source to drive a special motor that can work at high temperatures of up to 300 °F (150 °C) and high pressures of up to 5000 lb/in² (34 MPa). By increasing the pressure at the bottom of the well significantly. a series of sealed cavities form and progress from the inlet to the discharge end of the pump. Given their high rotational speed of up to 4000 rpm (67 Hz) and tight clearances. The result is a non-pulsating positive displacement flow with a discharge rate proportional to the size of the cavity. more oil can be produced from the well compared to natural production. ESPs have dramatically lower efficiencies with significant fractions of gas. rotational speed of the rotor and the differential pressure across the pump. Figure 54 – PCP 118 . drive string and downhole PC pump. This makes Electric Submersible Pumping (ESP) a form of "artificial lift" (as opposed to natural flow). In most cases the rotor is attached to a sucker rod string which is suspended and rotated by the surface drive. greater than about 10% volume at the pump intake.7 km) deep with high energy requirements of up to about 1000 horsepower (750 kW). from deep wells of up to 12000 feet (3. The PC pump is comprised of a single helical-shaped rotor that turns inside a double helical elastomer-lined stator. As the rotor turns eccentrically in the stator. The stator is attached to the production tubing string and remains stationary during pumping. The ESP system consists of a number of components that turn a staged series of centrifugal pumps to increase the pressure of the well fluid and push it to the surface.

including horizontal. slant. Figure 55 – Rotor 119 . typically hard chrome. Using the latest manufacturing technology. Each combination of rotor/stator is matched to downhole conditions to provide highly efficient operation and optimum production enhancement.PCP System Applications • • • • • • • • Sand-laden heavy crude oil and bitumen Medium crude oil with limits on H2S and CO2 Light sweet crude oil with limits on aromatic content High water cuts Dewatering gas wells such as coalbed methane projects Mature waterfloods Visual and/or height sensitive areas All type wells. directional and vertical reservoirs There are two basic elements that make up the downhole Progressing Cavity (PC) Pump – a single helical alloy-steel rotor connected to a rod string and a double helical elastomer-lined stator attached to the tubing string. rotors are kept to tight tolerances and treated with chemical and abrasion-resistance coating. Stators are comprised of a steel tube with an elastomer molded inside to provide the internal geometry.

RESERVOIR DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES All information gathered through drilling and completion of the wildcat and appraisal wells and analysis of data obtained, is used to prepare a Reservoir Development Plan. This plan includes not only spacing of development wells, as affected by surface and subsurface conditions, but also the control procedures determined for manipulating the reservoir fluid pressure changes and flow characteristics over the productive life of the reservoir. For flowing wells, this involves choke sizes and variations, in order to manipulate the flowing bottomhole pressure of the wells within technical and economic limits. It also involves fluid injection into the reservoir, to manipulate that pressure and therefore control the production of hydrocarbons from the reservoir and encroachment of external fluids such as water and gas into the reservoir. The onshore development plan will be quite different than the offshore development plan. One of the major decisions in preparing the offshore development plan is selection of offshore platform locations and number of platforms, to optimize production within economic limits from the reservoir in a reasonable lifetime. If an offshore platform is placed in the wrong location, as determined by later drilling, this will result in a major economic loss compared to drilling a single well in the wrong onshore location. The decision, therefore, for offshore development may be far more critical than decisions foe development of an onshore reservoir. Economics, both at the time of development, and that anticipated over the productive life of the reservoir, place limits on the extent to which the best technology can be applied. For example, an offshore reservoir might be best developed on a 40-acre spacing (16 wells per square mile). However, the cost of the platforms as related to hydrocarbon prices may justify the drilling of only three wells per mile on an average basis, by directional drilling from centralized platforms. It cannot be anticipated, therefore, that as high a percentage of the original hydrocarbon in place will be recovered during the life of production of the reservoir with three wells per mile as would have been recovered has the best available technology been applied, requiring 16 wells per mile.

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HYDROCARBON RECOVERY MECHANISMS The recovery of hydrocarbons is basically a volume displacement process. When a volume of hydrocarbon is removed from the reservoir by production, it will be replaced by a volume of some fluid. Energy is expended in this process. Hydrocarbon recovery mechanisms may be divided into two categories: i) ii) Primary Recovery Enhanced Recovery

Primary Recovery Primary recovery is “utilization of the natural energy of the reservoir to cause the hydrocarbon to flow into the wellbore.” Based on this definition, as long as the hydrocarbon flows into the wellbore, this is primary recovery, even if the hydrocarbon must be artificially lifted to the surface by pumps or some other process. There are many sources of this primary recovery energy of which three are dominant: a) b) c) Dissolved Gas Drive ( Solution Gas Drive ) Gas-Cap Drive Water Drive

Dissolved Gas Drive When the reservoir is produced so that gas is permitted to escape from the hydrocarbon liquid in the reservoir, so that two-phase flow (gas and liquid ) occurs from the reservoir into the wellbore, the expanding gas will force the oil ahead of the gas into the wellbore. In order to maximize oil recovery, however, for most reservoirs it is desirable to prevent dissolved gas drive, at least until late in the productive life of the reservoir. As the reservoir approaches depletion, the flowing bottomhole pressures may be reduced to as low a value as possible, in order to recover whatever percentage of remaining hydrocarbons might flow into the wellbore, including solution gas from the oil which will remain in the reservoir (residual oil) at the time the reservoir is abandoned. Dissolved gas drive can be delayed by injecting water into the water zone beneath the oil, or gas on top of the oil (there creating a gas cap, in order to maintain reservoir fluid pressures above the bubble point pressure.

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Gas-Cap Drive If a gas cap exists above the oil zone, and wells are drilled and perforated in the oil zone and the bottomhole pressures are sufficiently reduced, the expanding gas cap will force the oil into the wells as the gas interface encroaches into the oil zone. In order for gas-cap drive to exist as a primary recovery mechanism, however, the gas cap must exist naturally. Water Drive Most hydrocarbon reservoirs will have a water zone beneath the hydrocarbon. This water is tending to encroach into the oil zone. If wells are drilled and perforated in the oil zone, when the wellbore pressure is reduced, oil flow will be initiated into the well as water encroaches into the oil zone forcing the oil towards the producing wells. If this natural encroachment tendency is to exist, natural energy must be present. There are several possible sources of this natural energy. One source is the expansion of the water as a compressible fluid, as reservoir pressures are reduced. As the reservoir pressure is reduced, the expanding water will push the oil in front of it into the producing wells. Water expansion as a compressed liquid produces more oil than oil as a compressed liquid, not because the compressibility of water is much different to compressibility of oil, but because the total volume of water in the water zone is usually very large when compared to the total volume of oil in the oil zone. Another source of energy for water drive occurs when the reservoir rock dips upward to the surface where it outcrops. If permeability continuity exists through this rock, as oil is produced from the reservoir, water flows down dip from the surface to replace the oil volume removed. Surface water replenished that water, maintaining a constant hydrostatic pressure on the reservoir fluids.

Secondary Recovery Secondary recovery is proven technology; indeed, a recent study indicates that 50 percent of all domestic crude oil in the US comes from secondary recovery operations. Water flooding is inherently more efficient than gas displacement in pressure-maintenance projects and is the preferred process where feasible. Some reservoirs, principally those containing heavy oil that flows only with great difficulty, not only provide poor primary recovery but often are not susceptible to waterflooding. Enhanced oil recovery would be especially useful in some of these reservoirs.

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Water Flood Of the historical techniques used for EOR, water flooding has been the most common. This is not water drive. In water drive, water is encroaching into the oil zone from beneath, but in a true water flood, water is injected down injection wells into the oil zone. Ideally, this creates a vertical flood front, pushing the oil in front of the water toward the producing wells. In a water flood, the water injection wells are placed relative to the oil producing wells in some predetermined pattern based on reservoir characteristics and production history. A common pattern for water flooding for large reservoirs which arc basically horizontal reservoirs is the five spot pattern. This five spot pattern is repeated over the reservoir, Prior to the initiation of a water flood project for a reservoir, various studies will have been made in designing the water flood. These might include model studies in the laboratory, digital and analog computer simulations, and pilot floods may have been run in a portion of the reservoir as a preliminary study, so that an analysis of the water flood plan might be made. It is desirable to conduct the water flood so as to maximize the sweep efficiency within economic limits relative to production, so that when the water front from the injection wells breaks into the producing wells, a maximum percent of the reservoir volume will have been swept by the flood. Once this water front reaches the producing wells, further hydrocarbon production will be negligible, in that the wells will now produce essentially water. In order to recover further hydrocarbons, a different EOR technique must now be applied as a tertiary (or third) method for recovery. Whatever the technique used for enhanced recovery, it is desirable that the mobility ratio of driving fluid be less than the mobility ratio for the driven fluid. The mobility ratio is the ratio of the permeability to the flow of the liquid to the dynamic viscosity of that liquid. The oil ratio mobility ratio will be [ko/µo ] = Oil Mobility Ratio And, in the case of the water flood, the water mobility ratio of the water will be [kw/µw ] = Water Mobility Ratio If the mobility ratio of the driving fluid is greater than the mobility ratio of the driven fluid, the driving fluid will tend to channel or finger through the hydrocarbon, tending to bypass the hydrocarbon in the smaller permeability channels, leaving it behind in the reservoir.

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gas cap drive or gas cap drive enhancement is often used as a reservoir pressure maintenance technique. The term used in this assessment is enhanced oil recovery (EOR). a measure of a liquid’s ability to flow. As previously discussed. Most EOR processes represent essentially untried. Thermal Processes Viscosity. In reservoirs where reservoir fluid pressure is higher than the bubble point pressure. One thermal process has achieved moderately widespread commercialization. Current EOR processes may be divided into four categories: (a) thermal. varies widely among crude oils. Early experiments with un-conventional fluids to improve oil recovery involved the use of steam (1920’s) and air for combustion to create heat (1935). but by economic. and institutional constraints as well. but it is still difficult to predict whether they will work and be profitable in any given reservoir. high-risk technology. others as readily as water. a gas cap may be created by gas injection so that the expending gas cap with further gas injection will displace the oil into the producing wells. Some crudes flow like road tar. This inefficiency of oil recovery processes has long been known and the knowledge has stimulated laboratory and field testing of new processes for more than 50 years.Gas –Cap Injection In the gas cap drive injection secondary recovery technique. 124 . (c)chemical. material. approximately two-thirds of the oil discovered will remain in an average reservoir after primary and secondary production. The chemical processes are the most technically complex.” and “enhanced” oil recovery processes. and (d) other. The potential applicability of all EOR processes is limited not only by technological constraints. Enhanced Recovery Processes that inject fluids other than natural gas and water to augment a reservoir’s ability to produce oil have been designated “improved.” “tertiary. According to American Petroleum Institute estimates of original oil in place and ultimate recovery. to pressurize the gas cap. The mechanisms of miscible processes are reasonably well understood. but they also could produce the highest recovery efficiencies. gas is injected into the gas cap above the oil zone. High viscosity makes oil difficult to recover with primary or secondary production methods. (b) miscible.

In the first. Steam injection is the most advanced and most widely used EOR process. this process is occasionally referred to as the “huff and puff” method. or air (combustion processes). the process is repeated.” After a few days or weeks. the well is allowed to backflow to the surface. An injected fluid may be steam or hot water (steam injection). steam drive or steam flooding. There are two versions of the process: cyclic steam and steam drive. Steam Injection. involves continuous injection of steam or steam and hot water in much the same way that water is injected in water flooding. A reservoir or a portion thereof is developed with interlocking patterns of injection and production wells. a series of zones develop as the fluids 125 . and the purpose of all thermal oil-recovery processes is therefore to heat the oil to make it flow or make it easier to drive with injected fluids. Because of its cyclic nature. Figure 56 When oil production has declined appreciably. It has been successfully used in some reservoirs in California since the mid-1960’s. During this process. The second method. Pressure in the producing well is allowed to decrease and some of the water that condensed from steam during injection or that was injected as hot water then vaporizes and drives heated oil toward the producing well.The viscosity of most oils dramatically decreases as temperature increases. The injection is stopped and the reservoir is allowed to “soak. high-pressure steam or steam and hot water is injected into a well for a period of days or weeks.

butane. An important modification of forward combustion is the wet combustion process. and in front of the condensed water is a band or region of oil being moved by the water. propane. Some of this heat may be recovered by injection of alternate slugs of water and air. the method is theoretically applicable to a relatively wide range of crude oils. A steam drive. and difficult to predict and control. and pentane. Nearest the injection well is a steam zone. This heat was used to raise the temperature of the rock to the temperature of the combustion. or forward combustion. The steam and hot water zone together remove the oil and force it ahead of the water. Miscible Processes Miscible processes are those in which an injected fluid dissolves in the oil it contacts. The cost of the injected fluid is quite high in all known processes. and therefore either the process must include a supplementary operation to 126 . partially as a means of determining the technical feasibility of the process for a particular reservoir and partly to improve the efficiency of the subsequent steam drive. Combustion Processes. carbon dioxide. Cyclic steam injection is usually attempted in a reservoir before a full-scale steam drive is initiated. The fluid must be carefully selected for each reservoir and type of crude to ensure that the oil and injected fluid will mix. Injection of hot air will cause ignition of oil within a reservoir.move from injection well to producing well. Much of the heat generated in forward combustion is left behind the burning front. ahead of this is a zone of steam condensate (water). forming a single oil-like liquid that can flow through the reservoir more easily then the original crude. Air is injected through one pattern of wells and oil is produced from another interlocking pattern of wells in a manner similar to waterflooding. the hot combustion product gases move ahead of the combustion zone to distill oil and push it toward producing wells. This process is referred to as fire flooding. will recover more oil than cyclic steam injection. A variety of such processes have been developed using different fluids that can mix with oil. Although originally conceived to apply to very viscous crude oils not susceptible to water flooding. where applicable. The water is vaporized when it touches the hot formation. including alcohols. and petroleum gases rich in ethane. petroleum hydrocarbons such as propane or propane-butane mixtures. in situ (in place) combustion. The vapor moves through the combustion zone heating the oil ahead of it and assists the production of oil. Combustion projects are technologically complex. Although some oil is lost by burning.

” which varies from 5 to 50 percent of the reservoir volume. is the newest and most complex of the EOR processes. or the injected material must be used sparingly. polymer. For this reason. attention has turned to C02 as a solvent. These processes emulsify or otherwise dissolve or partly dissolve the oil within the formation. Surfactant/Polymer Flooding. Chemical Processes Three EOR processes involve the use of chemicals : surfactant/polymer. few major field tests have been completed or evaluated. and alkaline flooding.recover expensive injected fluid. water (brine). In this process. Not all parameters for this design process are well understood. a “slug. the volume of a slug can represent only a small percentage of the reservoir volume. Surfactant/poIymer flooding. To preserve the integrity of the slug as it moves through the reservoir. is pushed through the reservoir by gas. Because of the high value of hydrocarbons and chemicals derived from hydrocarbons. Several major tests are now under way to determine its technical and economic feasibility. Surfactant/polymer flooding can be any one of several processes in which detergent-like materials are injected as a slug of fluid to modify the chemical interaction of oil with its surroundings. or chemically treated brine to contact and displace the mixture of fluid and oil. Miscible processes involve only moderately complex technology compared with other EOR processes. The chemical composition of a slug and its size must be carefully selected for each reservoir/crude oil system. also known as microemulsion flooding or micellar flooding. it is pushed by water to which a polymer has been added. much remains to be determined about the proper formulation of various chemical systems to effect complete solubility and to maintain this solubility in the reservoir as the solvent slug is pushed through it. 127 . While it has a potential for superior oil recovery. Because of the cost of such agents. Conditions for complete mixing of C02 with crude oil depend on reservoir temperature and pressure and on the chemical nature and density of the oil. Although many miscible fluids have been field tested. it is generally felt that such materials would not make desirable injection fluids under current or future economic conditions.

for example. A third process in this category is the use of bacteria for recovery of oil. many processes for improving oil recovery have been developed. but does not appear to have significant potential. none have been found that will both successfully generate useful modifying chemicals in sufficient amounts and also tolerate the chemical and thermal environments in most reservoirs. Polymer flooding is a chemically augmented waterflood in which small concentrations of chemicals. The few tests which have been reported are technically encouraging. Although some bacteria are able to with-stand temperatures and pressure found in oil reservoirs. the oil above it would be heated. and increase oil recovery. Reservoirs not considered for alkaline flooding became candidates for other processes. such as polyacrylamides or polysaccharides. sodium silicate.Polymer Flooding.It is uncertain whether 128 . This band would then be used as a highresistance electrical pathway through which electric current would be applied. are added to injected water to increase the effectiveness of the water in displacing oil. and sodium carbonate are strongly alkaline. and the process is not important to total energy production. Water solutions of certain chemicals such as sodium hydroxide. Some known processes have very limited application. it should be recognized that a single field test or patent represents but a small step toward commercial use on a scale large enough to influence the supply of crude oil. reduce oil viscosity. The process was conceived over 25 years ago and has been tested sporadically. Other EOR Processes Over the years. a large number of patents have been issued. Alkaline Flooding. In evaluating a conceptual process. and it would be easier to recover. Several variations have been conceived. This relationship between oil and coal is rare. but the technology is not nearly so well developed as those described previously. its viscosity would be reduced. however. These solutions will react with constituents present in some crude oils or present at the rock/crude oil interface to form detergent-like materials which reduce the ability of the formation to retain the oil. causing the “resistor” to heat the formation. if thin coalbeds lay under an oil reservoir this coal could be ignited. and a significant number of processes have been field tested. These include use of bacteria within a reservoir to generate surface-active (detergent-like) materials that would perform much the same function as a surfactant/polymer flood. Another example involves use of electrical energy to fracture an oil-bearing formation and form a carbon track or band between wells.

Place) Water flood (Secondary Recovery) 30% to 40% 90% + 5% to 30% 20% to 40% 35% to 75% CO2 Miscible Flood (Tertiary Recovery) 5% to 10% Steam Drive (Heavy Oil) 50% to 80% 129 . Further.Place) Dissolved Gas Drive Gas-Cap Drive Water Drive Gas (Percent of Original-Gas-In –Place) Gas Expansion and Water Drive Enhanced Recovery Efficiencies Oil (Percent of Original. any strain of bacteria developed would need to be carefully screened for potential environmental hazards.in.) Percent of Original-Oil-in-Place recovered Percent of remaining-Oil-in-Place recovered The ranges of recovery efficiencies for primary recovery and enhanced may be summarized as follows: Primary Recovery Efficiencies Oil (Percent of Original Oil.nutrients to keep them alive could be provided. Recovery Efficiencies Experience has determined expected ranges of efficiencies of recovery of hydrocarbons by primary and enhanced techniques.Oil. These recovery efficiencies are normally expressed in one of two ways: i.) ii.In.

operators must be able to perform gravel pack applications under various well conditions. and environment. quality of the filter cake. and stability of the wellbore. pressure.REMEDIAL WELL WORK Gravel packing Gravel packs can be performed in either open hole or cased hole completions. To achieve these objectives. Several techniques are available for dealing with sand production from wells. These range from simple changes in operating practices to completions such as Sand 130 . Gravel packed wells can be produced under high drawdown without concern of sand production. Productivity of the open or cased hole gravel packed completion is determined in part by the condition of the reservoir behind the filter cake. Systems are available for virtually any well temperature. high productivity. in well deviations from 0° to 110° and in zone lengths up to a few thousand feet. CASED HOLE GRAVEL PACK COMPLETION 17 1/2 " hole 13 3/8" casing 12 1/4" hole casing liner hanger 9 5/8" casing Gravel Pack Packer Perforation Gravel Gravel Pack Screen Hydrocarbon 7" casing Figure 58 Sand-free production. and completion longevity are primary objectives for gravel pack operations.

HCI/HF. The increase in flow capacity is accomplished by the acid’s ability to dissolve rock. mud and other soluble material. Hydrofluoric acid is used on sandstone reservoirs since it reacts with siliceous compounds: SiO2 + 6HF = H2SiF6 + 2H2O A mixture of 3% HF and 12% HCl. The sand control method selected depends on site specific conditions. is used to dissolve clays and and remove mud cakes created during the drilling process. carbon dioxide and calcium chloride. which may be blocking the flow channels. On the basis of cost.Consolidation and Gravel Packing. and economic consideration. A pre-flush of 10% HCl is used to dissolve any calcium which is in the pore throats. Acetic and Formic acids are used in stimulations where their slower reaction time and ease of inhibition is required. known as mud acid. also known as mud acid. is used exclusively for sandstone reservoirs with little calcium. Acids that are commonly used for stimulation are: i) ii) iii) iv) v) Hydrochloric acid (HCl) Hydrofluoric acid (HF) Acetic Acid Formic Acid Other Acid Additives Of the four acids mentioned above. It reacts with limestone to form water. these acids are 3 to 5 times more expensive than HCl. certain scale. hydrochloric acid is the most widely used due to its high carbonate dissolving ability and low cost. Acid Fracturing 131 . Acidising The purpose of acidising is to stimulate or effectively increase the flow capacity of wells. operating practices.

Whether the fracture grows higher or longer is determined by the surrounding rock properties. it is still much more permeable and easier to travel through than the coal itself. A fracture acts much like a road. fluids that are under pressure (such as fracturing fluids) will follow the path of least resistance. In a hydraulic fracturing job. PROCESSING OF PRODUCED FLUIDS 132 . The extent of the fracture is controlled by the characteristics of the geologic formation. If only water was being pumped into the well. it cannot. The acid then travels along the newly created flow path and etches sides of the fracture as well as the matrix pores along the fracture. and within minutes the formation would be back to its original non-fractured condition. In nature. the fluid type. This method is useful where deep penetration is required. the fluid pumped into the well contains a proppant (usually sand) to keep the fracture open. When the fracture reaches the shale above (or below) the geologic formation being fractured. it will stop.g. water = low viscosity).In acid fracturing. or if the operator pumps a more viscous fluid into the formation (e. speeding up the journey of oil or gas molecules on their way to the wellbore that will produce them. Even though this new fracture is full of proppant. Hydraulic Fracturing Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to allow oil and natural gas to move more freely from the rock pores where they are trapped to a producing well that can bring them to the surface. molasses = high viscosity. shale does not fracture easily. which means staying within the formation that fractures easiest. the acid is injected at higher rates and pressures . The fracture will grow if the operator continues to pump fluid at higher rates. The technology was developed in the late 1940s and has been continuously improved and applied since that time. Some of these gas molecules might not have been able to make it to the well otherwise. so when the fracture tries to close. A hydraulically created fracture will always take the path of least resistance. The operator has now “constructed a road” that molecules of gas far out in the coal can use to travel to the well.. and pumping pressure. its depth. the fracture would gradually close when the operator stopped pumping. because the proppant is holding it open. which fractures the reservoir. This proppant collects inside the created fracture. Hydraulic fracturing is used to create small cracks in subsurface geologic formations to allow oil or gas to move toward a producing well.

This would be the requirement if hydrogen sulfide (H2S) should be present. water (usually salt water). emulsions. Oil wells are generally classified as either high pressure wells or low pressure wells. it is necessary to completely remove contaminants during the initial processing. reduces the API gravity of the remaining liquids and increases the producing gas-oil ratio with a net loss of hydrocarbon liquid volume. but it is also toxic and potentially deadly. such as paraffin series hydrocarbons. Therefore.For oil wells and gas wells. without endangering personnel or environment. in that not only does it create a corrosive environment in the presence of water. gas. consequently resulting in a higher producing gas-oil ratio. Fluids produced from high pressure wells normally have a high solution gas-oil ratio. the lower the API gravity of the resultant crude oil and the lower the volume of crude oil available for transport and sale. In some instances. The design of this system is therefore an optimization process. the higher the API gravity of oil. and to retain maximum value of the hydrocarbons while still fulfilling the functions of the processing system. and the option selected will affect specifications for the surface processing equipment. Since the hydrocarbon liquid (crude oil) is normally of greater value than hydrocarbon gas. the high pressure wells will have their production directed to a high pressure manifold. The surface processing system is designed to perform its necessary functions at minimum cost. For example. while still meeting the necessary functions of the system. and the low pressure wells will have their production directed to a low pressure manifold. If both well classifications are producing into a central gathering system. the greater its value. however. for crude oil in general. Removal of the lighter weight hydrocarbon molecules. and solids. In the case of crude oil it is normally desirable to reduce water present to a level no greater than two percent of the total volume of the liquids to be transported. There are several options for this gas. the processing system is designed to maximize the volume of crude oil available for marketing at as high an API gravity as possible. The higher the processing temperature to which crude oil is subjected. Oil Wells The most commonly produced fluids and materials from oil wells are oil. The three most common options for the gas are: 133 . surface processing is intended to reduce the presence of undesirable produced fluids and other materials to a sufficiently low level (percent by volume or percent by weight) to make transportation of the desirable fluids (hydrocarbons) economic to facilities at other locations for further processing and conversion into marketable products. it is desirable to design the surface processing system to minimize the maximum temperature to which the crude oil is exposed.

the process system is the same for high-pressure and low-pressure well production. Therefore. forming larger droplets and enhancing their gravity separation. 134 . the surface system is designed so that gas produced at the surface is maintained as nearly as possible at the pipeline pressure or the re-injection pressure to minimize cost of recompression of the gas. thereby reducing the velocity of flow and enhancing the gravity separation of fluids and other materials into their different densities. emulsion in the next layer. to the free water knockout essentially at atmospheric pressure (or at least at a relatively low pressure as compared to the wellhead pressure) The produced fluid from the low-pressure wells is taken through the same system. gas. with adverse effect on the environment. in that a natural resource would be destroyed.1. the third option is not normally permitted be government regulations. but the liquids would essentially flow through each stage of separation. If significant gas is being produced. the oil droplets of water. Solid particles transported from the reservoir will fall to the bottom of the system. so that gas is permitted to escape from the oil in stages. fluid droplets suspended within the other fluids will tend to coalesce. possibly in the form of a mist. The production from the low-pressure well is directed to a low-pressure manifold. The free water knockout is essentially a gravity separator with baffles to enhance the separation. Oil Well Surface Processing System The high pressure well production from the high pressure manifold will initially be directed through stage separators. Flare or vent the gas as waste. salt water. with gas rising to the top of the system). 3. From that point to the transportation system. From each stage separator. As the fluids flow through baffling within the free water knockout. oil. from where it flows directly to the free water knockout. Either of the first two options is more likely to be selected. with the exception of the multi-stage separation process. Re-inject the gas into the hydrocarbon reservoir from which it was produced or into some other reservoir. with the fluids stratifying according to density (salt water on bottom. the flow area is significantly greater. emulsions and solids may be removed. Market the gas (or use the gas as a fuel at the location) 2. The solids would tend to settle out due to gravity. crude oil in the next layer. and the gas both oil and water droplets. The high velocity fluids flow into this separator and upon entry. The water will contain droplets of oil.

) Since the heater treater has increased the temperature of the system. Gas sales Oil Wells Gas Free Water Knockout Oil & Emulsion Water Gas Emulsion Treater Clean Oil Water Salt Water Vapor Recovery Clean Oil Storage Oil. flows from the free water knockout to an emulsion treater to break the emulsion and remove as much additional water as is practical. in the case of an offshore operation. The oil. 135 . or reinjection into a subsurface formation through a salt water disposal system. the salt water is removed from the bottom. and certainly the emulsion. is then transported for storage or to the transportation system (pipeline. It is then recompressed for transport or reinjection into the reservoir. The water likely contains sufficient oil to prevent its being exhausted to the environment. offshore tanker. thereby increasing its temperature. where it flows down the “down-comer” to the bottom of the heater treater. oil and emulsions are removed from the top of the salt water. into the surface environment. further breaking the emulsion. The water from the emulsion treater must be transported for disposal. The oil is skimmed from the top of the water and. if the processing system has serve its function. and may require further processing to remove any remaining oil or other contaminants to a sufficiently low level to permit its disposal overboard. There may be baffling in the system through which the oil passes. to be combined with the gas obtained from the free water knockout.As the separated fluids exist from the free water knockout. in that increased temperature will break the emulsion. There it is exposed to the heater. and gas is removed from the top. additional gas is formed and is removed from the top of the heater treater. The increased temperature tends to break the emulsion with the heavier water moving downward and the lighter oil upward. through gravity separation. Historically. The oil and the emulsion flows from the free water knockout into the heater treater. one of the most common has been the heater treater. rail cars etc.Oil Processing System There are several different emulsion treating processes. Gas & Water Disposal Figure 59 .

various removal systems are available. The velocity of the flow from the gathering pipeline decreases significantly upon entering the separator. nitrogen. chemical treatment to break the emulsions. however. From the wellhead. Gas Well Surface Processing System In normal operations. Since the heater treater increases the temperature of the produced fluids. the API gravity as well as oil volume are both reduced. hydrogen sulfide (H2S). 136 . which is basically a large tank. to minimize exposure of downstream processing systems to the corrosive environment which exists when H2S and/or CO2 is present. One of the most common is the amine system. helium. Solid particles and liquid droplets fall to the bottom of the separator. production passes into a gathering system delivering production to the central processing facilities or topside facilities on an offshore gas production platform. hydrocarbon liquids and water in the form of droplets or vapor. usually condensate will float to the top of any water present. If there is sufficient liquid accumulation from gravity separation. Gas Wells Production from gas wells may include hydrocarbon gas. and gases move to the top. Dependent upon the volumes of H2S and/or CO2 produced. and molecular sieves. thereby enhancing separation from the hydrocarbon. thereby reducing the value of the produced hydrocarbons. they are normally removed from the oil and gas after exiting from the free water knockout. The electrostatic treaters takes advantage of the fact that the H2O molecule is an electric dipole so that. The gas is removed from the stage separators. Therefore. and surface equipment. the hydrocarbons. Both the crude oil and the hydrocarbon gas leaving the system will be transported for processing into marketable products. hydrogen. so that gravity separation occurs. gas well production flow into a gravity separator. wellhead components. when exposed to an electrostatic field there is an attraction for the water molecule. Solid particle suspension. other emulsion treater systems may be used. the free water knockout. Surface processing of production from gas wells is usually less complex than for oil wells. The dehydration process is the same as that process which will be discussed relative to production from gas wells. and the emulsion treater will likely be directed to a dehydrator for further removal of H2O molecules. other gases. should minimized at the reservoir to reduce the “sand blasting” effect on the production casing and/or tubing. and suspended solid particles such as sand particles. oxygen. Others available include electrostatic emulsion treaters. carbon dioxide (CO2).If hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and/or carbon dioxide (CO2) are present in the produced fluid.

it is now “wet” glycol (glycol with a significant H2O molecular content). “Dry” glycol (glycol without the presence of H2O molecules) flows on a continuing basis into the top tray of the layered trays in the tower. bubbling through trays containing glycol. the H2O molecules are attracted to the glycol and are removed from the hydrocarbon gas.Gas Processing System Gas Gas Wells Gas. The hydrocarbon gas leaving the gravity separator may contain too much H2O for transport. If H2O content and content of other gases is sufficiently low. Water will be removed from the bottom of the separator. As the hydrocarbon gas bubbles through the glycol. used as an energy source at the location. The glycol molecule has a greater affinity (attraction) for the H2O molecule than does hydrocarbon. or use as fuel. it will pass to the dehydrator for removal of H2O molecules to an acceptably low level. Condensate & Water Water Gravity Separator Water Condensate Gas Sales Dehydrator The hydrocarbon gas is passed into the base of a glycol dehydration tower. and flows downward through the tower from one tray to the next. Figure 60 .Using a baffle system to separate the liquid hydrocarbons from the water. the hydrocarbons will be removed by pipeline to a central gathering location. with the” dry” gas being removed from the top of the glycol tower. injection. and solids will accumulate. This will usually be a glycol dehydrator. the hydrocarbon gas is transported to market by pipeline. The gravity separator tank must occasionally be flushed or backwashed to remove accumulated solids from the bottom of the separator. If this should be the case. By the time the glycol reaches the base of the tower. 137 . accumulating H2O molecules as the hydrocarbon gas bubbles through the glycol. or re-injected. Glycol dehydration is therefore a relatively simple operation. exposing the hydrocarbon gas to as large a surface area of liquid glycol as is practical. for removal of the H2O molecules from the hydrocarbon gas. Gas is taken from the top of the separator. where it rises. using components such as ethylene glycol.

138 . so in a similar fashion to glycol removal of H2O molecules from hydrocarbon gas. If hydrogen sulfide H2S and/or carbon dioxide (CO2) should be present in the production from the gas wells. H2S and CO2 are corrosive in the presence of water. is transported for storage or used downstream. The hydrocarbon gas exiting from this surface processing system normally requires no further processing. to minimize exposure of downstream equipment to this corrosive environment. the most common being an amine system as mentioned in the discussion for processing the fluids produced by oil wells. This mixing of the condensate with the oil increases the API Gravity of the crude oil. If production is on or near an offshore platform with an oil pipeline.This process of removing the H2O molecules from the hydrocarbon gas has not been a chemical process. therefore it is desirable to remove them early in the processing system. There have been no molecular changes. since H2O boils at a lower temperature than does glycol. H2S and CO2 molecules have a greater affinity (attraction) for amine molecules than for hydrocarbon molecules. the condensate may be used to “spike” the crude oil in the pipeline by mixing it with oil. back into the dehydration tower. leaving it “dry”. boiling the H2O molecules from the liquid glycol. taken from the bottom of the gravity separator. usually condensate. The “dry” glycol is then re-circulated back to the glycol dehydration tower. The “wet” glycol is taken to a temperature higher than the boiling point of H2O. the gas taken from the top of the gravity separator is taken through a process to remove the H2S and/or CO2 before dehydration. yet lower than the boiling point of glycol. the amine removes H2S and CO2 molecules. The H2O molecules are then removed from the glycol as it is prepared for recirculation as “dry” glycol. Several types of processes are available to remove the H2S and/or CO2. in that no chemical reactions have occurred. The hydrocarbon liquid. Removal of the H2O molecules from the glycol is not complex.. This “wet” glycol is removed from the base of the dehydration tower.

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