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Petroleum Reservoirs and Reservoir
Engineering
Research · May 2015
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3197.7127

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Luis Loera
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
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migration pathway. 1991). trap and seal. the definition. 2015). they experience changes in their pressure and temperature conditions affecting their flowing characteristics and their composition. according to the pressure and temperature conditions at what they are found. 1991). and the appropriate timing for their generation and occurrence are known as petroleum system (Schlumberger. Figure 1. more than one reservoir is connected to the same aquifer and pressure decline in one of the reservoirs might affect the rest (Craft. Sometimes. dolomite. Initial fluids distribution in an oil reservoir (Tarek. Finally. reservoir rock. oil and gas accumulation occurs mainly in sedimentary rocks as limestone. they can exist as liquid and gas. Due to their petrophysical characteristics. when the portion of rock delimited by . As fluids. Listed elements. Abstract This article aims to provide brief insight into reservoir engineering. where fluids are stored and distributed according to their densities (Figure 1) (Craft. Some reservoirs are connected to enormous volumes of water-saturated rocks. Also. Petroleum reservoirs A reservoir is defined as is “the portion of a geological trap which contains oil and/or gas as a single hydraulically connected system” (Craft. objectives and main tasks of reservoir engineering is commented. the main production stages from petroleum reservoirs are briefly reviewed.K. Understanding of this is necessary for predicting how fluids would behave at any position and conditions of the production system facilities. Also. U. 1991). Introduction Hydrocarbons are mixtures of organic compounds that can exist in different phases. An effort has been made on giving a special focus on the importance of the understanding of the reservoirs to optimize the oil and gas production. known as aquifers (Figure 2). The five basic elements necessary to generate and store hydrocarbons are: Source rock. The definition of petroleum reservoirs.Petroleum Reservoirs and Reservoir Engineering Luis Loera Barona (9504829) MSc Petroleum Geoscience for Reservoir Development and Production University of Manchester Manchester. 2000). When hydrocarbons are produced from a reservoir and transported to the surface. with a classification and their characteristics are contained within. and sandstone.

Reservoir with artesian water drive (Clark. This tools and resources are used by the reservoir engineer in their task of optimizing the oil and gas extraction processes. This gas may still have components that become liquid when pressure and temperature change (Craft. 1991). or “the art of developing and producing oil and/or gas from a reservoir in such a manner as to obtain a high economic recovery” (Moore.the trap is saturated with oil and/or gas. the study of the properties of the rock and its relationship with the fluids it contains. determine whether artificial lift would be necessary. 1991). Reservoir engineering is also necessary to prevent useless work and expenses (incorrect location or number of wells). determine the pressure variations with time. On the other side. 1965). The main task of reservoir engineering is the optimization of the oil and gas extraction process (Essley. this is known as a saturated oil reservoir (Craft. This is the case of wet gas and gas and condensate reservoirs. 1965). initiate control operations. 1991). as occurs with shale gas reservoirs. 1969) When pressure and temperature conditions within the reservoir are such that hydrocarbons exist only as liquid. Dry gas reservoirs exist in only one phase during all the production process (McCain. or if secondary recovery or EOR will be required and the best time to implement. 1955). . only a gas phase. More powerful tools for the engineer are generated with computers of higher speed and greater capacity. the reservoir is said to be under-saturated and all the gas is dissolved in the oil. the prediction of the behaviour of reservoirs in primary phases of production. 1991). Reservoir engineering Reservoir engineering is defined as “the application of scientific principles to the drainage problems arising during the development and production of oil and gas reservoirs” (Craft. if a volume of free gas saturates a portion of the rock. whose objective is the study and characterization of the behaviour of the reservoir. it is necessary to analyse/interpret information generated from useful subsurface measurements. the study and analysis of the changes in the physical properties that fluids in the reservoir experience with pressure and temperature changes. Technological advancement has driven the development of reservoir engineering. perform EOR studies and collaborate with work teams towards common objectives related to optimization. Other reservoirs have. The free gas zone is defined as gas cap. Figure 2. always considering the reservoir characteristics and the economic factors (Essley. at initial conditions. the trap and the reservoir are the same (Craft. 1993). which generate reliable and useful information to evaluate and determine the best exploitation strategy. This is accomplished by models. To do this. whereas the interval with liquid hydrocarbons as the oil zone. Within the most representative reservoir engineer tasks are the determination of the STOIIP.

V. 29. 2000). 2000. No.. other processes have been developed and are known as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) methods (Craft. p. 148. Figure 2 shows an example of a reservoir with a combination of these drive mechanisms. 1991. Figure 2. Monograph (SPE of AIME): Henry L. McCain.Production reservoirs from petroleum Primary production is the initial production phase of hydrocarbons. F.. The mechanism of displacement by fluids can be reproduced artificially by strategically injecting water or gas in wells.oilfield. 1991). M. gravitational segregation and capillary expulsion (Craft. 2-5. Tarek. 1-45. Journal of Petroleum Technology. Oil and Gas Journal 54. . “Component of Naturally Occurring Petroleum Fluids”. fluids flow to the wells due to the expansion of the fluids and the rock. When secondary recovery has low recovery potential. “Reservoir Engineering Begins Second 25 Years”. 1955. and hence has a significant impact in the profitability of any project. References Craft. p.aspx. p. The Properties of Petroleum Fluids. Combination drive reservoir (Clark. 1991. “Oil Recovery Mechanisms and the Material Balance Equation”. having multiple recovery mechanisms simultaneously. C. displacement by water. Under primary production. Technological advancements are closely linked to the development of this discipline and its scope influences directly the efficiency and optimization of all the reservoir development stages and processes. Schlumberger. W. increasing recovery. J. Topics contained in this article have been very briefly presented and deeper approach is recommended for all of them. “Elements of Petroleum Reservoirs”. 1991). p. Tarek. Available at:http://www. Applied Reservoir Engineering. “What is Reservoir Engineering?” SPE 920. Reservoir Engineering Handbook. “Petroleum system”.glossary. driven by the natural energy of the reservoir and defined by its initial pressure. T.com/en/Te rms/p/petroleum_system. This is known as Advanced Recovery (Craft. N. 1969. L. Conclusions Reservoir engineering has a major role in the oil industry. Moore.. 1993. From reservoir engineering it is possible to determine if secondary recovery or EOR operations must be implemented before the Clark. (Accessed: 29th April 2015). 1991).725-731 Essley P. and this method can be combined with natural mechanisms as gravitational segregation and/or capillary expulsion. This method is known as secondary recovery (Craft. “Introduction to Reservoir Engineering”.. Doherty series. 1969). primary production phase finalizes. B.slb. under reservoir management. 1965. A. y Hawkins...