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O il f i e l d w a t e r :
a vit al
r e s ourc e
Reservoir
Non equidemengineers
insector can
delendave
use water carmina
to
Livi esse useful
perform reor, memini
tasks such
quaeas plagosum
maintaining
mihi parvopressure,
reservoir Orbilium dictare;
but whensed water
emendata
appears in videri
the wrong
pulchraque
place itetcreates
exactis
minimum
major problems
distantia
formiror.
the oilInter
and gas
quae
verbum emicuit
industry. Excessive
si forte
water decorum,
production et si
versus paulo
reduces profitability,
concinniorincreases
unus etcorrosion
alter,
iniusteand
rates totum
compels
ducit operators
venditque poema.Non
to expand
equidem
their water
insector
treatment
delendave
and disposal
carmina Livi
esse reor,memini
systems seriousquae
environmental
plagosum mihi
parvo Orbilium
problems can arise
dictare;
if produced
sed emendata
water is
videri
not handled
pulchraque
properly.
et exactis minimum
distantia miror. Inter quae verbum
emicuit
In this article,
si forteFikri
decorum,
Kuchuk,etMahmut
si versus
paulo concinnior
Sengul and Muratunus Zeybek
et alter,
outline
iniuste
the
totum ducit
factors controlling
venditque
thepoema.
distribution of
oilfield water and the methods used to
assess porosity and permeability in
reservoir rocks.
W
ater is present in every oil field.
C onna t e forma tion w a t er, Figure 1.1: Reservoirs
injected water and produced which contain water, oil
water must all be dealt with if oil and gas and gas develop a series
production rates, and total recovery are to Gas and water
of transition zones (left).
be maximiz ed . Mod ern produc tion Modified from Amyx,
technology aims to identify and assess the Bass and Whiting.
overall distribution of reservoir water and Formation pressures
to monitor and control the movement of Oil, gas and water (below) can be used to
formation and injection water. define fluid type at any
Sedimentary rocks are usually deposited given depth and to
in w a t er, w i th l ay ers of s edim ent locate fluid contacts
accumulating in rivers, lakes, shallow seas
and on the ocean floor over many millions Oil and water
of years. Consequently, most sedimentary
rocks are water-wet. The water present in
the rock from the time of deposition is
known as connate water. As sediments are
buried and lithified, connate water will Free-oil
level
undergo major changes in composition. In
some cases it may be diluted or displaced
by o ther w a t ers, whil e in oil and gas
reservoirs some connate water has been
Free-water level
displaced by hydrocarbons.
7100
Hydrocarbon-bearing formations almost
always contain several immiscible fluids.
Water that does not flow as reservoir Gas
pressure falls is kno wn as irreducible
water.
Figure 1.1 shows the fluid distributions in Water TVD
GR Oil
a typical reservoir before production or
injection begins. Above the free-oil level
Water
the water saturation will be at its irreducible
value. The transition zone between the 7200
fr e e- oil and fr e e- w a t er l ev e ls is Density-neutron Pressure (psi) Resistivity
characterized by a gradual increase of
water saturation to 100%. In this zone In simplest terms, the water saturation in Changing water into brine
both oil and water are partially moveable. a formation is the frac tion of its pore
T h e thic kness of th e transition z one volume occupied by water. A formation T he nature and quantity of formation
depends on factors such as pore size, tha t c ont ains only w a t er has a w a t er w a t ers have a dir e c t influenc e on oil
capillary pressure, wettability, etc. There is saturation of 100%. The water saturation exploration and exploitation. N ormal sea
a transition zone between the hydrocarbon of any formation can vary from 100% to water contains around 3.5% dissolved
and w ater layers where w ater and oil quite low values, but it is rarely, if ever, material (often expressed as 35,000 ppm).
saturation vary. In general, low-permeability zero. N o matter how rich the oil or gas About 90% of this dissolved material is
rocks will have thicker transition zones. layers in a reservoir, there is always a small sodium chloride. The water in an oil and
In shale sequences the bound water in amount of capillary water that cannot be gas reservoir is very different. At depths in
the pores is not normally considered part displaced by the hydrocarbons. A formation exc ess of a f e w hundr ed m e t ers th e
of the fluid flow. H owever, shale-bound at irreducible water saturation will produce dissolved materials found in formation
water makes it much harder to estimate water-free oil. waters are at a very high concentration.
water saturation accurately from logs. In much the same way, it is impossible to Formation waters with very high mineral
Water that can be displaced from the flush all of th e hydro c arbons from a c onc entra tions (typic ally those above
reservoir during production is referred to r es ervoir by ordinary fluid driv es or 100,000 ppm) are referred to as brines. In
as free water. The total water content in a recovery techniques. Some hydrocarbons extreme cases, formation w at ers may
hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir rock (free will always remain trapped in the pore contain more than 300,000 ppm.
and irreducible) is formation water. system. This is referred to as the residual The most concentrated brines are found
oil saturation. in undeformed basins, such as those which
overlie geologically stable shield areas.
N umber 22, 1999

(1960) Amyx, Bass and Whiting, Petroleum Reservoir


Engineering, McGraw-Hill, New York

6 Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w


a)

Eocene
oilfield water

Lower
Paleozoic
oilfield water

Cretaceous
oilfield water

Evaporite seal High-salinity formation water Tertiary


oilfield water
b)

Sea water

Fresh water

Na Cl 100
Ca HCO3 10
Mg SO4 10
Fe CO3 10
Scale (M equiv.1-1)
Low-salinity formation water

Figure 1.3: The Stiff diagram is a quick and clear way


Figure 1.2: Deep-buried waters in stable basins (a) become naturally concentrated to represent the chemical differences between various
with time and are protected from meteoric water dilution. Formation water in waters and brines
shallow, faulted or unstable basins (b) is often diluted by surface water

Brin es may also be parti cul arly between various waters can be displayed multipl e sand r es ervoirs tha t w er e
c onc entra t ed in ar e as w h er e th e graphically for quick comparisons. O ne of d eposit ed during cyc l es of marine
sedimentary sequence contains evaporite the most common representations is the transgression and regression. The lower
units. Waters in these stable basins become Stiff diagram (Figure 1.3) where bars are sands in the sequence were deposited in a
naturally concentrated with time and are drawn with lengths proportional to the fresh-to-brackish deltaic environment,
protected from meteoric water dilution concentrations of the various ions. Cations whereas the upper part is dominated by
through the outcrop (Figure 1.2a). Basins in are plotted on the left and anions to the marine rocks and waters.
which reservoir rocks are close to outcrop, right, providing a simple fingerprint for Reserve determination is a crucial part of
or where the rock sequence is strongly various water chemistries. oilfield development. Porosity, permeability,
faulted, are generally characterized by The salinity of oilfield waters usually fluid saturations and distributions are some
oilfield waters with a lower salinity (Figure increases with depth. In some very thick of the most import ant prop erti es for
1.2b). D ilution by invading waters can sandstone sequences, however, formation reserves estimates and production planning.
reduce the mineral content of formation waters may become less saline with depth.
water to 1% or less. As th e c onc entra tions of sodium and
Analyses of formation waters are vital for chloride decrease, the concentration of
explora tion and e ff e c tiv e oilfi e ld dissolved silica rises. This is characteristic of
management. The chemical differences some young, thick delta sequences with
N umber 22, 1999

Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w 7


Aquifers (a)
Trap I Trap II Trap III Trap IV

Most oil and gas reservoirs have developed


as a result of hydrodynamic interactions
between oil and water. In addition to the
w a t er present in oil- and gas-be aring
formations, many major reservoirs are
bounded by large w at er-bearing units
known as aquifers. Aquifers are generally Water
much larger than hydrocarbon reservoirs
and are integral parts of regional water (b)
systems.
Aquifers influence hydrocarbon migration
and can provide the natural drive for oil
produc tion (Figure 1.4). T his close
relationship, and the fact that waterflooding
is the most important method for secondary
recovery, underline the importanc e of Water
effective water management.
Understanding aquifers and the bottom- (c)
or edge-drive they provide is a crucial part
of r es ervoir op era tions. Res ervoir
engine ers must d e t ermine th e
petrophysical and flow properties of their
aquifers in order to determine the pressure
support they can offer the reservoir and to
predict water encroachment.
Traditional logs are complemented by Water
testing systems such as the MD T* Modular
Formation D ynamics Tester tool which Figure 1.4: Many oil and gas accumulations are bounded by large aquifers that
provides crucial information about fluid influence hydrocarbon migration and provide the natural drive for oil production
properties in the aquifer and in the oil, gas
and transition zones. O ne of the most Packer pressure (PAQP)
1e+03
fundamental applications for the MD T tool Packer rad derivative (PAQP)
pressure and derivatives (psi)

is direct evaluation of oilwater and gasoil


contacts (Figure 1.1b).
In one recent Middle East operation the 1e+02
MD T tool was used to evaluate horizontal
Figure 1.5: Derivatives
and vertical permeabilities (mobility), from a
and pressure differences
single well interference test, and to sample
during build up at the
formation water in a straight hole. The dual 1e+01
packer and at the probe
inflatable packer module, single probe Monitor pressure (BQP1)
modul e , O FA* O ptic al F luid Analyz er Monitor rad derivative (BQP1)
system, sample chambers and pump-out
1e-01 1e+00 1e+01 1e+02 1e+03
modul es w er e us ed t o c onduc t th e
evaluation. time (sec)
After conducting pretests and establishing
the degree of communication within the
forma tion, engine ers p erform ed th e
Thickness Horizontal mobility Vertical mobility Ct(1/psi)
interference test by withdrawing fluids at
(ft) (md/cp) (md/cp)
th e dual pa c k er using th e pump- out Packer Probe Packer Probe
module. The pressures at the packer and at
the probe (6.4 ft) above the dual packer 11 2.88 2.3 2.2 2.28 1.76X10-6
were recorded with high-resolution quartz
gauges . T h es e modul es w er e also Table 1.1: Horizontal and vertical mobilities, obtained from the packer and the probe analysis
equipp ed w i th strain gauges w hi ch
provided backup pressure measurements. Analysis showed spherical/hemispherical Horizontal and vertical permeabilities were
During the drawdown period, pressure and radial flow regimes at the dual packer. obtained by reconstructing the pressure and
N umber 22, 1999

dropped 400 psi at the packer and 65 psi at The derivative at the probe also revealed a the derivative at the packer and at the probe.
the probe. The flow rate at the dual packer radial flow regime, indicating the total The computed parameters from the match
was around 10 B/D. syst em behavior s e en by th e t w o between modeled and measured pressure
measurements (Figure 1.5). derivatives is shown in Table 1.1. The
8 Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w
reconstruction of the pressure and the available with a conventional probe. This an infinitely large body. Aquifers are very
derivative at the probe produced an almost allows the reservoir engineer to achieve rarely pressure tested, cored or logged, and
perfect match. The results at the dual packer higher flow rates and less drawdown than estimates of aquifer support are often based
and the probe were consistent with those can be achieved with the probe. on empirical equations.
given in Table 1.1. These results suggested T he O FA syst em allo w ed re al-time In contrast, the properties of water found
that the rock w as, broadly speaking, id e nt ifi c a t i on o f fluids as th e y w e r e in the reservoir layers are examined in great
homogeneous and isotropic assessments pumped out through the dual packer. At detail. There are several ways to determine
which were subsequently supported by th e s am e t im e pr e ssur e d a t a w e r e water saturation in the oil and gas layers.
borehole images and core samples. recorded at the dual packer. Initial water saturation is usually estimated
T h e O FA syst em pin-point ed th e using core measurements, and open-hole
changes from mud to water with filtrate and cased-hole logs.
Sampling success
and finally formation water. The pressure
Extensive field experience has proved that drop during this pump-out procedure was
representative formation fluids can be around 440 psi. Resistivity readings are not
Deep drilling difficulties
collected using the MD T tool. However, readily available through the dual packer T h e majority of w a t er probl ems
when the objective is to sample formation modul e , so th e forma tion w a t er w as enc ount ered in the oil fi eld are
water in relatively low mobility formations sampled by extensive pump-out through associated with the processes of injection
the process can be extremely complicated. the dual packer. After 370 liters of fluids had and produc tion. H o w ev er, na tural
In this case the MD T tool collected a high- be en pump ed out , forma tion w a t er ov erpr essur ed z ones in a r es ervoir
quality sample of formation water from a samples were collected in two 1-gallon sequence can present serious problems
low-mobility limestone formation (see sample chambers. Analysis of these samples and additional costs during drilling.
Table 1.1). verified the original formation water. In Abu D habi, operators frequently
The sampling operation was conducted encounter high-pressure formation salt
af t er th e int erf er enc e t est . Prior t o water flow ( H PFS W F) problems when
Aquifers in action
sampling, filtrate was removed with the drilling Permo Tri assi c and Pal e o z oi c
dual pa c k er. T his w as a chi ev ed by Aquifers provide pressure-support to formations (Figure 1.6). The overpressure
withdrawing formation fluids through the reservoirs by a process referred to as water they encounter is influenced by a range of
dual packer using the pump out module. influx (or encroachment) by expansion geological factors: depth, facies changes,
The dual packer provides 3.2 ft of testable and/or replenishment by surface waters. reservoir type and sealing properties. As a
formation interface between two inflatable T he pe trophysic al and hydrodynamic result, overpressure conditions can vary
pa c k ers. T h e ar e a op en t o flo w is a properties of aquifers are not generally well- from well-to-well within a very small area.
thousand times larger than w ould be known and the aquifer is usually treated as

Figure 1.6: Permo


Main Reservoir
Age Formation/lithology Main seals Triassic and Paleozoic
reservoirs subunits
stratigraphy of Abu Dhabi

Upper Minjur
Mesozoic

Triassic

Middle Jilh/Gulailah G1 to G8

Lower Sudair

Upper Khuff
Upper

K1 to K4
Permian Middle Anhydrite
Lower Khuff K5 to K7
Lr
Pre-Khuff Upper
Carboniferous Haushi sand
Paleozoic

Lower
Devonian Tawil sand

Silurian Sharwara ? ? ? ? ?
Ordovician Tabuk
Note:
Saq This section is not penetrated
Cambrian
by wells in Abu Dhabi.
Recent penetration of Silurian
N umber 22, 1999

Infra-Cambrian Hormuz shales on the Qatar arch by


salt
well bore suggests that
sequence may extend to
Pre-
Basement complex Abu Dhabi.
Cambrian

Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w 9


In the Gulailah/Jilh, Khuff and Pre-Khuff The first indication of a problem came in
a Upper seal sections heavy drilling fluids have been used the Jilh Formation at a depth of 16,053 ft
Gulailah in conjunction with intermediate casings while drilling 12-1/4 in. hole (mud specific
(G 1) that must be set in the problem formations gravity 1.44). A fish was left in the hole
(G 2)
to control overpressure. which was plugged back and sidetracked at
b Most of the deep wells (below Triassic) 11,420 ft. Drilling was resumed and the
drilled in Abu Dhabi have encountered sidetrack reached 15,810 ft (above the
difficulties with one or more of the problem depth) where 9-5/8-in. liner was
c Lower seal
(middle following: drillstrings, fishing operations, run and cemented (Figure 1.8). Drilling
anhydrite) casing cement failure, formation and mud c ontinued w ith 8- 1 / 2 in. hol e and
problems. Complex and localized variations penetrated the lower Khuff at 20,632 ft
in pressure (Figure 1.7) me an that (mud sp e c ific gravity 1.65) w ith no
a) Upper normal pressure exploration drilling must be conducted with indication of the Jilh Formation salt water
b) Middle overpressure great caution and must be backed up by flow that had posed a problem in the
c) Lower overpressure
well-control plans with broad safety margins. original hole. At 20,363 ft, in the lower
Figure 1.7: Complex variations in pressure with depth. Khuff, the well kicked. The kick was caused
Two pressure seals, Gulailah and the middle anhydrite, by salt water flow from the formation and
A challenge in the Khuff
separate two overpressure systems. From: A Rahman, engine ers estima t ed tha t mud w ith a
Al-Tawil and I Azzam, SPE 36297 The problems encountered in one well specific gravity of 2.32 would be required
illustrate the range of challenges facing to kill the well.
drillers and well engineers. The primary The operators pumped 4000 barrels of
obj e c tiv e of th e w e ll w as t o drill t o mud w i th various sp e c ifi c gravi ti es
20,436 ft in the Pre-Khuff and explore the (1.892.29) in an effort to control the well.
hydrocarbon potential of various Khuff and Once annulus and drill-pipe pressures had
Jurassic reservoirs. Five casing sizes were fallen to zero, efforts to circulate the well at
planned for the well. Three of these were high pressure brought no returns and the
run and c em ent ed be for e H P F S W F string w as stuc k . From this , i t w as
problems were encountered. concluded that the annulus was packed-off

Casing diagram
Size and depth (ft/brt)
0 30" casing
Figure 1.8: A fish was left
30" cond. at 336 at 336
in hole which was plugged
back and sidetracked at 2000
26" hole
11,420 ft. Drilling
resumed, reaching 4000
15810 ft (above the 20" casing at 5403 20" casing
6000 at 5403
problem depth) where
9-5/8-in. liner was run
171/2" hole
and cemented. From: A 8000
Measured depth (ft/brt)

Rahman, Al-Tawil and I Plug back at 8720


Azzam, SPE 36297 10,000 133/8" casing at 10,999
Sidetrack at 11,420 133/8" casing
Back off at 11,886 at 10,999
12,000 121/4" hole (Re
(12 cores) 121/4" hole cov
ere
14,000 d2
Kill the well Stuck pipe 667
)
95/8" liner at 15,800 95/8" casing
16,000 End of fishing at 15,800
Kick at 16,053 Tied back at 14,553
95/8" casing
18,000 Logging from 10,480
to the surface
Core and logging
20,000 Kill the well
Kick at 20,363
22,000
0

0
40

80
0

12

16

20

24

28

32

36

40

44

48

52

56

60

64

Time (days)
N umber 22, 1999

10 Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w


Figure 1.9: The first
stage coincides with
hydrocarbon maturation
IRAN
at the depocenters,
Doha particularly in areas with

AR
high geothermal

AT
Dubai

Q
QATAR gradients, which creates
abnormal increases in
fluid volume and pore
pressure. From:
A Rahman, Al-Tawil and
I Azzam, SPE36297
ABU
DHABI Al Ain

OMAN
Case study well

Other wells with overpressure problems SAUDI AR


ABIA
Low geothermal gradient <3C / 100 m
Moderate geothermal gradient 33.5C / 100 m
High geothermal gradient >3.5C / 100 m

and that the drill pipe was plugged-off. following conclusions about deep drilling in (Figure 1.9). This stage created abnormal
When efforts were made to work the drill the region: inc r e as e s in fluid vo lum e and p or e
string free, it parted at 11,886 ft and the at least one extra casing should be pressure. A later increase in temperature,
well kicked again. This indicated that the allowed for in the well plan caused by lower thermal conductivity and
bridge in the annulus was above the shoe pipe sticking is almost inevitable when fluid migration in the overpressured zone,
of the parted drill pipe and the plugged drill formation salt water remains in contact c ontribut e d t o th e d e v e l opm e nt o f
pipe was left in-hole with the stuck section. with the filter cake of water-base mud overpressure through thermal expansion
The well continued to flow, despite being oil-base mud is a useful way to control of fluids.
treated with 1400 barrels of mud (specific HPFSWF The areas with the highest geothermal
gravity 2.32). intraformational pressure seals, faults and gradients in southern, onshore Abu Dhabi
A leak-off test showed that the formation fracture distributions should be found to were depocenters for the Gulailah and
was fractured. Further efforts to control the evaluate pressure compartments. Khuff formations. This may indicate that
well failed and as the drill pipe was being overpressuring in the Permo Triassic/
pulled out it parted. Fishing operations Paleozoic sequences first developed at or
The origins of overpressure
recovered 2667 ft out of a total stuck pipe around th e d epo c ent ers, and tha t its
length of 8477 ft. Experi enc e and fi eld evidenc e in Abu subsequent spread was controlled by the
N one of th e w e ll obj e c tiv es w er e Dhabi support one of the most widely- distribution and efficiency of regional seals
achieved. Efforts to solve the problem and accepted models for the development of in the area.
control the well took 170 days and cost overpressured formations. The first stage,
more than $12 million. in this two-stage process, coincided with
From their examination of H PFS W F hydro c arbon ma tura ti on a t th e basin
problems encountered in Abu D habis d e p o c e nt e rs (l o c a t i ons o f maximum
deep wells, AD N O C (Abu Dhabi National sedimentary deposition), particularly in
Oil Company) engineers have reached the are as w ith high ge o thermal gradi ents

(1996) A Rahman, Al-Tawil and I Azzam,


N umber 22, 1999

Prediction of high-pressure formation salt water flow in


deep drilling in Abu Dhabi area, SPE 36297

Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w 11


Advantages Disadvantages

Core Direct measurement of rock properties Costly in rig time

Capillary and wettability characteristics Increased risk of drillstring sticking


can be evaluated

Dynamic rock properties which control fluid Drilling mud filtrate contamination
movement (permeability, etc.) can be measured

Nature and distribution of porosity can be assessed Laboratory test conditions do not
match reservoir conditions

Logs Measurements at reservoir conditions Indirect measurements of rock properties


Table 1.2: Advantages
and disadvantages of Can be performed after drilling
coring and logging
Less expensive than coring
techniques

W
ater is present in every oil field. injection begins. Above the free-oil level layers in a reservoir, there is always a small
C onna t e forma tion w a t er, the water saturation will be at its irreducible amount of capillary water that cannot be
injected water and produced value. The transition zone between the displaced by the hydrocarbons. A formation
water must all be dealt with if oil and gas fr e e- oil and fr e e- w a t er l ev e ls is at irreducible water saturation will produce
production rates, and total recovery are to characterized by a gradual increase of water-free oil.
be maximiz ed . Mod ern produc tion water saturation to 100%. In this zone In much the same way, it is impossible to
technology aims to identify and assess the both oil and water are partially moveable. flush all of th e hydro c arbons from a
overall distribution of reservoir water and T h e thic kness of th e transition z one r es ervoir by ordinary fluid driv es or
to monitor and control the movement of depends on factors such as pore size, recovery techniques. Some hydrocarbons
formation and injection water. capillary pressure, wettability, etc. There is will always remain trapped in the pore
Sedimentary rocks are usually deposited a transition zone between the hydrocarbon system. This is referred to as the residual
in w a t er, w i th l ay ers of s edim ent and w ater layers where w ater and oil oil saturation.
accumulating in rivers, lakes, shallow seas saturation vary. In general, low-permeability
and on the ocean floor over many millions rocks will have thicker transition zones.
of years. Consequently, most sedimentary In shale sequences the bound water in
Changing water into brine
rocks are water-wet. The water present in the pores is not normally considered part T he nature and quantity of formation
the rock from the time of deposition is of the fluid flow. H owever, shale-bound w a t ers have a dir e c t influenc e on oil
known as connate water. As sediments are water makes it much harder to estimate exploration and exploitation. N ormal sea
buried and lithified, connate water will water saturation accurately from logs. water contains around 3.5% dissolved
undergo major changes in composition. In Water that can be displaced from the material (often expressed as 35,000 ppm).
some cases it may be diluted or displaced reservoir during production is referred to About 90% of this dissolved material is
by o ther w a t ers, whil e in oil and gas as free water. The total water content in a sodium chloride. The water in an oil and
reservoirs some connate water has been hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir rock (free gas reservoir is very different. At depths in
displaced by hydrocarbons. and irreducible) is formation water. exc ess of a f e w hundr ed m e t ers th e
Hydrocarbon-bearing formations almost In simplest terms, the water saturation in dissolved materials found in formation
always contain several immiscible fluids. a formation is the frac tion of its pore waters are at a very high concentration.
Water that does not flow as reservoir volume occupied by water. A formation Formation waters with very high mineral
pressure falls is kno wn as irreducible tha t c ont ains only w a t er has a w a t er c onc entra tions (typic ally those above
water. saturation of 100%. The water saturation 100,000 ppm) are referred to as brines. In
Figure 1.1 shows the fluid distributions in of any formation can vary from 100% to extreme cases, formation w at ers may
a typical reservoir before production or quite low values, but it is rarely, if ever, contain more than 300,000 ppm.
zero. N o matter how rich the oil or gas The most concentrated brines are found
in undeformed basins, such as those which
overlie geologically stable shield areas.
Brin es may also be parti cul arly
c onc entra t ed in ar e as w h er e th e
sedimentary sequence contains evaporite
units. Waters in these stable basins become
N umber 22, 1999

12 Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w #
Surface facility Surface facility

Pressure
c g

a b c d e f g h

Fluid flow path

a Water from three aquifers


b WSW Scaling and corrosion
b Water supply well d Water injection well f c Surface facility Corrosion,
(WSW) (WIW) scaling, oxygen ingress
h and plugging
Disposal d WIW Corrosion and scaling
well e Reservoir Mineral formation,
dissolution, scaling, fines
a migration and formation damage
Aquifer 1 f Oil well Scaling, corrosion, PI
decline and equipment failures
Aquifer 2 Reservoir g Surface Scaling, corrosion, plugging
Aquifer 3 and down time
e h Scaling and corrosion

Figure 1.10: A stylized injection/production/disposal cycle from an onshore oil field

At present there is no reliable technique to Conclusions Water problems can be encountered at


d e t ermine th e l a t eral distribution of every stage of oilfield development and at
permeability. It is usually estimated from In the early days of Middle East oil and gas every point in the injection/production
core and/or log porosity measurements. development there was little reason to cycle (Figure 1.10). Oilfield managers must
However, at the flow unit (i.e., simulation worry about water production. Many of be aware of potential problems and make
block grid) scale heterogeneity affects both the major fields in the region produced str enuous e fforts t o pro t e c t f a c iliti es
lateral and vertical permeabilities. very little water and, given their size, there through regular inspection and monitoring
T h e M D T t o o l pr ovid e s a p a r t i a l seemed to be no reason to believe they programs. Efforts to monitor and control
solution to this problem. Where tests are would for years to come. The giant Middle oilfield water are now a central part of field
conduc t ed in association with a good East fields discovered in the 1960s and development and management.
geological description the MD T tool can 1970s have now been in production for 20
provide permeability estimates with a or 30 years, and water cuts are rising.
r a dius o f inv e s t iga t i on in th e r a ng e Since the late 1980s there has been an
1050 f t d e p e nding on f orm a t i on increasing awareness of water control
c h a r a c t e ris t i c s a nd dur a t i on o f th e issues in the major oil and gas reservoirs in
production and buildup periods. the Middle East and elsewhere. Effective
W ithout 4 D dynamic pr essur e water control can help to reduce the costs
measurements that are spatially distributed associated with production facilities, and to
it is virtually impossible to estimate the protect the environment by reducing the
spatial distribution of permeability at the volumes of produced water for disposal.
reservoir scale. The next millennium will
see the development and application of 4D
pressure transient testing.
N umber 22, 1999

Middle East Well Evaluation Revie w 13