Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221 – 246 www.elsevier.

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Development of mature oil fields — A review
Tayfun Babadagli
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Mining and Petroleum, University of Alberta, 3-112 Markin CNRL-NREF Building, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2W2 Received 23 May 2006; received in revised form 11 October 2006; accepted 12 October 2006

Abstract Development of mature oil fields has been, and will increasingly be, an attractive subject. Mature field development practices can be divided into two major groups: (1) well engineering and (2) reservoir engineering. This paper focuses on the reservoir engineering aspects. An extensive review of previously reported reservoir management practices for mature field development is provided. After the definition of mature field and an overview, different aspects of mature field development are outlined. The first issue covered is the estimation of remaining reserves focusing on the determination of the amount and location of the residual oil after primary and secondary recovery using field, log, and core data. After valuing the remaining oil, methods to recover it are classified. They include tertiary recovery, infill drilling, horizontals, optimal waterflooding design for mature fields, optimal well placement and other reservoir management practices. Suggested or implemented field application examples for big fields owned by majors and small fields owned by independents are presented. Special attention is given to tertiary oil recovery. An extensive review and critical analysis of tertiary recovery techniques covering the theoretical, practical, and economical aspects of it are provided. The emphasis is on their applicability in mature field development in terms of effectiveness (incremental recovery) and efficiency (cost and recovery time). Laboratory and field scale applications of different tertiary recovery techniques, i.e., gas (double displacement, WAG, and miscible–immiscible HC, CO2, and N2), chemical (dilute surfactant, polymer, and micellar injection), and thermal (air and steam) injection, conducted to develop mature fields are included. Specific examples of big/giant fields, fields producing for decades, and mid to small size fields were selected. Differences in reservoir management strategies for majors, independents, and national oil companies are discussed. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Mature fields; Remaining oil; Residual oil saturation; Tertiary oil recovery; Reservoir management techniques

Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Definition and elements of mature field development . . How much oil is left and where is the remaining oil? . Techniques used to determine the amount of remaining 4.1. Core analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2. Logs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3. Volumetric-reservoir engineering studies . . . . . . . . . . oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222 222 223 223 223 223 225

E-mail address: tayfun@ualberta.ca. 0920-4105/$ - see front matter © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.petrol.2006.10.006

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T. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246

4.4. Production data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.5. Well testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.6. Chemical tracers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7. Field experiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. Tertiary recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1. Laboratory scale investigations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1.1. Non-fractured rocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1.2. Immiscible gas injection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2. Miscible gas injection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.3. Air injection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.4. Chemical injection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5. Fractured rocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. Field scale applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. Reservoir management practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8. Well placement, infill drilling, horizontal wells and optimizing waterflooding 9. Concluding remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nomenclature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Acknowledgment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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1. Introduction The world average of oil recovery factor is estimated to be 35%. Additional recovery over this “easy oil” depends on the availability of proper technologies, economic viability, and effective reservoir management strategies. On the other hand, the chance of discovering giant fields remarkably decreases (Blaskovich, 2000). The discovery rate for the giant fields peaked in the late 1960s and early 1970s and declined remarkably in the last two decades (Ivanhoe, 1997). About thirty giant fields comprise half of the world's oil reserves and most of them are categorized as mature field. The development of those fields entails new and economically viable techniques, and proper reservoir management strategies (Black and LaFrance, 1998; Al-Attar, 2004). Mature field development is a broad subject. It can, however, be divided into two main parts: (1) well development, and (2) reservoir development. Depending on the field type, history, and prospects, the development plans could be done on either one or both. This paper covers reservoir engineering aspects of mature field development. Determination of the amount and location of the remaining oil is the key issue in this exercise. Techniques to improve the recovery factor such as tertiary recovery, infills, horizontals, and optimal placement of the new wells are the other elements of reservoir development. 2. Definition and elements of mature field development Oil fields after a certain production period are called mature fields. A more specific definition of mature

fields is the fields reaching the peak of their production or producing fields in declining mode. A third definition could be the fields reaching their economic limit after primary and secondary recovery efforts. Fig. 1 shows a typical production life of a field. Any points indicated by a question mark can be considered as the time when the maturity is reached. The tendency, however, is to define the decline period indicated by the arrow in Fig. 1, which is typically reached after having some secondary recovery efforts. Increasing water and gas production, decreasing pressure, and aging equipment are other indicators of maturity. Technologies to revitalize mature oil fields are based on either well or reservoir applications. Once the maximum number of wells that can possibly be applicable to the field is reached, well development practices such as

Fig. 1. Different stages of oil recovery that can be assumed as the starting of the maturity of a field. Typical tendency is the period indicated by the arrow.

Rebooking the reserves for such cases has always been a challenge due to uncertainties and difficulties in the estimation of residual oil saturation (Ross. 4. It is critical to decide when to start these applications to maximize the ultimate recovery of oil. nuclear magnetism. Egbogah provided an extensive review of those techniques (Egbogah. and new entries are considered. The following equation proposed by Kazemi (1977) is used to estimate the residual oil saturation at reservoir scale using core residual oil saturation: ð So Þres ¼ ð So Þcore Bo E 4. stimulation. the next step is to quantify the recoverable amount accurately and find out the tools/methods to achieve this. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 Table 1 Logs used to determine residual oil saturation Log type Resistivity Pulsed neutron Nuclear magnetism Carbon/Oxygen Technique Conventional Log-inject-log Conventional Log-inject-log Cased hole N Y N Y 223 Accuracy Poor Good Poor Good recompletion. 2 !1 3 n Ro 1 þ Rw BQV 5 Sw ¼ 4 BQ Rt 1 þ RwSw V where B is defined as follows: B ¼ 0:046ð1 À 0:6eCw =0:013 Þ ð3Þ ð2Þ P P M 1 À V2 ð1Þ . which is a modified form of Archie's classic equation (Waxman and Thomas. Water saturation from resistivity logs can be calculated using the following equation introduced by Waxman and Smits for shaly sands. surveillance. 1976). Techniques used to determine the amount of remaining oil 4. 1968). The residual oil saturation obtained from core analysis may not be representative for the whole reservoir as the displacement is not controlled only by microscopic factors at the field scale.2. Tracer tests or well test methods are used to determine the location and distribution of the remaining oil. This is obviously the disadvantageous part of the practice. For any of those practices. Logs Resistivity. Volumetric reservoir engineering studies and core analysis are the tools to be used for the amount of the remaining oil but not the distribution of it. Efficiency is the key issue in mature field development. advantages. injectors for pressure maintenance or displacement are drilled mainly targeting secondary or tertiary recovery. Obviously. Core analysis Fluid saturation of virgin or waterflooded cores are determined by distillation (water saturation) and extraction (oil saturation) using solvents.T. It has been recognized that relating oil saturation to in situ values is a serious problem. optimization of lift. pulsed neutron capture. 1998). treatments. and disadvantages of each logging technique. Next. experience. Special core analysis (SCAL) increases the accuracy of the estimation as it represents realistic reservoir conditions (pressure. and how cost efficient it would be. we discuss the reservoir engineering aspects of mature field development and review the possible techniques and applications on how much recoverable oil there is. carbon/oxygen. Table 1 lists the application types. and data gathered over the years is the advantageous part of it. re-collection of data. Both conventional or log-inject-log applications are possible for some of these logs. and wettability) but it is costly compared to conventional core analysis (Wyman. how fast it can be recovered. temperature. and gamma radiation logs are used to determine the residual oil saturation. Therefore. 1994). How much oil is left and where is the remaining oil? Determination of the amount of residual oil saturation after primary and secondary recovery processes is a challenge. one needs to know the amount and location of the target oil first. Locating the oil to be recovered is a difficult exercise and requires sophisticated techniques as well. the first issue to tackle in mature field development is to quantify the amount of oil left.1. having a great deal of information about the field. On the other hand. In the following sections. This is an important issue especially for tertiary recovery applications if the company is concerned with the ultimate recovery rather than accelerating the production rate in short term. The cost of the project increases while the revenue gained from additional oil recovery decreases as a field ages. 3.

misinterpretation of the logs due to lesser amounts of clay considered in the system causes underestimation of the amount of oil. The accuracy of the saturation exponent.. This techniques detects hydrogen in the water and oil and applicable as inject-log. It is The plot of Cw vs. Pulsed neutron capture (PNC) log can be used in loginject-log applications for both open and cased holes Fig. In this process. (2) is used to calculate it (re-plotted using the data provided in Al-Kharusi. This relationship is commonly used for the conventional applications of resistivity logs as well as a few others such as Simandoux and Fertl and Hammack equations. Those values of QV as well as the case of QV = 0 were compared in Fig. The term QV in Eq. Small changes in this exponent may result in significant variations in the reserves obtained by volumetric calculations. The same types of logs are used for log-inject-log applications as well. In an unpublished study.4 for a sandstone reservoir in Oman containing different types of clays (ankerite.1. Incorrect estimation of the amount of clay or electrically conductive minerals results in an underestimated value of hydrocarbon saturation (Cook et al. and Σw1 and Σw2 are the capture cross sections of the formation and water measured before and after the injection.224 T. Variability of the saturation exponent in the reservoir caused by the clay content and pore structure is another factor affecting the accuracy of the reserves estimation (Worthington and Pallatt. Another log type used to determine the remaining oil saturation is the carbon-oxygen (C/O) log. Effect of clay content on the hydrocarbon saturation when Eq. the following equation is applied to estimate the remaining oil saturation: Sor ¼ IFflow / ð7Þ This technique is applicable only in open holes. (2) is also critical in the estimation of the amount of remaining oil. 2000). The oil saturation is estimated using So = 1− Sw. and illite) by multiple salinity technique using the following equation: Co ¼ 1 ðBQV þ Cw Þ F ð5Þ where Σt1 and Σt2 . Al-Kharusi (unpublished) found the QV value to be 0. the use of resistivity logs in the saturation estimation has always been questionable. brine is injected to measure the Ro. which detects carbon (exists in HC) and oxygen (exists in water). A solvent is then injected to remove oil. Finally. Significant changes in the oil saturation values were observed with an increase in the QV. chlorite. The oil saturation is calculated using the following relationship: Ro So ¼ 1 À Rt  1 n ð4Þ with high accuracy. n is vital in the estimation of the remaining oil (or reserves). The following equation is applied to estimate the remaining oil saturation: Sor ¼ 1 À ðRt2 À Rt1 Þ /ðRw2 À Rw1 Þ ð6Þ Both conventional and log-inject-log applications are used only in open holes. Water containing paramagnetic ions is injected into the formation and the Free Flow Index (IFflow) of oil is directly or computationally obtained. A more accurate technique was proposed later using nuclear magnetism log. 1992). 2. Co yielded QV. respectively. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 cw is the reciprocal of Rw. In many applications. koalinite. Then. unpublished). Previous experience for this field had shown that the QV = 0. 2. . Due to the empirical nature of this quantity. oil bearing formation is logged to obtain the Rt first.

The relative permeability ratio can be obtained using krw qw Bw lw Bw lw ¼ ¼ WOR kro qo Bo lo Bo lo ð11Þ where the (k / μ)t is the total mobility defined as !       kg k ko kw ¼ þ þ l t lo lw lg ð15Þ 2 ΔtM and (tD / rD)M are the time and dimensionless time values obtained from the type curve analysis. When multiphase production occurs from a well. Hlebszevitsch et al. One of the techniques used for this is the material balance equation: Nfoi ðBt À Bti Þ þ ðWi À Wp Bw Þ þ Gi Bg Np ¼ ðRp À Rs ÞBg þ Bo Bti ½ðCf þ Swi Cw ÞDPŠ þ mBti ðBg À Bgi Þ þ We ð1ÀS Þ Bgi þ wi ðRp À Rs ÞBg þ Bo cf. 4. 1975). 4.6.T. Ki is obtained as follows: ðCi Þoil ¼ Ki ðCi Þwater ð16Þ . Production data Production history plot is another reliable source to estimate the final production (Np). If the relative permeability measurement through core analysis is available. 4. 1945) and analytical (Fetkovich. respectively. the saturations can be estimated using the production relative permeability data. can be obtained from pressure transient analysis using the following relationship (Earlougher. 1977): ct ¼ 0:0002637ðk=lÞt DtM 2 /r2 ðtD =rD ÞM ð14Þ ð10Þ The material balance calculations based on this equation yield reliable results for the volumetric reservoirs. one can obtain the saturations using the relative permeability data. and oil compressibilities. (2001) reported synthetic sonic log and cased-hole logging applications to assess the remaining oil saturation in mature oil fields. Graphical (Arps. Well testing Permeability and relative permeabilities can be obtained from pressure transient data. At the equilibrium. and cw are the pore volume. Lately. which is based on core analysis. 4. The remaining oil saturation is estimated using the following equation: So ¼ C=Olog À C=O100%water C=O100%oil À C=O100%water ð8Þ if the flow rates are known.. Volumetric-reservoir engineering studies The remaining oil saturation is obtained by the following equation if the total amount of oil in place (Nfoi) and the cumulative oil produced to the end of waterflooding (Np) is known: Sor ¼ ðN À Np ÞBoWF 7758Ah/ ð9Þ Dependency on the real (measured) production data makes these techniques reliable compared to the laboratory measurements. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 225 similar to the PNC and a gamma ray detector. saturation can be estimated through the following relationship if there is no free gas in the system (Ramey.5. (2003) and Gutierrez et al. water with radioactive tracer is injected before and after removal of residual oil.4. the thermodynamic equilibrium ratio. In this process. Chemical tracers When a chemical tracer is injected. its molecules are locally distributed between water and oil in the reservoir (Tomich et al. water. So ¼ ct À cw À cf co À cw ð13Þ Prediction of Np is a critical task. 1987) techniques can be applied to forecast the production data. There are also analytical and numerical modeling techniques to estimate the waterflood performances but the accuracy of the models strictly rely on the estimation of the Sor (or relative permeabilities). co. The total compressibility. Oil saturation can be calculated by dividing the current reservoir volume of the oil by the current pore volume: So ¼ ðNfoi À Np ÞBo Vo ¼ Vp Nfoi Boi ð1 À cf DPÞ=ð1 À Swi Þ ð12Þ The gamma radiation log is another log type used for log-inject-log applications. ct.3. In addition. 1973).

Ki is injected and the time for arrival to another well is measured. The average value they found was 23. Therefore. Figs. Elkins (1978) compiled the residual oil saturation values obtained by different techniques for different formations in the US. (3). borehole was filled with gas and electromagnetic propagation tools do not work in gas. and material balance for a carbonate reservoir. When brine containing a tracer with known distribution coefficient. Verma et al. Based on this evaluation. Hence. were observed with that field. then the expected velocity of i molecule is Vi ¼ pi Vw þ ð1 À pi ÞVo ð17Þ Eq. The values varied between 5 and 40% for the field and 14 and 56% for the lab measurements. SORW ¼ 0:06ð1 À Sw Þ / ð20Þ Elkins (1972) observed that the cores acquired from unconsolidated sands may result in overestimation of porosity and therefore the OOIP. They measured the porosity from cores to be 39% through conventional core analysis. (1991) compared residual oil saturations obtained through special core analysis (SCAL). which is insensitive to gas.7. tracer) b ROS (Material Balance) • ROS (PNC) = ROS (Resistivity logs) • ROS (Single well tracer) b (ROS (logs) 4. loginject-log. If the probability of finding a typical i molecule in the water phase is pi. (2000). NMR (limited to the invasion zone with a few inches depth of investigation) is an alternative to resistivity saturation. Field experiences A challenging case of determination of remaining oil saturation was reported by Akkurt et al.226 T. The SCAL resulted in much lower porosity (31%). the following conclusions can be reached regarding the residual oil saturation (ROS) measurements: • ROS (core. At the residual oil saturation. Later Elkins and Poppe (1973) evaluated a field case to estimate the residual oil saturation left for the tertiary oil recovery. oil velocity is zero. log.2%. NMR. Thermal Decay Time (TDT) log. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 The value of Ki can be measured in the laboratory. one can obtain the residual oil saturation using Vi ¼ ð1 À Sor ÞVw ð1 À Sor Þ þ Ki Sor ð19Þ Recently. They concluded that the most reliable results were obtained from the SCAL with preserved cores. between 1 and 5). Techniques such as resistivity logs. They compared the old resistivity saturation measurements to the new values obtained from the NMR and noted that the resistivity based model is complex and requires a substantial level of petrophysical expertise to implement while the NMR approach is relatively simpler. It was also observed that the n changes with space and time and the surfactants used in the field altered the wettability of the rock. Significant variations in n (saturation exponent) and m (cementation factor. The mature fractured-vuggy carbonate Yates field has undergone many different EOR applications. They concluded that the actual oil recovery efficiencies by waterflooding may have been much higher than those reported. yielding inaccurate estimation of water saturation from Eq. Log-inject-log yielded reasonably good results while the material balance provided a good cross check. oil remaining in place as a target for tertiary recovery may be much less than what was estimated by conventional methods of determining porosity and subtracting cumulative oil production. They reported that the reduction in porosity due to compaction should be recognized . (2003) provided an experimental and numerical technique to estimate the location and the size of bypassed and stagnant oil using geochemical data from produced oil and water. Also. They also observed a strong dependency of residual oil saturation after waterflood (SORW) on Swi and proposed the following correlation between these two quantities. Five techniques are used for residual oil saturation determination as discussed above. Huseby et al. (17) can be written in terms of the saturations as follows: Vi ¼ ð1 À So ÞVw þ Ki So Vo ð1 À So Þ þ Ki So ð18Þ The velocities are obtained from field experiments and the Ki is measured in the laboratory (Eq. was suggested to measure the residual oil saturation. Pulsed neutron logs and chemical tracer methods can be applied to old cased wells. Oil and water can be identified by exploiting the diffusion coefficient (Do) contrast between them in NMR applications. 3 and 4 show the comparison of different techniques. (16)). The molecules of tracer i will move with a characteristic velocity that depends on the fraction of time that the molecules spend in each phase. nuclear magnetism logs and core analysis require new wells drilled. which is in agreement with the log porosities.

(2002). . which did not showed reliable answers for a layered sandstone and a carbonate field in Libya due to low salinity. Tchambaz (2004) presented a new formation resistivity tool for the cased holes to measure the water saturation in water injected zone as an alternative to nuclear logging (TDT).T. They proposed the following equation as depletion indicator. Comparison of the residual oil saturations obtained through different techniques for sandstones (plotted using the data provided in Elkins. 4. 3. He was successful in pointing the location and amount of remaining oil (unswept by water injected) comparing the first (uncased hole) and the latest (cased hole. Peripheral waterflooding residual oil saturation for this field was less than predicted (Sor being not more than 25%) leaving this field a marginal field for prospect tertiary oil recovery. Using this Fig. 1978). Another cased hole resistivity log measurement was reported by Hupp et al. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 227 Fig. 1978). and pressure coring is important in the evaluation of unconsolidated field cases. four years later) resistivity measurements. Comparison of the residual oil saturations obtained through different techniques for carbonates (plotted using the data provided in Elkins.

Sow is defined as follows: Sow ¼ rwg À rog À row ð22Þ They also noted that the oil is displaced by a doubledrainage mechanism (gas/oil and oil/water interface movement) for both positive and negative spreading systems and gas/water displacement is possible for negative spreading systems. They observed that the recoveries for positive spreading systems are much higher than for negative systems when the spreading coefficient.1. Recently. 5. respectively. Non-fractured rocks Tertiary recovery applications largely studied at laboratory scale are immiscible and miscible gas injection. 5. Lepski et al. (1998a. The applications of immiscible (double displacement methods and inert gas) and miscible (hydrocarbon gases and carbon dioxide) gas injection. nuclear logging has been commonly applied to determine the location and the amount of the remaining oil. Taber et al. (1992) studied the mobilization of residual oil by immiscible gas injection under water-wet conditions using micro models. (1996) showed that when the spreading coefficient (Eq. and (2) relative amounts of carbon and oxygen by inelastic gamma ray spectrometry (as used in the Induced Gamma Ray Spectrometry tool — GST).1. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 equation they located undepleted (or unswept) zones for further treatment. chemical injection (mainly surfactant solutions). rffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi RtÀCH ð21Þ CHFR À Depletion À Indicator ¼ RtÀOH where CH and OH denote the cased and open hole. and air injection. For nuclear logging. (1997a. chemical injection (surfactant. When it is negative. and micellar solutions). One should select the TDT and GST or combination depending on the salinity contrast and the level of salinity (Schlumberger Wireline and Testing. the focus will be on those tertiary recovery techniques typically applied after massive water injection for pressure maintenance or displacement. saturation monitoring through casing is performed in two ways: (1) decay of thermal neutron populations (TDT). They observed that additional 28% of the remaining oil could be recovered after 57% OOIP waterflooding recovery by immiscible WAG . 5. Later. alkaline. Immiscible gas injection Oren et al. Oil may not be displaced from the smaller pores. In addition to the resistivity application in the cased hole. and air injection as tertiary recovery agents will be reviewed. HC entrance into water filled small-pores takes time (overcoming the capillary entry pressure). 1993).1.2. They observed that if the gas injection process is stopped after breakthrough and the system is shut off for a few days and then water is injected. This requires a clear understanding of the immiscible and miscible displacement of residual oil while another mobile phase exists as well as the three-phase relative permeability concept. Oil recovery by a miscible hydrocarbon (HC) solvent may be quite incomplete when another phase (water) exists in the system. significant oil production is obtained. the tertiary recovery of oil involves in the displacement of oil in an environment with excessive amount of water. the residual oil tends to coalesce and form blobs occupying several pore spaces. (22)) is positive. Righi et al. In this section. Jones (1985) observed that the time required for a fluid particle to traverse a porous medium depends on rock topology and fluid distribution.1. Tertiary recovery The tertiary recovery aspects of mature field development will be evaluated for laboratory and field scale developments. HC can invade only the more accessible water filled pores (high IFT between water and HC). (2004) showed that immiscible water-alternating-gas (WAG) in watered-out cores yielded additional recovery. 5. in some cases occupying more pore space than oil within the rock. Therefore.b) studied downward displacement of oil by inert gas (nitrogen or air) injected at the top of the formation using horizontal wells after waterflooding. oil tends to spread on water and form a continuous film. Laboratory scale investigations Fractured and non-fractured systems will be evaluated separately in this section. The TDT provided better results in highly saline formation waters.b) classified different enhanced (tertiary) oil recovery (EOR) techniques and their selection criteria. Steam injection for tertiary recovery is quite uncommon and it is mainly applied as a secondary (or even primary) displacement method in heavy-oil reservoirs. The process of displacing the oil bank by secondary waterflooding was named Second Contact Water Displacement (SCWD). Kantzas et al. He also noted that the mixing zone is long in a water-wet core.228 T. They observed that the gravity assisted inert gas injection has a potential to become an efficient EOR method with up to 99% of remaining oil recovery from unconsolidated samples.

The tertiary recovery from 200 to 300 mD sandstone rock with 70%–75% previous waterflood recovery was 6– 8% OOIP. Typically. Technical success did not guarantee that the project would be economically viable as will be discussed in the field case evaluations later. this effect is significant and no extraction at high WAG ratios is observed. respectively. N2 and CO2 are used as tertiary recovery agents. Above the minimum miscibility pressure (MMP). 1968) are defined as follows: doil ¼ 0:01⁎M þ 6:54 À 0:01⁎ðT À 25Þ dg ¼ 0:326ðPc Þ0:5 ðqr =qr ðliqÞÞ ð24Þ ð25Þ where M is oil average molecular weight and T is temperature. Secondary nitrogen recovery was measured to be 36–42% OOIP from 1 to 5 mD sandstone cores. He showed that the tertiary oil recovery by CO2 flood linearly decreases by decreasing pressure and CO2 mobility decreases with decreasing pressure near miscible conditions. the process might take place at pressures slightly below the MMP because of the variation or reduction in the pressure. In this case. This pressure range that does not develop complete miscibility is called near- miscible zone. The miscible residual oil saturation (Sorm) is a key property for simulation studies of gas injection. however. They observed that the dispersion in a porous medium tends to decrease in the presence of wetting immobile phase. significant oil recovery is obtained due to extraction regardless of WAG ratio. High injection pressures were required in this deep reservoir (3500 m) to overcome the reservoir pressure and miscibility and double displacement are the other possible recovery mechanisms to contribute to the recovery at this pressure. They also pointed out that the tertiary . ρr(liq) is the reduced density of the gas compressed to a liquid state. The optimization of this process has been studied extensively in the past. (1985) observed that the optimum slug sizes are 0:1 (continuous slug process) and 1:1 for tertiary oil recovery by CO2 injection for water-wet and oil-wet systems. One of the critical aspects of miscible flooding is the effective use of WAG process. Tertiary floods in the water-wet models were dominated by gravity forces while tertiary floods in an oil-wet medium were controlled by viscous fingering. Lange (1998) observed that the miscible and near-miscible residual oil saturation. Shyeh-Yung (1991) studied decane/CO2/brine system with Berea sandstone at near-miscible pressure range. They noted that maximum recovery is a stronger function of slug size in secondary CO2 flood than in tertiary flooding. vertical mass transfer increases with gas solvent enrichment and the mass transfer is reduced in the presence of water while the reduction is less as capillarity increases. Eq. Miscible gas injection Typically HC gases (CH4 or liquefied petroleum gases [LPG]). They also showed that the mixing coefficients are lower when an immobile aqueous phase was present. the recovery might be significantly (negatively) affected. In water-wet rocks. Sorm is a function of solubility parameters. Jackson et al. This requires correct measurement of the IFT between equilibrated phases. High WAG ratios result in less oil recovery by extraction. They also observed that the near-miscible gas floods do not appear to be influenced by water saturation level. Babadagli et al. The only mechanism tested was the immiscible displacement of oil by an inert gas. Wylie and Mohanty (1996) reported that in the presence of water. 5. tertiary slug. In mixed-wet rocks..2. They developed the following correlation using the tertiary recovery of eight different crude oils in carbonate and sandstone cores with EOR gases: Sorm ¼ 0:036ðjdoil À dg jÞ À 0:029 ð23Þ The solubility parameters for crude oil and gas (Gidding et al. the capillary number is used to determine the residual oil saturation. especially at high WAG ratios (Stern. (1995) observed that the secondary slug flood had the highest recovery efficiency among the three possible injection strategies (secondary slug. and tertiary WAG) for the recovery of 14 °API-heavy-oil. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 229 from original sandstone reservoir cores with 18% porosity and 25–300 mD permeability. Another critical aspect of WAG injection is to determine the best injection strategies to maximize the recovery. Other factor that might be effective on the recovery at near miscible pressure is the amount of existing water saturation.T. The effect of wettability on the performance of WAG is crucial. Srivastava et al. 1991). the recovery would increase significantly. Kasraie and Farouq Ali (1984) studied the effect of second immobile phase on the dispersion during miscible flooding. (23) covers both miscible and near miscible conditions. He also observed that the secondary CO2 flood could recover more oil than tertiary CO2 flood. In many applications. They are all multiple contact miscible except the LPG. The opposite was observed when the immobile phase is non-wetting. (2001) tested nitrogen injection possibility to a tight unswept (as a secondary recovery method) and high permeability watered-out sandstone (as a tertiary recovery method) containing light-oil.

Clark et al. Michels et al. Sakthikumar et al.5% was obtained after waterflooding.3.4. The following are the key issues to be considered in these practices: • The right time to start tertiary oil recovery. The tests on Berea sandstone samples showed that 78% of the remaining oil after waterflooding was recovered with the injection of 2. oil and formation water are two essential factors to be determined from the laboratory scale tests.. Krizmanic (2004a) reported optimum WAG injection schemes for mature fields in Croatia and evaluated the trapped gas saturation and waterflood residual oil saturation for those cases (Krizmanic. Chemical injection The most common chemical injection technique as a tertiary oil recovery method is surfactant solution injection due to its relatively lower cost compared to the micellar or microemulsion injection.1 wt. the estimation of the incremental oil recovery and compatibility of the recovery agent with the rock. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 WAG produced higher oil recovery than the tertiary slug. The surfactant solution injection into virgin core samples resulted in an average value of 69% recovery.4% whereas N2 injection yielded 43. (2002). • Optimal injection scheme.5% obtained from core experiments. The company size and long-term policies are critical in this decision and the mature field development plan through enhanced oil recovery should be determined based on the short-midand long-term plans of the companies. They concluded that surfactant concentration and type play a primary role in the tertiary recovery of oil. Field scale simulations are needed for further performance estimation.%) anionic surfactant.. which was substantially lower than that of waterflooding. Especially. (1988) studied the performance of a cosurfactant enhanced polymer flood (alkaline–surfactant–polymer) in Berea sandstone. . laboratory scale work is needed to formulate the optimal design of any tertiary injection project. This will be discussed later in the Field scale applications section. Microbial injection has been also proposed as a tertiary recovery (Almeida et al. They observed that the combustion will occur at reservoir conditions and reservoir has sufficient reservoir temperature to accelerate oxygen consumption.230 T. 5. Skipping the secondary (waterflooding) recovery and starting directly slug gas injection yielded much more efficient recovery especially for live oil. additional 9% OOIP recovery in 30 years was targeted. The efficiency and economics of the project were tested for different optimal injection operational plans. (2003). • Injection strategy to be followed (slug sizes are critical not only for the technical success but also for the economical viability of the project). air injection has been found an efficient one due to its lower cost. Low concentration anionic surfactant solutions were injected into high salinity core samples to formulate the field injection plan.2% oil recovery. which yielded an average recovery value of 75% OOIP. This was attributed to the retention of surfactant during the flood in chalky limestone samples. They reported up to 14– 16% OOIP incremental recovery from the field application after 5–15% primary recovery. Their laboratory experiments showed that the air injection recovery was 46. 2004) as well as water conformance (Stepp et al. 2004b). (1997) reported a field trial conducted upon successful laboratory tests of air injection into light oil reservoirs for tertiary recovery. An extra oil recovery of 0% to 7. Obviously. The amount of – immobile – water from secondary recovery might significantly affect the efficiency of tertiary recovery. (1996) tested the tertiary recovery potential of a low concentration (0. 1996) technique to develop mature oil fields. Many different surfactant types were tested as tertiary recovery agents at different concentrations after massive waterflooding. Determination of the best strategy for the most efficient displacement and minimum residual oil saturation is an important issue in mature field development. 5. An average of 23% OOIP incremental recovery was obtained after 36% waterflooding recovery with different formulations. They also used a sacrificial agent to minimize the surfactant retention and observed that an optimal value of the sacrificial agent exists. Air injection Although steam is not a favorable tertiary recovery agent. Another surfactant injection into light oil (33–35 °API) sandstone reservoir was reported by Zaitoun et al. (1995) compared the performances of tertiary injection (after waterflooding) of N2 and air injection into limestone and sandstone samples containing light oil. Using the residual oil saturation value of 27. They observed 36% OOIP recovery after waterflooding. Fassihi and Gillham (1993) tested the DDP (double displacement process) potential of air injection in the watered-out mature West Hackberry field. • The ultimate goal (is it faster – accelerated – recovery or higher ultimate recovery?). A different rock type (cleaned chalk samples from the cores of the Yibal field in Oman) was exposed to a similar tests by Babadagli et al.3 PV of surfactant solution. Fassihi et al.

When the experiment was continued at increased pressure and temperature (300 psi and 270 F). the hot water injection after waterflooding would yield mainly thermal expansion of residual-waterflood-oil. Water + hot water combination could potentially be more economic than chemical injection for water-wet samples. and viscous forces as well as mass transfer. It is highly difficult to determine the economics of the project from the laboratory tests without field scale simulation study but the laboratory data provide an insight into the residual oil saturation. 1992.5 mN/m) after brine (41 mN/m) imbibition recovery of 52% OOIP on chalk samples saturated with n-C6. Therefore. they obtained additional 14% OOIP recovery. hot water injection after fully completed water injection is a technically successful process. They observed that starting the experiment at room temperature would not yield any imbibition recovery whereas experiments conducted at 138 F from the beginning showed 20–25% OOIP recovery.5 cp. Recovery after waterflooding from a rock sample all sides open to flow could be limited to thermal expansion of oil only. Significant effort has been devoted to the primary and secondary recovery from matrix since the 1950s. It was observed that starting the process with water and continuing with hot water (up to 90°C) would yield higher ultimate recovery than exposing the core to low IFT surfactant solutions from the beginning. The dominating recovery mechanism was capillary imbibition. Depending on the matrix interaction type (co. 1990). . hot water imbibition following water imbibition showed different recovery performances. This is above the recovery that could possibly be recovered by thermal expansion (Briggs et al. Three types of agents have been tested in the laboratory environment for tertiary recovery of oil from the matrix. Guo et al. the total recovery reached 70% OOIP with a much faster recovery rate than the lower temperature experiment.T. Tertiary recovery of matrix oil requires more efforts towards the understanding the physics of the process. Oil viscosity was 17. 7–9% OOIP oil recovery was obtained. Hallenbeck et al. obtained from the Spraberry Trend Area and saturated with original reservoir oil (∼ 1 cp). (1994) obtained additional 20% OOIP recovery with lowered IFT using surfactant solutions (1. surfactant solutions and miscible fluids (solvents).5. It can be concluded that it is reasonable to start with hot water or steam injection rather than waterflooding in weakly water-wet systems for a faster recovery and less residual matrix oil saturation. This is typically the recovery by thermal expansion. He used mineral and light crude oil. Morrow and Mason (2001) and Babadagli (2003a) provided a review of the primary and secondary matrix recovery mechanisms. such as augmented capillary imbibition by reduced interfacial tension and changes in the wettability. They are namely hot water or steam. This was a corrected value to thermal expansion. (1991) performed similar experiments on North Sea Chalk (Ekofisk field) samples using 33 °API original crude oil. Steam injection at 150 °C following the water injection gave additional 14% recovery. Upscaling this information to field cases is an important issue (Christman and Gorell. the oil recovery is not only due to thermal expansion but also enhanced imbibition or even gravity drainage for sandstone (strongly water-wet) rocks. the additional recovery is mainly due to enhanced capillary imbibition as well as other potential matrix-fracture interaction processes except expansion. Dilute surfactant injection studies were also conducted for tertiary recovery.or counter current) determined by the matrix boundary conditions (all sides open matrix or matrix partially exposed to water imbibition). exposed to water imbibition. 5. however. Therefore.. Babadagli (2001) exposed sandstone and limestone cores to static (capillary) brine imbibition first and then hot water. Cuiec et al. contributed to the recovery. When the temperature is increased from the room temperature that resulted in no recovery. 2002). Water imbibition at 60 °C yielded 15% OOIP recovery. When the process is started as steam injection at 290 °C. 1996). For strongly water-wet systems. If unfavorable matrix boundary conditions exist. They observed 32% OOIP recovery by water imbibition at room temperature. Sahuquet and Ferrier (1982) tested the performance of secondary and tertiary (water injection followed by steam) steam injection into fractured dolomitic carbonate rock from the Lacq Superieur field. If the oil is recovered from a matrix that is not open to flow from all sides. Fractured rocks Main recovery mechanism from NFR involves matrix–fracture interaction due to capillary. Babadagli. starting the process with hot water is a technically more feasible than starting with water followed by hot water injection. Babadagli (2003b) observed no capillary imbibition recovery from Berea sandstone matrix with different non-ionic surfactant solutions after brine imbibition that yielded 45–60% OOIP recovery. gravity. Other mechanisms. (1998) exposed the siltstone core plugs. Note that starting the process with hot water injection would yield the same ultimate recovery but faster recovery rate (Babadagli. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 231 The laboratory experiments provide answers to these questions partly.

40% OOIP additional recovery was obtained..3 mN/m) and a non-ionic (ethoxylated alcohol–poly oxyethylene alcohol — 2 mN/m) surfactant solutions were then tested on the cores exposed primarily to brine imbibition. the same recovery was reached at faster recovery rate. When a cationic surfactant (C12 TAB. 2002) of initial water saturation are critical on the recovery and there would be considerable amount of water left from primary and secondary recovery applications in the matrix. Field production performance showed a recovery of less than 10% OOIP. Initial brine and secondary surfactant solution imbibition recoveries are summarized in Table 2. with C10 NH2 (mD) (% OOIP) at 20 °C 5 57 44 22 352 101 1 2 3 . When the same cores were exposed to the solvent diffusion without primary water imbibition. nearly 60% OOIP recovery was achieved. Experiments on oil-wet west Texas carbonates showed that only 4% OOIP oil is recovered by brine imbibition (Standnes et al. They obtained 42%–55% OOIP co. Especially.% — below CMC) is used instead of the anionic one. When the same surfactant solution was used without exposing the rock to the brine imbibition first. Without any surfactant addition. the tertiary recovery potential of surfactant solution in carbonates is significant. that starting the injection with surfactant solution might be more economical considering the increasing recovery rate as well as potentially higher ultimate recovery. no recovery was obtained after exposing the rock to brine for several weeks. with C10 NH2 (% OOIP) at 70 °C 28 5 1 Additional tertiary k rec. Standnes and Austad (2003) also tested C12TAB on the dolomitic samples exposed initially to a complete brine imbibition at 20 °C and 70 °C. 30% OOIP incremental oil recovery was obtained. 60% of OOIP was recovered. If the same experiment is started with the surfactant solution (C12 TAB). the imbibition followed by the diffusion scheme yielded more efficient process. All surfactants were around the CMC (low concentration). Brine imbibition recovery was obtained between 0% and 35% OOIP.% cationic surfactant was added to the brine. with brine (% OOIP) at 70 °C 15 8 7 Additional secondary rec. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 Standnes and Austad (2000) tested the capillary imbibition recovery on dolomitic samples. When a 1 wt. 2003c) and amount (Li et al. 1997). and secondary and tertiary surfactant solution imbibition recoveries from dolomite (data from Standnes and Austad.and counter-current capillary imbibition recovery with brine for different matrix shape factor (length to diameter ratio). When the same cationic surfactant was added at 1 wt. 2002. Addition of an anionic surfactant (ethoxylated alcohol) yielded an additional 3% OOIP recovery. Additional solvent (n-heptane) recovery by diffusion followed by the capillary imbibition varied between 2% and 20% OOIP depending on the matrix shape factor. Austad and Standnes (2003) observed that dolomitic oil-wet reservoir rocks yielded no capillary imbibition recovery with brine. If the experiment is continued with a 1% cationic surfactant (C12 TAB). the ultimate recovery was obtained as much higher than the total of primary imbibition and secondary solvent diffusion for all cases. The amount depends on the rock type and selection of compatible surfactant type. Babadagli. Hatiboglu and Babadagli (2004) tested the recovery potential of solvent (nheptane) diffusion on Berea sandstone cores exposed to complete brine imbibition. Primary rec. A few studies on the tertiary recovery from matrix by solvent injection were reported. 3. Imbibition recoveries of a cationic (cocoalkyltrimethyl ammonium chloride — 0. They also observed that the performance of an anionic surfactant with dolomitic oil-wet samples was much lower (35% of OOIP) than that of cationic surfactants (65% of OOIP). 65% OOIP is recovered at a much higher rate. Later.. 2003) Core no. When a similar process was repeated using Indiana limestone (less water-wet sample than Berea sandstone). however. It should be noted. (1998) performed capillary imbibition experiments on the cores obtained from shallow-shelf carbonate reservoirs. the diffusion process turned out to be more favorable as the imbibition recovery is not as Table 2 Primary brine. This amount corresponds to the recovery obtained from the capillary imbibition experiments started with the same surfactant solution. Additional 5%–15% OOIP recovery was obtained mainly due to improved imbibition driven by wettability change.. When the total recovery time was considered in the process.% concentration. These observations showed that additional recovery with surfactant solutions is a possibility after completed imbibition recovery with brine. They also tested the effect of initial water saturation on the performance and observed that the existence of initial water saturation causes higher ultimate recovery from the surfactant solution imbibition.5 wt. Nearly-oil-wet chalk samples showed 12% OOIP primary oil recovery with brine imbibition (Austad and Milter. It is obvious that this would be an economically favorable process as well. The existence (Weisbord et al. Xie et al. This indicates significant tertiary recovery potential of capillary imbibition when the injected water is replaced by low IFT (surfactant added) water. In a similar attempt.232 T. 2002).

water injection continued by chemical. the residual oil saturations varied between 37% and 54%. This will be discussed with two field examples in the Reservoir management practices section later. Big size companies may target higher ultimate recovery as they can afford long-term investments. Field scale applications Despite their technical feasibility (effectiveness) as discussed in the previous sections. • The efficiency of the process: Total cost/total recovery. Blackwell concluded that a 1% change in the estimation of the remaining oil (or target oil for tertiary recovery) might lead to a 1. 1997b. 41%. For chemical methods (surfactant and polymer injection). Field scale applications need further technological development for this relatively less cost technique. 2003). Svec and Grigg (2000) studied the additional recovery potential of CO2 injection into pre-waterflooded fractured core samples from the Blinebry formation (New Mexico). Hamida and Babadagli reported that tertiary (Hamida and Babadagli.e. thermal or solvent injection is an efficient process for strongly water-wet and light oil systems. Schumacher (1980) evaluated 136 field cases of tertiary oil recovery applications. Experimental studies are the only solutions for the assessment of the recovery potential of the tertiary recovery applications outlined above as the numerical models are yet limited to do this due to difficulties in modeling matrix–fracture interactions and representing the complex fracture networks. 6. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 233 effective as in the water-wet sandstone case (Hatiboglu and Babadagli. and 51% OOIP primary recovery from waterflooding (mainly imbibition). Due to high risk factors..T... He observed that the gas injection projects (CO2 and miscible gas) had the highest amount of remaining oil saturation (73%–85%). The uncertainty in oil prices is the major factor that affects the applications of tertiary recovery projects (Taber et al. . it is reasonable to start the project with the tertiary recovery agents such as steam/hot water. and solvent injection due to their high CAPEX and OPEX) is needed with minimized uncertainty (McCarthy et al. 1981. In summary.. 40%. The second tertiary recovery technique was the thermal methods (in-situ combustion and steam injection) averaging a value of 65% residual oil saturation in the beginning of the project. if there is no capillary imbibition potential like carbonate rocks and heavy-oil cases. design and evaluation of any tertiary recovery application. 35%.5% increase or decrease in the rate of return. especially for heavier oils. The advan- tageous part of the development of mature fields through tertiary oil recovery is the data. Although an error of 10% PV in the remaining oil saturation can be tolerated in primary and secondary recovery decisions. Precise knowledge of the distribution of the remaining oil is a critical prerequisite in selection. i. Stosur. 1994. the total incremental oil recovery by tertiary methods. Suguchev et al. surfactant solutions. information and experience gathered throughout the production life that would significantly minimize the geological or technical uncertainties. the mature field development strategies through tertiary oil recovery change. the economics of tertiary recovery field applications does not permit to choose this option as a mature field development plan. respectively. small companies avoid investment-intensive longterm projects. an error as small as 5% PV can lead to economic failures in tertiary oil recovery. Blackwell (1978) stated that the tertiary recovery economics is sensitive to the remaining oil. When the same samples were exposed to CO2 injection. Three mixed. chemical. Therefore. 1999). or solvents rather than waterflooding which yields a remarkably slow capillary imbibition recovery or gravity drainage. 2005b) capillary imbibition oil recovery potential under ultrasonic radiation exists for sandstone (strongly water-wet) and carbonate (weakly water-wet) rocks exposed to primary water imbibition. In the secondary recovery applications. and 32% OOIP additional recoveries were obtained. Field trials of the applications outlined above are limited and the economic viability of these applications is a concern mainly due to early breakthrough risk caused by fractures. Careful analysis of economic feasibility (efficiency) of the tertiary recovery applications (mainly thermal. 2005). But. the amount of target oil and the reserves should be defined accurately.. 2005a) and secondary (Hamida and Babadagli. the expected ultimate recovery is generally higher and the total cost of the project is lower than those of tertiary recovery applications.and oil-wet samples yielded 17%. The following points should be taken into consideration during the planning of a tertiary recovery application to develop a mature field: • The effectiveness of the project. The laboratory scale recovery potential and mechanisms are yet to be clarified for the tertiary recovery potential of the ultrasonic waves. Baviere et al. in many circumstances. • Recovery time and management strategies for different size companies: Depending on the company size. They mainly pay attention to the faster recovery rather than ultimate recovery.

Baviere et al. The tertiary recovery with different type surfactant solutions yielded additional 0%–7. 1992). All the applications listed in Table 3 were performed after certain degrees of waterflooding. Likewise. for gas. 2003. Steam injection is typically secondary or even primary recovery agent. 1:1 ratio turned out to be optimum ratio. Due to its low cost and higher recovery potential (by thermal effects). Excessive cost limits their use to develop mature fields depleted to secondary residual oil saturation.5% OOIP.. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 The sample field cases selected to represent different tertiary recovery methods and field types are summarized in Tables 3. Sakthikumar et al. injection of the agents as slugs is necessary for an efficient process. (1995) performed waterflooding test on a sandstone sample saturated with light oil and obtained 58% OOIP recovery. All these attempts were needed to assess the field performance and the economics of the projects. They observed that 0:1 (continuous CO2) and 1:1 WAG ratios yielded similar tertiary oil recovery (14–16%) from the carbonate core samples of the North Ward Estes field. Thomas et al. Jakobsen and Hovland. However. Another cost effective reservoir development practice was to improve the volumetric sweep efficiency through the realignment of the injection and production wells (Zambrano et al. chemical. they obtained 52% OOIP recovery from the waterflooding and additional 20% OOIP recovery from the following polymer flood (Wyatt et al. (2002) reported results for a similar oil with chalk samples. The most common tertiary recovery application item is obviously the gas (miscible or immiscible) injection. Winzinger et al. Babadagli et al. 1984. Due to the cost of the project.. its potential danger in the production wells caused by the unconsumed oxygen and pressure required to inject the air into deep formation limit its use for this light oil sandstone reservoir. Continuous injection of low surfactant concentration solution was also observed as an effective process. (1991) tested the effect of different WAG ratios on the incremental recovery for CO2 injection.. Surveillance of the secondary and tertiary . The sweep efficiency is related to WAG ratios. Mijnssen et al. In the “Comments” column of Table 3. A linear relationship between the slug size (PV) and tertiary oil recovery (% OOIP) was observed. Reservoir management practices In addition to tertiary oil recovery applications. 1986). Higher amount of oil and surfactant concentration in the micellar (oil + water+ surfactant + IPA) resulted in higher recovery up to 45% of the residual oil (with 10 PV slugs). 2:1 WAG ratio yielded 13% recovery. 2003) or revisiting/recompletion the wells (Pang and Faehrmann. 1994). which is more useful for heavy-oil reservoirs. 2000. the core results were added if there were any. air injection has turned out to be a more favorable tertiary recovery method for a small size company. The residual oil (5– 7 cp) saturation after waterflooding was between 30% and 38% OOIP.7% OOIP recovery. The projects were all successful with some incremental oil. 1994. re-engineering using classic reservoir engineering analysis techniques and clustering the wells based on their performances (Coste and Valois. rather than tertiary recovery in mature fields due to its high cost (Schumacher. In another attempt. (1990) injected micellar slugs into waterflooded Berea samples with 35% residual oil saturation. The economics of the project is also controlled by the WAG ratio as it reduces the amount of expensive tertiary recovery gas. other types of reservoir management practices to develop mature oil fields were also proposed and implemented. Wyatt et al. Tertiary recovery attempts using thermal techniques were not common as inferred by Table 5. respectively. Marquez et al. A subsequent air injection yielded additional 5. 1993). the slug sizes are important in optimizing the chemical injection processes (Table 4) (Fathi and Ramirez. They include data acquisition/analysis campaigns for reservoir simulation to re-evaluate the remaining reserves (Murty and Al-Haddad. Alkaline–polymer mixture yielded additional 26% OOIP recovery after a waterflooding performance that resulted in 48% OOIP recovery. 7. 2002). 2001). (2001) searched the possibility of air injection instead of more expensive nitrogen for tertiary recovery of light oil from a sandstone reservoir. and thermal injection applications. The recovery by surfactant solution injection varied between 20% and 75% of the residual oil. 1986. The estimation of the optimum chemical concentrations and slug sizes as well as the chemical retention is mainly based on these types of laboratory tests (Barua et al..234 T. 1980). Continuous injection of chemicals might cause higher cost and/or lower sweep and therefore. Babadagli et al.'s (2004) radial core flood tests resulted in additional 9% OOIP recovery by polymer flood after waterflooding which recovered 30% OOIP from a sandstone sample.. Recoveries lower than waterflooding performance were obtained when air was injected into a virgin core. The average waterflooding saturation was 75% of OOIP.. 4 and 5. Maerker and Gale (1992) conducted surfactant solution experiments on sandstone samples. This ratio is to be determined by the core flood tests before the field trials.

Te.. gas inj. ROS: Residual Oil Saturation. observed Peripheral 58% OOIP (in 1. 20% 3. 25–35% Incremental rec.4 cp 2. was difficult to determine Schiltz et al. sec.5% OOIP (WF) 38. 2002 Tanner et al.000 bbl (1984) 11% OOIP in pilot area Initial target 2% OOIP 15% OOIP97 14.) East Vacuum Grayburg San Andreas (1938) 40% OOIP (Pr.: 23% OOIP later est.2% OOIP injection (1968) 45% OOIP Gas injection (1948) 5 MM bbl (half water–gas of the residual oil) produced (1957) Peripheral water Pr.65 MMstb (1937) Twofreds (Delaware) 51 MM stb Unit (1957) Weyburn (1956) 1.7% (core) 19.) Sandstone 40–300 mD pilot (1961) LPG slug (1964) Sandstone 0. + Se. Slaughter Estate Unit 0.: Secondary. Rowe et al.) 7. + Se. 1981.. 1977 2. 235 .8% HCPV water ROS after WF: 18. Thai et al.: Tertiary.5% OOIP) WF (1948) 84 MM bbl (prim. and Under consideration gas inj.9% OOIP (1981 and 8492) 2 MM bbl (1984)93 7–10% OOIP (2002)94 Core: WF: 24–35% CO2: 2– 21% (with increasing pressure) Lab: 17% OOIP tertiary immisc. 1972 Frimodig et al.18 cp Some incremental rec.6 MM bbl Mitsue Gilwood Unit 770 MM bbl (1964) Brookhaven (1943) Fractured carbonate 1–100 mD Highly fractured chalk 0. (poor sweep) Core flooding: 27% WF.4 cp 0.7 billion bbl North Ward Estes (1929) North Ward Estes (1929) Handil (1975) Kelly-Snyder (1948) South Ward (1933) Phegly Unit (1955) 1. 1992.5–61% OOIP WF recovery from lab tests Opt. CG (1978) WF (1982) WF (1963) CO2 (1974) 16..4 billion bbl Ekofisk (1969) 6.. 1996 Garber (1916) Offshore Abu Dhabi Wasson (1935) CO2 5-spot pilot (1981) Immiscible gas (1997) full field CO2 continuous layer WAG-1981 260 MM stb (inject. slug size: 38–60% PV Heterogeneous res. opt..: 1.3 cp 26–40 °API Little Creek (1958) Jay/LEC (1970) 102 MM stb 728 MM bbl 0.680 stb) Significant recovery was observed 10% OOIP (estimated) Comments Ref.1–10 (matrix) 200 (fracture) CO2 (1989) field scale Sandstone/ siltstone 15 mD CO2 — foam (1989) field scale Lean gas (immiscible) Sandstone 10–2000 mD field scale (1995) CO2 — WAG (1972) Limestone 20 mD full field Propane slug (misc. 1984 Baker and Kuppe.35 cp 3. Pr.2% OOIP (3 yr inj. OOIP: Original Oil In-Place.3 billion OOIP 2. 2000 Harpole and Hallenbeck. rec. + Se. 1999 Blanton et al.) 19. converted to 9-spot98 Christian et al.2 MM bbl (1983–2000) by infill99 21–30 MM stb (8–11% OOIP) infill only: 1. 1991 Ring and Smith..) WF (1960s) Ult.4 mD Sandstone 32 mD μoil/°API 1. Fox et al.. AG (1976). CH: Chase Gas. Irregular pattern not suitable for CO2. 1988 Meltzer. 3% tertiary CO2 — WAG 6% HCPV CO2 and 2.8 MM bbl 9.5 cp 0.: 54% OOIP Pilot: 122. Se.7% OOIP Se.6 (logs) ROS after WF: 25% Core data: 58% WF + 26–36% solvent Thomas et al. 21. 1984 Bonnin et al.) full field (Tor form. 1974 0.11 MM bbl 8.4 % OOIP (prim. 1995 Chou et al. CO2 (2000) field scale Miscible nitrogen Formation type/ permeability Carbonate 6. WAG = 1:1. 2001 Kane. Lawrence et al. 8% OOIP WF (1950) 16% OOIP (primary) 47% 37. area) CO2–WAG–1985 (WAG = 2:1) Limestone Carbonate Carbonates (wackestone– packstone) 5–10 mD Carbonates (grainstone and packstone) (11 mD) 47 °API Peripheral water injection (1964) 1 cp 38 °API WF (1958) (80 acre — 9-spot) 35% OOIP (Pr.. 1970 Connally.1 billion bbl 0.3% OOIP 2. 1992 Gunawan and Caie.4% OOIP OOIP (1959–1964) (1964 and 1971) Peripheral water Pr.38 cp 1.4% OOIP Se. + sec.. 1994.: Primary.000 bbl in ∼2 years OOIP (secondary) WF 5-spot pattern (1959) Pr.6–610 mD — full field ave: 168 mD Solution gas enriched Sandstone 64–250 mD with LPG Gas + water (1965) Sandstone 56 mD full field CO2 full field (quarter Sandstone 33 mD 9-spot) (1974) Miscible N2 (1981) Deep carbonate 3 mD WF (1972). 2000 T. 1984..Table 3 A summary of tertiary gas injection applications reported Field (discovery year) OOIP Injected fluid (year started) Miscible acid gas-(1976) pilot CO2 (1974) field scale Misc.7 % OOIP 4.4% water injection of the field) (next 20 yr) Centerline WF (1954) Earlier est. (WF): Estimated 12..5% OOIP Hansen. 1983.5 1. Langston and Shirer.3% (volum. and second) 70.) WF: Waterflooding.) 5.. 1982 Schiltz et al. 2002 Kumar and Eibeck.6–1 cp 31–34 °API 0.5 cp 33 °API Recovery history (starting year) Primary and secondary recovery Incremental tertiary recovery 18% OOIP79 15% OOIP80 (95.) 14 cp 37 °API WF (1955) 24% OOIP (Pr. AC: Acid Gas. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 WF (1986) pilot (Ekofisk form.200 bbls injection (1962–1970) (21% OOIP by WF) between 1973 and 77 WF (1974) Target was 346–373 MM Target: 47 MM bbl bbl (51% OOIP) (6..

) Model study: Pr. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 Loudon Oerrel (1954) 6–7 cp 39 °API Pr.) 22% 74% OOIP (24% OOIP Te.382 bbl Hankensbuettel Polymer flood (1977) (1958) 3 Marmul (1956) 390 MM m Polymer flood — pilot (5-spot) (1986) Glenn Pool (1905) Big Muddy 11.236 Table 4 A summary of tertiary chemical injection applications reported Field OOIP (discovery year) Whittier (1966) Bradford Injected fluid (year started) Caustic (1966) Micellar slugs (petroleum sulfonates + cosurf..4 MM bbl Micellar-polymer (sulfonate) 9. 1974 Danielson et al.. no field trials) Polymer flood (1975) Formation type/ μoil/°API permeability 320–495 mD Sandstone– siltstone (82 mD) Sandstone Sandstone Sandstone Recovery history Primary and secondary (starting year) recovery Secondary (WF) was weak Incremental tertiary recovery 350. (1032 preflush.: 20–30% (WF) Se..2 cp 38 °API 2.5 % OOIP (predicted) 59% OOIP in the pilot area 1..) Te. and Se.350 Te.. 2002 Wyatt et al.500 bbl/month Oil cut was 43% when ASP started Oil cut increased from 17% to 48% after WF 33.3% OOIP 34% primary 15% WF North Burbank Robinson M-1 Manvel Alkali + surfactant + polymer four inverted 5-spot (1994) 0.5 cp 35 °API 3 cp 32 °API WF Pilot: 41% OOIP core: 39% OOIP Pilot area: 52% OOIP Lab: cum oil was (Pr.3% OOIP WF: 18. + Te. 2002 increased from 12. 1984 . Graue and Johnson. 2002 Wyatt et al. 1995 Saad et al.: 13 yr Se. 1976 40 cp 20 °API WF (1968) 5 cp 45 °API T..1 % OOIP WF: 21..: 25–30% (polym. 1981 Maitim and Volz.. 1984 Schiltz et al..000 to 17.. + Se. polymer from Te. (Pr. 1992 Maitim and Volz. from cores: 20–75% of ROS Final predicted value 28% Ref. 1989 Pownall Ranch (1974) Sandstone (20 mD) 8 cp 26 API WF (1984) Oil rate increased from 9000 to 12.) Bae. sulfonate) (1979–1984) 5-spot pattern 1.) 70% (Pr. + Se. sulfonate) followed by 50% PV polymer (1973–1978) 5-spot pilot (one producer) Alkali-surfactant (1996) High perm sand 80 cp (up to 10D) Sandstone (150 mD) Sandstone (52 mD) 4 cp 37 °API 4 cp 35 °API WF (1950) WF (1953) Maerker and Gale.4 D) Sandstone (1 D) Sandstone (50 mD) Sandstone (103 mD) Sandstone (500 mD) 34 cp 23 °API WF (1978) Primary: 5.) 36% OOIP (Pr. + Se.) field scale Microemulsion (corefloods only.24 MM bbl Micellar-polymer (sulfonate) (1977) field scale Micellar-polymer (sulfonate) 2 inj. 1981 Koning et al.002 dyne/cm Oil saturation after WF: 28–35% Rec.. + Se. 1988 Largest amount of surf. 2004 Wyatt et al.2 cp 38 °API ∼50% OOIP (Pr..4 D) Sandstone (1. 13. + Se.000 m3 (31% OOIP) 65. 2004 Schiltz et al..15 MM bbl Micellar-polymer (oil soluble pet. rec. in the field) 19. 3 prod.000 stb (by 1973) Average 57% Comments IFT reduced from 20 to 0.5 MM bbl Surfactant injection (sulfonate + two alcohols) (1982) Low IFT (sodium petr. polymer) Total prod.: 31% in the 49% OOIP pilot area 19% Wyatt et al. 5-spot pattern 4. 1984 3 cp 39 API 6 cp 36 API 4 cp 29 °API WF (1954) 25% (primary) 6% (WF) 60% 70% 19% 20% of remaining 40% 44% of remaining 30% oil Schiltz et al.6 MM bbl Minnelusa B Saertu Sand Rapdan Pool (1955) David Pool (1970) Daqing Bell Creek Alkali + surfactant + polymer (2000–2002) Alkali + surfactant + polymer pilot \ 4 injectors (1994) Polymer (1985) Alkaline–polymer (1987) 11 cp 21 °API Sandstone WF WF WF (1962) Injection rate Wyatt et al.5% OOIP (Pr.: 38 yr 2.500 bbl/m after chemicals Wyatt et al. 11. + polym.000–470.) In the pilot test area: 68% OOIP ∼ 20% OOIP 12.14 MM bbl (10% OOIP) (1979–1992) 14. 1984 Schiltz et al.000 bbls incremental oil Estimated 15% OOIP Tanner — 2. 2004 Sandstone (1..

000 stb after 3 yr Total recovery was ∼ 4000 bbl Core tests: 31% OOIP WF 6% OOIP air Water injectivity increased 200– 400% Sakthikumar et al.. They observed that the average waterflooding performance of the chalk samples with the original Yibal oil recovery was 75% OOIP. Reymond et al. Recently.. 2004) and the Budare (Hamilton et al. In 1989. 2003). Due to carbonaceous and fractured nature of the field. They suggested that the data integration should be implemented as early as possible.: 15% As of 1995 increm. Reservoir characterization attempts for developing mature fields are also applied commonly.: Tertiary. Long-term plans and investments on mature fields are highly difficult to make for small size companies. aquifer injection (1981–1993).. a fractured chalky-carbonate with light oil.. data acquisition and vertical conformance monitoring was reported to be an effective management strategy for mature fields (Stiles and Magruder. This requires an accurate description of the reservoir. options were limited.: Primary. + Se. (2002). The management strategies to follow in the development of mature assets are also dependent on the size of the company.. different development plans were tested and implemented. (2001) analyzed the field's 30 year performance to propose a new injection plan and locate the mobile oil-in-place. ROS: Residual Oil Sat. 1995 Martin et al. It was concluded that the initial conceptual reservoir model might not be representative for the total structure (Bos. Aqueous surfactant injection potential was tested by Babadagli et al. (2003) evaluated different development opportunities including a revision of large amount of data collected so far for sector and full field modeling. Mijnssen et al. Pauzi et al. 1991. A large scale simulation of waterflooding was performed to assess the secondary recovery performance in 1972 (several years after its discovery) (Grant.: Secondary. 2000) to develop different size mature fields. an appraisal strategy consisting of the evaluation of the liquid-gas handling facilities.. This field is a good example of a big-mature-field operated by a big company. oil: OOIP 1 MM bbl (2. 1989). Two recent studies discussed the importance of advanced reservoir characterization techniques on the reactivation of two highly heterogenous mature fields. Seismic studies were performed to reduce the uncertainties on the structure (Lantz and Ali. OOIP: Original Oil In-Place. and western area development was developed. They created a voidage map after an extensive pressure surveillance for the new injectors. appraisal drilling. The Yibal field. has been the most prolific field in Oman over three decades. The final stage of the field development would be an EOR application. recovery through performance monitoring. est.T. the data quality and lack of information could be problem. At different stages of the production life... 2002). Van de Leemput et al. As seen the field went through many different stages of development and currently reached its maturity with significantly increasing WOR. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 Table 5 A summary of tertiary thermal injection applications reported Field OOIP Injected fluid Formation μoil — Recovery Primary and (discovery (year started) type/ °API history secondary year) permeability recovery Field H (1994) Loco Field Air Incremental tertiary recovery Comments Ref. AlMugheiry et al. 1995). Eckford (1999) proposed an optimal plan for the surface facilities to prepare the field for the next 30 years. rec. Te. two extreme mature field cases will be discussed here.000 stb (in 1 yr) the reserve 400. 1981). Se. 237 Medicine Pole Hills (1967) Hot water pilot-inverted 5-spot (1961–62) Air injection Deep (1985) carbonate (1–30 mD) 600 cp WF Pr. For comparison. especially for old fields. and intensive horizontal infill (1993– 2001) (Mijnssen et al. 2000) and locate the remaining oil (Lantz and Ali. Campanella (2002) introduced a 60-year old field case with limited or low quality log and core data.5% OOIP) Kumar et al. 1968 39°API Pr. Pr. namely the Womack Hill (Mancini et al. Though the experience gained over decades is valuable in the development of mature fields. Recently. Pauzi et al. (WF) Additional rec. 1997). The field went through primary depletion (1969– 1972).. 1995 WF: Waterflooding. 1999. Many different surfactant types and concentrations were tested on waterflooded . 1985. Reservoir simulation is generally used to assess the field potential for any development plan and reserves booking studies for the remaining oil (Blaskovich et al. water injection (1972–1981). 1991. = produced 93% of 200...

and the giant Ghawar field (Phelps and Strauss. Dershowitz et al. connectivity. 2002). 2001). possibility of risk at the production wells caused by unconsumed oxygen turned out to be a reason to rule out this option. Standnes and Austad. 2003. 2002). starting the recovery with lower IFT solution is preferable over the brine imbibition in the fractured zones provided that the proper surfactant type and concentration were chosen. In the first case (Yibal field) the low IFT solution injection seemed promising and economic application using existing water injection system and converting some production wells into injectors. It has been observed that some parts of the field were not touched mainly due to the heterogeneous structure of the field. 2003). the company wanted to limit capital investment avoiding new wells. big size companies can afford investments that target higher ultimate recovery (or reserves) that may not necessarily accelerate the production (or yield high NPV) in short term. 2002. offshore Abu Dhabi (Gauthier et al. Other example is a small field (the Sahmah field) containing very light (0. simulation and field pilot) and economic analysis. the size of the company restricted the tertiary recovery option due to long pay out time and high investment in short run. The performance was also tested by field scale numerical simulation and consistent results with the experiments were obtained. Although it is more economic that nitrogen injection. More than half of the experiments showed higher recovery when the low IFT solution was used instead of brine. The nitrogen injection into virgin tight sand yielded up to 42% OOIP oil recovery. Horizontal wells and waterflooding optimization were proposed for the Espoir Field in Ghana and potential increase in the recovery was observed with 5 .. It is prudent to estimate the right time to start EOR applications to reach the highest possible ultimate recovery at the end of the project.5 cp) oil owned by a small company (Babadagli et al. To evaluate the recovery performance of the highly fractured parts of the field. Obviously. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 cores and the tertiary recovery potential was found to be 0–7. Brine imbibition yielded 15% OOIP recovery. This long-term investment-intensive plan can be affordable for this size company whereas in the latter case (the Sahmah field). was searched.5%. Possibility of nitrogen injection was investigated. On the contrary. Small companies' investments are typically for short term and the focus is generally on the acceleration of the production rate that yields high NPV in the beginning and shorter pay out time. 2001). 2000). One layer (high permeability sandstone) was watered-out up to 70–75% OOIP oil recovery. air injection possibility.. Extensive fracture network characterization has been a critical tool in the development of the Yates field (Snell et al. Austad and Standnes. Standnes and Austad. A similar development plan has been tested for mature North Sea reservoirs but no field application has been reported yet (Austad and Milter. The static reservoir models obtained through these characterization studies were used in the performance estimations of different EOR techniques (Winterfeld. Monitoring the process using seismic and logging techniques was also observed as a useful tool in the development this field (Snell and Close.. 2002). The cost of the compressors for this pressure as well as the injected nitrogen turned out to be a project demanding some initial investment. The above two cases can be considered two extreme examples of mature field development. Alternatively. 1996. A few reservoir management practices that were applied to nearly abandoned small fields were also reported.238 T. the amounts of additional oil recovery were similar. Note that this recovery was due to immiscible displacement (and potentially double displacement) only. and aperture has been an essential part of the development plans for big mature fields such as the Spraberry (Baker et al. Development of this mature field through low IFT surfactant solution needs more experimentation (SCAL. which is lower than waterflooding performance. the low IFT waterflooding performance was tested as a secondary recovery technique rather than tertiary. 1997. Characterization of the properties of complex fracture systems such as density. Another layer (tight sandstone) with high OOIP did not produce almost any amount of oil. Several well-known examples are worth mentioning in regards to the reservoir management practices of mature fields. The pay out time for EOR applications is generally long and this may not be favorable especially for small companies. Minimum injection pressure was estimated 4500–5000 psi due to the depth of the formation (3200–3500 mss) and high reservoir pressure to overcome. It was observed that the average recovery was around 69% OOIP. Due to limited resources. that could recover more oil owing to the other possible recovery mechanisms at lower cost.. Standnes et al. 1999).. orientation. The core injection studies showed additional 6–8% OOIP recovery over waterflooding. Therefore. 2000. Although the tertiary (or secondary) recovery techniques are different. the capillary imbibition performance was also tested.. The field has produced for nearly 30 years from 20 vertical and 1 horizontal well and steady decline has started despite strong water influx through one side of the field.

Vincent et al. In that sense. and process selection.. miscible– immiscible gas and foam-WAG assisted CO2 injection have been applied in those fields. (2002) evaluated four options (do nothing. EOR may not require additional well drilling but pay out time is generally too long that is not favorable for especially small companies. injection streamline maps and pattern performance graphs after 55 years of production (Woodling et al. 2003) and implemented (Al-Mugheiry et al. 1997. pattern waterflood re-alignment.. Optimized secondary recovery was found to be applicable to revive a nearly abandoned field in Illinois (Aman. 1992. Well placement. relative permeability. the Slat Creek field. 1996.. (2004) provided an analysis of the experience gained from mature carbonate fields that yielded additional 8 to 20% OOIP recovery using systematic and integrated reservoir management approaches.. Shirzadi and Lawal (1993) proposed a multidisciplinary approach for the Prudhoe Bay field that increased the rate in short term and ultimate recovery in long term. He stated that the infill drilling is less expensive and accelerate the production of oil.. Wilkinson et al. acid gas water. collected.. Often times. a combination of infill drilling and EOR would yield the most beneficial development scheme. Woodling et al... 1996). Edwards et al.. He concluded that the earliest increase in the reserves is obtained in 2 to 3 years when the EOR and infill options are applied together. it is necessary to drill new wells to recover the remaining oil reserves that are trapped due to heterogeneity or in the unswept zones. and shut in some of the injectors) for .. Excessive water production is one of the most common problems to be dealt with in mature fields. 1999).T. horizontal wells and optimizing waterflooding As a field gets matured. infill drilling. Different EOR techniques such as CO2. Ghosh et al. Fah et al. The most suitable method is chemical injection for this type of approach. This causes lack of critical information in material balance and reservoir simulation practices. Data collection is commonly ignored as the field ages and its cost is obvious. Although the production-rate-data will be available throughout the history of the field. AlShidhani et al. It is essential to determine the optimal well placement for mature fields and this requires accurate mapping of remaining oil distribution and description of heterogeneity (Vincent et al. 2001) by recent studies.. Determination of what type of data to be monitored. water and especially gas productions are not carefully monitored if they do not have any commercial value. Other practices that have been applied in mature field development include the development plans through optimized waterflooding (Stiles. It should finally be noted that one of the most critical aspects of reservoir management is the collection and integration of good quality data. 4-D seismic and saturation logs as well as updating reservoir models using the most recent data for locating new wells or implementation of enhanced oil recovery techniques could be necessary. Success stories of improved oil recovery through infill drilling in mature fields were presented for different fields (Javed. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 239 horizontal and 3 injectors using simulation (Lencioni et al. fluid composition. and the Means field. most of the production wells that are opened at late stages are not cored and logged or continuous monitoring of pressure history is ignored to due to excessive cost. infills at low cost and low rate. The remedies (water conformance) have generally to do with well engineering which is beyond the scope of this paper that reviews basically reservoir scale management practices. Hendih et al. The Wilmingon field waterflooding optimization study was performed by mapping the production gross and oil. 8.. 1999). and evaluated during the course of production should be done at very early stages and this should be a continuous process to create a good quality data bank at the later stages of the production. As the field gets matured. Holm (1980) compared infill drilling. and water cut bubble maps. 1999. After an extensive simulation and optimization study. reservoir pressure.. Nosseir et al. 1995. However. it increases reserves. 2002. 2004). 1993). 2002) and horizontal drilling (Taber and Seright. Infill drilling is the only way to recover oil trapped due to heterogeneity. 2002). The fields evaluated were the Jay field. continuous data gathering and its integration starting from the drilling of a well are critical. Hendih et al. Although it is the most expensive choice. it is more cost efficient to collect other types of data such as well information and reservoir pressure in continuous manner during the production before the field reaches its maturity. Recently. 2000. An alternative to this is to conduct data collection campaigns after the field reaches its maturity as suggested (Mijnssen et al. they showed that the technically and economically optimal solution was to convert 6 of 11 wells to injector. (2002) proposed a development policy for a mature waterflood project by optimization of well locations. well trajectories and completions. waterflooding and EOR techniques as reservoir management strategies for mature fields. The key parameters were observed as reservoir description. management of subsurface uncertainties and a decision scheme for whether a well remains a producer or injector. 1993.. 1976. Palasthy et al. Therefore. Vincent et al.

and enhanced safety (Al-Shidhani et al. which occurs due to inefficient displacement (residual oil in the pores of the swept zones) or poor sweep (by passed oil). 9. and thermal injections) when horizontal wells are used. 1981).. higher optimization gains. Because of these reasons. Next. Other possible well engineering applications in mature field development include scale control (Jordan et al. improved recovery. especially the tertiary recovery attempts. Four patterns were developed in 2002 expecting 10% OOIP incremental recovery from the first two patterns. reservoir engineering practices to develop mature fields were covered with the emphasis on tertiary oil recovery and several other reservoir management strategies. Based on the height of the reservoir. optimal injection rates and well spacing were determined to prevent any gravity override.. 100 horizontal wells were drilled from which 60% of total oil production was obtained.. 1996. 1999) operations. Water shut off techniques using gelled polymers were proposed and tested for mature fields (Willhite et al. and 1. Another successful application of horizontal wells was reported by Palasthy et al. The scope of this review paper was limited to reservoir engineering applications and enhanced oil recovery in mature field development. phasing out 35 injectors.. a project was initiated to recover by-passed oil by horizontal wells. It was reported that converting the hydrocarbon miscible flood injectors to horizontal producers did not perform well. They found that the realignment of 7 infill wells would be an economic application even though those wells robbed oil from other producers. 2000. In 1993. A good example is the mature miscible flood in the Swan Hills field. hydrocarbon miscible injection was started in this field (Griffith and Cyca. Mijnssen et al. (2000). Fowler. The Yibal field in Oman is an excellent example of mature field development using horizontal wells. a high density-horizontal infill campaign was started. Two other studies regarding the mature field development proposed low cost production (Pasni and Wibowo. A region of high gas saturation around the converted well led to early breakthrough because of high gas relative permeability. 2002). The Algyo field in Hungary was developed by vertical oil producers between 1975 and 1985 followed by a gas lift operation. 2003). Mature field development plans. 2006) and using alternative artificial lift systems (Eson. Increasing oil prices made small size fields that were abandoned due to uneconomic operational conditions by big companies attractive to small companies. chemical. it was converted to a chase gas injection in 1989 and the solvent injection was reinitiated in 1994 in a single pattern using a horizontal injector and reduced well spacing (Edwards et al. the right technique to develop the field should be chosen. The very first challenge in the mature field development is to locate the remaining oil. In 1999. The project was initiated and it was observed that 36% of the total production was from the infill wells.. They observed that the sweep increased and low injection pressure was required for all these techniques but faster rate was observed for chemical (polymer and alkalinemicellar) and CO2 injection only.. One of the most common well related problems is increasing water production. After 25 years of production. Babadagli / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 57 (2007) 221–246 the mature Minas field that produced 13% OOIP by primary recovery and 29% OOIP by peripheral water injection. Within 5 years. the recovery factor jumped from 30% to 40% but the water-oil increased nine fold (Mijnssen et al. reduced operating cost. Concluding remarks In this paper. 2003). 2000) and workover/ completion (Fabel et al. 1997). drilling 61 infill producers. Prospect was 41% OOIP ultimate recovery of which 12% is due to horizontal well. Successful applications of the use of horizontal wells in EOR applications were also reported. In 1996. The amount of oil recovered by . require a clear identification of the ultimate goal. It was observed that they yielded higher production.240 T. After 10 years of waterflooding (1963–1973). Well and surface facilities related issues comprise the other aspects of mature field development. Stiles (1976) proposed an optimal mature waterflood application for the Fullerton Cleakfork Unit by converting 82 wells to injectors. The success of the horizontal patterns resulted from the placement of the horizontal wellbore at the bottom of the pay and tighter well spacing that both maximized the sweep efficiency.. mature field development is increasingly becoming an attractive but challenging topic.4–2. the recovery factor reached 22% and contribution from the horizontal wells to the recovery was 26%. and converting 42 more wells to injectors to implement 1 to 1 line drive in the west part of the field. 2004). Often times this turns out to be a difficult exercise due to uncertainty in the oil prices and other instabilities. All these require exhausting optimization studies and long term planning.7% OOIP by pattern waterflooding. It is clear that almost all of the giant fields in the world reached their maturity still have a considerable amount of oil left behind to be recovered. Taber and Seright (1992) evaluated the performances of tertiary recovery techniques (gas. Then. Pressure maintenance by water injection was started in 1985.

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