No. 1998.


A Simulation Study of Steamflooding in a Highly Stress-Sensitive Heavy Oil Formation
Zhengming Yang and Iraj Ershaghi, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA; and Julius J. Mondragon and Scott Hara, Tidelands Oil Production, Wilmington, California, USA

This paper presents aspects of formation stress sensitivity influencing successful simulation of steamflooding. The case study relates to the Tar Zone in Fault Block IIA of the Wilmington Oil Field in Los Angeles County, CA, USA. The Tar Zone is a slope and basin clastic type reservoir. The significant compaction experienced during the primary phase and the subsequent rebound during the following waterflooding created a complex case of reservoir definition for projection purposes. Uncertainties regarding stress effects on physical properties such as porosity, permeability, compressibility and formation thickness complicated the representation. The history matching attempts revealed the insufficiency of using conventional compaction models in the appropriate modeling of the compaction-rebound process. A new compaction-rebound feature was developed based on rock mechanics considerations and was incorporated into a commercial simulator, Computer Modeling Group’s STARS simulator. This method allows for meticulous representation of the spatial dynamics of compaction/rebound based on the local pressure field. With the new compaction/rebound algorithm, we successfully matched both the primary and the waterflooding phases. The success of the matching criterion was tested by the ability of the model to predict the steamflooding pilot. The case under consideration is somewhat unique and relates to pressure maintenance by high-pressure, high-temperature steamflooding, The proposed methodologies, however, have widespread application in other stress-sensitive heavy oil reservoirs.

A major portion of the Wilmington Oil Field experienced significant surface subsidence since the start of primary production in 1937.1 The subsidence was attributed to the formation depletion and compaction in the upper four producing intervals: Tar, Ranger, Upper Terminal, and Lower Terminal zones. Fault Block IIA had an estimated total subsidence of 15.5 ft. since 1937. A small rebound of less than 10% has been observed since the field underwent waterflooding in 1959 and steamflooding in 1982. In 1989, reservoir pressure approximately reached to the initial reservoir pressure level. This

indicated the irreversibility of compaction/rebound process in this area. Steamflooding has thus far been the most successful recovery technique for the Tar Zone, Block IIA. To realize the future possibilities from the area under consideration, a simulation study was undertaken. For deterministic reservoir simulation of Tar Zone in Fault Block IIA, the approach we took was to define a plausible model describing the primary depletion and then calibrate it to history match the subsequent water and steam floods. Historical data indicated a complex influence of compaction and aquifer support. To describe the compaction, rebound and their effects on the reservoir production history, we need to select a compaction model. In the variable compressibility model, only the fluid flow systems are solved with modified formation pore compressibility to mimic the reservoir compaction/rebound issues.2 If flow equations are solved together with geomechanical equations in simultaneous or sequential numerical schema, the procedure is referred to as the coupled method.4 While fundamentally this method is more accurate, the method may be less practical for a field scale reservoir simulation like the Tar Zone project due to the difficulty in obtaining accurate geomechanical data and the large computational requirements. According to Setarri,3,4 the coupled model may need an order of magnitude longer computational time than the conventional fluid flow model. For the purpose of this study we devised a modified version of the variable compressibility approach with due consideration given to the spatial variation of effective stress effects and the compressibility data. With the help of the compaction/rebound feature developed in this study, the Tar Zone reservoir in Fault Block IIA of the Wilmington Oil Field was simulated. The parameters affecting formation compaction and rebound were determined from the field production history. This paper is a description of the proposed algorithm with the example case study of the Tar Zone interval.


Modified Compaction/Rebound Model
To model the reservoir compaction caused by sand failure due to pressure depletion, the fluid flow equations are solved by modifying formation compressibility. Formation porosity is described by [4]:

dt, the plastic strain can be expressed by integrating (5) vs. time as:

t 1 ds - dI 1 t 1 e pi =- ( - )dp + i t+ dI1 3 xb xr 2m b 3x b


f *=f 0 [1+ c p ( p - p 0 )-cT (T -T 0 )]


By summing up (4) and (6) based on Maxwell model,6 the total strain is then:

where p and T are reservoir pressure and temperature (The superscript ‘0’ stands for initial reservoir condition.), f* is the equivalent porosity when formation compaction is taken into consideration, and cp and cT are formation compressibility and thermal expansion coefficient, respectively. In the coupled solution for fluid flow and geomechanical equations, the volumetric strain eV can be approximated as [4]

1 t 1 1 t e ti = - ( cb + - c r) dp + ( + )( ds i -dI 1 ) 3 2 Gb m b xb (7) 1 t + (cb + )dI 1 3 xb
where xr=¥ is assumed beforehand. The appropriate stress-strain boundary condition for a reservoir can approximately be specified as a constant stress in the vertical direction and no bulk deformation in horizontal plane, thus

e V =-

dVb Vb0

=c b ( I 1-I 10 )-( c b -c r )( p -p o ) -a dr ( T-T o ) (2)

Where cb and cr are the bulk and rock matrix compressibilities and are usually treated as constants; adr is a volumetric thermal expansion coefficient, Vb is the bulk volume, and I1 (=(s1+s2+s3)/3)) is the average principle stress. Total strain eti in a reservoir consists of elastic strain eei and plastic strain epi, i.e.,

ds 2 = ds 3 =

3 dI1 2


Based on this boundary condition, the average principle stress can be related to the pore pressure as5

e ti = e ei + e pi

(i=1,2,3) (3)

As shown by Geertsma,5 the elastic strains in principle directions can be obtained as

t -c xb r dI 1 = dp = f 1 dp 3 1 t t (cb + ) + ( + ) 4 Gb m b xb cb +


1 ds - dI1 1 + cb dI1 e ei =- (cb - cr )dp+ i 3 2 Gb 3
Where Gb is a shear module.


The parameter f1 is the combination of elastic and plastic parameters as shown in Eq. (9). The value of the parameter f1 will be discussed in detail later. By expressing (9) in an incremental form, we have:

The plastic strain can be defined by analog between the elastic and plastic deformations. The plastic deformation rate (e
á pi

( I 1 - I1 ) = f 1 ( p - p )





de pi dt

) can be described as [5]

á 1 1 1 ds -dI 1 e pi = - ( - )dp+ i 1 + dI1 3 xb x r 2mb 3x b


This is an important assumption for developing simple compaction/rebound formulations because it allows the decoupling of geomechanical equations from the fluid flow equations. By substituting (9A) into (2), the average principle stress is replaced by pore pressure, and thus we have:

where xb, mb, and xr are the coefficients of bulk volume viscosity, bulk shear viscosity and rock matrix volume viscosity, respectively. Assuming that dp, dsi, and dI1 are independent of

e V =- (c b - c r - f 1 cb )( p - p0 ) + a dr (T-T 0 )


The equivalent formation porosity f* can be related to true porosity f and volumetric strain eV as


f * = f (1 - e V )
The true porosity f can be expressed as [4]:


df = d (V p / Vb ) = c b (1 -f -

cr )( dp - dI 1 ) cb


Integrating (12) with the substitution of (9) and expressing the result in the incremental form, we have

f =f 0 + [c b (1 - f 0 ) -c r ]( Dp -DI 1 )
= f 0 + [cb (1 - f 0 ) - cr ](1 - f 1 )( p - p 0 )


Substituting (13) and (2) into (11), we can obtain the equivalent formation porosity as

f * = f 0 [1 + c p 1 ( p - p 0 ) - cT 1 ( T - T 0 )]


Where the equivalent formation compressibility cp1 and thermal expansion coefficient cT1 can be found as the function of pressure as follows

The parameter group f1 defined in equation (9) consists of two parts, the elastic and plastic parts. The elastic deformation will recover when load is released, while the plastic part will not recover upon unloading. Figure 1 is an experimental result,7 which qualitatively shows the relationship between stress sz and strain ez. The uniaxial stress sz shown on the figure is analogous to pore pressure and the strain ez to the volumetric strain ev because bulk deformation is assumed zero in the horizontal directions. The strain is analogous to porosity f* by (11). Therefore, the porosity-pressure relationship will qualitatively have similar features with this stress-strain relationship. To make the simple formulation possible, the hysteresis of the unloading and reloading loop is neglected and treated as reversible because it is relatively small compared with the large hysteresis between compaction and rebound. When pore pressure is decreasing (compaction), the porosity change will follow compaction curve to decrease with compressibility cp1 and thermal expansion coefficient cT1. However, porosity variation will follow the unloading/reloading cycle when the system is unloading or reloading. At the pressure pmin, the porosity returns to the value before unloading. Therefore, by going through the similar manipulation as above, the porosity formula in rebound stage can be derived as:

c p1=

[ cb ( 1 -f 0 ) -cr ](1 - f 1) +[(1 - f1 ) cb - cr ] f0 [ cb (1 -f 0 ) - cr ]( - f1 ) 1 [(1 - f1 ) cb - cr ]( p- p 0 ) 0 f


f * = f min [1 + c p 2 ( p - pmin ) - cT 2 ( T - Tmin )]
For p>pmin Where (17)


[c (1 -f ) - cr ](1 - f 1 )(p - p ) c T1 =a dr {1 + b } (16) f0
The pressure dependency in the above equations is insignificant and may be neglected, therefore,



f min = f 0 [1 + c p 1 ( pmin - p 0 ) - c T1 (Tmin - T 0 )] (18)

[c (1 -f ) - c r](1 - f 1 ) c p1= b + [(1 - f 1 )c b - c r ] f0 c T1 = a dr


[ c (1 -f min ) - c r ](1 - f 2 ) c p2 = b + [(1 - f 2 )cb - cr ] f min c T1 = a dr





It is evident that to represent the complicated reservoir compaction phenomenon with simple cmpaction-rebound formulations, the equivalent formation compressibility depends on the local porosity. By using the compressibility and thermal expansion coefficient defined as above, the reservoir compaction can be approximately described in the numerical reservoir simulator without coupling with the geomechanical equations.

where pmin is the pressure at the point where unloading starts. The parameter f2 has the same definition as f1, but only include the elastic deformation. Although the parameter f1 and f2 can not be determined theoretically due to the complexity of plastic deformation, it can be estimated by history-matching both the formation compaction and rebound stages. The reservoir thickness change in a grid block during compaction can be described by Eq. (2) as


e V =-

DZ =- (c b -c r - f 1 cb )( p- p0 )+ a dr (T -T 0 ) (21) 0 Z

where n is Poisson’s ratio. As an order of magnitude estimate, Poisson’s ratio for oil sand is around 0.25. As a result, f1=0.44. It was observed in experiments that the dependence of permeability on porosity is not affected by stress and the relative change of permeability is 4–5 times larger than the porosity change.9 Under common case for oil and gas reservoir, the initial stress state and the initial pressure are constant over the reservoir, and both porosity and permeability increments can be expressed in terms of pressure increments [10,11]. The feature developed above has been incorporated into the commercial simulator CMG STARS. Figure 2 shows an example. With the pressure history in Figure 2a, the porosity irreversibility is well represented by using different equivalent formation compressibilities for compaction and rebound processes and the simulator selects the path dynamically according to the feature developed.

where DZ=Z-Z0 is the reservoir thickness change. For compaction, DZ =DZc is negative and can be found from the above equation as

DZ =Z [(cb - cr - f 1 cb )( p- p ) - a dr (T -T )] (22)
For grid blocks under rebound, the net thickness change is the sum of the compaction and rebound, which is




D Z = DZ c + D Z r
where the amount of rebound is


DZ = Z [(cb - cr - f 1 cb )( pmin - p )- a dr (Tmin -T )] (24)
where DZr is positive for rebound. The major differences between cp1 and cp2 or between cT1 and cT2 are in the f1 and f2 that are different for compaction and rebound processes. Geertsma[5] showed that





Field Case Study
The overall objective of conducting reservoir simulation for the Tar Zone in Fault Block IIA of the Wilmington Oil Field is to develop improved and advanced reservoir management techniques to optimize the oil recovery. The purpose of this study is to serve to the above general objective by estimating the current state of the reservoir through history-matching the primary depletion and waterflooding stages, and by validating the history-matched model through the comparison between prediction and field results for steamflooding pilot in this reservoir. Tar Zone in Fault Block IIA of the Wilmington Oil Field started primary depletion in 1937, waterflooding in 1960 and steamflooding pilot in 1982. Currently, the reservoir is at the late stage of field scale steamflooding in Phase 1, 1–A, 1–B and 1–C areas (as shown in Figure 3). In June 1996, the DOE sponsored horizontal well steamflood pilot (Phase 1–D) started. Therefore, one of the important tasks of reservoir simulation for this reservoir is to optimize the steamflooding production in Phase 1–D area. To realize this objective, the procedures followed in this study consists as follows: (1) ascertaining the characteristics of the reservoir by matching the history of primary depletion and the waterflooding stages, (2) validating the calibration quality of the history-matched model by predicting the steamflooding pilot tests and comparison with the field results. Fault Block IIA covers an area of approximately 3 miles long and less than 1 mile wide. The Tar Zone reservoir is a part of an anticlinal structure, which is separated by the Wilmington Fault on the West and Ford Fault on the East with structure top approximately in the central-south of the block. The reservoir top is about 2,300 ft deep with initial hydrostatic equilibrium. One important feature of this reservoir is its unconsolidated sand type and its susceptibility to severe reservoir compaction and surface subsidence during primary deple-

2 ( m eb – 2 ) 3 M eb - G b = -- --------- and M eb = ------------------------- . In the practical 4 cb ( m eb + 1 )
range of meb, Meb may be taken as unity, that is,

3 G b » ------- . 4c b

Thus, during rebound, the processes can be approximately considered as reversible or elastic with

cb – cr f 2 = --------------- » 0.5 2c b
where cr is assumed to be much smaller that cb.


For the compaction process, the parameter f1 includes both elastic and plastic deformations and is time-dependent according to (7). The most feasible way to obtain f1 is by fitting production history data to Eq. (7). However, Geertsma[8] used the spherical-tension model that is also elastic to approximate the compaction process. The uniaxial compaction to this model was found theoretically as:

cr 1 1+v e 2 = -- æ -----------ö æ 1 – ----ö c b dp 3 è 1 – vø è c bø
Comparing (26) with (10), we have


cr 1 ì 1 + v ü f 1 = – æ 1 – ----ö -- í ----------- ý– 1 - è c bø 3 1 + v î þ



tion production stage. This indicates further complicate reservoir description of irreversibility of compaction and limited rebound when pressure was built-up to approximately the initial level after water and steam injections. To prevent the surface subsidence and its damage to the surface infrastructure, high reservoir pressure was maintained during water flooding and steam flooding operations. The Tar Zone in Fault Block IIA consists of the T and D sands. The T sand consists of T1, T2, T5, T7 sub-zones, the D sand consists of D1 and D3 sub-zones, as shown by the schematic diagram in Figure 4. The T and D sands are separated by the shale layer DU between them and the production from these sands is commingled through some of the wells. However, the T2, T5 and T7 subzones communicate with each other due to the incision of a paleochannel and weak shale barriers among them. The reservoir has separate aquifers for the T and D sands. The T sand covers thinner intervals than the D sand. Because the T and D zones are commingled, the total production can not be separated between contributions from T and D sands. Aquifers both in the north and south directions contribute to the primary depletion. As a result, a full field model including T and D zones is necessary. Taking computational requirement into considerations, a full field model with sizes of 43x155x4 was applied.

History Match of the Primary Depletion Stage
Formation compaction mainly happened in the primary depletion stage in this reservoir when most pressure drawdown occurred. Therefore, the main purpose of history match for this period is to determine the formation compaction compressibility in order to pursue the simulation of waterflooding and steamflooding stages. The major parameters considered in history match of this reservoir are as follows: equivalent formation compressibility, porosity, permeability, relative permeability, residual and initial water saturation, the strength of aquifers and the interaction with the neighboring blocks. However, this paper will focus on the issues related to the formation compaction/rebound such as the formation compressibility and the natural water invasion. The history match of other reservoir data are only briefly mentioned as below. From volumetric and material balance studies, the average porosity in this reservoir is estimated at 29% and initial water saturation is estimated at 23.5% by matching the initial water production. The average permeability used in this study is 1,000 md. The relative permeability used in the simulation is also estimated from the production history. The hysteresis of relative permeability will be examined in the simulation of waterflooding stage. The major reservoir conditions are listed in Table 1. One of the major difficulties of history matching for this reservoir is to quantitatively separate the contribution of for-

mation compaction and natural water invasion during the primary depletion stage. Figure 5a shows the reservoir pressure change when there is no aquifer attached to the model and only formation compressibility contribute to the production. When the pressure history in early primary depletion stage is matched with an equivalent formation compressibility of 2.75x10-5 [1/psi], there is no sufficient driving energy in the late stage. On the other hand, when the reservoir pressure at the late stage is increased by increasing formation compressibility to 6x10-5 [1/psi], the pressure in the early stage is mismatched. This result is a good indication of the contribution of additional driving energy in the late period of the primary depletion stage, which is attributed to aquifer invasion in this reservoir. Figure 5b shows the contribution of the aquifer. When different sizes of aquifers are attached to the reservoir, it was found that a fixed aquifer attached on the North side can match the water production from the transition zone on the North side. In the mean time it is also observed that a fixed aquifer on the South side can not match the water production from south transition zone, which means that aquifer contribution is dynamic on the South side. This observation can be validated by examining the geological information as shown in Figure 6. The Tar zone in Fault block IIA is separated from the rest of the field by the Wilmington fault on the West and Ford fault on the East. Those faults themselves were found as sealing faults based on the geological study by An and Ershaghi.15 However, there is an open window on the Southwest side because the Wilmington fault dies out early before it reaches the formation base. The continuity of WOC between Fault Block IIA and Fault Block I validate this condition. As a result, Fault Block IIA shares aquifer with the neighboring reservoir Fault Block I on the South side. Therefore, the aquifer contribution from the South side depends on the interaction between these two reservoirs. A dynamic aquifer contribution model is required to describe production history in Fault Block IIA. An important task in history matching for this reservoir is to separate the contribution of formation compaction and water invasion in order to correctly estimate the formation compaction. However, if neither the formation compressibility nor the size of aquifers is known, none of them can be determined quantitatively. It is because both a small aquifer with large compressibility and a large aquifer with small compressibility may fit the same primary depletion history although the prediction follows will be different. This dilemma can be solved by analyzing the field production history. Figure 7 shows the plots of field data for the number of active producers, total liquid rate and pressure derivatives for the primary depletion stage. It is shown that both the number of active producers, and the total liquid rate are approximately constant for the period of 1938–1943; the early period of primary depletion stage. The plot of pressure derivative shows that except for an initial transient period, the pressure derivative is approximately constant for the same period. This is an indication that the reservoir boundary is felt and a semi-steady state condition was approximately reached before the aquifer influ-


ence was significant. The pressure derivative information during semi-steady state reflects the area size and compressibility of the affected area. Based on analyzing the field production history, a philosophy is worked out to match the primary depletion stage of this reservoir. The formation compressibility will be determined based on the semi-steady state period, the additional driving energy in the late stages should come from the aquifer invasion and the interaction with the neighboring Fault Block I on the South side. Based on this concept, the extension aquifer on the North side was fixed at 10,000 ft and the aquifer contribution on the South side is a fixed size of 3,000 ft plus a dynamic contribution as shown in Figure 8. With this aquifer model, the reservoir history is successfully matched as shown in Figure 9, with regards to the average reservoir pressure, oil and water production rates. The relative aquifer contributions on the North and South sides are determined by fitting WOR’s in the north and south transition zones. Figure 10 shows the results. The WOR’s on the both transition zones and the whole reservoir are matched. With the compaction/rebound feature developed in this study, the formation thickness change due to compaction can also be calculated. Figure 11 shows the formation compaction in the Tar Zone. The contribution of Tar zone in Fault block IIA to the total subsidence is a little less than 2 ft, which qualitatively agrees with the estimate from geological study.1 Although surface subsidence depends on not only the operation in this reservoir but also the whole filed operation and the stiffness[2] of the reservoir overburden, this figure shows the equivalent volumetric change in the Tar zone from the material balance standpoint.

surement, which is the indication of the aquifer interaction between Fault Block IIA and Fault Block I. On the one hand, it can be seen from the figure that if the equivalent formation compressibility used is below 5E–6 or so, the simulated pressure will catch the reservoir pressure response very well. On the other hand, if the equivalent formation compressibility is above 1E–5, the simulated pressure response will dampen out and can not catch the immediate pressure responses caused by injection/production change. This information will determine the formation compressibility during rebounding stage. Therefore, a formation compressibility of about 5E–6 will correctly describe the formation compaction during rebounding, which clearly indicate the irreversibility of the formation compaction/rebounding processes. With these parameters, the full field simulation for waterflooding process and the comparison with the field results are shown in Figure 13.

Prediction of the Steamflooding Pilot
A steamflooding pilot was conducted between August 1982 and January 1989 in the D1 member of the Tar Zone in Fault Block IIA, as shown in Figure 3. The 20–acre pilot area contains four inverted 5–spot patterns. The pilot demonstrated successful field operation during the test.13 One of the objectives of reservoir simulation study for steamflooding in this field is to optimize the production performance of the steamflooding in the horizontal well. To prepare a dependable model, we use the steamflooding pilot as a benchmark to validate the predicting ability of the historymatched model. The steamflooding performance is predicted by using the well injection data from field record and fixing the BHP at 250 psi in the producers according the general liquid level control policy in this field. To prevent the influence of the unconfined nature of the pilot,14 the steamflooding pilot was simulated within the full field model although pilot only covers a small area of the reservoir and the rest of the regions were still undergoing waterflooding. Figure 14 shows the prediction for the steam pilot and the comparison with the field history. The predicted results agree well with the field production history for the total result of the steamflooding pilot, both for oil, water and total liquid production. The performance of individual wells is also examined as shown in Figures 15 and 16. It is evident that most producers are appropriately predicted except the performance of two wells on the Northwest and Southeast corners. This difference could be caused by several reasons. In this simulation work, we implemented the same liquid level control policy for all the producers as is commonly practiced in reservoir simulation while the actual liquid level may vary well by well and from time to time depending on the flow rate and pumping efficiency in each individual well. Another reason is that uniform reservoir permeability and porosity were applied in the simulation, while heterogeneity may change the fluid distribution. This points out the need for more detailed description of reservoir rock

History Match of the Waterflooding Stage
The major difference between primary depletion and waterflooding in this reservoir is that the primary depletion is mainly a compaction process and the waterflooding is mainly a rebounding process. The formation compressibility during waterflooding stage should be smaller than that of the primary depletion due to the irreversibility of the formation compaction/rebound process. Another difference is that the primary depletion is a drainage process while the waterflooding stage is basically an imbibition process since the reservoir is waterwet. The hysteresis of relative permeability is determined by matching the water oil ratio of both primary depletion and waterflooding and is listed in Table 1. Formation compressibility during compaction process has been determined from the primary depletion stage. However, the formation compressibility during rebounding should be determined by history matching the waterflooding process. The formation compressibility for waterflooding stage was determined by matching the pressure response of water-flooding process. Figure 12 shows the comparison between the simulation and field results. In the early waterflooding stage, the simulated reservoir pressure is higher than the field mea-


properties by various estimation methods including stochastic representation. The successful history matches obtained can help in stochastic modeling by the petrophysical property limits obtained from the modeling work. The stochastic modeling is the next phase of this project. With the consideration of these factors, the prediction of the pilot will be improved. Nevertheless, the steamflooding pilot is satisfactorily predicted by the history-matched model based on the consideration of formation compaction and rebound. It is meaningful to use this history-matched model to predict and optimize the production performance for steamflooding operation in horizontal wells in this reservoir. However, the detail of the simulation for horizontal operations will not be discussed any further in this paper.

1. Mayuga, M. N., “Geology and Development of California Giant Wilmington Oil Field,” AAPG Mern., V. 14, pp. 158–184 (1970). Espinoza, C.E., “A New Formulation for Numerical Simulation of Compaction, Sensitivity Studies”, paper SPE 12246 (1983). Fung, L.S.K., Buchanan, L., and Wan, R.G., “Coupled Geomechanical-thermal Simulation for Deforming Heavy-Oil Fung, Reservoirs”, JCPT, Vol. 33, No. 4 (1994) 22–28. Settari, A., and Mourits, F.M., “A Coupled Reservoir and Geomechanical Simulation System”, paper SPE 29112 (1994). Geertsma, J.: “The Effect of Fluid Pressure Decline on Volumetric Changes of Porous Rocks”, Trans. AIME, Vol. 210 (1957) 331–340. Jaeger, J.C. and Cook, N.G.W., Fundamentals of Rock Mechanics, 3rd edition, Chapman and Hall (1979). de Waal, J.A. and Smits, R.M.M., “Prediction of Reservoir Compaction and Surface Subsidence: Field Application of a New Model”, paper SPE 14214 (1985). Geertsma, J., “Land Subsidence Above Compacting Oil and Gas Reservoirs”, JPT (June 1973) 734–744. Ostermeier, R.M.: “Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Turbidites: Compaction Effects on Porosity and Permeability”, paper SPE 26468 (1993). Barenblatt, G.I., Entov, V.M., and Ryzhik, V.M., Theory of Fluid Flows through Natural Rocks, Kluwer Academic Publisher (1990). Palmer, I. and Mansoori, J., “How Permeability Depends on Stress and Pore Pressure in Coalbeds: A New Model”, paper SPE 36737 (1996). Kosloff, D.C., Gibson, R.E., and Hankel, D.J., “Finite Element Simulation of Wilmington Oil Field Subsidence: I. Linear Modeling”, Tectonophysics, 65 (1980) 339–368. Lim, F.H., Saner, W.B., and Stilwell, W.H., “Steamflood Pilot Test in Waterflooded, 2500–ft Tar Zone Reservoir, Fault Block II Unit, Wilmington Field, California”, paper SPE 26615 (1993). Hong, K.C: “Pitfalls in Interpreting Pilot Steamflood Performance”, paper SPE 29906 (1995). An, L. and Ershaghi, I., “Sealing Status of Normal Faults in Fault Block II, Wilmington Oil Field, California”, submitted to AAPG Bulletin (Oct. 1997).





1. Based on the geomechanical mechanism, simple compaction/rebound formulations are developed. With the proposed approach, the formation compaction/rebound can be simulated dynamically and locally in the model according to the local pressure field. With the model developed, the production history for primary depletion and waterflooding was successfully matched resulting in the determination of formation compaction and rebound parameters. Based on the history match result of primary depletion and waterflooding stages, the pilot steamflooding was successfully predicted. Using the deterministic approach, simulation was successful in all aspects except fine tuning of saturation distribution. This emphasizes the need for stochastic modeling of reservoir properties. 6. 7.


8. 9.






This work was supported by DOE Class III Mid-Term Project DE–FC22–95BC14939, whose contribution is gratefully acknowledged. We would also like to thank Dr. Huiping Ma of Computer Modeling Group for incorporating the compaction/ rebound feature into CMG STARS. 13.

14. 15.


Table 1: Reservoir Description


Figure 1: Stress-Strain Relationship for Reservoir Compaction7

Figure 2: Demonstration of the Compaction/Rebound Formulations


Figure 3: Well Pattern in the Tar Zone of Fault Block IIA, Wilmington Field

Figure 4: Schematic Diagram of Tar Zone Formation in Fault Block IIA


Figure 5: Effect of Formation Compressibility and Aquifer Size on Primary Depletion

Figure 6: Structural Contour Map and Location of WOC in the Tar Zone of Block IIA


Figure 7: Field Production History for the Tar Zone in Fault Block IIA

Figure 8: Dynamic Aquifer Invasion Required for History Matching of the Primary Depletion Stage


Figure 9: History Match Results for the Tar Zone in Fault Block IIA

Figure 10: WOR Match for Different Regions in the Tar Zone of Fault Block IIA


Figure 11: Formation Compaction in the Tar Zone of Fault Block IIA

Figure 12: Estimation of Formation Compressibility for Rebound Process


Figure 13: History Match Results for the Waterflooding Stage

Figure 14: Comparison of Prediction and Field Results for Steamflooding Pilot in the Tar Zone of Fault Block IIA


Figure 15: Prediction of Oil Rate for Individual Wells and Comparison with Field Results

Figure 16: Comparison Between Prediction and Field Results for WOR in Individual Wells


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