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Casabe: New Tricks for an Old Field

Mauro Amaya
Ral Amaya
Hctor Castao
Eduardo Lozano
Carlos Fernando Rueda
Ecopetrol SA
Bogot, Colombia

At some point in the operational life of an oil field, natural drive dwindles and

Jon Elphick
Cambridge, England

analysis, waterflooding, drilling and production optimization are restoring this

wells to collapse, disrupting the waterflood efficiency. New techniques in geologic


once-prolific field to its former glory.

Old fields have stories to tell. The story of the


Casabe field, 350 km [220 mi] north of Bogot
and situated in the middle Magdalena River
Valley basin (MMVB) of Colombias Antioquia
Department, began with its discovery in 1941.
The field was undersaturated when production
began in 1945, and during primary recovery the
production mechanisms were natural depletion
and a weak aquifer. In the late 1970s, at the end

of the natural drive period, the operator had


obtained a primary recovery factor of 13%. By this
time, however, production had declined significantly to nearly 5,000 bbl/d [800 m3/d]. Seeking
to reverse this trend, Ecopetrol SA (Empresa
Colombiana de Petrleos SA) conducted waterflood tests for several years before establishing
two major secondary-recovery programs in the
mid to late 1980s.

25

125
Water
Oil

10

Casabe alliance formed

15

75

50

2010

2008

2006

2004

2002

2000

1998

1996

1994

1992

1990

1988

1986

1984

1982

1980

25

1978

Water injection rate, 1,000 bbl/d

100

Waterflood pilot projects

20

1976

1. Peralta-Vargas J, Cortes G, Gambaretto W, Martinez


Uribe L, Escobar F, Markley M, Mesa Cardenas A,
Suter A, Marquez L, Dederle M and Lozano E: Finding
Bypassed Oil in a Mature FieldCasabe Field, Middle
Magdalena Valley Basin, Colombia, presented at the
ACGGP (Asociacin Colombiana de Gelogos y
Geofisicos del Petrleo) X Symposio Bolivariano,
Cartagena, Colombia, July 2629, 2009.
Marquez L, Elphick J, Peralta J, Amaya M, Lozano E:
Casabe Mature Field Revitalization Through an Alliance:
A Case Study of Multicompany and Multidiscipline
Integration, paper SPE 122874, presented at the SPE
Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering
Conference, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, May 31
June 3, 2009.
2. Cordillera is Spanish for range. Colombia has three
ranges: Oriental (eastern), Central, and Occidental
(western). These are branches of the Andes Mountains
that extend along the western half of the country. The
MMVB runs WSW-NNE, and the Magdalena River runs
northward through it, eventually flowing into the
Caribbean Sea.
3. Barrero D, Pardo A, Vargas CA and Martnez JF:
Colombian Sedimentary Basins: Nomenclature,
Boundaries and Petroleum Geology, a New Proposal.
Bogot, Colombia: Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos
(2007): 7881, http://www.anh.gov.co/paraweb/pdf/
publicaciones.pdf (accessed February 5, 2010).

lithology, structural complexity and water channeling caused hardware to fail and

1974

Oilfield Review Spring 2010: 22, no. 1.


Copyright 2010 Schlumberger.
For help in preparation of this article, thanks to Jos Isabel
Herberth Ahumada, Marvin Markley, Jos A. Salas, Hector
Roberto Saldao, Sebastian Sierra Martinez and Andreas
Suter, Bogot; and Giovanni Landinez, Mexico City.
AIT, CMR-Plus, Petrel, PowerPak XP, PressureXpress,
TDAS and USI are marks of Schlumberger.
Crystal Ball is a mark of Oracle Corp.
IDCAP, KLA-GARD and KLA-STOP are marks of M-I SWACO.

flooding has been used to enhance oil recovery. However, a combination of sensitive

Oil production rate, 1,000 bbl/d

Walter Gambaretto
Leonardo Mrquez
Diana Paola Olarte Caro
Juan Peralta-Vargas
Arvalo Jos Velsquez Marn
Bogot

additional energy is needed to sustain production rates. In the Casabe field water-

Operational year

> Casabe oil production and water injection. Waterflood pilot projects took place in the late 1970s, but it
was not until 1985 that the first of two major waterflood programs began. During the first three years of
each program, high injection rates were possible; however, water soon found ways through the most
permeable sands. Early breakthrough and well collapse forced the operator to choke back injection.
The steady decline in injection was accompanied by a decline in production, and attempts to reverse
this trend were unsuccessful. In 2004, when the Casabe alliance was formed, production rates were
5,200 bbl/d. By early February 2010, these rates had increased to more than 16,000 bbl/d.

Oilfield Review

During the secondary-recovery period, structural complexities, sensitive shales, heterogeneous sands and viscous oils all conspired to
undermine the effectiveness of the waterflood.
And although initially successful at increasing
production, injected water broke through prematurely at the production wells, an indicator of
bypassed oil (previous page). Sand production
occurred in a high percentage of wells, contributing to borehole collapse and causing failure of
downhole equipment. Water-injection rates were
gradually decreased in an attempt to overcome
these issues, and waterflooding became less
effective at enhancing oil recovery; from 1996
onward the production rates declined between
7% and 8% per year.

Spring 2010

In 2004 Ecopetrol SA and Schlumberger


forged an alliance to revitalize the Casabe field.
Using updated methods for managing highly
complex reservoirs, the alliance reversed the
decline in production: From March 2004 to
February 2010, oil production increased from
5,200 to more than 16,000 bbl/d [820 to
2,500m3/d].1 Also, the estimated ultimate recovery
factor increased from 16% to 22% of the original oil
in place (OOIP).
This article describes the complexities of the
reservoirs within the Casabe concession and the
oil recovery methods employed over the last
70 years, concentrating primarily on the major
reengineering work using updated methods that
began in 2004.

A Prolific Yet Complex Region


The middle Magdalena River Valley basin is an
elongated depression between the Colombian
Central and Oriental cordilleras and represents
an area of 34,000km2 [13,000mi2].2 Oil seeps are
common features within the basin; their presence was documented by the first western explorers in the 16th century. These reservoir indicators
motivated some of the earliest oil exploration and
led to the discovery in 1918 of the giant field
called La CiraInfantas, the first field discovered
in Colombia. Since that time, the MMVB has
been heavily explored. Its current oil and gas
reserves include more than 1,900 million bbl
[302million m3] of oil and 2.5Tcf [71billion m3]
of gas.3

Barrancabermeja
Central
Cordillera

150 m

500 ft

Cretaceous

C sands

Oligocene

Lower sands
B0, B1, B2 and B3

NE
ain
M
5,000 ft

Eocene

str
i
-S
W

C
al

nt
ie

100 km
50 mi

Upper sands
A1 and A2

fau
lt z

ra

50
25

La Cira shale

on
e

Miocene

Or
0

m
0

15,000

10,000

10 mi

ke
-sl
ip

le

Rio Suarez
anticline

5,000

20 km

Ce

il

Peroles
field

Real
Formation

Nuevo Mu
ndo sy
nclin
e

Rio Sua
rez an
ticlin
e

fault

illera

Palestine

Peroles

ntr

al C
ord

Casabe
Peas La Cira
Blancas Infantas

10

Nuevo Mundo syncline

La CiraInfantas
field

lt

Galn

u
eja fa
caberm
B a rran

Barrancabermeja

Casabe
field

> Casabe structural setting. The Casabe field lies to the west of La CiraInfantas field in the middle Magdalena River Valley basin (left). The principal
MMVB structures and producing fields are shown in the generalized structural cross section A to A (top right). The basin is limited on the east by a thrust
belt, uplifting the oldest rocks. Cretaceous and Paleocene (green), Oligocene (orange) and Miocene (yellow) rocks are shown in the central part of the basin
cross section. The preMiddle Eocene uplift and erosion have exposed the Central Cordillera on the west (gray). The Casabe field is highly layered, as shown in
the detailed structural cross section (bottom right). (Figure adapted from Barrero et al, reference 3, and Morales et al, reference 6.)

The abundance of hydrocarbon resources in


the basin attests to the prolific petroleum system
active in this region. A thick, organic-rich limestone and shale succession was deposited in an
extensive pericratonic trough along the northwest margin of the Guyana shield during the
Cretaceous Period.4 These underlying source
rocks are separated from the primary reservoirs
by an Eocene unconformity. Major fluid-migration mechanisms to fields within the MMVB consist of direct vertical migration where La Luna
Formation subcrops the Eocene unconformity,
lateral migration along the Eocene sandstone
carrier and vertical migration through faults.
4. Pericratonic is a term used to describe the area around a
stable plate of the Earths crust (craton).
5. Although the exact fault locations were not well-defined,
by conservatively locating the wells away from the
fault zones the waterflood planners ensured wells
remained within the correct block and inside the
western fault closure.
6. For more on historical structural maps from the Casabe
field: Morales LG, Podesta DJ, Hatfield WC, Tanner H,

The Colorado, Mugrosa and La Paz formations that make up the Casabe field were deposited during the Paleogene Period. These are
found at depths of 670 to 1,700 m [2,200 to
5,600 ft]. The reservoir sands in the field are
classified in three main groups: A, B and C,
which are subdivided into operational units
(above). Sands are typically isolated by impermeable claystone seals and have grain sizes that
vary from silty to sandy to pebbly.
Structurally the Casabe field is an 8-km
[5-mi] long anticline with a three-way closure,
well-defined eastern flank and a southern plunge.
The northern plunge is found outside the area of
ORSPR10Michael MoodyFigure 02
Jones SH, Barker MHS, ODonoghue J, Mohler CE,
Dubois EP, Jacobs C and Goss CR: General Geology and
Oil Occurrences of Middle Magdalena Valley, Colombia,
in Weeks LG (ed): Habitat of Oil. Tulsa: The American
Association of Petroleum Geologists, AAPG Special
Publication 18 (1958): 641695.
7. For more on undeveloped areas in the Casabe field:
Gambaretto W, Peralta J, Cortes G, Suter A, Dederle M
and Lozano Guarnizo E: A 3D Seismic Cube: What For?,

the Casabe field in the Galn field. A high-angle


NE-SW strike-slip fault closes the western side of
the trap. Associated faults perpendicular to the
main fault compartmentalize the field into eight
blocks. Drilling is typically restricted to vertical
or deviated wells within each block because of
heavy faulting and compartmentalization.
Throughout the history of the field, development planners have avoided placing wells in the
area close to the western fault. This is because
reservoir models generated from sparse 2D seismic data, acquired first around 1940 and later in
the 1970s and 1980s, failed to adequately identify
the exact location of major faults including the
paper SPE 122868, presented at the SPE Latin American
and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference,
Cartagena, Colombia, May 31June 3, 2009.
8. Peas Blancas field, discovered in 1957, is located 7 km
[4 mi] to the southwest of the Casabe field. Both fields
have the same operator. The area between the fields was
surveyed because oil indicators were found.

Oilfield Review

main strike-slip fault. The lack of a more accurate structural model caused two main problems:
Reservoir engineers underestimated OOIP and
waterflood planners found it difficult to locate
injector-producer pairs within the same reservoir
and, to a lesser extent, within the same fault
block.5 These uncertainties led the managers and
experts of the 2004 Casaba alliance to build a
multicomponent redevelopment plan.
Ecopetrol SA has long-standing experience in
and knowledge of the field and the measures
undertaken to keep it producing decade after
decade. Schlumberger provides new oilfield technologies to the operator, including seismic surveying, downhole measurements, data analysis
and specialized drilling, as well as domain expertise to decipher the challenges faced. With these
capabilities the alliance was confident it could
obtain results within a year.
The key goals of the redevelopment plan were
to increase reserves, manage the waterflood programs more efficiently and address drillingrelated problems such as reactive lithology,
tripping problems, low ROP, borehole collapse

and washouts, and completion challenges such as


poor cementing and casing collapse. Tackling
each of these elements involved close collaboration between the operators professionals and
technical experts from the service company. The
first stage of the project involved a thorough fieldwide analysis based on existing data and the gathering of new data using the latest technologies,
such as 3D seismic surveys and 3D inversion.
Undeveloped Areas and Attic Oil
Forty years ago it was common to create structural maps by identifying formation tops from
well data. With hundreds of evenly distributed
wells this task was quite straightforward over
most of the Casabe concession.6 However, a large
undeveloped area near the main NE-SW strikeslip fault encompassed over 20 km2 [7.7 mi2].
Smaller undeveloped locations also existed.7
A lack of well log data in these undeveloped
areas meant that formation tops were not available to create structural maps for several key
areas of operator interest. As a result, significant
potential oil reserves were possibly being over-

Formation Tops

Seismic Data

Depth, ft
3,300

Structural Sketch
with Well Locations
0

1,000

3,000

Depth, ft
3,300

2,000 m

looked. To improve structural understanding and


help increase reserves, Ecopetrol SA commissioned a high-resolution 3D seismic survey.
Geophysicists designed the survey to encompass both the Casabe and Peas Blancas fields
and also the area in between.8 WesternGeco performed the survey during the first half of 2007,
acquiring more than 100 km2 [38 mi2] of highresolution 3D seismic data; data interpretation
followed later that year. The new data enabled
creation of a more precise and reliable structural
model than one obtained from formation tops,
with the added advantage of covering almost the
entire Casabe concession (below).
In addition to accurately defining the structure of the subsurface, seismic data can also give
reservoir engineers early indications of oilbearing zones. In some cases oil-rich formations
appear as seismic amplitude anomalies, called
bright spots. However, these bright spots do not
guarantee the presence of oil, and many operators have hit dry holes when drilling on the basis
of amplitude data alone.

4,050

4,900

4,800

6,500

6,000 ft

N
Area not
drained
or drilled

Well location

0
0

1,000

2,000 m
6,000 ft

> Casabe structural maps and model. Structural maps of the field were
generated using formation tops from well logs (Formation Tops). But
operators avoided drilling along the main strike-slip fault for fear of exiting
the trap; hence, tops were unavailable (Structural Sketch, red-shaded area).
This poorly defined and undeveloped area represented significant potential
reserves. High-resolution 3D seismic data were used to create a refined set

Spring 2010

0
0

1,000

2,000 m
6,000 ft

of structural maps (Seismic Data). These maps indicate additional faults in


the field and adjusted positions of existing faults compared to the formation
top maps. Calibration of the new maps from existing well logs further
improved their accuracy. Geophysicists input the maps into Petrel software
to form a 3D structural model of the subsurface (inset, right). (Figure
adapted from Peralta-Vargas et al, reference 1.)

Typical amplitude signature

Bright spots

Offset
AVO anomaly

Offset

Uncorrected common
midpoint gather
AVO-corrected
amplitude map

Amplitude anomaly

Offset

Undeveloped area
Hydrocarbons

> Minimizing uncertainty of amplitude anomalies. Bright spots (top left) are high-amplitude features on
seismic data. These features can indicate oil accumulations, although they are no guarantee. One
technique for understanding bright spots begins with modeling the amplitudes of reflections from
reservoirs containing various fluids (top right). The amplitude at the top of a sand reservoir filled with
water decreases with offset. The amplitude at the top of a similar reservoir containing gas can
increase with offset. The results are compared with actual seismic traces containing reflections from a
sand reservoir (bottom left) to more accurately characterize reservoir fluid. Combined with other
information such as seismic inversion data, AVO-corrected amplitude maps (bottom right) can be a
useful tool to confirm the presence of oil (light-blue areas). (Figure adapted from Gambaretto et al,
reference 7.)

Several conditions can create misleading faults is uncertain. Interpretation of the Casabe
amplitude anomalies, but careful processing and 3D seismic data clarified field corridors where
interpretation can distinguish them. Analysis of wells had not been planned because of the unceramplitude variation with offset (AVO) corrects tainty surrounding the main fault position. Wells
data during the common midpoint gathering have since been drilled along these corridors
process (above).9 Using AVO-corrected amplitude with successful results (next page, top).
ORSPR10Michael
04
A detailed geologic
model provided a better
maps as an additional verification
tool, interpret- MoodyFigure
ers were able to confirm both undeveloped and understanding of the subsurface conditions,
which helped during the waterflood planning and
attic oil accumulations.
Attic oil is an old concept. Operators know drilling processes. Prestack inversion of the 3D
there can be oil in these higher zones, but identi- survey data yielded fieldwide estimates of rock
fying them is difficult if the exact location of

properties.10 Geophysicists calibrated these estimates using data acquired by a suite of newgeneration logging tools (see New Wells and
Results, page 15) in approximately 150 wells.
Using these calibrated rock types, geologists
created a facies distribution map, which they
combined with the structural model to create a
model of reservoir architecture.
The architectural model highlighted more
than 15 reservoirs with an average thickness of
3 m [10 ft] each. Reservoir engineers analyzed
10 of these reservoirs and discovered an additional 5 million bbl [800,000 m3] of estimated
reserves.11 The geologic model was then used during the waterflood redevelopment process to help
improve both areal and vertical sweep efficiency.
Effective Waterflooding
When the Casabe field was switched from natural
drive to waterflood in the late 1970s, the operator
chose to use a typical five-spot pattern with
approximately 500 injector and producer pairs.
To sweep the upper and lower sections of Sands A
and B, up to four wells were drilled per injection
location (next page, bottom). During the initial
waterflood period, injection rates peaked in 1986
and 1991. These dates correspond to the first and
second year after the beginning of the two waterflood programs for the northern and southern
areas of the Casabe field.
Two to three years after each peak there was
a noticeable drop in the water-injection rates.
This was due mainly to the restrictions imposed
on the rates to avoid casing collapse. However,
the reduction in water-injection rates was also
influenced by several other factors. These issues
were identified in the alliances redevelopment
plan and became a large part of the requirements
for reworking the Casabe waterflood programs.
9. For more on AVO analysis: Chiburis E, Franck C,
Leaney S, McHugo S and Skidmore C: Hydrocarbon
Detection with AVO, Oilfield Review 5, no. 1
(January 1993): 4250.
10. For more on inversion: Barclay F, Bruun A,
Rasmussen KB, Camara Alfaro J, Cooke A,
Cooke D, Salter D, Godfrey R, Lowden D, McHugo S,
zdemir H, Pickering S, Gonzalez Pineda F, Herwanger J,
Volterrani S, Murineddu A, Rasmussen A and Roberts R:
Seismic Inversion: Reading Between the Lines,
Oilfield Review 20, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 4263.
11. Amaya R, Nunez G, Hernandez J, Gambaretto W and
Rubiano R: 3D Seismic Application in Remodeling
Brownfield Waterflooding Pattern, paper SPE 122932,
presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean
Petroleum Engineering Conference, Cartagena de
Indias, Colombia, May 31June 3, 2009.
12. For more on understanding high-mobility ratios:
Elphick JJ, Marquez LJ and Amaya M: IPI Method:
A Subsurface Approach to Understand and Manage
Unfavorable Mobility Waterfloods, paper SPE 123087,
presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean
Petroleum Engineering Conference, Cartagena,
Colombia, May 31June 3, 2009.

Oilfield Review

1,000

Block VIII

2,000 m
6,000 ft

Block VII

400

New well

600

Block VI
Depth, m

800

Undeveloped
1,000

Block V
N

Block IV
Block III

Blocks I and II

Attic oil
B sands

1,200

Attic oil
C sands

Drilled wells
Approved locations
Proposed locations
Undeveloped areas

1,400

1,600

> Attic well. Experts had long predicted a field corridor along the main
strike-slip fault, but the lack of accurate seismic data made the risk of
drilling these zones too high. Interpretation of the 2007 3D seismic survey
enabled geophysicists to identify undeveloped drilling locations (red
ellipses, left) close to the major fault. A new offset well, approved for Block
VIII, was very close to the main strike-slip fault (dashed-green box, left). 3D
seismic data and structural maps (middle) visualized using Petrel software

helped well planners position the well. The trajectory avoided major faults
and targeted a large undeveloped zone and two attic oil zones in the B and
C sands (right). The wells constructed during the first and second drilling
campaigns were vertical; in the third campaign, especially from late 2008
onward, most of the wells drilled were offset wells in target pay zones close
to faults. (Figure adapted from Amaya et al, reference 11.)

Spontaneous
Potential
Formation

80

mV

A1

Injection
A2
B1

B2

Production
B
CBA

20 Sand 0 ohm.m 20

La Cira
Shale

Upper sands

Colorado

2,500

3,000
A1

3,500
A2

Oligocene

The operator had recorded early water breakthrough in the fields producers during both
waterflood programs. This was a result of injection water channeling inside high-permeability
layers. Also, a poor mobility ratio was present
throughout the field: Viscous oils (14.8 to 23.3API
gravity in the upper sands and 15.4 to 24.8 API
gravity in the lower sands) were pushed aside by
the more freely flowing water, and once breakthrough occurred the water influx increased.12
These conditions caused a poor vertical sweep
efficiency average of only 20%.

Depth,
ft
Resistivity

A3
4,000

ORSPR10Michael MoodyFigure
05
B1 SUP

Spring 2010

B2 SUP

Lower sands

Mugrosa

B1 INF
4,500

5,000
B2 INF
B3
5,500

La Paz

. Casabe field injection and production scheme.


Original field-development plans included as
many as four wells per injection location to flood
the multilayered sands (blue wells). Up to two
wells were used to extract oil, but in some
locations a single production well commingled
fluids from Sands A and B, B and C, or A, B and C
(green wells). The current string design for new
injector-producer pairs, shown in a later figure,
limits drilling to only one well per location. This
change has reduced cost and also the incidence
of proximity-induced well collapse. (Figure
adapted from Peralta-Vargas et al, reference 1.)

Waterflood Patterns in Block VI

1986
3,000

2,400

North, ft

1,800

1,200

600

0
0

750

1,500

2,250

3,000

3,750

East, ft
Fault traces
Top of A sands

Producers

Top of B sands

Injectors

Top of C sands
2003
3,000

2,400

North, ft

1,800

1,200

600

0
0

750

2,250

1,500

3,000

3,750

East, ft

> Comparison of 1986 and 2003 waterflood patterns. By 1986 the operator had
established an evenly distributed network of five-spot injection patterns throughout
the Casabe field (top). Well collapses had occurred in nearly 70% of the wells in
Block VI, and a significant number of collapses had been recorded in all other
blocks in the field. In 2003 (bottom) many of the collapsed wells remained abandoned
or inactive and numerous injectors had been converted to producers. Experts
suggested a new drilling campaign to reestablish fieldwide five-spot patterns.
ORSPR10Michael
MoodyFigure
07
(Figure adapted from
Elphick et al, reference
12.)

10

Sand production and high-velocity jetting of


sandy water through perforations significantly
eroded casing walls and completion hardware in
the producers. During a critical period of the
waterflood, numerous wells collapsed and were
abandoned or taken off line. To sustain production
levels the operator chose to convert many injection wells to producers, but this drastically
affected the waterflood patterns (left).
Choking back injection rates to mitigate
well collapses was another factor that caused an
uneven water-flow pattern. Areal sweep was poor,
resulting in many areas of bypassed oil. The
fields redevelopment team wanted to reestablish
patterns to improve areal sweep efficiency.
Therefore, a large part of the third drilling campaign involved planning and placement of new
injectors and producers. These were located to
recreate an evenly spread network of wells
throughout the field. However, areal sweep is
largely dependent on obtaining good vertical
sweep efficiency. Waterflood specialists first
needed to design better injection control systems
that would improve vertical sweep and also provide a mechanism to reduce the damaging effects
of water channeling on the production strings.
Vertical sweep efficiency is determined by the
effectiveness of water, flowing from injector
wells, at pushing oil through permeable layers to
formation-connected oil producers. The original
multiwell injector design had no injection profile
control, so water flowed preferentially through
the most permeable formations. This waterchanneling effect is aggravated by several mechanisms: Shallower sands can be unintentionally
fractured during waterflooding, significantly
increasing permeability. The injectivity index of
deeper layers may suffer if low-quality injected
water causes plugging of perforations or deposits
of scale in the production casing. Also, injected
water bypasses viscous oil, present in large
amounts in the Casabe field, and breakthrough
takes place in producers. As a consequence,
water flows through the layer of highest permeability and may not be injected at all in others,
especially in the deeper sands with skin damage.
This has been a distinctive feature during Casabe
production operations.
To optimize flooding, water management specialists recommended selective injection strings
using waterflood-flow regulators (next page).
These designs would enable the operator to choke
back injection rates in specific layers irrespective
of the reservoir pressure, permeability, skin damage or any other factors that would normally
affect flow. Each layer is packed off to prevent any

Oilfield Review

fluids within that zone of the wellbore from invading another zone. An injection nozzle is located
within this section and is controlled from the surface. The new selective-string designs have
improved the vertical sweep efficiency by enabling
the operator to maintain higher injection rates
into layers less affected by waterflood-induced
problems. Conversely, the new designs have mitigated issues related to channeling by allowing a
reduction of rates in problematic layers.
Use of a single well designed with packed-off
flow control was also much more cost-effective
than the previous design of up to four wells per
injection location. Up to 16 water-flow regulators
have now been installed in injectors in the
Casabe field. This solution also addressed the
possibility that drilling several injectors in close
proximity to one another was one of the likely
causes of casing collapse.

Four-zone injector schematic

Gamma Ray
0

gAPI

150

Spontaneous
Potential
Sand

80

mV

20

Resistivity
ohm.m

15

A1H

Packer
A2

WFR
A21

Overcoming Drilling Difficulties


From first production in 1945 to the end of 2006,
approximately 45% of the production wells in the
Casabe field had at some point collapsed, with
different levels of severity. As a result, wells were
abandoned, left inactive or reactivated only after
costly workovers. The abandoned and inactive
wells represented millions of dollars in capital
investment in the field and in lost revenue due to
lower production rates. The majority of casing
collapses had occurred in Block VI, which also
has the largest proven reserves. It was therefore
the focus of a casing-collapse study.13
In the first stage of the Block VI study,
production engineers gathered casing-collapse
statistics. In 2006 this block contained 310 wells.
A total of 214 showed some degree of collapse.
Slightly more producers than injectors collapsed,
but the difference was minor and indicated no
trend. Of the total number of wells with recorded
collapse events, 67 were abandoned and 80 were
inactive, a factor that the operator knew would
severely impact injection and production rates.
The remaining wells had been reactivated after
costly workovers. The engineers then looked for
a correlation between the 214 collapses and
when these wells were drilled to identify any
drilling practices that were incompatible with
the Casabe field.
Three main drilling campaigns coincided with
the primary-recovery, or natural-drive, period
(1941 to 1975); the secondary-recovery, or waterflood, period (1975 to 2003); and finally the
waterflood period of the Casabe alliance (2004 to
present). Of the wells drilled during the first
campaign, 78% had casing-collapse events during

Spring 2010

Perforations

A3

> Selective injection design. New injection strings in the Casabe field have up
to 16 waterflood-flow regulators (WFRs). WFRs and check valves prevent
backflow and sand production in case of well shutdown. The zone-isolated
injection devices are placed in the highly layered stratigraphic profiles of the
most-prolific producers that commingle fluids from A, B and C sands.
Production logs are unavailable because of rod pumps, but injection logs are
available: Track 1 describes a typical lithology of A sands (yellow shaded
areas); spontaneous potential logs (blue curves) are more accurate than
gamma ray logs (red curve) in the presence of radiation from feldspar, which
occurs naturally in the field. Track 2 shows resistivity response of the formation
at two measurement depths (red and blue curves) and water-injection zones
(green shaded area). (Figure adapted from Elphick et al, reference 12.)

operation. In the second campaign this figure the production engineers to display both models
was slightly less, at 68%. This period, however, in the same 3D window. Using modeling tools,
corresponded to the waterflood programs; hence they could then tag and clearly see the wellbore
many more wells had been drilled. During the depths and the locations along the Casabe strucstudy period there were no recorded collapse ture where collapses had been recorded.
The engineers discovered that casing collapse
events in Block VI for wells constructed in the
third drilling campaign. This change was consid- had occurred in all stratigraphic levels. However,
ered to be a result of improved drilling practices, collapse distribution did highlight a strong correlation
to the overburden
and to the waterwhich are discussed later in this
section.
ORSPR10Michael
MoodyFigure
08
To determine a link between casing collapse flooded formations. The analysis of well location
and subsurface conditions, the investigators con- 13. Olarte P, Marquez L, Landinez G and Amaya R: Casing
sidered the updated stratigraphic and structural
Collapse Study on Block VI Wells: Casabe Field, paper
SPE 122956, presented at the SPE Latin American
models built from the new 3D seismic data.
and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference,
Petrel seismic-to-simulation software enabled
Cartagena, Colombia, May 31June 3, 2009.

11

80
70

Number of collapse events

Production wells

Injection wells

60
50
40
30
20
10
0

A1
Overburden

A2
Colorado

A3

B1

B2
Mugrosa

B3

C
La Paz

Faults

Stratigraphic formation

> Areal and stratigraphic localization of casing collapse in Block VI. Statistical analysis of casing-collapse events within each stratigraphic section (left)
showed collapses in every formation. However, event frequency in the overburden and in the waterflooded zones (mainly Sands A1, A2, B1 and B2) was
several times higher than in other zones, indicating these intervals are more likely to cause collapse. Using Petrel modeling tools, engineers included Block
VI casing collapses in the structural model. A structural map of one reservoir (right) indicates collapses occurred throughout the block and not in any
specific area. (Figure adapted from Olarte et al, reference 13.)

Casing
0

7-in. H40
20 lbm/ft

7-in. J55
20 lbm/ft

Liners
7-in. K55
23 lbm/ft

7-in. N80
23 lbm/ft

65/8-in. H40
20 lbm/ft

65/8-in. J55
20 lbm/ft

500
1,000

Fluid level, ft

1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000

ORSPR10Michael MoodyFigure 09

3,500
4,000
4,500

0% wall loss

20% wall loss

10% wall loss

30% wall loss

5,000

> Critical fluid levels for production casing and liners of the first drilling campaign. Testing using
TDAS software determined the critical load condition for fluid evacuation in Block VI wells from the first
drilling campaign. Casing (green box, left) and liners (red box, right) were tested first to obtain critical
fluid-evacuation levels based on original design specifications and again after calculations of 10%, 20%
and 30% wall loss. All wells for the simulation were at depths of 5,000 ft; depending on the amount of wall
loss, a collapse was probable as borehole fluid levels fell. For example, 7-in., 20-lbm/ft API Grade H40
casing strings could collapse even at their installed condition when the fluid was evacuated past 3,200 ft.
Wells that passed the first simulated test failed when wall loss was increased. This result indicated
that corrosion or general wear-and-tear (causing wall loss) would have weakened casing or liners
to the limit of collapse when the fluid level dropped to values that had been recorded in the field.
(Figure adapted from Olarte et al, reference 13.)

12

within the field and well-collapse distribution


revealed an evenly spread number of events,
which indicated no areal localization (above).
The next stage of the study was a probabilistic
analysis to evaluate the frequency of events
based on two variables: number of casingcollapse events and operational year. Production
engineers created probabilistic distributions by
plotting both variables for each drilling campaign
using the Monte Carlo simulation component of
the Crystal Ball software. The results showed the
highest number of events (about 30) for the wells
drilled during the first drilling campaign occurred
in 1985, coinciding with the beginning of the first
major waterflood program.
Interventions were more frequently performed on wells drilled during the second drilling
campaign, which meant that the timing of each
collapse event was recorded with greater certainty than for wells drilled during the first drilling period. Therefore, the probabilistic analysis
was even more reliable. It revealed that casing
collapse occurred primarily during the first few
years of the waterflood project and peaked during
1988. Investigators identified a critical period of

Oilfield Review

Spring 2010

30

Critical collapse period

Second drilling
campaign

Number of wells collapsed

25
20
15

First drilling campaign


10
5

1947
1949
1951
1953
1955
1957
1959
1961
1963
1965
1967
1969
1971
1973
1975
1977
1979
1981
1983
1985
1987
1989
1991
1993
1995
1997
1999
2001

0
Operational year

105

Critical collapse period

Water injected

104

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

1992

1991

1990

1989

1988

1987

103

1986

Oil produced

1985

Injection and production rate, bbl/d

time during which collapse frequency was high.


This period coincided with the most intense rates
of water injection (right).
The next stage of the study evaluated the
mechanical integrity of the wells in the Casabe
field. This evaluation found that for the producers
in Block VI collapses occurred only in the production liners and casing. To uncover the root causes
for all these collapses, every event was evaluated
using TDAS tubular design and analysis software.
The application enables analysis of the mechanical performance of a casing in two scenarios.
First, an initial installed state considers the original casing-design specification and downhole conditions such as temperature and pressure. The
next scenario includes subsequent operationally
induced events such as injection and production
that are interpreted as forces on the casing, called
case loads. Engineers analyzed case loads for
compressional, tensional and triaxial stresses.
To begin, engineers needed to define the
installed condition, characterized by temperature, pressure and casing strength, for casing
designs in Block VI. Then they could apply case
loads to determine when a casing would fail.
Pressure and temperature profiles for each well
were calculated using logs from the Casabe field.
Because corrosion also significantly reduces casing strength, the USI tool, which measures ultrasonic acoustic impedance, was used to determine
the loss of wall thickness attributed to corrosion
(see Scanning for Downhole Corrosion, page 42).
According to the USI data, wells exhibited wall
losses between 10% and 35%. Engineers defined
four corrosion profiles at 0%, 10%, 20% and 30%
wall loss. These four profiles were combined with
pressure and temperature data to generate the
installed conditions that engineers needed to
begin simulation of operational loads.
Engineers performed hundreds of simulations
using the TDAS software. The first analysis considered fluid evacuation, a decrease of fluid level
in the borehole, which can be a critical load condition for casing collapse. Fluid levels in the wellbore may become low during the productive life
of a field for several reasons. These include low
productivity, increased extraction during production, sand fill, decreased water injection, and
swabbing and stimulation operations, all of which
had taken place in the Casabe field. When fluid
level drops, the internal pressure no longer balances the external pressure and the casing must
sustain this force. The critical load condition for
casing collapse occurs when the differential pressure is higher than the casing can withstand.

Operational year

> History of casing-collapse frequency. The frequency of collapse events by


year was plotted for the first and second drilling campaigns (top). In 1985 the
highest frequency (28) of reported events was recorded for wells from the first
drilling campaign. For wells from the second drilling campaign, which occurred
during the waterflood period, the peak frequency (20) of reported collapses
occurred in 1988. Both values correspond to the beginning of the waterflood
programs in the northern and southern areas of the Casabe field. A critical
10-year period from 1985 to 1995 was identified as coinciding with the highest
rates of production and water injection (bottom). (Figure adapted from Olarte
et al, reference 13.)

Once all critical limits and conditions for


After analysis of the casing design chosen
for wells during the first drilling campaign, the Casabe field had been obtained, production
engineers discovered that the specifications engineers ran simulations for several casing
had resulted in casing strings that were not strings with different specifications to find an
robust enough to withstand fluid evacuation optimal design for future wells. The TDAS simulacombined with the wall losses observed in tions enabled them to specify an ideal model that
would give an estimated service life of 20 years.
Block VI (previous page, bottom).
The final mechanical analysis was related to This model has been applied to all new wells
the main operational events leading to casing col- drilled throughout the field, with a successful
lapse. The reservoir pressure profile within the reduction in the frequency of recorded casing colORSPR10Michael
MoodyFigure
to less than102% of wells from 2006 to 2009.
formation during water injection
could impact lapse
the casing in both producers and injectors. The This is a dramatic improvement compared with
calculated increase in load from waterflooding events during the previous 60 years, in which 69%
was applied to casing that had passed critical of wells in Block VI experienced collapses.
load conditions in the earlier simulations; the
new test would determine if the additional pressure could cause them to collapse. This analysis
indicated that waterflooding increased the like
lihood of casing collapse.

13

Schematic of First Four Sections of the Original BHA with a Concentric Bit
81/2-in. bit

61/4-in. miscellaneous sub

61/2-in. collar

81/2-in. OD stabilizer

Design Improvements of Bicentric Bits and RWD

Pilot bit

Reamer

Pilot bit

Reamer

28 cutters
5 nozzles
5 blades
13.4-mm cutter

33 cutters
2 nozzles
4 blades
13.4-mm cutter

26 cutters
6 nozzles
4 blades
19-mm cutter

27 cutters
2 nozzles
4 blades
19-mm cutter
Modification: Stabilization
pad and guardian bearing
to drill out

Washout log

Before

After

> New versus old drilling design. Original drilling designs included a traditional polycrystalline diamond
compact bit (top), but swelling clays caused problems during tripping. Engineers designed a reamingwhile-drilling (RWD) BHA that incorporated a smaller pilot bit and a reamer (tan box). RWD enabled
oversized boreholes, which helped compensate for swelling and achieve target diameters for casing.
Further optimizations included larger cutters and a backup set of cutters to improve ROP (blue box). A
change in the number of nozzles and in the nozzle diameter dramatically reduced the washouts that
were causing cementing problems (bottom). The decision to redesign the bit was made partly to cope
with clay reactions. A new mud system has successfully inhibited the clay, and engineers are now
reconsidering a concentric bit to improve drilling efficiency.

Together with the results from the other


major milestones of the field-redevelopment
plan, the new casing designs enabled the alliance
to begin a new drilling campaign. The third
campaign began in 2004, and by 2007 a total of
37wells had been drilled. The alliance wanted to
drill as efficiently as possible to improve production, but problems were encountered during
drilling. These included stuck pipe caused by differential sticking in depleted reservoirs, problematic wiper trips resulting from highly reactive
shales and well control issues introduced by
water influx from the waterflooding.
To address the hole-stability and stuck-pipe
problems, the redevelopment team began by
improving the drilling fluid design. Drillers had
been using the KLA-GARD mud additive to prevent clay hydration, but it had little to no
success at inhibiting reaction in the troublesome
Casabe shales. Consequently, Schlumberger and
M-I SWACO initiated an investigation to find a
more effective shale inhibitor.
Laboratory analysis of 13 different fluid additives was conducted to compare their reactioninhibiting capabilities on Casabe lithology.
Experts deduced, from core and cuttings samples, that the clays and shales were highly reactive to water; therefore, the optimal drilling fluid
must prevent water from contaminating them.
The KLA-STOP mud system was compatible with
the Casabe shales and had the best properties for
inhibiting these reactions: Its fluid composition
includes a quaternary amine that prevents water
from penetrating target formations by depositing
a synthetic coating along the borehole wall.
When the new system was put to use, however,
it did not meet expectations, and the reactive
lithology continued to affect drilling time. Design
iterations continued until 2008; at this point
experts had increased KLA-STOP concentration
to 2% and added 3% to 4% potassium chloride
[KCl]. However, hole problems persisted and
experts concluded that another contaminant
could be affecting the mud system. Using core
samples from a wide range of wells, analysts measured pore throat sizes and laboratory specialists
performed mineralogical analysis to determine
the causes.
14. For more on bicenter bits and reaming-while-drilling
technologies: Rasheed W, Trujillo J, van Oel R,
Anderson M, McDonald S and Shale L:
Reducing Risk and Cost in Diverse Well Construction
Applications: Eccentric Device Drills Concentric Hole
and Offers a Viable Alternative to Underreamers,
paper SPE 92623, presented at the SPE/IADC
Drilling Conference, Amsterdam, February 2325, 2005.

ORSPR10Michael MoodyFigure 14

14

Oilfield Review

CB-1054, was drilled with the new hardware, and


tripping times were notably reduced. Engineers
used the results from the pilot well to optimize the
bit and BHA designs. Experts ran unconfined compressive-strength tests on core samples taken at
numerous depths from several wells in the Casabe
field, which returned values from 585 to 845 psi
[4.0 to 5.8 MPa]. The results from this analysis
allowed the engineers to optimize the number of
primary cutters and to introduce backup cutters
on the drill bit (previous page).
Since the introduction of new technologies
and updated practices, the drilling problems
faced in the Casabe field have been resolved.
Better quality holes have increased the effectiveness of cementing jobs. Tripping times have been
reduced by more than 22%. Higher ROPs have
been achieved with updated cutter configurations and a PowerPak XP extended power steerable hydraulic motor (below). The majority of
new wells in the Casabe field have directional
S-type boreholes deeper than 5,200 ft [1.6 km] to
avoid collisions with existing and new wells or to
reach reserves in fault zones.

18

Spring 2010

New Wells and Results


The sands in the Casabe field have been extensively developed, but it is common in mature
fields to find oil in unexpected places. For example, some zones in the Casabe field were overlooked because the presence of low-resistivity
pay is difficult to detect using traditional resis
tivity tools; alternative tools are discussed later
in this section. Other zones in the field were inaccessible because a lack of structural data made
the drilling risk too high. Using structural information acquired by the alliance, the operator is
now developing the highest section of the Casabe
fields anticline structure in the B sands within
Block V.
Only one well in this block, the wildcat
Casabe-01 located downdip in the flank of the
anticline, exhibited oil shows in the thin sands
within the attic zones, but these zones had never
been tested. A new well, located updip of the
wildcat well, was proposed to develop the A
sands. After reviewing the new 3D seismic data
and the projected length of the oil leg, geoscientists revised the total depth for this newly proposed well and suggested deepening it to reach
the B sands.

Average drilling time


for year

Number of days

15
12
Optimized wells in 2009, average depth 5,400 ft

2010

CB 1137D

CB 1184D

CB 1147D

CB 1110D

CB 1251

CB 1129D

CB 1140D

CB 1271D

CB 1126D

CB 1127D

CB 1125D

2009

2008

2007

2004 to 2006

Well

> Drilling results. The new RWD and bicenter bit drilling technologies have
had18
a considerable impact, improving hole quality, reducing total trip times,
increasing ROP, minimizing stuck-pipe risk, reducing backreaming operations,
and improving the quality of primary cementing jobs. Average drilling-job times
have15been cut15.3
from 15.3 days to 6.8 days.
Average drilling time, days

The tests indicated that concentrations of


smectite, previously identified as the swelling
clay, decreased with depth. But the mineralogical
analysis also revealed the presence of illite and
kaolinite, which were not included as part of the
original mud system investigation. These dispersive clays break off into the mud upon contact
with water, causing drilling problems such as bit
balling, and also increase the viscosity of the
mud, making mud-weight curves less accurate. A
more complete understanding of downhole conditions enabled engineers to design a new mud
system with improved KLA-GARD B and IDCAP D
clay inhibitors. KCl was completely removed from
the fluid, helping to reduce environmental
impact and cleanup.
The mineralogy study showed why drilling in
the waterflooded zones was obviously problematic. Existing methods to avoid water influx
involved shutting in several injection wells up to
several weeks before drilling to reduce pressure.
In one extreme case 40 injectors were taken off
line to drill just 2 wells, which ultimately reduced
production rates.
Experts looked into the different ways they
could reduce water influx while also limiting any
effect on the waterflood programs. Instead of
shutting in injectors they could increase production in layers that were drilling targets, even if
this meant producing large volumes of water. In
addition, connected producers that were currently shut in could be reactivated, and if they
had no pump, there was a possibility that enough
pressure had built up for them to flow naturally.
Only after these steps were taken and deemed
insufficient would the alliance consider shutting
in injectors.
Another part of the investigation involved
reducing injector shut-in time. To avoid water
inflow, injectors were taken off line 15 days
before drilling commenced. However, it was
found that to avoid water delivery from the injector to the drilling location, injectors could be
shut in just before the drill bit penetrated the
connected zone. Also, with the production-based
pressure-reducing measures, injector shut-in
time was reduced from seven days to just two,
depending on the level of production.
The continuing difficulties with stuck pipe and
tripping problems led the alliance to seek other
options. After initial analysis of the drilling-related
issues, engineers selected a bicenter bit and reaming-while-drilling technologies.14 A pilot well,

12

13.5
11.4

9
6
3
0

10.5

6.8

15

Data from this new well included chromatography performed on mud from the B sands,
which revealed well-defined oil shows, and log
interpretation confirmed the oil presence. This
oil is due to a lack of drainage from the updip
wells. New data acquired with the PressureXpress

Resistivity
Invaded Zone
0.1

ohm.m

1,000

AIT 90-in. Array


0.1

ohm.m

1,000

AIT 60-in. Array


0.1
0.1

ohm.m
1,000
AIT 30-in. Array
ohm.m

LWD tool indicated the compartment was at


original pressure. Interpretation of data from
the CMR-Plus combinable magnetic resonance
logs confirmed movable oil (below). The interval
was completed and the well produced 211 bbl/d
[34 m3/d] of oil with no water cut. Historically,

1,000

New well

AIT 20-in. Array


0.1

ohm.m

1,000

AIT 10-in. Array


0.1

ohm.m

1.65

Permeability
0.1

mD

1,000

Schlumberger-Doll Research
0.1

mD

2.65 0

g/cm

Neutron Porosity

Timur-Coates
Depth,
ft

Lithology

Bulk Density

1,000

1,000

60

T2 Distribution

0 0.3

Small-Pore Porosity
Capillary-Bound Fluid

29

T2 Log Mean
ms

3,000

ms

Oil
Sandstone
Bound Water

T2 Cutoff
0.3

Water

3,000

Clay 1

4,850

4,883 to 4,892 ft
MD

A sands

B sands

4,904 to 4,922 ft
MD

4,900

4,950

2,000
PressureXpress data

Hydrostatic

Normal gradient

2,500

5,000

Depth, ft

3,000

Fault 120

Hydrostatic

3,500
Depleted
sands

4,000

Fault 130

4,500
5,000
Original pressure
5,500

500

1,000

1,500
2,000
Pressure, psi

2,500

3,000

3,500

> Discovering the unexpected in Well CSBE 1069. A new well drilled to reach Sand B in Block V (right) reflected a change in previous practices; in this area
the B sands were considered depleted and invaded by water. After interpretation of mud logs indicated oil shows in two locations, Schlumberger acquired
pressure and nuclear magnetic resonance logs in the low-resistivity intervals. Interpretation of the CMR-Plus log (left) confirmed the presence of oil
(green-shaded areas Track 4). Pressure data (inset middle) indicated the bypassed oil zones were at original reservoir pressure (blue box) along the
normal gradient.

16

ORSPR10Michael MoodyFigure 12

Oilfield Review

Density Porosity
40
Resistivity
Invaded Zone
0.1

ohm.m 1,000

40

%
0
Free-Fluid Taper
%
Free Fluid

Density Porosity
30

CMR-Plus Bulk Water

40
%
0
30
%
0
Resistivity
T2 Distribution
CMR-Plus Bulk Fluid
Spontaneous Potential
Invaded Zone
ohm.m 1,000 CMR-Plus 3-ms Porosity
40
%
0 0
29 30
AIT 30-in. Array
%
0 60
mV
40 0.2
ohm.m
T2 Log Mean
Computed Gamma Ray
AIT 60-in. Array
0.1 ohm.m 1,000 Total CMR-Plus Porosity
Bound Water
40
%
0 0.3
ms 3,000
0
gAPI
140 0.2
ohm.m
Permeability
Moved Water
Small-Pore Porosity
Timur-Coates
T2 Cutoff
AIT 30-in. Array
Caliper
Oil
0.1
mD 1,000 Capillary-Bound Fluid 0.3
ms 3,000
ohm.m
6
in.
16 0.2
AIT 60-in. Array

0.1

Depth,
ft

20
Bulk Density
20 1.65

g/cm3

2.65

Neutron Porosity
20 60

5,200

Free water

5,250

5,300

Free oil
5,350

> Log confirmation of low-resistivity pay. Well CSBE 1060 log interpretation indicated shaly sand zones with
salinities exceeding 50,000 ppm NaCl. Identifying oil in the presence of high-salinity formation water may be difficult
because resistivity measurements cannot be used to distinguish the two (red-shaded area in Resistivity track).
Shaly sands have higher water content than sand alone, and an alternative to resistivity measurements is needed.
The CMR-Plus tool, which measures relaxation time of hydrogen molecules to identify oil and water, uncovered the
presence of oil (Free oil, red-shaded area). Based on these results the interval was tested and returned clean oil,
confirming low-resistivity pay in the Casabe field.

experts did not look for oil downdip in the


Casabe field because the deeper formation had
been flagged as a water zone.
The field provided another surprise during a
routine replacement of a retired well. A producing well had been mechanically damaged as a
result of sand production induced by the waterflood. A replacement was planned using improved
design factors garnered from the casing-collapse
investigation. The operator drilled the well into
the C sands for coring purposes. Before drilling,
this zone was considered to be water prone, but
during drilling, mud log interpretation suggested
there might be oil in these deeper sands. Log
interpretation was inconclusive because of the
low resistivity; a new approach was required to
identify movable oil (above).

Spring 2010

Interpretation of CMR-Plus data suggested


movable oil corresponding to the oil shows in the
mud logs. Based on these results, the operator
decided to test the well, which produced
130bbl/d [21 m3/d] of oil with no water cut. After
six months, cumulative production reached
11,000 bbl [1,750 m3] with no water cut. These
values represent additional reserves where none
were expected.
The Casabe field redevelopment project is
now in its sixth year, revitalizing the mature oil
field. Figures gathered at the beginning of 2010
show the Casabe alliance has increased overall
ORSPR10Michael
13
production
rates by nearlyMoodyFigure
250% since 2004. This
improvement is due in part to a fast-track study
that quickly identified the root causes impacting

the efficiency of the waterflood programs in the


field and discovered additional oil reserves using
newly acquired data.
The collaboration between Ecopetrol SA and
Schlumberger has been notably successful and
the partnership is currently scheduled to continue the Casabe story until 2014. Production
wells are being added in the newly defined southern Casabe field, enabled by the 2007 3D seismic
survey and improved logging methods. The new
drilling practices and waterflood technologies are
expected to achieve commercial production rates
for many years to come.
MJM

17