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Learning Objectives

The importance of reservoir drive


mechanisms in terms of long term well
performance and well completion design
The impact of fluid compressibility on the
wells production profile.
The components of the production system,
their interaction and the optimisation of well
performance.
The options and benefits of fluid injection for
pressure maintenance.
The basic principles of artificial lift methods.

Production Technology

Reservoir Production Concepts


Professor Bahman Tohidi
Institute of Petroleum Engineering
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)131 451 3672
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3127
Email: B.Tohidi@hw.ac.uk
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Reservoir Production Concept

Reservoir Depletion Concepts

If the reservoir is above the bubble point, then


expansion of the oil in place
If the reservoir is below the bubble point then
expansion of the co-existing oil and gas phases
Expansion of any overlying gas cap

Expansion of an underlying aquifer


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Reservoir Drive Mechanisms

Reservoir Production Concept

October 06

Reservoir Production Concept

Reservoir Drive Mechanisms

There are a number of natural (primary) drive


mechanisms and a reservoir may be under
the influence of one or more of these
mechanisms simultaneously. They are:
Depletion Drive
Solution Gas Drive
Gas-Cap Expansion Drive
Water (Aquifer) Drive
Gravity Drive (Drainage)
Compaction Drive
Combination Drive
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In most cases the system cannot maintain


its pressure and the overall pressure in the
reservoir will decline.
The pressure stored in the reservoir in the
form of compressed fluids and rock
represents a significant natural energy
available for the production of fluids and
requires to be optimised.
The mechanism by which a reservoir
produces fluid and compensates for the
production is termed the reservoir drive
mechanism.

Compaction of the reservoir rock matrix


Expansion of the connate water
Expansion of hydrocarbon phases present in the
reservoir:

Reservoir Production Concept

Reservoir Production Concept

Reservoir Depletion Concepts

Upon fluid production the reservoir will


deplete and must therefore compensate by:

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Secondary Recovery
Water injection
Gas injection
Enhanced Oil Recovery
Viscosity reduction
Interfacial tension reduction
Changing mobility and relative mobility
Thermal cracking
In-situ combustion
Air injection
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Reservoir Production Concept

Depletion Drive

Solution Gas Drive


If a reservoir contains oil initially above its
bubble point then, as production continues,
the remaining fluid will expand.
This will lead to a reduction in pressure and
eventually the pressure within the reservoir
will drop below the bubble point.
Gas will then come out of solution and any
subsequent production of fluids will lead to
an expansion of both the oil and gas phases
within the reservoir.

For reservoirs above their bubble point,


i.e., undersaturated reservoirs
Expansion of the oil to compensate for
fluid production and pressure loss

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Reservoir Production Concept

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Reservoir Production Concept

Absolute permeability

ko

kw

0
0

Swc

Sw

1-Sor

Effective Permeability, ko, kw


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Solution Gas Drive

Reservoir Production Concept

End point relative


permeability

kro

0
0

krw

Swc

Sw

1-Sor

Relative Permeability, kro, krw

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Solution Gas Drive

The gas will come out of solution as


dispersed bubbles throughout the reservoir.
However, the relative permeability to the
gas will not be significant until the gas
saturation within the pore space increases.
Gas which has come out of solution will
build up in the reservoir until its saturation
allows it to be produced.
The produced GOR may be observed to
decline at surface once the bubble point is
reached.
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Absolute, Effective and Relative Permeabilities

Solution Gas Drive

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Eventually, free gas will be produced in


increasing quantities with the produced oil.
Gas may migrate to the top of the oil in the
reservoir and form a free gas cap.
The other effect will be a reduction in the oil
production rate due to an increase in oil
viscosity and density, hence a decrease in
oil relative permeability.
Later the observed production GOR will
steadily increase due to increased gas
saturation and mobility.
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Gas-Cap Expansion Drive

Gas-Cap Expansion Drive

The reservoir may have a gas cap, or the gas


cap may form as a result of gas migration in
solution gas drive mechanism.
The production of oil will result in expansion
of the gas cap, compensating for the energy
loss to some extent.
As a result the gas cap moves downward,
pushing oil towards the producing wells.
The performance of a gas cap drive reservoir
in terms of the oil production rate and GOR
will vary from that of a solution gas drive.

The pressure in the reservoir will in general


decline more slowly, due to the capacity for
expansion within the gas cap.
The volume of the gas cap will depend upon:

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average reservoir pressure


bubble point pressure
GOR and hydrocarbon composition

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Gas-Cap Expansion Drive

Water Drive Reservoir

For such a reservoir, allowing reservoir


pressure to drop should maximise the size of
the gas cap and provide maximum expansion
capability; however, it will also reduce oil
mobility.
Hence, there are two opposing effects.
The production rate should be optimised to
minimise gas coning and fingering.
Ultimate performance is generally influenced
by the capacity to control gas break through
(gas conning and fingering).

The production of oil will result in aquifer


expansion.
Water compressibility is very low, but aquifer
volume is generally very large
Good vertical permeability is essential.
The water normally contained within an
aquifer system can be defined as edge or
bottom water.
The net effect of water influx into the reservoir
may prevent reservoir pressure drop.

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Water Drive Reservoir

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An edgewater drive reservoir

In the majority of cases, the aquifer is of a


finite size and accordingly both the reservoir
and aquifer pressure will decline in situations
where the production rate is significant.
Production rate should be optimised to allow
uniform water movement and prevent water
coning and fingering.
Water injection for secondary recovery
provide similar support.

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A bottom water drive reservoir

Water Drive Reservoir


The expansion of the aquifer will lead
elevation in OWC.
The rise in the OWC may not be uniform. This
phenomenon is referred to as coning.
Fingering due to heterogeneities may occur
and this could lead to preferential movement
of water through the more conductive layers.
Many fields, particularly in the North Sea, are
artificially placed on water drive.

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Water Drive Reservoir

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Performance of a well with water drive

This extends the period of production above


the bubble point, maximise rates and
improves recovery by immiscible
displacement.
Water is less compressible than oil or gas
and hence less able to provide the expansion
volume required in the reservoir to
compensate for production.
Water conning and fingering.
It offers advantages in terms of ease of
reinjection, safety, availability and safer
handling compared to gas.
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Gravity Drive (Gravity Drainage)

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Gravity drive process

Gravity drainage occurs when gas cap


expansion bypasses oil sections in its
downward movement.
The density difference between oil and gas
results in oil downdip movement.
For such a system to be effective requires
maximum structural dip, low oil viscosity,
good vertical and horizontal permeability.
Oil is produced from wells near to OWC.

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Reservoir Production Concept

Compaction Drive

Compaction drive process

Reservoir fluid is compressed by the weight


of overlying sediments and balanced by pore
pressure.
If fluid is withdrawn from the reservoir, the
overlying sediments can compact lower
sediments.
The will result in a reduction in porosity and
reduction in fluid volume.
Compaction probably occurs to some limited
extent in many reservoirs.

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Combination Drive

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The concept of the generalised form of


the material balance is shown.

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The energy stored within the reservoir is


available to cause fluids to flow from the
reservoir to the wellbore and then to
surface.
The design of a producing system which
efficiently uses this available energy to
maximise the production from the
reservoir is fundamental to efficient well
completion design.

In the production of oil from the reservoir


to a storage tank, the oil has to flow
through a variety of restrictions which will
consume some of the energy stored
within the compressed fluids and
represented by their pressure and
temperature.
The combined system of the reservoir,
the wellbore and the surface treatment
facilities is generally referred to as the
production system.

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General Description

The Composite Production System

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General Form of Material Balance

In the majority of reservoirs the production of


fluids is not controlled by one but often by
several drive mechanisms in combination.
Generally one mechanism is the dominating
drive, but two or more mechanisms could act
together, e.g., aquifer drive + gas cap drive
In such situations the response of the
reservoir to production is less predictable.
It is important to monitor WOC and GOC in a
reservoir.
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Pressure Drops
The
Composite
Production
System

Pressure drop due to oil flow through the


reservoir rock to reach the drainage location
of individual wells.
This reservoir pressure drop, or, as it is
sometimes called, the drawdown.
Then fluid has to be able to leave the
formation and enter the wellbore.
Open hole, slotted liner, cased hole

The pressure drop generated by the


perforations and other near wellbore
completion equipment is known as the
bottomhole completion pressure drop.
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Utilisation of Reservoir Pressure

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Fluid Injection into the Reservoir

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(PRES - PSEP) = Available pressure drop:


PTOT =PRES+PBHC+PVL+PSURF+PCHOKE
All the pressure drop terms are rate dependent, hence
Total system pressure drop:
PTOT=[PRES+PBHC+PVL+PSURF+PCHOKE ]Q
Each of the pressure drops can be minimised either
individually or collectively to produce a maximum rate
for the available pressure drop. This is known as
production system optimisation.
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Fluid Injection into the Reservoir

When the average pressure in the declines, the


available energy declines and oil production rate falls.
The principal application of fluid injection is to try and
balance the reservoir fluid volume withdrawn and
restrict the rate of production decline.

October 06

Reservoir Production Concept

Utilisation of Reservoir Pressure

In the development of a hydrocarbon reservoir,


the energy stored up within the compressed
state of the reservoir fluids has in the case of
natural flow, to provide the total pressure loss
in the producing system.
Based upon a fixed operating pressure for the
separator, we can formulate the pressure loss
distribution as follows:PRES=PRES+PBHC+PVL+PSURF+PCHOKE+PSEP
PVL = PFRICT + PHHD + PKE
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The decision for water or gas injection is influenced by


fluid availability and characteristics.
Water injection is of particular importance since water
is usually available either as produced water or sea
water. It also requires minimal re-pressurisation and
treatment. However, it is only slightly compressible.
Gas injection is more compressible and hence more
suitable to maintain reservoir pressure but it requires
considerable compression. The supply of gas would
be a predominant factor and its commercial value is
important and this might preclude its use for reinjection

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Gas Lift

Supplementing the Vertical Lift Process


There are several techniques which are available to
assist in bringing oil to surface and these are
collectively referred to as Artificial Lift Techniques.
These processes are widely applied. In some cases,
they are essential to the initial economic development
whilst in other cases they are implemented later in the
life of the field.
The various techniques can be further classified into
those which simply provide additional energy to assist
the lift process and those which provide some
reduction in the vertical lift pressure gradient.

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It involves the injection of gas normally into annulus.


The gas enters the flowstream within the production
tubing at some specific depth or a series of valves.
It provides a stepwise increase in the gas liquid ratio of
the fluids at that depth and above the injection point.
This results in a reduction of the bottomhole pressure
and offloading of the well.
To be able to enter the tubing, the pressure of the gas
in the annulus, must be greater than the pressure of
the fluids in the tubing at that same depth.

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Gas Lift

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Gas Lift
PVL = PFRICT + PHHD + PKE
By injecting gas, the GLR of the flowing fluid is
increased, ie, its effective density and accordingly
PHHD is reduced.
In addition, the compressibility of the gas will assist in
the lift process since as the gas rises up the tubing
with the liquid it will expand, causing an increase in the
tubing flow velocity.
However, as the gas expands it will introduce some
increase in the frictional pressure losses which will
negate some of the advantage due to the reduced
hydrostatic head.

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Gas Lift

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Gas Lift

Increasing gas injection volume, the hydrostatic head


will continue to decline towards a minimum gradient.
Benefits in reduced density may incrementally reduce
as the increase in frictional pressure loss will increase
significantly after a certain gas injection rate.

PTOT=[PRES+PBHC+PVL+PSURF+PCHOKE ]Q
If the system undergoes gas lift, then PTOT will be
held constant, but PVL will decrease to a minimum
and Q will increase through a maximum.
Thereafter PVL will increase and Q will decrease.
Gas lift is a very effective method of increasing the
production rate, provided that:
the gas is effectively dispersed in the flowing fluid column and
the optimum injection rate is not exceeded.

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Downhole Pumping

Electric Submersible Pumps

PRES=PRES+PBHC+PV+PSURF+PCHOKE+PSEP
if a pump system is used, then an additional term is
introduced to reflect the supplementary energy
provided PPUMP.
This will allow a higher production rate to be attained:

PRES+ PPUMP =
PRES+PBHC+PV+PSURF+PCHOKE+PSEP
There are four principal methods which are:
Electric Submersible Pumps
Hydraulic Downhole Pumps
Sucker Rod Pumping
Jet Pumping
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This consists of a multi stage centrifugal pump


located at some position downhole usually as
an integral part of the tubing string.
The requirement for the pump suction to be
flooded will dictate setting depth in the well for
the pump.
An electric cable run with the production tubing
supplies the power from surface to the
downhole pump.
As an alternative the pump can be run on
coiled tubing or on its power cable.
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Electric Submersible Pumps

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Normally run at depth in the tubing string, utilises


hydraulic fluid power fed down a separate small bore
tubing parallel to the tubing string.
Alternatively, the fluid can be injected via the casing
tubing annulus.
Fluid pumped down the line at high pressure powers
the drive unit for the downhole pump.
The hydraulic fluid usually joins the flowing well fluid in
the tubing and returns to surface.
Alternatively the fluid can be ducted back to surface
separately.
The drive unit can range from a reciprocating piston
for low flow rates, to a turbine for rates which exceed
20,000 BLPD
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Hydraulic Downhole Pumps

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Sucker Rod Pumping


In this system, a plunger, cylinder and standing valve
system is located downhole as part of the tubing string
and connected by steel rods to a vertical reciprocation
system at surface.
The surface reciprocation system is referred to as a
nodding donkeyand is driven by a beam
suspended on a pivot point and creates reciprocation
through a rotary wheel.
This type of system is suitable for very low to medium
production rates i.e. < 1,000 BLPD and can operate
with wells having no flowing bottomhole pressure.

The drive unit


can range from a
reciprocating
piston for low
flow rates, to a
turbine for rates
which exceed
20,000 BLPD

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Hydraulic Downhole Pumps

This type of pump


is ideally suited to
relatively high
rates of
production, from
1000 to 25,000
BLPD.

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Jet Pumping
In jet pumping, fluid is
pumped down to the
downhole pump where it
is allowed to expand
through an orifice and,
using the venturi
concept, this provides
suction at the base of the
well to lift fluid.

Sucker
Rod
Pumping

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October 06

Summary

Well design is crucial to the control of fluid movement


into the wellbore, their retention in the reservoir and
hence maximising recovery and rates.
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Exercise 1

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Solution: Exercise 1

A reservoir has been estimated to contain


100 MMSTB of oil (bubble point <1500 psia)
at a pressure of 5000 psia.
Based on an average isothermal
compressibility of 20x10 6 /psi between the
initial pressure and a proposed abandonment
pressure of 1500 psia, estimate the recovery
volume by depletion drive and the recovery
factor considering only the oil phase
expansion?
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The importance of reservoir drive


mechanisms in terms of long term well
performance and well completion design
The impact of fluid compressibility on the
wells production profile.
The components of the production system,
their interaction and the optimisation of well
performance.
The options and benefits of fluid injection for
pressure maintenance.
The basic principles of artificial lift methods.

Reservoir recovery performance and production rate profile


is controlled by the reservoir drive mechanism
Reservoir production can be maximised by system pressure
drop optimisation
Maintaining production rates can be achieved by fluid
injection
Artificial lift processes can maintain or enhance production
rates
Gas lift reduces the hydrostatic head pressure loss
Pumps provide additional energy to assist lifting oil to
surface

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Learning Objectives

In this section we have considered general concepts


of reservoir performance and well productivity:

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Fluid compressibility C=(dV/V).(1/dP)


Fluid expansion volume = dVo = C.Vo .dP
Vo = 100 x 106 STB Co = 20 x 10-6 / psi
Pi = 5000 psia Paban = 1500 psia
dVo = 20 x 10-6 x 100 x 106 x (5000 1500) =
7,000,000 STB
Oil recovered by straight depletion drive
based on an average fluid compressibility = 7
x 106 STB
Recovery factor is 7/100=7%
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Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Compare the options of gas and water


injection for both offshore and onshore oil
reservoir applications in terms of potential
performance, safety, economics and
logistics?

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For the reservoir in question one, how much


oil could be produced and what recovery
achieved if the reservoir were connected to
an overlying gas cap of 25% volume
compared to the oil column and an average
compressibility of 400x10-6/psi?
Assume that a gravity stable displacement
will exist and the well design will permit
retention of the gas in the structure.

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Solution: Exercise 3

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Exercise 4

The oil recovery will be increased by an amount


equal to the expansion of the gas cap as it expands
down into the oil zone.

Repeat exercise (3) for the oil reservoir


without a gas cap but with an underlying
aquifer of a volume 10 times that of the oil
column and an average compressibility of
8x10-6 / psi

Theoretical total oil recovery is 42 x 106 STB which


represents a recovery of 42% of the oil in place,
assuming all the gas in the gas cap remains in the
reservoir.
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Solutions: Exercise 4

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Exercises 5

In this case, the oil recovery will be increased


by an amount equal to the expansion of the
water filled reservoir as it expands up into the
oil zone.
dVw=8x10-6x10x100x106x(50001500)=
28x106 STB
dVtotal=dVo+dVw=(7 + 28)x106=35x106 STB
Theoretical total oil recovery is 35 x 106 STB
which represents a recovery of 35% of the oil
in place.
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Compare and discuss the results of questions


1,3, and 4

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Solutions: Exercises 5

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