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Drilling Depleted Reservoirs

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1 Drilling Depleted Reservoirs
Maurice Dusseault Module 6-C: Depletion and Changes in Stress: Drilling Depleted Reservoirs: How depletion affects stresses in a generally predictable manner. The changes in stress in a general 3-D stress field, and changes in the deviatoric effective stress during depletion. What are the assumptions behind predictions of stress path?

2 Depleted Reservoir Effects
Depletion of a zone has two major effects: The lateral total stress, sh, drops The effective stresses, sh, sv rise This results in: Drop in PF in the depleted zone Increase in confining stress = stronger rock Consequences: Slower drilling because rock is tougher LC and blowout risks go up substantially More casing strings, LCM squeezes, … More common recently (deeper targets)

3 Reservoir Depletion sh]o
stress sh]o lateral stress redistribution pressure depletion in stratum Pressure depletion leads to an increase in sv, sh and a decrease in sh (Sh). This is the Poisson effect, related to n/(1-n) (n = symbol for Poisson’s Ratio) Increased s means the rock is stronger and tougher to drill. Different bits may be required. The sh “lost” in the reservoir zone must be redistributed above and below the reservoir po pf Dsh sh depleted sand Dp stress concentration sh]f depth

4 Depletion Effect on sh h stress trajectories h concentration
wellbore h concentration far-field stresses h along wellbore At a large scale, horizontal stresses are also redistributed above and below the reservoir. This should lead to much better fracture containment if a thermal or fracture process is used after a period of CHOP. final h Zone after production (Dp) Operational consequences: low pfrac in reservoir -higher pfrac above reservoir -better fracture containment initial h Z

5 Depletion and sh (or PF)
The reservoir shrinks because of the drop in pore pressure sh“arches” around the reservoir In addition to a drop in PF, there is an increase in sh above and below the zone Effects on vertical stress are negligible: Because reservoirs are usually laterally extensive and thin in comparison to L PF can be expected to be low Most serious in HTHP wells, multiple zones

6 Shear, Fracture Opening
sv Zone of pressure decline, -Dp sh Pressure decline leads to an increase in the shear stress This can lead to shearing, which causes fractures and fissures to open This leads to increases in permeability, better reservoir drainage Exceptionally, it can lead to casing problems, etc.

7 Other Depletion Effects
In some rare cases, the reservoir enters a condition of shear failure (or collapse) This may have beneficial effects on the reservoir itself (e.g. Ekofisk in North Sea) Shearing in a dense rock opens fractures Permeability goes up Of course, there may also be issues of casing shear (Dusseault et al., 2001) Free gas development in the reservoir Seismic velocities change, stiffness too Dusseault MB, Bruno MS, Barrera J, Casing shear: causes, cases, cures. SPE Drilling & Completion Vol.16 Num. 2, , June 2001

8 Depletion Failure Path, M-C Plot
t – shear stress Y Mohr-Coulomb plot This example is for a normal fault case, assuming sv constant before Dp, initial in situ conditions shear after Dp n h]b h]a v]b v]a a & b stand for after and before Dp Remember, these are effective stresses, not total stresses

9 Irreconcilable MW in Depletion
po stress sh]i MW limits cannot be reconciled! Special measures are required. It is impossible to find a MW that both controls the pore pressure in thin adjacent undepleted sands, and also avoids LC in the depleted zone This effect is greatest in deep HPHT reservoirs that are massively depleted (large oil reservoir drawdown) undepleted sand lateral stress depletion MW to control po in undepleted sands depleted sand max. MW to avoid fracturing undepleted sand depth

10 A Typical GoM Case A was discovered and depleted to 0.2po
50 100 150 A was discovered and depleted to 0.2po Now, we want to drill through to B & C Or, A & B depleted, and our target is C Small gas sands are not depleted and present blowout hazard Lowered PF in zones present LC hazard stress, pressure, MPa 1 pore pressure, po 2 thick shale sequence lateral stress, hmin 3 vertical stress, v 4 gas sand Target A gas sands 5 Target B gas sand Target C 6 depth - kilometres

11 Gradient Plot, GoM Case 1.0 2.0 Same as the previous plot, only now in mud density units Colored lines are the original state of po, s 2.0 = 16.7 ppg MW Original target(s) A&B are depleted The goal is to drill to Target C without: Too many casings Lost circ, blowout Challenging! gradient plot, mud density 1 16.7 ppg po hmin 2 v thick shale sequence 3 po 4 gas sand Target A gas sands 5 Target B gas sand Target C 6 depth - kilometres

12 What Happens in the Reservoir
Reservoir is thin, extensive, so sv constant No horizontal strains can take place Thus, the horizontal total stress changes are governed only by the Poisson’s ratio effect and the change in pore pressure σv σh σh ex = ey = 0 po σv

13 New Fracture Gradient Calculation
Determine depleted pore pressure in ppg Determine pore pressure change in ppg New PF is fracture gradient is : PF = PF]i + Dp·(1-2n)/(1-n) Where PF]i is the initial fracture gradient Dp is the change in reservoir pressure in ppg (remember, this is a –ve number) n is Poisson’s ratio, a dimensionless value You can do these in any units (density, ppg, MPa, psi), as long as you are consistent

14 All Stresses After Depletion
All the new stresses can be calculated New pore pressure is pf, change, Dp = po - pf Initial sv]i = sv – po, final is sv]f = sv – pf Horizontal effective stress change = Dsh = Dsv·n/(1-n) = -Dp·n/(1-n) (Dp is –ve) New horizontal effective stress = sh]f = sh]i - Dp·n/(1-n) (where Dp is –ve) PF = sh]f/z (density units where water = 1) Careful about the signs (+ve, -ve) of terms

15 Example of Depletion Calculation
po = 14 ppg, pf = 4 ppg, Dp = -10 ppg PF]i = shmin = 16 ppg, assume n = 0.2 PF]f = PF]i + Dp·(1-2n)/(1-n) PF]f = 16 ppg +(-10·(1 - 20.2)/( )) ppg = 16 ppg – 7.5 ppg = 8.5 ppg This is almost the gradient of H20! Lost circulation will be unavoidable! There will still be some thin 14 ppg gas sands above or below the zone! Let’s discuss choice of Poisson’s ratio

16 Choice of Poisson’s Ratio
In very shaley sands, n ~ 0.28 – 0.32 In clean sands, n ~ 0.23 – 0.25 In fractured reservoirs, n ~ 0.18 – 0.22 Extremely fractured, as low as You can use geophysical log estimates (~) Better, you can use calibrations based on real measurements, methods have been published It is best to calibrate to your own basin, so collect the data as it becomes available

17 Back to Our Example 1.0 2.0 Now, there is no MW possible to drill through the zones without exceeding PF or below po We need to find a new strategy for drilling gradient plot, mud density 1 16.7 ppg po PF = hmin 2 v thick shale sequence 3 po 4 Intact thin gas sands at original po Two depleted reservoirs, low PF New target reservoir Risks of blowouts, LC 5 6 depth - kilometres

18 The Casings & Liners Option
Requires expensive casing strings or liners This approach usually results in two extra strings for each depleted zone Clearly, it is prohibitively expensive if there is more than one zone with active charged gas sands between Are there other options? Yes, but there are some risks involved, or, there is additional time involved Let’s look at some options

19 Option One: Use Casings/Liners
1.0 2.0 Drill to below A with 16 ppg MW, set casing Lower MW to 13 ppg, drill to B, set casing Raise MW to 16.7, drill to C, set casing Lower MW to 13.5 ppg, drill to D, set casing Raise MW to 16.7 ppg, drill to TD, set production casing/liner Now you have only a 5” hole and a 3.5” “casing” gradient plot, mud density 1 16.7 ppg PF 2 13.0 ppg 3 4 A B 5 C D 6 depth - kilometres

20 Case with no Overlying Gas Sands
This is a favorable condition: Drill to bottom of depleted zone w. low MW LCM squeeze in depleted zone to raise PF Raise MW to drill ahead, resqueeze if needed LCM squeezing is performed as much as necessary to raise MW to po in gas sands However, remember the shales! po is still high in the shales If MW < po(shale), massive sloughing possible This option is similar to underbalanced drilling Thin undetected gas stringers remain a risk!

21 Perhaps UB drilling will help in this zone
No Overlying Gas Sands Drill down to top of zone with as low MW as possible Add LCM to mud before you enter zone Build mud & LCM to keep up with losses Set casing below zone Increase MW to handle po in gas sands Drill to Target Perhaps UB drilling will help in this zone Depleted Gas sands Target

22 Depleting the Thin Gas Sands
If the original wells are still available… Perforate into all the thin gas sands identified on logs or drilling records Deplete with maximum drawdown to reduce PF to the same as adjacent depleted zones Drill with low MW, set casing above target, increase MW, drill into target… Risks? Some thin sands may be missed Depletion may be a lengthy process Drill immediately after depletion and set casing as quickly as possible (low recharge time)

23 Living with Some Gas Influx
If the gas sands are tight and thin… Gas influx rate may be manageable during drilling with the MW less than the pressure in the gas sands (underbalanced) Also, shales cannot be so weak that they slough into the hole with the low MW used! Mud de-gassers, gas collection from closed flow lines, etc. are safety measures This can be used only with great caution in the right circumstances Unlikely in sloughing shale regions

24 Is it Possible to Avoid the Zones?
If the depleted zones are in a fault block, or are limited channel sands, avoidance… Using seismics, drill into zone to avoid the other zones Good stratigraphic/seismic data are vital Well trajectory for avoiding the depleted sequence Gas sands Depleted Target Faults isolating the productive sequence

25 Can Old Wells be Re-Used?
If the old wells are in good condition, they can be plugged carefully and used to drill Multilaterals are also possible… Squeeze with non-shrinking cement, perhaps patches too Repeat squeeze perhaps? Drill ahead (with bicenter bit?) Install liner (expandable liner to save hole size?) Complete the well

26 LCM Squeezes in Depleted Zones
Drill to just above the depleted zone with as low a MW as feasible Place high LCM mud at bit, and drill into zone OB; LC will occur, but will also tend to “pack off” the depleted zone Drill cautiously through zone, continuing to allow fracturing with the high LCM mud Once through zone, it may be advisable to close annulus and slowly squeeze extra LCM into the depleted zone Measure LOT in depleted zone for safety

27 How Does a LCM Squeeze Work?
hole shmin sHMAX Zone of increased sq Multiple fractures Short, wide fractures created This increases the stresses locally around the wellbore Effect can be increased by repeated squeezes to make the tangential stresses higher in a larger zone around well However, remember that does not increase stresses beyond the extent of the fractures. If a high po is encountered lower, LC may take place sq must go up as material packed in

28 Some Rig Capabilities Needed
For drilling HPHT wells, and for drilling deep through depleted zones High & variable load capacity for riser and mud storage on offshore rigs High pump capability Large diameter kill line and choke line needed for quick response Early kick detection system Pressure sensors on BOP at mud-line level Gas handler on marine riser Pressure measurement devices on MWD LCM pill mixing facility for LCM squeezes

29 Depleted Zone Options Summary
Use the old wells if possible Deepen wells after zonal isolation Can be used to deplete charged thin sands Can the new well trajectory avoid zones? Live with gas cut mud (if shales are strong) Drill with designed LCM material in mud Use LCM squeeze in depleted zones Place strategic casings and liners Use bicentered bits, expandable casings to maintain reasonable hole diameter with depth Combine one or more of these options

30 Lessons Learned- Depleted Cases
Depleted reservoirs present singular challenges for drilling Options include avoidance, use of LCM, multiple casings/liners, use of old wells… The risks involved are higher than in conventional reservoir development Careful surveillance during drilling Special drilling equipment… Bicenter bits and expandable liners represent a useful, albeit costly approach

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