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Title: An Integrated Approach to Characterizing Bypassed Oil in Heterogeneous and Fractured Reservoirs Using Partitioning Tracers

Abstract

We explore the use of efficient streamline-based simulation approaches for modeling partitioning interwell tracer tests in hydrocarbon reservoirs. Specifically, we utilize the unique features of streamline models to develop an efficient approach for interpretation and history matching of field tracer response. A critical aspect here is the underdetermined and highly ill-posed nature of the associated inverse problems. We have investigated the relative merits of the traditional history matching ('amplitude inversion') and a novel travel time inversion in terms of robustness of the method and convergence behavior of the solution. We show that the traditional amplitude inversion is orders of magnitude more non-linear and the solution here is likely to get trapped in local minimum, leading to inadequate history match. The proposed travel time inversion is shown to be extremely efficient and robust for practical field applications. The streamline approach is generalized to model water injection in naturally fractured reservoirs through the use of a dual media approach. The fractures and matrix are treated as separate continua that are connected through a transfer function, as in conventional finite difference simulators for modeling fractured systems. A detailed comparison with a commercial finite difference simulator shows very good agreement. Furthermore, an examination ofmore » the scaling behavior of the computation time indicates that the streamline approach is likely to result in significant savings for large-scale field applications. We also propose a novel approach to history matching finite-difference models that combines the advantage of the streamline models with the versatility of finite-difference simulation. In our approach, we utilize the streamline-derived sensitivities to facilitate history matching during finite-difference simulation. The use of finite-difference model allows us to account for detailed process physics and compressibility effects. The approach is very fast and avoids much of the subjective judgments and time-consuming trial-and-errors associated with manual history matching. We demonstrate the power and utility of our approach using a synthetic example and two field examples. We have also explored the use of a finite difference reservoir simulator, UTCHEM, for field-scale design and optimization of partitioning interwell tracer tests. The finite-difference model allows us to include detailed physics associated with reactive tracer transport, particularly those related with transverse and cross-streamline mechanisms. We have investigated the potential use of downhole tracer samplers and also the use of natural tracers for the design of partitioning tracer tests. Finally, we discuss several alternative ways of using partitioning interwell tracer tests (PITTs) in oil fields for the calculation of oil saturation, swept pore volume and sweep efficiency, and assess the accuracy of such tests under a variety of reservoir conditions.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Texas Engineering Experiment Station
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
914421
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-02NT15345
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; FRACTURED RESERVOIRS; OIL FIELDS; OIL SATURATION; SIMULATION; SWEEP EFFICIENCY; TRANSFER FUNCTIONS

Citation Formats

Akhil Datta-Gupta. An Integrated Approach to Characterizing Bypassed Oil in Heterogeneous and Fractured Reservoirs Using Partitioning Tracers. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/914421.
Akhil Datta-Gupta. An Integrated Approach to Characterizing Bypassed Oil in Heterogeneous and Fractured Reservoirs Using Partitioning Tracers. United States. doi:10.2172/914421.
Akhil Datta-Gupta. Sun . "An Integrated Approach to Characterizing Bypassed Oil in Heterogeneous and Fractured Reservoirs Using Partitioning Tracers". United States. doi:10.2172/914421. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/914421.
@article{osti_914421,
title = {An Integrated Approach to Characterizing Bypassed Oil in Heterogeneous and Fractured Reservoirs Using Partitioning Tracers},
author = {Akhil Datta-Gupta},
abstractNote = {We explore the use of efficient streamline-based simulation approaches for modeling partitioning interwell tracer tests in hydrocarbon reservoirs. Specifically, we utilize the unique features of streamline models to develop an efficient approach for interpretation and history matching of field tracer response. A critical aspect here is the underdetermined and highly ill-posed nature of the associated inverse problems. We have investigated the relative merits of the traditional history matching ('amplitude inversion') and a novel travel time inversion in terms of robustness of the method and convergence behavior of the solution. We show that the traditional amplitude inversion is orders of magnitude more non-linear and the solution here is likely to get trapped in local minimum, leading to inadequate history match. The proposed travel time inversion is shown to be extremely efficient and robust for practical field applications. The streamline approach is generalized to model water injection in naturally fractured reservoirs through the use of a dual media approach. The fractures and matrix are treated as separate continua that are connected through a transfer function, as in conventional finite difference simulators for modeling fractured systems. A detailed comparison with a commercial finite difference simulator shows very good agreement. Furthermore, an examination of the scaling behavior of the computation time indicates that the streamline approach is likely to result in significant savings for large-scale field applications. We also propose a novel approach to history matching finite-difference models that combines the advantage of the streamline models with the versatility of finite-difference simulation. In our approach, we utilize the streamline-derived sensitivities to facilitate history matching during finite-difference simulation. The use of finite-difference model allows us to account for detailed process physics and compressibility effects. The approach is very fast and avoids much of the subjective judgments and time-consuming trial-and-errors associated with manual history matching. We demonstrate the power and utility of our approach using a synthetic example and two field examples. We have also explored the use of a finite difference reservoir simulator, UTCHEM, for field-scale design and optimization of partitioning interwell tracer tests. The finite-difference model allows us to include detailed physics associated with reactive tracer transport, particularly those related with transverse and cross-streamline mechanisms. We have investigated the potential use of downhole tracer samplers and also the use of natural tracers for the design of partitioning tracer tests. Finally, we discuss several alternative ways of using partitioning interwell tracer tests (PITTs) in oil fields for the calculation of oil saturation, swept pore volume and sweep efficiency, and assess the accuracy of such tests under a variety of reservoir conditions.},
doi = {10.2172/914421},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • We explore the use of efficient streamline-based simulation approaches for modeling partitioning interwell tracer tests in hydrocarbon reservoirs. Specifically, we utilize the unique features of streamline models to develop an efficient approach for interpretation and history matching of field tracer response. A critical aspect here is the underdetermined and highly ill-posed nature of the associated inverse problems. We have adopted an integrated approach whereby we combine data from multiple sources to minimize the uncertainty and non-uniqueness in the interpreted results. For partitioning interwell tracer tests, these are primarily the distribution of reservoir permeability and oil saturation distribution. A novel approachmore » to multiscale data integration using Markov Random Fields (MRF) has been developed to integrate static data sources from the reservoir such as core, well log and 3-D seismic data. We have also explored the use of a finite difference reservoir simulator, UTCHEM, for field-scale design and optimization of partitioning interwell tracer tests. The finite-difference model allows us to include detailed physics associated with reactive tracer transport, particularly those related with transverse and cross-streamline mechanisms. We have investigated the potential use of downhole tracer samplers and also the use of natural tracers for the design of partitioning tracer tests. Finally, the behavior of partitioning tracer tests in fractured reservoirs is investigated using a dual-porosity finite-difference model.« less
  • We explore the use of efficient streamline-based simulation approaches for modeling and analysis partitioning interwell tracer tests in heterogeneous and fractured hydrocarbon reservoirs. The streamline approach is generalized to model water injection in naturally fractured reservoirs through the use of a dual media approach. The fractures and matrix are treated as separate continua that are connected through a transfer function, as in conventional finite difference simulators for modeling fractured systems. A detailed comparison with a commercial finite difference simulator shows very good agreement. Furthermore, an examination of the scaling behavior of the computation time indicates that the streamline approach ismore » likely to result in significant savings for large-scale field applications. We also propose a novel approach to history matching finite-difference models that combines the advantage of the streamline models with the versatility of finite-difference simulation. In our approach, we utilize the streamline-derived sensitivities to facilitate history matching during finite-difference simulation. The use of finite-difference model allows us to account for detailed process physics and compressibility effects. The approach is very fast and avoids much of the subjective judgments and time-consuming trial-and-errors associated with manual history matching. We demonstrate the power and utility of our approach using a synthetic example and two field examples. Finally, we discuss several alternative ways of using partitioning interwell tracer tests (PITTs) in oil fields for the calculation of oil saturation, swept pore volume and sweep efficiency, and assess the accuracy of such tests under a variety of reservoir conditions.« less
  • We explore the use of efficient streamline-based simulation approaches for modeling and analysis partitioning interwell tracer tests in heterogeneous and fractured hydrocarbon reservoirs. We compare the streamline-based history matching techniques developed during the first two years of the project with the industry standard assisted history matching. We enhance the widely used assisted history matching in two important aspects that can significantly improve its efficiency and effectiveness. First, we utilize streamline-derived analytic sensitivities to relate the changes in reservoir properties to the production response. These sensitivities can be computed analytically and contain much more information than that used in the assistedmore » history matching. Second, we utilize the sensitivities in an optimization procedure to determine the spatial distribution and magnitude of the changes in reservoir parameters needed to improve the history-match. By intervening at each iteration during the optimization process, we can retain control over the history matching process as in assisted history matching. This allows us to accept, reject, or modify changes during the automatic history matching process. We demonstrate the power of our method using two field examples with model sizes ranging from 10{sup 5} to 10{sup 6} grid blocks and with over one hundred wells. We have also extended the streamline-based production data integration technique to naturally fractured reservoirs using the dual porosity approach. The principal features of our method are the extension of streamline-derived analytic sensitivities to account for matrix-fracture interactions and the use of our previously proposed generalized travel time inversion for history matching. Our proposed workflow has been demonstrated by using both a dual porosity streamline simulator and a commercial finite difference simulator. Our approach is computationally efficient and well suited for large scale field applications in naturally fractured reservoirs with changing field conditions. This considerably broadens the applicability of the streamline-based analysis of tracer data and field production history for characterization of heterogeneous and fractured reservoirs.« less
  • This report presents an efficient trajectory-based approach to integrate transient pressure data into high-resolution reservoir and aquifer models. The method involves alternating travel time and peak amplitude matching of pressure response using inverse modeling and is particularly well-suited for high resolution subsurface characterization using hydraulic tomography or pressure interference tests. Compared to travel time inversion only, our proposed approach results in a significantly improved match of the pressure response at the wells and also better estimates of subsurface properties. This is accomplished with very little increase in computational cost. Utilizing the concept of a ''diffusive'' time of flight derived frommore » an asymptotic solution of the diffusivity equation, we develop analytical approaches to estimate the sensitivities for travel time and peak amplitude of pressure response to subsurface properties. The sensitivities are then used in an iterative least-squared minimization to match the pressure data. We illustrate our approach using synthetic and field examples. In the field application at a fractured limestone formation, the predominant fracture patterns emerging from the inversion are shown to be consistent with independent geophysical experiments and borehole data.« less
  • Major accomplishments of this project occurred in three primary categories: (1) fractured reservoir location and characteristics prediction for exploration and production planning; (2) implications of geologic data analysis and synthesis for exploration and development programs; and (3) fractured reservoir production modeling. The results in each category will be discussed in turn. Seven detailed reports have been processed separately.