Article

The Comparative Study of Thermal and Chemical EOR in Unconsolidated Siliciclastic Reservoir Containing Medium Heavy Oil

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Abstract

Pru Krathiam (PKM) is a small onshore, unconsolidated sandstone reservoir in Thailand containing medium heavy oil with viscosity of approximately 50 cp. Fluvial channels supplied sediments to form mouth bar sands in lake with sand thickness of 1 to 3 meters. In its 25 years of natural depletion, the field has achieved merely 1.7% recovery factor. The difficulty in production has been attributed to aquifer support combined with unfavorable mobility, and sand production. Secondary and tertiary recovery methods have been investigated, with the assumption that sufficient sand-control could be implemented. Basic EOR screening reveals that thermal and chemical methods could be appropriate for this challenging field, in addition to infill drilling. Further investigation by means of a history-matched full-field reservoir simulation model indicates that chemical flooding has the advantage over cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) in this type of reservoir and reservoir fluids. Polymer flooding using high molecular weight polyacrylamide gives significant recovery improvement. Its implementation will give an extra benefit to the field which has high initial water cut as polymer solution contacts the unswept regions of the reservoir. The oil recovery appears relatively insensitive to rock-polymer properties, i.e. adsorption, inaccessible pore volume, and residual resistant factor. Further study shows that adding alkaline and surfactant can increase oil recovery beyond polymer flooding. Generic properties of oil/water/ASP system e.g. interfacial tension and surfactant adsorption were used. ASP flooding performance seems sensitive to these properties, so extra care must be taken when designing the process. The fundamental constraint of polymer flooding and ASP flooding operation is the cost of implementation. CSS, on the other hand, still faces up severe problems with reservoir heterogeneities and high initial water saturation. Reservoir heterogeneities cause steam to disperse unevenly, leading to poor heat distribution. High water saturation results in much of the heat being absorbed by water. Mobility improvement by viscosity reduction is small for medium heavy oil and is slightly overcome by the effect of steam condensation. Introduction Pru Krathiam (PKM) is one of the fault-bounded dip closures located on the eastern flank of Phitsanulok Basin. The discovery well, PKM-A01, encountered viscous oil with 17–19 oAPI in Lan Krabu formation. Lan Krabu formation was deposited in the fluvio-lacustrine environment: fluvial sediments were transported from the east, and were deposited as mouth bar sands in the lake to the west. Evidences from grain size distribution and fossil indication match the notable characteristics of fluvio-lacustrine sediments, which are low energy aqueous deposition and the absence of marine fauna. In some areas, features such as levee, back swamp, coal and rootlets can be found. These are indications of shallow lacustrine deposits with frequent variations in the water level. Cyclicity of the deposition results in alternating lamina of clay and organic matter. Sand body size is in the range of 700 to 1100 meters in width and length, and 1 to 3 meters in thickness. The net-to-gross is in the range of 15 to 20%.

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... Characteristics of heavy oil from the north of Thailand can be concluded as shown in Table 1 (Sirisawadwattana et al., 2012). This formation is unconsolidated sandstone formation with permeabilities averaging 500 md containing medium heavy oil with viscosity around 54 cP. ...
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