Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Seismic Stimulation to Enhance Oil Recovery
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94729
Berkeley GeoImaging Resources, LLC, Oakland, CA 94606
The proposed research aims to develop a technology that can substantially increase, in an environmentally sound manner, commercial productions and ultimate recovery of oil and gas. Recent developments suggest that anomalously strong waves can exist within fluid in fractures (fracture Stoneley waves), which can be used as a new tool for underground reservoir mapping and fracture imaging, and potentially, also for fluid mobilization and enhanced hydrocarbon recovery. Development of this new effective technology based on the fracture Stoneley waves requires laboratory study, numerical modeling, and field scale experiments to ensure that (1) the physics of fracture Stoneley waves is well understood and (2) technical problems for developing practical methodology for oil and gas stimulation are addressed.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will lead the proposed research project entitled “Fracture Detection and Characterization within Oil and Gas Reservoirs Using Fracture Stoneley Waves.” The proposed research project will verify the existence and examine the properties of fracture Stoneley waves within real fractures at seismic to near-seismic frequency ranges. Fluid mobilization caused by these waves within a fracture will also be examined. Concurrently, the laboratory results will be simulated using numerical models. Finally, the obtained results will be verified using specially designed field experiments. The potential impact of the technology developed in this project will be an economical, more accurate detection and imaging of fractures within a reservoir, which can lead to an improved exploration and production of oil and gas. It is expected that this technology is environmentally safe (unlike conventional formation treatment via chemicals and acids) and also reduces the amount of fluids commonly injected into under-performing reservoirs to improve production.
Principal Investigators: Steven R. Pride