Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
The objective of this project is to identify and document Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) opportunities in the deepwater and ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico, so that facility and well designs can be optimized to take advantage of these opportunities. The project will result in a catalogue of producing fields with IOR potential, a discussion of key causes for trapped/ remaining hydrocarbons in these fields, and a review of current and emerging technologies and technology gaps for improved recovery. The database of fields, reservoirs, IOR opportunities, and technology gaps will be provided to NETL for incorporation in existing web portals.
Knowledge Reservoir, LLC, Houston, TX 77027
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, The Woodlands, TX 77380
According to the Minerals Management Service, the conventional ultimate recovery base in the deepwater and ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico is 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent, but many of these fields have recovery factors as low as 15-25% from primary recovery. The aim of this project is to identify IOR opportunities and technologies that can be used to unlock a larger percentage of this untapped oil.
The project will focus on improved recovery methods and opportunities that can be anticipated in the early stages of field development through modified surface and subsurface infrastructure design. The project will include an analysis of the technology gaps in improving recoveries in deepwater and ultra-deepwater reservoirs, and suitable IOR concepts for bridging these gaps.
The project will be directed and coordinated by Knowledge Reservoir, who will also lead the effort to identify and categorize fields with significant IOR potential in the Gulf of Mexico. LSU will lead the tasks related to the identification and analysis of existing and emerging IOR methodologies. Anadarko will focus specifically on the applicability of the project results to its K2 Field development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
This project will result in a knowledge base of information related to IOR opportunities in deepwater and ultra-deepwater reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico. This IOR knowledge base will include field-specific information, catalogued according to: total reserves, primary recovery factor, stage in field life cycle, geological setting, reservoir characteristics, oil type, and types of IOR that may be applicable (such as waterflooding, gas injection, etc.). In addition, there will be a summary of the main causes and mechanisms for trapped hydrocarbons in these fields, technical gaps for applying IOR techniques in deepwater and ultra-deepwater, and promising IOR concepts for bridging these gaps. Project results will be available in a database format and written reports accessible from a web portal interface.
The information compiled in this project should expand the industry’s understanding of current and emerging IOR methodologies and, specifically, the relevance of these methodologies as they apply to deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. It is anticipated that a better understanding of IOR opportunities in the Gulf could lead to optimization of facility and well designs to take advantage of these opportunities. The initiation of new IOR efforts will ultimately lead to recovery of more oil resources from deep and ultra-deepwater fields in the Gulf of Mexico.
By extending field life and ultimate recovery in existing fields, new IOR efforts will result in an overall increase in production from deep and ultra-deep fields in the Gulf of Mexico. Ultimately, the nation will benefit from a resulting increase in domestic oil supply, added tax revenues and royalties, and regional economic growth.
Anadarko has completed the delivery of K2 fluid data as an industry in-kind contribution.
A draft report titled “Size of the Prize” was issued which summarizes OOIP, recovery factor, and basic reservoir data for 85 fields, and approximately 450 reservoirs of Neogene age. The report also outlines the recent discovered potential from older, Paleogene age reservoirs. The report incorporates volumes published by the MMS along with detailed information from Knowledge Reservoir’s ReservoirKB™ web-enabled database. The report summarizes the expected remaining oil in-place and target for IOR based on projections of current oil recovery.
LSU issued a draft report for the review of analog IOR projects. This was still under and edit internally within the project team but will be delivered in Spring 2010.
A draft milestone report on the Oil Trapping Mechanisms was issued. The work summarizes the reasons oil is left unrecovered specific to deepwater Gulf of Mexico turbidite reservoirs. Understanding the oil trapping mechanisms has helped to define the IOR processes needed to recover additional oil and the potential incremental recoverable oil.
A short list of IOR processes applicable to the Neogene age reservoirs was reviewed and agreed. This was further modified during the working committee meeting on 16 February 2010. Analysis of the technically recoverable reserves is in progress as of March 2010.
The status of the four major work tasks as defined in the Project Management Plan are reviewed below:
Assessment of the Resource Base in the Deepwater & Ultra-Deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
This work has been completed. The resource base includes data for 85 Neogene age oil fields and a total of 450 reservoirs. Data has been collected which include reservoir rock and fluid properties, OOIP, expected ultimate recovery, and expected remaining oil. The total OOIP from the database is 25 Billion STB which compares to the MMS estimate of Neogene age discovered OOIP of 31 Billion STB. The MMS value of OOIP is used to define the total barrel target while the specific 85 field, 450 reservoirs provide the details of oil recovery, drive energy, and trapped oil mechanisms. The remaining unaccounted oil is from fields under appraisal and development which are not included in the 85 fields. The average recovery factor in 85 fields is 32% leaving an IOR target of 68% of 31 Billion STB or 21 Billion STB. This does not include the recent Paleogene discoveries.
IOR mechanisms and performance of analog fields.
A draft report of analog IOR projects and processes has been completed by LSU. However, the project team will continue to thoroughly & critically review the literature on global experience with IOR processes. Because of the study’s focus on offshore developments, this research will use a rather broad definition of IOR processes. As a predecessor of considering IOR processes applicable to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the project team assessed the trapped oil mechanisms or reasons oil is being left behind by normal field development practices. This work was completed, for the Neogene age reservoirs, and presented to the working committee in December 2009. The trapped oil mechanisms has helped to identify applicable IOR processes.
IOR Potential for Deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Based on the results of the first two major tasks, the project team will develop quantified estimates of the additional volumes of hydrocarbons which might be recovered from Gulf of Mexico fields by the broad range of investigated IOR processes. A list of 18 processes were selected by the project team and working committee for application in the Gulf of Mexico. These are divided into the following broad category types: water injection, water-based EOR, gas injection, gas-based EOR, diverting agents, pumping and artificial lift, and well technology. These are currently under review and evaluation.
Development of an Action Plan for IOR in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
The project team will identify the barriers to application of IOR in the deep and ultra-deepwater fields in the Gulf and perform a technical gap analysis to identify technological and operational advances needed for successful application of the most promising IOR processes. This will be followed by workshops with participation from industry, academia, and national labs, aimed at formulating recommendations for a future work program of targeted lab studies & field tests to close the technical gaps.
The project team will work closely with RPSEA to develop and implement a program to transfer the results of this research to end users. The project partners plan to publish project results in technical papers and via national and international conferences such as the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and the Offshore Technology Conference. A presentation was made on early project results at the SPE Delta Section Deepwater Forum in New Orleans in August 2009. A presentation on the project goals and objectives and early results was presented at the Pennwell Deep Offshore Technology forum in Houston in February 2010. Technical paper OTC #20678 was published and will be presented at the Offshore Technology Conference in May 2010. A presentation on a panel discussion was presented at the INTSOK IOR Forum in Houston in March 2010. The milestone and final reports will be downloadable in PDF format from the NETL/DOE IOR web-portal.
Project Start: February 3, 2009
Project End: August 2, 2010
DOE Contribution: $1,599,712
Performer Contribution: $400,000
RPSEA – Art Schroeder (email@example.com or 713-372-2817)
NETL - Jay Jikich (Sinisha.Jikich@netl.doe.gov or 304-285-4320)
Knowledge Reservoir – Joe Lach (firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-595-5128)
Final Project Report [PDF-13.1MB]