Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Field Demonstration of Horizontal Infill Drilling Using Cost-Effective Integrated
Reservoir Modeling-Mississippian Carbonates, Central Kansas
This project was selected under the Preferred Upstream Management Practices
(PUMP) solicitation DE-PS26-01BC15304 issued in the fall of 2000. PUMP is aimed
at pairing "best practices" and new technology solutions with an active
campaign of disseminating information to domestic producers. PUMP goals are
to slow the decline of domestic oilfields and to maintain the infrastructure
to continue to produce oil as a vital part of National Security.
The objective of this project was to develop a cost-effective method to exploit
over 550 million barrels of untapped mobile oil in mature Mississippian carbonate
reservoirs in Kansas. The demonstrated tools, techniques, and procedures will
be applicable to similar reservoirs in other parts of the United States.
University of Kansas Center for Research
Project performers conducted a detailed reservoir characterization and geological
model construction of the demonstration site. A horizontal infill well was drilled
and cored. Simulation studies were conducted to predict production characteristics
of the reservoir.
A technology transfer program was implemented to transfer the tools used and
protocols developed in this project.
The methods developed and technologies demonstrated in this project provide
Midcontinent producers access to new technology important for sustaining production
and increasing profitability. The techniques used in the project provide solutions
for operator with limited resources trying to resolve challenges associated
with compartmentalized fractured reservoirs and low recovery efficiency from
Of the 6 billion barrels of oil produced in Kansas, Mississippian carbonate
reservoirs account for nearly 1 billion (16.6% as of 2000). With declining production
in other-age reservoirs, the contribution of Mississippian reservoirs to the
state's oil production has increased to 33% over the past 10 years. The majority
of Mississippian production in Kansas occurs at or near the top of the Mississippian
section just below the pre-Pennsylvanian unconformity. Small, independent operators
with limited technical and financial resources operate most of these fields.
Reservoir heterogeneity, high water cuts, and low recovery efficiencies place
operations in many fields at or near economic limits. Low average recovery factors
of 13-15% result in high well abandonment rates and leave significant residual
reserves (estimated at 5.5 billion barrels) in the ground. In this regard, improvement
of field management practices that result in an additional recovery of as little
as 10% of residual reserves translates to a boost in domestic production by
about 550 million barrels.
The project performers conducted the following work:
- Identification of regional production constraints in Mississippian carbonate
reservoirs of Kansas and identification of criteria for specific reservoir types
where horizontal infill wells could overcome the constraints. Researchers also
developed a regional database of reservoir properties and demonstrated the application
of underutilized, modern, and cost-effective techniques to screen, characterize,
and simulate complex reservoir systems.
- Selection of a demonstration site, plus detailed reservoir characterization
and geological model construction of the site. Integration of reservoir characterization
included development of a petrophysical database and detailed geologic, fluid,
petrophysical, and engineering characterization of the horizontal infill demonstration
site. It demonstrated the use of several cost-effective analysis tools. Utilizing
a suite of tools and techniques, a reservoir geomodel was constructed and used
in numerical flow simulation. A horizontal infill well location was based on
reservoir simulation studies. An optimum well profile was designed to minimize
drilling torque and drag, in order to utilize an underbalanced drilling fluid
system and guard against borehole instability.
- Drilling a horizontal infill well and a obtaining a vertical core from the
pilot hole of this well. Fracture-imaging logs were obtained in the horizontal
segment of the well. Fracture characterization was performed using the vertical
core, fracture image log, and analysis of production test results. The research
described the in-situ fracture network in the Mississippian rocks of Kansas.
- Conducting simulation studies of the candidate site, using commercial simulators
and dual-porosity/permeability models. Single-porosity model simulations were
run on DOE freeware (BOAST II and BOAST-VHS) simulators in order to compare
results and test the viability of using different modeling methodologies. Determining
that single-porosity models are reasonably predictive in Mississippian reservoirs
opens the door for cost-effective PC-based reservoir simulation.
- Implementing an aggressive technology transfer program through the life of
the project. The tools used and protocols developed in this project are beinge
shared with the regional operators by using conventional technology transfer
network. Also, emphasis is put on Internet-based technology transfer, thereby
directly involving small, independent producers.
Current Status (October 2005)
The project is complete.
Project Start: July 17, 2001
Project End: December 30, 2004
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $406,086
Performer Contribution: $407,292 (50% of total)
NETL - Paul West (email@example.com or 918-699-2035)
University of Kansas - Saibal Bhattacharya (firstname.lastname@example.org