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IPTC 13240

Hibernia Q Block - Waterflooding to Increase Field Liquid Recovery with


the Presence of a Gas Cap
R. Stright and G. Stylianides, Hibernia Management & Development Company; A. Stackel and O. Ozen,
ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company

Copyright 2009, International Petroleum Technology Conference

This paper was prepared for presentation at the International Petroleum Technology Conference held in Doha, Qatar, 79 December 2009.

This paper was selected for presentation by an IPTC Programme Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
presented, have not been reviewed by the International Petroleum Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily
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acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, IPTC, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax +1-972-952-9435.

Abstract
The Hibernia field, located 315 km offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, began production in November 1997.
The southern part of the field is a waterflood development, with seawater injection used for pressure maintenance. The
northernmost portion of the field is a gasflood development that maintains pressure by re-injecting gas produced from the
waterflood for voidage balance. As the field matures, water production from the waterflood region is increasing significantly
and therefore the associated gas produced from these oil wells has been declining. As the availability of gas from the
waterflood area decreases, gasflood region production also decreases due to the declining amount of produced gas available
for injection for pressure maintenance. Another source of gas was needed to maximize gasflood region production.

The Q Block is a waterflooded fault block with a producer and injector pair that has been on production since 1997. The
block contains a gas cap but only the oil leg has been developed to date. Reservoir simulation history matching indicates the
Q Block gas cap is in baffled communication with the oil leg. In spite of the low vertical relief in the Q Block the waterflood
has been very efficient and is at a mature stage. The gas cap contains an OGIP of 3,390 Mm 3 with associated initial liquid of
2.3 Mm3.

An assessment was made to determine the viability of using the Q Block gas cap gas as a source of supplemental gas for re-
injection into the gasflood region, thereby reducing dependency on the waterflood region for gas supply. A simulation study
was undertaken to evaluate potential depletion options for the Q Block gas cap. Options evaluated included: 1) suspend
current production in the oil leg and recomplete uphole in the gas cap and produce via natural depletion; 2) suspend current
production in the block and recomplete uphole in both producer and injector and pressure support with water injection; 3)
maintain current completions and add uphole completion in the gas cap so as to waterflood both units concurrently; and, 4)
recomplete both producer and injector and pressure support by gas injection (not viable in near term).

The gas resource in Q Block is susceptible to retrograde condensation effects if reservoir pressure is permitted to decline
significantly. When evaluating the relative merits of Q Block gas cap development options, natural depletion cases always
give lower liquids recovery than pressure maintenance cases using water injection. The key uncertainty with pressure
maintenance by water injection is the timing of water breakthrough and its consequent impact on hydraulic lift capability.
This can be mitigated by judicious placement of perforations in the gas zone, perforating high in the producer and low in the
injector. The study also showed that combined production, producing from the open oil leg perforations and the recompleted
gas leg concurrently, gives the best liquids recovery but requires additional water for injection support. With platform
forecasts showing adequate water injection available in the near term, this led to the pursuance of option 3.

In May of 2008 permission was received from the regulator to perforate the gas zone in the Q Block and use water injection
as pressure support. Forecasts showed sufficient platform water handling capacity to accommodate a waterflood of the gas
zone. There was a peak platform uplift of 2.4 km3/d realized in 2008 and the average uplift from May - December 2008 was
1.6 km3/d. The Q Block continues to produce at high oil and gas rates in 2009 and will provide a field uplift throughout the
year.
2 IPTC 13240

Introduction
The first part of the Hibernia field to be brought on production was the southern region, in November 1997. This area is
developed as a waterflood using seawater injection as the means of pressure maintenance. The northernmost portion of the
field began production two years later in May 1999, and is a gasflood development that maintains pressure by re-injecting the
gas produced from the northern region and the waterflood region for voidage balance. Over the past several years, as the
field has matured, production rates have been declining. Water production from the waterflood wells has increased
significantly, and oil production has declined accordingly, resulting in a loss of gas available for injection. As gas available
for injection decreases so does gasflood region production. To ensure gasflood volumes are maximized, another source of
gas was needed.

The Hibernia reservoir consists of 3 main sand intervals, Layer 1 (L1), Layer 2 (L2) and Layer 3 (L3). The L3 is the thickest
of these intervals and contains the majority of the reserves in the reservoir. The sand interval is further subdivided into 3
smaller units, the Layer 3 Basal (L3B), the Layer 3 Middle (L3M) and the Layer 3 Upper (L3U). The Q Block was the
second block developed in the Hibernia reservoir and has been on production since start-up. The Block contains a gas cap
but only the oil leg has been developed to date. Based on the pressure history and material balance the Q Block is interpreted
to be isolated from the adjacent R Block to the east (Figure 1). The degree of communication with the P Block to the west is
less certain but is likely significantly baffled due to faulting. Reservoir performance indicates the Q Block gas cap is in
baffled communication with the oil leg. In spite of the low vertical relief in the Q Block the waterflood has been very
efficient and is at a mature stage in the L3B interval. This interval has watered out and the L3M interval is currently
producing at 650 m3/d and 80% water cut. Pressure has been maintained above 38.5 MPa, 1 MPa above the dew point of the
gas cap, to avoid liquid drop out. The gas cap contains an OGIP of 3,390Mm3 with associated liquids of 2.3 Mm3.

R
Q R
Q
B-16 6

S
T

EE

Figure 1. Q Block Structure Map, Base Reservoir

The Q Block depletion strategy includes full development of gas resources late in field life due to the significant compressor
capacity that would be required to produce the gas. However, there was an opportunity in 2008 to proceed with an early
development of the Q Block gas cap. As the waterflood is becoming more mature, the oil and associated gas volume which
is required for gasflood pressure maintenance has declined, impacting gasflood oil production. In addition, the lower gas
volume being produced has resulted in spare compressor capacity. This was the case through much of 2007 and was
projected to continue through 2008 and into 2009 as indicated in Figure 2.
IPTC 13240 3

7,500

Gas Compressor Utilization (e3m3/d)


7,000

6,500

6,000

5,500

5,000

4,500

4,000

Spare Capacity for Q Block Gas Current Forecast


Figure 2. Forecast of Gas Compression Utilization

The Q Block contains a separate volume of gas that could be used to maintain pressure in the gasflood and reduce
dependency on waterflood production. The spare compressor capacity in 2008 provided a window of opportunity to initiate
the development of the Q Block gas cap before the platform becomes gas constrained as gasflood GOR increases.

A proposal was made to perforate the L3U sands in both the B-16 2 and B-16 6 wells in order to waterflood that sand in
conjunction with the L3M. This is considered a natural extension of the existing waterflood as the L3M will continue to be
depleted and the pressure integrity of the Q Block will be maintained. Forecasts showed that there is enough platform water
injection capacity to accommodate a waterflood of the gas zone. It was estimated that over the period 2008 2010 during
steady state operations B-16 2 will produce at peak gas rates of approximately 1.5 Mm3/d but could produce at up to 2 Mm3/d
during upset conditions to maintain oil production if needed. Average gas production rates would likely be lower than this
and would depend on the available spare capacity on the compressor, which is driven by waterflood oil capacity and gasflood
GORs. In order to maintain a gravity stable flood and delay the onset of water production it was proposed to perforate only
the upper part of the L3U in B-16 2 and the lower part in B-16 6.

The proposed plan for Q Block gas cap development would allow a substantial proportion of recoverable resource to be
produced early and gives the best liquids recovery from the Q Block and gasflood combined. Depending on the success of
the L3U waterflood, the same scheme could be applied to L2 sand of Q Block which contains a similar size gas cap.

A simulation study was undertaken to evaluate the potential depletion options for the Q Block gas cap. The proposed plan
applied the same depletion scheme which has been successful in the oil leg to the part of the gas cap in pressure
communication, and gives the highest recovery of liquids in the next 2 3 years. The study indicated that waterflooding the
gas cap gives a better liquid recovery than depletion because pressure maintenance inhibits gas cap liquids from dropping out
in the reservoir.

Geologic Assessment
The Q Block well pair (B-16 2 producer and B-16 6 injector) have penetrated some of the highest net to gross reservoir in the
Layer 3 in the entire Hibernia Field. These wells are stratigraphically well connected as shown in Figure 3. Evidence for this
is observed in the efficient water flooding of the L3M and L3B as demonstrated by production and log data and history
matched in simulation modeling. A gas-oil contact was encountered in the Layer 3 between the Middle and Upper zones at -
3618 mss. The Q Block is relatively flat structurally resulting in the Layer 3 Middle and Basal containing primarily oil while
the L3U and Layer 2 contain primarily gas. Original pressure data from B-16 6 (Figure 4) indicates the Layer 3 sub-zones
are in hydraulic communication as all were drawn down to the same pressure as a result of B-16 2 primary production. Layer
2 was slightly depleted by B-16 2 indicating it is only weakly communicating with Layer 3.
4 IPTC 13240

Figure 3. B-16 2 and B-16 6 Well Logs

Oil Pressure (kPa)


37000 37500 38000 38500 39000 39500 40000 40500 41000
-3500
Q/R
Q/R Initial
Initial Oil
Oil Line
Line

-3520 Q
Q Initial
Initial Gas
Gas

Q
Q GOC
GOC
Depth (mss)

-3540
B-16
B-16 22 Layer
Layer 22

-3560 B-16
B-16 22 Layer
Layer 33 Upper
Upper

B-16
B-16 22 Layer
Layer 33 Middle
Middle
-3580
B-16
B-16 22 Layer
Layer 33 Basal
Basal

-3600 B-16
B-16 66 Layer
Layer 22

B-16
B-16 66 Layer
Layer 33 Upper
Upper
-3620
B-16
B-16 66 Layer
Layer 33 Middle
Middle

B-16
B-16 66 Layer
Layer 33 Basal
Basal
-3640

-3660

-3680

-3700

Figure 4. Q Block Original Pressure

When considering the options for gas cap development the potential for P-Q communication was taken into account. The P
Block is the adjacent fault block and has not yet been developed. Layer 2 in Q Block is juxtaposed against the Layer 3 in the
IPTC 13240 5

P Block, Figure 5. If the Q Block Layer 2 is produced through primary depletion it could result in a pressure reduction in P
Block. From this perspective development of the L3U gas cap with pressure maintenance is preferred.

Proposed perfs
Proposed perfs
Open
Open perfs
perfs
Sealed perfs
Sealed perfs

Figure 5. Schematic Cross-Section of P-Q-R Blocks

Historically, map-based deterministic volumetric estimates have under predicted Q Block STOOIP when compared to history
matched simulation models. It is unlikely that adjacent blocks are being swept: there is significant faulting between P and Q
Blocks such that the oil legs are not connected and R Block has shown to be a separate pressure system. The most likely
cause for the volumetric discrepancy is that one or both of the Q Block wells are not representative of the average properties
in the block. The simulation STOOIP can be matched volumetrically by applying the properties of the B-16 6 oil leg to the
whole block. The simulation OGIP can be matched volumetrically by using properties of the B-16 2 gas leg.

Simulation Study
A reservoir simulation study focusing on alternative methods of producing gas and associated condensate from the L3U
stratigraphic unit of the Q Fault Block in the Hibernia Field was completed. This study was initiated based on the belief that
gas produced from this fault block could potentially be utilized in improving oil recovery from other regions of the Hibernia
field. The study used the Middle Sector Model of the Hibernia field, history matched, with prediction starting in March
2008. Three main depletion scenarios were evaluated, 1) Gas production by natural depletion, 2) Gas production supported
by water injection, and 3) Gas production supported by lean gas injection. All cases assumed that Q fault block was not
communicating with the P fault block. In the first three cases described below, the current perforations in the producer and
the injector are abandoned, with new perforations opened in the L3U zone. A fourth case described later evaluates the
recovery based on maintaining the current set of perforations and adding perforations in the L3U zone.

Natural depletion of gas and condensate from L3U zone is one of the possible alternatives for gas production from the Q fault
block. The natural depletion of gas and associated condensate is evaluated at gas production rates of 1.98, 1.42 and 0.85
Mm3/d. At the beginning of predictions on March 1, 2008 the B-16 2 perforations in the L3B and L3M zones are completely
closed and new perforations are established in the L3U zone. All of the three prediction cases at different gas production
rates are run until January 1, 2011. Figure 6 shows the cumulative predicted condensate production versus time for the three
cases. Under the natural depletion scenario, the average reservoir pressure and the flowing bottom hole pressure (Figure 7) of
the B-16 2 well decreases over time for all three cases.
6 IPTC 13240

Cumulative condensate @ different gas production rates (natural depletion)

350,000

300,000
Cumulative Condensate Produced [STm^3]

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0
3/1/08

6/1/08

9/1/08

12/1/08

3/1/09

6/1/09

9/1/09

12/1/09

3/1/10

6/1/10

9/1/10

12/1/10
Date

Cum Cond @0.85 Mm^3/d Cum Cond @1.42 Mm^3/d Cum Cond@1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 6. Cumulative condensate produced during the depletion period at different gas production rates

FBHP of B16-2 @ different gas production rates (natural depletion)

450

400

350

300
Pressure [bar]

250

200

150

100

50

0
3/1/08

6/1/08

9/1/08

12/1/08

3/1/09

6/1/09

9/1/09

12/1/09

3/1/10

6/1/10

9/1/10

12/1/10

Date

FBHP@0.85 Mm^3/d FBHP@1.42 Mm^3/d FBHP@1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 7. FBHP profile of well B-16 2 at the three gas production rates

As the pressure in the Q fault block decreases during the depletion period, it is observed that the condensate production rate
decreases as well due to reduced liquid yield of the gas at lower pressure (Figure 8 and Figure 9).
IPTC 13240 7

Condensate-to-gas ratio @ different gas production rates (natural depletion)

6.E-04

5.E-04
Condensate-to-gas ratio (STm^3/SCM)

4.E-04

3.E-04

2.E-04

1.E-04

0.E+00
3/1/08

6/1/08

9/1/08

12/1/08

3/1/09

6/1/09

9/1/09

12/1/09

3/1/10

6/1/10

9/1/10

12/1/10
Date

Cond-to-gas ratio@0.85 Mm^3/d Cond-to-gas ratio@1.42 Mm^3/d Cond-to-gas ratio@1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 8. Condensate-gas ratio at the producer for the three gas production rates

Cumulative condensate @ different gas production rates (natural depletion)

350,000

300,000
Cumulative Condensate [STm^3]

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0
0.0E+00 5.0E+08 1.0E+09 1.5E+09 2.0E+09 2.5E+09
Cumulative Gas [SCM]

Cum Cond @0.85 Mm^3/d Cum Cond @1.42 Mm^3/d Cum Cond @1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 9. Cumulative condensate produced vs. cumulative gas produced at three gas production rates

Gas production with pressure maintenance by water injection was the second depletion alternative to be evaluated. The gas
production from L3U zone was evaluated at gas production rates of 1.98, 1.42 and 0.85 Mm 3/d while maintaining reservoir
pressure by water injection. A Material Balance Group (MBG) is used in the simulator to maintain reservoir pressure by
adjusting the water injection rate at well B-16 6. MBG calculates the average pressure in a user-defined region and adjusts
the water injection rate in order to maintain constant pressure in the averaging region. A target pressure of 400 bar is set for
the averaging region near the producer in the L3U zone (Figure 10) in the prediction studies.
8 IPTC 13240

Simulation Layer
Simulation Layer

Figure 10. The averaging region in L3U used for pressure maintenance calculations

To maintain pressure during gas production from L3U zone, the perforations of the well B-16 6 in L3M and L3B are closed
and new perforations are established in the L3U zone. Production and injection in the L3U zone is started March 1, 2008.
Pressure maintenance (Figure 11) helps to keep the condensate-to-gas ratio constant. As a result, the cumulative produced
condensate volume increases almost linearly during the prediction period as shown in Figure 12. An important thing to note
in these results is that the prediction cases end at different times due to different rates of water advance and consequent
variations in water arrival times at the B-16 2 producer. When water production increases to an inoperable level, the
simulations are terminated (Table 1)

FBHP of B16-2 @ different gas production rates (water injection)

450

400

350

300
Pressure [bar]

250

200

150

100

50

0
3/1/08

6/1/08

9/1/08

12/1/08

3/1/09

6/1/09

9/1/09

12/1/09

3/1/10

6/1/10

Date

FBHP@0.85 Mm^3/d FBHP@1.42 Mm^3/d FBHP@1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 11. FBHP profile of well B-16 2 at different gas production rates
IPTC 13240 9

Cumulative condensate volumes at different gas production rates (water injection)

400,000

350,000
Cumulative Condensate Volume [STm^3]

300,000

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0
3/1/08

6/1/08

9/1/08

12/1/08

3/1/09

6/1/09

9/1/09

12/1/09

3/1/10

6/1/10
Date

Cum Cond Volume@0.85 Mm^3/d Cum Cond Volume@1.42 Mm^3/d Cum Cond Volume@1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 12. Cumulative condensate produced at different gas production rates

Table 1. Estimated end-of-production


Gas production rate (Mm3/day) End-of-production date
0.85 June 1, 2010
1.42 July 1, 2009
1.98 February 1, 2009

More water is injected to maintain the pressure at higher gas production rates, and it is observed that the productive life for a
gas withdrawal rate of 0.85 Mm3/day is almost 1.5 years longer than the case with a gas rate of 1.98 Mm3/day.

As a result of maintaining reservoir pressure, the condensate recovery for all three gas production rates with water injection is
higher than that of comparable cases during natural depletion, even though the productive life is shorter. As well, the
cumulative condensate production versus cumulative gas production for all withdrawal rates is similar because of pressure
maintenance, which sustains a reservoir pressure of 400 bar in the averaging region in all prediction cases (Figure 13 and
Figure 14).
10 IPTC 13240

Cumulative volumes @ different gas production rates (water injection)

4.0E+05

3.5E+05
Cumulative Condensate Volume [STm^3]

3.0E+05

2.5E+05

2.0E+05

1.5E+05

1.0E+05

5.0E+04

0.0E+00
0.0E+00 1.0E+08 2.0E+08 3.0E+08 4.0E+08 5.0E+08 6.0E+08 7.0E+08 8.0E+08
Cumulative Gas Volume [SCM]

Cum Cond Volume@0.85 Mm^3/d Cum Cond Volume@1.42 Mm^3/d Cum Cond Volume@1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 13. Cumulative condensate produced vs cumulative gas produced at three gas production rates

Condensate-to-gas ratio @ different gas production rates (water injection)

6.E-04

5.E-04
Condensate-to-gas ratio (STm^3/SCM)

4.E-04

3.E-04

2.E-04

1.E-04

0.E+00
3/1/2008

6/1/2008

9/1/2008

12/1/2008

3/1/2009

6/1/2009

9/1/2009

12/1/2009

3/1/2010

6/1/2010

Date

Cond-to-gas ratio@0.85 Mm^3/d Cond-to-gas ratio@1.42 Mm^3/d Cond-to-gas ratio@1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 14. Condensate-to-gas ratio at three gas production rates with pressure maintenance by water injection

Pressure maintenance can also be accomplished by injecting gas instead of water into the Q fault block. One case of pressure
maintenance by gas injection was tested wherein the gas production rate was 1.98 Mm3/day (Figure 15). The case was run
until the customary end of the prediction period 1/1/2011), and the total condensate production is predicted to be 675,000 m 3.
In comparison, when the pressure was maintained by water injection the productive life ended on 2/1/2009. Condensate
recovery is higher with gas injection because of both the extended producing life (from absence of any water arrival) and
because the lean injected gas vaporizes some of the residual oil and transition-zone oil that the model contains in the gas
column of the L3U zone. (At original conditions, the model contains 241,000 m3 of liquid-phase hydrocarbon above the gas-
oil contact in L3U.) However, the gas production rate is slightly lower than the gas injection rate required for full pressure
IPTC 13240 11

maintenance. This implies that fully maintaining pressure by gas injection would require more gas than the amount of gas
produced (Figure 16).

Gas injection / water injection / natural depletion @ 1.98 Mm^3/day

800,000 0.0006

700,000
0.0005

Condensate-to-gas ratio, CGR (STm^3/SCM)


600,000
Cum Cond Volume [STm^3]

0.0004
500,000

400,000 0.0003

300,000
0.0002

200,000

0.0001
100,000

0 0
3/1/08

6/1/08

9/1/08

12/1/08

3/1/09

6/1/09

9/1/09

12/1/09

3/1/10

6/1/10

9/1/10

12/1/10
Date

Cum Cond w/ Gas injection Cum Cond w/ Water injection Cum Cond w/ Natural depletion
CGR w/ Gas injection CGR w/ Water injection CGR w/ Natural depletion

Figure 15. Cumulative condensate produced and condensate-to-gas


Ratio for high-rate cases with and without pressure maintenance

Net gas injection rates

350,000

300,000
Net Gas Injection Rate [STm^3/day]

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0
3/1/08

6/1/08

9/1/08

12/1/08

3/1/09

6/1/09

9/1/09

12/1/09

3/1/10

6/1/10

9/1/10

12/1/10

Date

Gas Rate@1.98 Mm^3/d

Figure 16. Net gas injection ratio to maintain a constant average pressure
In Q Block L3U zone

In all of the above prediction cases previously described, the L3M zone is closed in both the producer and the injector well
and only L3U is open to flow for the prediction period. Abandoning L3M to focus on production from L3U may affect the
combined total recovery of crude and condensate from the Q fault block. Three additional prediction cases were tested to
assess the effect of simultaneous production from both L3M and L3U zones when the total gas production rates are 0.85,
12 IPTC 13240

1.42, and 1.98 Mm3/d, respectively. In these predictions, water was simultaneously injected into the L3M and L3U units at a
total rate that would be needed to maintain overall reservoir pressure.

Results are reported for only two of the three planned prediction cases with commingled production and injection. For a gas
production rate of 1.98 Mm3/d, the water injection rate required to fully maintain average pressure in the Q Block during the
prediction period is higher than the maximum anticipated water injection availability of 9,534 m3/d.

For gas production rates of 0.85 and 1.42 Mm3/d, prediction simulations end at different times due to variations in water
arrival times at the producer well, B-16 2. At the higher gas production rate, a higher injection rate is required to maintain
reservoir pressure, and consequently the injected water will reach the producing well sooner. The 0.85 Mm 3/d prediction
case was simulated until year-end 2010 without reaching the maximum available water injection rate, but the 1.42 Mm3/d
prediction case was ended in December 2009 when it first reached this maximum injection rate.

As a result of commingled production from the L3M and L3U zones, combined crude and condensate recovery for the two
gas production rates with water injection is higher than that of the comparable cases reported earlier. Production rates
reported in Figure 17 include both oil production from continued waterflood displacement in the L3M zone and condensate
recovery from the reservoir vapor phase in the L3U zone. For these cases, high water injection rates are required (Figure 18
and Figure 19) compared to prior cases where production only came from the L3U zone after March 1, 2008.

Cumulative volumes @ different gas production rates (water injection)

900,000

800,000
Cum Condensate + Cum Oil Volume [STm^3]

700,000

600,000

500,000

400,000

300,000

200,000

100,000

0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1,000
Cum Gas Volume [MSCM]

Cum Cond Volume@0.85 Mm^3/d Cum Cond Volume@1.42 Mm^3/d

Figure 17. Cumulative crude & condensate produced vs cumulative gas produced
For cases with commingled production from L3M and L3U zones
IPTC 13240 13

Phase rates @ 0.85 Mm^3/d gas production rates (water injection)

6,000 9.0E+05

5,000 7.5E+05
Cond Rate, Water Rate [STm^3/day]

4,000 6.0E+05

Gas Rate [SCM/day]


3,000 4.5E+05

2,000 3.0E+05

1,000 1.5E+05

0 0.0E+00
3/1/08

6/1/08

9/1/08

12/1/08

3/1/09

6/1/09

9/1/09

12/1/09

3/1/10

6/1/10

9/1/10

12/1/10
Date
Cond Rate Water Rate Water injection rate Gas Rate

Figure 18. Predicted crude & condensate, water, gas production rates and water injection
Rate when gas production is 30 MSCFD

Phase rates @ 1.42 Mm^3/d gas production rates (water injection)

10,000 1.5E+06

8,000 1.2E+06
Cond Rate, Water Rate [STm^3/day]

Gas Rate [SCM/day]


6,000 9.0E+05

4,000 6.0E+05

2,000 3.0E+05

0 0.0E+00
3/1/08

5/1/08

7/1/08

9/1/08

11/1/08

1/1/09

3/1/09

5/1/09

7/1/09

9/1/09

11/1/09

Date

Cond Rate Water Rate Water injection rate Gas Rate

Figure 19. Predicted crude & condensate, water, gas production rates and water injection
Rates when gas production is 50 MSCFD

Recoverable volumes for the prediction period are summarized in Table 2 and Table 3 below for all of the cases described
above.

Table 2. Predicted cumulative production from 3/1/2008 to the end of each case
(cases with production from L3U unit only)
14 IPTC 13240

Gas production rate Cumulative oil & Cumulative gas produced


Scenario
(Mm3/day) condensate produced (km3) (Mm3)

0.85 276 880


Natural depletion 1.42 310 1467
1.98 303 2054
0.85 361 698
Pressure maintained by
water injection 1.42 356 689
1.98 346 667

Pressure maintained by
1.98 675 2054
gas injection

Table 3. Predicted cumulative production from 3/1/2008 to the end of each case
(cases with commingled production from L3U and L3M units)

Gas production rate Cumulative oil & Cumulative gas produced


Scenario
(Mm3/day) condensate produced (km3) (Mm3)

0.85 814 880


Commingled production
from L3U and L3M zones
1.42 830 906

Development Options
For developing the gas leg in the Q Block, the simulation study showed that pressure maintenance gives a significantly better
liquid recovery than natural depletion. A key uncertainty with pressure maintenance by water injection is the timing of water
breakthrough and its consequent impact on hydraulic lift capability. This can be mitigated by judicious placement of the
perforations in the L3U zone, i.e. perforating high the producer and low in the injector. Pressure maintenance is preferred
from a reservoir management perspective in order to minimize any effect of possible communication with the adjacent block.

When comparing the relative merits of Q Block gas development options, gas cap liquid recovery appears to be insensitive to
gas offtake rate. Depletion cases always predict lower liquids recovery than pressure maintenance cases at comparable
offtake rates, and commingled cases are forecast to provide highest overall liquids recovery through year-end 2010. Among
the non-commingled waterflood cases at the three different rates, slightly better gas and condensate recoveries are predicted
(until the time of water arrival) at lower offtake rates. Commingled production gives best liquids recovery but requires more
water injection support.

Gas cycling could, in an ideal situation, give higher Q Block recovery than waterflood. However, considering the Hibernia
field gas handling constraints, and the need to maintain pressure in the gasflood, mean this development option could only
occur late in life. The recovery from the gas cycling would be driven by the limiting GOR at the time. The simulation case
allowed the GOR to rise as high as 6450 m3/m3 to achieve a liquids recovery of 675 km3, whereas the recovery at lean gas
breakthrough was 200 km3. In addition, a net 157 Mm3 of gas would be diverted into the Q Block and 700-1000 Mm3 of
additional gas would be cycled through the gasflood. The ensuing loss of recovery in the gasflood would more than offset
the incremental recovery in the Q Block gas cycling.

Implementation
In May 2008 perforations were added to the B-16 2 producer and B-16 6 injector in the L3U interval. As mentioned
previously, the perforations in the B-16 2 well were strategically added high in the gas interval, and low in the B-16 6 well, to
delay the onset of water breakthrough as long as possible. Immediately upon perforating the interval there was a significant
improvement in liquid productivity from the B-16 2 well, and higher gas production. Oil production from the well more than
doubled as a result of the condensate capture from the increased gas volumes.
IPTC 13240 15

Additional gas production from the well provided sufficient volumes to fill gas compressors on the platform. This extra gas
volume allowed for an increase in the volume of oil that could be extracted from the gasflood oil producers while maintaining
voidage. The immediate platform uplift that was realized from the perforation add was 2.4 km 3/d. The uplift continued for
the remainder of the year, averaging 1.6 km3/d between May and December 2008. Figure 20 shows the incremental oil
production by month that was realized from the perforation additional.
3000

Gasflood Additional Oil Rate


B-16 2 Additional Oil Rate

2500

2000
Oil Rate (m3 /day)

1500

1000

500

0
Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08 Oct-08 Nov-08 Dec-08 Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09 May-09 Jun-09 Jul-09

Figure 20. Field Uplift Associated with L3U Perforations

As of July 2009, the estimated field uplift provided from the May 2008 perforation add has averaged 1.4 km 3/d. Not only has
it provided direct production uplift through condensate production from the B-16 2 well, and allowed for additional oil from
the gasflood producers, it has also added flexibility during periods of reduced production by helping to reduce the gasflood
dependency on waterflood production. For instance, during periods when produced water needs to be reduced the gasflood
can be maintained at normal production rates by increasing the flow from the B-16 2 well, and therefore, reducing deferred
volumes from the field during certain downtime events.

As the field matures it will become even more imperative that all alternatives to the standard field depletion plan be
investigated to achieve maximum production rates. There may be other such opportunities in the waterflood to bring forward
once the B-16 2 well can no longer provide the gas volumes needed by the gasflood region. Innovative reservoir
management techniques will be key to maximizing ultimate recovery in the field, especially in a challenging offshore
environment like the North Atlantic.

Conclusion
The Hibernia Field waterflood region supplies gas to the gasflood region. The Hibernia Q Block is a mature waterflood
development of an oil leg overlain by a gas cap. A simulation study was performed to evaluate a number of options to
progress the development of the gas cap. The options considered included depletion, waterflood and gas cycling. The
development option that gave the best combination of near term production with long term recovery was to perforate the gas
cap and maintain pressure through water injection whilst continuing to produce the water leg. Maintaining pressure avoids
liquid drop-out and allows the connected oil leg to continue to be produced above saturation pressure. Although gas cycling
could give higher recovery in Q Block this would detract from overall field recovery and performance because field gas
handling is constrained.

The average production uplift has been 1400 m3/d in the 14 months since the Q Block gas cap was brought on stream. Not
only did the contribution from Q Block increase due to additional condensate from the gas cap but the reinjected gas also
resulted in additional production from gasflood area. In addition operational flexibility has improved. Since the workover
the Q Block gas cap has provided an additional source of gas to offset temporary production shut-ins from other wells.