You are on page 1of 10

SPE 22075

SPE
Society of Petroleum Engineel'S

Waterflood Monitoring Technique Results in Improved Reservoir


Management for the Hemlock Reservoir, McArthur River Field,
Cook Inlet, Alaska
M.R. Starzer, Unocal Oil & Gas Div.; C.U. Borden, ARCO Alaska Inc.; and A.B. Schoffmann,
Marathon Oil Co.
SPE Members

Copyright 1991, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Inc.

This paper was prepared for presentation at the International Arctic Technology Conference held in Anchorage, Alaska, May 29-31, 1991.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program 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 Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author{s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect
any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented at SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society
of Petroleum Engineers. Permission to copy IS restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment
of where and by whom the paper is presented. Write Publications Manager, SPE, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836 U.S.A. Telex, 730989 SPEDAL.

ABSTRACT 12,000 acres and is the principal oil


producing reservoir within the McArthur
A peripheral waterflood monitoring method River Field (Figure 1). Consisting of
of subdividing the Hemlock Reservoir into seven productive lithologic units, or
areal groups has aided in development benches, the reservoir is a sequence of
decisions for the McArthur River Field, inter-bedded and loosely consolidated
Cook Inlet, Alaska. This analysis sandstones,. conglomerates, siltstones,
technique improved assessment of remaining coals and shales (Figure 2).
development potential by separating the Sedimentation is fluvial and has been
reservoir into more manageable areas. By described as a complex system of braided
respecting the inaccuracies associated and meandering stream deposits.
with production data, the analysis method Development of the McArthur River Field
simplified reservoir management and began in 1967 with unitization as the
improved performance predictions. Trading Bay unit and has resulted in
production of over 475 million barrels of
Seven "performance areas" were established oil from the reservoir. unit operator for
to monitor waterflood performance and the field is UNOCAL with three offshore
identify areas of remaining recovery platforms SUb-operated by Marathon, ARCO
potential. Each performance area and UNOCAL . Currently, production from
represents an accounting block in which the Hemlock Reservoir is 15,000 barrels of
recovery and performance prediction oil per day at approximately 83 percent
methods were applied to monitor waterflood water cut.
progress. Prediction methods for the
undersaturated reservoir included water- Early field history was reported by Diver,
oil ratio trending, material balance and Hart and Graham1 ln 1975. Rapid pressure
decline analysis. Comparison of each decline early in the field life indicated
area's performance with others and with little natural water influx. Waterflood
analytical performance predictions easily operations began within two years of first
identified local areas of unrealized production successfully arresting the
potential. This method of waterflood pressure decline. Bubble point pressure
management aided in assembling management of the relatively light, sweet oil was
strategies and promptly examining those never reached allowing no free gas
strategies as conditions changed. saturations to develop. Injection has
effectively matched withdrawals through
most of the field's life. Current
INTRODUCTION injection is in excess of 130 MBWPD.
Figure 3 demonstrates offtake and
The McArthur River Field is the largest injection history for the Hemlock
offshore oil field productive in the Cook Reservoir. The three major disruptions in
Inlet Basin, Alaska. The Hemlock offtake and inj ection occurred due to a
Reservoir has an areal extent of over platform explosion in 1976, a well blowout
in 1985 and the eruptions of Redoubt
References and figures at end of paper. Volcano shutting in production in 1990.

187
2 WATERFLOOD MONITORING TECHNIQUE IMPROVES RESERVOIR MANAGEMENT SPE 22075

The field was developed through multiple HISTORIC RESERVOIR ANALYSIS


bench, commingled completions. The
initial 160 acre development program was The analytical approach used in past
completed by 1972. Infill development to Hemlock Reservoir studies centered on
80 acre spacing began in 1973 and frontal advance in each of the seven
continued through 1976 with the drilling benches. Front tracker and 3-dimensional
of 26 additional wells. The infill numerical simulation studies have been
program resulted in offtake exceeding 100 conducted using production logging data to
MBOPD from the field. By the mid-1970's, allocate individual bench injection and
it was apparent that the higher withdrawals. saturation maps for each
permeability sandstone intervals were bench were developed. The saturation maps
being swept while the conglomeratic were used as the principal tool in
intervals were found to be contributing selecting well locations. Each bench was
very little to offtake. Vertical flood treated as a separate flow unit which was
conformance for the reservoir needed to be assumed continuous and correlatable across
improved. Conformance improvement efforts the field. Periodically the maps would
included the redrilling and selectively be updated to reflect additional profile
completing and stimulating producers and data and saturations obtained through
injectors within the field. Many of the drilling. With each update the
less prolific benches were fracture assumptions associated with generating the
stimulated attempting to balance the saturation maps were tested.
injection and withdrawal of each bench.
Reference 2 contains a more detailed As the producing water cut for the field
history of the McArthur River Field increased, the reliance on profile data
conformance improvement efforts. for the generation of saturation maps
became suspect. Production log
Following the initial breakthrough of the interpretation is difficult in deviated
flood in the structurally lower producers, holes with high water cuts, segregated
many wells demonstrated a severe loss in phases in large diameter well bores and
productivity . The loss in productivity low individual bench flow rates.
often exceeded an order of magnitude, far Published confidence intervals for
in excess of that explained by relative production logging tools at the Hemlock
permeability effects. Production logging operating conditions fell short of that
demonstrated that benches capable of required to effectively predict individual
producing dry oil became severely damaged bench saturations. In addition, poor
after breakthrough had occurred in another cement bond and zonal separation
bench. This damage was more pronounced in contributed to interpretation problems.
the conglomeratic intervals. As the These interpretation errors contributed to
waterflood matured, the average field increasingly inaccurate performance
productivity index dropped from predictions.
approximately 7 to below 1. The damage
mechanisms have been identified as New geologic data and analysis techniques 4
primarily scale formation and fines indicated that earlier assumptions
migration. Productivity improvement concerning the reservoir may not be valid.
efforts have included reperforation and In particular, the degree of faulting,
acid stimulations. vertical and lateral continuity and
vertical communication challenged the
During the mid-1980's, well performance assumption that benches were separate and
predictions were becoming increasingly continuous. Further, material balance
inaccurate. Rigorous analyses using past calculations demonstrated that a rigorous
fluid allocation techniques were adherence to allocation data would infer
ineffective at the prediction of that some layers were considerably over-
saturations and SUbsequent production pressured while others had fallen close to
rates from new intervals. A direct and the bubble point.
concise method of managing the reservoir
was required to present the progress of Reservoir analysis based on fluid
the waterflood and develop management allocation to isolated benches implied
strategies for optimal depletion. The greater knowledge of fluid movement in the
reservoir was analyzed by SUbdividing into reservoir than could be reasonably
seven performance areas (PAS). This supported. Bench by bench analysis could
analysis method improved performance not be justified with respect to the data
predictions by recognizing the available. with increasing frequency,
inaccuracies associated with fluid saturation predictions fell short of
allocation data. In addition, the method measured when new wells were drilled or
has aided in rapidly updating field existing wells were redrilled. With
performance as conditions change with the respect to data acquisition and reservoir
goal of providing efficient, responsive analysis, the method was becoming a costly
reservoir management. and time consuming effort deriving little
benefit.

188
SPE 22075 M. R. STARZER, C. U. BORDEN, A. B. SCHOFFMANN 3
PERFORMANCE AREA ANALYSIS METHOD
individual PAs, N, 0 and P, compared with
The PA analysis method was developed to expected (no cycling) reservoir
segment the reservoir into manageable performance. Figure 6 demonstrates the
units while respecting that analytical effect of combining PAs N, 0 and P, again,
analysis of peripheral waterfloods compared with expected performance. The
required an holistic approach. This larger PA NOP eases full field performance
technique also eliminated the bench predictions while the smaller individual
allocation problems and reduced the impact areas N, 0 and P assist in understanding
of well allocation inaccuracies. fluid movement for SUbsequent project
analysis.
The approach keeps the rigorousness of the
analysis wi thin the accuracy of the data Recovery targets were established for each
and supporting assumptions. PA by comparing the performance
predictions between areas. PAs which
As an example, full field reservoir significantly departed from the full field
pressure measurements did not support performance were identified for further
material balance calculations. Therefore, investigation. Through the use of
an injection efficiency was applied to the analytical performance prediction methods,
field. Whether injection losses were a the potential of additional development
result of field metering inaccuracies or for each PA was quantified. Production
lack of zonal injection control, these decline and water-oil ratio versus
losses could not be allocated on a well by recovery plots developed for each PA
well or bench by bench basis. Losses were easily identified under-developed areas or
assigned equally to all injectors and the areas in which water cycling may be
target injection-withdrawal ratio for each occurring.
area reflected this efficiency.
An example of one such analysis is
Each PA was selected such that the demonstrated by Figures 7, 8 and 9.
cumulative injection-withdrawal ratio was Figure 7 is a plot of the producing
equal to. the overall field ratio for ease water-oil ratio trend for the full field.
of future comparisons. Each area includes Figures 8 and 9 demonstrate the water-oil
one or more injection wells and a group of ratio trend for two individual PAs HIJK
production wells as demonstrated in Figure and QLM. The trending of PA HIJK
4. The boundaries within a fixed PA were reasonably follows predicted performance.
intended to account for all injected and When PA HIJK is compared to the full field
produced fluid within a fixed geometry. performance, the area's injection
The limits of the PAs were not considered efficiency and curve trend is better than
"no flow" boundaries through time. The the full field. In contrast, PA QLM
areas were constructed to identify changes demonstrates an unfavorable trend in the
in injection-withdrawal balance throughout water-oil ratio curve. This area became a
the field. target for injection efficiency
enhancement. Similar comparisons assisted
PA boundaries were transcribed onto net in developing reservoir management
pay maps for each bench. Total Hemlock strategies for distinct areas within the
pore volume for each PA was calculated. reservoir. with the PA analysis method,
PA pore volumes injected, recoveries and action plans for the areas were quickly
recovery efficiencies were determined. developed and checked for feasibility
This provided a vOlumetric basis to prior to conducting detailed engineering.
monitor changes. Each PA was further
evaluated to establish trends and predict
future performance. Analysis methods SUMMARY
included production decline and water-oil
ratio trending. Prediction of future The development of a direct and concise
performance for each PA was closely reservoir management method assisted the
compared to full field predictions. formulation of development strategies for
the Hemlock Reservoir. The method
Initially, eighteen PAs were identified. simplified analysis by keeping the
For some of the PAs, plots of recovery rigorousness of the analysis within the
fraction versus displaceable-pore-volume- accuracy of the data and supporting
injected showed erratic behavior over assumptions.
time. This plot has been used as a
qualitative indication of the relationship The analysis method enabled prompt
between injection and withdrawal in screening of development proposals for
waterfloods. In this analysis, deviation feasibility prior to detailed engineering
by a PA from average reservoir behavior evaluation. Evaluation time was saved by
indicates fluid movement across targeting engineering and geologic efforts
boundaries. Combining several adjacent at poor performing areas. In addition to
PAs resulted in behavior more indicative reducing analysis costs, a significant
of the full field and made simpler the use benef it of the method was the clear and
of future prediction methods. Figure 5 direct tracking of reservoir performance.
demonstrates this relationship for three

189
4 WATERFLOOD MONITORING TECHNIQUE IMPROVES RESERVOIR MANAGEMENT SPE 22075

PA Analysis Procedure
1) Define PAs within reservoir respecting
well placement, performance trends and
accuracy of data available.
2) compile performance information and
predict future performance for each PA.

3) Compare PA performance predictions with


those of other PAs and the fUll field.

4) Establish performance targets for each


PA.
5) Assemble feasible development plans
and management strategies for each PA.

G) Perform detailed analysis on specific


proposals within feasible development
plans.
7) Update management strategies as
conditions change.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This work was performed within a joint


operators engineering' and planning
committee. We thank UNOCAL, Marathon and
ARCO for permission to pUblish this paper.

In addition, we wish to thank the many


individuals who helped develop this
analysis technique, in particular, the
preliminary investigations of Lance Galvin
with Marathon and vicky Lytle with UNOCAL.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Diver, C. J., Hart, J. W., Graham, G. A.;


"Performance of the Hemlock Reservoir - McArthur
River Field", Paper SPE 5530 presented at 50th
Annual Fall Conference SPE-AIME, Dallas, TX, Sept.
28 - Oct. 1, 1975.

2. Cordiner, F. S., Carlson, G. E., Scheve, D. F.;


"Use of Production Logging and Reservoir Simulation
to Improve Waterflood Conformance and Oil Recovery
from the Hemlock Reservoir, McArthur River Field,
Alaska", Paper SPE 8275 presented at the 54th
Annual Fall Technical Conference SPE-AIME, Las
Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 23-26, 1979.

3. Stickney, R. B.; "McArthur River Field -- A Cook


Inlet Giant", UNOCAL geologic study, May, 1985.

4. O'Sullivan, T. P., Kiloh, D. K., Starzer, M. R.;


"Conglomerate Identification and Mapping Leads to
Development Success in a Mature Alaskan Field",
Paper SPE 22163, 1991 SPE International Arctic
Technology Conference, Anchorage, Alaska, May 28-
31, 1991.

190
SPE 22075

" 14. illS.

+.

-j-

I
-/

!:iz
::l
>-
4(
IXI
-I- C'
Z
-I

__ ti:;.[~i
:
I

-I-

I
I
1-

I
=
I

r------'
I

"
'111
1000
I : I

""-_.-_---_
-I-
...- ....
------' -:-
. . .-=:::::....... _ ..__ TRADING SA Y UNIT
McARTHUR RIVER FIELD

TOP HEMLOCK STRUCTURE CONTOURS


CONTOUR INTERVAL: 250 FT
";".;L..--:-.::;_....
~,.~
I'.

Figure 1
Structure Map of Hemlock Reservoir, McArthur River Field
191
SPE 2207 5

TYPE LOG
McARTHUR RIVER FIELD TBU RATE HISTORY
HEMLOCK CONGLOMERATE HEMLOCK
UNION T.B.U. G-10 1000000 10
SECT. 29, T.9 N., R.13 W. (S.M.)

BI TYONEK 10,336'MD
(-9562')

100000

R
A
UJ T
I- E
<t 10000 0.1
0::

---'I~
UJ B
::E (/) P WOR
0 UJ D
..J ::I: -11,600'
Cl ()
Z Z
0 UJ 1000 0.01
() ra
..J
...
CD
~
() 0
I\) 0
..J
::E 100 0.001
UJ
::I: -11,800'
1/67 1/69 1/71 1/73 1/75 1/77 1/79 1181 1/83 1/85 1/87 1/89

1- all . Water - VIO'I I


Figure 3
Production Decline and WOR Curve for the Hemlock Reservoir,
,-- McArthur River Field
7 10.963' MD
"r/ WEST FORELAND FM. (-10,133
I.EGEN[,:
~tj1.,CONGLOMERATE
.o,.q ~=3 51L TSTONE
kFi\jSANDSTONE .COAL

Figure 2
Type Log for lhe Hemlock Reservoir
SPE 22075

.,.",\ I':" ~' .._

II
" II

HEMLOCK PERFORMANCE AREA

OJ

"0:- . ,

"j F

I
I":
IJ
I
I

., "
E
"

K
II o n

- - ;;A~.:=- ---
....

" C
.,

." a
I "

1
~

" OJ
II
"
"
R
A

II . II

_, . r_ MARATHON OIL COMPANY


~CrotH'~I~ n . - .., UtI"
e-_ ... &r.r-c ""'.._ KcAlllllllR IUVDI nEW
e--"'I_ _ ..
,-",,-. ~
ell _.".Uu,. ......
l.0. _ 10 UI'"", '""""
' ... HCIILOCK PCRFOIUlAIICC AlICAS

,_
S-'.,.... I(lt)OQ
t - . . - . - . , ...

Figure 4
Map of Helnlock Reservoir PerfOrlllanCe Areas
193
0.7

0.6
/
V
R
e 0.5 f"O
/
0
V
c

e 0.4
/.-
/~
V "Expected
r "rC-f' oAreaN
y

% 0.3
/y ;:/ + Area 0

~~
-<>AreaP
0
0
I 0.2 I / 1\ I

V
P V

0.1
/ )
~
V ~
~~
amco~dfurim~tionemcien~87~5%
0 ,
o 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
Volumetric Efficiency

Figure 5
Recovery Fraction vs. Displaceable-Pore-Volumes-Injected
Individual PAs N. 0 and P

0.7

1
0.6
V
R
e 0.5
1/V
c
0
V /
V
e 0.4
r ti- .. EXpected

~
y o Hemlock
--AreaNOP

r
% 0.3

0
0
I
P
0.2
t ~
.r:/

0.1
t ~ I
V Data corrected for iniection efficiency 87.25
0
o 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
Volumetric Efficiency

Figure 6
Recovery Fraction vs. Displaceable-Pore-Volumes-Injected
Combined PA NOP

194
SPE 22075

WOR VS RECOVERY
HEMLOCK

100

I /'
I 7
10 /1 FRACTIONAL FLOW PREDICTION

/' I
.'/
w
o
;;/
I'
R

-.-
"
/
~ ... ,,-
..... / ".. '
0.1 IPROOUCING WOAI

". I I

: 7
.,~)"/l
0.01
': I /
o 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
Recowry F.ctOl' (OOIPl

Figure 7
Water-Qil Ratio vs. Recovery, Hemlock Reservoir

WOR VS RECOVERY - AREA HIJK

100

/'
./

10
/ FRACTIONAL FLOW PREDICTIONl

I~ /
,(I /'
w
o
R
""'//
"

1/ :
Al ..
't" '.'
~.
: IPRODUClNG WOAI
0.1

;
,.'
.: ~:
I /
:: ;-
0.01
'II : : ' / I
o 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
Reccawry FlICtot (OOIPI

Figure 8
Water-Qil Ratio vs. Recovery. PA HIJK

195
WOR VS RECOVERY - AREA QlM

100

/'
./

10
/ FRACTIONAL FLOW PREDICTIONL

,. /'
-.)1./
w
o
R
V
"

"
;"'/,
:y
. \_,:'\/.'".
,,,
'"

0.1
/?" " IPRODUCING wool

:!

0.01
.7
o 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
R-.ry Fector lOOIPj

Figure 9
Water-Qil Ratio vs. Recovery, PA QLM

196