Horizontal Well Technology: An Effective IOR/EOR Tool?
Engineering Honours Degree 2007
University of Adelaide
Today, with the ever-increasing price of oil, interest in EOR techniques is immense. Along with commonly used techniques such as waterflooding, even marginal and expensive methods, such as chemical flooding are gaining in popularity. It is essential to study these EOR techniques in detail and work out the most efficient way to implement them. Using horizontal wells instead of vertical wells in conjunction with EOR methods provides much needed efficiency to the EOR processes by maximizing the recovery of oil.
Horizontal well technology is increasingly being used to maximize oil recoveries from very diverse reservoirs around the world. Horizontal wells are more productive than conventional (vertical) wells and increase profitability. Along from increasing production rates, horizontal wells also have the capability to play an essential role in conjunction with EOR methods, and make them more efficient. It is imperative to study the role horizontal wells play in making EOR applications more efficient, and to get a control on the parameters which dictate the oil recoveries when horizontal wells are coupled with EOR techniques.
This report tries to infer from the productivity equations for horizontal and vertical wells their performance over a range of parameters. A comprehensive literature review has also been undertaken to get an understanding of how horizontal wells fit in with existing EOR techniques and what advantages they bring to the EOR projects. Field histories have been studied for some such applications, and conclusions have been drawn from them.
Simulation studies conducted in the past regarding the combination of horizontal wells and EOR processes have been analysed, and discussed in this paper. These studies give a clearer picture of the parameters which affect horizontal well performance.
A simulation study using ECLIPSE reservoir simulation software package has been conducted to to compare the performance of vertical wells to that of horizontal wells for a range of reservoir parameters. Conclusions and recommendations have been drawn from the reviews and the simulation study, and it is expected that these will provide broad insights into the use of horizontal wells coupled with EOR processes.