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THERMO-HYDRO-MECHANICAL MODELING OF WORKING FLUID INJECTION AND THERMAL ENERGY EXTRACTION IN EGS FRACTURES AND ROCK MATRIX

Description: Development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) will require creation of a reservoir of sufficient volume to enable commercial-scale heat transfer from the reservoir rocks to the working fluid. A key assumption associated with reservoir creation/stimulation is that sufficient rock volumes can be hydraulically fractured via both tensile and shear failure, and more importantly by reactivation of naturally existing fractures (by shearing), to create the reservoir. The advancement of EGS greatly depends on our understanding of the dynamics of the intimately coupled rock-fracture-fluid-heat system and our ability to reliably predict how reservoirs behave under stimulation and production. Reliable performance predictions of EGS reservoirs require accurate and robust modeling for strongly coupled thermal-hydrological-mechanical (THM) processes. Conventionally, these types of problems have been solved using operator-splitting methods, usually by coupling a subsurface flow and heat transport simulators with a solid mechanics simulator via input files. An alternative approach is to solve the system of nonlinear partial differential equations that govern multiphase fluid flow, heat transport, and rock mechanics simultaneously, using a fully coupled, fully implicit solution procedure, in which all solution variables (pressure, enthalpy, and rock displacement fields) are solved simultaneously. This paper describes numerical simulations used to investigate the poro- and thermal- elastic effects of working fluid injection and thermal energy extraction on the properties of the fractures and rock matrix of a hypothetical EGS reservoir, using a novel simulation software FALCON (Podgorney et al., 2011), a finite element based simulator solving fully coupled multiphase fluid flow, heat transport, rock deformation, and fracturing using a global implicit approach. Investigations are also conducted on how these poro- and thermal-elastic effects are related to fracture permeability evolution.
Date: January 1, 2012
Creator: Podgorney, Robert; Lu, Chuan & Huang, Hai
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Microtomography and pore-scale modeling of two-phase Fluid Distribution

Description: Synchrotron-based X-ray microtomography (micro CT) at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) line 8.3.2 at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory produces three-dimensional micron-scale-resolution digital images of the pore space of the reservoir rock along with the spacial distribution of the fluids. Pore-scale visualization of carbon dioxide flooding experiments performed at a reservoir pressure demonstrates that the injected gas fills some pores and pore clusters, and entirely bypasses the others. Using 3D digital images of the pore space as input data, the method of maximal inscribed spheres (MIS) predicts two-phase fluid distribution in capillary equilibrium. Verification against the tomography images shows a good agreement between the computed fluid distribution in the pores and the experimental data. The model-predicted capillary pressure curves and tomography-based porosimetry distributions compared favorably with the mercury injection data. Thus, micro CT in combination with modeling based on the MIS is a viable approach to study the pore-scale mechanisms of CO{sub 2} injection into an aquifer, as well as more general multi-phase flows.
Date: October 19, 2010
Creator: Silin, D.; Tomutsa, L.; Benson, S. & Patzek, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The use of predictive lithostratigraphy to significantly improve the ability to forecast reservoir and source rocks? Final CRADA report.

Description: The purpose of this CRADA, which ended in 2003, was to make reservoir and source rock distribution significantly more predictable by quantifying the fundamental controls on stratigraphic heterogeneity. To do this, the relationships among insolation, climate, sediment supply, glacioeustasy, and reservoir and source rock occurrence were investigated in detail. Work current at the inception of the CRADA had uncovered previously unrecognized associations among these processes and properties that produce a phenomenon that, when properly analyzed, will make lithostratigraphic variability (including texture, porosity, and permeability) substantially more understandable. Computer climate simulations of selected time periods, compared with the global distribution of paleoclimatic indicators, documented spatial and temporal climate changes as a function of insolation and provided quantitative changes in runoff, lake level, and glacioeustasy. The effect of elevation and climate on sediment yield was assessed numerically by analyzing digital terrain and climate data. The phase relationships of climate, yield, and glacioeustatic cycles from the Gulf of Mexico and/or other sedimentary basins were assessed by using lacunarity, a statistical technique.
Date: June 29, 2010
Creator: Doctor, R. D.; Moore, T. L. & Systems, Energy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An asymptotic model of seismic reflection from a permeable layer

Description: Analysis of compression wave propagation in a poroelastic medium predicts a peak of reflection from a high-permeability layer in the low-frequency end of the spectrum. An explicit formula expresses the resonant frequency through the elastic moduli of the solid skeleton, the permeability of the reservoir rock, the fluid viscosity and compressibility, and the reservoir thickness. This result is obtained through a low-frequency asymptotic analysis of Biot's model of poroelasticity. A review of the derivation of the main equations from the Hooke's law, momentum and mass balance equations, and Darcy's law suggests an alternative new physical interpretation of some coefficients of the classical poroelasticity. The velocity of wave propagation, the attenuation factor, and the wave number, are expressed in the form of power series with respect to a small dimensionless parameter. The absolute value of this parameter is equal to the product of the kinematic reservoir fluid mobility and the wave frequency. Retaining only the leading terms of the series leads to explicit and relatively simple expressions for the reflection and transmission coefficients for a planar wave crossing an interface between two permeable media, as well as wave reflection from a thin highly-permeable layer (a lens). Practical applications of the obtained asymptotic formulae are seismic modeling, inversion, and at-tribute analysis.
Date: October 15, 2009
Creator: Silin, D. & Goloshubin, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fracture Propagation and Permeability Change under Poro-thermoelastic Loads & Silica Reactivity in Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Description: Geothermal energy is recovered by circulating water through heat exchange areas within a hot rock mass. Geothermal reservoir rock masses generally consist of igneous and metamorphic rocks that have low matrix permeability. Therefore, cracks and fractures play a significant role in extraction of geothermal energy by providing the major pathways for fluid flow and heat exchange. Therefore, knowledge of the conditions leading to formation of fractures and fracture networks is of paramount importance. Furthermore, in the absence of natural fractures or adequate connectivity, artificial fractures are created in the reservoir using hydraulic fracturing. Multiple fractures are preferred because of the large size necessary when using only a single fracture. Although the basic idea is rather simple, hydraulic fracturing is a complex process involving interactions of high pressure fluid injections with a stressed hot rock mass, mechanical interaction of induced fractures with existing natural fractures, and the spatial and temporal variations of in-situ stress. As a result, it is necessary to develop tools that can be used to study these interactions as an integral part of a comprehensive approach to geothermal reservoir development, particularly enhanced geothermal systems. In response to this need we have developed advanced poro-thermo-chemo-mechanical fracture models for rock fracture research in support of EGS design. The fracture propagation models are based on a regular displacement discontinuity formulation. The fracture propagation studies include modeling interaction of induced fractures. In addition to the fracture propagation studies, two-dimensional solution algorithms have been developed and used to estimate the impact of pro-thermo-chemical processes on fracture permeability and reservoir pressure. Fracture permeability variation is studied using a coupled thermo-chemical model with quartz reaction kinetics. The model is applied to study quartz precipitation/dissolution, as well as the variation in fracture aperture and pressure. Also, a three-dimensional model of injection/extraction has been developed to consider ...
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Ghassemi, Ahmad
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A low-frequency asymptotic model of seismic reflection from a high-permeability layer

Description: Analysis of compression wave propagation through a high-permeability layer in a homogeneous poroelastic medium predicts a peak of reflection in the low-frequency end of the spectrum. An explicit formula expresses the resonant frequency through the elastic moduli of the solid skeleton, the permeability of the reservoir rock, the fluid viscosity and compressibility, and the reservoir thickness. This result is obtained through a low-frequency asymptotic analysis of the Biot's model of poroelasticity. A new physical interpretation of some coefficients of the classical poroelasticity is a result of the derivation of the main equations from the Hooke's law, momentum and mass balance equations, and the Darcy's law. The velocity of wave propagation, the attenuation factor, and the wave number, are expressed in the form of power series with respect to a small dimensionless parameter. The latter is equal to the product of the kinematic reservoir fluid mobility, an imaginary unit, and the frequency of the signal. Retaining only the leading terms of the series leads to explicit and relatively simple expressions for the reflection and transmission coefficients for a planar wave crossing an interface between two permeable media, as well as wave reflection from a thin highly-permeable layer (a lens). The practical implications of the theory developed here are seismic modeling, inversion, and attribute analysis.
Date: March 1, 2009
Creator: Silin, Dmitriy & Goloshubin, Gennady
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization and Alteration of Wettability States of Alaskan Reserviors to Improve Oil Recovery Efficiency (including the within-scope expansion based on Cyclic Water Injection - a pulsed waterflood for Enhanced Oil Recovery)

Description: Numerous early reports on experimental works relating to the role of wettability in various aspects of oil recovery have been published. Early examples of laboratory waterfloods show oil recovery increasing with increasing water-wetness. This result is consistent with the intuitive notion that strong wetting preference of the rock for water and associated strong capillary-imbibition forces gives the most efficient oil displacement. This report examines the effect of wettability on waterflooding and gasflooding processes respectively. Waterflood oil recoveries were examined for the dual cases of uniform and non-uniform wetting conditions. Based on the results of the literature review on effect of wettability and oil recovery, coreflooding experiments were designed to examine the effect of changing water chemistry (salinity) on residual oil saturation. Numerous corefloods were conducted on reservoir rock material from representative formations on the Alaska North Slope (ANS). The corefloods consisted of injecting water (reservoir water and ultra low-salinity ANS lake water) of different salinities in secondary as well as tertiary mode. Additionally, complete reservoir condition corefloods were also conducted using live oil. In all the tests, wettability indices, residual oil saturation, and oil recovery were measured. All results consistently lead to one conclusion; that is, a decrease in injection water salinity causes a reduction in residual oil saturation and a slight increase in water-wetness, both of which are comparable with literature observations. These observations have an intuitive appeal in that water easily imbibes into the core and displaces oil. Therefore, low-salinity waterfloods have the potential for improved oil recovery in the secondary recovery process, and ultra low-salinity ANS lake water is an attractive source of injection water or a source for diluting the high-salinity reservoir water. As part of the within-scope expansion of this project, cyclic water injection tests using high as well as low salinity were also conducted ...
Date: December 31, 2008
Creator: Dandekar, Abhijit; Patil, Shirish & Khataniar, Santanu
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The effects of gas-fluid-rock interactions on CO2 injection and storage: Insights from reactive transport modeling

Description: Possible means of reducing atmospheric CO{sub 2} emissions include injecting CO{sub 2} in petroleum reservoirs for Enhanced Oil Recovery or storing CO{sub 2} in deep saline aquifers. Large-scale injection of CO{sub 2} into subsurface reservoirs would induce a complex interplay of multiphase flow, capillary trapping, dissolution, diffusion, convection, and chemical reactions that may have significant impacts on both short-term injection performance and long-term fate of CO{sub 2} storage. Reactive Transport Modeling is a promising approach that can be used to predict the spatial and temporal evolution of injected CO{sub 2} and associated gas-fluid-rock interactions. This presentation will summarize recent advances in reactive transport modeling of CO{sub 2} storage and review key technical issues on (1) the short- and long-term behavior of injected CO{sub 2} in geological formations; (2) the role of reservoir mineral heterogeneity on injection performance and storage security; (3) the effect of gas mixtures (e.g., H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2}) on CO{sub 2} storage; and (4) the physical and chemical processes during potential leakage of CO{sub 2} from the primary storage reservoir. Simulation results suggest that CO{sub 2} trapping capacity, rate, and impact on reservoir rocks depend on primary mineral composition and injecting gas mixtures. For example, models predict that the injection of CO{sub 2} alone or co-injection with H{sub 2}S in both sandstone and carbonate reservoirs lead to acidified zones and mineral dissolution adjacent to the injection well, and carbonate precipitation and mineral trapping away from the well. Co-injection of CO{sub 2} with H{sub 2}S and in particular with SO{sub 2} causes greater formation alteration and complex sulfur mineral (alunite, anhydrite, and pyrite) trapping, sometimes at a much faster rate than previously thought. The results from Reactive Transport Modeling provide valuable insights for analyzing and assessing the dynamic behaviors of injected CO{sub 2}, identifying and characterizing potential ...
Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Xiao, Y.; Xu, T. & Pruess, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Mississippian Leadville Limestone Exploration Play, Utah and Colorado-Exploration Techniques and Studies for Independents

Description: The Mississippian (late Kinderhookian to early Meramecian) Leadville Limestone is a shallow, open-marine, carbonate-shelf deposit. The Leadville has produced over 53 million barrels (8.4 million m{sup 3}) of oil/condensate from seven fields in the Paradox fold and fault belt of the Paradox Basin, Utah and Colorado. The environmentally sensitive, 7500-square-mile (19,400 km{sup 2}) area that makes up the fold and fault belt is relatively unexplored. Only independent producers operate and continue to hunt for Leadville oil targets in the region. The overall goal of this study is to assist these independents by (1) developing and demonstrating techniques and exploration methods never tried on the Leadville Limestone, (2) targeting areas for exploration, (3) increasing deliverability from new and old Leadville fields through detailed reservoir characterization, (4) reducing exploration costs and risk especially in environmentally sensitive areas, and (5) adding new oil discoveries and reserves. The final results will hopefully reduce exploration costs and risks, especially in environmentally sensitive areas, and add new oil discoveries and reserves. The study consists of three sections: (1) description of lithofacies and diagenetic history of the Leadville at Lisbon field, San Juan County, Utah, (2) methodology and results of a surface geochemical survey conducted over the Lisbon and Lightning Draw Southeast fields (and areas in between) and identification of oil-prone areas using epifluorescence in well cuttings from regional wells, and (3) determination of regional lithofacies, description of modern and outcrop depositional analogs, and estimation of potential oil migration directions (evaluating the middle Paleozoic hydrodynamic pressure regime and water chemistry). Leadville lithofacies at Libon field include open marine (crinoidal banks or shoals and Waulsortian-type buildups), oolitic and peloid shoals, and middle shelf. Rock units with open-marine and restricted-marine facies constitute a significant reservoir potential, having both effective porosity and permeability when dissolution of skeletal grains, followed by ...
Date: September 30, 2008
Creator: Chidsey, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ABSTRACT: Upscaling Fracture Properties in Support of Dual-permeability Simulations

Description: Rainier Mesa (RM) is a tuffaceous, high-elevation plateau on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) that has been subjected to numerous nuclear tests between 1957 and 1992. Unlike other tests on the NTS located within or just above the saturated zone, tests at the RM T-tunnel complex were conducted within a variably saturated sequence of bedded and non-welded vitric and zeolitized tuff units, located approximately 500 m above the regional groundwater flow system. The low permeability and high porosity of the underlying zeolitized tuff units suggest the downward transport of radionuclides released from these tests are minimal through the tuff matrix. However, numerous faults observed to discharge water into tunnel drifts may serve as preferential pathways for radionuclide migration. Data collected from tunnel drifts indicate that faulting within the zeolitized tuff units is sparse with fractal clustering, and that connectivity between adjacent fault clusters is often weak to non-existent. The sparse fault density at RM, in conjunction with the extreme variability in the spatial distribution of faults, poses challenges not readily addressed by existing upscaling methods that upscale fracture properties as equivalent grid tensors. The unique fault statistics at RM has led to the development of a fracture continuum method designed to faithfully preserve flow and transport properties of the sparse fault networks. This method is based on selective mapping and upscaling of fault hydraulic and transport properties onto a continuum grid in support of dual-permeability simulations. Comparisons of global flow and random walk particle breakthrough between two-dimensional discrete fracture network and fracture continuum simulations demonstrate the utility of this method.
Date: September 15, 2008
Creator: Parashar, Rishi & Reeves, Donald M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Novel Approach to Experimental Studies of Mineral Dissolution Kinetics

Description: Currently, DOE is conducting pilot CO{sub 2} injection tests to evaluate the concept of geological sequestration. The injected CO{sub 2} is expected to react with the host rocks and these reactions can potentially alter the porosity, permeability, and mechanical properties of the host or cap rocks. Reactions can also result in precipitation of carbonate-containing minerals that favorably and permanently trap CO{sub 2} underground. Many numerical models have been used to predict these reactions for the carbon sequestration program. However, a firm experimental basis for predicting silicate reaction kinetics in CO{sub 2} injected geological formations is urgently needed to assure the reliability of the geochemical models used for the assessments of carbon sequestration strategies. The funded experimental and theoretical study attempts to resolve this outstanding scientific issue by novel experimental design and theoretical interpretation of silicate dissolution rates at conditions pertinent to geological carbon sequestration. In this four year research grant (three years plus a one year no cost extension), seven (7) laboratory experiments of CO{sub 2}-rock-water interactions were carried out. An experimental design allowed the collection of water samples during experiments in situ and thus prevented back reactions. Analysis of the in situ samples delineated the temporal evolution of aqueous chemistry because of CO{sub 2}-rock-water interactions. The solid products of the experiments were retrieved at the end of the experimental run, and analyzed with a suite of advanced analytical and electron microscopic techniques (i.e., atomic resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron microprobe, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)). As a result, the research project probably has produced one of the best data sets for CO{sub 2}-rock-water interactions in terms of both aqueous solution chemistry and solid characterization. Three experiments were performed using the Navajo sandstone. Navajo sandstone is geologically equivalent to the Nugget sandstone, which is ...
Date: August 31, 2008
Creator: Zhu, Chen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fundamentals of Reservoir Surface Energy as Related to Surface Properties, Wettability, Capillary Action, and Oil Recovery from Fractured Reservoirs by Spontaneous Imbibition

Description: The objective of this project is to increase oil recovery from fractured reservoirs through improved fundamental understanding of the process of spontaneous imbibition by which oil is displaced from the rock matrix into the fractures. Spontaneous imbibition is fundamentally dependent on the reservoir surface free energy but this has never been investigated for rocks. In this project, the surface free energy of rocks will be determined by using liquids that can be solidified within the rock pore space at selected saturations. Thin sections of the rock then provide a two-dimensional view of the rock minerals and the occupant phases. Saturations and oil/rock, water/rock, and oil/water surface areas will be determined by advanced petrographic analysis and the surface free energy which drives spontaneous imbibition will be determined as a function of increase in wetting phase saturation. The inherent loss in surface free energy resulting from capillary instabilities at the microscopic (pore level) scale will be distinguished from the decrease in surface free energy that drives spontaneous imbibition. A mathematical network/numerical model will be developed and tested against experimental results of recovery versus time over broad variation of key factors such as rock properties, fluid phase viscosities, sample size, shape and boundary conditions. Two fundamentally important, but not previously considered, parameters of spontaneous imbibition, the capillary pressure acting to oppose production of oil at the outflow face and the pressure in the non-wetting phase at the no-flow boundary versus time, will also be measured and modeled. Simulation and network models will also be tested against special case solutions provided by analytic models. In the second stage of the project, application of the fundamental concepts developed in the first stage of the project will be demonstrated. The fundamental ideas, measurements, and analytic/numerical modeling will be applied to mixed-wet rocks. Imbibition measurements will include ...
Date: June 30, 2008
Creator: Morrow, Norman; Fischer, Herbert; Li, Yu; Mason, Geoffrey; Ruth, Douglas; Seth, Siddhartha et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Systems Approach to Identifying Exploration and Development Opportunities in the Illinois Basin: Digital Portifolio of Plays in Underexplored Lower Paleozoic Rocks

Description: This study examined petroleum occurrence in Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian reservoirs in the Illinois Basin. Results from this project show that there is excellent potential for additional discovery of petroleum reservoirs in these formations. Numerous exploration targets and exploration strategies were identified that can be used to increase production from these underexplored strata. Some of the challenges to exploration of deeper strata include the lack of subsurface data, lack of understanding of regional facies changes, lack of understanding the role of diagenetic alteration in developing reservoir porosity and permeability, the shifting of structural closures with depth, overlooking potential producing horizons, and under utilization of 3D seismic techniques. This study has shown many areas are prospective for additional discoveries in lower Paleozoic strata in the Illinois Basin. This project implemented a systematic basin analysis approach that is expected to encourage exploration for petroleum in lower Paleozoic rocks of the Illinois Basin. The study has compiled and presented a broad base of information and knowledge needed by independent oil companies to pursue the development of exploration prospects in overlooked, deeper play horizons in the Illinois Basin. Available geologic data relevant for the exploration and development of petroleum reservoirs in the Illinois Basin was analyzed and assimilated into a coherent, easily accessible digital play portfolio. The primary focus of this project was on case studies of existing reservoirs in Devonian, Silurian, and Ordovician strata and the application of knowledge gained to future exploration and development in these underexplored strata of the Illinois Basin. In addition, a review of published reports and exploration in the New Albany Shale Group, a Devonian black shale source rock, in Illinois was completed due to the recent increased interest in Devonian black shales across the United States. The New Albany Shale is regarded as the source rock for ...
Date: June 30, 2008
Creator: Seyler, Beverly; Harris, David; Keith, Brian; Huff, Bryan & Lasemi, Yaghoob
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improving Gas Flooding Efficiency

Description: This study focuses on laboratory studies with related analytical and numerical models, as well as work with operators for field tests to enhance our understanding of and capabilities for more efficient enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Much of the work has been performed at reservoir conditions. This includes a bubble chamber and several core flood apparatus developed or modified to measure interfacial tension (IFT), critical micelle concentration (CMC), foam durability, surfactant sorption at reservoir conditions, and pressure and temperature effects on foam systems.Carbon dioxide and N{sub 2} systems have been considered, under both miscible and immiscible conditions. The injection of CO2 into brine-saturated sandstone and carbonate core results in brine saturation reduction in the range of 62 to 82% brine in the tests presented in this paper. In each test, over 90% of the reduction occurred with less than 0.5 PV of CO{sub 2} injected, with very little additional brine production after 0.5 PV of CO{sub 2} injected. Adsorption of all considered surfactant is a significant problem. Most of the effect is reversible, but the amount required for foaming is large in terms of volume and cost for all considered surfactants. Some foams increase resistance to the value beyond what is practical in the reservoir. Sandstone, limestone, and dolomite core samples were tested. Dissolution of reservoir rock and/or cement, especially carbonates, under acid conditions of CO2 injection is a potential problem in CO2 injection into geological formations. Another potential change in reservoir injectivity and productivity will be the precipitation of dissolved carbonates as the brine flows and pressure decreases. The results of this report provide methods for determining surfactant sorption and can be used to aid in the determination of surfactant requirements for reservoir use in a CO{sub 2}-foam flood for mobility control. It also provides data to be used to ...
Date: March 31, 2008
Creator: Grigg, Reid; Svec, Robert; Zeng, Zheng; Mikhalin, Alexander; Lin, Yi; Yin, Guoqiang et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PH Sensitive Polymers for Improving Reservoir Sweep and Conformance Control in Chemical Flooring

Description: There is an increasing opportunity to recover bypassed oil from depleted, mature oilfields in the US. The recovery factor in many reservoirs is low due to inefficient displacement of the oil by injected fluids (typically water). The use of chemical flooding methods to increase recovery efficiencies is severely constrained by the inability of the injected chemicals to contact the bypassed oil. Low sweep efficiencies are the primary cause of low oil recoveries observed in the field in chemical flooding operations even when lab studies indicate high oil recovery efficiency. Any technology that increases the ability of chemical flooding agents to better contact the remaining oil and reduce the amount of water produced in conjunction with the produced oil will have a significant impact on the cost of producing oil domestically in the US. This translates directly into additional economically recoverable reserves, which extends the economic lives of marginal and mature wells. The objective of this research project was to develop a low-cost, pH-triggered polymer for use in IOR processes to improve reservoir sweep efficiency and reservoir conformance in chemical flooding. Rheological measurements made on the polymer solution, clearly show that it has a low viscosity at low pH and exhibits a sudden increase in viscosity (by 2 orders of magnitude or more) at a pH of 3.5 to 4. This implies that the polymer would preferentially flow into zones containing water since the effective permeability to water is highest in these zones. As the pH of the zone increases due to the buffering capacity of the reservoir rock, the polymer solution undergoes a liquid to gel transition causing a sharp increase in the viscosity of the polymer solution in these zones. This allows operationally robust, in-depth conformance treatment of such water bearing zones and better mobility control. The rheological properties ...
Date: March 31, 2008
Creator: Sharma, Mukul; Bryant, Steven & Huh, Chun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geochemical Enhancement Of Enhanced Geothermal System Reservoirs: An Integrated Field And Geochemical Approach

Description: The geochemical effects of injecting fluids into geothermal reservoirs are poorly understood and may be significantly underestimated. Decreased performance of injection wells has been observed in several geothermal fields after only a few years of service, but the reasons for these declines has not been established. This study had three primary objectives: 1) determine the cause(s) of the loss of injectivity; 2) utilize these observations to constrain numerical models of water-rock interactions; and 3) develop injection strategies for mitigating and reversing the potential effects of these interactions. In this study rock samples from original and redrilled injection wells at Coso and the Salton Sea geothermal fields, CA, were used to characterize the mineral and geochemical changes that occurred as a result of injection. The study documented the presence of mineral scales and at both fields in the reservoir rocks adjacent to the injection wells. At the Salton Sea, the scales consist of alternating layers of fluorite and barite, accompanied by minor anhydrite, amorphous silica and copper arsenic sulfides. Amorphous silica and traces of calcite were deposited at Coso. The formation of silica scale at Coso provides an example of the effects of untreated (unacidified) injectate on the reservoir rocks. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffractometry were used to characterize the scale deposits. The silica scale in the reservoir rocks at Coso was initially deposited as spheres of opal-A 1-2 micrometers in diameter. As the deposits matured, the spheres coalesced to form larger spheres up to 10 micrometer in diameter. Further maturation and infilling of the spaces between spheres resulted in the formation of plates and sheets that substantially reduce the original porosity and permeability of the fractures. Peripheral to the silica deposits, fluid inclusions with high water/gas ratios provide a subtle record of interactions between the injectate and reservoir rocks. ...
Date: December 31, 2007
Creator: Moore, Joseph N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Major Oil Plays In Utah And Vicinity

Description: Utah oil fields have produced over 1.33 billion barrels (211 million m{sup 3}) of oil and hold 256 million barrels (40.7 million m{sup 3}) of proved reserves. The 13.7 million barrels (2.2 million m3) of production in 2002 was the lowest level in over 40 years and continued the steady decline that began in the mid-1980s. However, in late 2005 oil production increased, due, in part, to the discovery of Covenant field in the central Utah Navajo Sandstone thrust belt ('Hingeline') play, and to increased development drilling in the central Uinta Basin, reversing the decline that began in the mid-1980s. The Utah Geological Survey believes providing play portfolios for the major oil-producing provinces (Paradox Basin, Uinta Basin, and thrust belt) in Utah and adjacent areas in Colorado and Wyoming can continue this new upward production trend. Oil plays are geographic areas with petroleum potential caused by favorable combinations of source rock, migration paths, reservoir rock characteristics, and other factors. The play portfolios include descriptions and maps of the major oil plays by reservoir; production and reservoir data; case-study field evaluations; locations of major oil pipelines; identification and discussion of land-use constraints; descriptions of reservoir outcrop analogs; and summaries of the state-of-the-art drilling, completion, and secondary/tertiary recovery techniques for each play. The most prolific oil reservoir in the Utah/Wyoming thrust belt province is the eolian, Jurassic Nugget Sandstone, having produced over 288 million barrels (46 million m{sup 3}) of oil and 5.1 trillion cubic feet (145 billion m{sup 3}) of gas. Traps form on discrete subsidiary closures along major ramp anticlines where the depositionally heterogeneous Nugget is also extensively fractured. Hydrocarbons in Nugget reservoirs were generated from subthrust Cretaceous source rocks. The seals for the producing horizons are overlying argillaceous and gypsiferous beds in the Jurassic Twin Creek Limestone, or a ...
Date: December 31, 2007
Creator: Chidsey, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cost Effective Surfactant Formulations for Improved Oil Recovery in Carbonate Reservoirs

Description: This report summarizes work during the 30 month time period of this project. This was planned originally for 3-years duration, but due to its financial limitations, DOE halted funding after 2 years. The California Institute of Technology continued working on this project for an additional 6 months based on a no-cost extension granted by DOE. The objective of this project is to improve the performance of aqueous phase formulations that are designed to increase oil recovery from fractured, oil-wet carbonate reservoir rock. This process works by increasing the rate and extent of aqueous phase imbibition into the matrix blocks in the reservoir and thereby displacing crude oil normally not recovered in a conventional waterflood operation. The project had three major components: (1) developing methods for the rapid screening of surfactant formulations towards identifying candidates suitable for more detailed evaluation, (2) more fundamental studies to relate the chemical structure of acid components of an oil and surfactants in aqueous solution as relates to their tendency to wet a carbonate surface by oil or water, and (3) a more applied study where aqueous solutions of different commercial surfactants are examined for their ability to recover a West Texas crude oil from a limestone core via an imbibition process. The first item, regarding rapid screening methods for suitable surfactants has been summarized as a Topical Report. One promising surfactant screening protocol is based on the ability of a surfactant solution to remove aged crude oil that coats a clear calcite crystal (Iceland Spar). Good surfactant candidate solutions remove the most oil the quickest from the surface of these chips, plus change the apparent contact angle of the remaining oil droplets on the surface that thereby indicate increased water-wetting. The other fast surfactant screening method is based on the flotation behavior of powdered calcite ...
Date: September 30, 2007
Creator: Goddard, William A.; Tang, Yongchun; Shuler, Patrick; Blanco, Mario & Wu, Yongfu
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of Research through Phase II/Year 2 of Initially Approved 3 Phase/3 Year Project - Establishing the Relationship between Fracture-Related Dolomite and Primary Rock Fabric on the Distribution of Reservoirs in the Michigan Basin

Description: This final scientific/technical report covers the first 2 years (Phases I and II of an originally planned 3 Year/3 Phase program). The project was focused on evaluating the relationship between fracture-related dolomite and dolomite constrained by primary rock fabric in the 3 most prolific reservoir intervals in the Michigan Basin. The characterization of select dolomite reservoirs was the major focus of our efforts in Phases I and II of the project. Structural mapping and log analysis in the Dundee (Devonian) and Trenton/Black River (Ordovician) suggest a close spatial relationship among gross dolomite distribution and regional-scale, wrench fault-related NW-SE and NE-SW structural trends. A high temperature origin for much of the dolomite in these 2 studied intervals (based upon fluid inclusion homogenization temperatures and stable isotopic analyses,) coupled with persistent association of this dolomite in reservoirs coincident with wrench fault-related features, is strong evidence for these reservoirs being influenced by hydrothermal dolomitization. In the Niagaran (Silurian), there is a general trend of increasing dolomitization shelfward, with limestone predominant in more basinward positions. A major finding is that facies types, when analyzed at a detailed level, are directly related to reservoir porosity and permeability in these dolomites which increases the predictability of reservoir quality in these units. This pattern is consistent with our original hypothesis of primary facies control on dolomitization and resulting reservoir quality at some level. The identification of distinct and predictable vertical stacking patterns within a hierarchical sequence and cycle framework provides a high degree of confidence at this point that the results should be exportable throughout the basin. Much of the data synthesis and modeling for the project was scheduled to be part of Year 3/Phase III, but the discontinuation of funding after Year 2 precluded those efforts. Therefore, the results presented in this document are not final, ...
Date: September 30, 2007
Creator: Grammer, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of a Geologic Exploration Model foe the Permo-Pennsylvanian Petroleum System in South-Central Montana

Description: Eolian sands are the main Pennsylvanian Tensleep Sandstone reservoir rocks, and were deposited in a near-shore environment interbedded with near-shore marine and sabkha calcareous and dolomitic rocks. Within the Tensleep, numerous cycles are characterized by basal marine or sabkha calcareous sandstone or dolomitic sandstone overlain by porous and permeable eolian sandstone, which in turn is capped by marine sandstone. The cycles represent the interplay of near-shore marine, sabkha, and eolian environments. On the west side of the project area, both the lower and upper Tensleep are present and the total thickness reaches a maximum of about 240 ft. The lower Tensleep is 100 to 120 ft thick and consists of a sequence of repeating cycles of limey shallow marine sandstone, sandy limestone, and sandy dolomite. The upper Tensleep is generally characterized by cycles of sandy limestone or dolomite, overlain by light-colored, eolian dune sandstone capped by marine limey sandstone. In the central and eastern parts of the project area, only the lower Tensleep is present, but here eolian sandstones are in cycles much like those in the west in the upper Tensleep. The lower Tensleep is quite variable in thickness, ranging from about 25 ft to over 200 ft. Oil accumulations in the Tensleep are best described as structurally modified paleostratigraphic accumulations. At Frannie Field, the irregular oil column can be explained by a post-Tensleep channel scour on the west flank of the anticline. On the Powder River Basin side of the project area, the Soap Creek and Lodge Grass Fields produce from the Permo-Pennsylvanian system. In these two fields, erosional remnants of eolian sandstone control the production, similar to the situation at Frannie Field. At Soap Creek the trap is enhanced by structural closure. In the Lodge Grass area, Tensleep oil is trapped in preserved dunes in the footwall ...
Date: June 30, 2007
Creator: Lopez, David A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Laser Drilling - Drilling with the Power of Light

Description: Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has been the leading investigator in the field of high power laser applications research for well construction and completion applications. Since 1997, GTI (then as Gas Research Institute- GRI) has investigated several military and industrial laser systems and their ability to cut and drill into reservoir type rocks. In this report, GTI continues its investigation with a 5.34 kW ytterbium-doped multi-clad high power fiber laser (HPFL). When compared to its competitors; the HPFL represents a technology that is more cost effective to operate, capable of remote operations, and requires considerably less maintenance and repair. Work performed under this contract included design and implementation of laboratory experiments to investigate the effects of high power laser energy on a variety of rock types. All previous laser/rock interaction tests were performed on samples in the lab at atmospheric pressure. To determine the effect of downhole pressure conditions, a sophisticated tri-axial cell was designed and tested. For the first time, Berea sandstone, limestone and clad core samples were lased under various combinations of confining, axial and pore pressures. Composite core samples consisted of steel cemented to rock in an effort to represent material penetrated in a cased hole. The results of this experiment will assist in the development of a downhole laser perforation or side tracking prototype tool. To determine how this promising laser would perform under high pressure in-situ conditions, GTI performed a number of experiments with results directly comparable to previous data. Experiments were designed to investigate the effect of laser input parameters on representative reservoir rock types of sandstone and limestone. The focus of the experiments was on laser/rock interaction under confining pressure as would be the case for all drilling and completion operations. As such, the results would be applicable to drilling, perforation, and side tracking ...
Date: February 28, 2007
Creator: Salehi, Iraj A.; Gahan, Brian C. & Batarseh, Samih
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical and isotopic characteristics of the coso east flankhydrothermal fluids: implications for the location and nature of the heatsource

Description: Fluids have been sampled from 9 wells and 2 fumaroles fromthe East Flank of the Coso hydrothermal system with a view toidentifying, if possible, the location and characteristics of the heatsource inflows into this portion of the geothermal field. Preliminaryresults show that there has been extensive vapor loss in the system, mostprobably in response to production. Wells 38A-9, 51-16 and 83A-16 showthe highest CO2-CO-CH4-H2 chemical equilibration temperatures, rangingbetween 300-340oC, and apart from 38A-9, the values are generally inaccordance with the measured temperatures in the wells. Calculatedtemperatures for the fractionation of 13C between CO2 and CH4 are inexcess of 400oC in fluids from wells 38A-9, 64-16-RD2 and 51A-16,obviously pointing to equilibrium conditions from deeper portions of thereservoir. Given that the predominant reservoir rock lithologies in theCoso system are relatively silicic (granitic to dioritic), the isotopicsignatures appear to reflect convective circulation and equilibrationwithin rocks close to the plastic-brittle transition. 3He/4He signatures,in conjunction with relative volatile abundances in the Coso fluids,point to a possibly altered mantle source for the heat sourcefluids.
Date: January 8, 2007
Creator: Christenson, B.W.; Kennedy, B.M.; Adams, M.C.; Bjornstad, S.C. & Buck, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Subtask 1.17 - Measurement of Hydrocarbon Evolution from Coal and Petroleum Reservoirs Under Carbon Dioxide Floods

Description: The project developed, built, and tested three apparatuses for studying different interactions of carbon dioxide with geologic materials. In Year 1, an online instrument was constructed by coupling a high-pressure carbon dioxide extraction system with a flame ionization detector that can yield a real-time profile and quantitative measurements of hydrocarbons removed from materials such as coal and petroleum reservoir rock. In Years 2 and 3, one instrument was built to measure the excess sorption of carbon dioxide in geologic materials such as coal and showed that measurable uptake of carbon dioxide into the coal matrix is rapid. The final apparatus was built to expose geologic materials to carbon dioxide for long periods of time (weeks to months) under the range of pressures and temperatures relevant to carbon dioxide sequestration. The apparatus allows as many as twenty gram-sized samples of geologic materials to be exposed simultaneously and can also include exposures with geologic brines. The system was used to demonstrate complete conversion of magnesium silicate to magnesium carbonate in less than 4 weeks when exposed to clean water or brine, compared to no measurable conversion of dry magnesium carbonate.
Date: December 31, 2006
Creator: Hawthorne, Steven B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fundamentals of Reservoir Surface Energy as Related to Surface Properties, Wettability, Capillary Action and Oil Recovery from Fractured Reservoirs by Spontaneous Imbibition

Description: The objective of this project is to increase oil recovery from fractured reservoirs through improved fundamental understanding of the process of spontaneous imbibition by which oil is displaced from the rock matrix into the fractures. Spontaneous imbibition is fundamentally dependent on the reservoir surface free energy but this has never been investigated for rocks. In this project, the surface free energy of rocks will be determined by using liquids that can be solidified within the rock pore space at selected saturations. Thin sections of the rock then provide a two-dimensional view of the rock minerals and the occupant phases. Saturations and oil/rock, water/rock, and oil/water surface areas will be determined by advanced petrographic analysis and the surface free energy which drives spontaneous imbibition will be determined as a function of increase in wetting phase saturation. The inherent loss in surface free energy resulting from capillary instabilities at the microscopic (pore level) scale will be distinguished from the decrease in surface free energy that drives spontaneous imbibition. A mathematical network/numerical model will be developed and tested against experimental results of recovery versus time over broad variation of key factors such as rock properties, fluid phase viscosities, sample size, shape and boundary conditions. Two fundamentally important, but not previously considered, parameters of spontaneous imbibition, the capillary pressure acting to oppose production of oil at the outflow face and the pressure in the non-wetting phase at the no-flow boundary versus time, will also be measured and modeled. Simulation and network models will also be tested against special case solutions provided by analytic models. In the second stage of the project, application of the fundamental concepts developed in the first stage of the project will be demonstrated. The fundamental ideas, measurements, and analytic/numerical modeling will be applied to mixed-wet rocks. Imbibition measurements will include ...
Date: December 8, 2006
Creator: Morrow, Norman R.; Fischer, Herbert; Li, Yu; Mason, Geoffrey; Ruth, Douglas; Yin, Peigui et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department