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FORMATION DAMAGE

ISSUES IMPACTING THE


PRODUCTIVITY OF TIGHT
GAS PRODUCING
FORMATIONS
Brant Bennion
Hycal Energy Research Laboratories Ltd.
Canadian Well Logging Society
June 9, 2004
Presentation Summary
 What is formation Damage
 Definition of a tight gas reservoir
 Conditions generally required for
economic tight gas reservoir production
 Common formation damage types
occurring in tight gas reservoirs
 Reducing formation damage in tight gas
reservoirs
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
What is Formation Damage?
Any process causing a reduction
in the inherent natural
permeability of an oil or gas
producing formation

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
What is a Tight Gas Reservoir?
 Somewhat arbitrary classification
 Often defined as a gas bearing sandstone
or carbonate matrix (which may or may
not contain natural fractures) which
exhibits an in-situ permeability to gas of
less than 0.10 mD
 Many ‘ultra tight’ gas reservoirs may have
in-situ permeability down to 0.001 mD
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
What Controls the Ability to
Economically Produce Tight Gas
Reserves?
 Effective permeability
 Initial saturation conditions
 Size of effective sand face drainage area
accessed by the completion
 Reservoir pressure
 Degree of liquid dropout from gas (rich vs.
dry gas)
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Capillary Equilibrium in Gas
Reservoirs – High Perm

Capillary Pressure - Psi

Relative Permeability

K
w
Kr

rg
FWC Water Saturation Water Saturation

CWLS Presentation
June 9 , 2004
Capillary Equilibrium in Gas
Reservoirs – LOW Perm

Capillary Pressure - Psi

Relative Permeability

K
rg

Krw
FWC Water Saturation Water Saturation

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Generally if a Tight Gas Matrix is in
Equilibrium With a Free Water
Contact, Unless Very Large Vertical
Relief is Present, Equilibrium Water
Saturation Reduces Reserves and
Permeability to Gas Below the
Economic Limit for Production

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Non - Capillary Equilibrium in Gas
Reservoirs – LOW Perm

Capillary Pressure - Psi

Relative Permeability

K
rg

Krw
NO FWC Water Saturation Water Saturation

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
For Significant Reserves and Mobile
Gas Production in Very Low Perm Gas
Reservoirs, a CAPILLARY
SUBNORMAL Water Saturation
Condition Usually Must Exist

Water Gauge

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Subnormally Water Saturated Tight
Gas Reservoirs – What Are They

A gas reservoir in which the initial water


saturation is less than that which would be
achieved on a conventional drainage
capillary pressure curve at the effective
capillary gradient of the reservoir

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Postulated Mechanism For
Establishment of the Low Swi
Condition
Pore System
Long Term is isolated
Migration
Low of from
Gas matrix
Perm
Slightly out of equilibrium
Dynamic capillary with
contact
Initially 100%
Reservoir results in Desiccation
With active recharge
Saturated water
with
Of water saturation to subnormal
Source
value (faulting,
Water etc)
Gas Migration commences
Pore system displaced to
Capillary equilibrium swirr
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Postulated Mechanism For
Establishment of the Low Swi
Condition
Results in unique combination
Of low perm and low Swi

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Subnormal Saturation
Conditions
 Generally a pre-requisite for an economic
gas reservoir in ultra tight rock (<0.1 mD)
 Increases reserves and gas permeability
 Increases apparent salinity and
suppresses Rw (proven by case studies)
 Swi often difficult to precisely measure
using conventional logging
 Direct measurement via traced coring
program common method used
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Common Subnormally Saturated
Formations in Western Canada
 Deep basin area
 Paddy
 Cadomin
 Cadotte
 Jean Marie
 Montney
 Rock Creek
 Ostracod
 Gething
 Bluesky
 Halfway
 Doig
 Cardium
 Viking
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Subnormal Initial Water Saturation
Gas Reservoirs
 USA
 Powder River Basin
 Green River Basin
 DJ Basin
 Permian Basin
 Alsodocumented in South America,
Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Dominant Formation Damage
Mechanisms in Tight Gas
 Unless natural microfractures are present,
almost all tight reservoirs must be fracture
stimulated to obtain economic production
rates
 In the case where fracture stimulation is
required, classic formation damage
associated with drilling is not normally
problematic due to the radius of
penetration of the fracture treatment
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Exceptions – Tight Matrix With
Enhanced Natural Permeability
Conduits
 Natural fractures
 Interconnected
vugular porosity
 Possible deep
invasion of whole
drilling fluids
 Possible application
of UBD

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Hydraulically Fractured Tight Gas
Systems
 High fracture conductivity essential (proppant
crushing, embedment, residual gel/frac fluid
entrainment are issues)
 Water or hydrocarbon based phase trapping a
major source of matrix damage in the near frac
face area

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Highway Analogy

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Highway Analogy

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Highway Analogy

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Water Based Phase Trapping

Capillary Pressure
Water Saturation

Relative Perm

CWLS Presentation Water Saturation


June 9, 2004
Water Based Phase Trapping

Capillary Pressure
Water Saturation

Relative Perm

CWLS Presentation Water Saturation


June 9, 2004
Water Based Phase Trapping

Capillary Pressure
Water Saturation

Relative Perm

CWLS Presentation Water Saturation


June 9, 2004
Reducing Water Based Phase Trap
Potential
 Avoid use of water based fluids (OB, pure
gas, etc)
 Use surface tension reducing agents to
reduce capillary pressure and trapping
potential (mutual solvents, alcohols, etc)
 Low fluid loss systems with rapid recovery
times to minimize imbibition
 May also be an issue in some
underbalanced operations
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Using Hydrocarbon Based Fluids in
Reservoir Prone to Water Trapping
 May still be the preferred method as
relative volume of non wetting phase
hydrocarbon which is trapped is often
much less than water
 Resulting damage is far less than if water
based fluid had been used in the same
situation in many cases

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Hydrocarbon vs. Water Based
Fluids in Low Perm, Low Swi Gas
Reservoirs
permeability
Relative

Total fluid saturation


CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Hydrocarbon vs. Water Based
Fluids in Low Perm, Low Swi Gas
Reservoirs
permeability
Relative

Total fluid saturation


CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Common Stimulation Treatments
for Water Blocks
 Dry gas injection (natural gas, CO2)
 Mutual Solvent Injection (methanol, CO2)
 Extended shut in time
 Formation heat treatment
 Direct penetration (fracturing/refracturing)
 High drawdowns normally not effective

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
DJ Basin –Colorado
Reservoir Parameters
 Very fine grained sandstone
 Depth – 2400 m
 BHP = 20 MPa
 kh = 1 – 4 mD-ft (0.3 – 1.2 mD-m)
 Typical treatment
 550,000 lbs (250 tonnes) in X-linked water
 Post-frac production
 50 mcf/day – 500 mcf/day

CWLS Presentation
Slide Courtesy of Calfrac June 9, 2004
DJ Basin – J Sand

Two Production Cycles

Slide Courtesy of Calfrac


CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Common Stimulation Treatments
for Hydrocarbon Blocks
High pressure lean gas injection
(natural gas, nitrogen)
Lower pressure rich gas injection
(CO2, ethane, propane, butane)
Mutual solvent (heavy alcohol)
treatments

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Diagnosis of Problems and Evaluation
of Most Effective Prevention or
Stimulation Treatments
A variety of lab/core evaluation techniques
exist to evaluate
 Water and hydrocarbon phase trap potential
 Interplay of reservoir pressure, invasion and
drawdown effects
 Evaluation of optimum stimulation methods for
existing damaged wells
 Evaluation of optimum drilling and completion
methods in naturally fractured formations
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Lab Regain Perm Test Equipment

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Conclusions
Conclusions
 Tight gas reservoirs have a huge future potential
for production
 Generally to be economic tight gas reservoirs
are normally in a subnormal water saturation
condition
 Fluid trapping tends to be a dominant damage
mechanism for tight gas reservoirs
 Techniques exist to evaluate and minimize
phase trapping problems and to stimulate
existing damaged wells

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
Thank You for Your
Attention

CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004
CWLS Presentation
June 9, 2004