Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Reservoir Engineering

Practical Approaches to Increased Recovery

Course Code: N954
Instructors:  Andy Woods
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
3 days


Alongside conventional techniques such as drilling additional wells and water and gas flooding there are  many other recovery methods that need to be evaluated. The physics governing the effectiveness of various recovery methods (e.g. polymer flooding and microbial enhanced oil recovery) is illustrated in relation to experiments and simple modelling. The applicable conditions (simple screening criteria) are presented together with field examples to give a staged approach to understand the potential of Advanced Recovery methods in various situations.

Duration and Training Method

This is a three-day classroom-based course with worked examples, case studies, exercises and discussion. The course includes micro-scale examples to see practical illustrations of the important physical processes.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

1. Evaluate the physics governing the effectiveness of various recovery methods.
2. Develop a framework where conventional increased recovery methods can be compared with novel enhanced recovery methods from the standpoints of economics and increased reserves.
3. Appraise simple laboratory scale experiments to understand the physics of fluid flow through various types of heterogeneities.
4. Evaluate the impact of various geological settings by reference to first order modelling assumptions.
5. Screen out non-viable Advanced Recovery schemes using the binary indicator method.
6. Assemble and perform analytical performance indicator screening tools.
7. Evaluate the uncertainty of potential methods due to geological variability.
8. Design and evaluate the economic benefit of a potential Advanced Recovery scheme.

Participants will also have gained a fundamental understanding of the physical processes of fluid-flow that underpins the approach.

1. Introduction

  • What are the challenges of recovering Oil and Gas?
  • The need to understand the physics of fluid-flow
  • The impact of the geological setting
  • The economics of the various schemes

2. Physics of Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery schemes

  • Using 1st order modelling tools to understand fluid-flow in heterogeneous reservoirs
  • Impact of low permeability barriers and high permeability thief zones
  • What happens when fluids come into contact with baffles that disperse flow; acid formation and dissolution and precipitation
  • Motion of a buoyant plume of CO2 

3. Preliminary Screening

  • Reservoir properties, e.g., the Depth, Net Thickness, Dip, Lithology, Fracture Intensity, Vertical Heterogeneity, Lateral Heterogeneity
  • Fluid/reservoir properties, e.g., Horizontal Permeability, Porosity, Temperature, Oil Gravity, Oil Viscosity, Acid number
  • Development properties, e.g., initial and current pressure, Oil Saturation, Well Spacing, Aquifer strength, Gas cap size
  • Determine whether the potential scheme, e.g., polymer flooding, microbial enhanced oil recovery, deep diversion technology (gels of different kinds), surfactant flooding, low salinity water flooding, gas injection, water-alternating-gas (WAG) and Foam-Assisted-WAG, can immediately be excluded

4. Screening: estimated performance based upon:

  • Classical reservoir engineering techniques
  • Layer cake model
  • Gravity viscous balance
  • Sweep efficiencies
  • Miscibility pressures

5. Field Examples (depending upon availability)

  • Polymer injection test at Heidrun field (Statoil)
  • Sodium silicate system for water diverging at the Snorre field (Statoil)
  • Dukhan Arab – C multiple tracer test (BP/QGPC)
  • CO2 Injection Screening of Abu Dhabi Onshore Oil Reservoirs (ADNOC)
  • JPT studies on the efficacy of EOR methods

6. Uncertainty Analysis

  • Analysis of the performance indicators given distributions for reservoir properties
  • The use of tracer and pilot tests to examine the geological heterogeneity prior to going ahead with field-scale implementation
  • Techniques to estimate the probability and impact of the potential of Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery schemes

7. Cost/Benefit Analysis

  • Economic benefit of Advanced Recovery schemes illustrated with worked examples

The course is designed for mid to senior level engineers, production geoscientists and subsurface managers.

Andy Woods

Prof  Woods completed his undergraduate and post graduate degrees at the University of Cambridge, focusing on mathematics and geological fluid flows.  His early academic career included a Lectureship at the University of Cambridge, Institute of Theoretical Geophysics and Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and later Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bristol.  He was appointed BP Professor of Petroleum Science and Head, BP Institute, University of Cambridge in 2000, where he remains today.

Prof Woods is interested in modelling fluid mechanical processes in industry and the environment, including flows in porous media of relevance for oil production, CO2 sequestration, thermal energy storage and geothermal power production, as well as modelling turbulent flows associated with volcanic eruptions, oil blowouts, and hydrothermal plumes. He is also interested in modelling air and heat transfer in buildings, including the effects of natural convection and ventilation and the use of labyrinths for diurnal and interseasonal heat storage. His work combines laboratory experiments, theoretical models and where appropriate numerical simulations.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Cambridge

Courses Taught
N963: Fluid Flow Mechanisms – Observation of Rocks at Outcrop and Implications for Reservoir Modelling, Simulation and Field Development Planning: Continental-Deep Marine Deposystems (SW Ireland)
N954: Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery

CEU: 2.4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
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