Data Visualization to Guide the Recompletion of Oil and Gas Wells

Covisualization and analysis of fluid migration and depletion via 4D seismic along with production/injection values and geologic structure can enable better decision making when it comes to recompletion considerations.

With easily recoverable oil either gone or continuously depleting, operators are evaluating previously-drilled leaseholds to determine if there are opportunities for further economically-feasible recovery through the recompletion of oil and gas wells. Improvements in production technologies and the ability to translate volumes of data obtained over the life of a reservoir into meaningful 3D visualizations that depict changing subsurface conditions have allowed operators to discover ways in which drilling costs can be reduced and more oil and gas recovered than originally indicated.

Visualize Subsurface Conditions to Guide Recompletion of Oil and Gas Well Strategy

Before acquiring a depleted well or investing in recompletion efforts, reservoir teams need to conduct a detailed geological and geophysical analysis, calculate the remaining reserves, and accurately identify the reasons for declining production rate. This allows them to determine which, if any, recompletion methods could yield the best results.
Software that integrates and visualizes the wide range of data generated during the life of oil and gas wells and facilitates detailed analysis of factors that have impacted well productivity is essential in determining if recompletion of oil and gas wells makes economic sense. That software can also help reservoir teams determine appropriate strategies for recompletion of oil and gas wells in the following ways:

Compare Well Performance Against Similar Offset Wells

Software that easily integrates subsurface and well production data and visualizes it in 3D allows reservoir engineers to easily compare performance among wells. By comparing data from a declining well with production and geologic data of nearby wells, teams can quickly identify factors that negatively influence production, answering questions such as:
  • Is proximity to other producers impacting pressure and flow?
  • Has a recent seismic survey that is now reachable via sidetracking?
  • What recompletion methods have been used successfully to boost production in nearby wells or wells with similar geologic and geophysical conditions?
  • Are they “stacked pay zones” that can be produced, or is time to move on, now that the single geologic layer has been depleted?
When reservoir engineers can evaluate well performance and conditions in the context of nearby or similar wells, they gain a better understanding of the interplay of critical factors—geologic, borehole trajectory, target zones, completion sequence, lift methods, proximity—that influence productivity. Based on a detailed evaluation, engineers can determine whether a well is a candidate for recompletion, and if so, plan the strategy to enhance recovery.

Determine the Appropriate Recompletion Methods

All of these decisions need to be made in light of current market factors as well as reviewing the results of recompletion methods for similar wells. Although a well may be identified as an ideal candidate for recompletion, economic factors may necessitate a project delay until barrel price justifies the investment. Regardless of the decisions reached, access to all relevant data associated with an oil or gas well facilitates a thorough, detailed analysis giving reservoir teams greater confidence in their decisions.
Recompletion Method
Factors to Consider in Determining Recompletion Strategy
Acid Fracturing
Formation’s solubility to acid
Acid strength and corrosiveness of the acid mixture
Environmentally better approach and lower cost, in comparison to hydraulic fracturing
Ability to monitor the process to avoid gas leaks or related problems
Matrix Acidizing
Suitable for sandstone and limestone formations
Ideal for mitigating near-wellbore damage, e.g., dissolving pore lining material
Requires an after-flush (additives and solvents) to avoid crude emulsification caused by acid byproducts
Hydraulic Fracturing
Evaluate formation permeability and fracture orientation conductivity
Determine pumping pressure, need for proppants
Monitor fracture development and extent with microseismic surveys
Injection
Optimum injection well design
Determine if new injection wells should be drilled or if abandoned wellbores can meet the need
Gas, water, or steam?
Zone Transfer
After plugging the depleted zone, determine the best sequence for maximizing long-term productivity
All of these decisions need to be made in light of current market factors as well as reviewing the results of recompletion methods for similar wells. Although a well may be identified as an ideal candidate for recompletion, economic factors may necessitate a project delay until barrel price justifies the investment. Regardless of the decisions reached, access to all relevant data associated with an oil or gas well facilitates a thorough, detailed analysis giving reservoir teams greater confidence in their decisions.

Visualization: Confidently Determine Recompletion Needs

Reservoir engineers gain a far more detailed understanding of reservoir dynamics by using software that integrates relevant data associated with oil and gas wells. The software’s powerful visualization capabilities enable teams to explore the interdependence of geologic, petrophysical, well trajectories, completion methods, and production data that impact well performance. With this level of detailed insight, reservoir teams can more confidently determine the need for recompletion of oil and gas wells and propose recompletion methods to enhance recovery.
Reservoir engineers gain a far more detailed understanding of reservoir dynamics by using software that integrates relevant data associated with oil and gas wells.

CoViz 4D, a data visualization analytics software from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., gives geologists, geophysicists, and reservoir engineers the ability to easily access and combine all relevant data associated with subsurface environments. Powerful analytic capabilities enable users to explore data relationships, analyze the accuracy of depth conversion of 3D seismic, and visualize seismic well ties and velocity models to facilitate decisions that positively impact profit and reduce operational risk. To learn more about CoViz 4D contact our team.

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