Production Monitoring by Intelligent Chemical Inflow Tracers in Long Horizontal Heavy Oil Wells for the Nikaitchuq Field, Northern Alaska
M.D. Kuck, L. Nofziger, P. Gentil and E.S. Faevelen
Event name: IPTC 2014: International Petroleum Technology Conference
Session: Session 30: INTEGRATED RESERVOIR - Reservoir Surveillance
Publication date: 19 January 2014
Info: Extended abstract, PDF ( 1.94Mb )
Price: € 20
Obtaining reliable production surveillance data is not always achievable with all completion types. Two heavy oil production wells in the Nikaitchuq field in Northern Alaska hosted such challenges. The wells do not flow naturally and ESP’s were chosen as the artificial lift (AL) method, thus eliminating the option of applying conventional flow profiling techniques such as production logging tools (PLT). Permanent chemical intelligent tracer systems were installed to monitor inflow distribution and water breakthrough along the long horizontal production intervals. The nature of heavy oil fields in this area require long, horizontal production wells with adjacent injectors to drive waterflood support. Lateral production conformance in this area was unknown or could not be definitively confirmed. A means to understand inflow performance along laterals in order determine appropriate lateral length and optimize waterflood design was needed. Early water breakthrough due to uneven water front and possible matrix bypass has previously been experienced in nearby, analogous fields. A means to determine the general location of water breakthrough was also desired. Oil and water intelligent tracers were chosen to provide the required information to enhance pressure management and waterflood techniques. These intelligent tracers were placed strategically along the lateral in multiple development production wells. With this knowledge in hand, other production optimization tools such as ICD’s, DTS and zonal isolation packers can be assessed to help effectively manage the waterflood. The intelligent tracer systems are designed to release unique tracer chemicals when exposed to the corresponding target fluid, i.e. oil and water contact triggers intelligent oil and water tracer release respectively. The tracer transient signatures are interpreted to assess the type, location, and quantity of fluid flow along the lateral. Re-start monitoring campaigns have been conducted for three wells during dry oil production. The data interpretation confirmed toe production in two of the wells. Quantitative estimates of inflow distribution along the producing sections were made for all wells.