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Waterflooding Proves Useful in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Overpressured Turbidites

Good primary recovery, high drilling cost, and facility limitations mean water injection is not commonly used in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. However, waterflooding can supply additional reservoir energy for producing substantial quantities of oil trapped by limited displacement drive and poor sweep efficiency. This paper is a detailed examination of Pleistocene-to-Upper-Miocene turbidite reservoirs in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico under water injection. Waterflooding strategies have proved to be highly effective in achieving good incremental oil recovery from these reservoirs.

Introduction

So far, oil and gas production in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico is mostly from Neogene (Pleistocene, Pliocene, and Upper Miocene) reservoirs. The Neogene reservoirs can be characterized broadly as overpressured, unconsolidated, and highly compacting, with high permeability and containing black undersaturated oil of medium gravity with moderate gas/oil ratio and some aquifer support. Although waterflooding is a mature technology, few water-injection projects have been conducted in the Neogene reservoirs because they exhibit good primary recoveries, exist in high-cost offshore environments, and are relatively small. In some of these fields, a limited volume of water was injected. The fields with water injection are

  • Petronius field—J1 and J2 reservoirs
  • Mars field—N-O sand, M1/M1 sand, and E sand
  • Horn Mountain—M sand
  • Holstein—J2 and J3 sands
  • Ram-Powell—N sand
  • Ursa/Princess field—Yellow sand
  • Morpeth field—M-2/P sand
  • Amberjack field—G sand
  • Bullwinkle—J2 sand
  • Lena field
  • Pompano (possibly a disposal project more than a waterflood)
  • Lobster—Bul-1 sand

The Amberjack, Ram Powell, and Morpeth fields have had only short periods of water injection because of injectivity and sweep-efficiency problems. After approximately 4 years of injection, production at Bullwinkle exhibited sufficient pressure support from the aquifer influx that water injection was stopped. Extensive water injection, starting at the beginning of production, occurred only in the Petronius, Horn Mountain, and Holstein fields. In the Mars and Ursa/Princess fields, primary production was followed by water injection after the initial high reservoir pressure was depleted.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper OTC 24111, “Water Injection in Deepwater, Overpressured Turbidites in the Gulf of Mexico: Past, Present, and Future,” by X. Li and K.K. Beadall, SPE, Knowledge Reservoir; S. Duan, SPE, Chevron Corporation; and J.R. Lach, SPE, Knowledge Reservoir, prepared for the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 6–9 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2013 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
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Waterflooding Proves Useful in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Overpressured Turbidites

01 June 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 6

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