Stressed About Production? Consider a Chemical Cocktail

Source: David Schechter, Texas A&M University.
When an oil-saturated rock is submersed in a liquid containing surfactant, the water-surfactant mix (blue, pink) displaces crude oil (yellow).

Field testing is beginning to confirm laboratory work that indicates it is possible to achieve significant spurts in unconventional oil production using cocktails of chemicals.

BHP Billiton has pumped a blend of chemicals along with low-salinity brine to pressure-up shut-in wells. The result of these jobs, intended to reduce the risk of damage due to fracturing nearby, has been higher production lasting for months, including an estimated 20,000 barrels of oil from one well (SPE 187420).

Apache used its chemical blend to speed recovery of wells that had production bashed by frac hits. Positive results led to tests on underperforming wells that delivered strong, but short-lived, production gains (SPE 187192).

“You have a chance of getting your well back,’ said Michael Rainbolt, completions engineer, senior advisor for Apache Corp. who presented the findings at the 2017 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

Early tests using familiar chemicals and delivery methods have been reported in which the cost and the technical challenges associated with running a test are relatively low.

This article is reserved for SPE members and JPT subscribers.
If you would like to continue reading,
please Sign In, JOIN SPE or Subscribe to JPT

Stressed About Production? Consider a Chemical Cocktail

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 December 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 12