Schlumberger

Technical Paper: Numerical Investigation of Gravitational Compositional Grading in Hydrocarbon Reservoirs Using Centrifuge Data

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 116243
Presentation Date: 2009
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Abstract

For the design and implementation of petroleum-production processes, engineers require fluid properties descriptions. Increasing numbers of deepwater and subsea production systems and high-pressure, high-temperature reservoir fluids have elevated the importance of fluid properties; well-count and initial-rate estimates are crucial for development decisions. Similar to rock properties, fluid properties can vary significantly both aerially and vertically even within well-connected reservoirs.

Authors from Shell and Schlumberger present effects of gravitational fluid segregation using experimental data for five live-oil and condensate systems (at pressures between 6,000 and 9,000 psi and temperatures from 68 to 200 degF), considering the impact of fluid composition and phase behavior.

Under isothermal conditions and in the absence of recharge, gravitational segregation dominates. However, gravitational effects are not always significant for practical purposes. Since the predictive modeling of gravitational grading is sensitive to characterization methodology for some reservoir-fluid systems, experimental data from a specially designed centrifuge system and analysis of such data are essential for calibration and quantification of these forces. Generally, there is a higher degree of gravitational grading for volatile or near-saturated reservoir-fluid systems.

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