How does the connectivity of open-framework conglomerates within multi-scale hierarchical fluvial architecture affect oil sweep efficiency in waterflooding?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
David F Dominic1, Naum I Gershenzon1, Mohammad Reza Soltanian1, Robert William Ritzi Jr1, Donald Allen Keefer2, Eric Shaffer2 and Brynne Storsved2, (1)Wright State Univ, Dayton, OH, United States, (2)Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, IL, United States
We studied the effects on oil sweep efficiency of the proportion, hierarchical organization, and connectivity of high-permeability open-framework conglomerate (OFC) cross-sets within the multi-scale stratal architecture found in fluvial deposits. Utilizing numerical simulations and the RVA/Paraview open-source visualization package, we analyzed oil production rate, water breakthrough time, and spatial and temporal distribution of residual oil saturation. The effective permeability of the reservoir exhibits large-scale anisotropy created by the organization of OFC cross-sets within unit bars, and the organization of unit bars within compound bars. As a result, oil sweep efficiency critically depends on the direction of the pressure gradient. When pressure gradient is oriented normal to paleoflow direction, the total oil production and the water breakthrough time are larger, and remaining oil saturation is smaller. This result is found regardless of the proportion or connectivity of the OFC cross-sets, within the ranges examined. Contrary to expectations, the total amount of trapped oil due to the effect of capillary trapping does not depend on the pressure gradient within the examined range. Hence the pressure difference between production and injection wells does not affect sweep efficiency, although the spatial distribution of oil remaining in the reservoir depends on this value. Whether or not clusters of connected OFC span the domain does not affect sweep efficiency, only the absolute rate of oil production. The RVA/Paraview application allowed us to visualize and examine these non-intuitive results.