Well Strategies for Enhanced Tight Oil Recovery
The worldwide technically recoverable tight oil resources estimated to be 418.9 billion barrels, and about 78.2 billion are located in the US. Despite the yearly increase in oil production from the unconventional formations, the operator companies were concentrating theirs effort on the improving stimulation techniques rather than production techniques and increasing the recovery factor. Waterflooding is the most economical and wildly used enhanced oil recovery approach. So far, the attempts to implement waterflood in tight oil reservoirs have not been successful, and many operators do not see it as a technically and economically viable option. Multiple fracture horizontal wells (MFHW) have proven to be very successful for primary development of tight oil reservoirs. This research analyzed why the use of existing MFHWs for waterflooding has failed. Then, we investigated more favorable MFHW patterns designed from the beginning for secondary oil recovery. Analytical modeling was used to evaluate wells specifically designed to benefit from plane-to-plane waterflooding. Based on that, we have proposed a new well pattern design strategy for implementing waterflood in the tight oil formations.