Electromagnetic (EM) heating is becoming a popular method for heavy-oil recovery because of its cost-efficiency and continuous technological improvements. It exploits the relationship that the viscosity of hydrocarbons decreases for increasing temperature; the heavy-oil components become more fluid-like, and hence easier to extract from the reservoir. Although several field studies have considered the effects of heating on the viscosity of the hydrocarbons, there has been very little research on the long-term effects of field production and the forecasting of the development of the reservoir. Increased flow rates within the reservoir render the moving fluids less viscous, implying fast-changing fluid-propagation patterns and increased uncertainty about the state of the oil displacement. This means, in the long term, strongly varying production projections, strong dependence on the permeability of the reservoir, and potentially undesirable fluid migration. To improve the forecasting of production in heavy-oil fields and to accurately capture the dynamics of the fluid movements, we present a history-matching framework incorporating well data and seismic and EM crosswell-imaging techniques. The incorporation of seismic and EM data into the history-matching process counteracts the changing reservoir dynamics caused by increased fluid velocity caused by heating and is shown to significantly improve reservoir matching and forecasts for a variety of different heating scenarios.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-06
Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge Schlumberger for granting research licenses for ECLIPSE and Petrel. The work presented in this paper was supported, in part, by the project titled Simulation of Subsurface Geochemical Transport and Carbon Sequestration, funded by the GRP-AEA Program at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology