ROSING Debates Enhanced Recovery at Samara Event

By Elena Zhuk, October 1, 2006

The specialists met in the city upon Volga for the tenth time since 1997. Discussions about deep stimulation methods started when the Russian oil industry lived through difficult times. Late 1990s were marked by decline in hydrocarbons recovery. Then, the oil specialists understood that it was necessary to revive regular meetings and to recover bonds broken during transition to the the market economy. "Together, we need to help formations in a proper way to restore the energy loss," said the ROSING president about the conference's mission.

Recovery Factor for the Buzzword

The abbreviation for "recovery factor" was written across the screen as the main visual aid accompanying the report of the coryphaeus of the Russian oil recovery and production enhancement methods Nikolai Lisovskiy, the first deputy chairman of the Central Oil and Gas Field Development Commission, honorable academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and academician of the Mines Inspectorate.

This term - commonly known as "recovery" - ran through all reports made by producing companies and research institutes' representatives demonstrating close interconnection between theoretical research and practice. As Mr. Lisovsky noted, recovery factor is the most important indicator of field development efficiency and feasibility, and serves as a basis for assessment and solution for the problems related to oil recovery enhancement.

The scientist proposed to develop a unified approach to such key concepts as Recovery Stimulation Methods, Well Flow Stimulation Methods and Field Development Method.

Despite the clearly formulated concepts, the conclusions of the report were somewhat pessimistic. Instead of expanding the application of recovery stimulation methods targeting future reserves recovery, the companies prefer flow stimulation methods that provide only a short-term effect. It was also noted that the current scope of stimulation methods in Russia cannot seriously affect the designed average recovery factor.

Geological-hydrodynamic models used for the development analysis and monitoring help to increase recovery. The TRIAS software package developed by specialists of Samara-based Information Systems Lab Vensis was recommended by the RF Central Commission for the Development of Combustible Fossil Minerals Fields of the Federal Agency for Subsoil Usage (Rosnedra) for the purposes of development and monitoring of oil fields. Apart from TRIAS, Vensis presented at the conference "EOR-Reserves" software package designed for estimation of reserves distribution within a field's area.

New opportunities for improved monitoring efficiency and optimisation of fields development emerge in the course of geological-hydrodynamic simulation of seepage in oil reservoirs and analysis of pore oil-saturated volumes drainable by the seepage. Specialists of the Central Geophysical Expedition propose to use the flow lines simulation model. Their methodology of qualitative analysis is especially relevant due to increased application of new development methods not only for traditional vertical, inclined and horizontal, but also multihole, multilateral and multilayered wells.

Off-Balance Treasures

It is not uncommon when the government starts blaming subsoil users for breaking the licensing terms and "uncivilized attitude to natural resources", namely for "pumping out" oil and gas above the set norms.

However, there may be a situation when actual subsoil reserves exceed