A Field Case Study of an Interwell Gas Tracer Test for GAS-EOR Monitoring

Modiu Sanni; Mohammad Abbad; Sunil Kokal; Razally Ali; Ibrahim Zefzafy; Sven Hartvig; Olaf Huseby


Tracer technology has evolved significantly over the years and is now being increasingly used as one of the effective monitoring and surveillance (M&S) tools in the oil and gas industry. Tracer surveys, deployed as either interwell tests or single-well tests, are one of the enabling M&S technologies that can be used to investigate reservoir connectivity and flow performance, measure residual oil saturation, and determine reservoir properties that control displacement processes, particularly in improved oil recovery (IOR) or enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations.

As part of a comprehensive monitoring and surveillance program for a GAS-EOR pilot project, an interwell gas tracer test (IWGTT) was designed and implemented to provide a better understanding of gas flow-paths and gas-phase connectivity between gas injector and producer pairs, gas-phase breakthrough times ("time of flight"), and provide pertinent data for optimizing water-alternating-gas (WAG) field operations. Additional objectives include the detection and tracking of any inadvertent out-of-zone injection, and acquisition of relevant data for gas reactive transport modelling. Four unique tracers were injected into four individual injectors, respectively, and their elution were monitored in four "paired" updip producers.

In addition to the reservoir connectivity and breakthrough times between the injector and producer pairs, the results showed different trends for different areas of the reservoir. The gas-phase breakthrough times are slightly different from the water tracer breakthrough times from a previous inter-well chemical tracer test (IWCTT). Residence times for the tracers indicate different trends for three of the injector-producer pairs compared to the last pair. These trends reflect and support conclusions regarding reservoir heterogeneities also seen from the previous IWCTT, which were not anticipated at the beginning of the GAS-EOR pilot.

This paper reviews the design and implementation of the tracer test, field operational issues, analyses, and interpretation of the tracer results. The tracer data has been very useful in understanding well interconnectivity and dynamic fluid flow in this part of the reservoir. This has led to better reservoir description, improved dynamic simulation model, and optimized WAG sequence.