Oilfield Water Production, Handling and Injection:

Make Oilfield Water an Asset not a Liability

For every barrel of oil produced we produce 3 barrels of water. Water handling and disposal represents the biggest operating cost for most oilfield operators. In addition to produced water large quantities of seawater and water from other sources is treated and injected. The economic success of oil and gas development projects depends very much on our ability to successfully manage water.

Water management is defined as our ability to diagnose the cause of excess water production, design and implement remedial treatments to prevent water production, and in most instances deal with the large volumes of produced water. This course discusses methods, equipment and tools used for testing, diagnosing, and minimizing water production from oil and gas wells. Reservoir engineering and surface facility aspects of water handling, treatment and re-injection are extensively discussed.

Course Objectives
To educate reservoir, production and surface facilities engineers in key aspects of water production, treatment and re-injection in oil and gas fields.

Target Audience
Reservoir, production and surface facilities engineers responsible for managing the reservoir, providing surface facilities and maximizing the production performance of oil and gas properties. Engineers and other personnel involved in providing tools and chemicals for diagnosing / reducing water production, improving injection efficiencies and treating produced water.

Key Benefits 
Significant cost savings in all aspects of water production, handling and disposal accomplished through better diagnostic tools, better water handling and better treatment and re-injection strategies.

Training Methodology 
The course will be taught using a set of course notes specifically designed for the course. The course covers the fundamental theory, and the latest technological developments. It particularly emphasizes field application through lots of practical field examples, exercises and case studies.

Personnel / Organizational Impact 
Attendees will have the tools to make them part of a well trained team of professionals who can make the right reservoir engineering and facilities decisions to ensure highly productive and profitable oil and gas reservoirs.

Competencies Emphasized in the Course 
The course is focused on the tools and techniques used to better handle and dispose of oilfield water. The diagnosis of water production problems is an important step that leads both to the selection of methods to prevent water production and to methods to better handle the produced water. Reservoir engineering and surface production facilities aspects of the problem are emphasized.

Mukul M. Sharma is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked, published, taught and consulted extensively in the oil and gas industry for the past 20 years. He is the recipient of the 1998 SPE Formation Evaluation Award, the 2002 Lester C. Uren Award and the 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering faculty. He has served as an SPE Instructor for 12 years and as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in Oilfield Water Management in 2002.

Length of Course
This course will be taught over five days. A detailed outline of the course for each day is provided below.

Day 1. Reservoir Data Gathering and Analysis
(Competency map 7.4)

Module 1 Introduction: Causes of Excess Water Production

  • An introduction to the possible causes and sources of water production (coning, fractures, early water breakthrough, high perm channels, karsts, anisotropy)
  • Introductory techniques to help identify the source of the water.


Module 2 Data Collection for Problem Identification

  • Types of data that can be used to identify the source of the water production
  • Production logging techniques: Wellbore flow surveys (methods and field examples)
  • Temperature logging (methods and field examples)
  • Use of near wellbore and oilfield tracers (methods and field examples)
  • Cement bond logging (methods and field examples)
  • Other methods for detection of flow behind casing
  • Open hole well-logging methods for identifying natural fractures


Module 3 Identifying the Causes of Excess Water Production

  • Integration of data collected.
  • 14 different types of water production (based on subsurface source and water flow paths).
  • Problem well diagnosis (methods and field examples)


Module 4 Wellbore and Near Wellbore Water Shutoff Technologies

  • An introduction to the different methods for near-wellbore water shutoff
  • The application of cement squeezes (foamed and acid resistant cements)
  • Zonal isolation with packers, cement and other alternate completions.
  • Other, less commonly used methods


Day 2. Conformance Control and Water Shutoff
(Competency map 7.4)

Module 5 Gels for Water Shutoff

  • Chemistry of different types of gelling systems
  • Gel placement issues
  • What gels can and cannot do
    • Filling void space vs blocking high permeability zones
    • Mechanical, biological, thermal and chemical stability of gels
  • Designing gel treatments for field applications
  • Field examples of gel treatments


Module 6 Polymer Flooding

  • Areal sweep and early water breakthrough in waterfloods
  • Mobility control principles
  • Properties of polymers used in waterfloods
  • Field example of polymer flood design: Advantages and limitations for water management


Module 7 Down-hole Sink Technology

  • The basic idea: A potential solution to some coning problems
  • Calculating the rates of water production needed
  • Advantages and limitations
  • Field examples for design, implementation and performance


Module 8 Selection of Water Control Treatment

  • When is near wellbore conformance control applicable?
  • When should mobility control be applied?
  • Well pattern readjustment, infill drilling and complex well trajectories.
  • Selection chart for different water control technologies.


Day 3. Analysis and Treatment of Oilfield Water
(Competency map 7.1 and 7.2)

Module 9 Analysis and Treatment of Produced Water

  • Important properties of injection water: Why do we care?
  • Sampling, storage and analysis for dissolved solids
  • Sampling, storage and analysis for suspended solids and oil
  • Methods for water softening (chemistry and equipment)
  • Removal of oil and solids
    • Filtration equipment (different types and specification)
    • Hydrocyclones
    • Skimmers and floatation cells
    • Sedimentation tanks
    • Other water clarification options


Module 10 Scale, Bacteria and Corrosion Problems

  • Common types of scale: Chemistry of formation, when and where they are likely to form.
    • Calcium carbonate
    • Calcium sulfate
    • Barium sulfate
    • Iron precipitates
  • Scale inhibitors
  • Common oilfield bacteria found under aerobic and anaerobic conditions
  • Bactericides used. Application methods.
  • Bacterial fouling of flow lines, injectors and reservoir souring.
  • Corrosion chemistry and types of corrosion
  • Corrosion prevention: Cathodic protection, Corrosion inhibitors.


Module 11 Injection Well Testing

  • Single well testing
    • Pressure transient tests
    • Multi-rate tests
    • Field examples
  • Multiple well testing
    • Interference testing
    • Bubble maps


Day 4. Water Injection Wells: Water Quality / Injection Well Testing
(Competency map 7.2 and 7.3)

Module 12 Water Quality Requirements for Re-injection and Surface Disposal

  • Water quality requirements for surface discharge
  • Water quality requirements for offshore discharge to the sea.
  • Models for injectivity decline in injection wells with matrix injection.
  • Performance prediction for injection wells.
  • Selecting water treatment equipment based on water quality specifications, water volumes, temperature and pressure.
  • Down-hole vs surface separation and re-injection
  • Sub-sea vs platform water handling
  • Field case studies for:
    • Seawater injection (offshore facilities)
    • Produced water re-injection (closed and open systems)
    • Surface water injection (onshore facilities)
    • Surface discharge (onshore and offshore)


Module 13 Fractured Injection Wells

  • Fracture growth in injection wells
    • Models and experiments
    • Particle plugging effects
    • Thermal effects
    • Fracture containment
  • Impact of fractures on injectivity decline.
  • Models for injectivity decline in fractured injection wells.
    • 2-d models
    • 3-d models
  • Impact of well completions on injector performance
  • Identifying important parameters for injector performance and fracture growth


Day 5. Fractured Injectors
(Competency map 7.2 and 7.3)

Module 14 Injection into Unconsolidated Sands (with sand control)

  • Wellbore stability issues in injectors and producers
    • Wellbore stability basics
    • Impact of pore pressure changes in sands
    • Operational guidelines to follow for injection wells in sands
    • Field case study
  • Fracture growth in injectors in poorly consolidated sands
    • Mechanics of sands
    • Fluid loss behavior
    • Models and field experience
  • Injectivity decline in injection wells with gravel packs
  • Injectivity decline in injection wells with frac-packs
  • Completion options / decisions for injection wells in poorly consolidated sands


Module 15 Impact of Water Re-injection on Reservoir Performance

  • Combining injector performance with reservoir simulations.
    • Computer models
    • Case study for simple injection well patterns
  • Injection into multiple target zones
  • Field examples of the impact of injection well fractures on reservoir sweep.
  • Complex wells (deviated and horizontal wells).
    • Models
    • Field case studies


Module 16 Economics and Post-Treatment Analysis

  • Post treatment / injection analysis
    • Onsite QC of surface facilities
    • Job execution pumping and response.
    • Analyzing injection well response
    • WOR vs cum oil & other performance analysis plots
  • Cost benefit analysis of water injection
    • Cap Ex and Op Ex for water handling and injection
    • Op Ex Savings