Interpretation, Analysis and Design of Inter-well Tracer Tests in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs
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In order to understand the complex fracture network that controls water movement in Sherrod Area of Spraberry Field in West Texas and to better manage the on-going waterflood performance, a field scale inter-well tracer test was implemented. This test presents the largest inter-well tracer test in naturally fractured reservoirs reported in the industry and includes the injection of 13 different tracers and sampling of 110 producers in an area covering 6533 acres. Sherrod tracer test generated a total of 598 tracer responses from 51 out of the 110 sampled producers. Tracer responses showed a wide range of velocities from 14 ft/day to ultra-high velocities exceeding 10,000 ft/day with same-day tracer breakthrough. Re-injection of produced water has caused the tracers to be re-injected and added an additional challenge to diagnose and distinguish tracer responses affected by water recycling. Historical performance of the field showed simultaneous water breakthrough of a large number of wells covering entire Sherrod area. This research investigate analytical, numerical, and inversion modeling approaches in order to categorize, history match, and connect tracer responses with water-cut responses with the objective to construct multiple fracture realizations based entirely on water-cut and tracers‟ profiles. In addition, the research highlight best practices in the design of inter-well tracer tests in naturally fractured reservoirs through lessons learned from Sherrod Area. The large number of tracer responses from Sherrod case presents a case of naturally fractured reservoir characterization entirely based on dynamic data. Results indicates that tracer responses could be categorized based on statistical analysis of tracer recoveries of all pairs of injectors and producers with each category showing distinguishing behavior in tracers‟ movement and breakthrough time. In addition, it showed that tracer and water-cut responses in the field are dominantly controlled by the fracture system revealing minimum information about the matrix system. Numerical simulation studies showed limitation in dual porosity formulation/solvers to model tracer velocities exceeding 2200 ft/day. Inversion modeling using Gradzone Analysis showed that east and north-west of Sherrod have significantly lower pore volume compared to south-west.
Alramadhan, Aymen Abduljalil (2013). Interpretation, Analysis and Design of Inter-well Tracer Tests in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from