Production Performance Modeling Through Integration of Reservoir and Production Network with Asphaltene Deposition
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This study proposes the development of a new integrated reservoir-network compositional simulator with asphaltene modeling in production pipelines. Reservoir and network simulators are developed with a fully-implicit formulation, allowing stand-alone runs to analyze specific areas of interest for reservoir and production engineers. The same simulation platform allows to perform tightly-coupled runs to assess mutual interaction between subsurface and surface components. Fluid phase behavior is modeled through phase equilibria calculations, using Peng-Robinson equation of state with volume translation. Rigorous vapor/liquid/liquid-dense equilibria calculations are performed to model asphaltene precipitation in network pipelines using a thermodynamically consistent sequential approach. Asphaltene deposition in the internal pipe walls is estimated through a mechanistic solid transport model. Compositional delumping is performed from reservoir to network fluid descriptions to improve fluid characterization for asphaltene modeling in pipelines. The proposed combination of tight coupling with fully-implicit formulation for oil, gas, water flow in reservoir and network, and sequential approach for solid precipitation and deposition in the pipeline system, provides a robust and flexible methodology for additional applications of solid deposition, e.g. hydrates and waxes. This approach also enables evaluation of inhibitor injection and artificial gas lift installation on asphaltene deposition and production performance. Integrated reservoir-network modeling provides more representative reservoir performance forecasts than conventional stand-alone methods, as it allows to simulate complex interactions between reservoir and surface facilities. Solids precipitation and deposition in networks have a negative impact on production rates, pressure management, and field operations. Flow assurance techniques based on adequate estimates of potentially blocking phases (hydrates, waxes, asphaltenes) are crucial to achieve good production performance. The modeling approach developed in this research allows to forecast asphaltene precipitation and accumulation in pipelines under multiple production conditions, including pressure and temperature gradients, fluid composition, production rates, gas lift, and inhibitor injection.
SubjectIntegrated asset modeling
asphaltene precipitation and deposition
artificial gas lift
Valbuena Olivares, Ernesto (2015). Production Performance Modeling Through Integration of Reservoir and Production Network with Asphaltene Deposition. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from