Development plans for UKCS viscous oil reservoirs use production profiles predicted by full-field simulation models. The use of horizontal wells, possibly combined with other IOR techniques, and the unusually high vertical permeability of many of the fields, lead to a range of issues that need to be carefully considered when building simulation models.
The strengths and weaknesses of different gridding systems, and the level of areal and vertical grid refinement that is needed, are discussed and illustrated with a range of examples including: interpretation of Extended Well Test results and integration with full-field modelling; sensitivity to relative permeability assumptions; prediction of gas movement from primary gas caps; and the comparison of different IOR techniques.
Where horizontal wells are drilled to reduce gas coning, undulations in the well trajectory can cause local coning of free gas, giving significantly earlier breakthrough times compared to strictly horizontal wells. A good correlation is found between effective stand-off and breakthrough time. Where localized gas production occurs, scoping calculations suggest that inflow of oil from further down the wellbore may be significantly reduced by multi-phase friction effects and gravity potential terms not modelled in conventional simulators.