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Petroleum Production Employing Heat Carriers

This is the frst time that such studies were conducted anywhere on fields with superviscous crudes. Studies of this kind are important because they make it possible to get information on reservoirs of heavy petroleum still at early stages of production. In evaluating wells 55 and 60, drilled within the confines of Abino-Ukrainsk field, cores were taken. In well 55, core saturation with o i l was the same as the initial saturation r e p o d at the time when the field frst started production. However, both the gas ratio and the reservoir pressure gave readings that were lower than the initial figures. Limited interaction between the section of the oil field being exploited and the adjacent already depleted section accounted for the differences between the intial and subsequent gas ratio and pressure figures. In well 60, the content of free formation water was 25-30%. After completion and study of the wells Nos. 55 and 60 and the determination of filtration values, it was decided to place these wells in production by air-lift method, with water delivered into annular space. Inasmuch as the required start-up pressure. with other conditions being equal, depends on the type of lifter, all known lift designs were examined and necessary calculations made. In well 60. a single-line central system lift was used with a diameter of 63 mm. This type of lift enabled safe lowering to the bottom through the lubricator, of the two pressure gauges: the differential manometer and the maximum manometer, the latter coupled with the former. Well 60 was equipped with a 126-mm diameter water shut-off string. The air was supplied by a transportable compressor, type UKP. First, the air was forced through for a period of four hours at the start-up pressure of 75 kg/cm2, then the well was placed in production at the working pressure of 40-45 kg/cm*- To bring the pressure down to this level, part of the air in the well was released into the atmosphere. During the production period, the well yielded liquids at the rate of 16 tondday with water content of 32%. The well was then shut in for a period of 6 hours to restore the formation pressure. At the end of the exploitation period employing the above cyclic regimen, the production of the well became erratic with disruptions occurring in the delivery of formation liquids. To maintain the yield of liquids at the rate establishedearlier, injection of liquids was started into the central string with simultaneous injection of compressed air. The change of regimen in the pumping out of liquid required a change in the depth to which the tubes had to be lowered. This step was followed by forcing air into the central string. In the course of one hour, a high yield of liquids amounting to 310 tondday was established in the well, with a sharp increase also recorded in the water cut (up to 99.8%). At this point, the study of well No. 60 was terminated. The changes in the operating regimen of well 60 are significant. For the fmt 3 hours of the first stage, the well produced without need of water injection. During the fourth and,last hour, however, water injection was necessary to maintain stable yield of liquids. The above changes are characteristic of reservoir conditions existing towards the end of the free-flow production stage. A different method was used to study well 55. This well was provided with a water shutoff casing string. A two-line lift was employed: the outer line with tube diameter of 89 mm, and the inner with a diameter of 50 mm. The well manometers, one measuring the differential pressure, and the other the maximum pressure, were mounted in the adapter on the shoe of the second tubing string. Knock pumping-compression tubes, 101 mm in diameter, were installed between the intake slits and the adapter. The purpose of these tubes was to dampen and to compensate the hydraulic blows during the start-up of the well. Fast well start up was facilitated by injection of air into the inner tubing string and of some water into the annular space betwen the inner and the outer tubing strings of the lift. To inject the water, a pumping unit, type AN-400, was employed. The water, pumped in between the two tubing strings, then egressed through the annular space between the outer tubing string and the casing. With pressure at 40 kg/cm2, the well then produced only petroleum at the rate of 11 tondday.