Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Abstracts: Tertiary Development of Heavy Oil Sands Through Thermal Recovery in the Wilmington Oil Field, California: An Update and Some New Challenges


In 1995, the city of Long Beach and Tidelands Oil Production Company, initiated a Department of Energy cost share project to expand a steam flood project in the Tar zone of Fault Block II of the Wilmington oil field . During the first two years, the well data, dating back to 1937, was digitized and analyzed. The data required significant modification because of the wide range of data, age of data, multiple coordinate systems used, and subsidence. The reservoir was characterized and modeled with state of the art mapping software. An eighteen layer deterministic geological model was constructed and used to drill five observation wells, two horizontal injectors, and two horizon producers. The new data was then used to refine the computer model. The mapping tools coupled with measurement and logging while drilling proved invaluable for the geologist in drilling the horizontal wells. Five more horizontal steam flood wells were drilled into Fault Block V. The fifteen foot thick target window and instantaneous drilling rates of up to 600 feet per hour were attained. The steamfloods are now under evaluation.

Many new changes are now being addressed. A study of steam and rock interactions is in progress to reduce the operational problems that results from thermal alterations of the reservoir rock. The geology of Fault Block II will be clarified by developing numerous geostatistical models and by performing reservoir simulations. These will be applied to a predictive subsidence simulator. If successful, thermal simulation will be expanded in these fault blocks and into other fault blocks to recover the remaining 13 degree API crude oil in the Tar zone.

Search and Discovery Article #90945©1997 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Bakersfield, California