--> --> Monitoring and analysis of surface deformation with InSAR and subsurface data, San Joaquin Valley, California

AAPG Pacific Section and Rocky Mountain Section Joint Meeting

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Monitoring and analysis of surface deformation with InSAR and subsurface data, San Joaquin Valley, California

Abstract

The potential for high density / high accuracy surface deformation (uplift and/or subsidence) information from oil field operations has significant financial, operational, and safety implications. This is especially acute in the San Joaquin Valley of California where heavy oil production, and water and steam injection, are often from very shallow reservoirs (<1000 feet below surface). Continuous advances in the collection and processing of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data make it an ideal tool for monitoring entire fields, analogous to millions of GPS stations measuring surface movements of just millimeters semi-daily. However, the true value of InSAR data is revealed when the data are fully integrated in a diverse contextual environment. This must necessarily include temporal records of production and injection data, and can include surface infrastructure, subsurface geologic models, well trajectories and even microseismic and tilt meter data. The temporal component is paramount in this integration. We present a case history spanning nearly twenty years around a producing field in the central San Joaquin Valley. We see long-term subsidence patterns that can clearly be related to fluid production, plus pockets of local uplift related to over-injection. We present detailed 4D analyses of the correlation between these diverse temporal and spatial datasets. Furthermore, we assess forward modeling with simple geomechanical models to quantify and predict injection performance. Careful integration of InSAR data can yield benefits for operators, including:

  • Planning injection interventions
  • Fewer well integrity issues
  • Savings on drilling costs
  • Better targeting and monitoring of injection campaigns
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