Simulation of drilling fluid filtrate invasion near an observation well

Romain L. Chassagne*, Paul S. Hammond

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    We used a commercial reservoir simulator to study, first, the dissipation of aqueous drilling fluid filtrate invasion around a cased observation well in an oil-saturated formation under the action of capillary pressure and, second, the interaction of a waterflood front with the cased well and remaining invaded zone. Hysteretic behavior of the capillary pressure and relative permeabilities is critically important to these processes and is taken into account by the use of the Carlson model, with the various bounding drainage and imbibition curves computed from a pore network model.

    Filtrate invasion into a hydrocarbon formation influences the readings of well-logging tools. Although this phenomenon has been known, and corrected for, for many years, uncertainty remains with regard to the long-time behavior of invasion around observation wells where no flow in or out of the formation occurs after completion, and with regard to the influence of formation wettability. We find that after sufficient time, the invaded zone dissipates completely in a water-wet formation, but some invasion always remains in the oil/mixed-wet case. Nonwetting-phase trapping, manifested through relative permeability hysteresis, is the cause. Because trapping affects the values and the endpoints of the relative permeability curves, a waterflood front passing across an observation well is more distorted in the oil/mixed-wet case. The simulation results allow us to understand how logging-tool measurements made in cased observation wells are influenced by drilling-fluid invasion and will therefore lead to improved interpretation. This study shows strong links between the wettability of the formation and the persistence of invaded zone saturation and between invaded zone saturation and the distortion of subsequent flood fronts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1047-1055
    Number of pages9
    JournalSPE Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
    EventEAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 4 Jun 20127 Jun 2012




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