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Dagfinn Sleveland at the IRIS Petroleum Laboratory. Photo: IRIS

Lundin new partner for core sample analysis


How to spend time and money optimally to produce oil and gas? Last year Lundin Norway chose IRIS as partner to find the answer.

The petroleum company paid the cost of a laboratory rig that IRIS will use to study fluid flow properties  in core samples. Lundin Norway AS is facing big and interesting tasks within exploration, development and production on the Norwegian continental shelf. As operator, the company is in a very exciting phase of development of the Brynhild and Edvard Grieg fields and in the evaluation phase of the oil discovery Johan Sverdrup.
Good collaboration, high level of expertise
The company has a slim organization and has chosen to collaborate with research environments rather than building up their own laboratory facilities. - We chose IRIS as our partner within Research and Development (R&D) and license work because of their high level of expertise and good collaborative relations, says Tove Lie - head of petroleum engineering in Lundin Norway.
Ready for core research
Lundin projects at IRIS are within IOR and other laboratory work. The new laboratory rig was ready early this year and will be used in the core sample analysis – in particular so-called Special Core Analysis (SCAL), such as the measurement of relative permeability at reservoir conditions. IRIS has four other such laboratory rigs in operation on other assignments.
- Various geological structures contains different amounts of oil, water and gas. During production water is injected to drive out as much of the petroleum as possible. After some time this results in production of more water. It is all about finding out how much oil can be produced to decide if a well and field is commercially feasible and - in turn - to study how production is optimised throughout the entire lifetime of the field, explains Dagfinn Sleveland at IRIS Petroleum Laboratory.
Analyzing core samples
To make the analyses as representative as possible, the petroleum laboratory bring core samples back to the original state. The process starts at the petrophysics laboratory where core plugs are mounted in a core holder and washed before making some basic measurements. Afterwards, they are passed on to the other analyses such as petrophysics or relative permeability measurements.
- Residual water saturation is established before measuring relative permeability at full reservoir conditions. This means that pressures, temperatures and fluids are identical to those present in the reservoir.  -Thus, the core sample has been restored to its original condition and we can start the analyses of the core properties, explains Sleveland.
For how long is water injection useful?
The analyses begin with the injection of oil. Eventually, water is injected in step-wise increasing amounts, just as how it will take place in an offshore oil production situation. The amount of produced oil is measured for each step and the distribution of the water and oil in the core is determined by X-rays.
- Finally, we reach the residual oil saturation state when no more oil can be produced no matter how much water we inject. This is important information for the field production.
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