Water Control Wells Methodology, Applied in Orinoco Belt Morichal District, Venezuela


Petróleos de Venezuela S.A (PDVSA) 


The Orinoco oil belt is located on the northern side of the lower Orinoco river in Eastern Venezuela. It covers an area of approximately 20,850 square miles and contains the country’s largest deposits of extra-heavy oil, estimated to be 1.2 × 1012 barrels of oil in place (OIP).. The oil usually produced in this area has an API gravity of 8 to 13°. The geological framework of the area consists of unconsolidated sandstone, high permeability with moderate shale intercalation. 

The increase in water cut is one of the problems associated with oil production. Its main causes are the aquifer activity and the fact that the wells have been completed too close to this aquifer. 

In the quest for water control alternatives to solve this problem, a successfully proven Operational Practice has been assessed as an alternative to control water in this reservoir. 

This methodology consists in draining water in an independent manner through the horizontal wells that have reached a water cut higher than 80%, in order to protect the neighbouring wells from a potential water breakthrough, in those cases where the wells have been completed structurally closest to the aquifer (WOC). 

The results from this methodology lead to an extension of the well life and the possibility of using horizontal wells with high water cuts in order to assist in recovering the oil reserves, so that the flow of water to the neighbouring wells, which may have a detrimental impact on oil production, is delayed.

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