WSS Energy has recently completed a reservoir permeability enhancing project for the Environment Agency
The project, through a literature review and industry engagement scope, investigated the reservoir permeability enhancing technologies that most likely to be used in onshore energy extraction and production (e.g., oil and gas and geothermal) in England.
The scope considered both subsurface and surface impacts of a range of reservoir permeability enhancing (well stimulation) techniques. These included mature technologies which had been used historically in England, techniques which had been widely applied elsewhere in the world and a range of novel techniques which were either in the early commercialisation stage or were only suitable for specific reservoir conditions.
The project team included reservoir engineers, geoscientists, chemical engineers and energy sector consultants to fully consider both the technical and non-technical aspects of well stimulation.
The project concluded that low-volume acid and propped-frac techniques were the most likely to be used, given the need for conservatism due to challenging local permitting and the broad suitability of these approaches for the UK’s relatively low-volume production volume well stock.
A finding from the report was that although many well permeability enhancing techniques have been used in the UK onshore in the past, there are very few technical records available for analysis. The low activity levels and fractured operator landscape results in experiences not being published and lessons learned from previous campaigns not being used.
A major barrier to deploying permeability enhancing techniques is the challenges faced by operators in permitting, with well operations needing local approval – a very politically charged process. This is both time-consuming and uncertain, which reduces the competitiveness of the UK onshore industry.
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WSS Energy has delivered a number of projects investigating reservoir stimulation technologies, with a particular focus on new technology and technology screening for where conventional acid or propped frac techniques are not suitable.