Water injection operation has been widely adopted in the petroleum industry. Water injection operation known as geomechanical dilation start-up operation in the steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process, can remarkably reduce the time and cost of exploitation. However, the well logging data shows that the heavy reservoirs in Xinjiang oil field are often heterogeneous and the barriers often contained in the reservoir. When it comes to the heterogeneous reservoir, the performance of water injection is far from satisfaction. This paper establishes a 2-D numerical model, which can capture the porothermoelastic response of a heterogeneous formation during water injection. The bottom hole pressure predicted by this model agrees very well with field data, during water injection process in the heavy oil field. It is found that the size and location of the barriers have a remarkable influence on water injection performance. The barriers in the pay zone can change the shape and area of the dilation zone and it will increase the bottom hole pressure during water injection construction. The long barriers have a larger influence on water injection performance than that of short barriers. The barriers have a great effect on the stress profile after water injection. When the barrier existing above the two wells, the water volume should be seriously controlled. When the barrier exists between two wells, the upper part of the pay zone can be well stimulated, which is beneficial for the later production stage.

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