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For the past four years the Creole Petroleum Corporation has been actively testing the use of steam as a production stimulant in the Quiriquire Field of Eastern Venezuela. The method being tested is the so-called "huff-and-puff" method where steam is injected into the formation and the well later returned to production. This method of stimulation has been used for eight wells in the Quiriquire field. In the most successful case a well produced 60 percent more oil over a 490-day period following start of steam injection than would have been obtained had the well been produced in its normal fashion. Steam was injected for 44 days to achieve this increase in production rate. A second cycle of stimulated production was not as favorable as the first for this well.
The quantity of heat injected and the initial selection of wells for steam injection is important. in one case, a well did not produce as much oil following steaming as expected under cold conditions. Creole is planning a more extensive program of well stimulation in the Quiriquire field for application of this process.
For the past four years, the Creole Petroleum Corporation has been actively testing the use of steam as a production stimulant in the Quiriquire Field.
The production decline has caused an aggressive program of well stimulation to be initiated. The production has declined from a maximum of 80,000 BOPD in 1951 to a minimum of 33,000 BOPD. All conventional methods of individual well stimulation have been used as well as some methods that have been developed locally. In addition to these methods, it was decided in 1959 to try heat.
The Creole Petroleum Corporation initiated the injection of steam in the Quiriquire field to observe the effect on individual well production rates.
The Quiriquire reservoir does not possess all the optimum qualities for any method of thermal stimulation. The formation is heterogeneous, the oil originally in place was considerably below 1000 barrels per acre-ft., the sands are lenticular and the producing section contains a high percentage of interlaminated shales. The one factor in favor of thermal methods is the relatively high viscosity of the oil.