Q. The samples collected to build a production monitoring study will vary depending on your overall project objectives, the petroleum system, the phases available, and the available budget. For most projects, the key sample type to collect is produced oil, because this is what is usually being produced and, therefore, is the most critical to understand. Produced gas and produced water samples are also potentially important to collect, depending on your objectives, as they provide further insight into compartmentalization and co-mingling. However, given how often produced water is re-used, end-member examples of what is being pumped down should also be collected if waters are of interest. Understanding the hydrocarbon potential and richness of target zones from core and cuttings samples is also very useful, but not crucial.
Field Sampling Tips: In unconventional plays, the wells often share very similar names, with only the numeral altered across pads (1H, 2H, 3H, and so forth). Therefore, labeling of your collected samples and ensuring the correct well head is being sampled is absolutely necessary to project integrity. Mis-labeling, poor labeling, or mis-sampling can set your project back before it even reaches the lab, and adds cost and time to resample the well. The same requirement applies to ensuring the dates are correctly noted on the collected samples; otherwise, assessing changes through time are hindered.