SPE 84085

Optimizing Helium Gas Recovery: A Compositional Dual Porosity Reservoir Simulation Study of the Bush Dome Helium Storage Reservoir, Amarillo, Texas

This paper describes the process and results of the integrated field study for the Bush Dome reservoir in Amarillo, Texas, which is the world’s only helium gas storage reservoir.  Starting in 2003 the BLM is required by law to begin producing the stored helium in order to recover all of the helium reserves by 2015.  The purpose of this study was to provide the BLM with a reservoir characterization that would have the predictive capability to optimally recover the stored helium within the restrictions imposed by the surface facilities and the requirements of the Helium Privatization Act of 1996.  While optimizing the helium recovery prediction cases, innovative applications of the simulator features were implemented.  The final optimization provided the BLM with production guidelines to meet the helium recovery objectives.  The results not only provided a detailed production schedule, but also the information necessary to make appropriate decisions during the 13 year recovery period.