The Effect of Voidage-Displacement Ratio on Critical Gas Saturation

Kim, Tae Wook (Stanford University) | Kovscek, Anthony R. (Stanford University)



The critical gas saturation in permeable sands was studied as a function of depletion rate and the presence of an aqueous phase as the major experimental variables. Voidage-replacement ratios (VRR = injected volume/produced volume) less than 1 were used to obtain pressure depletion with active water injection. Three different live crude oils were considered. Two of the oils are viscous Alaskan crudes with dead-oil viscosities of 87.7 and 600 cp, whereas the third is a light crude oil with a dead-oil viscosity of 9.1 cp. The critical gas saturation for all tests ranged from 4 to 16%. These values for critical gas saturation are consistent with the finding that the gas phase displayed characteristics similar to those of a foamy oil. For a given oil and depletion rate, the critical gas saturation was somewhat larger for VRR = 0 than it was for VRR = 0.7. The oil recovery correlates with the critical gas saturation (i.e., for a given VRR, tests exhibit greater oil recovery when the critical gas saturation is elevated). For the conditions tested, there was not a strong correlation of critical gas saturation over more than two orders of magnitude of the rate of pressure depletion, for a given VRR. Such behavior might be consistent with theoretical studies reported elsewhere that suggest that the critical gas saturation is independent of the pressure-depletion rate when the rate of depletion is small.