Simulation of Enhanced Oil Recovery in Pre-Salt Reservoirs: The Effect of High CO Content on Low Salinity Water Alternating Gas Injection

Carvalhal, Arley Souza (Universidade Federal da Bahia) | Nunes Costa, Gloria Meyberg (Universidade Federal da Bahia) | Vieira de Melo, Silvio Alexandre Beisl (Universidade Federal da Bahia)

OnePetro 

Abstract

The high CO2 content of Brazil’s pre-salt fields, which may reach values from 20% to 44% molar, presents both a challenge as well as an opportunity. CO2 stripped from the produced gas cannot be released into the atmosphere due to environmental restrictions. Therefore, the whole amount of CO2 produced should be continuously reinjected into the reservoir. This work investigates the effect of CO2 content on the low salinity water alternating CO2 injection technique (CO2LSWAG) using a commercial compositional reservoir simulator. In these field-scale simulations, CO2 is stripped from the produced gas and reinjected into the reservoir. Primary oil recovery methods such as CO2 flooding and LSW flooding are also simulated. Chemical reactions between CO2 and the minerals present in the reservoir are modeled. Wettability change is assumed to be the main mechanism for improved oil recovery due to low salinity water injection. Compositional simulations of CO2 injection usually assume a constant injected gas rate. In this case, CO2 is supposed to come from an external source. In many petroleum reservoirs this assumption is true. Three factors are assessed in the present work. The first one is the natural reservoir pressure, which is the main driving force in primary production. The second factor is the amount of CO2 available for injection. The third one is the wettability change promoted by the reaction involving CO2. It is shown that in primary production, higher CO2 content leads to quicker depletion of the natural energy of the reservoir, leading to lower oil recovery. Nevertheless, higher CO2 content also means that more gas is available for reinjection, potentially leading to increased oil production. Finally, as CO2 reacts with minerals it promotes a change in wettability from an oil-wet to a water-wet state. It is shown that the CO2 content is an important variable to be assessed in a high CO2 content reservoir. Optimal injection practices must take these three aspects into consideration.