Alcorn, Z. P. (Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen) | Fredriksen, S. B. (Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen) | Sharma, M. (The National IOR Centre of Norway, University of Stavanger) | Rognmo, A. U. (Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen) | Føyen, T. L. (Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen) | Fernø, M. A. (Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen) | Graue, A. (Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen)
A CO2 foam enhanced oil recovery (EOR) field pilot research program has been initiated to advance the technology of CO2 foam for mobility control in a heterogeneous carbonate reservoir. Increased oil recovery with associated anthropogenic CO2 storage is a promising technology for mitigating global warming as part of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). Previous field tests with CO2 foam report various results due to injectivity problems and the difficulty of attributing fluid displacement specifically to CO2 foam. Thus, a more integrated multiscale methodology is required for project design to further understand the connection between laboratory and field scale displacement mechanisms. Foam is frequently generated in a reservoir through the injection of alternating slugs of surfactant solution and gas (SAG). To reduce costs and increase the success of
Laboratory investigations include dynamic aging, foam stability scans, CO2 foam EOR corefloods with associated CO2 storage, and unsteady state CO2/water endpoint relative permeability measurements. Wettability tests of restored reservoir core material yield Amott-Harvey index values of −0.04 and −0.79, indicating weakly oil wet to oil wet conditions. Foam scans demonstrate highest foam quality at gas fraction (fg) of 0.70. CO2 foam EOR corefloods after completed waterfloods, at optimal foam quality, result in a total recovery factor of 80% OOIP with an incremental recovery of 35% OOIP by CO2 foam.
A negligible difference is observed in incremental CO2 foam recoveries and apparent viscosities when using 1 wt% and 0.5wt% surfactant solution. High differential pressures during CO2 foam suggest generation of stable foam with mobility reduction factors by CO2 foam up to 340, over CO2 at reservoir conditions. CO2 storage potential was assessed during displacement to investigate the carbon footprint of CO2 foam injection.
Relative permeability endpoints and foam stability scan parameters are input into a validated field scale numerical simulation model to recommend design parameters for SAG injection. The numerical model investigates foam's impacts on oil recovery, gas mobility reduction, producing gas oil ratio (GOR), and CO2 utilization. Simulation studies show the effectiveness of foam to reduce gas mobility, improve CO2 utilization, and decrease GOR.
Åsen, Siv Marie (UiS, IRIS and The National IOR Centre of Norway) | Stavland, Arne (IRIS and The National IOR Centre of Norway) | Strand, Daniel (IRIS and The National IOR Centre of Norway) | Hiorth, Aksel (UiS, IRIS and The National IOR Centre of Norway)
In this work, we challenge the common understanding that mechanical degradation takes place at the rock surface or within the first few mm. The effect of core length on mechanical degradation of synthetic EOR polymers was investigated. We constructed a novel experimental set-up for studying mechanical degradation at different flow rates as a function of distances travelled. The set-up enabled us to evaluate degradation in serial mounted core segments of 3, 5, 8 and 13 cm individually or combined. By recycling we could also evaluate degradation at effective distances up to 20 m. By low rate reinjecting of polymers previously degraded at higher rates, we simulated the effect of radial flow on degradation.
Experiments were performed with two different polymers (high molecular weight HPAM and low molecular weight ATBS) in two different brines (0.5% NaCl and synthetic seawater).
In linear flow at high shear rates, we observed a decline in degradation rate with distance travelled, but a plateau was not observed. Even after 20 m there was still some degradation taking place. The molecular weight (MW) of the degraded polymer could be matched with a power law dependency,
We conclude that in linear flow, the mechanical degradation depends on the core length. However, in radial flow where the velocity decreases by length, the mechanical degradation reaches equilibrium with no further degradation deeper into the formation.
For the experiments where we evaluated degradation over large distances at high shear rates, we observed a decline in degradation rate with distance travelled, but we could not conclude that we reached a plateau. Even after 20 m there is still some degradation taking place. It is important to consider this knowledge when interpreting core scale experiments. However, the observed degradation is associated with high-pressure gradients, in the order of 100 bar/meter, which at field scale is not realistic.
We confirmed previous findings; degradation depends on salinity and molecular weight. Results show that in all experiments with significant degradation, most of the degradation takes place in the first core segment. Moreover, the higher the shear rate and degradation, the higher is the fraction of degradation that occurs in the first core segment.
Leon, J. M. (Ecopetrol SA) | Castillo, A. F. (Ecopetrol SA) | Perez, R. (Ecopetrol SA) | Jimenez, J. A. (Ecopetrol SA) | Izadi, M. (Ecopetrol SA) | Mendez, A. (Ecopetrol SA) | Castillo, O. P. (Ecopetrol SA) | Londoño, F. W. (Ecopetrol SA) | Zapata, J. F. (Ecopetrol SA) | Chaparro, C. H. (Ecopetrol SA)
Palogrande-Cebu is a mature clastic field located in the south of Colombia and part of the production train of the Monserrate Formation that has several fields and presents an OOIP about 1000 MMBBLs. In these fields Ecopetrol have been tested different chemical EOR/IOR technologies like polymer flooding, CDG and conformance treatments with encouraging results. Palogrande field has been in production since 1971, and under peripheral water injection since 1984, with a recovery factor of 28%. The reservoir has a permeability between 6 and 150 mD, and a crude with an in-situ viscosity of 9.4 cP at reservoir conditions. As part of a portfolio screening within Ecopetrol, chemical EOR was considered the most viable option for the field. This lead to a polymer flood pilot in Palogrande-Cebu in two patterns from May 2015 to June 2017.
The present paper presents the results of the pilot, which includes the assessment of two different sources of water to prepare the polymeric solution, fresh water and produced water. Likewise, three different polymers were used to assess the impact on injectivity of the molecular weight considering the low permeability of the reservoir. Moreover, the paper presents the data from a comprehensive surveillance and monitoring program, which includes a polymer backflow test to assess the polymer viscosity in the reservoir.
As of June 2017 the accumulated polymer injection was 2.07 million barrels distributed between both injectors, and a projected incremental recovery factor of 8% in the most mature pattern, and 2% in the less mature pattern, with water cut reductions up to 14% in some wells. Based on the success of the pilot, the feasibility of expanding the polymer flood is currently being considered to further develop the field.
Jahanbakhsh, A. (Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University) | Sohrabi, M. (Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University) | Fatemi, S. M. (Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University) | Shahverdi, H. (Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University)
Gas/oil interfacial tension (IFT) is one of the most important parameters that impact the performance of gas injection in an oil reservoir. The choice or design of the composition of the gas injected for EOR is usually affected by the gas/oil IFT. In conventional reservoir simulation, IFT does not explicitly appear in the equations of flow and therefore its effect must be captured by the shape and values of relative permeability curves. A few studies have been previously reported for IFT effect on two-phase flow but very little have been done to investigate gas/oil IFT effect under three-phase flow conditions. The objective of this study is, firstly, to investigate the impact of gas/oil IFT reduction on two- and three-phase relative permeabilities using coreflood experiments. Secondly, to investigate the effect of changing gas/oil IFT value (immiscible and near-miscible) on the performance of WAG injections and residual oil saturation reduction at laboratory scale.
Two- and three-phase (WAG) coreflood experiments have been performed on water-wet and mixed-wet cores at three different gas/oil IFT conditions. These experiments were conducted on Clashach sandstone cores with a permeability of 65 and 1000 mD. The two- and three-phase relative permeabilities were estimated from the results of the coreflood experiments using our in-house software (3RPSim) and were compared with each other on the basis of their gas/oil IFT values. Moreover, the impact of gas/oil IFT reduction on the performance of gas and WAG injection and in particular on the reduction of residual oil saturation was investigated. The results of our studies were also compared with the existing literature on the laboratory investigation of WAG injection.
The results show that in two-phase gas/oil systems, the relative permeability of non-wetting phase is more affected by a reduction in the gas/oil IFT compared of the relative permeability of the wetting phase. Comparing the curvature of the gas and oil relative permeability curves shows that although the curvature decreases by a reduction in gas/oil IFT but it is still far away from straight line even at ultra-low IFT values. In three-phase flow system, reduction of gas/oil IFT affects the relative permeabilities of all the three phases (gas, oil and water).
The results show that at high gas/oil IFT or immiscible WAG injection, the most reduction in residual oil saturation is achieved in the first injection cycle and further WAG cycles do not result in a significant additional reduction in oil saturation. On the contrary, at low gas/oil IFT or near-miscible WAG injection, the residual oil saturation keeps decreasing as the number of WAG cycles increases. Moreover, the reduction in residual oil saturation was more effective when the immiscible WAG experiments started with gas injection (secondary WAG).
Post-fracturing production data analysis indicates stimulation of some west Texas wells with surfactant additives did not enhance production as high as expected. Analysis of flowback and produced water for surfactant residues revealed 99% of surfactant was retained inside wells (
Literature precedent exists that polyelectrolyte (PET)-based SAs could significantly reduce surfactant adsorption not only onto a variety of outcrop minerals (Carlpool dolomite, calcite, kaolinite, Berea sandstone, Indiana limestone, etc.) and metal oxide nanoparticles, but also unconventional shale formulations in which surface area can be up to 700 m2/g. In this study, the adsorptions of surfactant and SA to proppants were first examined. Results indicate no adsorption was observed to proppant for both surfactants and PET-based SAs. SAs (0.5 to 1 gal/1,000 gal (gpt)) were then injected with surfactant (1 to 3 gpt) at an appropriate ratio into column-packed shale formulations (primarily composed of calcite, dolomite, quartz, illite, pyrite, and plagioclase feldspar) to investigate its effectiveness in controlling surfactant retention caused by adsorption. Laboratory testing revealed injection of 3 gpt mixture of surfactant and SA has a similar adsorption profile (surface tension as a function of time) as 3 gpt surfactant alone based on the dynamic surface tension measurement. Notably, the addition of SAs resulted in lower surface tension and enhanced hydrocarbon solubility; and thus, an improved oil recovery by surfactant was achieved as evidenced by the oil recovery tests. Additionally, 68% friction reduction of the fracturing fluid with surfactant and SA was sufficient for the field operation compared to the guar-based fluid used in the hydraulic fracturing applications.
As a result of the laboratory findings, field trials were executed on a three well pad in the Permian basin (PB). For the first 30 days oil and gas production appeared to be significantly higher than the average production from offset wells in the same area that were previously fractured with the same surfactant.
An important factor during the life of a heavy crude reservoir is the oil mobility. It depends on two factors, oil viscosity and oil relative permeability. Two characteristics of nanoparticles that make them attractive for assisting IOR and EOR processes are their size (1 to 100 nm) and ability to manipulate their behavior. Due to their nano-sized structure, nanomaterials have large tunable specific surface areas that lead to an increase in the proportion of atoms on the surface of the particle, indicating an increasing in surface energy. Nanoparticles are also able to flow through typical reservoir pore spaces with sizes at or below 1 micron without the risk to block the pore space. Nanofluids or "smart fluids" can be designed by tuning nanoparticle properties, and are prepared by adding small concentrations of nanoparticles to a liquid phase in order to enhance or improve some of the fluid properties. However the use of nanoparticles and nanofluids for oil mobility has been poorly studied. Hence, the scope of this work is to present the field evaluation of nanofluids for improving oil mobility and mitigate alteration of wettability in two Colombian heavy oil fields; Castilla and Chichimene. Asphaltenes sorption tests with two different types of nanomaterials were performed for selecting the best nanoparticle for each type of oil. An oil based nanofluid (OBN) containing these nanoparticles was evaluated as viscosity reducer under static conditions. Displacement tests through a porous media in core plugs from Castilla and Chichimene at reservoir conditions were also performed. OBN was evaluated to reduce oil viscosity varying oil temperature and water content. Maximum change in oil viscosity is achieved at 122°F and 2% of nanofluid dosage. The use of the nanofluid increased oil recovery in the core flooding tests, caused by the removal of asphaltenes from the aggregation system, reduction of oil viscosity, and the effective restoration of original core wettability. Two field trials were performed in Castilla (CNA and CNB wells), by forcing 200 bbl and 150 bbl of nanofluid respectively as main treatment within a radius of penetration of ~3 ft. Instantaneous oil rate increases of 270 bopd in CNA and 280 bopd in CNB and BSW reductions of ~11% were observed. In Chichimene also two trials were performed (CHA and CHB), by forcing 86 bbl of and 107 bbl of nanofluid as main treatment within a radius of penetration of ~3 ft. Instantaneous oil rate increases of 310 bopd in CHA and 87 bopd in CHB were achieved not BSW reduction has been observed yet. Interventions were performed few months ago and long term effects are still under evaluation. Results look promising making possible to think extending application of nanofluid in other wells in these fields.
This paper presents a dynamic wettability alteration model based on the Gibbs adsorption isotherm equation. The model is conceptually and thermodynamically developed for ideal surfactant solutions (
The developed models can be tuned with experimental data including the contact angle, relative permeability, and capillary pressure parameters then they can be used to predict the efficiency of surfactant injection processes in naturally fractured reservoirs accordingly.
The production and transportation of heavy and extra-heavy crude oil are two of the paramount concerns in the oil industry due to the difficulties associated with heavy crude oil high viscosity. One of the most efficient techniques to improve the recovery and the transportability of such oil is to reduce its viscosity through dilution that can be applied solely or via thermal methods.
In the present work, a new type of plant-based diluent is proposed, and its efficacy in heavy oil viscosity reduction for different concentrations, temperatures and shear rates is studied. Various concentrations of diluent, ranging from 5 to 25 wt%, are added to heavy-oil samples with different concentrations of asphaltene and viscosity, ranging from 48000 to 65000 cp in ambient temperature. A rotational viscometer was then employed to the measure viscosity of the prepared samples at the temperature range of 70 to 190°F and a shear rate of 3 to 50 s-1.
The application of the proposed diluent led to promising results in that in caused the viscosity of the heavy oil samples to reduce by 93% in 75°F and 85% in 190°F with 20 wt% of diluent. To compare the performance of the proposed solvent and the common viscosity-reducing solvents, heavy oil samples were diluted with xylene and toluene with the same concentrations. Results indicated that the application of proposed diluent outperformed all of the commonly used solvents in terms of decreasing viscosity. The application of 20 wt% of the proposed diluent led to a 93% viscosity reduction of the heavy oil samples, which is 15% more than efficiency of adding the same concentration of toluene.
The proposed diluent is a plant-based, non-hazardous substitute to the conventional hazardous diluents, e.g., xylene or toluene, that provides more efficient viscosity reduction compared to its conventional alternatives. Its flashpoint is higher than that of light crude resulting in less evaporation at high temperatures thus a longer period of reduced viscosity can be obtained. Furthermore, due to its high flashpoint, the proposed diluent can be employed in thermal methods more efficiently.
Disproportionate permeability reduction (DPR) may provide field solutions to address high volumes of water production and efficiency of oil recovery in non-communicating layered reservoirs. This work evaluates the lab-scale DPR effectiveness at different formation wettability conditions using an environmentally friendly, water-soluble, silicate gelant. A robust, time/temperature stable and easy-to-design water-soluble silicate gelant system is utilized to conduct DPR treatments in oil- and water-wet cores using a newly established steady-state, two-phase chemical system placement. The experimental procedure is applied to ensure the presence of moveable oil saturation at which the injected DPR fluid (gelant) gels in the treated zone and to quantitatively control the placement saturation conditions in the formation. DPR treatments are conducted using a steady-state, two-phase (oil/gelant) placement to better control the water/oil saturation at which the silicate gel sets. The performance of water-soluble, silicate-based DPR treatments are evaluated using pre- and post-treatment two-phase (brine/oil) steady-state and unsteady state permeability measurements.
Strongly water-wet Berea cores are chemically treated to alter their wettability to oil wet and measured phase effective permeability curves are used to characterize the newly established core wettability. Treatment design should include filterability/injectivity and rheological studies of the DPR fluid to evaluate gelant interaction with the formation as well as gelation time and kinetics. Single-phase DPR fluid injectivity through Berea cores is excellent. At relatively high watercuts in water-wet cores, two-phase DPR-fluid/oil injectivity is good and even better in oil-wet cores regardless the watrecut. At relatively low watercuts in water-wet cores, the injectivity is not as good as in higher watercuts and the mobility reduction keeps increasing with the co-injection of the DPR-fluid/oil.
DPR-fluid/oil placement experiments conducted at the same saturation conditions and water/oil ratio (WOR) showed that the ultimate oil residual resistance factor in oil-wet cores is significantly lower than the one in water-wet cores. This is mainly due to more favorable oil-phase continuity and distribution in oil-wet media compared to the corresponding ones in water-wet formations. In water-wet cores, encapsulation of oil by gel may cause oil-phase discontinuities and porous medium conductivity reduction. Wettability tests have shown that silicate gel is strongly water-wet. Therefore, in oil-wet DPR treatments, formed gel in porous media yields a mixed-wet formation and a lower trapped oil saturation compared to the water-wet formation.
In either wetting state, relative permeability hysteresis was insignificant during the post-DPR treatment imbibition/drainage cycles. This also reflects stable gels during post-DPR treatment floods. DPR treatments conducted at high WOR in oil-wet cores have shown a minor gel "erosion" during the post-treatment two- and single-phase (water) injection; gel "erosion" ceased during oil injection. DPR treatments conducted at high WOR caused an increase in residual resistance factor (
Polymer transport and preparation can present a key challenge in chemical EOR project implementation.
Hydrolyzed polyacrylamide in emulsion form presents some advantages, including an easier transportation and a simplification of the injection process. The trade off is a lower active concentration (~30% - 50%), which increases the volumes to be transported, as well as the presence of oil and emulsifiers, which may have unintended effects in the reservoir.
In this article, we compare two industrial and commercially-available polymers, one in powder form from the gel process, and the other in an inverse emulsion, with similar viscosifying power.
Properties of both polymers are investigated through rheological and screen factor measurements, filterability tests on bulk solutions, shear thickening behavior and resistance to shear degradation in porous medium. The likely origin of the observed differences is discussed in light of the two polymerization methods (bulk vs. emulsion) that lead to differences in polydispersity. Mobility reduction and residual resistance factor measurements during propagation tests at low velocity give some insight on the propagation of the stabilized oil droplets coming from the injected emulsion. Finally, oil recovery efficiency is investigated through secondary polymer injections on sandpacks. No significant difference was observed between the polymers in term of oil recovery or pressure behavior.
These results are relevant to oil companies planning polymer or surfactant-polymer pilots and considering the tradeoffs between emulsion and powder polymers.