Rognmo, Arthur U. (University of Bergen) | Al-Khayyat, Noor (University of Bergen) | Heldal, Sandra (University of Bergen) | Vikingstad, Ida (University of Bergen) | Eide, Øyvind (University of Bergen) | Fredriksen, Sunniva B. (University of Bergen) | Alcorn, Zachary P. (University of Bergen) | Graue, Arne (University of Bergen) | Bryant, Steven L. (University of Calgary) | Kovscek, Anthony R. (Stanford University) | Fernø, Martin A. (University of Bergen)
The use of nanoparticles for CO2-foam mobility is an upcoming technology for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) in mature fields. Silane-modified hydrophilic silica nanoparticles enhance the thermodynamic stability of CO2 foam at elevated temperatures and salinities and in the presence of oil. The aqueous nanofluid mixes with CO2 in the porous media to generate CO2 foam for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by improving sweep efficiency, resulting in reduced carbon footprint from oil production by the geological storage of anthropogenic CO2. Our objective was to investigate the stability of commercially available silica nanoparticles for a range of temperatures and brine salinities to determine if nanoparticles can be used in CO2-foam injections for EOR and underground CO2 storage in high-temperature reservoirs with high brine salinities. The experimental results demonstrated that surface-modified nanoparticles are stable and able to generate CO2 foam at elevated temperatures (60 to 120°C) and extreme brine salinities (20 wt% NaCl). We find that (1) nanofluids remain stable at extreme salinities (up to 25 wt% total dissolved solids) with the presence of both monovalent (NaCl) and divalent (CaCl2) ions; (2) both pressure gradient and incremental oil recovery during tertiary CO2-foam injections were 2 to 4 times higher with nanoparticles compared with no-foaming agent; and (3) CO2 stored during CCUS with nanoparticle-stabilized CO2 foam increased by more than 300% compared with coinjections without nanoparticles.
Application of polymer flooding as a chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has increased over recent years. The main type of polymer used is partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM). This polymer still has some challenges especially with shear stability and injectivity that restrict its utility, particularly for low permeability reservoirs. Injectivity limits the possible gain by acceleration in oil production due to polymer flooding. Hence, good polymer injectivity is a requirement for the success of the operation. This paper aims to investigate the influence of formation permeability on polymer flow in porous media.
In this study, a combination of core flooding with rheological studies is presented to evaluate the influence of permeability on polymer in-situ rheology behavior. The in-situ flow of HPAM polymers has also been studied for different molecular weights. The effect of polymer preconditioning prior to injection was studied through exposing polymer solutions to different extent of mechanical degradation.
Results from this study reveal that the expected shear thinning behavior of HPAM that is observed in rheometer measurements is not observed in in-situ rheology in porous media. Instead, HPAM in porous media exhibits near-Newtonian behavior at low flow rates representative of velocities deep in the reservoir, while exhibiting shear thickening behavior at high flow rates representative of velocities near wellbore region. The pressure build-up associated with shear thickening behavior during polymer injection is significantly higher than pressure differential during water injection. The extent of shear thickening is high during the injection of high Mw polymer regardless of cores' permeability. In low permeable Berea cores, shear thickening and mechanical degradation occur at lower velocities although the degree of shear thickening is lower in Berea to that observed in high permeable Bentheimer cores. This is ascribed to high polymer retention in Berea cores that results in high residual resistance factor (RRF). Results show that preshearing polymer before injection into porous media optimizes its injectability and transportability through porous media. The effect of preshearing becomes favorable for the injection of high Mw polymers into low permeability formation.
This study discusses polymer in-situ rheology and injectivity, which is a key issue in the design of polymer flood projects. The results provide beneficial information on optimizing polymer injectivity, in particular, for low permeability porous media.
Schumi, Bettina (OMV E&P) | Clemens, Torsten (OMV E&P) | Wegner, Jonas (HOT Microfluidics) | Ganzer, Leonhard (Clausthal University of Technology) | Kaiser, Anton (Clariant) | Hincapie, Rafael E. (OMV E&P) | Leitenmüller, Verena (Montan University Leoben)
Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery leads to substantial incremental costs over waterflooding of oil reservoirs. Reservoirs containing oil with a high Total Acid Number (TAN) could be produced by injection of alkali. Alkali might lead to generation of soaps and emulsify the oil. However, the generated emulsions are not always stable.
Phase experiments are used to determine the initial amount of emulsions generated and their stability if measured over time. Based on the phase experiments, the minimum concentration of alkali can be determined and the concentration of alkali above which no significant increase in formation of initial emulsions is observed.
Micro-model experiments are performed to investigate the effects on pore scale. For injection of alkali into high TAN number oils, mobilization of residual oil after waterflooding is seen. The oil mobilization is due to breaking-up of oil ganglia or movement of elongated ganglia through the porous medium. As the oil is depleting in surface active components, residual oil saturation is left behind either as isolated ganglia or in down-gradient of grains.
Simultaneous injection of alkali and polymers leads to higher incremental oil production in the micro-models owing to larger pressure drops over the oil ganglia and more effective mobilization accordingly.
Core flood tests confirm the micro-model experiments and additional data are derived from these tests. Alkali co-solvent polymer injection leads to the highest incremental oil recovery of the chemical agents which is difficult to differentiate in micro-model experiments. The polymer adsorption is substantially reduced if alkali is injected with polymers compared with polymer injection only. The reason is the effect of the pH on the polymers. As in the micro-models, the incremental oil recovery is also higher for alkali polymer injection than with alkali injection only.
To evaluate the incremental operating costs of the chemical agents, Equivalent Utility Factors (EqUF) are calculated. The EqUF takes the costs of the various chemicals into account. The lowest EqUF and hence lowest chemical incremental OPEX are incurred by injection of Na2CO3, however, the highest incremental recovery factor is seen with alkali co-solvent polymer injection. It should be noted that the incremental oil recovery owing to macroscopic sweep efficiency improvement by polymer needs to be taken into account to assess the efficiency of the chemical agents.
Jia, Ying (Petroleum Exploration and Production Research Institute, SINOPEC) | Shi, Yunqing (Petroleum Exploration and Production Research Institute, SINOPEC) | Huang, Lei (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Petrochina) | Yan, Jin (Petroleum Exploration and Production Research Institute, SINOPEC) | Sun, Lei (SouthWest Petroleum University)
The YKL condensate gas reservoir is one of the biggest condensate gas reservoirs in China and has been developed more than 10years. At present, the combination of subdivision layer, production speed optimization and horizontal well drilling has been the key to economically unlocking the vast reserves of the YKL condensate gas. The primary recovery factor, however, remains rather low due to high capillary trapping and water invasion. While primary depletion could result in low gas recovery, CO2 flooding provides a promising option for increasing the recovery factor.
The objective of this work is to verify and evaluate the effect supercritical CO2 on enhancing gas recovery and analyze the feasibility of CO2 enhance gas recovery (CO2 EGR) of condensate gas reservoir.
Firstly, novel phase behavior experimental procedures and phase equilibrium evaluation methodology for gas-condensate phase system mixed with supercritical CO2 with high temperature were presented. A unique phase behavior phenomena was also reported. Then, CO2 floodingmechanism in condensate gas reservoir was analyzed and clarified based on experiments. Finally, a series of numerical simulation work were conducted as an effective and economical means to maximize natural gas recovery with the lowest CO2 breakthrough by varying strategies, including CO2 injection rate, injection composition, andinjection timing. Meanwhile the CO2 storage volumes of different strategies were calculated.
The results show that higher gas recovery factor can be achieved with CO2 injection through appearing interphase between two fluids, maintaining reservoir pressure, driving gas like "cushion" and controlling water invasion. All strategies have moderate to significant effects on gas production. The control of injection and production ratio needs to be balanced between pressure transient and CO2 breakthrough over the producer to obtain the maximum gas production. The varying injection pressure shows a positive effect of enhancing gas production. Numerical simulation indicated that the recovery of gas reservoir was improved by around 10 percent. The total CO2 storage would be around 30-40% HCPV.
The research showed that CO2 flooding presents a technically promising method for recovering the vast condensate gas while extensively reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Schmidt, Julia (Delft University of Technology) | Mirzaie Yegane, Mohsen (Delft University of Technology) | Dugonjic-Bilic, Fatima (TouGas Oilfield Solutions) | Gerlach, Benjamin (TouGas Oilfield Solutions) | Zitha, Pacelli (Delft University of Technology)
Synthetic high molecular weight polymers have been utilized for enhanced oil recovery applications. Improving their injectivity remains an important issue for field applications. Large entangled polymer chains can clog pore throats, leading to injectivity decline. We investigated an emulsion polymer system and have developed a series of processing techniques to condition an acrylamide-based copolymer inverse emulsion system at a salinity of 50,000 ppm
The un-conditioned polymer system and test conditions were chosen to clearly demonstrate the impact of processing techniques on the injectivity behavior. The polymer solution was sheared with two agitators, a disperser and Ultra-Turrax, at different intensities and with a pressure-driven flow into a thin capillary to reduce the size of the largest polymer chains and disentangle the polymer chains while maintaining its viscosifying power. The injectivity of such differently sheared solutions was evaluated by performing filtration tests using a 1-micron membrane and sand-pack flooding tests.
Our experiments have established a master curve showing viscosity and screen factor dependences on accumulated energy during pre-shearing, regardless of the mode of shearing. The un-sheared polymer solution had an unfavorable behavior in filtration test and sand-pack flooding experiment. After pre-shearing, the filtration behavior of polymer solution and the injectivity in sand-packs improved significantly. Polymer solutions sheared with a disperser at an energy input of 15 MJ/m3 improved the injectivity gradient (e.g. the ratio of the resistance factor over 30 pore volumes injected) from 3.7 to 1.6, while the viscosifying power was reduced by only 2%. To reach the same injectivity improvement with Ultra-Turrax, an energy input of 31 MJ/m3 were required, which reduced the viscosity by 11%. Shearing the solution using a capillary at an energy input of 50 MJ/m3, did not reduce the injectivity gradient while viscosity was reduced by 19%. This indicates that the injectivity performance is shear-origin dependent and the resulting polymer structure, when sheared through contractions, has a different alignment as compared to shearing with the agitators, the disperser and Ultra-Turrax.
Fredriksen, Sunniva B. (University of Bergen) | Alcorn, Zachary P. (University of Bergen) | Frøland, Anders (University of Bergen) | Viken, Anita (University of Bergen) | Rognmo, Arthur U. (University of Bergen) | Seland, John G. (University of Bergen) | Ersland, Geir (University of Bergen) | Fernø, Martin A. (University of Bergen) | Graue, Arne (University of Bergen)
An integrated enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) (IEOR) approach is used in fractured oil-wet carbonate core plugs where surfactant prefloods reduce interfacial tension (IFT), alter wettability, and establish conditions for capillary continuity to improve tertiary carbon dioxide (CO2) foam injections. Surfactant prefloods can alter the wettability of oil-wet fractures toward neutral/weakly-water-wet conditions that in turn reduce the capillary threshold pressure for foam generation in matrix and create capillary contact between matrix blocks. The capillary connectivity can transmit differential pressure across fractures and increase both mobility control and viscous displacement during CO2-foam injections. Outcrop core plugs were aged to reflect conditions of an ongoing CO2-foam injection field pilot in west Texas. Surfactants were screened for their ability to change the wetting state from oil-wet using the Darcy-scale Amott-Harvey index. A cationic surfactant was the most effective in shifting wettability from an Amott-Harvey index of –0.56 to 0.09. Second waterfloods after surfactant treatments and before tertiary CO2-foam injections recovered an additional 4 to 11% of original oil in place (OIP) (OOIP), verifying the favorable effects of a surfactant preflood to mobilize oil. Tertiary CO2-foam injections revealed the significance of a critical oil-saturation value below which CO2 and surfactant solution were able to enter the oil-wet matrix and generate foam for EOR. The results reveal that a surfactant preflood can reverse the wettability of oil-wet fracture surfaces, lower IFT, and lower capillary threshold pressure to reduce oil saturation to less than a critical value to generate stable CO2 foam.
Tavassoli, Shayan (The University of Texas at Austin) | Shafiei, Mohammadreza (The University of Texas at Austin) | Minnig, Christian (swisstopo) | Gisiger, Jocelyn (Solexperts) | Rösli, Ursula (Solexperts) | Patterson, James (ETHZ) | Theurillat, Thierry (swisstopo) | Mejia, Lucas (The University of Texas at Austin) | Goodman, Harvey (Chevron ETC) | Espie, Tony (BP) | Balhoff, Matthew (The University of Texas at Austin)
Wellbore integrity is a critical subject in oil and gas production, and CO2 storage. Successful subsurface deposition of various fluids, such as CO2, depends on the integrity of the storage site. In a storage site, injection wells and pre-existing wells might leak due to over-pressurization, mechanical/chemical degradation, and/or a poor cement job, thus reducing the sealing capacity of the site. Wells that leak due to microannuli or cement fractures on the order of microns are difficult to seal with typical workover techniques. We tested a novel polymer gelant, originally developed for near borehole isolation, in a pilot experiment at Mont Terri, Switzerland to evaluate its performance in the aforementioned scenario.
The polymer gel sealant was injected to seal a leaky wellbore drilled in the Opalinus Clay as a pilot test. The success of the pH-triggered polymer gel (sealant) in sealing cement fractures was previously demonstrated in laboratory coreflood experiments (
The novel sealant was successfully deployed to seal the small aperture pathways of the borehole at the pilot test. We conducted performance tests using formation brine and CO2 gas to put differential pressure on the polymer gel seal. Pressure and flow rate at the specific interval were monitored during and after injection of brine and CO2. Results of performance tests after polymer injection were compared against those in the absence of the sealant.
Several short-term (4 min) constant-pressure tests at different pressure levels were performed using formation brine, and no significant injection flow rate (rates were below 0.3 ml/min) was observed. The result shows more than a ten-fold drop in the injection rate compared to the case without the sealant. The polymer gel showed compressible behavior at the beginning of the short-term performance tests. Our long-term (1-week) test shows even less injectivity (~0.15 ml/min) after polymer gelation. The CO2 performance test shows only 3 bar pressure dissipation overnight after injection compared to abrupt loss of CO2 pressure in the absence of polymer gel. Sealant shows good performance even in the presence of CO2 gas with high diffusivity and acidity.
Pilot test of our novel sealant proves its competency to mitigate wellbore leakage through fractured cement or debonded microannuli, where other remedy techniques are seldom effective. The effectiveness of the sealing process was successfully tested in the high-alkaline wellbore environment of formation brine in contact with cement. The results to date are encouraging and will be further analyzed once over-coring of the wellbore containing the cemented annulus occurs. The results are useful to understand the complexities of cement/wellbore interface and adjust the sealant/process to sustain the dynamic geochemical environment of the wellbore.
Siv Marie Åsen, UiS, IRIS, and The National IOR Centre of Norway; Arne Stavland and Daniel Strand, IRIS; and Aksel Hiorth, UiS, IRIS, and The National IOR Centre of Norway Summary In this work, we examine the common understanding that mechanical degradation of polymers takes place at the rock surface or within the first few millimeters of the rock. The effect of core length on mechanical degradation of synthetic enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) polymers was investigated. We constructed a novel experimental setup for studying mechanical degradation at different flow velocities as a function of distances traveled. The setup 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. Experiments were performed with two different polymers [high-molecular-weight (MW) hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) and low-MW acrylamide tertiary butyl sulfonic acid (ATBS)] in two different brines [0.5% NaCl and synthetic seawater (SSW)]. In the linear flow at high shear rates, we observed a decline in degradation rate with distance traveled. Even after 20 m, some degradation occurred. However, the observed degradation was associated with high pressure gradients of 100 bar/m, which at field scale is not realistic. It is possible that oxidative degradation played a significant role during our experiments, where the polymer was cycled many times through a core.
Juárez-Morejón, Jose L. (University of Bordeaux) | Bertin, Henri (University of Bordeaux) | Omari, Aziz (University of Bordeaux) | Hamon, Gerald (Total) | Cottin, Christophe (Total) | Morel, Danielle (Total) | Romero, Carolina (Total) | Bourdarot, Gilles (Total)
An experimental study of polymer flooding is presented here, focusing on the influence of initial core wettability and flood maturity (volume of water injected before polymer injection) on final oil recovery. Experiments were performed using homogeneous Bentheimer Sandstone samples of similar properties. The cores were oilflooded using mineral oil for water-wet conditions and crude oil (after an aging period) for intermediate-wet conditions; the viscosity ratio between oil and polymer was kept constant in all experiments. Polymer, which is a partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM), was used at a concentration of 2,500 ppm in a moderate-salinity brine. The polymer solution was injected in the core at different waterflood-maturity times [breakthrough (BT) and 0, 1, 1.75, 2.5, 4, and 6.5 pore volumes (PV)].
Coreflood results show that the maturity of polymer injection plays an important role in final oil recovery, regardless of wettability. The waterflood-maturity time 0 PV (polymer injection without initial waterflooding) leads to the best sweep efficiency, whereas final oil production decreases when the polymer-flood maturity is high (late polymer injection after waterflooding). A difference of 15% in recovery is observed between early polymer flooding (0 PV) and late maturity (6.5 PV). Concerning the effect of wettability, the recovery factor obtained with water-wet cores is always lower (from 10 to 20%, depending on maturity) than the values obtained with intermediate-wet cores, raising the importance of correctly restoring core wettability to obtain representative values of polymer incremental recovery. The influence of wettability can be explained by the oil-phase distribution at the pore scale. Considering that the waterflooding period leads to different values of the oil saturation at which polymer flooding starts, we measured the core dispersivity using a tracer method at different states. The two-phase dispersivity decreases when water saturation increases, which is favorable for polymer sweep.
This study shows that in addition to wettability, the maturity of polymer flooding plays a dominant role in oil-displacement efficiency. Final recovery is correlated to the dispersion value at which polymer flooding starts. The highest oil recovery is obtained when the polymer is injected early.