Institute of Petroleum Engineering

HO: description

Enhanced Non-Thermal Heavy Oil Recovery, 2006-2015

Pressure depletion only generally results in low recovery, which can be improved by fluid injection. Water injection for voidage replacement is the most common method of avoiding low recovery by pressure depletion. The main problem is the low sweeping efficiency, particularly in the absence of underlying water, as water channels along the base of the reservoir before coning into the producer. The same problem, even more severely, occurs in gas injection due to much higher viscosity and density contrast. Indeed all displacement processes, which rely on viscous displacement, will fail unless the viscosity of injected fluid is compatible to that of reservoir oil. We propose a CO2-Water displacement process, which relies on in-situ generation of flow conformance.

The improved recovery obtained from combined water-CO2 flood is due to high sweep efficiency of a viscous mixture generated in place due to asphaltene precipitation and foam/emulsion formation, without added chemicals or polymer.

The overall behaviour of the process and its level of success are being studied in this research program to generate fundamental information as proof of the concept and basic data in support of quantitative evaluation of the recovery method.

The research objectives are to be achieved by conducting flow visualisation experiments using high-pressure micromodel test facility, core/sand pack flow studies using high pressure core flood rig and numerical simulation using commercial simulators.