Institute of Petroleum Engineering

Project: Carbonated Water Injection (CWI)

CO2 injection is increasingly considered as having potential applications as a possible EOR process for mature oil reservoirs. Additionally, storage potential of these reservoirs to lock in CO2 for a long period of time provides an opportunity to develop sustainable solutions in response to the challenge of continued use of fossil fuels, climate-change and compliance with national and international commitments to reduce CO2 emissions.

It has also been reported that poor sweep efficiency (due to a high CO2 mobility) has been a problem in CO2-floods of many oil reservoirs. Therefore, direct injection of CO2 (both continuous flooding and WAG) might not result in economically significant amount of additional oil recovery. In terms of CO2 storage potential, poor sweep efficiency also implies lower storage capacity. An alternative injection strategy could be carbonated water (CO2-enriched water) injection which is the objective of this study.

The following plots show and compare the solubility of different gases in water.  As can be seen from these images, CO2 solubility compared to other gases such as C1H4, C2H4 and C2H6 is copious.

2 plots show and compare the solubility of different gases in water

Carbonated Water Injection is one of the joint industrial projects of this research group, which the first phase of this project was started in Nov. 2006 by the support of several industrial Sponsors.

The objective of this project is to conduct a comprehensive experimental and theoretical study to investigate the process of carbonated water injection through conducting:

  1. Flow visualisation (micromodel experiments)
  2. Displacement tests (core experiments)
  3. Mathematical modelling
  4. Numerical simulation