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IMPROVED OIL RECOVERY

Unit 1
Learning Outcomes
At the end of this session the student should be able to:
 Discuss the need for EOR methods worldwide and in Trinidad and Tobago
 Classify and oil recovery methods as EOR or IOR methods
 Describe each of the following enhanced oil recovery processes
 Mobility control
 Chemical
 Miscible
 Thermal
 Microbial
 Define microscopic and macroscopic sweep efficiency
 Define and state units where applicable for each of the following:
 Interfacial Tension (IFT)
 Wettability
 Capillary Pressure
Reference Material:
Chapter 1 – Enhanced Oil Recovery, Green and Willhite
Microscopic Displacement Concepts (see myelearning for link)
Definitions
 Improved Oil Recovery-???

 Enhanced Oil Recovery-???


Definitions
 Improved Oil Recovery (IOR)- includes EOR but also
encompasses a broader range of activites e.g.
reservoir characterization, improved reservoir
managment, and infill drilling.
Enhanced Oil Recovery
 “Enhanced oil recovery is the recovery by injection
of materials not normally present in the reservoir”
Enhanced Oil Recovery,Larry Lake
 “EOR results principally from the injection of gases
or liquid chemicals and/or the use of thermal
energy” Enhanced Oil Recovery, Green and Willhite
Classification of Recovery Methods

Reproduced from Kokal and Al-Kaabi ,WPC


Classification of EOR Methods

Farouq Ali and Thomas, 1989


Worldwide EOR production rates
Question 1
Which factors would guide an engineer in
selecting a particular process for a particular
reservoir?
Definition of common terms
Reference: See ‘Microscopic Displacement Concepts’ in
myelearning for further details
Wettability

When two immiscible fluids are placed in contact with


a solid surface, one phase is usually attracted to the
surface more strongly than the other phase.

There are three categories of wettability determined by the contact angle between
the denser fluid and the solid surface.
Contact angle measured through the denser phase

Intermediate wetting
 = 90°

strongly water wet


 = 0°
Solid surface wettability
 Examples of applications where solid surface wettability plays
a crucial role are:
 body implants
 contact lenses
 biomaterials
 offset printing processes
 fabrics
 superhydrophobic surfaces
 self-cleaning
 non-sticky surfaces
In addition, as with wetting properties of macroscopic surfaces, the wettability
of smaller objects like fibers, micro- and nanoparticles plays an important role
in stabilization and performance of many products, such as composites, paints &
coatings, inks, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food products.
Porous media application of wettability

In an extremely water-wet rock, the


surface is covered with water. In that
In an oil-wet system, water and
case oil (or gas) will be located in the
oil can be thought to exchange
centre of the pores.
places when compared with a
water-wet system.

Intermediate wettability means that some pores


are water wet and other pores are oil wet.
Interfacial Tension
 Interfacial Tension (IFT)
 Energy required to increase the area of the interface by
one unit
 Symbol:  (sigma)
 Units: dynes/cm or mN/m or J/m2
 Typical values:
 10-30 dynes/cm
 Measure of miscibility
 Miscibility achieved when IFT = 0

Note: Interfacial Tension is NOT a measure of force.


Capillary pressure

2 cos 
Pc 
rc
Immiscible Air
h Pc = capillary pressure, Pa
fluids
 = interfacial tension (mN/m)
= contact angle
Water rc = radius of the capillary, m

The capillary pressure is the pressure difference


between the wetting and non-wetting phases.
Sweep Efficiency (see youtube videos on recovery and
displacement efficiency)
17

The total recovery efficiency of any process fluid displacement is


given by : E = EV x ED

* Macroscopic displacement efficiency or sweep efficiency, EV,


* Microscopic displacement efficiency, ED
Microscopic displacement efficiency is a measure of how well the
oil displacing fluid moves once they are in contact.
Macroscopic displacement efficiency is a measure of how well the
displacing fluid has contacted the reservoir containing oil.

Areal Sweep Efficiency, EA


Permeability definitions
Permeability – ability of a porous medium (e.g.) reservoir rock
to allow fluids to flow through its interconnected pores
 Absolute permeability- permeability of rock saturated
completely with one fluid
 Effective permeability- permeability of rock to one fluid
when two or more fluids are present in the rock
 Relative permeability-ratio of effective permeability of one
phase to some base permeability
Base permeability may be: (1) the absolute air permeability, (2) the absolute
water permeability or (3) the permeability to oil at reservoir connate water
saturation. When the latter is use the relative permeability to oil at connate
water saturation is 1.0 or 100 %.
Mobility of a fluid phase
19

General Equation where p refers to


phase

Oil Mobility Water Mobility


Mobility Ratio
20

Ratio of the mobility of the displacing


(D) fluid phase to the displaced (d) fluid
phase

M is a dimensionless quantity
M affects the stability of a displacement process
• flow becomes unstable (non uniform displacement) when M >1.0
•when M >1.0 this is referred to as unfavourable mobility
•when M <1.0 this is referred to as favourable mobility

kro
EOR Processes
Be able to classify EOR processes describe EOR processes from each of the
following categories:
1. Mobility-control
2. Chemical
3. Miscible
4. Thermal
5. Other- Microbial EOR

Please read Chapter 1 of Enhanced Oil Recovery by Green and Willhite posted on
myelearning then complete the following exercise.

Note:
pore volume (PV) = porosity x bulk volume of reservoir (length x breadth x height)
Definition (EOR or IOR)- I
Method
After reading Chapter 1 of the EOR text Acoustic
use the following definition to determine Alkali
Artificial Lift
whether the methods listed are an EOR CO2Injection
process or IOR process: Combustion
Electromagnetic Heating
“Enhanced oil recovery is the Flue gas injection
Hot water flooding
recovery by injection of Hydrocarbon gas injection
materials not normally present Microbial
in the reservoir” Enhanced Oil Natural Flow
Nitrogen injection
Recovery , Larry Lake Polymer
Pressure Maintenance

Steam flooding
Surfactant
Waterflooding
Definition (EOR or IOR)- II
Method
After reading Chapter 1 of the EOR text Acoustic
use the following definition n to Alkali
Artificial Lift
determine whether the methods listed are CO2Injection
an EOR process or IOR process: Combustion
Electromagnetic
“EOR results principally from the injection of Flue gas injection
gases or liquid chemicals and/or the use of Hot water flooding
Hydrocarbon gas injection
thermal energy” EOR, Green and Willhite
Microbial
Natural Flow
Nitrogen injection
Polymer
Pressure Maintenance
Steam flooding
Surfactant
Waterflooding
Definition (EOR or IOR)- III
Method
After reading Chapter 1 of the EOR text Acoustic
use the following definition to determine Alkali
Artificial Lift
whether the methods listed are an EOR CO2Injection
process or IOR process: Combustion
Electromagnetic
“..EOR increase reserves by mobilizing Flue gas injection
Hot water
residual oil trapped by capillary flooding
forces and oil that was too viscous to Hydrocarbon gas
injection
be effectively displaced by Microbial
Natural Flow
waterflooding” Hite et al, JPT, June 2003 Nitrogen injection
Polymer
Pressure
Maintenance
Steam flooding
Surfactant
Waterflooding
Activity 1
 Identify methods which may not be classified as
EOR or IOR based on each definition.

 Be prepared to discuss in class


Physical Effects of EOR Methods

Source: OilReview Winter 2010/2011


EOR Roadmap

Source: OilReview Winter 2010/2011