Cyclic Steam Injection With Solvents as Method of Thermal Recovery for Heavy and Extra-Heavy Oils: Laboratory Tests
- Yefrenck Enrique Castro (Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.) | Diego Alejandro Sanchez Monsalve (PDVSA Intevep) | Alida Maria Veliz (PDVSA E&P) | Mileydi Margarita Rodriguez (PDVSA-Intevep) | Nelson Gabriel Rondon (PDVSA) | Solange Rivero (PDVSA Intevep) | Marina Luz Cortez (PDVSA Intevep)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Canadian Unconventional Resources and International Petroleum Conference, 19-21 October, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.3 Aspaltenes, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.3.9 Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, 5.4.10 Microbial Methods, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors
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Venezuela has the biggest reserves of heavy and extra heavy oils in the world. High viscosity of heavy and extra heavy oils is the main difficulty for its exploitation and production. Steam injection is a possible enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technique most widely applied to this type of oils based on temporary viscosity decrease. Commonly, it is used in Venezuela and Canada; however, factors as steam availability at field operations and low values of displacement efficiency achieved along the process by oil viscous forces have affected its possible use in the future.
Nowadays, PDVSA Intevep is evaluating the potential application of the method using some light oil cuts as solvents or additives which are from refineries located nearly to the fields under exploitation operations.
So far, static tests have been carried out by using methane, heavy oil from a Venezuelan field (9°API y 41500cP@43 °C) and solvents as light oil cuts (naphtha, kerosene) and two types of effluents from some refinery processes which will be named cut A and B along this investigation at saturated steam conditions. Displacement tests using displacement cells at reservoir conditions in porous media (253 °C, 400 psi, 30% porosity value and 4 Darcies, permeability) have also been performed in order to determine percentages of oil recovery.
Results indicated no net differences between the solvents selected during oil - solvent compatibility tests. Nevertheless, the effluents named 1 and 2 increased percentages of recovery factor notably along displacement tests obtaining values around 50 % in comparison to conventional displacement tests by using steam only. Hence, the use of this type of effluents which are cheaper than the light oil cuts selected is being recommended as potential application at field operations in Venezuela taking into account further studies as well as further technical and economical evaluations.
Al-anazi (2007) says that Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) refers to the recovery of oil by any method beyond the primary stage of oil production. It is defined as the production of crude oil from reservoirs through processes which increase the primary reservoir drive. These methods may include pressure maintenance, injection of displacing fluids as well as other methods such as thermal techniques. Therefore, by definition according to Al-anazi, EOR techniques include all methods that are used to increase cumulative oil produced (oil recovery) as much as possible. Enhanced oil recovery can be divided into two major types of methods: thermal and non-thermal recovery.
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