Comparative Study of Oil Dilution Capability of Dimethyl Ether DME and Hexane as Steam Additives for SAGD
- Kwang Hoon Baek (The University of Texas) | Kai Sheng (The University of Texas) | Francisco J. Argüelles-Vivas (The University of Texas) | Ryosuke Okuno (The University of Texas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 9-11 October, San Antonio, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2017. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5 Reservoir Desciption & Dynamics, 5.4.10 Microbial Methods, 5.3.9 Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.4 Improved and Enhanced Recovery
- Steam-assisted gravity drainage, Thermal EOR, Dimethyl ether, Bitumen dilution, Cyclic steam stimulation
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Dimethyl ether (DME) was investigated as a potential additive to steam to improve SAGD in a previous simulation study. The main objective of this research is to compare DME with n-hexane in terms of the capability of viscosity reduction for Athabasca bitumen. In addition, new experimental data are presented for bubble point pressures, densities, and viscosities of Athabasca bitumen and its mixtures with DME and n-hexane.
Results show that DME results in slightly higher viscosity than n-hexane when they are mixed with the same Athabasca bitumen at a given pressure, temperature, and molar concentration. For example, the equimolar mixture of DME with Athabasca bitumen is 79 cp, and that of n-hexane with the same bitumen is 49 cp at 328 K and 60 bars. However, the two solvents are equivalent as diluent at temperatures above 380 K.
The new experimental data and previous data in the literature indicate that the viscosity of n-alkanes/bitumen mixtures does not follow the trend given by the classical Arrhenius mixing rule. That is, heavier solvent can give lower viscosity than lighter solvent when they are mixed with the same bitumen at a given pressure, temperature, and molar concentration. Viscosities for DME/bitumen mixtures deviate from the Arrhenius equation more than those for n-hexane/bitumen mixtures. The Arrhenius equation can be modified to correlate the measured data more accurately.
Liquid-liquid separation for solvent/bitumen mixtures, which occurred for n-butane/Athabasca-bitumen in Gao et al. (2017a), was not observed for any of the DME/bitumen and n-hexane/bitumen mixtures in this research. The highest solvent concentration in this study was 80 mol% DME for the DME/bitumen system and 92 mol% n-hexane for the n-hexane/bitumen system.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||27|