Optimizing the Use of Miscible Injectant at the Greater Prudhoe Bay Fields
- Adam Wilson (JPT Special Publications Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 84 - 89
- 2016. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 75 since 2007
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This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 180420, “Optimizing the Use of Miscible Injectant at the Greater Prudhoe Bay Fields,” by S.X. Ning, SPE, B.S. Jhaveri, E.M. Fueg, SPE, G. Stechauner, J.L. Jemison, SPE, and T.A. Hoang, BP Exploration (Alaska), prepared for the 2016 SPE Western Regional Meeting, Anchorage, 23–26 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
Miscible injectant (MI) has been used at Prudhoe Bay and its satellite fields for more than 30 years. This paper provides an overview of all enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) projects in the Greater Prudhoe Bay (GPB) region and presents the process and methodology for MI allocation to these projects and to individual injection patterns. A new approach is used to determine the amount of MI allocated to each project on the basis of predicted marginal MI use per barrel of EOR oil.
The MI-gas EOR process at Prudhoe Bay began in late 1982. In late 1986, the Central Gas Facility (CGF) began operation, enabling the first field-scale EOR project, the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project (PBMGP), to start in early 1987. Since then, the PBMGP has expanded to more than 170 injection patterns in the main field of Prudhoe Bay. Fig. 1 provides a layout of the oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska.
The CGF is a gas-processing plant that makes natural-gas liquids (NGLs) for shipment in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and MI for EOR projects. The CGF currently processes an annual aver-age of approximately 7.5 billion scf/D of produced gas to generate approximately 40,000 STB/D of NGL and more than 200 million scf/D of MI. The feed gas comes from three different sources—solution gas from the produced oil, free reservoir gas from the gas cap, and returned MI (RMI) that was previously injected into the reservoir. The total amount of MI produced at the CGF is the sum of the fresh MI (which can be forecast by the GPB full-field simulation model) and the recaptured RMI (which can be forecast by COBRA and process modeling). COBRA is a full-field scale-up tool for predicting MI performance on the basis of type-pattern-simulation-model results.
MI gas produced at the Prudhoe Bay CGF is a rich gas composed primarily of carbon dioxide (approximately 21%), methane (approximately 32%), ethane (20%), propane (25%), and a small amount of butane and heavier components (approximately 2–3%).
Most of the GPB EOR projects are pattern floods that use a water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection to improve areal and vertical sweep efficiencies.
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