The Thermal Recovery Process - An Analysis of Laboratory Combustion Data
- A.L. Benham (The Ohio Oil Co.) | Fred H. Poettman (The Ohio Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 1958
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 83 - 85
- 1958. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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By considering the stoichiometry of the underground combustion process, an equation was derived relating the point velocity of the combustion front as a function of the air flux, fuel content, efficiency of oxygen utilization, hydrogen:carbon ratio, and ratio of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide produced. In addition, an equation for calculating the amount of injected air necessary to produce the oil from 1 cu ft of reservoir space was derived. This equation has a direct bearing on evaluating compression costs for the process. Values calculated from these equations are in good agreement with experimentally observed values obtained from laboratory tube runs reported in the literature. The equations are also useful for analyzing experimental data for inconsistencies.
The injection of energy in the form of heat into an oil-bearing formation as a means of increasing the recovery of oil has been the subject of much discussion and experimentation as far back as 1920. The ideas have ranged from the injection of steam to the direct use of electricity as a means of getting thermal energy into a formation.
However, most laboratory and field studies have been confined to the process whereby a portion of the crude in the reservoir is burned to generate the necessary heat to increase the mobility of the oil by reducing its viscosity. A recent paper by W. L. Martin, et al. described the results of a number of laboratory experiments in which the combustion process was studied in a sandpack. Studies such as this indicate that with the temperatures involved, the oil is partially coked in this process and it is this coke which provides the fuel for combustion. The combustion of this residual coke can be analyzed theoretically by applying simple stoichiometric principles to the combustion process.
It is the purpose of this paper to compare the results reported in these experiments with those obtained from theoretical considerations.
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