Pilot Propane Project Completed in West Texas Reef
- W.C. Sturdivant Jr. (Sun Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 1959
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 27 - 30
- 1959. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 7.1.9 Project Economic Analysis, 5.6.5 Tracers, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 7.1.10 Field Economic Analysis
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Injection of a 14,000-bbl "slug" of propane into a reef reservoir in an advanced stage of gas injection operations has resulted in miscible displacement of 100,000 bbl of stock-tank oil. Premature breakthrough of gas injected behind the slug is attributed to dilution of the propane slug, to unfavorable permeability distribution and to an insufficient amount of propane.
The Millican field pilot propane project was intended to evaluate the applicability of the propane slug method to the Millican field (Fig. 1). A slug of 14,000 bbl of propane-butane mixture was injected in a single well followed by injected gas, and behavior of offset wells observed for two years.
Recognized hazards were the high gas saturation due to the past history of gas injection and the non-uniformity of reef rock. Also, economic considerations limited the amount of propane which could be injected in a possible field-wide application. Favorable factors were a light oil containing a high proportion of intermediate hydrocarbons (see Table 1), gas injection facilities already in operation and a supply Of propane from a nearby gasoline plant.
Despite the recognized hazards, project economics were considered favorable, since costs were low and any reduction in gas-oil ratio brought about by propane injection would be immediately reflected in increased oil production.
History of Millican Field
The Millican field, located in Coke County, Tex., produces from a Strawn reef limestone at 6,000 ft. Originally, the field had two small gas caps, and periodic material balance calculations indicate a closed reservoir. The oil was saturated at the original pressure of 2,540 psig at - 3,720 ft with 1,300 cu ft of gas per barrel and had a formation volume factor of 1.65.
From core analyses, average porosity of the productive section of the reef is estimated at 6.6 per cent, connate water saturation at 20 per cent, and average permeability, 10 md. The field is completely unitized and produced gas has been returned since early in the history of the field.
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