Temperature Profiles in Underground Combustion
- P.E. Baker (California Research Corp)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- March 1962
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 21 - 27
- 1962. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements
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In this paper, approximate analytical expressions are derived for the temperature profile developed in the underground combustion method of oil recovery. A qualitative description of the process may be found in a paper by Tadema. The flame front is regarded as a moving source with a constant rate of heat generation. Heat transfer is by conduction and convection.
Previous publications, of which a few are cited here, have also attacked this problem and have presented solutions pertaining to different methods of approximating or idealizing the process studied. The present paper also treats an idealized case: linear flow is assumed for heat and fluids, and vaporization and condensation effects are neglected. The results obtained are similar to those derived by Bailey and Larkin, but are obtained by an entirely different procedure. The method used here should give considerably greater insight into the physics of the in situ combustion process.
Four types of cases are considered, distinguished by thermal and fluid-flow properties of the system. A constant rate of heat generation and constant rate of flame-front advance are assumed. Flamefront temperature is determined for each case using a heat balance which involves the entire temperature profile. The applicability of the different solutions to real systems is discussed after they are all presented. Again, this is done for the purpose of understanding better the physics of the process. Consideration of the nonapplicable solutions and of the reasons for their not applying is significant. In a paper by Cooperman, the only case solved is one considered here as not applicable.
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