Kinetics of the In-Situ Upgrading of Heavy Oil by Nickel Nanoparticle Catalysts and Its Effect on Cyclic-Steam-Stimulation Recovery Factor
- Yousef Hamedi Shokrlu (University of Alberta) | Tayfun Babadagli (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- August 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 355 - 364
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors
- residual oil saturation, nanometal catalysts, aquathermolysis reaction kineticss, in-situ upgrading, cyclic steam stimulation
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- 441 since 2007
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The effect of nickel nanoparticles on in-situ upgrading of heavy oil (HO) during aquathermolysis and the effect of this process on the recovery through cyclic steam injection were studied. High-temperature experiments were conducted with a benchtop reactor to study the kinetics of the reactions among oil, water, and sandstones in the presence and absence of the nickel nanoparticles. Eighteen experiments were conducted at three different temperatures and at three different lengths of time, and the evolved hydrogen sulfide during the reaction was analyzed. The kinetic analysis showed that nickel nanoparticles reduce the activation energy of the reactions corresponding to the generation of hydrogen sulfide by approximately 50%. This reaction was the breakage of C-S bonds in the organosulfur compounds of the HO. The maximal catalysis effect was observed to be at a temperature of approximately 270°C. Also, the simulated-distillation gas-chromatography (GC) analysis of the oil sample, after the aquathermolysis reactions, confirmed the catalysis effect of nickel nanoparticles. According to this analysis, by catalytic process, the concentration of the components lighter than C30 increased whereas the concentration of heavier components decreased. Next, the effect of the catalytic aquathermolysis on the recovery factor of the steam-stimulation technique was studied. The stimulation experiments consisted of three injection/soaking/production phases. The results showed that the nickel nanoparticles increased the recovery factor by approximately 22% when the nanoparticles were injected with a cationic surfactant and xanthan-gum polymer. This increase of recovery was approximately 7% more than that of the experiment conducted with the surfactant and polymer only.
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