A Robust Geochemical Simulator To Model Improved-Oil-Recovery Methods
- Haishan Luo (University of Texas at Austin) | Emad W. Al-Shalabi (University of Texas at Austin) | Mojdeh Delshad (University of Texas at Austin) | Krishna Panthi (University of Texas at Austin) | Kamy Sepehrnoori (University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- February 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 55 - 73
- 2016.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- EDTA injection, geochemical simulator, geochemical reactions, ASP flood, low salinity water flood
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 559 since 2007
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The interest in modeling geochemical reactions has increased significantly for different improved-oil-recovery processes such as alkali/surfactant/polymer (ASP) flood, low-salinity waterflood, and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) injection as a sacrificial agent in hard brine. Numerical simulation of multiphase flow coupled with geochemical reactions is challenging because of complex and coupled aqueous, aqueous/solid, and aqueous/oleic reactions. These reactions have significant impact upon oil recovery, and hence a robust geochemical simulator is important.
UTCHEM (2000) is a chemical-flooding reservoir simulator with geochemical-modeling capability. Nevertheless, one major limitation in the geochemical-reactive engine of UTCHEM is assuming the activities of reactive species is equal to unity. In fact, the activity coefficients are strongly nonlinear functions of the ionic strength of solution. One approach to tackle this deficiency was to couple UTCHEM (flow and transport) with IPhreeqc (a geochemical reactive engine) (Kazemi Nia Korrani et al. 2013). However, the simulator proved to be computationally expensive. Therefore, it is desirable to improve the geochemical-reactive engine within UTCHEM.
This paper presents the improvement of the geochemical-reactive engine in UTCHEM including implementing different activity-coefficient models for different reactive species, cation-exchange reactions, and numerical convergence. Certain unknown concentrations are eliminated from the elemental mass-balance equations and the reaction equations to reduce the computational burden. The Jacobian matrix and right-hand side of the linear-system equation in the Newton-Raphson method are updated accordingly in the Newton-Raphson method for performing the batch-reaction calculation.
A low-salinity-waterflood case is presented to validate the updated UTCHEM against PHREEQC (Parkhurst and Appelo 1999) and UTCHEM-IPhreeqc. The simulation studies indicated that the updated geochemical simulator succeeds in tackling the inaccuracy concerned in the original UTCHEM. Also, the updated version is more efficient compared with PHREEQC and UTCHEM-IPhreeqc with the same degree of accuracy. The updated geochemical simulator is then applied to model an ASP coreflood in which EDTA is used as a sacrificial agent to chelate calcium and magnesium ions. The experimental data of pH, oil recovery, and pressure drop were successfully history matched with predictions of the effluent concentrations of calcium and magnesium ions. A synthetic 3D ASP pilot case is successfully simulated considering effects of acid equilibrium reaction constant on oil recovery.
|File Size||3 MB||Number of Pages||19|
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