Ethane-Based Enhanced Oil Recovery: An Innovative and Profitable Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Opportunity for a Low-Price Environment
- Patrick L. McGuire (International Reservoir Technologies) | Ryosuke Okuno (University of Texas at Austin) | Thomas L. Gould (International Reservoir Technologies) | Larry W. Lake (University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- February 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 42 - 58
- 2017.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- viscosity reduction, miscibiity, primary and enhanced recovery processes, gas EOR
- 65 in the last 30 days
- 253 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 10.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 30.00|
This paper summarizes the current state of the ethane industry in the United States (US) and explores the opportunity for using ethane for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). We show both simulation data and field examples to demonstrate that ethane is an excellent EOR injectant.
After decades of research and field application, the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) as an EOR injectant has proved to be very successful. However, there are limited supplies of low-cost CO2 available, and there are also significant drawbacks, especially corrosion, involving its use. The rich gases and volatile oils developed by horizontal drilling and fracturing in the shale reservoirs have brought about an enormous increase in ethane production. Ethane prices have dropped substantially. In the US, ethane is no longer priced as a petrochemical feedstock, but is priced as a fuel. Also, substantial quantities of ethane are currently being flared.
Ethane-based EOR can supplement the very successful CO2-based EOR industry in the US. There simply is not enough low-cost CO2 available to undertake all the potential gas EOR projects in the US. The current abundance of low-cost ethane presents a significant opportunity to add new gas EOR projects. The ethane-based EOR opportunity can be summarized as follows:
- CO2-based EOR works well, and is well-understood.
- Ethane has more solubility in oil, lower minimum miscibility pressures (MMPs), and better solvent efficiency than CO2.
- Ethane is operationally simpler than CO2 for EOR.
- Ethane is now inexpensive, and will likely stay inexpensive.
- Ethane-based EOR has become a viable option in the Lower 48 (lower 48 states in US). Large volumes of low-cost ethane are available. Recent additions to the growing ethane infrastructure now deliver ethane to locations where ethane-based EOR targets are plentiful.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||17|
Advanced Resources International (ARI). 2005. Basin-Oriented Strategies for CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery: Illinois, US Department of Energy, March 2005. http://www.netl.doe.gov/kmd/cds/disk22/F-ARI%20Basin%20Oriented%20Strategies%20for%20CO2/illinois_report.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Advanced Resources International (ARI). 2011. Improving Domestic Energy Security and Lowering CO2 Emissions with “Next Generation” CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR), US Department of Energy, NETL, June 2011. http://www.netl.doe.gov/energy-analyses/pubs/storing%20co2%20w%20eor_final.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Advanced Resources International (ARI). 2012. Using the Economic Value of CO2-EOR to Accelerate the Deployment of CO2 Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS), Proc., 2012 CCS Cost Workshop, Palo Alto, California, 25–26 April 2012. https://sequestration.mit.edu/pdf/2012_Costs_Workshop_Proceedings.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Ahmadi, K. and Johns, R. T. 2011. Multiple Mixing-Cell Model for MMP Calculation. SPE J. 16: 733–742. SPE-116823-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/116823-PA.
Arenivas, J. 2015. Kinder Morgan Withdraws CO2 Pipeline Application, Albuquerque Journal, 23 January 2015. http://www.abqjournal.com/530879/biz/biz-most-recent/kinder-morgan-withdraws-co2-pipeline-application.html (accessed 4 January 2016).
Brock, V. 2014. CO2 Sourcing Update, 20th Annual CO2 Flooding Conference, 11–12 December 2014, Midland, Texas. http://www.co2conference.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2-Brock-Kinder-Morgan-CO2-Update-12-11-14-Final.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Cockin, A. P. 1993. Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Distribution. Presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Anchorage, 26–28 May. SPE-26116-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/26116-MS.
Dean, R. M. 2011. Selection and Evaluation of Surfactants for Field Pilots, MS thesis, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (May 2011), https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/ETD-UT-2011-05-3633 (accessed 4 January 2016).
DeRuiter, R. A., Nash, L. J., and Singletary, M. S. 1994. Solubility and Displacement Behavior of a Viscous Crude With CO2 and Hydrocarbon Gases. SPE Res Eng 9 (2): 101–106. SPE-20523-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/20523-PA.
East Texas Engineering Association. 1972. Casing Corrosion Report: Internal Report, Kilgore, Texas.
Engineering Toolbox. 2016. Solubility of Gases in Water. http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/gases-solubility-water-d_1148.html (accessed 4 January 2016).
Gillaspie, M. 2015. Kansas House Energy Committee—ONEOK Overview, 23 January 2015. http://kslegislature.org/li/b2015_16/committees/ctte_h_engy_utls_1/documents/testimony/20150123_02.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Goldmeer, J., Bartle, J., and Peever, S. 2015. GE Power, November 2015. https://powergen.gepower.com/content/dam/gepower-pgdp/global/en_US/documents/outcomes%20and%20key%20projects/GEA32198%20Final%20PGI%20paper_R6.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Hill, B., Hovorka, S., and Melzer, S. 2013. Geologic Carbon Storage Through Enhanced Oil Recovery. Energy Procedia 37: 6808–6830. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610213008576 (accessed 4 January 2016).
Himipex-Oil Company. 2016. http://himipex.com/eng/corrosion-control-in-uae (accessed 4 January 2016).
Kolodziej, S. 2013. Ethane Rejection and Its Consequences, January 2013. http://scottkolo.com/blog/?p=68 (accessed 4 January 2016).
Kumar, A. and Okuno, R. 2016. A New Algorithm for Multiphase Fluid Characterization for Solvent Injection. SPE J. SPE-175123-PA (in press; posted 25 April 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/175123-PA.
Kuuskraa, V. A. 2004. Estimating CO2 Storage Capacity in Saline Aquifers. Presented at the 3rd Annual Conference on Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Alexandria, Virginia, 3–6 May 2004. https://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/04/carbon-seq/077.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Llave, F. M. 1996. Field Testing of Surfactant-Alcohol Blends for In-Depth Conformance Control—Cushing Field Bartlesville Sand Project, NIPER/BDM-0231, April 1996. http://www.netl.doe.gov/kmd/cds/disk44/H-Improved%20Sweep%20Efficiency/NIPER_BDM_0231.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
McGuire, P. L., Redman, R. S., Jhaveri, B. S. et al. 2005. Viscosity Reduction WAG: An Effective EOR Process for North Slope Viscous Oils. Presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Irvine, California, 30 March–1 April. SPE-93914-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/93914-MS.
Meyer, J. P. 2007. Summary of Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2 EOR) Injection Well Technology. Background Report. American Petroleum Institute. http://www.api.org/~/media/Files/EHS/climate-change/Summary-carbon-dioxide-enhanced-oil-recovery-well-tech.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Middleton, D. 2014. The Future of Clean Coal-National Conference of State Legislatures Energy Supply Task Force, Office of Clean Coal & Carbon Management, December 2014. http://www.ncsl.org/documents/energy/Middleton.EPA.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Norris. 2016. Sucker Rod Failure Analysis—A Special Report from Norris. http://www.doverals.com/File%20Library/Norris/Resources/Technical%20Information/Sucker-Rod-Failure-Analysis-Brochure–2007—English.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Oil and Gas Journal, Survey: Miscible CO2 continues to eclipse steam in
US EOR production, 7 April 2014. http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-112/issue-4/special-report-eor-heavy-oil-survey/survey-miscibleco-sub-2-sub-continues-to-eclipse-steam-in-us-eor-production.html (accessed 3 August 2016).
Peng, D. Y. and Robinson, D. B. 1976. A New Two-Constant Equation of State. Ind. Eng. Chem. Fund. 15 (1): 59–64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/i160057a011.
Peng, D. Y. and Robinson, D. B. 1978. The Characterization of the Heptanes and Heavier Fractions for the GPA Peng-Robinson Programs. GPA Research Report RR-28.
PetroSkills. 2016. CO2 Flashing From Water Is Important for CO2 EOR Flood Separators and Tanks. http://www.jmcampbell.com/tip-of-the-month/2015/02/co2-flashing-from-water-is-important-for-co2-eor-flood-separators-and-tanks/ (accessed 4 January 2016).
Rex Energy. 2008. Corporate Presentation, June 2008. http://www.rexenergy.com/documents/CorporatePresentationJune2008.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Sharma, A. K., Patil, S. L., Kamath, V. A. et al. 1989. Miscible Displacement of Heavy West Sak Crude by Solvents in Slim Tube. Presented at the SPE California Regional Meeting, Bakersfield, California, 5–7 April. SPE-18761-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/18761-MS.
Sharma, G. D. 1990. Development of Effective Gas Solvents Including Carbon Dioxide for the Improved Recovery of West Sak Oil. Report No. DOE/FE/61114-2, University of Alaska Fairbanks, June 1990. http://www.netl.doe.gov/kmd/cds/disk44/D-CO2%20Injection/FE61114_2.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Verma, M. K. 2015. Fundamentals of Carbon Dioxide-Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2 EOR)—A Supporting Document of the Assessment Methodology for Hydrocarbon Recovery Using CO2-EOR Associated With Carbon Sequestration, US Geological Survey. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2015/1071/pdf/ofr2015-1071.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Wang, F. P. 2014. Development Strategies for Maximizing East Texas Oil Field Production, Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America. Contract No. 08123-16, July 2014. http://www.netl.doe.gov/File%20Library/Research/Oil-Gas/enhanced%20oil%20recovery/08123-16-final-report.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Wocken, C. A., Stevens, B. G., Almlie, J. C. et al. 2013. End Use Technology Study—An Assessment of Alternative Uses for Associated Gas. University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center, April 2013. https://www.undeerc.org/Bakken/pdfs/CW_Tech_Study_April-2013.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Zhang X. 2015. Bakken Flares and Satellite Images: The Science and the Facts. University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center, February 2015. https://www.undeerc.org/bakken/pdfs/Bakken_Flares_and_Satellite_Fact_sheet_2015.pdf (accessed 4 January 2016).
Zick, A. A. 2016. PhazeComp_Examples, http://www.zicktech.com/phazecomp.html (accessed 4 January 2016).