A Critical Pressure Correlation for Gas-Solvent-Reservoir Oil Systems
- R. Simon (California Research Corp.) | L. Yarborough (California Research Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 1963
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 556 - 560
- 1963. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.6 Natural Gas
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This paper presents a correlation for predicting the critical pressures of gas-solvent-reservoir oil systems of the type encountered in gas and solvent injection processes. Experimental data from 14 systems were used to develop the correlation which expresses critical pressure as a function of composition, C7+ mol weight, and C7+ characterization factor. Critical pressures predicted by the correlation for the 14 gas-solvent-reservoir oil systems have an average deviation of 2.8 per cent of the experimental values. The correlation was used to study a wide variety of other hydrocarbon mixtures reported in the literature whose critical conditions are in the range of interest in oil recovery work (100 to 280F and 2,000 to 6,000 psia). Critical pressures predicted by the correlation had an average deviation, expressed as per cent of experimental value, of 5 per cent for 20 miscellaneous mixtures from the literature, and 6.4 per cent for 17 methane-butane-decane mixtures reported by Sage and Lacey.
Predicting critical points of hydrocarbon mixtures is an important part of phase behavior calculations. If the critical point can be predicted for a specific mixture, the separation between the bubble-point and dew-point regions will be defined, and physical properties of the mixture can be calculated by using the principle of corresponding states. Numerous correlations for predicting critical points of hydrocarbon mixtures have been published. Six of these correlations were for light hydrocarbons, and two correlations were for high boiling-point petroleum distillates. Organick and Eilerts presented correlations which combined the published data from both light and heavy mixtures, and these correlations became the only available methods for predicting critical pressures for wide boiling range mixtures. In the course of the authors' work on secondary recovery by gas and solvent injection, experimental data were obtained for 14 mixtures of dry gas, ethane-propane-butane solvents, and various reservoir oils. The critical pressures and critical temperatures of these gas-solvent-reservoir oil systems were in the range of 1,900 to 4,800 psia and 180 to 265F. The critical pressures predicted for the 14 mixtures by the correlations of Organick and Eilerts had an average deviation from the measured values of about 13 per cent. The authors felt that it was necessary to develop a better correlation for engineering calculations and the resultant correlation, which is presented on Figs. 1 and 2, predicts the critical pressures of the 14 mixtures with an average deviation of 2.8 per cent. The validity of the correlation was tested by applying the correlation to other hydrocarbon mixtures reported in the literature. This subject is discussed later in the paper. The authors feel that there is also a need for an improved critical temperature correlation for gas-solvent-reservoir oil systems. However, developing a critical temperature correlation is a significant study in itself and is not included in this paper.
The compositions and critical points obtained by the authors for 14 gas-solvent-reservoir oil mixtures are shown on Table 1. The methane concentrations in these mixtures varied from 20 to 63 mol per cent. The intermediate hydrocarbon group, consisting of ethane, propane, and butane, varied from 20 to 64 mol per cent, and the concentration of the C5+ fraction from 10 to 20 mo per cent. The physical properties of the C5+ fraction covered the range from light, paraffinic, nonasphaltic (Mixtures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) to heavy, aromatic, and asphaltic Mixtures 13 and 14).
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