The Role of Technical Publications in The Advancement of Fluid Injection Processes for Oil Recovery
- Michael Prats (Shell Development Co.) | W.C. Miller (Shell Development Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1973
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,361 - 1,370
- 1973. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2.2.2 Perforating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.3.3 Aspaltenes, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.8.8 Gas-condensate reservoirs, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.4.3 Gas Cycling, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.6.5 Tracers, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.4.9 Miscible Methods, 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods
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"A science which fails to give practical workers a clear perspective, the power of finding their bearings and confidence that they can achieve practical aims, does not deserve to be called a science." Trofim Lysenko
The upsurge of reservoir engineering activity can be associated with the year that the U. S. became a net importer of crude oil: 1948. The competition of relatively low cost foreign oil, together with the rising cost of finding and developing new reserves, led industry to increase its research and field efforts to improve recovery from existing fields. Although these forces still play a role, an awareness of the coming hydrocarbon shortage has been a more dominant force in recent years,, not oily in improving recovery efficiencies but also in obtaining fluid fuels from organic solids such as oil shale and coal. The realization that the operator can markedly influence the recovery from a field by injecting fluids such as water dates from the last century. Much of the fundamental work related to reservoir engineering was available before 1948. Porosity, capillarity, heterogeneity, gravity effects, permeability, relative permeability, mobility ratios, multiphase flow, PVT permeability, mobility ratios, multiphase flow, PVT properties of fluids (including retrograde characteristics), properties of fluids (including retrograde characteristics), and the fundamental material balances describing multiphase flow, were concepts well developed by the pioneers in reservoir engineering (see Muskat). However, there remained the tremendous task of applying that knowledge to a large variety of field problems. This required an increased knowledge and undemanding of recognized concepts and displacement mechanisms, and the development of new ones, through laboratory and field testing. It is thus not surprising that in the decade following World War II there was a marked increase in production research facilities in the U. S. In this paper we shall first trace the development and application of the various fluid injection recovery processes since the inception of the Journal of processes since the inception of the Journal of Petroleum Technology in 1949. We shall then assess Petroleum Technology in 1949. We shall then assess the role played by the technical publications of the Society by studying the references cited. Although we have selected those references that we think have been major contributions, our selection has been influenced by the degree to which they illustrate certain points. We apologize for any major omissions. In tracing the growth of fluid injection processes, we shall first discuss the recognition and appreciation of factors controlling unrecovered oil.
What Determines Unrecovered Oil?
Unrecovered oil may be left within individual pores, within clusters of pores containing relatively more oil than adjacent portions of the formation, and in bypassed volumes of the reservoir. The factors controlling the amount of the unrecovered oil are often different in each of these three cases. To focus on any one of these cases, experimental equipment angst be properly designed and operated. When the unrecovered oil within pores is disconnected, it is trapped by capillary forces. This oil is called residual oil.
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