Experimental and Calculated Performance of Miscible Floods in Stratified Reservoirs
- R.A. Fitch (Pan American Petroleum Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1964
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,289 - 1,298
- 1964. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.6.5 Tracers, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.1.4 Gas Processing, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.4.9 Miscible Methods, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal
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A performance calculation method was used in conjunction with experimental studies to develop means of predicting and interpreting miscible floods and to explore possible methods of improving their efficiency. The calculation method is based upon the division of reservoirs into multiple independent zones or strata. Comparison was made with some experimental floods and with a field project to obtain some measure of the applicability of the method. Two aspects of miscible flooding were considered: (1) the displacement of a miscible front through a reservoir, and (2) the distribution and utilization of the solvent volume injected to maintain miscibility. Calculations and experimental observations indicate that alternate gas-water injection behind a miscible front significantly improves miscible flood performance, both within a single stratum and in a multistrata reservoir. Calculations were made on the extent to which miscibility is maintained by a given solvent volume in a stratified reservoir. Two alternate criteria for determining the optimum volume of solvent for injection are discussed. The preinjection of a small volume of water ahead of the solvent is suggested as a method of obtaining more efficient utilization of solvent. Calculations and experiments were made to investigate the effects of water preinjection.
Miscible fluid displacement as a possible means of recovering oil has been the subject of extensive research and numerous field tests over the past several years. This work has brought out both favorable and unfavorable features of the miscible recovery methods. Many tests have shown that a miscible fluid can displace all of the oil contacted, leaving no high residual oil saturation, as is characteristic of immiscible displacements. The miscible methods have proven difficult to control, however, as evidenced by early breakthrough of the displacing fluid and poor sweep efficiency in several field projects. It became apparent early in the investigation of miscible displacement that the development of improved techniques and better methods of control would be required to extend the range of applicability to any significant portion of our petroleum reservoirs. The purpose of this study was to consider the problem of designing miscible floods to obtain better performance. A performance calculation was used in conjunction with experimental studies to develop means of predicting and interpreting miscible floods and to explore possible methods of improving their efficiency. Two aspects of miscible floods were considered separately in this study and the results are presented in two parts. The first part concerns the manner in which the miscible front is displaced through the reservoir. In these calculations the condition of miscibility between the reservoir oil and the displacing fluid is assumed. In the second portion the distribution and utilization of the pre-injected solvent in maintaining miscibility is considered. This portion dealing with solvent utilization applies only to the enriched gas or LPG slug processes.
CALCULATION METHOD AND EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES
The calculations for expected reservoir performance are based upon the multi-strata concept of reservoir properties. The method assumes multiple, independent strata (no crossflow between strata) and explicitly includes variations in patterns, injectivity, areal sweep and displacement efficiency. Lateral variation in permeability within the strata (for example, directional permeability) may be considered in the calculations, provided the variations are similar in all strata. The calculations based on this model furnish the rates of injection and rates of production of both oil and the displacing fluid for the composite system of strata. To carry out calculations on the mathematical model described, information is required on the performance of the displacement process under consideration in a single stratum element of the pattern to be used. In particular, for a given pattern and displacement process, data are required relating injectivity and composition of the produced stream to the volume of fluid injected. Data on the variations in areal sweep must also be available if it is desired to track the areal sweeps in the multi-strata model. These data may be obtained from experimental work such as model studies or other suitable methods. This representation of reservoir properties is, of course, an approximation and may be inappropriate in some cases. But the representation is not an arbitrary one since most oil reservoirs are essentially successive layers of sediment with the net producing pay zone often comprising but a fraction of the gross formation thickness. The fact that permeabilities measured in the vertical direction are frequently but a fraction of the horizontal permeability adds some evidence to the validity of this model.
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