Evaluation and Enhancement of Carbon Dioxide Flooding Through Sweep Improvement

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Carbon dioxide displacement is a common improved recovery method applied to light oil reservoirs (30-45{degrees}API). The economic and technical success of CO{sub 2} floods is often limited by poor sweep efficiency or large CO{sub 2} utilization rates. Projected incremental recoveries for CO{sub 2} floods range from 7% to 20% of the original oil in place; however, actual incremental recoveries range from 9% to 15% of the original oil in place, indicating the potential for significant additional recoveries with improved sweep efficiency. This research program was designed to study the effectiveness of carbon dioxide flooding in a mature reservoir to identify ... continued below

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Hughes, Richard September 30, 2009.

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Description

Carbon dioxide displacement is a common improved recovery method applied to light oil reservoirs (30-45{degrees}API). The economic and technical success of CO{sub 2} floods is often limited by poor sweep efficiency or large CO{sub 2} utilization rates. Projected incremental recoveries for CO{sub 2} floods range from 7% to 20% of the original oil in place; however, actual incremental recoveries range from 9% to 15% of the original oil in place, indicating the potential for significant additional recoveries with improved sweep efficiency. This research program was designed to study the effectiveness of carbon dioxide flooding in a mature reservoir to identify and develop methods and strategies to improve oil recovery in carbon dioxide floods. Specifically, the project has focused on relating laboratory, theoretical and simulation studies to actual field performance in a CO{sub 2} flood in an attempt to understand and mitigate problems of areal and vertical sweep efficiency. In this work the focus has been on evaluating the status of existing swept regions of a mature CO{sub 2} flood and developing procedures to improve the design of proposed floods. The Little Creek Field, Mississippi has been studied through laboratory, theoretical, numerical and simulation studies in an attempt to relate performance predictions to historical reservoir performance to determine sweep efficiency, improve the understanding of the reservoir response to CO{sub 2} injection, and develop scaling methodologies to relate laboratory data and simulation results to predicted reservoir behavior. Existing laboratory information from Little Creek was analyzed and an extensive amount of field data was collected. This was merged with an understanding of previous work at Little Creek to generate a detailed simulation study of two portions of the field – the original pilot area and a currently active part of the field. This work was done to try to relate all of this information to an understanding of where the CO{sub 2} went or is going and how recovery might be improved. New data was also generated in this process. Production logs were run to understand where the CO{sub 2} was entering the reservoir related to core and log information and also to corroborate the simulation model. A methodology was developed and successfully tested for evaluating saturations in a cased-hole environment. Finally an experimental and theoretical program was initiated to relate laboratory work to field scale design and analysis of operations. This work found that an understanding of vertical and areal heterogeneity is crucial for understanding sweep processes as well as understanding appropriate mitigation techniques to improve the sweep. Production and injection logs can provide some understanding of that heterogeneity when core data is not available. The cased-hole saturation logs developed in the project will also be an important part of the evaluation of vertical heterogeneity. Evaluation of injection well/production well connectivities through statistical or numerical techniques were found to be as successful in evaluating CO{sub 2} floods as they are for waterfloods. These are likely to be the lowest cost techniques to evaluate areal sweep. Full field simulation and 4D seismic techniques are other possibilities but were beyond the scope of the project. Detailed simulation studies of pattern areas proved insightful both for doing a “post-mortem” analysis of the pilot area as well as a late-term, active portion of the Little Creek Field. This work also evaluated options for improving sweep in the current flood as well as evaluating options that could have been successful at recovering more oil. That simulation study was successful due to the integration of a large amount of data supplied by the operator as well as collected through the course of the project. While most projects would not have the abundance of data that Little Creek had, integration of the available data continues to be critical for both the design and evaluation stages of CO{sub 2} floods. For cases where data availability is limited, running injection/production logs and/or running cased-hole saturation tools to provide an indication of vertical heterogeneity will be important.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-04NT15536
  • DOI: 10.2172/983791 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 983791
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1012409

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  • September 30, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 19, 2017, 7:58 p.m.

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Hughes, Richard. Evaluation and Enhancement of Carbon Dioxide Flooding Through Sweep Improvement, report, September 30, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1012409/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.