Mechanistic Studies of Improved Foam EOR Processes

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The objective of this research is to widen the application of foam to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by investigating fundamental mechanisms of foams in porous media. This research will lay the groundwork for more applied research on foams for improved sweep efficiency in miscible gas, steam and surfactant-based EOR. Task 1 investigates the pore-scale interactions between foam bubbles and polymer molecules. Task 2 examines the mechanisms of gas trapping, and interaction between gas trapping and foam effectiveness. Task 3 investigates mechanisms of foam generation in porous media. The most significant progress during this period was made on Tasks 2 and ... continued below

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12 pages

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Rossen, William R. March 31, 2003.

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Description

The objective of this research is to widen the application of foam to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by investigating fundamental mechanisms of foams in porous media. This research will lay the groundwork for more applied research on foams for improved sweep efficiency in miscible gas, steam and surfactant-based EOR. Task 1 investigates the pore-scale interactions between foam bubbles and polymer molecules. Task 2 examines the mechanisms of gas trapping, and interaction between gas trapping and foam effectiveness. Task 3 investigates mechanisms of foam generation in porous media. The most significant progress during this period was made on Tasks 2 and 3. Research on Task 2 focused on experiments on gas trapping during liquid injection. A novel apparatus, similar to that in Kibodeaux and Rossen (1997), monitors average water saturation in a core moment-by-moment by weighing the core. Our experiments find that water saturation increases more during liquid injection than previously conjectured--in other words, less gas is trapped by liquid injection than previously thought. A number of unexpected trends in behavior were observed. It appears that these can be reconciled to previous theory of gas trapping by foam (Cheng et al., 2001) given that the experimental conditions were different from previous experiments. Results will be described in detail in the PhD dissertation of Qiang Xu, expected to be completed in early 2003. Regarding Task 3, recent laboratory research in a wide range of porous media shows that creating foam in steady flow in homogeneous media requires exceeding a minimum pressure gradient (Gauglitz et al., 2002). Data fit trends predicted by a theory in which foam generation depends on attaining sufficient {del}p to mobilize liquid lenses present before foam generation. Data show three regimes: a coarse-foam regime at low {del}p, strong foam at high {del}p, and, in between, a transient regime alternating between weaker and stronger foam. We for the first time incorporated into a population-balance foam model a bubble-creation function that depends on pressure gradient (Rossen and Gauglitz, 1990). The new model reproduces the three foam regimes seen in the laboratory, the abrupt occurrence of foam generation at a threshold velocity or pressure gradient, hysteresis in experimental results, the interplay between foam stability and foam generation, the effect of injected liquid fractional flow on foam generation, and foam behavior in the high-quality and low-quality steady-state strong-foam regimes. The details of the lamella-creation function have little effect on rheology of strong foam, which is controlled by other mechanisms. The predicted fractional-flow curves are complex. This model is a necessary step toward quantitative prediction of foam performance in the field.

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12 pages

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OSTI as DE00823156

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  • Other Information: PBD: 31 Mar 2003

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FC26-01BC15318
  • DOI: 10.2172/823156 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 823156
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc778640

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • March 31, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Oct. 4, 2017, 5:16 p.m.

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Rossen, William R. Mechanistic Studies of Improved Foam EOR Processes, report, March 31, 2003; Austin, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc778640/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.