Investigation of Efficiency Improvements During CO2 Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs

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The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificial fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in HFR and NFR that eventually result in more efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. To achieve this objective, we divided the report into two chapters. The first chapter was to image and perform experimental investigation of transfer mechanisms during CO{sub 2} flooding in NFR and HFR using X-ray CT scanner. In this chapter, we emphasized our work on understanding the connection between fracture properties and fundamentals of transfer mechanism from ... continued below

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Schechter, David S. September 28, 2005.

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Description

The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificial fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in HFR and NFR that eventually result in more efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. To achieve this objective, we divided the report into two chapters. The first chapter was to image and perform experimental investigation of transfer mechanisms during CO{sub 2} flooding in NFR and HFR using X-ray CT scanner. In this chapter, we emphasized our work on understanding the connection between fracture properties and fundamentals of transfer mechanism from matrix to fractures and fluid flow through fracture systems. We started our work by investigating the effect of different overburden pressures and stress-state conditions on rock properties and fluid flow. Since the fracture aperture is one of important parameter that governs the fluid flow through the fracture systems, the average fracture aperture from the fluid flow experiments and fracture aperture distribution derived from X-ray CT scan were estimated for our modeling purposes. The fracture properties and fluid flow have significant changes in response to different overburden pressures and stress-state conditions. The fracture aperture distribution follows lognormal distribution even at elevated stress conditions. Later, we also investigated the fluid transfers between matrix and fracture that control imbibition process. We evaluated dimensionless time for validating the scheme of upscaling laboratory experiments to field dimensions. In CO{sub 2} injection experiments, the use of X-ray CT has allowed us to understand the mechanisms of CO{sub 2} flooding process in fractured system and to take important steps in reducing oil bypassed. When CO{sub 2} flooding experiments were performed on a short core with a fracture at the center of the core, the gravity plays an important role in the recovery of oil even in a short matrix block. This results are contrary with the previous believes that gravity drainage has always been associated with tall matrix blocks. In order to reduce oil bypassed, we injected water that has been viscosified with a polymer into the fracture to divert CO{sub 2} flow into matrix and delay CO{sub 2} breakthrough. Although the breakthrough time reduced considerably, water ''leak off'' into the matrix was very high. A cross-linked gel was used in the fracture to avoid this problem. The gel was found to overcome ''leak off'' problems and effectively divert CO{sub 2} flow into the matrix. As part of our technology transfer activity, we investigated the natural fracture aperture distribution of Tensleep formation cores. We found that the measured apertures distributions follow log normal distribution as expected. The second chapter deals with analysis and modeling the laboratory experiments and fluid flow through fractured networks. We derived a new equation to determine the average fracture aperture and the amount of each flow through fracture and matrix system. The results of this study were used as the observed data and for validating the simulation model. The idea behind this study is to validate the use of a set of smooth parallel plates that is common in modeling fracture system. The results suggest that fracture apertures need to be distributed to accurately model the experimental results. In order to study the imbibition process in details, we developed imbibition simulator. We validated our model with X-ray CT experimental data from different imbibition experiments. We found that the proper simulation model requires matching both weight gain and CT water saturation simultaneously as oppose to common practices in matching imbibition process with weight gain only because of lack information from CT scan. The work was continued by developing dual porosity simulation using empirical transfer function (ETF) derived from imbibition experiments. This allows reduction of uncertainty parameter in modeling transfer of fluids from matrix to the fracture. The application of ETF approach not only reduces the computation times but also shows similar results when compared to the results from existing dual porosity simulator. During the development of our numerical modeling, we found that the grid orientation effect (GOE) is major problem plaguing reservoir simulators that employ finite difference schemes. The GOE is clearly seen when using conventional Cartesian grid blocks during CO{sub 2} flooding or unfavorable mobility ratio presence in the simulation model. We developed hybrid grid block (HGB) to reduce this effect. Using this grid block, the simulation is able to reduce the GOE even for unfavorable mobility ratio. The last chapter discusses a modeling approach to reduce oil bypassed in CO{sub 2} flood pattern.

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  • Report No.: none
  • Grant Number: FC26-01BC15361
  • DOI: 10.2172/885159 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 885159
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc873823

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  • September 28, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 28, 2017, 10:33 p.m.

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Schechter, David S. Investigation of Efficiency Improvements During CO2 Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs, report, September 28, 2005; Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc873823/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.