Investigation of oil injection into brine for the strategic petroleum reserve : hydrodynamics experiments with simulant liquids.

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An experimental program is being conducted to study a proposed approach for oil reintroduction in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The goal is to assess whether useful oil is rendered unusable through formation of a stable oil-brine emulsion during reintroduction of degassed oil into the brine layer in storage caverns. This report documents the first stage of the program, in which simulant liquids are used to characterize the buoyant plume that is produced when a jet of crude oil is injected downward from a tube into brine. The experiment consists of a large transparent vessel that is a scale model ... continued below

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46 p.

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Castaneda, Jaime N.; Shollenberger, Kim Ann (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA); Torczynski, John Robert; Cote, Raymond O.; Barney, Jeremy & O'Hern, Timothy John October 1, 2003.

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Description

An experimental program is being conducted to study a proposed approach for oil reintroduction in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The goal is to assess whether useful oil is rendered unusable through formation of a stable oil-brine emulsion during reintroduction of degassed oil into the brine layer in storage caverns. This report documents the first stage of the program, in which simulant liquids are used to characterize the buoyant plume that is produced when a jet of crude oil is injected downward from a tube into brine. The experiment consists of a large transparent vessel that is a scale model of the proposed oil injection process at the SPR. An oil layer is floated on top of a brine layer. Silicon oil (Dow Corning 200{reg_sign} Fluid, 5 cSt) is used as the simulant for crude oil to allow visualization of the flow and to avoid flammability and related concerns. Sodium nitrate solution is used as the simulant for brine because it is not corrosive and it can match the density ratio between brine and crude oil. The oil is injected downward through a tube into the brine at a prescribed depth below the oil-brine interface. Flow rates are determined by scaling to match the ratio of buoyancy to momentum between the experiment and the SPR. Initially, the momentum of the flow produces a downward jet of oil below the tube end. Subsequently, the oil breaks up into droplets due to shear forces, buoyancy dominates the flow, and a plume of oil droplets rises to the interface. The interface is deflected upward by the impinging oil-brine plume. Two different diameter injection tubes were used (1/2-inch and 1-inch OD) to vary the scaling. Use of the 1-inch injection tube also assured that turbulent pipe flow was achieved, which was questionable for lower flow rates in the 1/2-inch tube. In addition, a 1/2-inch J-tube was used to direct the buoyant jet upwards rather than downwards to determine whether flow redirection could substantially reduce the oil-plume size and the oil-droplet residence time in the brine. Reductions of these quantities would inhibit emulsion formation by limiting the contact between the oil and the brine. Videos of this flow were recorded for scaled flow rates that bracket the equivalent pumping rates in an SPR cavern. Image-processing analyses were performed to quantify the penetration depth of the oil jet, the width of the jet, and the deflection of the interface. The measured penetration depths are shallow, as predicted by penetration-depth models, in agreement with the assumption that the flow is buoyancy-dominated, rather than momentum-dominated. The turbulent penetration depth model provided a good estimate of the measured values for the 1-inch injection tube but overpredicted the penetration depth for the 1/2-inch injection tube. Adding a virtual origin term would improve the prediction for the 1/2-inch tube for low to nominal injection flow rates but could not capture the rollover seen at high injection flow rates. As expected, the J-tube yielded a much narrower plume because the flow was directed upward, unlike the downward-oriented straight-tube cases where the plume had to reverse direction, leading to a much wider effective plume area. Larger surface deflections were caused by the narrower plume emitted from the J-tube. Although velocity was not measured in these experiments, the video data showed that the J-tube plume was clearly faster than those emitted from the downward-oriented tubes. These results indicate that oil injection tube modifications could inhibit emulsion formation by reducing the amount of contact (both time and area) between the oil and the brine. Future studies will employ crude oil, saturated brine, and interfacial solids (sludge) from actual SPR caverns.

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46 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2003-3824
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/918339 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 918339
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886530

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • October 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 5, 2016, 9:45 p.m.

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Castaneda, Jaime N.; Shollenberger, Kim Ann (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA); Torczynski, John Robert; Cote, Raymond O.; Barney, Jeremy & O'Hern, Timothy John. Investigation of oil injection into brine for the strategic petroleum reserve : hydrodynamics experiments with simulant liquids., report, October 1, 2003; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886530/: accessed November 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.