Phase Behavior, Solid Organic Precipitation, and Mobility Characterization Studies in Support of Enhanced Heavy Oil Recovery on the Alaska North Slope

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The medium-heavy oil (viscous oil) resources in the Alaska North Slope are estimated at 20 to 25 billion barrels. These oils are viscous, flow sluggishly in the formations, and are difficult to recover. Recovery of this viscous oil requires carefully designed enhanced oil recovery processes. Success of these recovery processes is critically dependent on accurate knowledge of the phase behavior and fluid properties, especially viscosity, of these oils under variety of pressure and temperature conditions. This project focused on predicting phase behavior and viscosity of viscous oils using equations of state and semi-empirical correlations. An experimental study was conducted to ... continued below

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Patil, Shirish; Dandekar, Abhijit & Khataniar, Santanu December 31, 2008.

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The medium-heavy oil (viscous oil) resources in the Alaska North Slope are estimated at 20 to 25 billion barrels. These oils are viscous, flow sluggishly in the formations, and are difficult to recover. Recovery of this viscous oil requires carefully designed enhanced oil recovery processes. Success of these recovery processes is critically dependent on accurate knowledge of the phase behavior and fluid properties, especially viscosity, of these oils under variety of pressure and temperature conditions. This project focused on predicting phase behavior and viscosity of viscous oils using equations of state and semi-empirical correlations. An experimental study was conducted to quantify the phase behavior and physical properties of viscous oils from the Alaska North Slope oil field. The oil samples were compositionally characterized by the simulated distillation technique. Constant composition expansion and differential liberation tests were conducted on viscous oil samples. Experiment results for phase behavior and reservoir fluid properties were used to tune the Peng-Robinson equation of state and predict the phase behavior accurately. A comprehensive literature search was carried out to compile available compositional viscosity models and their modifications, for application to heavy or viscous oils. With the help of meticulously amassed new medium-heavy oil viscosity data from experiments, a comparative study was conducted to evaluate the potential of various models. The widely used corresponding state viscosity model predictions deteriorate when applied to heavy oil systems. Hence, a semi-empirical approach (the Lindeloff model) was adopted for modeling the viscosity behavior. Based on the analysis, appropriate adjustments have been suggested: the major one is the division of the pressure-viscosity profile into three distinct regions. New modifications have improved the overall fit, including the saturated viscosities at low pressures. However, with the limited amount of geographically diverse data, it is not possible to develop a comprehensive predictive model. Based on the comprehensive phase behavior analysis of Alaska North Slope crude oil, a reservoir simulation study was carried out to evaluate the performance of a gas injection enhanced oil recovery technique for the West Sak reservoir. It was found that a definite increase in viscous oil production can be obtained by selecting the proper injectant gas and by optimizing reservoir operating parameters. A comparative analysis is provided, which helps in the decision-making process.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-01NT41248
  • DOI: 10.2172/963365 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 963365
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc932045

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

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  • December 31, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 3:39 p.m.

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Patil, Shirish; Dandekar, Abhijit & Khataniar, Santanu. Phase Behavior, Solid Organic Precipitation, and Mobility Characterization Studies in Support of Enhanced Heavy Oil Recovery on the Alaska North Slope, report, December 31, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc932045/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.