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Heavy and Thermal Oil Recovery Production Mechanisms

Description: This technical progress report describes work performed from April 1 through June 30, 2002, for the project ''Heavy and Thermal Oil Recovery Production Mechanisms.'' We investigate a broad spectrum of topics related to thermal and heavy-oil recovery. Significant results were obtained in the areas of multiphase flow and rock properties, hot-fluid injection, improved primary heavy oil recovery, and reservoir definition. The research tools and techniques used are varied and span from pore-level imaging of multiphase fluid flow to definition of reservoir-scale features through streamline-based history-matching techniques. Briefly, experiments were conducted to image at the pore level matrix-to-fracture production of oil from a fractured porous medium. This project is ongoing. A simulation studied was completed in the area of recovery processes during steam injection into fractured porous media. We continued to study experimentally heavy-oil production mechanisms from relatively low permeability rocks under conditions of high pressure and high temperature. High temperature significantly increased oil recovery rate and decreased residual oil saturation. Also in the area of imaging production processes in laboratory-scale cores, we use CT to study the process of gas-phase formation during solution gas drive in viscous oils. Results from recent experiments are reported here. Finally, a project was completed that uses the producing water-oil ratio to define reservoir heterogeneity and integrate production history into a reservoir model using streamline properties.
Date: July 1, 2002
Creator: Kovscek, Anthony R.

Heavy and Thermal Oil Recovery Production Mechanisms

Description: This technical progress report describes work performed from January 1 through March 31, 2003 for the project ''Heavy and Thermal Oil Recovery Production Mechanisms,'' DE-FC26-00BC15311. In this project, a broad spectrum of research is undertaken related to thermal and heavy-oil recovery. The research tools and techniques span from pore-level imaging of multiphase fluid flow to definition of reservoir-scale features through streamline-based history matching techniques. During this period, previous analysis of experimental data regarding multidimensional imbibition to obtain shape factors appropriate for dual-porosity simulation was verified by comparison among analytic, dual-porosity simulation, and fine-grid simulation. We continued to study the mechanisms by which oil is produced from fractured porous media at high pressure and high temperature. Temperature has a beneficial effect on recovery and reduces residual oil saturation. A new experiment was conducted on diatomite core. Significantly, we show that elevated temperature induces fines release in sandstone cores and this behavior may be linked to wettability. Our work in the area of primary production of heavy oil continues with field cores and crude oil. On the topic of reservoir definition, work continued on developing techniques that integrate production history into reservoir models using streamline-based properties.
Date: April 1, 2003
Creator: Kovscek, Anthony R.

Heavy and Thermal Oil Recovery Production Mechanisms

Description: The Stanford University Petroleum Research Institute (SUPRI-A) conducts a broad spectrum of research intended to help improve the recovery efficiency from difficult to produce reservoirs including heavy oil and fractured low permeability systems. Our scope of work is relevant across near-, mid-, and long-term time frames. The primary functions of the group are to conduct direction-setting research, transfer research results to industry, and educate and train students for careers in industry. Presently, research in SUPRI-A is divided into 5 main project areas. These projects and their goals include: (1) Multiphase flow and rock properties--to develop better understanding of the physics of displacement in porous media through experiment and theory. This category includes work on imbibition, flow in fractured media, and the effect of temperature on relative permeability and capillary pressure. (2) Hot fluid injection--to improve the application of nonconventional wells for enhanced oil recovery and elucidate the mechanisms of steamdrive in low permeability, fractured porous media. (3) Mechanisms of primary heavy oil recovery--to develop a mechanistic understanding of so-called ''foamy oil'' and its associated physical chemistry. (4) In-situ combustion--to evaluate the effect of different reservoir parameters on the insitu combustion process. (5) Reservoir definition--to develop and improve techniques for evaluating formation properties from production information. What follows is a report on activities for the past year. Significant progress was made in all areas.
Date: September 30, 2002
Creator: Kovscek, Anthony R. & Castanier, Louis M.

Heavy and Thermal Oil Recovery Production Mechanisms

Description: This technical progress report describes work performed from October 1 through December 31, 2002 , for the project ''Heavy and Thermal Oil Recovery Production Mechanisms.'' In this project, a broad spectrum of research is undertaken related to thermal and heavy-oil recovery. The research tools and techniques used are varied and span from pore-level imaging of multiphase fluid flow to definition of reservoir-scale features through streamline-based history-matching techniques. During this period, experimental data regarding multidimensional imbibition was analyzed to obtain shape factors appropriate for dual-porosity simulation. It is shown that the usual assumption of constant, time-independent shape factors is incorrect. In other work, we continued to study the mechanisms by which oil is produced from fractured media at high pressure and high temperature. High temperature significantly increased the apparent wettability and affected water relative permeability of cores used in previous experiments. A phenomenological and mechanistic cause for this behavior is sought. Our work in the area of primary production of heavy oil continues with field cores and crude oil. On the topic of reservoir definition, work continued on developing techniques that integrate production history into reservoir models using streamline-based properties.
Date: January 1, 2003
Creator: Kovscek, Anthony R.
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