Application of Polymer Gels as Conformance Control Agents for Carbon Dioxide for Floods in Carbonate Reservoirs
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With the production from mature oil fields declining, the increasing demand of oil urges towards more effective recovery of the available resources. Currently, the CO2 Floods are the second most applied EOR processes in the world behind steam injection. With more than 30 years of experience gained from CO2 flooding, successful projects have showed incremental oil recovery ranging from 7 to 15 % of the oil initially in place. Despite all of the anticipated success of CO2 floods, its viscosity nature is in heterogeneous and naturally fractured reservoirs is challenging; CO2 will flow preferentially through the easiest paths resulting in early breakthrough and extraction ineffectiveness leaving zones of oil intact. This research aims at investigating gel treatments and viscosified water-alternating-gas CO2 mobility control techniques. A set of experiments have been conducted to verify the effectiveness and practicality of the proposed mobility control approaches. Our research employed an imaging technique integrating an X-Ray CT scanner with a CT friendly aluminum coreflood cell. With the integrated systems, we were able to obtain real time images when processed provide qualitative and qualitative evaluations to the coreflood. The research studies included preliminary studies of CO2 and water injection performance in fractured and unfractured cores. These experiments provided a base performance to which the performances of the mobility control attempts were compared. We have applied the same methodology in evaluation of the experimental results to both conformance control gel treatments and viscosified water-alternating-gas CO2 mobility control. The gel conformance control studies showed encouraging results in minimizing the effect of heterogeneities directing the injected CO2 to extract more oil from the low permeability zones; the gel strength was evaluated in terms of breakdown and leakoff utilizing the production data aided with CT imaging analysis. The viscosified water coupled with CO2 investigations showed great promising results proving the superiority over neat CO2 injection. This research serves as a preliminary understanding to the applicability of tested mobility control approaches providing a base to future studies in this category of research.
Al Ali, Ali 1986- (2012). Application of Polymer Gels as Conformance Control Agents for Carbon Dioxide for Floods in Carbonate Reservoirs. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from