Advertisement

Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 317–343 | Cite as

Recovery of Light Oil by Medium Temperature Oxidation

  • A. A. Mailybaev
  • J. Bruining
  • D. Marchesin
Article

Abstract

We study one aspect of combustion in porous media for the recovery of light oil. We assume that there is a temperature range above low temperature combustion where oxygen is added to the aliphatic oils to form oxygenated compounds and below the temperature where cracking and coke formation occurs. In the intermediate range oil is combusted to form small combustion products like water, CO\(_2\), or CO. We call this medium temperature oxidation (MTO). Our simplified model considers light oil recovery when it is displaced by air at medium pressures in linear geometry, for the case when water is absent. The resulting MTO combustion displaces all the oil. There are adjacent vaporization and combustion zones, traveling with the same speed. The MTO reaction is assumed to be slow, so that vaporization is much faster. The solution of the model equations leads to a thermal wave upstream, a MTO wave in the middle and a cold isothermal Buckley–Leverett gas displacement process downstream. One of the unexpected results is that vaporization occurs upstream of the combustion zone. In the initial period the recovery curve is typical of gas displacement, but after a critical amount of air has been injected the cumulative oil recovery increases linearly until all oil has been recovered. In our model, the oil recovery is independent of reaction rate parameters, but the recovery is much faster than for gas displacement. Finally, the recovery is slower for higher boiling point and higher oil viscosity, but faster at higher injection pressure. We give a simple engineering procedure to compute recovery curves for a variety of different conditions.

Keywords

In-situ combustion Light oil recovery Air injection Traveling wave  Porous media 

List of Symbols

\(A_\mathrm{r}\)

MTO pre-exponential factor (1/s)

\(c_\mathrm{l}, c_\mathrm{g}\)

Heat capacity of liquid and gas [J/(mol\(\cdot \)K)]

\(C_\mathrm{m}\)

Heat capacity of porous rock [J/(m\(^{3}\)K)]

\(D\)

Gas diffusion coefficient (m\(^2\)/s)

\(f_\mathrm{l}\)

Fractional flow function for liquid phase

\(J\)

Leverett \(J\)-function

\(k\)

Rock permeability (m\(^2\))

\(k_\mathrm{l}, k_\mathrm{g}\)

Liquid and gas phase permeabilities (m\(^2\))

\(k_\mathrm{e}\)

Rate constant for evaporation [mol/(m\(^{3}\) s)]

\(n\)

MTO reaction order with respect to oxygen

\(P_\mathrm{g}\)

Prevailing gas pressure (Pa)

\(Q_\mathrm{r}\)

MTO reaction enthalpy per mole of oxygen at reservoir temperature (J/mol)

\(Q_\mathrm{v}\)

Oil vaporization heat at reservoir temperature (J/mol)

\(R\)

Ideal gas constant [J/(mol\(\cdot \)K)]

\(s_\mathrm{l}, s_\mathrm{g}\)

Saturations of liquid and gas phases

\(t\)

Time (s)

\(T\)

Temperature (K)

\(T^\mathrm{b}\)

Boiling temperature of liquid (K)

\(T^\mathrm{ini}\)

Reservoir temperature (K)

\(T^\mathrm{ac}\)

MTO activation temperature (K)

\(u_\mathrm{l}, u_\mathrm{g}, u\)

Liquid, gas, and total Darcy velocities (m/s)

\(u_{gj}\)

Darcy velocity of component \(j\) = h, o, r in gas phase (m/s)

\(u_\mathrm{g}^\mathrm{inj}\)

Injection Darcy velocity of gas (m/s)

\(W_\mathrm{v}, W_\mathrm{r}\)

Vaporization and MTO reaction rates [mol/(m\(^{3}s\))]

\(x\)

Spatial coordinate (m)

\(Y_\mathrm{h}, Y_\mathrm{o}, Y_\mathrm{r}\)

Gas molar fractions: hydrocarbons, oxygen, remaining components (mol/mol)

\(Y_\mathrm{o}^\mathrm{inj}\)

Oxygen fraction in injected gas

\(\varphi \)

Porosity

\(\lambda \)

Thermal conductivity of porous medium [W/(m\(\cdot \)K)]

\(\mu _\mathrm{l}, \mu _\mathrm{g}\)

Viscosity of liquid and gas (Pa\(\cdot \)s)

\(\nu _\mathrm{l}, \nu _\mathrm{g}\)

Stoichiometric coefficients in the MTO reaction (2.1)

\(\rho _\mathrm{l}, \rho _\mathrm{g}\)

Molar density of liquid and gas (mol/m\(^{3}\))

\(\sigma \)

Liquid oil surface tension (N/m)

\(\varTheta \)

Liquid oil/rock contact angle

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was carried out within the context of the ISAPP Knowledge Centre. ISAPP (Integrated Systems Approach to Petroleum Production) is a joint project of the Netherlands Organization of Applied Scientific Research TNO, Shell International Exploration and Production, and Delft University of Technology. The paper was also supported by grants of PRH32 (ANP 731948/2010, PETROBRAS 6000.0061847.10.4), FAPERJ (E-26/102.965/2011, E-26/111.416 /2010, E-26/110.658/2012, E-26/110.237/2012, E-26/111.369/2012), and CNPq (301564/2009-4, 472923/2010-2, 477907/2011-3, 305519/2012-3, 402299/2012-4, 470635/2012-6). The authors thank TU Delft and IMPA for providing the opportunity for this work.

References

  1. Abou-Kassem, J.H., Farouq Ali, S.M., Ferrer, J.: Appraisal of steamflood models. Rev. Tec. Ing. 9, 45–58 (1986)Google Scholar
  2. Akin, S., Kok, M.V., Bagci, S., Karacan, O.: Oxidation of heavy oil and their SARA fractions: its role in modeling in-situ combustion. In SPE 63230 (2000)Google Scholar
  3. Bakry, A., Al-Salaymeh, A., Al-Muhtaseb, A.H., Abu-Jrai, A., Trimis, D.: Adiabatic premixed combustion in a gaseous fuel porous inert media under high pressure and temperature: novel flame stabilization technique. Fuel 90(2), 647–658 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barzin, Y., Moore, R., Mehta, S., Ursenbach, M., Tabasinejad, F.: Impact of Distillation on the Combustion Kinetics of high pressure air injection (HPAI). In SPE 129691-Improved Oil Recovery Symposium (2010a)Google Scholar
  5. Barzin, Y., Moore, R., Mehta, S., Mallory, D., Ursenbach, M., Tabasinejad, F.: Role of vapor phase in oxidation/combustion kinetics of high-pressure air injection (HPAI). In SPE 135641 (2010b)Google Scholar
  6. Bayliss, A., Matkowsky, B.J.: From traveling waves to chaos in combustion. SIAM J. Appl. Math. 54, 147–174 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bird, R.B., Stewart, W.E., Lightfoot, E.N.: Transport Phenomena. Wiley, New York (2002)Google Scholar
  8. Boxerman, A.A., Yambaev, M.F.: In-situ air transformation process into a light-oil reservoir. In 12th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery (2003)Google Scholar
  9. Bruining, J., Mailybaev, A.A., Marchesin, D.: Filtration combustion in wet porous medium. SIAM J. Appl. Math. 70, 1157–1177 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Castanier, L.M., Brigham, W.E.: Modifying in-situ combustion with metallic additives. In Situ 21(1), 27–45 (1997)Google Scholar
  11. Castanier, L.M., Brigham, W.E.: Upgrading of crude oil via in situ combustion. J. Petrol. Sci. Eng. 39, 125–136 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dake, L.P.: Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam (1978)Google Scholar
  13. De Zwart, A., van Batenburg, D., Blom, C., Tsolakidis, A., Glandt, C., Boerrigter, P.: The modeling challenge of high pressure air injection. In SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery (2008)Google Scholar
  14. Fassihi, M., Brigham, W., Ramey Jr, H.: Reaction kinetics of in-situ combustion: part 2—modeling. Old SPE J. 24(4), 408–416 (1984)Google Scholar
  15. Fassihi, M.R., Yannimaras, D.V., Kumar, V.K.: Estimation of recovery factor in light-oil air-injection projects. SPE Reserv. Eng. 12, 173–178 (1997)Google Scholar
  16. Fickett, W., Davis, W.C.: Detonation: Theory and Experiment. Dover, Mineola (2011)Google Scholar
  17. Freitag, N.P., Verkoczy, B.: Low-temperature oxidation of oils in terms of SARA fractions: why simple reaction models don’t work. J. Can. Petrol. Technol. 44(3), 54–61 (2005)Google Scholar
  18. Germain, P., Geyelin, J.L.: Air injection into a light oil reservoir: the horse creek project. In Middle East Oil Show and Conference (1997)Google Scholar
  19. Gerritsen, M., Kovscek, A., Castanier, L., Nilsson, J., Younis, R., He, B.: Experimental investigation and high resolution simulator of in-situ combustion processes; 1. Simulator design and improved combustion with metallic additives. In SPE International Thermal Operations and Heavy Oil Symposium and Western Regional Meeting (2004)Google Scholar
  20. Gillham, T.H., Cerveny, B.W., Turek, E.A., Yannimaras, D.V.: Keys to increasing production via air injection in gulf coast light oil reservoirs. In SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, SPE 38848-MS (1997)Google Scholar
  21. Gillham, T.H., Cerveny, B.W., Fornea, M.A., Bassiouni, D.: Low cost IOR: an update on the W. Hackberry air injection project. In Paper SPE-39642 presented at the SPE/DOE improved oil recovery symposium, Tulsa, OK, 19–22 April (1998)Google Scholar
  22. Greaves, M., Ren, S., Rathbone, R., Fishlock, T., Ireland, R.: Improved residual light oil recovery by air injection (LTO process). J. Can. Petrol. Technol. 39, 57–61 (2000a)Google Scholar
  23. Greaves, M., Young, T.J., El-Usta, S., Rathbone, R.R., Ren, S.R., Xia, T.X.: Air injection into light and medium heavy oil reservoirs: combustion tube studies on West of Shetlands Clair oil and light Australian oil. Chem. Eng. Res. Des. 78(5), 721–730 (2000b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gutierrez, D., Taylor, A., Kumar, V., Ursenbach, M., Moore, R., Mehta, S.: Recovery factors in high-pressure air injection projects revisited. SPE Reserv. Eval. Eng. 11(6), 1097–1106 (2008)Google Scholar
  25. Gutierrez, D., Skoreyko, F., Moore, R., Mehta, S., Ursenbach, M.: The challenge of predicting field performance of air injection projects based on laboratory and numerical modelling. J. Can. Petrol. Technol. 48(4), 23–33 (2009)Google Scholar
  26. Hardy, W.C., Fletcher, P.B., Shepard, J.C., Dittman, E.W., Zadow, D.W.: In-situ combustion in a thin reservoir containing high-gravity oil. J. Petrol. Technol. 24(2), 199–208 (1972)Google Scholar
  27. Harterich, J.: Viscous profiles of traveling waves in scalar balance laws: the canard case. Methods Appl. Anal. 10(1), 97–118 (2003)Google Scholar
  28. Helfferich, F.G.: Kinetics of Multistep Reactions, vol. 40. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam (2004)Google Scholar
  29. Khoshnevis Gargar, N., Achterbergh, N., Rudolph-Flöter, S., Bruining, H.: In-Situ oil combustion: processes perpendicular to the main gas flow direction. In SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, SPE 134655-MS (2010)Google Scholar
  30. Kok, M.V., Karacan, C.O.: Behavior and effect of SARA fractions of oil during combustion. SPE Reserv. Eval. Eng. 3, 380–385 (2000)Google Scholar
  31. Kulikovskii, A.G., Pashchenko, N.T.: Propagation regimes of self-supported light-detonation waves. Fluid Dyn. 40(5), 818–828 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Levenspiel, O.: Chemical Reaction Engineering. Wiley, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  33. Lin, C.Y., Chen, W.H., Lee, S.T., Culham, W.E.: Numerical simulation of combustion tube experiments and the associated kinetics of in-situ combustion processes. SPE J. 24, 657–666 (1984)Google Scholar
  34. Lin, C.Y., Chen, W.H., Culham, W.E.: New kinetic models for thermal cracking of crude oils in in-situ combustion processes. SPE Reserv. Eng. 2, 54–66 (1987)Google Scholar
  35. Mailybaev, A.A., Bruining, J., Marchesin, D.: Analysis of in situ combustion of oil with pyrolysis and vaporization. Combust. Flame 158(6), 1097–1108 (2010a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mailybaev, A.A., Bruining, J., Marchesin, D., Rudolph, S., Heimovaara, T.J.: Cleaning tar deposits by diluted air combustion. In First International Conference on Frontiers in Shallow Subsurface Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, 20–22 January (2010b)Google Scholar
  37. Mailybaev, A.A., Marchesin, D., Bruining, J.: Resonance in low-temperature oxidation waves for porous media. SIAM J. Math. Anal. 43, 2230–2252 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Matkowsky, B.J., Sivashinsky, G.: Propagation of a pulsating reaction front in solid fuel combustion. SIAM J. Appl. Math. 35, 465–478 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Montes, A.R., Gutierrez, D., Moore, R.G., Mehta, S.A., Ursenbach, M.G.: Is high-pressure air injection (HPAI) simply a flue-gas flood? J. Can. Petrol. Technol. 49(2), 56–63 (2010)Google Scholar
  40. Oleinik, O.A.: Construction of a generalized solution of the Cauchy problem for a quasi-linear equation of first order by the introduction of vanishing viscosity. Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk 14(2), 159–164 (1959)Google Scholar
  41. Pereira, F.M., Oliveira, A.A.M., Fachini, F.F.: Asymptotic analysis of stationary adiabatic premixed flames in porous inert media. Combust. Flame 156(1), 152–165 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Poling, B.E., Prausnitz, J.M., John Paul, O.C., Reid, R.C.: The Properties of Gases and Liquids. McGraw-Hill, New York (2001)Google Scholar
  43. Quintard, M., Bletzacker, L., Chenu, D., Whitaker, S.: Nonlinear, multicomponent, mass transport in porous media. Chem. Eng. Sci. 61(8), 2643–2669 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sanmiguel, J., Mallory, D., Mehta, S. , Moore, R.: Formation heat treatment process by combustion of gases around the wellbore. J. Can. Petrol. Technol. 41(8), 71 (2002)Google Scholar
  45. Schott, G.L.: Kinetic studies of hydroxyl radicals in shock waves. III. The OH concentration maximum in the hydrogen-oxygen reaction. J. Chem. Phys. 32, 710 (1960)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schult, D.A., Matkowsky, B.J., Volpert, V.A., Fernandez-Pello, A.C.: Forced forward smolder combustion. Combust. Flame 104, 1–26 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schulte, W.: Challenges and strategy for increased oil recovery. In International Petroleum Technology Conference (2005)Google Scholar
  48. Sharpe, G.J., Falle, S.: One-dimensional nonlinear stability of pathological detonations. J. Fluid Mech. 414(1), 339–366 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wahle, C.W., Matkowsky, B.J., Aldushin, A.P.: Effects of gas–solid nonequilibrium in filtration combustion. Combust. Sci. Technol. 175, 1389–1499 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Welge, H.J.: A simplified method for computing oil recovery by gas or water drive. Trans. AIME 195, 91–98 (1952)Google Scholar
  51. Wood, W.W., Salsburg, Z.W.: Analysis of steady-state supported one-dimensional detonations and shocks. Phys. Fluids 3, 549–566 (1960)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Xu, Z., Jianyi, L., Liangtian, S., Shilun, L., Weihua, L.: Research on the mechanisms of enhancing recovery of light-oil reservoir by air-injected low-temperature oxidation technique. Nat. Gas Ind. 24, 78–80 (2004)Google Scholar
  53. Zheng, C.H., Cheng, L.M., Li, T., Luo, Z.Y., Cen, K.F.: Filtration combustion characteristics of low calorific gas in sic foams. Fuel 89(9), 2331–2337 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e AplicadaRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Civil Engineering and GeosciencesTU DelftDelftThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations