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SPE 143438

SPE 143438 Evaluation of Oil Recovery by Water Alternating Gas (WAG) Injection – Oil-Wet and Water-Wet

Evaluation of Oil Recovery by Water Alternating Gas (WAG) Injection – Oil-Wet and Water-Wet Systems

Abdulrazag Y. Zekri * , Mohamed S. Na sr**, Abdullah S. AlShoba kyh***, *UAE University, **Al-Fateh U., ***Academy for Graduate Studies *

Copyright 2011, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Enhanced Oil Recovery Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 19–21 July 2011.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or st orage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright. Abstract Water alternating gas injection (WAG) is normally
must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright. Abstract Water alternating gas injection (WAG) is normally

Abstract Water alternating gas injection (WAG) is normally employed to improve the volumetric sweep efficiency of miscible flooding processes. Literature search indicated a number of numerical studies investigated the effect of flooding rate, gravity forces, slug size, and heterogeneity on WAG processes performance. However there are very few numerical and experimental studies conducted on the effect of wettability on the efficiency of WAG processes. This work examines how to optimize WAG processes for carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) floods above the minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) in both oil-wet and water- wet reservoirs. Stream tube simulation was used to assess the effects of WAG ratio, system wettability, flood pattern, solvent injection rate, project timing, and reservoir heterogeneity on the sweep efficiency and overall all recovery efficiency for oil- wet and water wet reservoirs. A series of secondary miscible carbon dioxide WAG displacement runs were performed employing WAG ratio’s of 1:1, 2:1, 1:2, 3:1, 1:3 and straight carbon dioxide.

The main conclusions of this research show that system wettability has a significant impact on the optimization of WAG ratio, solvent injection rate, project timing, and flooding pattern selection.

Introduction Water alternating gas process has been used to improve the mobility of the flooding system and that will result in better sweep efficiency and an improvement in the oil recovery efficiency. WAG injection is defined as the alternate injection of water-to-gas ratios of 0.5 to 4.0 volumes of water to 1.0 reservoir volume of gas at alternation frequencies of 0.1 to 2.0% PV slugs of each fluid (Huang and Holm, 1988). Panada et al. (2010) indicated that WAG floods can yield 5-20% additional oil recovery over waterflood. Miscible or Immiscible WAG flooding process must be carefully designed, due to the possibility of having the injected water blocking the flow of oil and reducing its recovery. When the water is alternately injected with CO 2 , water saturations are increased to the point of preventing CO 2 to contact the in-situ oil, and that will result in reduction of the displacement efficiency of the CO 2 -WAG flooding. The performance of WAG process is significantly affected by water-gas ratio, number of WAG cycles, slug size, injection rate, cycle period, and system wettability (Chen et al., 2009). The impact of the in-situ reservoir wetting state on miscible and or immiscible gas flood oil recovery is quite significant (Agbalaka et al., 2008). Raimondi, and Torcaso, 1962, and Stalkup, 1970, had concluded that less oil trapping occurs in oil wet rock and severe oil trapping takes place in water-wet cores. Zekri and Natuh, 1992, have studied the effects of miscible WAG process on tertiary oil recovery; they conclude that WAG process had no significant effect on total oil recovery in water flooded sandstone-oil wet system. Zekri et al., 2008, investigated the effect of WAG ratio on the sweep efficiency of miscible flooding. They employed WAG ratios of 1:1, 1:2 and 2:1. Their results indicated that sweep efficiency is a function of the WAG ratio and the most efficient WAG ratio for the studied systems is WAG of 1:2.

The previous conclusion was confirmed by physical model studies. Tiffin, and Yellig, 1983, and Jackson et al., 1985, Agbalaka et al (2008) indicated that the gasflood oil recovery efficiency is function of the system wettability, and changes in wetting states have resulted in an improvement of gasflood recoveries. Schneider, & Owens, 1976, and Surguchev, L.M. et al., 1992, have evaluated the effects of water alternating gas process [WAG] process on water-wet porous media under tertiary conditions in the laboratory. The results of their study indicated that the displacement of residual oil saturation by natural gas is influenced by WAG ratio. The mobile water reduces and/or prevents the contact between the solvent and the

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crude oil. Wade, & Lock, 1980, conducted a laboratory study of the effects of CO 2 injection sequence on tertiary recovery. They concluded that the change of CO 2 /water slug sequence had no significant effect on the total oil recovery, as long as the total amount of CO 2 remained constant without any elaborations about the system’s wettability. Shelton, & Schneider, 1983, and Tiffin, & Veiling, 1983, studied the effects of simultaneous injection of CO 2 and water on overall recovery of tertiary flooding under water-wet conditions. They concluded that in oil-wet tertiary displacement tests, water injection with CO 2 did not significantly affect oil recovery or the development of miscibility.

In general, the previous studies have concluded that the miscible displacement of non-wetting phase is significantly affected by the presence of mobile wetting phase saturation, whereas miscible displacement [first contact or multi-contact process] of the wetting phase was not significantly affected by high saturations of the mobile non-wetting phase. These previous studies were limited to CO 2 -oil systems in which the injected solvent was first-contact or multi-contact miscible process. Reservoir wettability is a complex phenomena and its effect on CO 2 WAG process oil recovery is still very limited and require more investigation. However, the literature review indicated that it wettability has great impact on the final residual oil saturation. This work examines how to optimize WAG processes for carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) floods above the minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) in both oil-wet and water-wet reservoirs. Stream tube simulation was used to assess the effects of WAG parameters, flood pattern, solvent injection rate, project timing, and reservoir heterogeneity on the sweep efficiency and overall all recovery efficiency for oil-wet and water wet reservoirs.

Reservoir Model To investigate the sensitivity of oil recovery in terms of many rock & fluid, geological and engineering parameters in a reservoir model would require several numerical simulation runs. To conduct all of the selected simulation runs would require time and money. Therefore it is crucial to use a simple model that can be run in a reasonable time with adequate accuracy. Stream tube method can be employed to conduct a large number of simulations quickly and efficiently with reasonable accuracy. Carbon dioxide Prophet Model is selected to be used in this project. CO 2 -Prophet was developed by Texaco Exploration and Production Technology Department (EPTD). CO 2 Prophet was developed as an alternative to the U.S. Department of Energy's CO 2 miscible flood predictive model, CO 2 PM. Both models are screening tools which fall between crude empirical correlations and sophisticated numerical simulators. CO 2 Prophet has more capabilities and fewer limitations than CO 2 PM. CO 2 -Prophet was designed to identify how key variables influence CO 2 project performance and economics prior to performing detailed numerical simulation. The model manual stated that CO 2 -Prophet performs two principal operations. It first generates streamlines for fluid flow between injection and production wells and then does displacement and recovery calculations along the stream tubes. The streamlines form the flow boundaries for the stream tubes. In the model for the displacement calculations a finite difference routine was employed. The grid orientation effects were eliminated in the used model. Streamlines and stream tubes were used to handle the effect of area sweep efficiency. The miscible CO 2 process was simulated by using a mixing parameter approach similar to the approach proposed by Todd and Longstaff. In these models, the mixing and viscous fingering are simulated by adjusting solvent and oil viscosities.

The reservoir model is a standard quarter 5-spot pattern with an injector and a producer were used with all sided of the sector bounded by no flow boundaries. Other patters were used to optimize the CO 2 -WAG flooding patterns. Table 1 presents the model input data for all studied cases. The effect of WAG ratio, wettability, flooding rate, pattern type, project timing, and system wettability were investigated in this project. The effect of CO 2 -WAG on the recovery efficiency of an oil wet system was initially investigated. Five different CO 2 -WAG’s of 1:1, 1:2, 2:1, 1:3, and 3:1 were conducted in additional to continue CO 2 flooding. At the end of WAG flood continues water flooding initiated, and the process is continued to residual oil saturation. The effect of system wettability (oil wet, and water wet) on the CO2-WAG flooding was also investigated. Five flow rates (500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 bbl/day) were employed to assess the effect of injection rate on the performance of CO 2 -WAG process. Three different injection patterns (5, 7, and 9) in addition to line drive for both oil-wet and water set systems were used to optimize the injection pattern of the CO 2 -WAG flooding. The effect of initial fluid saturations (project timing) on the process efficiency was investigated. Four runs were conducted using initial water saturation of 0.2, 0.45, 0.6, and 0.75. Finally the permeability variation of the system was varied between 0.1 for a homogenous system to 0.85 representing a heterogeneous system.

Results and Discussion WAG Optimization The effect of WAG ratio’s on the performance of carbon dioxide flood using an oil wet system was investigated by conducting six runs as follows: WAG 1:1, 2:1, 1:2, 3:1, 1:3 and continues carbon dioxide flooding. A fixed pore volume of carbon dioxide injection of 0.2 hydrocarbon pore volume injected (HCPV) was used for all runs. Oil recovery versus pore volume injected for all studies cases is presented in Figure 1. Results of these runs indicted that higher oil recovery could obtained by using WAG’s 1:1 or 1:2 compared to other WAG’s and the WAG ratio has a significant effect on the performance of carbon dioxide flooding process. Results indicated that there is no significant difference in the overall recovery between WAG’s of 1:1 and 2:1 for the oil-wet system which in line with the conclusion previously reported by Zekri and Nate, 1992. Continues carbon dioxide flooding has showed poor performance (oil recovery of 32% OOIP). The

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poor performance of continues carbon dioxide flooding can be attributed to the low volumetric sweep efficiency as a result of high mobility ratio of the studied system. In general, increasing the WAG ratio enhances the performance of the WAG process by improving the volumetric sweep efficiency. WAG ratios of 3:1, 2:1, and 1:2 have yielded an oil recovery of 70, 66.04, and 58.48% of original oil in place (OOIP) respectively, as shown in Figure 2.

Effect of System Wettability of a WAG Process:

The effect of system Wettability (Oil Wet and Water Wet) on the performance of carbon dioxide WAG process was studied The system wettability was simulated based on the end point relative permeability data used for the specific simulation run as follows: the water wet system was represented by a relative permeability to oil of 80% at connate water saturation of 20% and a relative permeability to water of 15% at residual oil saturation of 15%. On the other hand, the oil wet system was represented by a relative permeability to oil of 40% at connate water saturation of 10% and relative permeability to water equal to 70% at residual oil saturation of 40%.

Results indicated higher oil recovery for the water wet system at low hydrocarbon pore volume injected and slightly higher oil recovery for the oil wet system was obtained at high pore volume injected. At one hydrocarbon pore volume injected, an oil recovery of 42% of the oil in place was obtained in the case of oil wet system compared to 58% of the OOIP in the case of water wet system, as shown in Figure 3. Oil wet system produced at the end of the flood 63.9% of the original oil in place compared to 63.03% for the oil wet system. The results indicated that wettability has no significant effect on the process recovery efficiency.

Literature review indicated that the effect of wettability on the WAG is function of water saturation and different contradictory conclusions were reported. Therefore this point needs further investigation and additional experimental and numerical work is planned in the phase 2 of our research plan.

Effect of the Flow Rate The carbon dioxide injection rate has an effect on the performance of the flood and injection rate optimization is critical factor for the oil field operator planning to design WAG process. In this case, all other parameters that have an effect on the miscible flooding were kept constant, i.e. initial water saturation, reservoir wettability, flooding pattern, WAG ratio. The effect of injection rate on both water wet and oil wet systems were tested. A WAG ratio of 1:1 was employed in all of the studied cases

Figure 4 presents oil recovery versus hydrocarbon pore volume injection for different injection rates of 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 bbls per day for an oil wet system. Results indicate that there are no differences in the overall recovery for all studied cases except for low injection rate (500 bbls/day). An oil recovery of 60% of OOIP at 2.8 HCPV injections is obtained in the case of low injection rate compared to around 38% of OOIP at 3.6 HCPV injections for other injection rates. Results indicated that low injection rate of 500 bbls/ day is optimum rate of injection for the flooding of an oil wet system with a 1:1 CO 2 -WAG. Higher flooding rates have shown exactly similar performance.

The same reservoir employed to study the effect of flow on WAG 1:1 performance for a water wet system. The reservoir wettability was modified through changing of the end point relative permeability of the system as discussed previously. Figure 5 presents oil recovery versus hydrocarbon pore volume injection for different carbon dioxide injection rates of: 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 bbls per day for water wet system. Results indicated that the flow rate has a significant effect on the performance of CO 2 -WAG process and the optimum injection rate of the studies system (water wet system) is1000 bbls per day. Therefore, reservoir wettability has a significant effect on the optimization of CO 2 -WAG injection rate.

Flooding Pattern The relative location of injection and production wells depends on the geometry of the reservoir and well location. The flooding pattern is normally used in reservoirs having a small dip and large surface area. To insure a uniform sweep, injection wells usually placed among the production wells. This is accomplished either by converting existing production wells into injection wells or drilling infill injection wells, Latil, 1980. Research into the area sweep efficiency of various patterns has involved numerous theoretical and experimental studies. To our knowledge, no work has been reported in the literature that covers the effect of various patterns on the performance of WAG miscible flooding process for oil wet and water wet systems. In this project four patterns were tested: 5 spot, 7 spot, 9 spot and line drive.

Figure 5 presents oil recovery versus hydrocarbon pore volume injection for different patters using carbon dioxide WAG of 1:1 and water wet system. Results indicate that seven spot is the optimum flood pattern for the water wet system. An oil recovery of 85.45% of OOIP has been obtained for the 7 spot patterns compared to 57.19, 55.77, and 52.62% of OOIP for 5 spot, line drive, and 9 spot respectively, see Figure 5.

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Therefore, in the selection of the type of flooding pattern for CO 2 -WAG flooding, reservoir wettability should be taken in consideration.

CO 2 -WAG flooding Timing

It is well known that there is a difference in oil recovery between slim tube and core-flooding experiments or field application

of CO 2 flooding, although both are conducted under the same pressures and temperatures. The slim tube contains no water

and has a highly permeable bead pack. The presence of water in core floods is one of the possible reasons for the observed difference in the performance CO 2 between slim tube and core flooding experiments. The presence of water may make oil less accessible to CO 2 and most of the injected CO 2 interacts with the water. To our knowledge, the effects of water shielding on the performance of SC-CO 2 WAG injection as a miscible process has not been investigated before. Therefore, different runs were conducted for an oil wet system to investigate the effect of water saturation on the performance of CO 2 WAG flooding. CO 2 WAG ratio of 1:1 was tested at different initial water saturations of 20 %, 45 %, 60, and 75 %. The

studied systems were classified as secondary flood (at Swi = 20 %), intermediate flood (at S w = 45 to 60 %), and tertiary flood (at S w = 75 %).

Results of the runs shows more oil recovery could be obtained if the flooding process was started at higher mobile oil saturation, as shown in Figure 6. The oil recovery from miscible 1:1 WAG-CO 2 flooding dropped from 80.04% for secondary flood to 19.4 % of original oil in place (OOIP) for tertiary flood, as shown in Figure 6. Results indicated that oil recovery after 1.5 hydrocarbon pore volumes injected (PVI) is 60% of OOIP for secondary recovery and 10% of OOIP for the tertiary oil recovery. These results support the conclusion that the presence of water phase hinders the performance of CO 2 floods for the 1:1 WAG process. This behavior could be explained as follows: in the secondary mode, more oil could be contacted with the injected CO 2 which will accelerate thre extraction process and the formation of the middle phase required for the generation of miscibility. Therefore water shielding has a significant effect on the performance of CO 2 -WAG process.

Reservoir Heterogeneity

A sensitivity analysis was performed to study the effect of heterogeneity on cumulative oil production of CO 2 -WAG flooding

by employing different values for Dykstra Parson’s coefficient of the selected reservoir. The CO 2 -WAG flood tests were run with four different values for Dykstra Parson’s coefficient, and cumulative production of different WAG ratio’s for each Dykstra Parson’s coefficient was plotted in Figure 7. Four different values of permeability variations of 0.1, 0.3, 0.7, and

o.85 were employed. Results show increasing Dykstra Parson’s coefficient (increasing heterogeneity) results in a lower oil recovery keeping other variables the same. For the homogenous system (low permeability variation of 0.1), WAG of 1:1 shows the best performance of the studied systems of WAG’s: 1:1, 2:1, 1:2, and 1:3. On the other hand, WAG of 2:1 is the

optimum system for the heterogeneous reservoir of permeability variation of 0.85. Therefore, reservoir heterogeneity should

be taken in consideration in the selection of the optimum CO 2 -WAG ratio

.

Conclusions Based on the results of this study, the following conclusions can be drawn:

1. In general, increasing the WAG ratio enhances the performance of the WAG process by improving the volumetric sweep efficiency.

2. Results of these runs of an oil-wet system indicted that higher oil recovery could obtained by using WAG’s 1:1 or 1:2 compared to other WAG’s used in the study.

3. Reservoir wettability has no significant effect on the performance of a 1:1 CO 2 -WAG process.

4. Reservoir wettability has a significant effect on the optimization of the CO 2 -WAG injection rate.

5. In the selection of the type of pattern for CO 2 -WAG flooding reservoir, wettability should be taken in consideration.

6. Water shielding has a significant effect on the performance of CO 2 -WAG process.

7. Reservoir heterogeneity should be taken into consideration in the selection of the optimum CO 2 -WAG flooding.

References Agbalaka, C., Dandekar, A., Patil, S., Khataniar, S., and Hemsath, J., 2008. The Effect of Wettability on Oil Recovery: A Review, Proceeding of SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, 20-22 October.

Chen, H. Li, D. Yang, P. Tontiwachwuthikul, 2009. Optimal Parametric Design for Water- Alternating-Gas (WAG) Process

in a CO2 Miscible Flooding Reservoir, Proceeding of Canadian International Petroleum Conference, 16 - 18 Jun.

CO 2 –Prophet Manual, Water and CO 2 Flood Prediction Software, Texaco Exploration and Production Technology Department (EPTD), 1992-1994 Texaco, Inc.

Huang, E.T.S., and Holm, L.W., 1988. Effect of WAG Injection and Rock Wettability on Oil Recovery During CO2 Flooding, Paper SPE 15491, SPERE, 119-129, Feb.

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Jackson, D.D., Andrews, G.L., and E.L. Claridge, E.L., 1985. Optimum WAG Ratio vs. Rock Nettability in CO2 Flooding, Paper SPE 14303, Presented at the 60th Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, 22-25, 1 September.

Latil, M., Enhanced Oil Recovery, TECHNIP, IFP, 1980.

Panda, M., Nottingham, D., and Lenig, d., 2010. Systematic Surveillance Techniques for a Large Miscible WAG Flood, Proceeding of the SPE Oil and Gas India Conference and Exhibition, 20-22 January.

Raimondi, P. and Torcaso, M.A., 1964. Distribution of the Phase Obtained Upon Imbibition of Water, Soc. Pet. Eng. Jour. 49-55: Trans., AIME, 213, March.

Schneider, F.N. and Owens, W.W., 1976. Relative Permeability Studies of Gas-Water Flow Following Solvent Injection in Carbonate Rocks, SPEJ 23; Trans., AIME, 261, February.

Shelton, J. L. and Schneider, F. N., 1983. The Effects Of Water Injection On Miscible Flooding Methods Using Hydrocarbon and Carbon Dioxide, Soc. Pet. Eng. J., 447-455, June.

Surguchev, L.M., Rogaland Research; Korbol, Ragnhild, Haugen, Sigurd, Krakstad, O.S., Statoil A/S., 1992. Screening of WAG Injection Strategies for Heterogeneous Reservoirs, Proceeding of the SPE European Petroleum Conference, 16–18 November.

Stalkup, F.I., 1970. Displacement of Oil by Solvent at High Water Satuation, Soc. Pet. Eng. Journal, 337-348, Dec.

Zekri, A., Natuh, A

Proceeding of the 5 th ADEPIC 1992.

1992.

Laboratory Study on the Effects of Miscible WAG Performance on Tertiary Oil Recovery,

Zekri, A., Mustafiz, S., and Islam, R., 2008. The Areal Sweep Efficiency of the First-contact Miscible Displacements: An Experimental Approach, Petroleum Science and Technology, Volume 26, Issue 17, Pages 2033 – 2047.

Tiffin, D.F. and Yellig, W.F., 1983. Effects of Mobile Water on Multple-Contact Miscible Gas, Soc. Pet. Eng. Jour. (June 1983) 447-455.

Wade, G. C. and Lock, C. D., 1980. A Laboratory Study of The Effect of C02 Injection Sequence On Tertiary Oil Recovery, Soc. Pet. Eng., 278-280, Auq.

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Table1. Model Data

Parameter

Values

No. of layers

5

Initial oil saturation, %

70

Temperature, ° F

125

Injection pressure, psia

3000

Miscibility pressure, psia

2900

Initial oil in place, RB MM

1.4

Oil gravity, API

30

Water Salinity, ppm

100000

CO2 Slug size, % HCPV

20

Salinity, ppm 100000 CO2 Slug size, % HCPV 20 Figure 1. Oil recovery versus CO 2

Figure 1. Oil recovery versus CO 2 pore volume injected for different WAG ratios.

1. Oil recovery versus CO 2 pore volume injected for different WAG ratios. Figure 2. Oil

Figure 2. Oil recovery versus WAG ratios.

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SPE 143438 7 Figure 3. Oil recovery HCPVI for water wet and oil wet systems. Figure

Figure 3. Oil recovery HCPVI for water wet and oil wet systems.

3. Oil recovery HCPVI for water wet and oil wet systems. Figure 4. Oil recovery versus

Figure 4. Oil recovery versus HCPVI at different injection rate, oil wet system.

versus HCPVI at different injection rate, oil wet system. Figure 5. Oil recovery versus HCPVI at

Figure 5. Oil recovery versus HCPVI at different injection rate, Water wet system.

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8 SPE 143438 Figure 6. Oil recovery versus HPVI for different patterns. Figure 7. Oil recovery

Figure 6. Oil recovery versus HPVI for different patterns.

Figure 7. Oil recovery versus water saturation.
Figure 7. Oil recovery versus water saturation.
patterns. Figure 7. Oil recovery versus water saturation. Figure 8. Oil recovery versus WAG ratio for

Figure 8. Oil recovery versus WAG ratio for different K V .