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SPE 9710 SPE

Society of PetroIelm Engineers of AIME

SCREENING TESTS FOR ENHANCED OIL


RECOVERY PROJECTS

by David B. Burnett and Michael W. Dann,


Members SPE-AIME, Core Laboratories, Inc.

Copyright 1981 American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.
This paper was presented at the 1981 Permian Basin Oil and Gas Recovery Symposium of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, held in
Midland, Texas, March 1213, 1981. The material is subject to correction by the author. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not
more than 300 words. Write to 6200 N. Central Expwy. Dallas, Texas 75206.

ABSTRACT These laboratory studies provide data that


augment geologic and engineering studies. It is
Laboratory Screening Tests are suggested to stressed that fundamental core analysis data is
evaluate potential enhanced oil recovery projects. required at the beginning of any reservoir engi-
Standardized procedures are used to study the fea- neering study--including enhanced oil recovery
sibilityof (1) miscible/C02 projects, (2) thermal projects. Such data as oil saturations and deter-
processes, and (3) chemical processes. mination of permeability and porosity are essen-
tial: their determination and evaluation have
The Screening Tests are divided into four been published previously.l,2
sections: crude oil characterization, injection
water studies, reservoir core characterization, Enhanced oil recovery processes that are dis-
and displacement studies in porous media. cussed in this paper are shown in Table 1. Three
major classifications are made:
These Screening Tests augment geologic and
engineering studies and supplement (but do not 1. Gas Injection Processes (Miscible/C02)
replace) the more commonly known core analySiS 2. Thermal Processes
programs. 3. Chemical Processes
INTRODUCTION The Screening Tests are divided into four sections:
Interest in Enhanced Oil Recovery has increased A. Crude Oil Characterization
dramatically with the advent of governmental incen- B. Injection Water Studies
tive programs, increased crude prices, and the C. Reservoir Core Characterization
shortage of U.S. oil supply. Because of this D. Displacement Studies in Porous Media
impetus, industry engineering, research, and
technical service personnel are having to evaluate Each section of the Screening Tests is design-
more potential prospects in shorter periods of ed to measure certain fundamental characteristics
time than ever before. of the candidate reservoir. In some cases, the
tests are employed to determine if the proposed
To help those who are performing feasibility project meets the criteria required of an enhanced
studies of potential enhanced oil recovery projects, oil recovery process. In other cases, data is
a set of Screening Tests has been developed. These collected to use in published correlations that
tests are a series of laboratory measurements using predict oil recovery performance.
fluids and cores from a candidate reservoir. The
laboratory test procedures are based on those The laboratory tests are taken from the tech-
published in the technical literature. nical literature. While details of testing tech-
niques are not described, comprehensive references
The Screening Tests begin with relatively are given. In addition, each section also contains
inexpensive, rapid, and direct measurements. The references to reviews of technology and field
Screening programs become more complex as the tests projects. Where possible, references are given to
continue. The final series of tests, in addition correlations that predict oil recovery.
to serving as screening criteria, are actually part
of the process design of a particular oil recovery Even though many of the tests are similar for
techn; que. various processes, the organization of this paper
will allow highlights and special tests to be
References and lllustratlons at end of paper. placed in the overall screening protocol.

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SCREENING TESTS FOR ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY SPE 9710

MISCIBLE/C02 PROCESSES
In terms of displacement efficiency, miscible Injection Water Study
processes are the most efficient oil recovery tech-
nique. Miscible flooding is of particular utility When water injection is utilized with mis-
in reservoirs where water injection processes are cib1e/C02 processes, it is appropriate to test
not practical because of water quality problems, injection water quality. Tests are shown in
reservoir sensitivity, or the presence of low Table 3. Since these tests are also appropriate
permeability zones. for chemical flooding processes, and since testing
is more often required for those projects, these
Miscible processes are utilized because of programs are discussed later.
the efficiency of the solvent in displacing the
crude oil from the reservoir matrix. Almost any Reservoir Core Characterization and Displacement
solvent, if conditions permit, can be used in a Studies in Porous Media
conditionally miscible or first contact miscible
displacement. Because of its availability, its When miscible conditions prevail, displacement
inexpensive cost, and its performance in oil re- efficiency is a function of reservoir rock proper-
covery processes, carbon dioxide (C02) has become ties. 14 Screening tests utilizing reservoir cores
the most important miscible solvent. Since the are required because core heterogeneity, dead end
majority of projects exhibit conditional misci- pore space, and tortuosity will strongly affect
blity between crude oil and C02, this section will residual oil saturation. When displacement tests
discuss these processes only. using short reservoir core plugs are required,
special techniques can be utilized to establish
Miscibility between C02 and crude oil is a C02-oil transition zones upstream of the test
function of reservoir temperature, reservoir oil core,15
composition, and the composition of the injected
gas. Core plugs can also be stacked into composite core
allowing longer flow paths for the displacement
There are several types of laboratory tests to proceed. Table 6 shows a comparison of these
which have been developed to evaluate potential techniques along with direct injection into a
C02 flooding projects. Orr described techniques 3 core plug. It is seen that under the test condi-
designed to characterize the crude oil-C0 2 system. tions employed, little difference was noted in the
Other recommended tests are described below. procedures.
Oil Characterization Tests Predictive techniques for oil recovery using
C02 based on experimental data are generally
Oil characterization tests can be used to mea- limited to numerical simulations. One method for
sure fundamental physical properties of the crude simulating mobility behavior of the C02 slug is the
oil. Table 2 lists useful types of tests to be one-fourth power mixing rule. An early graphical
used for crudes that are potential C02 flooding correlation using this technigue to predict oil
candidates. The basic sediment and water test recovery is given by C1aridge I6
(BS&W) is routinely performed to insure sample
quality. The test for asphaltenes is used to
indicate the precipitation tendency of the crude. THERMAL PROCESSES
The Watson characterization factor is used Thermal oil recovery processes offer some of
to predict solubility, swelling and viscosity the most cost efficient enhanced oil recovery pro-
behavior of the crude oil. 4,5 cesses currently known. 17 These processes, invol-
ving the input of heat energy along with ancillary
Data from the characterization tests can be aids, are generally preferred for shallow oil
used to predict minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) reservoirs containing fairly viscous crude oils.
as determined by slim tube tests.7~8,9 Fig. 1 Process efficiency, whether the potential project
shows MMP as a function of reservoir temperature is insitu combustion or a steamf100d, is dependent
and oil character. upon both reservoir oil properties and reservoir
rock properties. Recommended Screening Tests to
Burnett, Alston and Lim10 and more recently measure those properties are described herein.
Metca1fe I1 evaluated the effect of impurities on
MMP. Other research showed that MMP can be ad- IN-SITU COMBUSTION
justed to fit reservoir conditions. 12 ,13 Fig. 2
shows the effect of light hydrocarbons upon MMP. Of the various in-situ combustion techniques,
forward combustion processes are the most commonly
Slim tube screening and appropriate PVT tests found types. 18 ,19 In this process, air is injected
should be performed to test C02-reservoir oil into a well, ignition is caused to occur at the
systems so that the predictions can be tested input well, and a combustion zone is propagated
against experimental data. through the reservoir rock to producing wells.
Improved oil recovery is caused by a combination
of effects. The light ends of the crude are
driven off by the heat ahead of the combustion
front. Connate water is vaporized and aids heat

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SPE 9710 D. B. BURNETT AND M. W. DANN

transfer beyond the combustion zone. A mobile materials are found, then other tests are sched-
oil bank is fonned and is recovered at the pro- uled. When the reservoir rock matrix is found
duction wells ahead of the fire front. to contain large amounts of clay, the combustion
process is reportedly more efficient. 25
It has been found that the injection of water
with air improves efficiency. The water injection Thermal properties testing also aids in
technique scavenges heat from behind the burn zone screening the reservoir. Values for thenna1 con-
and transfers the energy to the area of high oil ductivity and specific heat of the reservoir rock
saturation ahead of the combustion front. Tests can be detennined directly rather than relying on
have shown that oil recovery is higher, and generalized corre1ations. Z6
maximum reservoir temperatures tend to be lower
with water injection. The technique also reduces Displacement Studies in Porous Media
air injection requirements. 20 ,21
Combustion characteristics of the crude oil in
Many factors affect the application and limits reservoir rock are detennined by in-situ combustion
of the in-situ combustion oil recovery process. tests. The percentage of crude oil used as fuel
The character of both the crude oil and the res- and the quantity of air required to burn the oil
ervoir rock are important variables. Screening detennines whether the combustion process is prac-
tests are therefore selected to: tical. Laboratory tests measure this efficiency.
1. indicate whether in-situ combustion is Typical test data is shown in Table 6. The
applicable to the reservoir in question device used to gather this infonnation has been
2. provide basic laboratory data to use in described previously.27
oil recovery prediction techniques
The experimental data can be used to predict
Such screening tests are detailed below. ultimate oil recovery and recovery rate for a pro-
posed field project. Brigham, et a1. have developed
Oil Characterization a correlation that uses the fraction oxygen util-
ized and fuel burned (along with basic reservoir
Basic oil characterization tests are per- data) to Dredict recovery rates and ultimate
fonned, as discussed before, in order to verify recovery.28
the quality of the crude sample furnished for
testing. Other characterization tests give STEAMFLOODING
qualitative indications of the possible efficiency
of in-situ combustion. These tests are listed in Steamflooding processes are employed in reservoirs
Tab 1e 2. having crudes of all ranges of API gravity.29 When
crude oil is heated by steam, viscosity is reduced
Various investigators have shown how the key significantly and flow efficiency is improved.
variables are affected by the composition of the When contacting oils of more moderate gravity,
crude. 19 ,21,22,23 The gravity of the crude oil steam will tend to distill light components from
can be used to estimate process requirement. the crude and to create a solvent bank ahead of
The relationship between gravity and fuel and 2 the steam front causing an increase in displace-
air injection requirements is shown in Fig. 3. 0 ment efficiency. The effectiveness of steam
Care must be taken in using the relationship; injection will vary not only upon the crude oil
recent studies have shown that more subtle char- properties, but also upon the reservoir rock
acterization tests show variance in proc~!s properties and the thennal properties of the
efficiency when correlated with gravity. steam. Laboratory tests, by taking into account
all of these factors, provide a direct measurement
Injection Water Study of the displacement efficiency of the process at
the temperature and pressure conditions which
When water injection is combined with in-situ would be used in the field project. The Screening
combustion, the Screening Tests listed in Table 3 Tests are discussed below.
are recommended to insure adequate water quality.
The recommended studies include water analysis, Oil Characterization Tests
bacteriological testing, and source water fi1ter-
abil ity studies. Recommended Screening Tests to characterize
crude oil are the same as used for in-situ combus-
Reservoir Core Characterization tion projects. These are shown in Table 2.
Characteristics of the reservoir rock material Oil viscosity as a function of temperature is
are important parameters and may dominate the in- a key measurement: viscosity can be interpolated
situ combustion process. Table 4 lists the or extrapolated by using Braden's correlation. 30
Screening Tests recommended for typical projects.
Injection Water Study
The petrographic tests consist, in part, of
X-ray diffraction testing to detennine the amount A source of water suitable for boiler feed
and type of clays and other minerals ;n the reser- water must be identified early in the screening
voir rock. If relatively large quantities of clay process. Routine water analysis for the common
ions, detennination of suspended solids, scaling

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SCREENING TESTS FOR ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY SPE 9710
and corrosion tendencies must all be determined. CAUSTIC FLOODING
Recommended screening tests are given in Table 3.
Caustic or alkaline flooding has been found to
Water quality criteria and ion exchange water be an effective oil recovery process in certain
softening procedures are described by Elias et al. 31 types of reservoirs. A review of field projects
is given by Johnson. 37
Reservoir Core Characterization
Caustic flooding involves the injection of
The characteristics of the reservoir are an high pH chemicals that react with acidic components
integral part of steamflood process efficiency. of crude oi1s. 38 The reaction creates transient
low interfacial tensions between the aqueous caus-
Screening Tests are given in Table 4. tic solution and the in-place oil. The low inter-
facial tensions facilitate oil mobilization in
In addition to the petrographic studies and the same manner as micellar/polymer processes.
thermal properties tests discussed in the previous However, the caustic processes create a surface
section, thermal properties test data are needed active chemical in-situ rather than the chemical
for both overlying and underlying rock strata as being injected in a microemulsion slug.
an aid in estimating heat loss from the pay zone.
For a caustic flood to perform effectively,
Displacement Studies in Porous Media certain conditions must be met. The crude oil
must contain certain organic acids in order to
Injection tests in reservoir core provide a react with injection chemical. 39 There must
direct measurement of the residual oil saturation be a source of water that is compatible with
after steamflooding (Table 5). Steam quality can high pH chemicals and the reservoir rock matrix
be specified, and together with the steam tempera- must be insensitive to the injection of the
ture, determine the pressure of the injected steam. water/chemical solution.
Laboratory steamflooding tests also provide The Screening Tests measure these criteria
a measurement of the permeability to steam of the early in the design program.
rock sample at its final oil saturation. This
data can be used to estimate the rate at which Crude Oil Characterization
steam can be injected into the field. The steam
injection rates will determine the rate of heat As before, the first Screening Test is oil
energy transferred to the reservoir and ultimately characterization. Crude oil quality is of utmost
will determine the lifetime of the project. importance for these and other chemical processes.
The standard quality tests are recommended plus an
Steam permeability data may also show the additional test for amines (oil field corrosion in-
effect of clay minerals. When exposed to steam, hibitors that cause false tests for acid number and
many geological formations with high concentrations affect interfacial tension and rock wettability).
of clays experience severe matrix permeability
reduction. 32 In addition to the deleterious effect The acid number of the crude oil represents
of clay minerals reacting with steam, dissolved a direct measurement of the amount of organic acid
minerals can reprecipitate and cause plugging. 39 material in the crude oil available for reaction
If such sensitivity is kOQWn then corrective with caustic. 40
measures can be planned. 3Z ,3 4
Because wettability alteration has been
Core flooding tests using hot water are ordi- suggested as one mechanism for oil mobiliiation
narily performed to show the effectiveness of the in caustic flooding, contact angle measurements
process in areas of the reservoir unswept by steam. are recommended to measure the wettability charac-
A comparison of steamflooding to hot water flooding teristics of the crude oil. The Screening Test
is shown in Table 6. recommended in Table 2 are advancing and receding
contact angle measurements bi the technique of
Data from the laboratory Screening Tests can Treiber, Archer, and Owens. 4
be used to predict oil recovery in a proposed
field project. Gomaa 35 correlates oil recovery Injection Water Study
to net heat injected. This correlation has been
developed into a computer program for the TI 59 For caustic flooding, water quality standards
calculator. 36 similar to those for steamf100ding are required.
Additionally, the introduction of the high pH
chemical (caustic) into water containing signifi-
CHEMICAL PROCESSES cant quantities of calcium or magnesium ions is
certain to cause precipitation of the hydroxides.
Chemical enhanced oil recovery techniques If precipitates are formed, then caustic effec-
discussed in this section are shown in Table 1. tiveness is lessened and fluid injectivity is
Polymer flooding, caustic flooding, and micellar/ impaired.
polymer flooding are all evaluated with similar
Screening Tests, however, the various chemical As mentioned, water softening tests using ion
techniques are discussed separately in order to exchange techniques can determine if treatment of
highlight the differences of each type of process. source waters is feasible.

110
SPE 9710 D. B. BURNETT 'AND M. W. DANN
Table 2 shows one of the more significant projects are available to develop empirical tech-
Screening Tests -- interfacial tension testing. niques of oil recovery predictions. Currently,
Although classified as an oil characterization the best approach is to develop projected field
test, interfacial tension behavior is strongly performance with numerical simulation.
dependent upon water solubility and is discussed
here. The best and most recent reference to such a
project is Edinga et al. 48
Transient low 1FT tests are measured using the
spinning drop technique. 42 These tests are per- POLYMER FLOODING
formed to study not only the effect of caustic
concentration, but also the effect of brine Injection of polymer solutions to enhance oil
salinity upon interfacial tension. Results production has be4~ used for a number of years.
from these studies help define the conditions to A review by Chang has discussed field projects.
be used for subsequent oil recovery tests in Polymers are generally used to alter the mobility
reservoir cores. of water i nj ected ei ther as an "improved water-
flood" or as drive agents in micellar flooding.
Reservoir Core Characterization Proper mobility control design will insure that
the fluids injected in the oil recovery process
It is essential to determine the quantity, will provide maximum volumetric sweep efficiency.
type, and significance of clays in reservoir for- When properly used, polymers will reduce the flow
mations being considered for caustic flooding. (the mobility) of injected water through the
The response of some reservoirs is dominated by formation.
clays.43 In addition to the deleterious effects
of clays on caustic slugs, the minerals have Polymers as mobility control agents should
significant effect on the estimation of reservoir be used in caustic flooding processes as well as
properties such as porosity, water saturations, micellar processes so as to control the flow of
permeability, and well log responses. The sug- the chemical solution through the formation.
gested Screening Tests, therefore, evaluate the Screening Tests for all of these systems are
presence of clays by a variety of techniques. discussed below.
Petrographic tests provide a direct measure- Oil Characterization
ment of clays. Data is supplemented by cation
exchange capacity test data. 44 ,45 The most important screening test is, of
course, the viscosity of the crude oil at reservoir
Water sensitivity tests are performed to conditions. When used with the data derived from
determine the alteration in permeability caused relative permeability testing, mobility ratios
by a change in water salinity. Tests are adapted can be determined for optimum flow behavior.
from Hewitt. 46 Fig. 4 gives guidelines for the This is discussed later.
magnitude of permeability change caused by the
presence of clays. Injection Water Studies
Caustic consumption tests are quantitative It is of utmost importance to identify and
measurements of the reaction of the alkaline develop a satisfactory source of injection water
material with the reservoir rock. Testing for any chemical flooding process, polymer flooding
procedures are taken from Jennings, et al. 40 included.
Displacement Studies in Porous Media These Screening Tests are the most important
of all the polymer tests. The characteristics
Secondary or tertiary oil recovery core of the injection water will determine the perfor-
tests are performed in reservoir cores to evaluate mance of the polymer solution.
caustic flooding effectiveness. Experimentation
can be done with fresh, native-state, or restored There are several key tests in Table 3.
core plugs. Rheological tests with polymer solutions are used
to measure viscosity characteristics of various
Ordinarily, caustic oil recovery processes do products. The tests also show the relative per-
not result in oil bank formation; tertiary oil is, formance of various types of polymers. Standard
instead, produced at high water-oil ratios and techniques well characterized in the literature
produced emulsions are common. The most useful are used for screening. 50
experimental data is the final oil saturation
after caustic flooding (as determined by core Reservoir Core Characterization
solvent extraction techniques) and relative
permeability to water before and after caustic The key screening tests for reservoir rock
flooding. Typical recovery data is shown in characterization are petrographic studies and
experiment No.5, Table 6. water sensitivity tests. (Table 4)
The industry, as yet, has not reached a con- Injection waters sel ected for polymer projects
sensus on the theory of caustic flooding so that first should be tested in reservoir cores. These
there are few mechanistic theories to develop oil experiments insure that there are no incompatibil-
recovery correlations. 47 Additionally, few field ity problems between the source brine and the res-
ervoir rock matrix. These tests have been discussed
earlier.

111
SCREENING TESTS FOR ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY SPE 9710

Core tests with polymer solutions serve to systems polymer mobility control agents early in
measure injectivity behavior of the prototype the screening of an oil reservoir for chemical
system. The tests are typically performed in flooding. These prototype systems are a funda-
clean water-saturated reservoir cores. Injection mental part of the screening tests.
rates typical of near well bore conditions are
used. Polymer solutions meeting the screening Crude Oil Characterization
criteria will show good injectivity behavior with
no appreciable plugging . It is recommended that Equivalent alkane carbon number (EACN) is used
several polymer types and grades be evaluated in to characterize the reservoir oil. 59 With oil
order to identify systems with optimum performance properties determined. and reservoir temperature
for subsequent core tests. and brine properties known, a prototype microemul-
sion system can be developed. A successful proto-
Because of the importance of fluid mobility type slug is one which exhibits middle phase
ratios in chemical flooding processes, a significant behavior when diluted with crude oil and formation
Screening Test is the determination of water-oil brine.
relative permeability. In most cases steady-state
tests using fresh or restored state reservoir cores Viscosity of the slug is adjusted by varying
are recommended as the most accurate curves. With the concentration and characteristics of the sur-
this data and with the fluid properties, "unit factant and co-surfactant in the formulation.
mobility ratios" can be calculated. 51 Fig. 5 shows the effectm of co-surfactant concen-
tration upon Maraflood slug viscosity. This
Displacement Studies in Porous Media technology developed by Marathon Oil Company avoids
the use of polymers in the microemu1sion slug to
Polymer solutions alone do not significantly achieve proper mobility control. 5? (Pope et al. 60
improve displacement efficiency. Oil recovery and Chiou and Kellerhals 61 most recently have
stems from improvement in sweep efficiency. Model reported polymer-surfactant incompatibilities.)
studies used to predict polymer flood oil recovery
performance require more than injectivity data. Injection Water Studies
It is, therefore, necessary to determine the per-
formance of a test polymer solution in reservoir Water analytical studies are one key to the
core as a function of concentration and at varying success of a micellar system design. Selection of
frontal advances (shear rates). ' the brine to be used has already been discussed
in the section on polymer flooding.
Multistep tests are performed under reservoir
conditions to choose optimal polymer concentration Reservoir Rock Characterization
and to collect required data for subsequent simu-
lation studies. Screening tests for micellar flooding are
selected to measure the same characteristics of
MICELLAR/POLYMER FLOODING the reservoir as previous processes.
Micellar/polymer processes are the most prom- A key addition to the list involves the
ising and widely adaptable of the enhanced oil measurement of the capillary number of the reser-
recovery techniques. These chemical processes have voir core as a function of oil saturation. 62 ,63
been studied for a number of years and numerous The curve in Fig. 6 shows capillary number
field pilots have been tried. A review has been versus oil saturation for Baker dolomite compared
given by Gogarty52 and later5~y Lake and Pope 53 to the value for Berea reported by Guptra and
with the assistance of Holm. These processes, Trushenski
when properly designed will maximize both volu-
metric sweep efficiency and displacement efficiency Displacement Studies in Porous Media
in the candidate reservoir.
Prototype microemu1sion slugs typically are
It has only been recently that empiricism has evaluated in a series of tertiary oil recovery
given way to straightforward design. Studies have core tests. These tests should be conducted in
provided a better understanding of the fundamental reservoir rock rather than outcrop sand.
mechanisms of the chemical behavior of microemul-
sions in oil recovery. Research studies in the If large diameter core can be obtained~ radial
mechanism of oil recovery are showing that micro- core tests offer the most direct procedure. 4
emulsions formulated to give "middle phase behav- Such tests allow the experiment to be conducted
ior" tend to give the best oil recovery perfor- at rates which match or approach field rates
mance. 55 ,56,5? Investigative work is revealing the (less than 1 ft/day). A typical test is summarized
conditions that must be met to achieve and maintain in Table 6.
such systems in flow through porous media. The
importance of effective mobility control has If larger diameter core is not available,
been shown, both within the microemulsion slug stacked reservoir plugs can be used to create
and for the polymer drive behind it. Laboratory composite long linear cores.
testing criteria have been developed to evaluate
both polymers and surfactants more rapidly and Oil recovery data provide measurements of
more effectively than in the past. 58 It is the relative fractions of oil and water flowing
now possible to design and evaluate both micellar in the oil bank and the mobility of the flowing

112
SPE 9710 D. B. BURNETT AND M. W. DANN

oil water bank. These data together with the 5. Watson, K.M., Nelson, E.F. and Murphy, G.B.:
oil recovery efficiency are typically used in "Characterization of Petroleum Fractions,"
chemical flooding numerical simulators. Ind. Eng. Chem., 27, (1935) 1460.
DISCUSSION 6. Mulliken, Charles A. and Sandler, Stanley I.:
"The Prediction of C02 Solubility and Swelling
For the first time, comprehensive Screening Factors for Enhanced Oil Recovery," Ind. Eng.
Tests have been presented to test the suitability Chem. Process Des. Dev.,]2, (1980) 709-711.
of enhanced oil recovery in a candidate reservoir.
The tests are not meant to be a complete testing 7. Yellig, W.F. and Metcalfe, R.S.: "Determination
program-wthe technology is too complex for a cook- and Prediction of C02 Minimum Miscibility
book approach. Rather they are a compilation of Pressures," J. Pet. Tech. (Jan. 1980) 160-168.
practices and techniques utilized by the industry
over the years to define reservoir parameters 8. Holm, L.W. and Josenda1, V.A.: "Effect of Oil
governing a recovery process. Composition on Miscible-Type Displacement by
Carbon Dioxide," paper SPE 8814 presented at
All of the procedures are only a guideline, the SPE-DOE Enhanced Oil Recovery Symposium,
however. It is expected that skilled investigators Tulsa, April 20-23, 1980.
can readily adapt and modify them to fit his or
her particular need and requirements. 9. Holm, L.W. and Josendal, V.A.: "Discussion of
Determination and Prediction ofC02 Minimum
CONCLUSIONS Miscibility Pressures," J. Pet. Tech.
(May 1980) 870-871.
1. Laboratory Screening Tests are an essential
part of enhanced oil recovery. 10. Burnett, D.B., Alston, R.B. and Lim, F.H.:
"Carbon Dioxide Floods of Reservoir Oils--
2. By measuring fundamental rock and fluid prop- Prediction of Minimum Conditional Miscibility
erties, Screening Test data support more Pressure," Texaco, Inc. Research and Technical
elaborate modeling studies. Department Report, May 1973.
3. By coordinating Screening Tests, several oil 11. Metcalfe, Robert S.: "Effects of 'Impurities'
recovery processes can be evaluated simultan- on Minimum Miscibility Pressures and Minimum
eously for a candidate reservoir. Enrichment Levels for C02 and Rich Gas
Displacements," paper SPE 9230 presented at
4. By performing an orderly Screening program, the SPE 55th Annual Fall Meeting, Dallas,
critical design criteria can be determined early Sept. 21-24, 1980.
and testing is completed sooner providing better
quality data. 12. Burnett, D.B., Alston, R.B. and Lim., F.H.:
"Secondary Recovery Us i ng C02 and a Lean Gas,"
5. By following a coordinated Screening program, U.S. Patent 3,811,501, July 27, 1972.
the mistakes and omissions typifying "short
cut studies" can be avoided. 13. Burnett, D.B. and Lim, F.H.: "Secondary
Recovery USing Mixtures of C02 and Light Hydro-
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS carbons," U.S. Patent 3,811,503, July 27, 1972.
I wish to thank all of those at Core Labora- 14. Spence, Andrew P., Jr. and Watkins, Robert W.:
tories, Inc., who have helped to prepare this "The Effect of Microscopic Core Heterogeneity
report. Special thanks are given to the chemists on Miscible Flood Residual Oil Saturation,"
and technicians of the Enhanced Oil Recovery paper SPE 9229 presented at the SPE 55th Annual
Laboratory who have performed the Screening Tests. Fall Meeting, Dallas, Sept. 21-24, 1980.
REFERENCES 15. Watkins, Robert W.: "A Technique for the Lab-
oratory Measurement of Carbon Dioxide Unit
1. Core Analysis, Core Laboratories, Inc., Dallas, Displacement Efficiency in Reservoir Rock,"
1979. (Publication available on request). paper SPE 7474 presented at the SPE 53rd Annual
Meeting, Houston, Oct. 1-3, 1978.
2. Kidwell, Charles M. and Guillory, Abner J.:
"A Recipe for Residual Oil Saturation Determi- 16. Claridge, LL.: "Prediction of Recovery in
nation," J. Pet. Tech. (Nov. 1980) 1999-2008. Unstable Miscible Flooding," Soc. Pet. Eng. J.
(April 1972) 143-155.
3. Orr, F.M. Jr., Silva, M.K., Lien, C.L. and
Pelletier, M.T.: "Laboratory Experiments to 17. Prats, Michael: "A Current Appraisal of
Evaluate Field Prospects for C02 Flooding," Thermal Recovery," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1978)
paper SPE 9534 presented at the SPE Eastern 1129-1136.
Regional Meeting, Morgantown, Nov. 5-7, 1980.
18. Farouq Ali, S.M.: "A Current Appraisal of
4. Simon, R. and Graue, D.J.: "Generalized Corre- In-Situ Combustion Field Tests," J. Pet. Tech.
lations for Predicting Solubility, Swelling and (April 1972) 477-486.
Viscosity Behavior of C02-Crude Oil Systems,"
J. Pet. Tech. (Jan. 1965) 102-106.

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SCREENING TESTS FOR ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY SPE 9710

19. Chu, C.: "A Study of Fireflood Field Projects," 34. Reed, M.G.: "Stabil ization of Formation Clays
J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1977) 111-119. with Hydroxy-Aluminum Solutions," J. Pet. Tech.
(July 1972) 860-864.
20. Showalter, W.E.: "Combustion Drive Tests,"
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Thermal Recovery Processes, Society of Petroleum Oil Recovery by Steamflood," J. Pet. Tech.
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21. Parrish, D.R. and Craig, F.F., Jr.: "Laboratory 36. Jones, Jeff,: "Steam Drive Model for Hand Held
Study of a Combination of Forward Combustion Programmable Calculators," paper SPE 8882
and Waterfl oodi ng - The COFCAW Process," presented at the SPE 50th Annual California
J. Pet. Tech. (June 1969) 753-761. Regional Meeting, Los Angeles, April 9-11, 1980.
22. Benham, A.L. and Poettmann, F.H.: "The Thermal
Recovery Process--An Analysis of Laboratory 37. Johnson, C.E., Jr.: "Status of Caustic and
Combustion Data," Trans AIME, 214, (1958) 406. Emulsion Methods," J. Pet. Tech. (Jan. 1976)
85-92. --
23. Gates, C.F. and Ramey, H.J., Jr: "A Method
for Engineering In-Situ Combustion Oil Recovery 38. Cooke, C.E., Jr., Williams, R.E. and Kolodzie,
Projects," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1980) 285-294. P.A.: "Oil Recovery by Al kal ine Fl oodi ng,"
J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1974) 1365-1374.
24. Bae, J.H.: "Characterization of Crude Oil for
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Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (June 1977) 211-218. facially Active Acids in a California Crude
Oil: Isolation of Carboxylic Acids and Phenols,"
25. Fassihi, Modammad R., Brigham, William E. and Analytical Chemistry (April 1969) 554-562.
Ramey, Henry J. Jr.: "The Reaction Kinetics of
In-Situ Combi nat i on," paper SPE 9454 presented 40. Jennings, H.Y., Jr., Johnson, C.E., Jr. and
at the SPE 55th Annual Meeting, Dallas, McAuliffe, C.D.: "A Caustic Waterflooding Pro-
Sept. 21-24, 1980. cess for Heavy Oils," J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1974)
1344-1352.
26. Kamego, Albert A.: "Thermal Expansion and
Specific Heat Determination of Reservoir Core 41. Treiber, L.E., Archer, Duane L. and Owens, W.W.:
Samples," Core Laboratories, Inc., Report 1980. "A Laboratory Eval uat ion of the Wettabil ity of
(Available upon Request). Fifty Oil Producing Reservoirs," Soc. Pet.
Eng. J. (Dec. 1972) 531-540.
27. Penberthy, W.L., Jr. and Ramey, H.J., Jr.:
"Design and Operation of Laboratory Combustion 42. Pasquarelli, Carl H., Brauer, Paul R., Wasan,
Tubes," Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (June 1966) 183-198. Darsh T., Ciempil, Michael and Perl, Jeffery P.:
"The Role of Acidic, High Molecular Weight
28. Brigham, W.E., Satman, A. and Soliman, M.Y.: Crude Components in Enhanced Recovery," paper
"Recovery Correl at ions for In-Situ Combustion SPE 8895 presented at the SPE 50th Annual
Field Projects and Application to Combustion California Regional Meeting, Los Angeles,
Pilots," J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1980) 2132-2138. April 9-11, 1980.
29. Farouq Ali, S.M. and Meldau, R.F.: "Current 43. Somerton, Wilbur H., and Radke, Clayton J.:
Steamf100d Technology," J. Pet. Tech. (Oct. "Ro 1e of Cl ays in the Enhanced Recovery of
1979) 1332-1342. Petroleum," paper SPE 8845 presented at the
SPE-DOE Enhanced Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa,
30. Braden, W.B.: "A Viscosity-Temperature Corre- April 20-23, 1980.
lation at Atmospheric Pressure for Gas-Free
Oils," J. Pet. Tech. (Nov. 1966) 1487-1490. 44. Bush, C. D. and Jenkins, R.E.: "CEC Determina-
t i on by Corre 1at ions wi th Absorbed Water,"
31. Elias, R., Jr., Johnstone, J.R., Krause, J.D., Trans., SPWLA (1977) Paper H.
Scanlan, J.C. and Young, W.W.: "Steam Genera-
tion with High TDS Feedwater," paper SPE 8819 45. Keelan, D.K. and McGinley. D.C.: "Application
presented at the SPE-DOE Enhanced Oil Recovery of Cation Exchange Capacity in a Study of The
Symposium, Tulsa, April 20-23, 1980. Shannon Sand of Wyomi ng," Trans., SPWLA (1979)
Paper W.
32. Young, Bill M., McLaughlin, Homer C. and
Borchardt, John K.: "Clay Stabilization 46. Hewitt, Charles H.: "Analytical Techniques for
Agents -- Their Effectiveness in High-Tempera- Recogni zi ng Water-Sens it i ve Reservoir Rocks,"
ture Steam," J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1980) 2121- J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1963) 813-818.
2131.
47. deZabala, E.F., Vislocky, J.M., Rubin, E. and
33. Reed, M.G.: "Gravel Pack and Formation Sand- Radke, C.J.: "A Chemical Theory for Linear
stone Dissolution During Steam Injection," Alkaline Flooding," paper SPE 8997 presented
J. Pet. Tech. (June 1980) 941-949. at the SPE Fifth International Symposium on
Oilfield and Geothermal Chemistry, Stanford,
May 28-30, 1980.

114
SPE 9710 D. B. BURNETT AND M. W. DANN
48. Edinga, K.J., McCaffery, F.G. and 57. Jones, S.C. and Dreher, K.D.: "Cosurfac-
Wytrychowski, I.M.: "Cess ford Basal Colorado tants in Micellar Systems Used for Tertiary
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J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1980) 2103-2110. 161-167.
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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," J. Pet. Tech. Sulfonates by Phase Behavior ," paper SPE 7870
(Aug. 1978) 1113-1128. presented at the SPE International Symposium
on Oilfield and Geothermal Chemistry, Houston,
50. Bolton, Helen P., Carter, Walter H., Kamdar, Jan. 22-24, 1979.
Ruby S. and Nute, A.J.: "Selection of Polymers
for the Control of Mobility and Permeability 59. Cayias, J.L., Schechter, R.S. and Wade, W.H.:
Variation at Richfield Each Dome Unit, Orange "Model i ng Crude Oil for Low Interfaci al
County, Cali forni a," pa per SPE 8893 presented Tension," Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (Dec. 1976) 351-357.
at the SPE 50th Annual Regional Meeting, Los
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Robert S. a nd Wang, Ben: "The Effect of Several
51. Gogarty, W.B., Meabon, H.P. and Milton, Polymers on the Phase Behavior of Micellar
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Sol uti ons," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1970) April 20-23, 1980.
141-147. --
61. Chiou, C.S. and Kellerhals, Glen E.:
52. Gogarty, W.B.: "Micellar/Polymer Flooding "Polymer/Surfactant Transport in Micellar
An Overview," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1978) Flood i ng," paper SPE 9354 presented at the SPE
1089-1101. 55th Annual Fall Meeting, Dallas, Sept. 21-24,
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53. Lake, L.W. and Pope, G.A.: "Status of
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Systems," Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (Oct. 1979)
271-278.

115
Table 1 - Classification of I~proved Oil Recovery Techniques

WATER GAS HEAT CHEMICALS

1---+--+--- Field Gas Injection


I--.....,r--+--- C02 Injection
r--f--+--- Miscible Gas Injection
-- MISCIBLE/C02 PROCESS
t----16=:::+===t:=== WAG Inj ect i on*
In Situ Combustion**
Steamflood
THERMAL PROCESSES
r----"""1===t:=== Steam + Addi t i ves
t------t::===F== COFCAW***

Polymer Flooding -t
t--------1=== Caustic Flooding CHEMICAL PROCESSES
L.._ _ _ _ _ _ _.....!:=== Micellar - Polymer Flooding _

*Water and Gas Alternate Injection


**Fire Flood by Air Injection or Air and Water Injection
***AMOCO Fire Flood Process. Combination of Forward
Combustion and Water Injection

Table 2 - Crude Oil Characterization

I. Basic Tests*
BS&W
Amines
Acid Number
Asphaltenes
Viscosity
API Gravity
Equivalent Molecular Weight
II. Indicator Tests
Prediction of Minimum ~iscibility Pressures (C02)
Determination of Watson Characterization Factor (C02)
Contact Angle
Interfacial Tension Tests (Caustic)
Equivalent Alkane Carbon Number (Microemulsions)
Low Temperature Oxidization and Fuel Deposition (Thermal)

*ASTM Part 23 - Petroleum Products and Lubricants, 1980


Table 3 - Injection Water Studies

\~aterAnalysis
Water Compatibility Behavior
Water Quality Tests
Rheology Studies (Polymers)
Bacteriological Studies
Phase Behavior Tests (Microemulsions)
Water Softening Tests

Table 4 - Reservoir Core Characterization

Petrographic Studies
(X-Ray. SEM, Lithology)
Cation Exchange Capacity
Injection Water Sensitivity
Relative Permeability
Unit Mobility Determination
Determination of Capillary Number
Thermal Properties
Chemical Adsorption Studies

Table 5 - Displacement Studies in Porous Media

Slim Tube C02 Tests


In-Situ Combustion Tests
Steamflood Oil Recovery
Steam Permeability
Hot Water Flooding
Secondary Oil Recovery Tests
Tertiary Oil Recovery Tests
Polymer Injection Tests
Table 6 - Displacement Studies In Porous Media; Comparison of Techniques

Terminal Conditions Cumulative Oil


Oil Saturation, Final Recovered! Percent
Oil Percent Permeabil ity, Original Oil
Sample Pore Space Mi 11 i darci es Pore Space in Place
A Carbonate A Miscible/CO2: 18.5 69.0 89.0
Direct InJection
A Carbonate A Miscible/CO2: 21.4 54.8 71.9
Indlrect InJection
B Carbonate B Miscible/CO2: 14.1 1.5 20.7 59.5
Indlrect InJection
B Berea Sandstone Miscible/CO2: 0.50 24.8 98.0
Indlrect InJection
C Sandstone A Chemi ca 1 F1 ood: 41.0 3.6 5.0 8.2
Caustic InJection

C Sandstone A Chemi ca 1 F1 ood: 15.0 7.0 55.0 79.0


Microemulsion Slug
0 Sandstone B Thermal Recoverx: 18.4 312 31.5 63.1
Steam Flood, 450F
0 Sandstone B Thermal Recover~: * [218 BbL/Ac.Ft. Fuel Consumption; 15.7 MMCF/Ac. Ft]
In-Situ Combustion
E Sandstone C Thermal Recoverx: 10.8 64 28.2 72.2
Steam Flood, 400F
E Sandstone C Thermal Recoverx: 39.2 27
Hot Waterflood, 250 Q F

*Alternate Calculation
6000~--~--~---r--~--~----r---T----r---'

5000
V)
0..

LLJ" 4000 ) Mol. Wt. C5+


~
::>
V) (240)
V)
LLJ
g: 3000
LLJ
...J
~ ~ 2000
z:u
V)

i:
1000

6~0--~~~~~12~0~~1+40~~~~~~~--~--~240
TEMPERATURE, of

----------------------~~-.------------------------------~----------~-----

Fig. 1 - Prediction of MMP for C02-Oil Displacement Study


Screening Tests

100 r - - - - - r - - - T - - - - r - - - . , 100
Oil A I-
z
LLJ
u Oil A
IX
UJ
0-
l30F
i3 :i
<.:l 1250 psi
a ::)
0
IX
~ ::c
I-
:.<:
I- 80
<
LLJ
""
<
UJ
IX IX
IX! <tl
V) Vl
<
~ <.:l
I- l-
< e(

>- >-
IX IX
LLJ UJ
> >
8 60
LLJ
C
u
UJ
IX IX
...J
;:; :::
0
50 ____~_--~_--~_-~ 50~ ____ ___ ____ _____
~ ~ ~

o ~ o 10 20 30 40
C1 CONCENTRATION, MOL PERCENT OF SOLVENT C2-C4 CONCENTRATION, MOL PERCENT OF SOLVENT

Fig. 2A Fig. 28
Fig. 26
Effect of Light Hydrocarbons Upon MMP as Determined
by Slim Tube Displacement Study Screening Tests Effect of Light Hydrocarbons Upon MMP as Determined
by Slim Tube Displacement Study Screening Tests
500 24

.400 20 r;:
l-
ll.. W
cr: 80
w (.,.l
cr:
(.,.l .....
0:(

~300 16 't
...J :E:
O!l :E:
O!l
Q g
UJ
.... 60
~200 12 ;:;
0
(.,.l
:>
0- ""cr:
UJ
...J cr: :;;(
UJ ~
:> cr: .......
lI..lOO 8::;;: o
:;
8'
..J
40
~

0 4
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
CRUDE OIL GRAVITY, API
20

Fig. 3 - Air and Fuel Requirements for In-Situ


COmbustion Screening Tests (Ref. 20) O~ .....____~____~~____~~______~.
20
SALINITY
(ppm NaCl x 10 3)

50~--.....--------------------------------~ Fig. 4 - Permeability Ratios of Low, Moderate and Highly


Sensitive Reservoir Cores (Ref. 46)

>-
l-
V; 30
o
u
(I')
......
>

20L-__________________________
__ ~ --~

2 3
COSURFACTANT CONCENTRATION, mL/100 mL SLUG

Fig. 5 - Viscosity of Prototype Slug


Injection Water Screening Test
10- 2
CAPILLARY NUMBER

~~---------------------------------------------------- -------
Fig. 6 - Final Oil Saturation vs. Capillary Number
Core Characterization Screening Test