367313 Stability of CO2 Displacement of an Immiscible Heavy Oil in a Reservoir

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 4:05 PM
M109 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Truynh Tran1, Huan-Chung Chang1, Parthasakha Neogi1 and Baojun Bai2, (1)Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, (2)Geological Science and Technology, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO

The basic idea behind CO2 flooding for recovery of heavy oil is that the dissolution of CO2 in oil reduces oil viscosity and makes displacement easier. However, the viscosity of heavy crude is much higher than the viscosity of CO2 because of which the displacement process can be unstable leading to fingering or channeling. We have undertaken the linear stability analysis of the displacement process which is that of immiscible displacement but includes mass transfer effects.  All stabilizing/destabilizing mechanisms of both immiscible displacement and miscible displacement are included. A number of stabilizing mechanisms related to mass transfer have been identified.  We are able to provide a numerical evaluation of the results that show the lowering of viscosity that is considered only in miscible displacement, leads to a stabilizing effect that overcomes a large destabilizing effect of the adverse mobility ratio.  There is a restricted form of instability that would only give rise to a mushy zone at the front. The two regions are separated at a wavenumber determined numerically as 0.531 cm-1.  We are also able to show that in the limit that the solubility of CO2 in oil drops to zero, the above window of instability becomes infinite.

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See more of this Session: Thermodynamic and Transport Properties Under Pressure
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