American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.

This paper was prepared for the 42nd Annual Fall Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Houston, Tex., Oct. 1–4, 1967. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made.

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A flue gas plant of 4 MMCF per day capacity at 4500 psi discharge pressure has been in operation at Atlantic Richfield Company's Neale Field for about one and one-half years. Some problems have been encountered which have required changes in equipment and operating techniques. These changes have resolved the problems such that those involved in the operation feel that success can be claimed for the flue gas system both in the plant and in the field.


Neale Field is owned and operated by Atlantic Richfield Company. It is located in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana, a few miles east of the town of Merryville. The field is on an east-west trending anticline and is about five miles in length. There are 14 productive sands of varying importance in the field. The Whitmer and Lower Whitmer reservoirs near 8400 feet are in the Upper Wilcox Formation and are characterized by good water drives, high productivity, and good recovery. The other sands starting with the Lilliedoll at 10100 feet through the Frazar at 11600 feet are in the middle Wilcox formation. These sands have low permeability, weak water drives, and low recovery.

The field was discovered in 1940 and reached peak production of about 7500 barrels of oil per day in 1944. In ensuing years, productivity became so low in individual zones that it was not economical to operate most middle Wilcox completions on a single zone basis. After unitization in 1953, common completions were made in middle Wilcox zones and plans for secondary recovery were initiated.

A high pressure miscible gas injection program was begun in the 10400-foot Sand in 1956. This program is now in the last stages of blowdown. In 1962, a pilot miscible slug recovery program was started in the Lilliedoll Sand using propane enriched hydrocarbon gas. This pilot proved successful and in 1964 plans were laid to expand the process reservoir wide (Fig. 1). To reduce the cost of operation, it was decided that flue gas would be substituted for hydrocarbon gas as the displacing medium behind initial rich gas slugs. As a result, a flue gas plant was designed and installed at Atlantic Richfield's Neale Gasoline Plant. This plant went into operation in January, 1966 and to date flue gas has been used

  1. to displace hydrocarbon gas during blowdown of the 10400-foot Sand,

  2. for the displacing phase behind the Lilliedoll Sand rich gas slugs, and

  3. for a high pressure miscible flue gas pilot in the upper Spiers oil reservoir.

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