Because of its petrochemical processes Barrancabermeja refinery produces a considerable amount of flue gas daily. The Llanito oil field has an original oil volume of 314 million barrels (MBls) and it has produced 37.9 MBls up to December 2009, which corresponds to a recovery factor of only 12%, being really low for 50 years of exploitation.
The application of an enhanced oil recovery process represents an alternative for improving the final recovery factor. The availability of sources (Water, gas, chemicals, steam, etc) and the reservoir characterization dictate the feasibility of the project according to a study carried out. An environmentally undesirable by-product resulting from refining processes such as flue gas (Nitrogen + CO2) becomes important when used as raw material in the secondary or tertiary recovery of oil which affects the increase in production and the final recovery of hydrocarbons.
This study evaluated experimentally the effect of the injection of the Barrancabermeja refinery´s flue gas as an enhanced oil recovery method applied to B Sandstone of the Llanito oil field. The volume of the refinery´s flue gas was characterizated and calculated; a study of fluid-fluid interaction was carried out between the flue gas and petroleum at reservoir conditions. The interaction between reservoir fluid and the porous media was evaluated and the best flue gas injection mechanism was determined in order to increase the recovery factor for the B sands of Llanito oil field. In addition to increase the final recovery factor, the study aims to reducing flue gas emissions and consequent environmental benefit.