Energy demand has been escalating and is predicted to increase further in the coming decades. The dialogue on global climate change has the world abuzz on the primary green house gas, carbon dioxide. Both of these factors have created a perfect storm for the use of carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery. The petroleum industry is ideally suited for disposing of this green house gas. Each oil company (and others) has therefore stepped up its efforts in carbon dioxide utilization, either for EOR or sequestration. The injection of CO2 into a reservoir is not new. Indeed CO2 injection has established itself as a very efficient mechanism for increasing oil recovery.

To design a CO2-EOR or CO2 sequestration project, one requires a large set of appropriate experimental data for a given reservoir/fluid system. Where does one start? Even if the data have to be generated in a service lab, a good design requires some thought and effort. A search of the literature reveals no best practices for generating this dataset. This paper presents a comprehensive experimental design for conducting a CO2 laboratory study.

The essential components of a laboratory study for CO2 injection include measuring fluid-fluid interactions and fluid-rock interactions. Fluid-fluid studies include miscible displacement tests, measurement of minimum miscibility pressures, fluid properties of CO2-oil or CO2-brine mixtures including viscosity and density, asphaltene precipitation, and swelling. Fluid-rock interaction studies typically include coreflooding tests for determining the oil recovery potential, three-phase relative permeability, critical gas saturation, gas trapping and wettability changes. Each of these sets of experiments will be described in light of their best practice. The ultimate goal is to establish a procedure for generating a reliable and accurate dataset.

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