Carbon dioxide (CO2) injection is considered to be a viable option for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and has already been implemented commercially for more than 40 years. However, the applications are limited to onshore and offshore application for EOR activities have not yet been implemented. This paper presents the subsurface evaluation using laboratory experiments (PVT and corefloods) and compositional modeling, the design and surveillance program of a CO2 pilot project planned in a carbonate reservoir located offshore Abu Dhabi.

PVT and coreflood experiments demonstrate the local displacement efficiency of CO2 in tertiary mode due to gas-oil miscibility, swelling of oil and reduction in oil viscosity. The screening study performed using a tuned equation of state (EOS) predicts significant additional recovery in a previously waterflooded area. A pilot is planned in one of the reservoirs of the field, which has 40 years of peripheral seawater injection history. The pilot design is influenced by existing peripheral pressure gradient, and is located down-dip in the field that covers approximately 80 acres. The pilot location is selected based on geology, reservoir quality, maturity to waterflood and surface facility constraints. A comprehensive reservoir surveillance plan, including one to two observers well, is developed to monitor pilot performance. The planned pilot will reduce uncertainties and risk associated with CO2 injection and address bottleneck uncertainties in an offshore environment before large-scale application.

The first offshore CO2 injection pilot is designed for implementation in a tertiary mode in a giant carbonate field, which is still under secondary recovery production, to minimize interaction with current production and impact on surface facility. The paper also presents the possible mitigation for various challenges identified like asphaltene, scaling, corrosion, impact on existing carbon steel well completion, etc. associated with CO2 injection.

The methodology and technical analysis used to evaluate and design the CO2 pilot are applicable to other potential fields in the region.

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