Field A, located within the Harweel cluster in southern Oman, has been recognised as a viable miscible gas injection candidate. However, the mobility ratio of such a flood is unfavourable due to the low viscosity of the injected gas (0.01 to 0.04 cP) as compared to that of the in-situ oil (0.24 cP). One approach to overcome this issue is to thicken the injected gas to effectively control the gas mobility and increase the sweep efficiency.

This study will present the details of a numerical reservoir simulation study, which assesses the potential benefits of adding polymers to the injected gas to increase the viscosity. Considering the composition of the AG in Field A, we have examined a number of different AG compositions to include different levels of hydrocarbon gas and CO2. We have also evaluated the direct effect of the different gas compositions on the oil properties during the flood.

The simulation was carried out using CMG-GEM and the associated PVT module CMG-WinProp. A full-field 3D geological model has been built based on the typical geological characteristics and the light oil fluid properties in Field A. The simulation model takes into account the reservoir heterogeneities and future design considerations of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project to be implemented in the field.

The results confirm that increasing the injected gas viscosity close to that of the oil has a significant effect on the gas mobility, time of breakthrough and the ultimate recovery in Field A. It has also been observed that the oil viscosity reduction with natural gas dissolution is much more pronounced than that achieved with the pure CO2. Such an effect resulted in 4% higher oil recovery by the injection of thickened natural gas (76%) than the thickened pure CO2 (72%). Furthermore, bacause gas breakthrough is delayed, a low gas-oil ratio can be maintained during the injection. These results demonstrate the real advantages of thickening the natural gas over CO2 for improving the gas flood efficiency in a light oil reservoir such as Field A.

The contribution of this study is significant considering the fact that to date there have been limited studies evaluating the effect of thickened natural gas for EOR. Most of the previously completed research work in this area have mainly focused on the identification of thickener polymers for CO2 injection processes.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.