Decreasing oil production and increasing quantities of greenhouse gases continue to be an issue plaguing Trinidad and Tobago's energy sector. While CO2 EOR has been proven to be an effective solution to both of these problems it is often overlooked in Trinidad due to the inability of the gas to achieve miscibility with the crude oil as well as operational limitations such as an absence of transportation pipelines for the CO2.
Even though miscibility may not be achieved, immiscible CO2 EOR can effectively increase production and sequester CO2 resulting in an increase of revenue as well as decreasing the quantity of greenhouse gases vented to the atmosphere. This paper aims to highlight the possibility of implementing immiscible CO2 projects in Trinidad. The scientific processes that are responsible for increased crude oil production are discussed and the operational considerations for a safe and economically feasible project in Trinidad South West fields are examined.
It was seen that the vaporizing gas drive process would not result in miscibility in the shallow low pressure fields of the South West Trinidad however it would cause a significant reduction in the interfacial tension, this in turn causes an increase in the capillary number which would result in additional oil recovery. It was also found that the high viscosity of the non-carbonated oil of the region would result in an even greater reduction in viscosity when it is mixed with the CO2 gas resulting in more favourable oil mobility. The high solubility of CO2 in hydrocarbon liquids result in the swelling of crude oil. In the water wet formations, the oil within the pore spaces swells, resulting in an increase of relative permeability aiding in additional oil recovery.
In the field evaluated, it is proposed that the CO2 be acquired from Atlantic LNG, tube trailers be used to transport the CO2, 100mmscf of gas injected per day with a 5spot injection pattern and the produced gas compressed and reinjected. From simulation this was found to produce an additional 389,360bbls of oil where CO2 would be sequestered and an additional profit of US$ 21,414,800 would be acquired within a 20 year period.