Abstract

Advancements in horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing have enabled commercial oil production from Bakken tight oil reservoirs. However, the primary recovery factor remains very low (less than 15%), resulting in the high volume of oil remaining in place. Hence, it is extremely important to investigate the application of enhanced oil recovery methods. Carbon dioxide (CO2) injection as a huff-n-puff process is a preferred approach to improve oil recovery in tight reservoirs. In this work, we present the effect of CO2 molecular diffusion and performed a series of sensitivity studies to quantify the impacts of reservoir properties such as permeability and fracture properties such as fracture half-length, fracture conductivity, number of fractures, and operation parameters such as CO2 injection rate, injection time, soaking time, number of cycle of CO2 huff-n-puff and CO2 diffusivity on the CO2 huff-n-puff process for enhanced oil recovery in the Bakken Formation.

A numerical model was built using the typical reservoir and fracture properties from Middle Bakken to simulate CO2 huff-n-puff process. In this process, we consider CO2 molecular diffusion term to swell oil in matrix since Darcy velocity is negligible due to low permeability. The numerical model was validated with field production data from a horizontal well in Middle Bakken. Based on the history matching results, the relative permeability curves such as water-oil relative permeability and liquid-gas relative permeability, are obtained. Furthermore, the wettability for the Middle Bakken is found to be weak water wet. Simulation results show that the most important parameter is CO2 injection rate, followed by CO2 injection time, number of cycle, CO2 diffusivity. The other parameters such as fracture conductivity, CO2 soaking time, permeability and fracture half-length are less sensitive based on the range investigated in this study. The range for the incremental oil recovery factor at 30 years of production is obtained as 2.5% - 9.4%. This work can provide fundamental understanding of the key parameters controlling the CO2 huff-n-puff process for enhanced oil recovery in the Bakken Formation.

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