Solvent-Chamber Development in 3D-Physical-Model Experiments of Solvent-Vapour Extraction (SVX) Processes With Various Permeabilities and Solvent-Vapour Qualities
- Kelvin D Knorr (Saskatchewan Research Council) | Muhammad Imran (Saskatchewan Research Council)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 425 - 436
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 4.3.3 Aspaltenes, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex)
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 312 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 5.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Solvent-vapour extraction (SVX) processes offer an attractive alternative to thermal recovery processes by being less energy intensive and are more suitable for thinner, partially depleted reservoirs. A typical SVX process uses solvent injection to dilute the heavy oil by reducing its viscosity, allowing it to be mobilized for production. During this process, the injection of hydrocarbon solvents results in partial deasphalting of the heavy oil, thus reducing its viscosity and enhancing the process performance further.
This work examined the formation and growth of solvent chambers in laterally and vertically spaced horizontal injector/producer well pairs in porous media with five different permeabilities and three different solvent-vapour qualities. Consolidation of the porous media caused by asphaltene precipitation was also analyzed. Thermal-imaging and model excavation studies were performed to investigate the formation and growth of solvent chambers for seven different experiments conducted on a large 3D-physical-model apparatus.
The important findings from this study are as follows: During solvent injection, one or more solvent fingers develop between the injector and producer. The dominant solvent finger becomes a conduit that grows into a solvent chamber connected to the injection well in the upper portion of the reservoir, and develops into an oil-drainage conduit connected to the production well in the lower portion of the reservoir. Solvent dispersion layers are located on the margins of both the solvent chambers and the oil-drainage conduits. The location and development of these nonuniform solvent chambers and oil-drainage conduits are unpredictable, and the oil-drainage conduits do not grow significantly in diameter once connected to the production wellbore, limiting the wellbore inflow efficiency and conformity. Asphaltene precipitation and migration can aggravate this inflow problem, reducing the SVX process performance further.
SVX performance can be improved by increasing the number and diameter of oil-drainage connections between the solvent chamber and the production well, and by controlling the oil deasphalting process. This can be performed by optimizing injection- and production-wellbore geometries, and by optimizing solvent-injection rates and vapour quality.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||12|
Butler, R.M. and Jiang, Q. 2000. Improved Recovery of Heavy Oil by Vapexwith Widely Spaced Horizontal Injectors and Producers. J Can Pet Technol 39 (1): 48-56. JCPT Paper No. 00-01-04. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/00-01-04.
Butler, R.M. and Mokrys, I.J. 1991. A New Process (VAPEX) for RecoveringHeavy Oils Using Hot Water and Hydrocarbon Vapour. J Can Pet Technol 30 (1): 97-106.
Cuthiell, D., Mccarthy, C., Frauenfeld, T. et al. 2003. Investigation of theVAPEX Process Using CT Scanning and Numerical Simulation. J Can PetTechnol 42 (2): 41-50. JCPT Paper No. 03-02-04. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/03-02-04.
Das, S.K. and Butler, R.M. 1998. Mechanism of the Vapour Extraction Processfor Heavy Oil and Bitumen. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 21 (1-2):43-59.
Das, S.K. and Butler, R.M. 1994. Investigation of "Vapex" Process in aPacked Cell Using Butane as a Solvent. Presented at the SPE/CIM/CANMETInternational Conference on Recent Advances in Horizontal Well Applications,Calgary, 20-23 March. PETSOC-HWC-94-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/hwc-94-47.
Dunn, S.G., Nenniger, E.H., and Rajan, V.S.V. 1989. A study of bitumenrecovery by gravity drainage using low temperature soluble gas injection.The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering 67 (6):978-991. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cjce.5450670617.
El-Haj, R., Lohi, A., and Upreti, S.R. 2009. Experimentaldetermination of butane dispersion in vapor extraction of heavy oil andbitumen. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 67 (1-2): 41-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2009.02.010.
Jiang, Q. and Butler, R.M. 1996. Experimental Studies On Effects ofReservoir Heterogeneity On the Vapex Process. J Can Pet Technol 35 (10). PETSOC-96-10-04. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/96-10-04.
Knorr, K.D., Wilton, R.R., and Zeng, F.B. 2008. Design andInstallation of a High-Pressure 3D Physical Model for Evaluation of SolventVapor Extraction Processes. Presented at the World Heavy Oil Congress,Edmonton, Alberta, 10-12 March. Paper 2008-322.
Kristoff, B.J., Knorr, K.D., Preston, C.K. et al. 2008. Joint Implementationof Vapour Extraction Heavy Oil Recovery Process. Presented at the World HeavyOil Congress, Edmonton, Alberta, 10-12 March. Paper 2008-468.
Oduntan, A.R., Chatzis, I., Smith, J. et al. 2001. Heavy Oil RecoveryUsing the VAPEX Process. Presented at the Petroleum Society's CanadianInternational Petroleum Conference 2001: The Energy Odyssey, Calgary, 12-14June. Paper 2001-127.
Panda, M.N. and Lake, L.W. 1994. Estimation of Single-Phase Permeabilityfrom the Parameters of a Particle-Size Distribution. AAPG Bull. 78 (7): 1028-1039.
Peng, D.-Y. and Robinson, D.B. 1976. A New Two-Constant Equation of State.Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Fundamentals 15 (1):59-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/i160057a011.
Sim, S. and Singhal, A. 2002. Vapex Engineering and Economics for Heavy OilRecovery in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Volume 3: Physical Model Experiments.PTRC Joint Industry Project, Phase 3, Petroleum Technology Research Centre(PTRC), Regina, Saskatchewan.
Upreti, S.R., Lohi, A., Kapadia, R.A. et al. 2007. Vapor Extraction of HeavyOil and Bitumen: A Review. Energy Fuels 21 (3): 1562-1574.http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ef060341j.