An Investigation of the Recovery of the Bradford Crude by Steam Injection
- A.S. Ozen (Turkish Petroleum Corp.) | S.M. Farouq Ali (The Pennsylvania State U.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 1969
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 692 - 698
- 1969. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.4.10 Microbial Methods
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Laboratory tests indicate that steam injected at relatively low pressures is effective in recovering oil from previously waterflooded porous media. They also indicate that the relative effect of an increase in temperature on oil recovery is much more pronounced at higher than at lower temperatures.
In spite of the recently growing interest in continuous steam injection as an oil recovery technique, very few laboratory investigations of steam drive or steamflooding have been reported. The pioneering work of Willman et al. provided much useful information on the mechanism of a steamflood. More recently, Baker 2 has described results of similar studies conducted in a laminar flow model. While actual field tests will decide the effectiveness of a steamflood in a given area, laboratory studies, nevertheless, provide information that can be used to calculate the maximum oil recovery obtainable under a given set of conditions.
The present investigation was designed basically to obtain information on the response of a fight crude oil (Bradford crude, 450 API gravity) to a steamflood in a previously waterflooded reservoir. (Many reservoirs in the Appalachian area are in this category, and could possibly give a third yield of oil by a steamflood.) Moreover, an attempt was made to ascertain the role of heat losses in laboratory studies of steam injection. Few previously published works have considered this effect.
Steamflooding has been tested in the Appalachian oil fields. In spite of the several early failures, attributed to poor engineering and a lack of basic information on the crude oils involved, steamflooding has been successful in recovering large quantities of oil, as evidenced by steamfloods currently in progress. The results of the present investigation support this view.
A schematic diagram of the experimental apparatus used in this study - for the case of the consolidated core, Core No. 1 (see Table 1 ) -is shown in Fig. 1. The core was mounted in a Viton rubber sleeve, the ends of which were clamped to steel end plates provided with suitable connections and O-ring seals. The whole assembly was placed within a high- pressure casing, containing a nonvolatile oil. It was possible to heat the oil - and hence the core assembly - to any desired temperature by means of thermostatically controlled circular heater segments mounted on the outside of the casing. The oil within the casing could be kept at a constant pressure, regardless of the temperature, by means of a pressure regulator pressurized by a hydraulic accumulator and a pressure switch. If the casing pressure should increase above the preset pressure, the regulator could allow some of the oil to leak out of the casing. On the other hand, if the casing pressure should decrease below the set point, the pressure switch could turn on a pump, which would pump oil into the casing until the desired pressure was attained.
Simpler experimental set-ups were employed for Cores 2 and 3.
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