Realistic K Values of C7+ Hydrocarbons for Calculating Oil Vaporization During Gas Cycling at High Pressures
- Alton B. Cook (U.S. Bureau of Mines) | C.J. Walker (U.S. Bureau of Mines) | George B. Spencer (U.S. Bureau of Mines)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1969
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 901 - 915
- 1969. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.4.3 Gas Cycling, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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Given this simple method for calculating vaporization, along with laboratory data that indicate which conditions of pressure, temperature, and type of oil are favorable for maximum vaporization, we can greatly enhance the prospects for successful gas cycling.
Although water will displace oil from a petroleum reservoir to a greater extent than gas will, there are some reservoirs in which gas rather than water should be used for pressure maintenance. This is indicated by the high-percentage oil recovery in the case history reports on the Pickton field in East Texas and the Raleigh field in Mississippi. In gas cycling, total oil recovery includes vaporized products from the immobile oil in addition to oil produced by displacement. If a large part of the immobile oil is vaporized, total oil recovery may be higher than that obtainable from pressure maintenance by water injection. However, the pressure maintenance by water injection. However, the amount of immobile oil vaporized may range from almost 0 to 100 percent, and no simple and reliable method has been presented in the literature for calculating oil vaporization. Development of such a method was the purpose of this study. purpose of this study. Several papers concerning the calculation of oil vaporization have been published and each is based on the concept dealing with K values equilibrium constants for the various components in reservoir oils. (K for a component in a system of vapor and liquid in equilibrium is the mole fraction in the vapor phase divided by the mole fraction in the liquid phase.) This appears to be the most logical approach. Yet, the problem is too great for a perfect solution, even with modern laboratories to analyze oils and high-speed digital computers to perform calculations; the number of components in reservoir oils is too large. Because of their complexity no two reservoir oils are exactly alike. Also, K values change not only with variations in pressure and temperature but also with composition of the reservoir oil. In addition, during gas cycling, the lighter hydrocarbons tend to vaporize first. Thus, the reservoir oil becomes more dense and less volatile as gas cycling continues. Furthermore, the greatest amount of oil vaporization occurs near the injection well. Therefore, a simplified method is required for calculating oil vaporization because a rigorous method is not practical.
The present methods of calculating vaporization generally require knowledge of the reservoir oil composition in which the mole fractions of the lighter components through hexanes are given; the remaining oil is described as C7 + (heptanes and others of greater molecular weights). Assigning one K value for the C7 + system provides the simplest solution, but this incorrectly assumes that K for C7 + does not change as gas cycling continues. This assumption can cause large errors because the K value may become less than a thousandth of the original after a large amount of oil vaporization. Another way to solve the problem is to determine changing K values for C7+ according to how much of the C7 + has been vaporized. To determine these values a sample of the reservoir oil is injected into a pressure-volume cell, and dry gas is batched in and out of the cell.
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