Displacement of Oil From Porous Media by Miscible Liquids
- J. Offeringa (Koninklijke/Shell Laboratorium) | C. van der Poel (Koninklijke/Shell Laboratorium)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1954
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 37 - 43
- 1954. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.3.4 Scale
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The report describes scaled model experiments on the recovery of oil from porous sands by the injection of miscible liquids [solvents] and the subsequent recovery of the solvents by water flooding. Special attention has been paid to the scaling problem.
Scaling rules are deduced and their correctness is checked by carrying out experiments in tubes of various sizes.
Data are submitted on the effect of the viscosity ratio oil-solvent on the efficiency of the displacement process, the viscosity ratio varying from 1.5 to 5,000.
Breakthrough recoveries obtained when flooding with kerosene as a solvent, are equal to those obtained in water flooding at the same viscosity ratio, indicating that the phenomenon of viscous fingering is decisive. After breakthrough, however, flooding with a miscible liquid becomes much more efficient than a water flood and this is more pronounced as the viscosity ratio oil-solvent is higher.
Although high oil recoveries are obtained and most of the solvent in the sand can be recovered by a subsequent waterdrive, a straight flood with miscible liquids does not appear economically attractive because of the large quantities of solvent required. Therefore, a circulation process is introduced, the features of which are described in this paper. Though by means of this circulation process the amount of solvent required can be drastically reduced, the process is not yet economic.
Scope of the Investigation
The recovery efficiency by water flood of oils of viscosities exceeding 50 cp is low. As interest in production of these highly viscous oils is growing at the moment, it was considered worthwhile to gain basic information on the feasibility of first flooding such oils with a low viscous miscible liquid [solvent] and subsequently producing the latter in a conventional way, e.g. by water flooding. The method has the obvious drawbacks that return on the investment is delayed until water flooding has begun and that it requires the investment of a more valuable product to produce a less valuable one. On the other hand, it may be expected that the displacement of one liquid by another is more efficient when the two liquids are miscible than when they are immiscible. As laboratory data on this point are scanty, the present investigation seemed justified.
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