Physical Properties of Carbonated Oils
- J.R. Welker (Oil Recovery Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1963
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 873 - 876
- 1963. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
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The growing interest in the use of CO2 in crude oil recovery increases the need for data on the effect of CO2 on hydrocarbon physical properties. Data are presented on the solubility of CO2 in various dead oils, the swelling changes in CO2 -oil solutions and the effect of CO2 on dead oil viscosity. This later property shows the most pronounced effect, with viscosity reductions up to 98 per cent of the uncarbonated viscosities. An empirical method of estimating the viscosity of carbonated oils is presented. The apparatus and procedures used are described in sufficient detail to allow others to make similar studies.
The effect of dissolved carbon dioxide on the swelling and viscosity reduction of specific hydrocarbon oils has been observed and recorded by a number of investigators. The object of this paper is to offer a means of predicting these effects for crude oils free from natural gas, using the dead state viscosity and gravity of the crude oils. The CO. solubility and swelling of numerous crude oils were determined in a visual cell at various pressure levels. The viscosity of the oils carbonated to various pressure levels was then determined by measuring the pressure drop across a capillary tube. From these data, the physical properties were correlated empirically. The resulting correlations allow the prediction of CO solubility, swelling and viscosity reduction if the dead state gravity and viscosity of the oils are known.
SOLUBILITY AND SWELLING MEASUREMENT
EQUIPMENT AND PROCEDURE
A high pressure visual cell was installed in a constant temperature cabinet. A test gauge was attached at the top of the cell for pressure measurement, and a line was run through the cabinet wall to a wet test meter which was used for volumetric measurement of the gas.
The first step in making a test run was to put the oil in the cen up to a level about half to two-thirds of the total volume. This required about 50 to 65 ml of oil. Carbon dioxide was then bubbled up through the oil for a time during which the pressure of CO2 in the cell was kept above 800 psia. Saturation of the oil with CO2 at this pressure and ambient temperature was confirmed by slowly bleeding CO2 through a valve to the atmosphere. If the oil was completely saturated with CO2, bubbles of gas would form in the oil at the first small decrease in pressure. If the oil was under-saturated, no bubbles formed until the pressure was decreased to the saturation pressure existing in the oil. If this saturation pressure was lower than that desired, more CO2 was bubbled through the oil until the desired level was reached.
After saturation at ambient temperature was completed, the cabinet temperature was adjusted to the desired level was the cell was allowed to reach temperature equilibrium. After temperature equilibrium was reached, the pressure was again decreased slightly, and the oil again checked for full CO2 saturation at the cell pressure. The pressure now had changed because of the difference in solubility of the CO2 in the oil at higher temperatures and the expansion of CO2 as the temperature increased. The outlet tube from the cell was then connected to the wet test meter and the CO2 was allowed to flow slowly out of the cell and through the wet test meter at ambient temperature and pressure. The water in the wet test meter had previously been saturated with CO2 at ambient temperature and pressure by allowing CO2 to flow continuously through it for a period of several hours. The gas flow was stopped at several pressures during the run and the cell was allowed to come to equilibrium; this made possible the measurement of solubility and swelling data at the intermediate pressures. The volume of the oil in the cell was recorded at each of the equilibrium pressures in order to obtain swelling data.
DATA AND RESULT
The solubility Of CO2 in the oil was calculated by the relationship
R = solubility of CO2 in crude oil, cubic feet of CO2 measured at 60F and 1.0 atm/ bbl of dead state oil at the temperature under which solubility was measured,
V = volume of gas released from the cell between the saturation pressure and zero pressure, corrected to 60F and 1.0 atm, cu ft, volume of CO2 contained in the gas space above the oil, corrected to 60F and 1.0 atm, cu ft, and V = volume of the dead oil in the cell in bbl at the temperature of the run.
The volumetric data of Sage and Lacey were used to calculate Vf from the volume of CO2 at high pressures.
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