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Paper Number 10701-MS
Title A Preliminary Study of In-Situ Combustion in Diatomites
Authors Fassihi, Mohammad Reza, Abu-Khamsin, Sidqi, Brigham, William E., Williams, Loretta A.,
Graham, Steve A.
Source SPE Enhanced Oil Recovery Symposium, 4-7 April, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Preview Fassihi, Mohammad Reza*, ARCO Oil and Gas Co.; Abu-Khamsin, Sidqi*, and Brigham,
William E.*, Stanford University Pet. Res. Inst., Pet. Res. Inst., Williams, Loretta A., and
Graham, Steve A.*, Applied Earth Science, Stanford University *Members SPE-AIME
Diatomaceous sediments of California host large reserves of oil and gas tut are
incompletely exploited. The matrix of these sediments is comprised largely of the frustules
of diatoms (microscopic marine plants). Punctae in the frustules are responsible for the
high porosities Punctae in the frustules are responsible for the high porosities
characteristic of diatomites (up to 70 vol.%), but because of the very small size of the
pores, permeabilities are low (commonly around 1 md). Furthermore, the oil contained in
the reservoirs is often either immature or heavily biodegraded, hence viscous.
In order to test the feasibility of applying in-situ combustion techniques to diatomaceous
reservoirs, a laboratory test was conducted for a section fo core taken in the south plunge
of the anticline in the Lest Hills field of the San Joaquin Valley in California.