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Title: Chemical Method to Improve CO{sub 2} Flooding Sweep Efficiency for Oil Recovery Using SPI-CO{sub 2} Gels

Abstract

The problem in CO{sub 2} flooding lies with its higher mobility causing low conformance or sweep efficiency. This is an issue in oilfield applications where an injected fluid or gas used to mobilize and produce the oil in a marginal field has substantially higher mobility (function of viscosity and density and relative permeability) relative to the crude oil promoting fingering and early breakthrough. Conformance is particularly critical in CO{sub 2} oilfield floods where the end result is less oil recovered and substantially higher costs related to the CO{sub 2}. The SPI-CO{sub 2} (here after called “SPI”) gel system is a unique silicate based gel system that offers a technically effective solution to the conformance problem with CO{sub 2} floods. This SPI gel system remains a low viscosity fluid until an external initiator (CO{sub 2}) triggers gelation. This is a clear improvement over current technologies where the gels set up as a function of time, regardless of where it is placed in the reservoir. In those current systems, the internal initiator is included in the injected fluid for water shut off applications. In this new research effort, the CO{sub 2} is an external initiator contacted after SPI gel solution placement. Thismore » concept ensures in the proper water wet reservoir environment that the SPI gel sets up in the precise high permeability path followed by the CO{sub 2}, therefore improving sweep efficiency to a greater degree than conventional systems. In addition, the final SPI product in commercial quantities is expected to be low cost over the competing systems. This Phase I research effort provided “proof of concept” that SPI gels possess strength and may be formed in a sand pack reducing the permeability to brine and CO{sub 2} flow. This SPI technology is a natural extension of prior R & D and the Phase I effort that together show a high potential for success in a Phase II follow-on project. Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) is a major by-product of hydrocarbon combustion for energy, chemical and fertilizer plants. For example, coal fired power plants emit large amounts of CO{sub 2} in order to produce electrical energy. Carbon dioxide sequestration is gaining attention as concerns mount over possible global climate change caused by rising emissions of greenhouse gases. Removing the CO{sub 2} from the energy generation process would make these plants more environmentally friendly. In addition, CO{sub 2} flooding is an attractive means to enhance oil and natural gas recovery. Capture and use of the CO{sub 2} from these plants for recycling into CO{sub 2} flooding of marginal reservoirs provides a “dual use” opportunity prior to final CO{sub 2} sequestration in the depleted reservoir. Under the right pressure, temperature and oil composition conditions, CO{sub 2} can act as a solvent, cleaning oil trapped in the microscopic pores of the reservoir rock. This miscible process greatly increases the recovery of crude oil from a reservoir compared to recovery normally seen by waterflooding. An Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project that uses an industrial source of CO{sub 2} that otherwise would be vented to the atmosphere has the added environmental benefit of sequestering the greenhouse gas.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
RTA Systems, Inc.
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1123913
Report Number(s):
RTA Report #09-TR-26001.01
Final Report for SBIR Phase I (Topic 60)
DOE Contract Number:  
FG02-08ER84957
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM

Citation Formats

Burns, Lyle D. Chemical Method to Improve CO{sub 2} Flooding Sweep Efficiency for Oil Recovery Using SPI-CO{sub 2} Gels. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.2172/1123913.
Burns, Lyle D. Chemical Method to Improve CO{sub 2} Flooding Sweep Efficiency for Oil Recovery Using SPI-CO{sub 2} Gels. United States. doi:10.2172/1123913.
Burns, Lyle D. Tue . "Chemical Method to Improve CO{sub 2} Flooding Sweep Efficiency for Oil Recovery Using SPI-CO{sub 2} Gels". United States. doi:10.2172/1123913. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1123913.
@article{osti_1123913,
title = {Chemical Method to Improve CO{sub 2} Flooding Sweep Efficiency for Oil Recovery Using SPI-CO{sub 2} Gels},
author = {Burns, Lyle D.},
abstractNote = {The problem in CO{sub 2} flooding lies with its higher mobility causing low conformance or sweep efficiency. This is an issue in oilfield applications where an injected fluid or gas used to mobilize and produce the oil in a marginal field has substantially higher mobility (function of viscosity and density and relative permeability) relative to the crude oil promoting fingering and early breakthrough. Conformance is particularly critical in CO{sub 2} oilfield floods where the end result is less oil recovered and substantially higher costs related to the CO{sub 2}. The SPI-CO{sub 2} (here after called “SPI”) gel system is a unique silicate based gel system that offers a technically effective solution to the conformance problem with CO{sub 2} floods. This SPI gel system remains a low viscosity fluid until an external initiator (CO{sub 2}) triggers gelation. This is a clear improvement over current technologies where the gels set up as a function of time, regardless of where it is placed in the reservoir. In those current systems, the internal initiator is included in the injected fluid for water shut off applications. In this new research effort, the CO{sub 2} is an external initiator contacted after SPI gel solution placement. This concept ensures in the proper water wet reservoir environment that the SPI gel sets up in the precise high permeability path followed by the CO{sub 2}, therefore improving sweep efficiency to a greater degree than conventional systems. In addition, the final SPI product in commercial quantities is expected to be low cost over the competing systems. This Phase I research effort provided “proof of concept” that SPI gels possess strength and may be formed in a sand pack reducing the permeability to brine and CO{sub 2} flow. This SPI technology is a natural extension of prior R & D and the Phase I effort that together show a high potential for success in a Phase II follow-on project. Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) is a major by-product of hydrocarbon combustion for energy, chemical and fertilizer plants. For example, coal fired power plants emit large amounts of CO{sub 2} in order to produce electrical energy. Carbon dioxide sequestration is gaining attention as concerns mount over possible global climate change caused by rising emissions of greenhouse gases. Removing the CO{sub 2} from the energy generation process would make these plants more environmentally friendly. In addition, CO{sub 2} flooding is an attractive means to enhance oil and natural gas recovery. Capture and use of the CO{sub 2} from these plants for recycling into CO{sub 2} flooding of marginal reservoirs provides a “dual use” opportunity prior to final CO{sub 2} sequestration in the depleted reservoir. Under the right pressure, temperature and oil composition conditions, CO{sub 2} can act as a solvent, cleaning oil trapped in the microscopic pores of the reservoir rock. This miscible process greatly increases the recovery of crude oil from a reservoir compared to recovery normally seen by waterflooding. An Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project that uses an industrial source of CO{sub 2} that otherwise would be vented to the atmosphere has the added environmental benefit of sequestering the greenhouse gas.},
doi = {10.2172/1123913},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {4}
}