Exploration and Production Technologies
Full-featured, User Friendly CO2 EOR and Sequestration Planning Software Last Reviewed 12/30/2013

DE-FE0006015

Goal
The goal of this project is to develop a full-featured, user friendly, carbon dioxide (CO2) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and sequestration planning software system that will allow small- to mid-sized field operators to design and optimize CO2 EOR and sequestration operations in a short time frame. The objective is to develop a tool that includes all the significant physical and chemical factors that impact the flow and recovery of reservoir fluids, yet make the process fast enough so that an integrated feasibility study can be completed in less than one month at a small cost.

Performer
NITEC LLC, Denver, Colorado 80202

Background
Among the 582 lower forty-eight onshore fields in the United States that can be identified as economical CO2 EOR prospects, 151 of them are estimated to hold 70 percent of the total economic resource potential. The remaining 431 fields (~75 percent) comprise 30 percent of total economic resource potential and are on average smaller than the 295 million barrels original-oil-in-place economic CO2EOR threshold, though this classification varies by region. To date, these smaller fields have been exploited through primary and secondary recovery techniques, and due to their marginal value most of them are presently owned by small- and mid-sized operators. Given their operational budgets, these operators typically cannot afford to commission technically sophisticated integrated studies to assess the feasibility of CO2 injection, nor can they hire the staff needed to properly study the topic in-house.

A software tool that will accelerate CO2 injection technical studies (for EOR and sequestration purposes) for small- to mid-sized oil field operators in the U.S. is needed because the existing public domain and commercial solutions are either too simplistic to be used for development planning and economic analysis purposes, or too complex (compositional), time consuming (in excess of six months), and unaffordable (in excess of $0.5 million) to be used by all but the major oil companies and largest independents.

Impact
This project will advance the development of simulation and visualization tools and processes in order to assist the industry in enhancing the production of domestic resources by CO2-EOR. It will result in field-ready applications, with the executable (exe) code (along with user-friendly documentation) made available to the public. The integrated solution will enable the design and operation of advanced CO2-EOR technologies.

This integrated and simple-to-use solution may enable the completion of a CO2-EOR study within one month compared to the current minimum of six months required for more complex approaches; thus, it is reasonable to expect savings of $250,000 per study. For the 431 fields owned by small- and mid-sized operators, the cumulative savings could be in excess of $100 million. Finally, it should be noted that significant volumes of anthropogenic CO2 are generated in the Northeast, where the number of major oil fields with CO2-EOR potential is limited. The use of locally available smaller fields for CO2-EOR —which this project facilitates—may accelerate the implementation EOR in these fields.

Accomplishments

  • NITEC completed a user forum during a Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC) workshop in Golden, CO entitled “New Reservoir Simulation Software Designed to Aid Smaller Operators in Conducting More Rigorous Reservoir Studies.” Sixteen people attended the workshop/user forum.
  • NITEC completed their case study with Linc Energy, thus meeting this project requirement.
  • NITEC requested and was granted a two month no-cost time extension to complete a user forum with PTTC.
  • NITEC and DOE have selected a company to complete a case study of the software using data supplied by the participating company.
  • A full version of the COZView/COZSim has been developed and is available on the NITEC LLC website[external site].
  • The optimization module has been completed.
  • Four interactive tutorials that allow users to “step” through the software at their own pace based on interaction with the individual screens have been developed and delivered.
  • A hyperlinked and searchable user manual for each software module (Dynamic, Simulator, 3-D Visualization, and Optimization) has been finalized.
  • NITEC representatives attended the 2012 CO2 Conference Week in Midland and presented the conference attendees with an overview of the software and its capabilities.
  • NITEC representatives attended and exhibited at the 2012 SPE ATCE. NITEC discussed the software and its capabilities with SPE ATCE attendees.
  • All intermediate testing of individual software modules has been completed. The integration of these modules was initiated in early December 2011 and has been completed. NITEC demonstrated the software’s functionality (at its current development stage) at NETL.
  • The dynamic module development design was enhanced to accommodate historical completion, production, injection, and pressure data for wells. The subroutines related to the dynamic module data handling have been developed and tested with a synthetic data set.
  • The report generation routines to write the simulation results to an ASCII output file for access by the interactive user interface have been developed
  • The well data were exhaustively tested to ensure that the customary information/data can be imported, exported, and displayed in various formats.
  • The HYPRE software package for the linear solver from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was selected.
  • The overall structure of the time-step calculations has been designed and several of the routines associated with wellbore pressure drop calculations have been developed.
  • Several graphical user interface (GUI) layouts that best fit this application have been identified. AvalonDock was selected as the provider of the GUI layout software.

Current Status (December 2013)
NITEC LLC completed the project tasks and the project has ended.

Project Start: January 24, 2011
Project End: November 30, 2013

DOE Contribution: $1,239,952
Performer Contribution: $313,341

Contact Information:
NETL – William Fincham (william.fincham@netl.doe.gov or 304-285-4268)
NITEC – Chet Ozgen (cozgen@nitecllc.com or 303-292-9595)
If you are unable to reach the above personnel, please contact the content manager.

Additional Information

COZView/COZSim downloads [external site]

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