Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
High-Resolution Production of Gas Injection Process Performance for Heterogeneous
This project was selected in response to DOE's Oil Exploration and Production
solicitation DE-PS26-01NT41048 (focus area: Gas Flooding). The goal was to improve
understanding of three-phase flow and demonstrate improved methods to predict
the performance of gas injection processes in heterogeneous reservoirs.
The objectives of the research were to develop a new set of ultra-fast reservoir
simulation tools for the prediction of interactions of phase behavior of complex
oil and gas mixtures with flow in heterogeneous reservoirs.
A three-dimensional (3-D), streamline-based compositional simulator was developed.
It allows assessment of the performance of gas displacement processes using
numerical or analytical solutions for multi-component displacement along a streamline
in combination with high-resolution representation of heterogeneities in the
calculation of streamline locations. The resulting predictions of process performance
are more accurate than conventional finite-difference compositional simulations
and can be obtained in a fraction of the computation time. There is still much
work to be done to make compositional streamline methods a fully functional
reservoir simulation tool.
The computational technique developed allows accurate analysis of gas injection
processes at field scale. Conventional compositional simulation is too slow
to allow such analysis at field scale; hence the results of this project make
possible detailed process performance predictions that could not be done before.
High-pressure gas can displace oil and gas relatively efficiently in subsurface
formations if displacement conditions are selected appropriately. The project's
fundamental objective was to understand the physical mechanisms that control
displacement performance in gas injection processes and to use that understanding
to develop efficient and accurate computational tools for prediction of project
performance at field scale.
The project entailed four main lines of research: 1) efficient compositional
streamline methods for 3-D flow, 2) analytical methods for one-dimensional displacements,
3) physics of multiphase flow, and 4) limitations of streamline methods.
In the first area, results were reported that show how the streamline simulation
approach can be applied to simulation of gas injection processes that include
significant effects of transfer of components between phases. In the second
area, the one-dimensional theory of multicomponent gas injection processes was
extended to include the effects of volume change as components change phase
and an automatic solution algorithm was developed.
In the third area an extensive experimental investigation of three-phase flow
was performed. The experimental results demonstrate the impact on displacement
performance of the low interfacial tensions between the gas and oil phases that
can arise in multi-contact miscible or near-miscible displacement processes.
In the fourth area, the limitations of the streamline approach were explored.
The results establish that it is possible to use the compositional streamline
approach in many reservoir settings to predict performance of gas injection
processes. When that approach can be used, it requires substantially less (often
by orders of magnitude) computation time than does conventional finite-difference
Current Status (October 2005)
The results of this project are being applied in current research to investigate
storage of carbon dioxide emissions in aquifers and coal beds. Building on the
expertise gained in this project, project performers now are designing a high-performance
industrial compositional streamline simulator (CSLS). The development of a CSLS
is being supported by a new DOE cooperative agreement (NT15530).
Final Report - "High-Resolution Prediction of Gas Injection Process Performance for Heterogeneous
Reservoirs" [PDF-9.08MB], Prepared for the U.S Department of Energy Under Grant No.
DE-FC26-00BC15319. Principal Investigator: Franklin M. Orr Jr., Department of
Petroleum Engineering, Stanford University.
Jessen, K., Kovscek, A, and Orr, F.M. Jr., "Increasing CO2 Storage in Oil
Recovery," Energy Conversion and Management, 46, (2005), pp. 293-311.
Jessen, K., and Orr, F.M. Jr., "Gas Cycling and the Development of Miscibility
in Condensate Reservoirs," SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering,
7(5), pp. 334-341, (2004).
Jessen, K., Stenby, E.H. and Orr, F.M. Jr., "Interplay of Phase Behavior
and Numerical Dispersion in Finite Difference Compositional Simulation,"
SPE Journal, 9(2), pp. 193-201, (2004).
Jessen, K., and Orr, F.M. Jr., "Gravity Segregation and Compositional Streamline
Simulation," SPE 89448, Presented at the 2004 SPE/DOE Fourteenth Symposium
on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, OK, April 17-21, 2004. (accepted for SPE Journal).
Cinar, Y, Jessen, K., Berenblyum, R., Juanes, R., and Orr, F.M Jr., "An
Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Cross-Flow Effects in Two-Phase
Displacements," SPE 90568, Presented at the Society of Petroleum Engineers'
Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SPE ATCE), Houston, TX, October
2004. (Submitted for publication).
Cinar Y., Marquez S., and Orr, F.M. Jr., "Effect of IFT Variation and Wettability
on Three-Phase Relative Permeability," SPE 90572, SPE ATCE, September 26-29,
Houston, TX, 2004.
Cinar Y. And Orr, F.M. Jr., "Measurement of Three-Phase Relative Permeability
with IFT Variation," SPE 89419, SPE REE, (February 2005, pp. 33-43.
Mallison, B., Gerritsen, M., Jessen, K. and Orr, F.M. Jr, "High Order Upwind
Schemes for Two-Phase, Multicomponent Flow," SPE 79691, presented at the
SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium, Houston, TX, February 3-5, 2003 (accepted
for SPE Journal).
Seto, C.J, Jessen, K., and Orr, F.M. Jr., "Compositional Streamline Simulation
of Field-Scale Condensate Vaporization by Gas Injection," SPE 79690, SPE
Reservoir Simulation Symposium, Houston, TX, February 3-5, 2003.
Jessen, K., and Orr, F.M. Jr., "Compositional Streamline Simulation,"
SPE 77379, SPE ATCE, San Antonio, TX, September 29-October 2, 2002.
Jessen, K., Wang, Y., Ermakov, P., Zhu, J., and Orr, F.M., Jr., "Fast,
Approximate Solutions for 1-D Multicomponent Gas Injection Problems," SPE
Journal, 6(4), (2001).
Berenblyum, R.A., Shapiro, A.A., Jessen, K., Stenby, E.H., and Orr, F.M. Jr.:,"Black
Oil Streamline Simulator with Capillary Effects", SPE 84037, SPE ATCE,
October 5-8, 2003, Denver, CO.
Project Start: September 1, 2000
Project End: February 29, 2004
DOE Contribution: $1,107,062
Performer Contribution: $276,765 (20% of total)
NETL - Sue Mehlhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-699-2044)
Stanford U. - Franklin Orr (email@example.com or 650-725-6270)
Shown are a) 1-D accuracy for transport along streamlines and b) 3-D multi-component
Shown are a) a three-phase analog system for determination of relative permeability
and b) interfacial tension variation and relative permeability.