In-depth Experimental Studies of Low-Tension Gas (LTG) in High Salinity and High Temperature Sandstone Reservoir
G. Ren, K. Mateen, K. Ma, H. Luo, G. Bourdarot, D. Morel, N. Nguyen and Q.P. Nguyen
Event name: IOR 2019 – 20th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery
Session: Quantifying and Extracting the Remaining Oil after Waterflood
Publication date: 08 April 2019
Info: Extended abstract, PDF ( 1.59Mb )
Price: € 20
Low-Tension Gas (LTG) process has been studied for sandstone reservoirs. In the prior publication (Nguyen et al. 2015), LTG was successfully used to achieve high oil recoveries with the proposed surfactant formulation and injection strategy. Sensitivity to change in optimum salinity was also investigated. However, some questions remained, particularly linked to the sudden drop of effluent salinity and the consequential oil recovery under Type I conditions. In this work, in-depth experimental investigations are carried out to understand the underlying mechanisms. Surfactant flooding without presence of gas is conducted to establish the incremental impact of the microemulsion on oil recovery and pressure drop. Constant salinity core flood experiments were carried out under Winsor Type I conditions at varying capillary numbers to examine the desaturation efficiency. Dynamic foamability tests were carried in the absence of oil to probe the foamability of the developed formula and the contribution of alkyl polyether sulfonate (APS). Effluent salinity when injecting brine only was compared with the case where both brine and gas are co-injected to better understand the role of gas. Further, the importance of foam in the drive was evaluated by conducting LTG without the foaming surfactant in the drive. The dynamic foam tests showed good foamability with the proposed formulation, presence of APS in the surfactant formulation further enhanced the foamability. Surfactant flooding without gas resulted in only 30% remaining oil recovery. Constant salinity coreflood confirmed that the oil recoveries observed under Type I conditions in LTG process indeed can be achieved at the prevailing capillary numbers. The effluent salinity comparison between brine only and brine/gas injections showed significant impact of gas on salinity distribution in the core. Much lower oil recovery was observed and the salinity propagation was delayed when no foaming agent was used in the drive. This implies that foam mobility control is critical for the success of LTG process. It is the first time that in-depth experimental studies were conducted for the LTG process. It improves the interpretation of the findings in prior work, and provides the guidance to the future experimental and theoretical studies.