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Does Miscibility Alone Predict the Success of WAG Projects? Key Issues in Miscible HC-WAG Injection

Mohamad Yousef Alklih, Nidhal Mohamed Aljneibi, Karem Alejandra Khan, Melike Dilsiz

Abstract: Miscible HC-WAG injection is a globally implemented EOR method and seems robust in so many cases. Some of the largest HC-WAG projects are found in major carbonate oil reservoirs in the Middle-East, with miscibility being the first measure to expect the success of a HC-WAG injection. Yet, several miscible injection projects reported disappointing outcomes and challenging implementation that reduces the economic attractiveness of the miscible processes. To date, there are still some arguments on the interpretation of laboratory and field data and predictive modeling. For a miscible flood, to be an efficient process for a given reservoir, several conditions must be satisfied; given that the incremental oil recovery is largely dependent on reservoir properties and fluid characteristic. Experiences gained from a miscible rich HC-WAG project in Abu Dhabi, implemented since 2006, indicate that an incremental recovery of 10% of the original oil in place can be achieved, compared to water flooding. However, experiences also show that several complexities are being faced, including but not limited to, issues of water injectivity in the mixed wettability nature of the reservoir, achieving miscibility conditions full field, maintaining VRR and corresponding flow behavior, suitability of monitoring strategy, UTC optimization efforts by gas curtailment and most importantly challenges of modeling the miscibility behavior across the reservoir. A number of mitigation plans and actions are put in place to chase the positive impacts of enhanced oil recovery by HC-WAG injection. If gas injection is controlled for gravity and dissolution along with proper understanding on the limitations of WAG, then miscible flood will lead to excellent results in the field. The low frequency of certain reservoir monitoring activities, hence less available data for assessment and modeling, can severely bound the benefits of HC-WAG and make it more difficult to justify the injection of gas, particularly in those days when domestic gas market arises. This work aims to discuss the lessons learned from the ongoing development of HC-WAG and attempts to comprehend miscible flood assessment methods.
Keywords: enhanced recovery / tracer test analysis / modeling & simulation / waterflooding / breakthrough / injector / miscible method / pvt measurement / miscible flood / mole fraction

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