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Effect of Flue Gas on Steam Chamber Expansion in Steamflooding

, Zhengxiao Xu, Xiaochun Ban, Dongliang Peng, Zhaomin Li
Published: 1 September 2021

Abstract: Summary The expansion of the steam chamber is very important for the recovery performance of steamflooding. In this paper, we discuss 1D and 2D sandpack experiments to performed analyze the effect of flue gas on steam chamber expansion and displacement efficiency in steamflooding. In addition, we examine the effect of flue gas acting on the steam condensation characteristics. The results show that within a certain range of injection rate, flue gas can significantly enlarge the swept volume and oil displacement efficiency of steam. However, when the flue gas injection rate is excessively high (the ratio of gas injection rate to steam injection rate exceeds 4), gas channels may form, resulting in a decline of oil recovery from steamflooding. The results of the 2D visualization experiments reveal that the swept volume of the steam chamber during steamflooding was small, and the remaining oil saturation in the reservoir was high, so the recovery was only 28%. The swept volume of the steam chamber for flue-gas-assisted steamflooding was obviously larger than that of steamflooding, and the recovery of flue-gas-assisted steamflooding in 2D experiments could reach 40.35%. The results of the steam condensation experiment indicate that flue gas could reduce the growth and coalescence rates of steam-condensed droplets on the cooling wall and increase the shedding period of the droplets. Macroscopically, flue gas could reduce the heat exchange rate between the steam and the reservoir and inhibit the rapid condensation and heat exchange of the steam near the injection well. As a result, flue gas could expand the steam chamber into the reservoir for heating and displacing oil.
Keywords: thermal method / upstream oil & gas / sandpack / back section / enhanced recovery / droplet / steam chamber / sagd / flue gas / experiment

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