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Application of vapex (vapour extraction) process on carbonate reservoirs

Yıldırım, Yakut
The vapour extraction process, or ءVAPEX̕ has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years as a new method of heavy oil or bitumen recovery. The VAPEX (vapour extraction) can be visualized as energy efficient recovery process for unlocking the potential of high viscosity resources trapped in bituminous and heavy oil reservoirs. A total of 20 VAPEX experiments performed with Hele-Shaw cell utilizing three different Turkish crude oils. Two different VAPEX solvents (propane and butane) were used with three different injection rates (20, 40 and 80 ml/min). Garzan, Raman and Bati Raman crude oils were used as light, medium and heavy oil. Apart from normal Dry VAPEX experiments one experiment was conducted with CO2 and another one with butane + steam as Wet VAPEX experiment. All experiments were recorded by normal video camera in order to analyze visually also. For both VAPEX solvents, oil production rates increased with injection rates for all crude oils. Instantaneous asphaltene rate for Garzan oil, showed fluctuated performance with propane solvent. Butane showed almost constant degree of asphaltene precipitation. Instantaneous asphaltene rate for Raman and Bati Raman oils gave straight line results with the injection rate of 20 ml/min for both solvent. When the injection rate increased graphs showed the same performance with Garzan oil and started to fluctuate for both solvent. For asphaltene precipitation, propane gave better results than butane in almost all injection rates for Garzan and Raman oil. In the experiments with Bati Raman oil, butane made better upgrading than propane with the injection rate 80 ml/min. With the other two rates, both solvents showed almost same performace.