Optimum tertiary steam-injection strategies for oil-wet fractured carbonates

Akın, Serhat
Kalfa, Ulker
Steam injection in naturally fractured formations has drawn considerable interest recently. It is believed that the steam or water heats the rock, which then undergoes a thermally induced wettability reversal. Hot water can then spontaneously imbibe into the water wet rock matrix, resulting in favorable oil recoveries. In this study, the applicability of steam injection in an oil wet fractured carbonate previously flooded with carbon dioxide (CO2) through multi-component thermal simulations is discussed. A numerical sector model calibrated with 47 years of historical data and data from vintage pre 1970's steam pilot carried out in south east Turkey was used to study optimum operating conditions such as continuous steam injection, cyclic steam injection, steam alternating CO2 injection (SAC) and steam injection with additives such as naphta and CO2. It was observed that for both operating strategies key oil production mechanism is heat transport through the fractures and the matrix suggesting that the success of the process is directly related with fracture spacing and fracture-matrix transfer. Sensitivity studies carried out for differing fracture densities indicated a threshold fracture spacing (7 ft matrix blocks) below which process efficiency significantly decreased. It was further observed that addition of limited amounts of naphta to steam may improve the process; however, CO2 presence adversely affects the heat transport such that too much CO2 limits the heat transfer along the fractures. Copyright 2009, Society of Petroleum Engineers.


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Citation Formats
S. Akın and U. Kalfa, “Optimum tertiary steam-injection strategies for oil-wet fractured carbonates,” presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, (2009), San Jose, United States, 2009, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?partnerID=HzOxMe3b&scp=70449501859&origin=inward.