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Novel laboratory investigation of huff-n-puff gas injection for shale oils under realistic reservoir conditions

Mahzari, P; Mitchell, TM; Jones, AP; Oelkers, EH; Striolo, A; Iacoviello, F; Shearing, PR; (2021) Novel laboratory investigation of huff-n-puff gas injection for shale oils under realistic reservoir conditions. Fuel , 284 10.1016/j.fuel.2020.118950. (In press).

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Abstract

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) from shale oil formations is recognized as the next frontier in the exploitation of unconventional resources. Current approaches for performing EOR experiments using fractured rocks can generate misleading results as the fractured cores cannot be saturated with live oils. In this work, a novel laboratory methodology is developed to quantify the efficiency of gas huff-n-puff in shale oil formations under realistic reservoir conditions, i.e. live oil and hydraulic fracturing reservoir conditions. This new approach involves first saturating the shale core with oil and then hydraulic fracturing the oil-saturated core by increasing pore pressure above the core confining pressure. To demonstrate the viability of this new methodology, shale cores from the Haynesville formation with a permeability of 0.0001 mD were tested. Two huff-n-puff experiments were performed by the injection of associated gas into cores saturated with either dead crude oil or live oil. 48% additional oil recovery was achieved from the shale core saturated with live oil whereas, the shale core saturated with dead oil yielded a 33% enhanced oil recovery, which is significantly lower than that of the live oil. Furthermore, the pressure decay profiles during the soaking periods indicate a comparatively higher gas penetration into the live oil system despite the higher gas solubility in the dead oil. The in-situ gas formation can have a strong influence on the efficiency of huff-n-puff. The notable differences in the results obtained on live compared to dead oil experiments demonstrate the need to perform more realistic laboratory experiments to better optimize shale oil EOR-based extractions in the field.

Type: Article
Title: Novel laboratory investigation of huff-n-puff gas injection for shale oils under realistic reservoir conditions
DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2020.118950
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2020.118950
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Unconventional, Enhanced oil recovery, Huff-n-puff, Gas injection, Shale oil, Shale gas, CO2 storage, Laboratory methodology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109451
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