Abstract

Limited CO2 resources considerably narrow down the field application of CO2 EOR for improving oil recovery in tight formation. Considering that CH4 and CO2 have similar EOR mechanisms, CH4, as a by-product of produced oil, is a relatively cost-efficient agent to be injected into the tight formation with CO2. In this work, experimental and mathematical methods are proposed to probe the effect of CH4 composition on the mass transfer between a CO2-CH4 gas mixture and crude oil collected from a tight oil reservoir. Experimentally, the pressure-decay tests for different CH4-CO2-light oil systems are conducted at a constant temperature in a pressure / volume / temperature (PVT) setup. Also, the gas mixtures’ compositions before and after the experiments are analyzed with gas chromatography to investigate the mass transfer of different components. Theoretically, mathematical formulations are developed to describe the mass transfer between the gas mixture and light oil based on translated Peng Robinson equation of state (PR-EOS), a real gas equation, and one-dimensional convection-diffusion equations. The individual diffusion coefficients of CH4 and CO2 as well as the concentrations distribution can be obtained by minimizing the deviation between the calculated pressure and the measured ones. The results indicate that the higher the content of CO2 in the initial gas phase, the faster the pressure drops are and less time it takes for the oil and gas phases to reach a stable pressure, which implies a high mass transfer rate with an increase in CO2 composition. In particular, the diffusion coefficient of CO2 is found to be about 2 times larger than that of CH4 the same composition condition. However, it is noted that the individual diffusion coefficients of CH4 or CO2 are not constants. A high molar fraction in the initial gas sample will lead to a large diffusion coefficient in different CH4-CO2-light oil systems.

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