IBP2078_12 WATER ALTERNATING GAS AND WATERFLOODING: PERFORMANCE EVALUATION IN A HETEROGENEOUS RESERVOIR Philipe Laboissière1, Guilherme D.

Avansi2, Samuel Ferreira de Mello3, Osvair V. Trevisan4, Denis J. Schiozer5
Copyright 2012, Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute - IBP
This Technical Paper was prepared for presentation at the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012, held between September, 1720, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. This Technical Paper was selected for presentation by the Technical Committee of the event according to the information contained in the final paper submitted by the author(s). The organizers are not supposed to translate or correct the submitted papers. The material as it is presented, does not necessarily represent Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute’ opinion, or that of its Members or Representatives. Authors consent to the publication of this Technical Paper in the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Proceedings.

Abstract
In reservoirs with high heterogeneities, the WAG injections have been applied with success instead of secondary recovery technique, where two thirds of the original oil in place (OOIP) is left behind. Some specific reservoirs where there is considerable CO2 in solution with oil which allows new studies covering the direct application of Water Alternating Gas technique. The benefit of CO2 has been attributed to enhanced swelling effect, lower residual oil saturation and viscosity reduction of oil. Miscible WAG projects have been applied since the early 1960’s and it not only increases the ultimate recovery, but also allows companies to earn carbon credits and reduce greenhouse emissions. Due to phase segregation and unfavorable mobility ratio, the WAG injection scheme was originally proposed to use water to control the mobility of the displacement fluid and to stabilize the front. In this context, this study was conducted to compare the WAG, Hybrid WAG, Simultaneous WAG and waterflooding to better understand the mechanisms involved. First, the techniques were simulated only with water-wet drainage capillary pressure, then also with mixed-wet imbibition curve, conceptualizing hysteresis effects. Simulation model provided a tool for examining strategies using a commercial simulator and a commercial geological modeling was used to build a synthetic reservoir model with high heterogeneity. The well constraints of each strategy were optimized and the final results were analyzed relatively. The results show the influence of WAG schemes in a heterogeneous reservoir model increased the sweep efficiency, reduced residual oil saturation and, therefore, allowed higher oil recovery. The effect of the wettability change on the reservoir simulation, due to hysteresis capillary pressure, indicated higher oil recovery in the optimized HWAG when analyzed with water-wet reservoir. It is concluded that the HWAG scheme is not as effective as the simpler WAG scheme on mixed-wet reservoir, even though both are better for recovery than waterflooding.

1. Introduction
The challenges of oil companies have been focused on the ability to maximize the recovery performance, adding an opportunity to better understand the mechanism of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in a heterogeneous reservoir. Waterflooding is the most widely used method; however, the interest on WAG has increased. The goal of this study is to compare the two methods in order to improve oil recovery in both water-wet and mixed-wet conditions in low permeability carbonate reservoir. According to Caudle and Dyes (1959), it was supposed to compensate the counter tendencies of gas rising upward and water decreasing within the reservoir by ‘breaking-up’ the continuous slug of gas into smaller slugs by alternating water. This process is sensitive to rock, fluids, well constraints, reactivity flow due to dissolution, mass transfer between oil and solvent injected (Stalkup, 1984); gas trapped, early fingering of injected fluid and economic parameters

______________________________ 1 Master, Petroleum Engineer – UNICAMP 2 Master, Petroleum Engineer – UNICAMP 3 Master, Petroleum Engineer – UNICAMP 4 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineer – UNICAMP 5 Ph.D., Petroleum Engineer – STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 related with availability of CO2 Jarrel et al. (2002). Injecting water with miscible gas reduces the instability of the gas/oil displacement process that results from relative permeability effects, improving the overall sweep efficiency. Usually, the WAG ratio may be expressed in terms of water injected at reservoir conditions or in terms of duration. The WAG ratio is controlled by the gas availability as well as the wetting state of the reservoir rock. When is expressed as a percentage of the hydrocarbon pore volume (HCPV), is used slug, and refers to the cumulative CO2 injected during a CO2 flood. Generally, the more CO2 injected, the greater the incremental oil recovery. However, a large CO2 slug size diminishes the return of the project. In a mixed-wet (or oil-wet) reservoir, the oil relative permeability is low and the water relative permeability is high. Water injection causing early breakthrough and thus multiple pore volumes of injected water is required to produce oil. Affected by pore size distribution, interactions among rock, fluid and saturation history, capillary pressure (Pc) is an important parameter which is generally used in drainage and imbibition to infer the wettability, according to Masalmeh et al. (2006).

2. Objective
The objective of this study was to compare the performance of CO 2 and water injection schemes described in literature for a volatile oil in a synthetic heterogeneous carbonate reservoir. The same neutral-wet relative permeability curves were used in the water-wet and mixed-wet scenarios to compare the behavior of wettability inferred by both water-wet with only drainage capillary pressure (PcDr) and also mixed-wet with drainage and imbibition capillary pressure (PcHys).

3. Methodology
In this work, the WAG schemes that were compared have been classified into tree types, as described by Jarrel et al. (2002) and Christensen et al. (2001): hybrid, simultaneous and “regular” (WAG scheme with injection cycle fixed). Due to the uncertainty that remain about the exact miscibility behavior, well constraints were planned to bring the reservoir pressure far above the estimated minimum miscibility pressure (17500 kPa). The geological modeling software employed was RMS. The commercial numerical reservoir simulation used was CMG-GEM and CMOST for an assisted optimization process. The software employed for fluid characterization was CMG-WinProp. 3.1. Hybrid WAG (HWAG) The Hybrid WAG refers to a single and large slug of gas injected (chasing slug) and followed by small alternating cycles of water and gas. The hybrid process begins with a 4.4% (HCPV) and then alternating cycles of water and gas every year. The injection and producer wells were completed in all layers and the initial slug of CO2 for two years. 3.2. Simultaneous WAG (SWAG) In Simultaneous injection, both water and gas are injected at the same time. In this case, two phases are pumped separately using a dual completion injector, and were injected in all layers. The injection and producer wells were completed in all layers. 3.3. “Regular” WAG (or simply WAG) The WAG abbreviation in this work refers to when small alternating cycles of water and gas occur with fixed cycle period. In this scheme, the volume of gas is injected through alternating cycles of water and gas every year. The injection and producer wells were completed in all layers. 3.4. CMOST optimization parameters The software “Computer Assisted History Matching, Optimization, and Uncertainty Assessment Tool” CMOST was employed for defining the best set of parameters for recovery factor of each oil production scheme compared. The parameters compared were the following:

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Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Table 1. Optimization parameters – CMOST

Constraints BHP_INJH2O (kPa) BHP_INJGAS (kPa) BHP_PROD (kPa) 4. Reservoir Model Description

MAX 28600 28450 27750

MIN 28000 28000 26750

The performance evaluation of HWAG, SWAG and WAG were applied on a synthetic model. This model was based on some real reservoir properties of carbonate reservoir, mainly in the relationship between petrophysical properties (porosity and permeability) and rock fabrics (Lucia, 2007). A middle range of porosity (6.8-18.7%, mean of 11.8 %) and a large range of permeability (30-2,233 mD, mean 426 mD), being the permeability estimation defined by a permeability and interparticle porosity relation (Equation 1): ( ) ( )

where k is permeability in mD and ip is porosity as a fraction. The vertical and horizontal permeability relation, Kv/Kh, is 0.1 for the analyses (Lucia, 2007). The porosity and permeability distribution are showed in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Simulation model – porosity and permeability distribution

4.1. Fluid PVT Properties The fluid EOS (Equation of State) employed is a volatile oil EOS characterized with a 9 pseudocomponents tuning from Mello et al. (2011). PVT data belong to a volatile oil with density above 27º API, CO2 content above 3% molar (Pedersen et al., 1989). Oil composition and viscosity values used to calibrate the oil are shown in Table A-1and Table A-2 respectively. The viscosity was estimated for the original PVT data through Pedersen states model (1987). The pseudocomponent critical property determination followed two possible paths, depending on the source of characterization data: if the data is the light fractions composition determined through gas chromatography, a software databank for pure/pseudo compounds is used, identical to those published by Katz and Firozaabadi (1978). On the other hand, if the data belong to a fraction heavier than hexane, and there are TBP data available for each fraction, it is characterized with critical properties correlations, using as input data fraction densities and average molecular weights. The used correlations were Twu (1984) for critical properties and Lee-Kesler (1975) for acentric factor (Ω). The plus fraction and pseudocomponents are lumped. The lumping mathematical correlations are the ones from Kay (1936). Experimental data tuning provides the EOS mathematical parameters fitted for PVT data in order to reproduce the flash calculation of the compositional simulator. The tuning method is by Coats and Smart (1986). MMP was determined through CMG’s WinProp. It is an indication of the recovery factor behavior relative to pressure and a boundary of occurrence of miscible injection conditions and it does not affect the EOS input data. The component choice for every lumping scheme is the following: 9 components: N2 and CH4; CO2; C2H6; C3H8; iso-butane and nbutane; iso-pentane and n-pentane; C6; C7 to C17, C18+. 3

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Table A-1: Oil Composition Data 42º API, GOR 746 ft3/bbl (132.9 ft3 std/ft3.), 3.55% CO2, T=92.8oC

Component

Sample (%)

Molecular Weight

N2 0.56 ----CO2 3.55 ----C1 45.34 ----C2 5.48 ----C3 3.70 ----I-C4 0.70 ----N-C4 1.65 ----I-C5 0.73 ----N-C5 0.87 ----C6 1.33 ----C7 2.73 89.9 C8 3.26 103.2 C9 2.14 117.7 C10 1.94 133.0 C11 1.62 147.0 C12 1.47 160.0 C13 1.69 172.0 C14 1.62 186.0 C15 1.59 200.0 C16 1.30 213.0 C17 1.11 233.0 C18 1.26 247.0 C19 1.07 258.0 C20+ 13.29 421.0 Total 100 Source: Pedersen et al., 1989. * Molecular weight and density of fractions up to hexane are replaced for data of pure compounds critical properties and, therefore, do not need experimental determination
4.2. Capillary Pressure Hysteresis Curves

Density (g/cm3) 15ºC - 1 atm ----------------------------------------0.757 0.777 0.796 0.796 0.800 0.815 0.833 0.843 0.849 0.858 0.851 0.856 0.868 0.914

Table A-2: Oil Viscosity estimated through Pedersen corresponding states model

Pressure (kPa) 26805 23960 20940 17980 15000 11290 7240 3310

Oil Viscosity (cP) 0.767539 0.856849 0.943604 1.051770 1.195470 1.454960 1.931400 2.852390

The employed capillary pressure curves were obtained from Masalmeh et al. (2003). The study published sets of capillary pressure hysteresis curves for six different faces measured from a heterogeneous Cretaceous carbonate reservoir in the Middle East. The case of water-wet reservoir studied employed only the drainage capillary pressure curve, while the case of mixed-wet reservoir employed the drainage and imbibition curves, exactly as displayed below.

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Pc drainage (kPa) 300 200 100 0 0,00 0,20 0,40 0,60 0,80 1,00 20 0 0,00 -20 -40 0,20

Pc imbibition (kPa)

0,40

0,60

0,80

1,00

Pc drainage (K Pa)

Pc imbebition (k Pa)

Figure 2. Drainage and imbibition Pc curves from a heterogeneous Cretaceous carbonate, Masalmeh et al. (2003)

4.3. Relative Permeability Curves The water and oil relative permeability curves were obtained through simple power correlations. ( ) ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ) ( )

(

)

( )

With the input parameters estimated, the equations were: ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ) ( )

( )

The gas relative permeability curves were obtained through correlations from Honarpour et al. (1986). The correlations for gas relative permeability were the ones recommended by the authors for limestone and dolomite anywettability: ( ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ) ( ( ( ( ) ( ) ( ) ) ( ( ( ) ( ) )) ) ) ) ) ( )

(

( ( )

) ( )

One parameter of relative permeability curves (residual gas saturation in oil), was obtained through correlations of Bennion et al. (2002). Critical water saturation was considered equal to connate water saturation, critical gas saturation was considered equal to residual gas saturation. Connate water saturation and residual oil saturation in water were the same from the previous oil and water relative permeability models. The average permeability and porosity were calculated for the model were 426 mD and 11.8% respectively. The correlations employed were the ones recommended by the authors and were classified as neutral-wet carbonates: USBM Wettability Index = 0.0657* ln (Kabs-mD) – 0.3115 (8) 5

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Krw/Kro Endpoint Ratio = 0.2125*e-1.2508 (USBM Index) Kro/Krg Endpoint Ratio = 0.228*e-1.9774 (USBM Index) (9) (10)

5. Simulation Results and Discussion
The results of the waterflooding and WAG schemes are presented in several sections. The first comparison shows the effect of growing water rate injected in the water-wet HWAG compared to mixed-wet reservoir (Figure 3). This growing water rate seems contradictory, but in this case there are some aspects that involve a different optimized bottom hole pressure on the injectors compared to the same bottom hole pressure on the producers in each case, and the CO2 solvent effect that support this behavior. In a mixed-wet ( or oil-wet) rock, the oil occupies smaller flow channels and coats the walls of the larger ones, causing a higher water relative permeability allowing that more water is injected after an initial slug of supercritical CO2. In a water-wet rock, the initial slug of CO2 keeps in contact with more oil on the large flow channels and improves the oil viscosity by the action of solvent. In this specific situation, the lower oil viscosity and the higher bottom hole pressure (28450 kPa) of the injector well allows that more water is injected in a water-wet rock compared to the mixed-wet rock, with lower bottom hole pressure (28000 kPa).

Figure 3. Water rate injected: water-wet with only drainage capillary pressure (PcDr) and mixed-wet with drainage and imbibition capillary pressure (PcHys) for optimized parameters The initial HWAG gas rate (Figure 4) on water-wet reservoir was higher compared to WAG and SWAG schemes. The constant oil production compared to others schemes, allowed the increasing slug of gas behind the oil front. In contrast, the WAG started with water injection and then gas was injected, showing the different behavior on the anticipated oil production (Figure 6) and sweep efficiency.

Figure 4. Gas rate injected: water-wet with only drainage capillary pressure (PcDr) and mixed-wet with drainage and imbibition capillary pressure (PcHys) for optimized parameters 6

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The water breakthrough of HWAG in mixed-wet case (Figure 5) was mainly affected by well constraint and the solvent effect of initial CO2 slug of gas. The lower water injection rate in HWAG in mixed-wet rock caused the later breakthrough was not enough to lead to higher oil recovery compared to SWAG in mixed-wet showed in Figure 7.

Figure 5. Water rate produced: water-wet with only drainage capillary pressure (PcDr) and mixed-wet with drainage and imbibition capillary pressure (PcHys) for optimized parameters

The WAG scheme anticipated the oil production, when compared to the HWAG on both water-wet and mixedwet scenarios (Figure 6). While the SWAG practically did not recover any late additional oil peak afterwards on the water-wet case, it did on the mixed-wet case; this can be explained by the late breakthrough.

Figure 6. Oil rate produced: water-wet with only drainage capillary pressure (PcDr) and mixed-wet with drainage and imbibition capillary pressure (PcHys) for optimized parameters

As expected, on the water-wet and mixed-wet cases, all the optimized WAG schemes and waterflooding had better recovery when compared with the base scenario. In the Figure 7, all the incremental oil recovery compared to the each base scenario was showed by a red bar. The HWAG in a water-wet rock showed 21% (red bar) of incremental oil recovery when compared with the base data. The importance of initial supercritical slug of CO 2 might be decisive if it was confirmed the enhanced oil swelling and reduction of viscosity. The mass transfer between phases into oil front should be more investigated and may bring a better understand about the mechanism involved.

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WAG PcHys - base data WAG PcDr - base data Waterflooding PcHys - base data Waterflooding PcDr - base data Simultaneous WAG - PcHys

Simultaneous WAG - PcDr
Hybrid WAG - PcHys Hybrid WAG - PcDr WAG - PcHys WAG - PcDr Waterflooding - PcHys Waterflooding - PcDr

25%

40%

55%

70%

85%

Figure 7. Oil recovery factor: water-wet with only drainage capillary pressure (PcDr) and mixed-wet with drainage and imbibition capillary pressure (PcHys)

As expected, the highest residual saturation observed belonged to the waterflooding base data (Figure 8). In all optimized SWAG, HWAG, WAG schemes, the residual oil saturation was lower for the water-wet capillary behavior compared to the mixed-wet case. This was expected, since the optimized differential pressure among wells was broader and the solvent effect of CO2 in contact with more oil on the large flow channels.

WAG PcHys - base data WAG PcDr - base data Waterflooding PcHys - base data Waterflooding PcDr - base data Simultaneous WAG - PcHys Simultaneous WAG - PcDr Hybrid WAG - PcHys

Hybrid WAG - PcDr WAG - PcHys WAG - PcDr Waterflooding - PcHys
Waterflooding - PcDr

25.0%

30.0%

35.0%

40.0%

45.0%

50.0%

Figure 8. Residual oil saturation: water-wet with only drainage capillary pressure (PcDr) and mixed-wet with drainage and imbibition capillary pressure (PcHys)

On the mixed-wet case, both WAG and SWAG had similar recovery and residual oil saturation since they had similar operating parameters, confirming the literature conclusions. On the water-wet case, the HWAG scheme had, by far, the best recovery, and the lowest residual oil saturation. The most curious result was observed for the mixed-wet case, the HWAG scheme had lower recovery when compared to both WAG and SWAG.

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6. Conclusions
Simulations indicated that incremental oil recovery due to WAG schemes and specially optimized HWAG over waterflooding base data is about 23.7%, when analyzed with water-wet capillary pressure (Pc) behavior. Well operating conditions and constrains optimized (such as bottom-hole pressure of producers and injectors, gas and water rate limits) have a significant effect on oil recovery and production rates. Usually, in an oil-wet reservoir waterflood performs poorly, with early water breakthrough, rapid increase in water cut, and high residual oil saturation. However, the well constraints have strong effects in this behavior. The residual oil saturations were lower for optimized WAG schemes on the water-wet reservoir compared with residual oil saturation on mixed-wet. The HWAG scheme tested provided better opportunity of improve oil recovery when employed in a water-wet carbonate, followed by simpler WAG on water-wet capillary pressure scenarios. On the other hand, for mixed-wet hysteresis capillary pressure scenario, the optmized HWAG recovered less oil than the optmized WAG. Changes in the wettability on the reservoir simulation due to drainage and imbibition capillary pressure, allow more realistic investigation of the sweep efficiencies on oil recovery in carbonate reservoir.

7. Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank Department of Petroleum Engineering of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at UNICAMP, Center for Petroleum Studies (CEPETRO), UNISIM, PETROBRAS and CAPES (CNPq) for funding this work.

8. References
APOSTOLOS KANTZAS, “Residual gas saturation revisited”, paper SPE 59782, 2000. BENNION, F.B. THOMAS, B.E. SCHULMEISTER, T. Ma “A Correlation of Water and Gas–Oil Relative Permeability Properties for Various Western Canadian Sandstone and Carbonate Oil Producing Formations”. Petroleum Society’s Canadian International Petroleum Conference 2002, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, June 11 – 13, 2002. CAUDLE, B. H. and DYES, A. B., “Improving Miscible Displacement by Gas-Water Injection” Transactions of AIME, 213 (1959), 281-284. CHRISTENSEN, J.R., STENBY, E.H., and SKAUGE, A., 2001, Review of WAG field experience, SPE 71203, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Dallas, Texas. GREEN, D.W.; WILLHITE, G.P.: Enhanced Oil Recovery. SPE Textbook Series Vol.6. 1998. HONARPOUR, M., KOEDERITZ, L., and HARVEY, A.H.: “Relative Permeability of Petroleum Reservoirs”, CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, 1986. JARREL, P.M., FOX, C., STEIN, M. and WEBB, S.: “Practical Aspects of CO2 Flooding”, SPE Monograph Series Vol. 22, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2002 KULKARNI, M. M., “Immiscible and Miscible Gas-Oil Displacements in Porous Media”, M.S. Thesis, The Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering, Louisiana State University and A & M College, Baton Rouge, LA, Aug 2003. LUCIA, F.J.: “Carbonate Reservoir Characterization”, Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York, 2007. MASALMEH S., X. JING, W. van VARK, S. CHRISTIANSEN, H. van der WEERD and J. van DORP, Impact of SCAL on carbonate reservoirs: how capillary forces can affect field performance predictions, SCA paper 2003-36 in Proceedings of the International Symposium of the Society of Core Analysts, Pau, France, Sept. 21-24, (2003). MASALMEH, S.K. and JING, X.D: “Capillary Pressure Characteristics of Carbonate Reservoirs: Relationship between Drainage and Imbibition Curves”, SCA 0616, Presented at the SCA conference, Trondheim, Norway, (2006). MELLO, S.F., LIGERO, SCANAVINI, H. F. A. SCHIOZER, D.J., “Influence of Lumping and Equation of State Tuning Methods on the Sub-Salt Reservoirs Simulation”, SPE EUROPEC/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition, 23-26 May 2011, Vienna, Austria, Paper SPE 143041-MS. STALKUP Jr., F.I. Miscible displacement. Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME. 1984. STALKUP, F.I. Jr., “ Status of Miscible Displacement”, SPE paper 9992, International Petroleum Exhibition and Symposium, Beijing, China, 18-26 March 1982.

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9. Appendix
Table A.3. Optimized parameters without hysteresis effects in capillary pressure

Schemes Waterflooding WAG Hybrid WAG Simultaneous WAG Waterflooding - base data WAG - base data

BHP_INJH2O (kPa) 28200 28000 28450 28000 28000 28000

BHP_INJGAS (kPa) 28450 28450 28450 28000

BHP_PROD (kPa) 27500 26750 27250 26750 27500 27500

Table A.4. Optimized parameters with hysteresis effects in capillary pressure

Schemes Waterflooding WAG Hybrid WAG Simultaneous WAG Waterflooding - base data WAG - base data 10. Nomenclature

BHP_INJH2O (kPa) 28600 28000 28000 28225 28000 28000

BHP_INJGAS (kPa) 28450 28000 28225 28000

BHP_PROD (kPa) 27750 26750 27250 26750 27500 27500

RMS: Reservoir Modeling Solution CMG: Computer Modeling Group GEM: Generalized Equation-of-State Model Compositional Reservoir Simulator CMOST: Computer Assisted History Matching, Optimization, and Uncertainty Assessment Tool WinProp: Phase Behavior and Property Program EOS: Equation of State BHP_INJH2O: Bottom hole pressure – Water injection well BHP_INJGAS: Bottom hole pressure – Gas injection well BHP_PROD: Bottom hole pressure – Production well

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