OTC 20385

Towards Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Enhanced Oil Recovery
in Offshore Newfoundland, Canada
B. Thomas, Husky Energy Inc., A. Iliyas, T. Johansen, K. Hawboldt, and F. Khan, Memorial University of
Copyright 2010, Offshore Technology Conference

This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 3–6May2010.

This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its
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A consortium of university-industry researchers are developing sustainable and environmentally friendly enhanced oil
recovery (EOR) technology for oil fields off the east coast of Newfoundland, Canada. This paper is foundational work on
potential implementation of air and flue gas injection techniques. The paper discusses reservoir and facility considerations of
air and flue gas injection and provides recommendations for project evaluation. The paper presents screening level results for
Husky Energy’s White Rose Field as a case study.

Newfoundland offshore fields contain light oil (30-37
API, 0.5-0.8 cP) making the fields potential targets for gas based
EOR. However, with the oil fields located 310-350 km off the coast, availability of injection gas and logistical problems
present barriers to EOR. Air injection has the advantages of an unlimited supply of injectant, success in laboratory and field
applications, years of safe operation, and potential for an estimated 10% incremental oil recovery in waterflooded reservoirs.
The challenges toward implementation of both techniques considering field characteristics and infrastructure are discussed
along with practical solutions to aid implementation.

The evaluation of sustainable and environmentally friendly EOR technologies is inline with long-term regulatory requirement
and is timely as oil production from existing fields is beginning to decline. Moreover, with only 3 of over 20 discovered
fields off the coast of Newfoundland currently developed, the conclusions and recommendations may also be valuable in the
near future for evaluation of EOR techniques for the remote fields offshore Newfoundland.

When evaluating the potential for enhanced oil recovery offshore Newfoundland, two key themes must be addressed;
1) Is the process suitable for the reservoir properties and reservoir fluids?
2) Is the process suitable for implementation offshore?

The challenges of implementing enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in an offshore environment are much greater than in an
equivalent onshore field (Bondor et al., 2005). While EOR processes tend to be reservoir and reservoir fluid specific, the
project must be commercially feasible within the high cost offshore environment. Beyond normal offshore conditions,
Newfoundland’s offshore oil fields occur in one of the harshest offshore environments in the world, with severe weather and
ice encroachment for long periods during the spring and summer.

The two enhanced oil recovery techniques discussed within this document are high pressure air injection (HPAI) and flue gas
injection. Both processes supply additional energy to the reservoir by the injection of non-hydrocarbon gases with the aim of
recovering incremental oil.

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As shown in Figure 1, the area of interest for this paper is the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, 310 to 350 km east of St. John’s,
Newfoundland. The three producing fields are Hibernia, Terra Nova, and White Rose while a fourth field, Hebron, is
currently under development with first oil expected in 2017. Cumulative oil production from the Jeanne d’Arc Basin reached
1.1 Billion Barrels in November 2009, which represents less than 40% of the discovered oil reserves in the Basin (C-NLOPB,
2010). The basin is considered relatively small in a worldwide context, but has proven to be highly prolific. Newfoundland’s
offshore has also shown recent exploration activity by operators such as Husky Energy, Statoil, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron,
and ExxonMobil.

Figure 1 : Jeanne D’Arc Basin Significant Discoveries and Basin Lithostratigraphy (C-NLOPB, 2010)
Data Source

This research initiative contains no proprietary information. All geological, reservoir, and facility properties for this research
project were compiled from published literature and from publicly available information from either the Canada-
Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board or Husky Energy’s corporate website. Husky Energy’s only
involvement in this paper was the donation of a small quantity of dead crude and formation material.


The objective of this paper is to assess air and flue gas injection with a focus on their potential application in Newfoundland’s
offshore producing oil fields. The paper discusses reservoir and facility aspects of air and flue gas injection and provides
recommendations for project evaluation. In addition, early screening level results for Husky Energy’s White Rose Field as a
case study are presented.

Particular focus is given to air injection and flue gas injection targeting light oil reservoirs, as this is the grade of oil currently
being produced from the Jeanne d’Arc basin. This paper will provide a brief review of the existing approach to flue gas and
air injection, screening methods for air and flue gas injection, a review of the relevant properties of Newfoundland’s oil fields
focusing on the White Rose Field, and a discussion of a potential approach for implementation in Newfoundland’s offshore

OTC 20385 3
Existing Approach to Flue Gas / Air Injection Projects
Flue Gas Injection

Flue gas is one of the least costly gases that can be injected for EOR. It has been shown that the best application for this
technology is in light oil (>35
API), low viscosity (<0.4 mPas), and deep reservoirs (>1800 meters). The recovery
mechanism for flue gas injection is typically suited for miscible or immiscible gravity stable projects, or in very thin
reservoirs where gas over-riding is not a major concern. The injection of flue gas recovers oil by vapourizing light
components from the oil can generate a miscible displacement if the pressure is high enough as well as providing a gas-drive
where a large portion of the reservoir pore space is filled with the injected gases. Other important characteristic of flue gas
injection is the swelling effects caused by CO
dissolving into the crude oil, potential reductions in viscosity, and the
stripping of light and intermediate components from the crude oil. These effects can cause a significant increase in
recoverable oil regardless of whether flue gas injection is applied in a secondary or tertiary injection scheme. The negatives
of flue gas injection include a propensity for viscous fingering and the resulting reduction in volumetric sweep efficiency.
Post-breakthrough separation and increased corrosion are also major impacts of flue gas injection.

Flue gas and nitrogen injection projects are often considered similar for evaluation purposes. This is due to the fact that flue
gas typically consists of 85-88% N
, 12–15% CO
, plus CO, NOx, and water vapour and solid particles (Shokoya et al.,
2005). Flue gas can also contain a portion of unburned oxygen, as excess air is often used to ensure complete combustion of
the fuel.

Several flue gas projects have been converted to nitrogen injection projects due to corrosion concerns (Taber et al., 1996).
The largest offshore nitrogen project currently in operation is located in the Gulf of Mexico at the Cantarell field and was
originally designed for flue gas injection (Bondor et al., 2005). This project receives the injection supply from the largest
onshore nitrogen plant in the world via a 100 km pipeline.

One of the main concerns about flue gas injection for offshore Newfoundland will be the amount of flue gas supply and the
equipment required to capture, purify, and compress it. Typical flue gas projects source their injectant from large power
plants or industrial factories. At more then 300 km from shore, the only viable supply of flue gas for Newfoundland’s
offshore fields is the volume generated by their own onsite facilities. The other concern with flue gas injection is the dilution
of the hydrocarbon gas present in the reservoir. This would require additional facilities to restore the composition of natural
gas to a suitable sales specification if natural gas sales were to be realized from the Jeanne d’Arc Basin.

High Pressure Air Injection

High pressure air injection (HPAI) involves injecting air (78% N
and 21% O
) into the target reservoir. The oxygen reacts
with the hydrocarbons in place by oxidation reactions and follows two possible oxidation pathways; Bond Scission
(Combustion) or Oxygen Addition.

The preferred reaction pathway is combustion, where oxygen breaks up the hydrocarbon molecules to principally produce
and H
O. For many low gravity, light oils, this typically happens in the 150
C to 300
C range. Compared to heavy oil,
it is easier for light oils to operate in this range under various operating conditions (heavy oil typically oxidizes at higher
temperatures above 450
C) (Moore et al., 2002).

The second reaction pathway is oxygen addition, where oxygen molecules are chemically bonded to the liquid hydrocarbon
molecular structure producing various oxygenated compounds such as hydroperoxides, aldehydes, ketones, and acids. These
compounds tend to further react and polymerize with each other, forming heavier less desirable oil fractions. Because oxygen
is removed from the gas phase without a replacement of CO
, there is significant gas stream shrinkage, reducing the gas
phase pore pressure. These types of reactions tend to dominate at temperatures below 150
C for light oils and can be a result
of insufficient air injection and/or permeability restrictions (Moore et al., 2002).

Oxygen in the injected air is consumed by the oil in a confined zone called the combustion front. The thickness of the front
depends on the air injection rate and the characteristics of the oil and the formation (Clara et al., 1998). The combustion front
generates flue gases, which consist of N
(85-90%), CO
(10-15%), and CO (1-2%) (Ren et al., 2001 and Clara et al., 1998),
which propagate toward the production wells and aid in the formation of a displaced oil bank and water. A schematic
representing the displacement is shown in Figure 2.
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Figure 2 : Air Injection Displacement Schematic

For light oil reservoirs, it is the generation of flue gas that provides the majority of the incremental oil production. Under
most situations, the combustion zone will not contribute to oil production due to several factors including increased well
spacing and reduced peak temperature (Ren et al., 2001). Production of oxygen in light reservoirs, is believed to be remote
while the cumulative pore volume injected is less than 1, even at low oil saturations of between 0.02 and 0.05 (Ren et al.,
2001). This can provide an important safety factor when evaluating practical implementation of this enhanced oil recovery
method, but assumes good volumetric sweep efficiency in the reservoir.

Miscibility of the flue gas downstream of the injection front can be estimated by evaluating the miscibility of N
with the
target oil. At the measured CO
compositions (10-15%), the deviation from N
miscibility correlations is not significant. As a
screening tool, the incremental oil recovery can be estimated by immiscible N
injection for which there are many field
examples (Turta et al., 2001 and Clara et al., 1998). This analysis will often produce the minimum recovery, as oil swelling
by CO
, oil stripping by the flue gas, and viscosity reduction by CO
dissolution, and thermal effects are not accounted for.

Several long running, commercially viable HPAI projects are currently in operation in North and South Dakota. Details
reviews have been published by several authors and provide excellent details as to the long-term potential for HPAI in light
oil reservoirs (Gutierrez et al., 2009; Gutierrez et al., 2007, Clara et al., 1998). There has also been several papers written
investigation HPAI for offshore oil fields (Stokka et al., 2005; Ren et al., 2001; Clara et al., 2000; Fossum et al., 1992). The
consensus from the available literature suggests that HPAI can provide incremental oil recovery of 5% to 15% of OOIP, even
when applied in a tertiary application. The range of air/oil ratios (AOR) has been reported to be 5 – 16 Mscf/bbl, with the
longest running projects near a cumulative AOR of 15 Mscf/bbl. The highest recovery factors are believed to be possible in
gravity stable, miscible displacement mechanisms.

Screening Methodology for Offshore Newfoundland

The screening methodology for Newfoundland’s offshore reservoirs encompasses four broad categories including laboratory
evaluation, reservoir simulation, facility requirement, and economic viability. This paper provides results of preliminary
laboratory evaluations and early reservoir simulation results using Husky’s White Rose project as a case study.

Newfoundland Offshore Reservoir Properties (C-NLOPB, 2010)

The three producing fields offshore Newfoundland are Hibernia, Terra Nova, and White Rose.

OTC 20385 5

Figure 3 : Hibernia Field

The Hibernia Field was discovered in 1979 by the drilling of the Chevron et al Hibernia P-15 well with first oil on November
17, 1997. The Hibernia field has been developed by using an ice re-enforced gravity based structure (GBS) in water depths of
about 80 meters. An announced future expansion,
Hibernia South, is planned to be developed with
producers drilled from the GBS and subsea water
injectors drilled from a template. The field
contains two main producing horizons, the
Hibernia and Ben-Nevis Avalon formations,
which together, cover an area of about 200 square
km’s. Figure 3 shows the field layout.

The Hibernia Formation is Lower Cretaceous in
age. The Hibernia sands are sub-angular to sub-
rounded and moderately sorted. Although fine
grains predominate, medium to coarse grains are
present. The depositional environment is a fluvio-
deltaic system of distributary channels, trending
predominately in a northeast-southwest direction.
Gross thickness of the Hibernia sands ranges from
150 to 290 meters, with individual members
ranging in thickness from 8 to 25 meters. The
depth of the sands occurs between 3450 and 3890
mSS. The Hibernia structural closure is formed by
an anticline bound to the west and north by faults.
The field consists of many fault blocks, the nature
of which is a critical element in the field
development. As a generalization, the depletion
strategy is down-dip water injection or up-dip gas
injection. About 2/3
of the fault blocks are being
developed using water injection with the
remainder using gas injection injected near the
original gas oil contact.

The expected recovery
from this depletion strategy will likely exceed
45% of the original oil in place (C-NLOPB, 2010).

The Ben-Nevis Avalon Formation within the Hibernia Field is 2100 – 3000 mSS deep. These sandstones are the second most
important oil-bearing formation identified within the field. They have a gross thickness of between 16 and 370 meters,
although net thickness of individual members is only 4 to 50 meters. The sands are interpreted to be deposited as offshore
bars, storm deposits and sheet-type sands that were deposited in predominantly low-energy marine and marginal marine
environments. The geology is considered extremely complex and presents a risk to full-development.

Figure 4 : Terra Nova Field
The Terra Nova Field was discovered in May 1984
by the drilling of the Petro-Canada et al Terra Nova
K-08 exploration well. The field has been
developed using a FPSO with subsea infrastructure
in water depths of 90 to 100 m. The field layout is
shown in Figure 4.

The Terra Nova reservoir is a sequence of medium
to coarse-grained sandstones that were deposited
during the late Jurassic period. The field is
structurally divided into three major blocks; the
Graben, the East Flank, and the Far East. The
Graben and the East Flank are currently under
development while the Far East is still being
delineated. The reservoir sandstones are interpreted
to have been deposited in a river-dominated to
marginal-marine environment, to be highly
productive, and to have good lateral continuity. The
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field is comprised of 5 major and 2 minor oil-bearing sands.
The field has been developed using subsea tiebacks to a FPSO.
First oil occurred on January 20, 2002 with first water injection
on February 24, 2002 and first gas injection on May 15, 2002.
A portion of the field is on water flood. A separate portion of
the field is on gas flood, supplemented by water injection if
there is insufficient gas available. The production wells are
mainly deviated, with a base case of 14 producers and 11
injectors. The expected recovery from Terra Nova is likely to
exceed 35% of the original oil in place (C-NLOPB, 2010).

Figure 5 : White Rose Field

The White Rose Field was discovered in November 1984 by
the drilling and testing of the Husky/Bow Valley et al
Whiterose N-22 well. The field has been developed using a
FPSO with subsea infrastructure and is located in water depths
of between 115 and 130 meters deep. The field layout is shown
in Figure 5.

Most of the hydrocarbons are contained in the Ben-Nevis
Avalon Formation, where each of the oil pools has an
associated gas cap. The South Avalon pool contains the
majority of the original oil in place and is currently the only
pool on production. The first tieback project, North Amethyst,
is expected to come on production in early 2010. The main
Ben-Nevis Avalon reservoir is a sequence of clean, fine to very
fine grained sandstones that were deposited about 110 million
years ago in the Early Cretaceous period. The depositional
environment was a marginal marine shore face setting with
frequent storm deposits. Numerous calcite concretions varying
in dimensions are present, generally as scattered nodules.

There are currently 8 highly productive horizontal wells and 10 horizontal or deviated water injectors. The base depletion
plan for White Rose is water flood. Produced gas is being stored into the North Avalon gas cap for potential future
exploitation. (C-NLOPB, 2010).

Table 1 provides a comparison of relevant reservoir properties of the 3 producing fields.

Table 1 : Newfoundland Reservoir Properties (C-NLOPB, 2010).
Terra Nova Field White Rose Field
Hibernia Fm Ben-Nevis Avalon Fm Jean d'Arc Fm Ben-Nevis Avalon Fm
Net Pay (m) 28 - 68 24 - 72 -- 100
Permeability (mD) 150 - 2000, avg 427 30 - 500 -- 0 - 600, avg 127
Porosity (%) 14.5 - 18, avg 12.5 18 - 22 -- 0 - 21, avg 15.7
Sw (%) 10 -- -- 18
Reservoir Pressure (MPa) 39.5 26.7 34.8 - 35.0 29.4
Reservoir Temperature (
C) 95 65 - 70 97 - 101 106
Saturation Pressure (MPa) 32 - 40 -- 22.1 - 26.0 29.4
Oil Viscosity @ Res Cond (mPas) 0.37 - 0.72 0.9 - 1.67 -- 0.70
Oil Density @ Res Cond (kg/m
) 650 - 680 750 - 770 725 - 740 705 - 715
Oil Gravity (
API) 32 - 35 30 - 33 32 - 33 30 - 32
Degree of Stratification Moderate High High Moderate
Degree of Faulting High High Moderate Moderate
Hibernia Field

Laboratory Experiments

To identify the potential for flue gas and HPAI for Newfoundland, the following experiments should be considered prior to
project implementation:
• Indication of oxidation mode (Air Injection)
• Miscibility of injected gas (Air Injection / Flue Gas)
OTC 20385 7
• Estimates of injection requirement (Air Injection / Flue Gas)
• (Air or Flue Gas) oil ratios for use in preliminary economics
• Kinetic data for numerical simulation
• Impact of brine saturation on ultimate recovery (Air Injection / Flue Gas)
• Produced gas and water composition and fluid production data to correlate against future well and field
performance (Air Injection / Flue Gas).

To determine oxidation reaction properties and displacement efficiencies, the following experiments could be run:
• Accelerating Rate Calorimeter (ARC) & Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) Tests: These tests provide
information on the energy generation rate associated with the oxidation reactions as a function of temperature. If the
resultant gas is also measured, the impact of temperature on the produced gases can also be evaluated. The gas
analysis can be important, because on the field implementation, measurement and analysis of the produced gases can
provide a measurement of the in-situ oxidation reactions (Moore et al., 2002).
• Small Batch, High-Pressure Isothermal Reactor (SBR) Test: The SBR test provides the rate of oxidation for a
target oil and provides compositional data for the resulting gases. The test consists of a series of experiments
conducted by placing known quantities of crushed core and reservoir oil (or oil saturated consolidated core) into a
reactor along with air at the required pressure, all within an oil bath. The reduction in pressure with time, because of
the oxidation reaction, was measured and can be used to calculate reaction rate. The effect of brine saturation should
be evaluated, as the target reservoir is likely to be previously water flooded. After each experiment, the reaction gas
in the reactor is analyzed for O
, CO
, and CO and a material balance is performed to determine the oxygen
consumption. An SBR test, conducted at conditions similar to the actual reservoir conditions can provide the
necessary data (Ren et al., 2001).
• High-Pressure Oxidation Tests: The oxidation tube experiments should be conducted at representative reservoir
pressure and temperature. The experiments are designed to simulate the air injection reaction at representative
reservoir conditions under flowing conditions. The experiment essentially consists of an oxidation tube loaded with
representative reservoir material (oil, water, rock) in an orientation and saturation representative of the potential
mechanism of the target reservoir. Air is passed through the material, and the resulting produced volumes (including
composition) are measured. The experiment provides useful information on the oxygen consumption, CO

formation, and oil/water production rates (Ren et al., 2001).
• Ramped Temperature Oxidation (RTO) Tests: These tests provide a direct measurement of the oxygen uptake
rates as a function of temperature under air flux and core packed conditions. These normally correspond with the
combustion tube results. Post-test core analysis of RTO tests may identify residual hydrocarbon in the swept zone
under different oxidation conditions. This data can provide insight as to the nature of hydrocarbon participation
within a given temperature range (Moore et al., 2002).
• Displacement Experiments on Long Core: These tests evaluate isothermal flue gas sweeping, isothermal air flood,
and high-temperature adiabatic air flood experiments using a long, composite reservoir core. The purpose is to
simulate flue gas sweeping and air flooding at actual reservoir conditions. These experiments should be conducted at
representative reservoir brine saturation conditions. Capture and analysis of the produced gas is important, as
quantification of the oil stripping could provide important economic value. Relative permeability effects can also be
quantified (Stokka et al., 2005, Clara et al. 2000).

While miscibility is not a pre-requisite for a successful air of flue gas injection project, it does provide significant advantage
to both displacement and volumetric sweep efficiency that will yield a significant positive impact on ultimate recovery. For a
fixed gas composition, the lowest pressure at which dynamic miscibility can be achieved is called the minimum miscibility
pressure (MMP). The MMP is best determined in the laboratory by carrying out a series of tests using the injected gas and the
reservoir oil at different pressures using either a slim tube or rising bubble apparatus. As a substitute during the early
screening phase, empirical correlations or equation of state (EOS) estimates can be used as an initial indication. Nitrogen (the
main component of air injection) becomes miscible with oil by the vaporization of light-end hydrocarbons, mainly the C

components. As a result, multiple-contact miscibility or dynamic miscibility may be achieved during immiscible
displacement of oil by gas after considerable mass transfer between oil and gas. At typical CO
concentrations during flue gas
or air injection, the impact on the miscibility has been demonstrated to be relatively unaffected.

Field Scale Evaluation

Numerical simulation studies are routinely run to match the results of the laboratory experiments as a key step before
attempting to quantify the potential on a reservoir scale. For air injection, it is suggested to use a thermal reservoir simulator
in combination with the experimental results from the SBR and oxidation tube tests. Results from the long core displacement
8 OTC 20385
tests are also critical to determining the field scale application of the data. For flue gas injection, without oxidation, and if the
injectant and the reservoir oil are miscible, a pseudo-miscible black oil simulator could be used. If miscibility is not expected,
a black oil model could be used. Alternatively, a compositional simulator could be utilized.

The purpose of conducting the laboratory and numerical simulation work is primarily to provide the necessary inputs for
economic evaluation. It is recommended that a probabilistic approach to the simulation be conducted during the initial
screening stages to supply a range of incremental oil recovery estimates and associated facility design requirements. It is also
recommended to conduct a scoping economic analysis as soon as possible in the evaluation process to ensure the project
satisfies a company’s investment criteria.

Potential Approach for White Rose Field, Offshore Newfoundland

All information related to geology, fluid properties, rock properties, and facility information is based strictly on publically
available information referenced from the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board and the White Rose
Development Application which is available on Husky’s corporate website.
Tertiary Recovery Process
Newfoundland’s offshore fields have high productivity and off-take rates, reducing their producing life times in comparison
to onshore fields. As flue gas and air injection are immature technologies in offshore fields, there will be a substantial period
before implementation. As a result, the depletion history of the target field is an important consideration when conducting
laboratory experiments or when applying analogues to establish expected recovery factors and economic parameters. As a
result, it is likely that flue gas or air injection processes will be applied as a tertiary recovery mechanism, following the
secondary water flood responsible for the majority of the oil recovery.

Gravity Stable Design
The White Rose Field has low in-situ oil density, low in-situ oil viscosity, thick pay, and a primary gas cap. As such, a
gravity stable displacement is anticipated to have the highest incremental recovery. This depletion scheme would also reduce
the expected gas handling requirements post-breakthrough. It is highly recommended that flue gas and air injection be
designed as a gravity stability process.

Flue Gas Process
In offshore Newfoundland, the vast
majority of produced gas (>70%) is either
re-injected for pressure support in the oil
producing fault blocks (such as at Hibernia
& Terra Nova) or injected in dedicated gas
storage zones for potential future
exploitation (such as at White Rose).

At the White Rose project, gas turbines are
used to provide power for the entire
operation and represent approximately 85%
of the total flue gas emission, flaring
represents about 10%, and combination of
other sources makes up the remaining 5%.
Approximately 12.5 MMscf/d of natural gas
is used as fuel for the three main gas
turbines for power generation; this would be
the main target for potential flue gas capture. The approximate fuel gas composition for White Rose consists of ~82% C
Using an estimated heat content of 1200 BTU/scf (which includes some intermediates) and an estimated combustion
conversion factor of 9500 scf/10
Btu (dry), the volume of produced exhaust gases is about 4.0 10
/d. This converts, using
, to about 19,000 rm
/d of potential injectant. This volume would supply only about half of the total
voidage requirement for the White Rose project’s current production. Figure 6 shows a perspective of the FPSO at the White
Rose Field.
Figure 6 : Husky Energy’s Sea Rose FPSO
OTC 20385 9
A major challenge with flue gas injection, in addition to the subsurface development considerations, are the facility
requirements of such a massive compression system where the total compression of the process stream would be from
atmospheric pressure to more than 30 MPa. Another significant challenge is the significant operating and capital costs
associated with flue gas corrosion.

A detailed review of the process requirements would also need to be evaluated, including the need to remove unburned
oxygen, water vapour, solid particles, and other contaminants. Power, space, and weight all have a bearing factor on the
process equipment that can be installed on an offshore facility, especially for a FPSO type facility. Offshore facilities are
generally designed and built based on requirements specified before first oil. As such, the flexibility to modify or add a new
process is often impossible or extremely costly and will often require a dry dock or lengthy shutdown. While de-bottle
necking is common, the addition of a new compression train and the required power supply would be a major change to the
facility. For White Rose, it is doubtful that a new compression train could be installed from both a power availability and
weight capacity limit. This presents a major hurdle to implementation.
Air Injection Process
Air injection processes have the advantage of unrestricted air supply. However, several major challenges create barriers
toward the implementation of air injection for offshore Newfoundland. The challenges exist on both a reservoir level and on a
facility level.

From a reservoir point of view, the in-situ displacement performance and ultimate recovery expectations are not fully
understood, especially as the currently active projects are not analogues to the offshore oil fields in Newfoundland. The
active projects are thin, low permeability carbonates, while offshore Newfoundland is dominated by thick, medium to high
permeability sandstones. It is unlikely that an operator will conduct an experimental depletion scheme on an offshore oil field
before repeated success has been recorded in an analogue onshore field. Air injection facilities are similar in nature to the flue
gas facilities as described above. An important safety consideration is the potential for high O
content in the produced

Screening Results from White Rose Field
Initial screening has been completed for Husky Energy’s White Rose Field. To date, the evaluations have included equation
of state based miscibility estimates, ARC and DSC experiments, and simulated core displacements.

Equation of State Miscibility Estimate and Composition Simulation
Fluid Model Description
Table 2 : White Rose Crude Composition and Split Fraction
Reservoir Oil Stock Tank Oil Reservoir Oil Stock Tank Oil
Component (mol%) (mol%) Component (mol%) (mol%)
N2 1.12 0.00 N2 1.12 0.00
CO2 1.00 0.00 CO2 1.00 0.01
H2S 0.00 0.00 H2S 0.00 0.00
Methane 47.02 0.00 Methane 47.02 0.05
Ethane 4.02 0.00 Ethane 4.02 0.13
Propane 2.77 0.43 Propane 2.77 0.49
i-Butane 0.51 0.29 i-Butane 0.51 0.21
n-Butane 2.15 0.24 n-Butane 2.15 1.16
i-Pentane 0.84 1.38 i-Pentane 0.84 0.80
n-Pentane 1.15 1.78 n-Pentane 1.15 1.23
Hexane+ 39.42 93.88 C6-C9 5.61 12.82
C10-C12 5.48 13.25
C13-C15 6.88 16.92
C16-C20 9.75 24.05
C21-C25 5.32 13.12
C26+ 6.38 15.74
Total 100 100 Total 100 100
Measured Data Equation of State
An equation of state (EOS) based fluid property
simulator was used to describe the crude oil
properties for miscibility estimation and for
compositional reservoir flow simulator purposes.
CMG’s WinProp was utilized as it can feed directly
into the CMG GEM compositional simulator. The
White Rose crude oil properties were referenced
from the original development application and
correspond to the main South Avalon Pool, which is
the field currently on production.

To characterize the oil, the following methods were
• Peng-Robinson equation of state
• Non-hydrocarbon components and C1
through C5 fractions were specified directly in addition to a C6+ pseudo component
• The equation of state was matched to the saturation pressure and differential liberation data by tuning the critical
temperature and critical pressure of C6+ fraction
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Table 3 : White Rose Crude Properties
Temperature (oC) 106
Pressure at Gas Oil Contact (MPaa) 29.4
Average Porosity (%) 15.7
Oil Saturation Average (%) 77
Permeability Average (mD) 127
Oil Formation Volume Factor (rm3/sm3) 1.37
Solution Gas-Oil-Ratio (m3/m3) 122
Gas Formation Volume Factor (rm3/m3) 0.0046
Oil Viscosity (mPas) 0.677
White Rose - South Avalon Pool
• The C6+ fraction was then split based on the recommended procedure in the software package which employed a 2-
stage exponential distribution and Riazi critical property correlation, which was found to match the experimental
data with the least amount of error
• The EOS was further tuned by modifying
the critical properties of the C6+ split
fraction and was regressed to match the
reservoir saturation pressure, oil
formation volume factor, solution gas-oil-
ratio, and stock-tank oil density
• The oil and gas viscosities were tuned
using the software package’s default
method of regressing upon the Jossi-Stiel-
Thodos viscosity correlation parameters

The results of the match, which are shown in Tables 2 through 4 and Figures 7 and 8 were deemed acceptable for use in
predicting the minimum miscibility pressure and for inclusion in the compositional simulator for estimating the results of a
core displacement of flue gas.

A simulated swelling test was calculated with the results presented in Figure 9. It is believed, especially in post-water flood
applications, that the swelling and vapourization effects of flue gas injection will constitute a large proportion of the
incremental oil recovery. However, Figure 8 suggests that the White Rose crude is only moderately susceptible to swelling.

Table 4 : Equation of State versus Experimental Data
Property Experimental Data EOS Calculated Data Error (%)
Saturation Pressure (MPa) 29400 29523 0.42
Gas Oil Ratio (m3/m3) 122.33 123.2 0.73
Formation Volume Factor 1.37 1.36 -0.46
Stock Tank Oil Gravity 0.870 0.868 -0.20

Simulation Model Description
To evaluate the oil displacement efficiency and miscibility potential, a simulated 1-dimensional core displacement was
conducted using typical White Rose reservoir properties and the fluid model described in the previous section. A
compositional simulator was built to
represent a 1-dimensional full diameter core
displacement under conditions similar to the
White Rose Field. Table 3 and 5 provide
details concerning the simulator data
population and Figure 7 shows the grid
design. Figure 10 and Figure 11 show the
relative permeability curves used in the
simulator; it was assumed that the gas-oil
capillary pressures were negligible.

Three injection gas compositions were run to
evaluate the impact of gas composition on
ultimate recovery. The gas compositions used
were 100% nitrogen, 100% carbon dioxide,
and flue gas approximated by 85% nitrogen
and 15% carbon dioxide.

The simulations were run both as a secondary
displacement and as a tertiary displacement
following a simulated waterflood. All floods
were run at constant pressure for a combined
cumulative injection of 3 PV per injected fluid at moderate injection rates.

Figure 7 : 1-Dimensional Core Displacement

OTC 20385 11
The pressure was also varied to determine if miscibility could be achieved and if it would yield a large increase in oil
recovery. The base case is assumed to have a reservoir pressure of 30 MPa, slightly above the original bubble point of the
White Rose Field.

Unfortunately, experimental results are not available to tune the simulator output. However, for the purposes of this screening
study, the simulation results are suitable for initial feasibility evaluation.
Simulation Results and Discussion
Results of the simulated core displacement
are shown in Tables 6 and 7 and in Figures
13 and 14.
1-Dimensional Simulated Core Displacement
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Cumulative Pore Volumes Injected



0% N2 / 100% CO2
85% N2 / 15% CO2
100% N2 / 0% CO2

Figure 13 : 1-Dimensional Simulated Core Displacement

Based on the fluid properties and relative
permeability curves, core scale
displacement recovery factors are
estimated to be very high. Waterflood oil
recovery was 61.4% at the reservoir
pressure of 30 MPa. Secondary gas
injection exceeds 78% in all cases, and is
estimated to be 84.7% for the 100% CO

case at 30 MPa.

Tertiary injection of pure nitrogen and flue
gas yield increased the oil recovery by 2.4
and 2.9% respectively. Tertiary application
of pure CO
increased the oil recovery
22% to 83.4%.

This strongly suggests that pure CO
miscible with White Rose crude at 30 MPa, while flue gas and nitrogen are not. In addition, the results suggest that swelling
of the oil when coming in contact with the 15% CO
concentration in flue gas does not yield a significant increase in
recovery for the White Rose crude. This requires further investigation, physical testing is recommended to confirm these
simulation results.

Increasing the reservoir pressure up to 60 MPa resulted in a large increase in recovery under pure CO
displacement with up
to 93.8% of the oil in place was recovered in secondary mode and 91.7% in tertiary mode. Increasing the reservoir pressure
with flue gas and nitrogen injection decreased the recovery factor. This is due to the high pressure compressing the oil in
place slightly, hence reducing the surface recovery. The swelling effects of the CO
in the flue gas were not great enough to
overcome this effect.

ARC and DSC Test of Air Injection Potential
As mentioned earlier, several laboratoty tests are necessary for effective design of both facilities and operating strategies for
high pressure air injection (HPAI). However, the present study is focused only on screening level HPAI lab tests with ARC
and DSC. A crude sample obtained from the White Rose Field in offshore Newfoundland was screened in the ARC and DSC

The ARC test was conducted with the ARC-ES from Thermal Hazard Technology, UK. Prior to any test, the instrument was
drift check and calibrated. About 7 g of sample was introduced in the titanium bomb (2.54 cm ID) and mounted into the
calorimeter. The system was then pressurized close to target reservoir pressure and rapidly heated to the reservoir
temperature. The ARC was then entered into the heat-wait-search mode. If the sample self-heat rate is less than 0.02
(slope sensitvity), a heat step is automatically applied. The heat step is followed by a wait period to allow for system thermal
equilibrium. But, if the sample self-heating is larger than the threshold slope sentivity, the instrument goes into exotherm
mode allowing the sample to react at its inherent burning rate adiabatically while recording time, temperature and pressure.

DSC test was conducted using Q-100 series from TA instrument. The instrument was calibrated for Tzero and cell constant
with the manufacturer supplied sapphire disk and indium standard following the instrument calibration guidelines.
Approximately 10mg of crude sample was subjected to temperature ramp at 2, 5, 8 and 10
C/min under isochoric conditions
12 OTC 20385
in a high pressure sealed crucible with air (50ml/min) as the purge gas. An Advanced kinetic software package AKTS was
used to analysze the DSC data.
Results and Discussion
The as-obtained ARC data for the sample is presented
in Figure 15. As shown in this figure, an exotherm
was detected at around 137
C, reaching a peak
temperature of only 143
C. After which the
instrument went back to heat-search-mode, but could
not detected anymore exotherm till the test was ended
at 200
C. It is also noticeable in Figure 15 that a slight
pressure drop was recorded by the ARC starting at the
temperature onset of 137
C. This pressure drop is due
to the oxygen consumption in air as a result of the
crude oil combustion.

The DSC thermogram (not shown) revealed only a
minor exotherm at around 150
C at 10
C/min. No
meaningful DSC thermograph was obtained at lower
heating rates, which is not surprising due to the mild
combustion characteristics of this sample as confirmed
by the ARC test. It is well recognised that ARC has a
superior sentivity to detect an exotherm compared to

Coupling the ARC and DSC data enables some
preliminary inference on suitability of White Rose crude for HPAI-EOR. As mentioned by Yannimaras et al. (SPE 27791,
1995), potential candidate for HPAI should burn smoothly in ARC with strong and continous exotherm high enough (> 300
C) to sustain combustion front needed under practical reservoir conditions. Based on this simple criterion, one can infer from
ARC data that although the White Rose crude exhibits low-temperature oxidation (LTO) at reservoir conditions, which is
desireable for light crude reservoirs, however, the final exotherm temperature (143
C) is not high enough to propagate
combustion front and/or mobilize extra combustion oil at reservoir conditions. This suggests the inapplicability of HPAI for
the investigated White Rose crude from an economic standpoint. For HPAI to be viable, large amount of high pressure air
would be needed to attain continous exothermicity required for enhanced oil recovery.
200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100
Time [min]

Figure 15: Temperature and pressure vs time data
from ARC at air pad pressure of 145 bar
Air pressure reduction due
to oxygen consumption
from air during combustion

Exothermic activity was
detected during ramp
due to oil combustion
Figure 15 : ARC Test Results

It must be metioned that the screening tests described here alone are not sufficient to make a definite conclusion on the
technical applicability of HPAI to reservoir from which the sample was obtained. To make such a definite conclusion would
require additional laboratory testing e.g., combustion tube and long-core displacement tests. These tests have been planned
for our future work, and will be reported in subsequent papers.

The laboratory and simulated displacement experiments provide a qualitative assessment of the suitability for air and flue gas
injection into the White Rose Field. The following general conclusions can be made from this work:
• Calibration of the fluid model and displacement mechanism against actual measured data is strongly recommended
if further feasibility work on this subject is to progress
• Miscibility is not predicted to occur between flue gas and White Rose crude at pressures below 60 MPa
• Investigated White Rose crude seemed unsuitable for air injection at present reservoir conditions due to its mild
combustion characteristics as confirmed by the ARC test.
• Injection of flue gas resulted in a modest increase in oil recovery of only 3%
• Flue gas and air injection do not appear to be promising technologies for enhanced oil recovery at White Rose due to
high air injection requirements and modest incremental oil recovery
Based on initial laboratory and simulation-based feasibility, Husky’s White Rose project is not suitable for air- or flue gas-
based enhanced oil recovery techniques. As such, a detailed review of the facility limitations were not included in this paper,
however, the facility related challenges are also considerable.
OTC 20385 13
The next phase of research work would be to focus on applicability of the Hibernia Field for high-pressure air and flue-gas
injection based EOR.
The authors wish to acknowledge Husky Energy Inc. for their donation of the fluid and rock samples used in the laboratory
analysis. The authors also wish to thank Inco Innovation Center (IIC) at Memorial University for financial support as well as
use of the DSC and ARC facility.

14 OTC 20385

Comparison of Experimental and EOS
(106 deg C)
0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000
Pressure (kPaa)




DL Oil Visc - Exp
DL Visc - EOS
DL Gas Visc - Exp
DL Gas Visc - EOS
Figure 8 : Equation of State versus Measured Viscosity Data

Simulated Swelling Experiment
- 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45
Gas Mole Fraction

0% N2 / 100% CO2
85% N2 / 15% CO2
100% N2 / 0% CO2
Figure 9 : Simulated Swelling Experiment
Oil - Water Relative Permeability Curves
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Water Saturation (Fraction)

Oil Relative Permeability
Water Relative Permeability

Figure 10 : Oil-Water Relative Permeability Curves

Table 5 : 1-Dimensional Displacement Simulation Parameters
Grid Cartesian
i 80
j 1
k 1
i 0.025 m
j 0.121 m
k 0.121 m
Porosity: 0.157
Air Permeability: 127 mD
Water Saturation: 0.19
Pore Volume: 4597 cm3
HC Pore Volume: 3723 cm3
Temperature: 106.0 deg C
Fluid Injection Rate: 10.0 cm3/hr
Dimensions of Grid
# of Grid Blocks:

Table 6 Oil Recovery Estimates at 30 MPa
Before Waterflood @ 30 MPa
Oil Recovery Factor (%)
Waterflood Recovery
Factor (%)
Post Gas Flood
Recovery Factor (%)
Increase in Recovery
Factor (%)
0% N2 / 100% CO2 84.7 61.4 83.4 22.0
85% N2 / 15% CO2 78.8 61.4 64.3 2.9
100% N2 / 0% CO2 78.4 61.4 63.8 2.4
Post Waterflood @ 30 MPa

Gas - Liquid Relative Permeability Curves
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Liquid Saturation (Fraction)

Liquid Relative Permeability
Gas Relative Permeability

Figure 11 : Gas-Liquid Relative Permeability Curves
Effect of Pressure on Recovery Factor
25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65
Pressure (MPa)



0% N2 / 100% CO2
85% N2 / 15% CO2
100% N2 / 0% CO2

Figure 14 : Impact of Pressure on Recovery Factor

OTC 20385 15

Table 7 : Oil Recovery Estimates at Pressures Greater Than 30 MPa
Before Waterflood
Reservoir Pressure
Oil Recovery Factor (%)
Waterflood Recovery
Factor (%)
Post Gas Flood
Recovery Factor (%)
Increase in Recovery
Factor (%)
0% N2 / 100% CO2 30 84.7 61.4 83.4 22.0
0% N2 / 100% CO2 35 85.7 60.8 87.9 27.1
0% N2 / 100% CO2 40 88.0 60.9 89.9 28.9
0% N2 / 100% CO2 45 90.1 60.5 90.4 29.9
0% N2 / 100% CO2 50 93.4 60.3 91.1 30.8
0% N2 / 100% CO2 55 93.5 60.5 91.1 30.6
0% N2 / 100% CO2 60 93.8 60.1 91.7 31.7
85% N2 / 15% CO2 30 78.8 61.4 64.3 2.9
85% N2 / 15% CO2 35 78.1 60.8 64.1 3.3
85% N2 / 15% CO2 40 77.8 60.9 64.6 3.6
85% N2 / 15% CO2 45 76.5 60.5 64.7 4.2
85% N2 / 15% CO2 50 76.6 60.3 65.0 4.8
85% N2 / 15% CO2 55 75.7 60.5 65.8 5.3
85% N2 / 15% CO2 60 75.6 60.1 66.0 5.9
100% N2 / 0% CO2 30 78.4 61.4 63.8 2.4
100% N2 / 0% CO2 35 77.2 60.8 63.6 2.8
100% N2 / 0% CO2 40 77.9 60.9 63.9 3.0
100% N2 / 0% CO2 45 77.3 60.5 63.9 3.4
100% N2 / 0% CO2 50 76.4 60.3 64.1 3.8
100% N2 / 0% CO2 55 73.9 60.5 64.5 4.0
100% N2 / 0% CO2 60 73.0 60.1 64.7 4.7
Post Waterflood

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