Measurement of in-situ combustion reaction kinetics with high fidelity and consistent reaction upscaling for reservoir simulation

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In-situ Combustion is widely accepted as an enhanced oil recovery method that is applicable to various types of oil reservoirs. Prediction of the likelihood of a successful in-situ combustion field project from first principles, however, is unclear. Historically, combustion tube tests of a crude-oil and rock are used to design an in-situ combustion process and to infer whether one expects the process to work at reservoir scale. Ideally, such tests are completed in combination with simulation for prediction and design of combustion recovery processes. Fairly sophisticated reaction models for formation of crude-oil intermediates and their oxidation have been proposed based on kinetics studies. Conventionally, kinetics cell experiments are used to find the reaction parameters for the suggested models. Clearly, the number of crude-oil components and their potential reaction intermediates is very large thereby suggesting the use of pseudo-components. Direct implementation of the detailed reaction models based on pseudo-components in full field simulation of in-situ combustion is not currently feasible because fine spatial grids are needed to resolve the details of combustion front propagation accurately. Hence, a rigorous reaction upscaling procedure for in-situ combustion is an open area of study. In addition, the accuracy of reaction models that are tuned to kinetics cell experiments is questionable when they are used to simulate the combustion process. The heating rate (10's ◦ C/min) as the combustion front propagates is much larger than the current working limits of conventional furnaces employed in kinetics measurements. This thesis presents the design, verification, and validation of a new reactor for use in measuring crude-oil oxidation kinetics. The reactor is able to cover a range of heating rate from 1 to 30 ◦ C/min and is, thus, capable of reaching the heating rate of the combustion front. The new reactor allows rapid experimentation allowing measurements at a large number of distinct heating rates. A novel method for simulation of in-situ combustion is proposed that uses such kinetics cell measurements. The method naturally upscales reactions in a technique that is free of a reaction model. Results of the ramped temperature oxidation experiments are used directly to predict the oxidation profile for any arbitrary temperature history. The predictability of the technique is tested using results from two synthetic reaction models and experimental results from crude-oil samples. The applicability of the technique to flow simulation is demonstrated in one and two dimensions. Flow simulation results using the upscaling procedure are compared directly to a commercial simulator that implements full reaction kinetics. In all cases, good prediction of combustion dynamics is obtained.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2014
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Bazargan, Mohammad
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Energy Resources Engineering.
Primary advisor Kovscek, Anthony R. (Anthony Robert)
Thesis advisor Kovscek, Anthony R. (Anthony Robert)
Thesis advisor Castanier, Louis M
Thesis advisor Gerritsen, Margot (Margot G.)
Advisor Castanier, Louis M
Advisor Gerritsen, Margot (Margot G.)


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Mohammad Bazargan.
Note Submitted to the Department of Energy Resources Engineering.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2014.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2014 by Mohammad Bazargan
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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