Development of scaling criteria for steam flooding EOR process

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Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Author's Department

Petroleum & Energy Engineering Department

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Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology

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© 2020, The Author(s). The development of new scaling criteria for steam flooding process is presented in this paper. The mathematical development is done by using modified Darcy’s law, constitutive relationships, constraints, and the initial and boundary conditions. Dimensional and inspectional analyses are used to develop sets of dimensionless groups by incorporating rock and fluid memory concept. The variety of scaling criteria and their comparative advantages and limitations are discussed. Currently available scaling criteria development for steam flooding processes used the same fluid, same porous media in model and prototype. However, it requires a high-pressure model with different porous media, which causes difficulties in scaling properties, and therefore, largely depends on pressure and the porous media itself. In this paper, different methods are presented which permit scaling of all properties dependent on pressure or temperature by relaxing the requirements of geometric similarity. A set of relaxed scaling criteria is determined to satisfy a major mechanism. A comparative study of different approaches and their relative merits and demerits are discussed. Approach 2 (same fluids, same pressure drop, same porous medium, and geometric similarity) seems to be the most appropriate for the steam flooding process; however, gravitational forces cannot be scaled properly with this approach. Approach 3 (same fluids, same pressure drop, same porous media, and relaxed geometric similarity) is suitable for this process if the effect of transverse dispersion is considered negligible. Finally, a table is developed which can act as a guideline to select an appropriate approach that best scales a major mechanism for a specific steam flooding recovery process.

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