Centre for Sustainable Energy and Resources / School of Engineering
Hypothesis: Combining Carbon Geo-sequestration (CGS) with Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) in three-phase flow oil reservoirs is an effective and economically attractive technology to mitigate global warming caused by emission of anthropologic CO2 from fossil fuel combustion, as it offsets some of the costs of CO2 extraction. The targeted oil reservoirs display oil-wet characteristics, primarily because of the strong affinity of polar molecules present in oil; a mixture of a large number of chemical compounds to the rock's surface; and oil-wet surfaces that drastically reduce storage capacity of geological trapping mechanisms and increase the vertical migration of CO2. Thus, it is essential to characterise the effect of wettability of rock on pore-scale physics in a pore network that dominate three-phase flow, which in turn control overall reservoir‐scale fluid dynamics and; thus, determine residual CO2 trapping and the success of CO2‐EOR projects. Experimental: To fully examine this, we present the first in situ NMR T1-T2 2D images and transverse relaxation time (T2) to quantify residual CO2 (capillary) trapping for an oil-wet core at reservoir conditions, representative of virgin oil reservoirs at around 1000-meter depth. We also systematically measure how much additional oil can be produced, where we compared the results with measurements performed on an analogous water-wet core. Results: The results show a significant residual CO2 saturation (12%) can be stored, which is similar to the values found in analogue two-phase flow for oil-wet sandstone samples, although some details are different and displacements are significantly complex, and a substantial amount of oil (51%) was recovered. In contrast, results of similar tests conducted on an identical analogous water-wet core show a higher CO2 trapping (20%), where oil production was substantially higher (77%). We have also presented the oil displacement efficiency (η) versus CO2 injection (PV), showing the percentage oil displacement efficiency of water-wet (0.6%) to be significantly higher than that of analogue oil-wet core (0.4%). Interpretation of the finding: These results significantly improve geo-storage integrity; i.e. capacities and containment security, over reservoir-scale implementations, in addition to having a substantial impact on outlining CO2-EOR projects in term of budgets and storage capacities for CO2-EOR and CO2 geo-sequestration.
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Available for download on Wednesday, January 15, 2025