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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Bubble point suppression in unconventional liquids rich reservoirs and its impact on oil production
by Firincioglu, Tuba, Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines, 2013, 168; 3558341
Abstract (Summary)

The average pore size in producing unconventional, liquids-rich reservoirs is estimated to be less than 100 nm. At this nano-pore scale, capillary and surface disjoining force interactions, such as van der Waals, structural, and adsorption, affect the phase behavior that is not considered to be significantly, different than in conventional reservoirs. In this dissertation, a comprehensive discussion of the thermodynamics required to model phase behavior of unconventional, liquids-rich reservoirs is presented. Three oil compositions from different unconventional reservoirs are used to generate results.

The impact of confinement manifests itself in the form of reduction of the liquid pressure at which the first gas bubble forms when compared to the bulk fluid measurements in PVT cells. It is shown that the suppression of the bubble-point pressure impacts the saturated portion of the liquid formation volume factor and extends the undersaturated portion of the curve. The equilibrium gas composition is different for each supersaturation level and the gas is composed of lighter components as the supersaturation, i.e., the bubble-point suppression, increases. The minimum radius of the pore that is required to form a specified size bubble is also investigated and the range of pore sizes required under different assumptions is reported.

The impact of this phase behavior deviation on the flow of confined fluids is investigated using a black-oil simulator, COZSim, which evaluates gas and oil fluid properties at corresponding phase pressures. The simulator was independently developed in a DOE project with the capability to incorporate the findings of this research. The results of the analysis show that there is a difference in gas production and gas saturation distribution in the reservoir with and without the confinement impact on the PVT properties. The produced GOR is lower when the confinement is considered due to the bubble-point suppression. These results indicate that the use of bulk fluid measurements in modeling and predicting the performances of nano-porous unconventional reservoirs may result in significant underestimation of the reservoir potential.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ozkan, Erdal
Commitee: Godesiabois, Joy, Kazemi, Hossein, Miskimins, Jennifer, Ozbay, Ugur
School: Colorado School of Mines
Department: Petroleum Engineering
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-B 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Petroleum engineering
Keywords: Bubble point suppression, Oil production, Phase behavior, Unconventional liquids
Publication Number: 3558341
ISBN: 978-1-303-02752-9
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