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Journal of Porous Media
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ISSN Imprimer: 1091-028X
ISSN En ligne: 1934-0508

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Journal of Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/JPorMedia.2018029060
pages 53-71

OIL RECOVERY BY THERMAL EXPANSION FROM A HOMOGENEOUS DEFORMABLE POROUS MEDIUM

P. F. Aguilar-Gastelum
Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 152, C.P. 07730, Del. Gustavo A. Madero, Ciudad de México, México
Octavio Cazarez-Candia
Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 152, C.P. 07730, Del. Gustavo A. Madero, Ciudad de México, México

RÉSUMÉ

In the oil industry, one of the main recovery mechanisms along the application of a thermal oil recovery method is thermal expansion. Thus, it is imperative to know its role under different reservoir conditions, taking into account the deformation of the porous medium. In this work, two mathematical models for oil and oil-water recovery from cores by thermal expansion are presented. One model allows the simulation of a core saturated with oil and the other one a core saturated with oil-water. The models involve hydrodynamics, heat transfer, and geomechanical phenomena, as well as a deformable mesh model for their numerical solution, which was obtained using the finite element method. Oil and water recovery, pressure, porosity, permeability, and core deformation were predicted for a core saturated with either oil or oil-water. The predictions agree very well with the theoretical data reported in literature. The effect of core deformation, due to pressure and temperature, on predictions was studied. It was found that under the simulation conditions used in this work, taking into account the geomechanical phenomena reveals that (1) the cumulative oil production, by thermal expansion, is larger than by a load and (2) the cumulative oil production is largest when both a load and thermal expansion are applied. Thus, thermal expansion is a very important mechanism for oil recovery and should be incorporated into oil recovery numerical simulations, through a geomechanical model, to compute porosity changes in a more realistic fashion.


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