Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MSPE)


Petroleum Engineering

Document Type



The Gas-Assisted Gravity Drainage (GAGD) process was developed to take advantage of the natural segregation of injected gas from crude oil in the reservoir. It consists of placing a horizontal producer near the bottom of the reservoir and injecting gas using existing vertical wells. As the injected gas rises to the top to form a gas cap, oil and water drain down to the horizontal producer. Earlier experimental work using a physical model by Sharma had demonstrated the effectiveness of the GAGD process in improving the oil recovery when applied in water-wet porous media. The current research is an extension of that work and is focused on evaluating the effect of the wettability of the porous medium and the presence of a vertical fracture on the GAGD performance. The effect of the injection strategy (secondary and tertiary mode) on the oil recovery was also evaluated in the experiments. In the physical model experiments a Hele-Shaw type model was used (dimensions: 13 7/8” by 5/16” by 1”) along with glass beads and silica sand as the porous media. Silanization with an organosilane (dimethydichlorosilane) was used to alter the wettability of the glass beads from water-wet to oil-wet. The experiments showed a significant improvement of the oil recovery in the oil-wet experiments versus the water-wet runs, both in the secondary and the tertiary modes. The fracture simulation experiments have also shown an increase in the effectiveness of the GAGD process.



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Committee Chair

Dandina N. Rao