Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MSPE)


Petroleum Engineering

Document Type



Gas Injection is the second largest EOR process in U.S. To increase the extent of the reservoir contacted by displacing fluids, gas and water are injected intermittently - water-alternating-gas (WAG) process, is widely practiced. This experimental study is aimed at evaluating the WAG process performance in short and long cores as a function of gas-oil miscibility and brine composition. This performance evaluation has been carried out by comparing oil recoveries between WAG injection and continuous gas injection (CGI). Miscible (2500 psi) and immiscible (500 psi) floods were conducted using Berea cores, n-Decane and two different brines, namely the commonly used 5% NaCl solution and another the multicomponent brine from the West Texas Yates reservoir. Each of the ten corefloods consisted of series of steps including brine saturation, absolute permeability determination, flooding with oil (drainage) to initial oil saturation, flooding with brine (imbibition) to residual oil saturation, and finally, tertiary gas injection to recover the waterflood residual oil. It was found that comparing tertiary gas floods only on the basis of recovery yielded misleading conclusions. However, when oil recovery per unit volume of gas injection was used as a parameter to evaluate the floods, miscible gas floods were found more effective (recovery 60-70% higher) than immiscible floods. The WAG mode of injection out-performed the CGI floods. At increased gas volume injection, the performance of miscible CGI flood, inspite of the high injection pressure, approached the immiscible floods. A change in brine composition from 5% NaCl to 9.26% multivalent Yates reservoir brine showed a slight adverse effect on tertiary gas flood recovery due to increased solubility of CO2 in the latter. While immiscible WAG floods in short cores donot show appreciable improvement over CGI immiscible floods, WAG recovery was 31% higher than 6-ft CGI floods. The results of this study prompted a new process by combining CGI and WAG modes of gas injection. Such a process was found patented and practiced in the industry. In addition to providing performance characteristics of the WAG process, this study has indicated directions for further research aimed at improving oil recovery from gas injection processes.



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Committee Chair

Dandina N. Rao