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Energies 2018, 11(10), 2667;

Experimental Investigation of Oil Recovery from Tight Sandstone Oil Reservoirs by Pressure Depletion

State Key Laboratory of Enhanced Oil Recovery, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Beijing 100083, China
Research Institute of Enhanced Oil Recovery, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 7 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flow and Transport Properties of Unconventional Reservoirs 2018)
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Oil production by natural energy of the reservoir is usually the first choice for oil reservoir development. Conversely, to effectively develop tight oil reservoir is challenging due to its ultra-low formation permeability. A novel platform for experimental investigation of oil recovery from tight sandstone oil reservoirs by pressure depletion has been proposed in this paper. A series of experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of pressure depletion degree, pressure depletion rate, reservoir temperature, overburden pressure, formation pressure coefficient and crude oil properties on oil recovery by reservoir pressure depletion. In addition, the characteristics of pressure propagation during the reservoir depletion process were monitored and studied. The experimental results showed that oil recovery factor positively correlated with pressure depletion degree when reservoir pressure was above the bubble point pressure. Moreover, equal pressure depletion degree led to the same oil recovery factor regardless of different pressure depletion rate. However, it was noticed that faster pressure drop resulted in a higher oil recovery rate. For oil reservoir without dissolved gas (dead oil), oil recovery was 2–3% due to the limited reservoir natural energy. In contrast, depletion from live oil reservoir resulted in an increased recovery rate ranging from 11% to 18% due to the presence of dissolved gas. This is attributed to the fact that when reservoir pressure drops below the bubble point pressure, the dissolved gas expands and pushes the oil out of the rock pore spaces which significantly improves the oil recovery. From the pressure propagation curve, the reason for improved oil recovery is that when the reservoir pressure is lower than the bubble point pressure, the dissolved gas constantly separates and provides additional pressure gradient to displace oil. The present study will help engineers to have a better understanding of the drive mechanisms and influencing factors that affect development of tight oil reservoirs, especially for predicting oil recovery by reservoir pressure depletion. View Full-Text
Keywords: dissolved gas; experimental evaluation; reservoir depletion; recovery factor; tight oil dissolved gas; experimental evaluation; reservoir depletion; recovery factor; tight oil

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Chen, W.; Zhang, Z.; Liu, Q.; Chen, X.; Opoku Appau, P.; Wang, F. Experimental Investigation of Oil Recovery from Tight Sandstone Oil Reservoirs by Pressure Depletion. Energies 2018, 11, 2667.

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