US20070187093A1 - Method for recovery of stranded oil - Google Patents

Method for recovery of stranded oil Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070187093A1
US20070187093A1 US11698556 US69855607A US2007187093A1 US 20070187093 A1 US20070187093 A1 US 20070187093A1 US 11698556 US11698556 US 11698556 US 69855607 A US69855607 A US 69855607A US 2007187093 A1 US2007187093 A1 US 2007187093A1
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Prior art keywords
method
oil
fluid
heated
reservoir
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Abandoned
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US11698556
Inventor
William C. Pfefferle
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PRECSION COMBUSTION Inc
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Pfefferle William C
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/16Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons
    • E21B43/24Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection
    • E21B43/243Combustion in situ
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/16Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons
    • E21B43/24Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection
    • E21B43/2406Steam assisted gravity drainage [SAGD]
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/16Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons
    • E21B43/24Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection
    • E21B43/2406Steam assisted gravity drainage [SAGD]
    • E21B43/2408SAGD in combination with other methods

Abstract

The present invention provides a method of recovering stranded oil wherein heated fluid is injected into a reservoir containing stranded oil in a region near the reservoir ceiling. The heated oil drains toward the reservoir floor and is recovered via a production well.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to a method for the recovery of stranded oil left behind in an oil reservoir after recovery of oil by conventional means.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Oil fields typically are abandoned after oil can no longer be produced economically by known secondary or tertiary recovery methods. At this point, the remaining oil in place often represents as much as two-thirds of the amount originally in place. Of the remaining oil, about twenty percent is considered technically recoverable using advanced techniques such as, for example, carbon dioxide flooding. Unfortunately, for stranded oil in most U.S. fields, carbon dioxide is not available. Moreover, there is a need to recover far more stranded oil than can be recovered by known advanced methods such as carbon dioxide flooding. It is therefore an object of the present invention to make possible economic recovery of nearly all the remaining stranded oil in place.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The oil coating on the reservoir minerals can be flushed off much more effectively than by carbon dioxide flooding. By heating the oil to an elevated temperature along with reservoir pressurization, the oil can be flushed off of the sand, for example, in the reservoir. In the present invention, hot fluids are injected near the top of the reservoir such that fluid flow is downward toward the reservoir floor by gravity drainage aided by the downward fluid flow. Inert gases present in injected fluids provide reservoir repressurization. Preferably, fluid is injected through a horizontal well to best distribute the flow across the reservoir ceiling. Advantageously, the hot combustion gases are produced using a downhole combustor. If available, carbon dioxide is added to combustion products for sequestration.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 depicts an isometric of horizontal injection well with branches protruding into the reservoir.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • In the present invention 10, as shown in FIG. 1, hot fluids such as steam or combustion gases may be produced at the surface and injected downhole via injection well 12. However, heat losses advantageously may be reduced by generating the heated fluids downhole as by a downhole combustor with fuel and air supplied from the surface. Combustion gases produced by downhole combustion typically are reduced in temperature by addition of an inert fluid such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide. Steam may be produced by spraying water into the hot combustion products. Hot fluids also may be generated by in-situ combustion with air supplied from the surface.
  • Hot fluid is provided near the reservoir ceiling 14 using any conventional method known in the art such that the flow forms a gas blanket layer which flows downward toward the reservoir floor. Thus heated oil drains toward the reservoir floor 16. Typically the fluid is injected via a horizontal well 18. To distribute the fluid over a wider area, the horizontal well may have horizontal branches 20 as shown in FIG. 1.
  • Temperature of the injected fluid in most cases is below that which would result in significant cracking of the oil. However, if significant reduction in the oil viscosity is desired, the temperature of the injected fluid is controlled to a value which will result in cracking of the oil. Temperatures high enough for cracking can be provided by use of in-situ combustion. Cracking of the oil is desirable where the viscosity of the stranded oil is higher than that originally produced in primary production. Oil draining to the reservoir floor may be recovered through an existing production well. However, it may be advantageous to provide a new horizontal production well located on or near the reservoir floor.
  • After the heated fluid has heated an upper portion of the reservoir flushing the oil downward, heat from oil depleted layers may be utilized to heat a cold fluid such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide thus providing heated fluid for recovery of oil from lower levels.
  • While the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to a preferred method for the recovery of stranded oil left behind in an oil reservoir after recovery of oil by conventional means as described herein, other methods exhibiting the characteristics taught herein are contemplated. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the invention should not be limited to the description of the preferred embodiment described herein.

Claims (11)

  1. 1. A method of recovering stranded oil comprising:
    a) injecting heated fluid into a reservoir containing stranded oil in a region near the reservoir ceiling;
    b) allowing heated oil to drain toward the reservoir floor; and
    c) recovering drained oil via a production well.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1 wherein the heated fluid is produced downhole using a downhole combustor.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1 wherein the heated fluid is provided from the surface and passed downhole.
  4. 4. The method of claim 1 wherein the heated fluid is injected via a horizontal well.
  5. 5. The method of claim 4 wherein the horizontal well comprises a plurality of branches.
  6. 6. The method of claim 1 wherein the injected fluid is at a temperature high enough to result in cracking of the stranded oil.
  7. 7. The method of claim 6 wherein said temperature is greater than 800F.
  8. 8. The method of claim 1 wherein the heated fluid is produced by passage of a fluid through a heated upper layer.
  9. 9. The method of claim 8 wherein the fluid to be heated comprises nitrogen.
  10. 10. The method of claim 8 wherein the fluid to be heated comprises carbon dioxide.
  11. 11. The method of claim 1 wherein the heated fluid is produced downhole by in-situ combustion.
US11698556 2006-02-15 2007-01-26 Method for recovery of stranded oil Abandoned US20070187093A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US77341006 true 2006-02-15 2006-02-15
US11698556 US20070187093A1 (en) 2006-02-15 2007-01-26 Method for recovery of stranded oil

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11698556 US20070187093A1 (en) 2006-02-15 2007-01-26 Method for recovery of stranded oil
US12658339 US20100258305A1 (en) 2006-02-15 2010-02-06 Method for recovery of stranded oil

Related Child Applications (1)

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US12658339 Continuation-In-Part US20100258305A1 (en) 2006-02-15 2010-02-06 Method for recovery of stranded oil

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US20070187093A1 true true US20070187093A1 (en) 2007-08-16

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN101956548A (en) * 2010-09-25 2011-01-26 北京奥瑞安能源技术开发有限公司 Coal bed methane multi-branch horizontal well system and modification method thereof
CN101975050A (en) * 2010-09-17 2011-02-16 北京奥瑞安能源技术开发有限公司 Construction method of coal bed gas horizontal well and vertical drainage well in multi-objective layer geologic environment
US7909094B2 (en) 2007-07-06 2011-03-22 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Oscillating fluid flow in a wellbore
US20130175031A1 (en) * 2011-07-13 2013-07-11 Nexen Inc. Sagdox geometry
US9163491B2 (en) 2011-10-21 2015-10-20 Nexen Energy Ulc Steam assisted gravity drainage processes with the addition of oxygen
US9328592B2 (en) 2011-07-13 2016-05-03 Nexen Energy Ulc Steam anti-coning/cresting technology ( SACT) remediation process
US9803456B2 (en) 2011-07-13 2017-10-31 Nexen Energy Ulc SAGDOX geometry for impaired bitumen reservoirs

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3284281A (en) * 1964-08-31 1966-11-08 Phillips Petroleum Co Production of oil from oil shale through fractures
US3537528A (en) * 1968-10-14 1970-11-03 Shell Oil Co Method for producing shale oil from an exfoliated oil shale formation
US5456315A (en) * 1993-05-07 1995-10-10 Alberta Oil Sands Technology And Research Horizontal well gravity drainage combustion process for oil recovery
US20040050547A1 (en) * 2002-09-16 2004-03-18 Limbach Kirk Walton Downhole upgrading of oils
US20070039729A1 (en) * 2005-07-18 2007-02-22 Oil Sands Underground Mining Corporation Method of increasing reservoir permeability

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3284281A (en) * 1964-08-31 1966-11-08 Phillips Petroleum Co Production of oil from oil shale through fractures
US3537528A (en) * 1968-10-14 1970-11-03 Shell Oil Co Method for producing shale oil from an exfoliated oil shale formation
US5456315A (en) * 1993-05-07 1995-10-10 Alberta Oil Sands Technology And Research Horizontal well gravity drainage combustion process for oil recovery
US20040050547A1 (en) * 2002-09-16 2004-03-18 Limbach Kirk Walton Downhole upgrading of oils
US20070039729A1 (en) * 2005-07-18 2007-02-22 Oil Sands Underground Mining Corporation Method of increasing reservoir permeability

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7909094B2 (en) 2007-07-06 2011-03-22 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Oscillating fluid flow in a wellbore
CN101975050A (en) * 2010-09-17 2011-02-16 北京奥瑞安能源技术开发有限公司 Construction method of coal bed gas horizontal well and vertical drainage well in multi-objective layer geologic environment
CN101956548A (en) * 2010-09-25 2011-01-26 北京奥瑞安能源技术开发有限公司 Coal bed methane multi-branch horizontal well system and modification method thereof
US20130175031A1 (en) * 2011-07-13 2013-07-11 Nexen Inc. Sagdox geometry
US9328592B2 (en) 2011-07-13 2016-05-03 Nexen Energy Ulc Steam anti-coning/cresting technology ( SACT) remediation process
US9803456B2 (en) 2011-07-13 2017-10-31 Nexen Energy Ulc SAGDOX geometry for impaired bitumen reservoirs
US9828841B2 (en) * 2011-07-13 2017-11-28 Nexen Energy Ulc Sagdox geometry
US9163491B2 (en) 2011-10-21 2015-10-20 Nexen Energy Ulc Steam assisted gravity drainage processes with the addition of oxygen
US9644468B2 (en) 2011-10-21 2017-05-09 Nexen Energy Ulc Steam assisted gravity drainage processes with the addition of oxygen

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Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: PRECSION COMBUSTION, INC., CONNECTICUT

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PFEFFERLE, WILLIAM C.;REEL/FRAME:021707/0676

Effective date: 20081004