US3428125A - Hydro-electropyrolysis of oil shale in situ - Google Patents

Hydro-electropyrolysis of oil shale in situ Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US3428125A
US3428125A US3428125DA US3428125A US 3428125 A US3428125 A US 3428125A US 3428125D A US3428125D A US 3428125DA US 3428125 A US3428125 A US 3428125A
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
formation
electrolyte
wells
shale
oil shale
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
Inventor
Harry W Parker
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Phillips Petroleum Co
Original Assignee
Phillips Petroleum Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Phillips Petroleum Co filed Critical Phillips Petroleum Co
Priority to US56753066A priority Critical
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US3428125A publication Critical patent/US3428125A/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • 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
    • E21B43/2401Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection by means of electricity

Description

1 mu; r pw g xR 394289125 1969 I H. w. PARKER 3,428,125

HYDRO-ELECTROPYROLYSIS OF OIL SHALE IN SITU Filed July 25, 1966 CASING IN SHALE FRACTU RES 6 O O (TCYTG CASING BRINE IN FRACTURES lNVEA/TOR H.W. PARKER BRINE H2O A r TOR/V5 vs 7 United States Patent o 3,428,125 HYDRO-ELECTROPYROLYSIS OF OIL SHALE' IN SITU Harry W. Parker, Bartlesville, Okla., assignor to, Phillips' Petroleum Company, a corporation of Delaware Eiled July 25, 19 66, SenNo. 567,530 U.S. Cl. 163-248 7 Claims Int. Cl. E215 43/24, 43/26 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Hydrocarbons are recovered from an oil shale formation insitu by injecting an electrolyte into the formation.

through two?- or more wells and imposing a potential drop across the formation between the'wells to pass gelectrical current therethrough and heat the same, to a temperature sufiiciently {high to pyrolize the hydrocarbons therein, while maintaining sufiicient pressure on theforgnationto prevent vapibrization of the electrolyte. The wells. may be linked together through the formation byiracturing or directional drilling, or a combination of both.

In another. aspect, the invention relates to varying thepressure required to prevent vaporization of the electrolyte in inverserelation to the ratio of the weight of salt to the weight of water when an aqueous salt is used asthe electrolyte.

In another aspect, the invention relates tothe production of hydrocarbons and non-condensable gases from oil shale by injecting an aqueous electrolyte intothe formation through two or more wells, and impressing a voltage betweentwo of said wells to heat the formation, while maintaining sufficient pressure on said formation to prevent vap r'i'zation of said electrolyte, and' producing gas and/or!) :through one or more other wells. Alternatively, the prod can also be removed from the formation via the wells'iirjnpressed with the voltage.

In U.Sf Patent 3,137,347, pyrolysis of oil shale in situ by means of electrocarbonization was disclosed. The cost of electrical power was recognized to be a major item in the operation ofthe process, but no solution was advanced. It is an object of this invention to reduce the power needed to pyrolyze oil shale in situ. Another object of the invention is to produce hydrocarbons and noncondensable gases from oil shale at lower temperatures than were heretofore possible.

Other aspects, objects and the several advantages of the invention will be apparent to one skilled in the art upon studying the drawing, specification, and appended claimssodium sulfate, sodium carbonate, and so on. It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the addition of various electrolytes to water is a variable which can be controlled. A high electrolyte content in the water would raise the boiling point of the Water and thus reduce the pressure necessary to pyrolyze the shale.

The technique of hydro-electropyrolysis canbe applied after electrocarbonization: has been started in the manner described in U.S. Patent 3,137,347 or hydro-electropyrolysis can be used from the beginning. In one specific embodiment, two wells aredrilled at a distance from one another in the oil shale formation, an electrolyte such as an aqueous salt is injecte'ti' therethrough, an electrical potential is impressed across the casings of saidlwells to heat the shale formation; andsufficient pressure: is maintained on the formationfto prevent vaporization of the electrolyte. The wells may be linked together by either fracturing or directional drilling, or by a combination of thetwo. By-the latter method, directional drilling need not be relied upon todirctly hit another well. Regardless of the method used to link the wells, the electrolyte is injected into the formation under sufficient pressure to fracture the shale between the wells, and the pfessure is maintainedso as to prevent vaporization of the electrolyte.

After the heating zone has been established in "the shale, it can be extended indefinitely by drilling additional wells into the shale, injecting electrolyte into the formation under sufficient pressure to fracture same, and applying electrical current to heat thefshale while maintaining a pressure sufficient to preventgvaporization of the electrolyte. Said additional wells canj be directionally drilled so that a greater spacing would result.

The hydrocarbons and fnon-condensable gases produced by the process of this invention can be recoveredZ-by drillingone or more producing wells between the Wells impressed with electrical current. These wells mus also be pressured to prevent vaptjrization of. the: electrolyte.

Referring now to the drawings: e

A multi-well system is iillustrated' in combination with means for practicing one embodiment of the invention.

Well bores 1 and 2 hold casings 3 and 4 through which a suitable electrolyte suchgas brine is delivered to formation 11 by means of purn 8. Pressure sufficient to fracture the formation is su. lied by pumps 8. A source of electrical current 6 is used to heat the formation, while pressure means 7 maintain sufficient pressure on the formation to prevent vaporization of the electrolyte. Oil and non-condensable gases can be recovered from formation 11 via production well 5 which is cased.

Anelectrical connection is made between the easing of the two wells 3 and 4 filth the electnical circuit being completed through the brine in the fractures connecting the two wells in the oil shale zone. The casing is cemented to the well bore face near the oil shale zone in a conventionalmanner. A high voltage AC. or DC. potential of 440 volts or higher applies potential between the two wells to heat the formation with sufiicient back pressure of up to 1530 p.s.i.g. maintained on the wells so that temperatures of between 500 F. and 600 F. are maintained in the brine in the fractures 9 and 10. In this manner, the formation between the two wells is heated and the shale pyrolyzed at moderate temperatures below 750 F. Heating in this manner is continued for several months prior to production of the produced oil through cased production well 5;. Production well 5 is produced by flowing or by. a pump not shown. Oil and gas can be produced during the heating period.

Brine which may be saturated can be injected into casings 3 and 4 during the heating process. It is preferred that a saturated solution of brine be used as this will allow better conduction of current and thus more heating of the formation. The following concentrations of brine in water for different salts can be used depending upon the temperature of the water.

Percent Sodium chloride 39 Calcium chloride 60 Potassiumchloride 50 Sodium sulfate 40 Sodium carbonate 40 The amount of salt which can bedissolved in the water is a function of the temperature of the solution, and the water can be heated prior to injection in order to as nearly as possible saturate the water withfthe particular salt being used. The invention is not limited; to the use of any particular salt, but sodium chloride 'is preferred since it is readily available in ground waters.

It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that it is possible to make fuel gas from the coke remaining on the shale after it has been retortedQhy injecting air and/or steam into the spent shale. Removal of coke by air and/or steam will also prevent current flow through the spent shale.

In the practice of the invention, low temperatures are maintained by introducing increments of electrolyte into the formation while maintaining s ufficient pressure to keep the temperature at the desiredfll evel. For example, to pyrolyze at 600 F., it is necessary to maintain a pressure of 1530 p.s.i.g. If the shale locally becomes hotter than 600 F., the water will boil and the steam will transfer heat to cooler portions of the formation.

In principle, the concept of the invention is to raise the temperature of the shale sufiiciently high to pyrolyze the hydrocarbons therein, while maintaining sufficient pressure on the formation to prevent vaporization of the electrolyte.

Reasonable modification and variation are possible within the spirit and scope of the invention, theessence of which is producing hydrocarbons and non-condensable gases from oil shale in situ by injecting an electrolyte into the shale and applying electrical current thereto while maintaining pressure sufficient to prevent vaporization of the electrolyte.

I claim:

1. A method for producing hydrocarbons from oil shale formations in situ penetrated by at least two wells which comprises fracturing said formation to increase the overall flow permeability between said wells through said foramtion, introducing an aqueous electrolyte into said foirnation to increase the electrical conductivity of said formation, imposing a potential drop across said formation to promote current flow therethrough and consequent heating thereof and maintaining jsuf ficient pressure on, said formation to retain an aqueous electrolyte coductiive phase'within said formation.

2. A "'method in accordance with claim 1 wherein said electrolyte is a mixture of water and an inorganic salt.

3. A" method according to claim 2 wherein said inorganic salt is an alkali metal salt.

4. A'method according to claim 1 wherein said electrolyte is injected into said oil shale using gas pressure to fracture said oil shale and to maintain pressure sufficient to, prevent vaporization of said electrolyte.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the amount of said aqueous electrolyte injected is suflicient to produce a substantially continuous conductive path through said formationibetween said wells.

.6. The method of claim 1 wherein the said potential drop is suflicient to substantially elevate the temperature of said formation and increase the mobility of said hydrocarbons 7. The method of claim 6 wherein said temperature is elevated by an amount of up to about 600 F.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS STEPHEN J. NOVOSAD, Primary Examiner.

' US. Cl. X.R.

US3428125D 1966-07-25 1966-07-25 Hydro-electropyrolysis of oil shale in situ Expired - Lifetime US3428125A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US56753066A true 1966-07-25 1966-07-25

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US3428125A true US3428125A (en) 1969-02-18

Family

ID=24267542

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US3428125D Expired - Lifetime US3428125A (en) 1966-07-25 1966-07-25 Hydro-electropyrolysis of oil shale in situ

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US3428125A (en)

Cited By (30)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3696866A (en) * 1971-01-27 1972-10-10 Us Interior Method for producing retorting channels in shale deposits
US3724543A (en) * 1971-03-03 1973-04-03 Gen Electric Electro-thermal process for production of off shore oil through on shore walls
US3782465A (en) * 1971-11-09 1974-01-01 Electro Petroleum Electro-thermal process for promoting oil recovery
US4135579A (en) * 1976-05-03 1979-01-23 Raytheon Company In situ processing of organic ore bodies
US4382469A (en) * 1981-03-10 1983-05-10 Electro-Petroleum, Inc. Method of in situ gasification
USRE31241E (en) * 1976-06-14 1983-05-17 Electromagnetic Energy Corporation Method and apparatus for controlling fluency of high viscosity hydrocarbon fluids
US4545435A (en) * 1983-04-29 1985-10-08 Iit Research Institute Conduction heating of hydrocarbonaceous formations
US4645004A (en) * 1983-04-29 1987-02-24 Iit Research Institute Electro-osmotic production of hydrocarbons utilizing conduction heating of hydrocarbonaceous formations
US5055180A (en) * 1984-04-20 1991-10-08 Electromagnetic Energy Corporation Method and apparatus for recovering fractions from hydrocarbon materials, facilitating the removal and cleansing of hydrocarbon fluids, insulating storage vessels, and cleansing storage vessels and pipelines
US5907662A (en) * 1997-01-30 1999-05-25 Regents Of The University Of California Electrode wells for powerline-frequency electrical heating of soils
US5950728A (en) * 1997-07-24 1999-09-14 Bingham; Clarke S. Method and apparatus for enhancing oil recovery
US6026902A (en) * 1997-07-24 2000-02-22 Bingham; Clarke S. Method and apparatus for enhancing oil recovery
US6199634B1 (en) 1998-08-27 2001-03-13 Viatchelav Ivanovich Selyakov Method and apparatus for controlling the permeability of mineral bearing earth formations
WO2001081723A1 (en) 2000-04-20 2001-11-01 Scotoil Group Plc Enhanced oil recovery by in situ gasification
US20070102152A1 (en) * 2005-09-20 2007-05-10 Alphonsus Forgeron Recovery of hydrocarbons using electrical stimulation
US20090283257A1 (en) * 2008-05-18 2009-11-19 Bj Services Company Radio and microwave treatment of oil wells
US20100101794A1 (en) * 2008-10-13 2010-04-29 Robert Charles Ryan Heating subsurface formations with fluids
EP2212516A2 (en) * 2007-10-16 2010-08-04 Foret Plasma Labs, LLC System, method and apparatus for creating an electric glow discharge
WO2014035788A1 (en) * 2012-08-28 2014-03-06 Conocophillips Company In situ combustion for steam recovery infill
WO2014055175A1 (en) * 2012-10-02 2014-04-10 Conocophillips Company Em and combustion stimulation of heavy oil
US9127206B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2015-09-08 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Plasma whirl reactor apparatus and methods of use
US9156715B2 (en) 2003-09-05 2015-10-13 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus for treating liquids with wave energy from an electrical arc
US20160024901A1 (en) * 2013-03-13 2016-01-28 Jilin University Method for heating oil shale subsurface in-situ
US9446371B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2016-09-20 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Method for treating a substance with wave energy from an electrical arc and a second source
US9499443B2 (en) 2012-12-11 2016-11-22 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus and method for sintering proppants
US9699879B2 (en) 2013-03-12 2017-07-04 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus and method for sintering proppants
US9739126B2 (en) 2010-11-17 2017-08-22 Harris Corporation Effective solvent extraction system incorporating electromagnetic heating
US9771280B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2017-09-26 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc System, method and apparatus for treating liquids with wave energy from plasma
US9914879B2 (en) 2015-09-30 2018-03-13 Red Leaf Resources, Inc. Staged zone heating of hydrocarbon bearing materials
US10188119B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2019-01-29 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Method for treating a substance with wave energy from plasma and an electrical arc

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US849524A (en) * 1902-06-23 1907-04-09 Delos R Baker Process of extracting and recovering the volatilizable contents of sedimentary mineral strata.
US2795279A (en) * 1952-04-17 1957-06-11 Electrotherm Res Corp Method of underground electrolinking and electrocarbonization of mineral fuels
US3106244A (en) * 1960-06-20 1963-10-08 Phillips Petroleum Co Process for producing oil shale in situ by electrocarbonization
US3137347A (en) * 1960-05-09 1964-06-16 Phillips Petroleum Co In situ electrolinking of oil shale

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US849524A (en) * 1902-06-23 1907-04-09 Delos R Baker Process of extracting and recovering the volatilizable contents of sedimentary mineral strata.
US2795279A (en) * 1952-04-17 1957-06-11 Electrotherm Res Corp Method of underground electrolinking and electrocarbonization of mineral fuels
US3137347A (en) * 1960-05-09 1964-06-16 Phillips Petroleum Co In situ electrolinking of oil shale
US3106244A (en) * 1960-06-20 1963-10-08 Phillips Petroleum Co Process for producing oil shale in situ by electrocarbonization

Cited By (42)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3696866A (en) * 1971-01-27 1972-10-10 Us Interior Method for producing retorting channels in shale deposits
US3724543A (en) * 1971-03-03 1973-04-03 Gen Electric Electro-thermal process for production of off shore oil through on shore walls
US3782465A (en) * 1971-11-09 1974-01-01 Electro Petroleum Electro-thermal process for promoting oil recovery
US4135579A (en) * 1976-05-03 1979-01-23 Raytheon Company In situ processing of organic ore bodies
USRE31241E (en) * 1976-06-14 1983-05-17 Electromagnetic Energy Corporation Method and apparatus for controlling fluency of high viscosity hydrocarbon fluids
US4382469A (en) * 1981-03-10 1983-05-10 Electro-Petroleum, Inc. Method of in situ gasification
US4473114A (en) * 1981-03-10 1984-09-25 Electro-Petroleum, Inc. In situ method for yielding a gas from a subsurface formation of hydrocarbon material
US4545435A (en) * 1983-04-29 1985-10-08 Iit Research Institute Conduction heating of hydrocarbonaceous formations
US4645004A (en) * 1983-04-29 1987-02-24 Iit Research Institute Electro-osmotic production of hydrocarbons utilizing conduction heating of hydrocarbonaceous formations
US5055180A (en) * 1984-04-20 1991-10-08 Electromagnetic Energy Corporation Method and apparatus for recovering fractions from hydrocarbon materials, facilitating the removal and cleansing of hydrocarbon fluids, insulating storage vessels, and cleansing storage vessels and pipelines
US5907662A (en) * 1997-01-30 1999-05-25 Regents Of The University Of California Electrode wells for powerline-frequency electrical heating of soils
US5950728A (en) * 1997-07-24 1999-09-14 Bingham; Clarke S. Method and apparatus for enhancing oil recovery
US6026902A (en) * 1997-07-24 2000-02-22 Bingham; Clarke S. Method and apparatus for enhancing oil recovery
US6199634B1 (en) 1998-08-27 2001-03-13 Viatchelav Ivanovich Selyakov Method and apparatus for controlling the permeability of mineral bearing earth formations
WO2001081723A1 (en) 2000-04-20 2001-11-01 Scotoil Group Plc Enhanced oil recovery by in situ gasification
US6805194B2 (en) 2000-04-20 2004-10-19 Scotoil Group Plc Gas and oil production
US9127206B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2015-09-08 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Plasma whirl reactor apparatus and methods of use
US10188119B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2019-01-29 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Method for treating a substance with wave energy from plasma and an electrical arc
US10368557B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2019-08-06 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus for treating a substance with wave energy from an electrical arc and a second source
US9771280B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2017-09-26 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc System, method and apparatus for treating liquids with wave energy from plasma
US9446371B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2016-09-20 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Method for treating a substance with wave energy from an electrical arc and a second source
US9127205B2 (en) 2001-07-16 2015-09-08 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Plasma whirl reactor apparatus and methods of use
US9156715B2 (en) 2003-09-05 2015-10-13 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus for treating liquids with wave energy from an electrical arc
US9428409B2 (en) 2003-09-05 2016-08-30 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Kit for treating liquids with wave energy from an electrical arc
US20070102152A1 (en) * 2005-09-20 2007-05-10 Alphonsus Forgeron Recovery of hydrocarbons using electrical stimulation
EP2212516A2 (en) * 2007-10-16 2010-08-04 Foret Plasma Labs, LLC System, method and apparatus for creating an electric glow discharge
EP2212516A4 (en) * 2007-10-16 2014-06-25 Foret Plasma Labs Llc System, method and apparatus for creating an electric glow discharge
US20090283257A1 (en) * 2008-05-18 2009-11-19 Bj Services Company Radio and microwave treatment of oil wells
US8261832B2 (en) * 2008-10-13 2012-09-11 Shell Oil Company Heating subsurface formations with fluids
US20100101794A1 (en) * 2008-10-13 2010-04-29 Robert Charles Ryan Heating subsurface formations with fluids
US10082009B2 (en) 2010-11-17 2018-09-25 Harris Corporation Effective solvent extraction system incorporating electromagnetic heating
US9739126B2 (en) 2010-11-17 2017-08-22 Harris Corporation Effective solvent extraction system incorporating electromagnetic heating
WO2014035788A1 (en) * 2012-08-28 2014-03-06 Conocophillips Company In situ combustion for steam recovery infill
WO2014055175A1 (en) * 2012-10-02 2014-04-10 Conocophillips Company Em and combustion stimulation of heavy oil
US9499443B2 (en) 2012-12-11 2016-11-22 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus and method for sintering proppants
US10030195B2 (en) 2012-12-11 2018-07-24 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus and method for sintering proppants
US9699879B2 (en) 2013-03-12 2017-07-04 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus and method for sintering proppants
US9801266B2 (en) 2013-03-12 2017-10-24 Foret Plasma Labs, Llc Apparatus and method for sintering proppants
US9784084B2 (en) * 2013-03-13 2017-10-10 Jilin University Method for heating oil shale subsurface in-situ
US20160024901A1 (en) * 2013-03-13 2016-01-28 Jilin University Method for heating oil shale subsurface in-situ
US9914879B2 (en) 2015-09-30 2018-03-13 Red Leaf Resources, Inc. Staged zone heating of hydrocarbon bearing materials
US10208254B2 (en) 2015-09-30 2019-02-19 Red Leaf Resources, Inc. Stage zone heating of hydrocarbon bearing materials

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US3284281A (en) Production of oil from oil shale through fractures
US3513914A (en) Method for producing shale oil from an oil shale formation
US3352355A (en) Method of recovery of hydrocarbons from solid hydrocarbonaceous formations
US3572838A (en) Recovery of aluminum compounds and oil from oil shale formations
US3500913A (en) Method of recovering liquefiable components from a subterranean earth formation
US3507330A (en) Method and apparatus for secondary recovery of oil
US3406754A (en) Petroleum production utilizing miscibletype and thickened slugs
US3342261A (en) Method for recovering oil from subterranean formations
US3358756A (en) Method for in situ recovery of solid or semi-solid petroleum deposits
US3400762A (en) In situ thermal recovery of oil from an oil shale
US3241611A (en) Recovery of petroleum products from oil shale
US3346044A (en) Method and structure for retorting oil shale in situ by cycling fluid flows
US3221813A (en) Recovery of viscous petroleum materials
US3614986A (en) Method for injecting heated fluids into mineral bearing formations
US3521709A (en) Producing oil from oil shale by heating with hot gases
US3205942A (en) Method for recovery of hydrocarbons by in situ heating of oil shale
US3294167A (en) Thermal oil recovery
US3137347A (en) In situ electrolinking of oil shale
US3605888A (en) Method and apparatus for secondary recovery of oil
US4099566A (en) Vicous oil recovery method
CA1238572A (en) Thermal recovery method for viscous oil
US4401162A (en) In situ oil shale process
US2803305A (en) Oil recovery by underground combustion
US4068717A (en) Producing heavy oil from tar sands
US3292702A (en) Thermal well stimulation method