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Numerical Simulation of Recovery of Light Oil by Medium Temperature Oxidation in Porous Media

N. Khoshenvis Gargar1 A. Mailybaev2 D. Marchesin2 H. Bruining1
1Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
2Instituto Nacional de Matematica Pura e Aplicada, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Wave sequence solutions with the thermal wave (Th), the MTO wave and saturation (S) wave. Indicated are the distributions of the temperature θ, liquid saturation sl and oxygen mole fraction Yo.

One of the methods to recover oil from medium and low viscosity in complex reservoirs uses air injection leading to oil combustion. In this case the oxygen in the air burns the heavier components of the oil, generating a heat wave leading to vaporization of lighter components. In this work, we consider a simple model for air injection in light oil reservoir containing only one component in dry porous rock as our goal is to improve understanding of the basics of the oxidation/evaporation/ condensation mechanism. The model equations are solved both numerically and analytically. A comparison shows the effect of diffusion/ conduction on the result. Both the analytical and numerical models show that vaporization occurs upstream of the combustion zone.

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