The release of CO2 into the atmosphere has been verified as a significant reason for global warming and climate change. To prevent a large amount of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere, its utilization and storage become very important for human survival. Regarding the utilization of CO2 in oil reservoir engineering practice, CO2 enhanced oil recovery (CO2EOR) as a mature technology has been widely applied in several types of reservoirs, such as sandstone, carbonate, and shale gas/oil reservoirs, and scientists and reservoir engineers aim to improve displacement efficiency with different injection modes and study its influencing factors over the past few decades. However, related to the experimental evaluation of storage capacity potential with the CO2EOR displacement mode and the long-term storage of CO2 in situ in the formation experienced by CO2 flooding is rarely studied experimentally. In this study, we investigated the effect of injection mode and reservoir heterogeneity on CO2EOR and its storage potential.

Several core flooding experiments on displacing remaining oil and water by scCO2 after water flooding have been performed, including injection modes, which are horizontal, vertical, and tapered WAG injections, using reservoir carbonate rock, live crude oil, and seawater under reservoir conditions. The dual-core core flooding experiment was used to study the effect of reservoir heterogeneity on scCO2 storage capacity.

As a result of this study, the previously proposed experimental methodology was used to calculate the scCO2 storage capacity, which involved that the scCO2 dissolves into residual water and oil after scCO2 injection, and evaluate the CO2 storage capacity efficiency for different injection modes. The vertical-continuous injection mode of scCO2 flooding can maximize the process of its storage advantage. This study found that the main scCO2 storage mechanism is mainly pore storage (structural trapping) for depleted oil reservoirs. Based on experimental results, the storage efficiency is related permeability of rocks, which expresses the logarithmic relation and increases with an increase in air permeability. The experimental results show that the scCO2 injectivity is not strongly affected, although the relative permeability to scCO2 decreased somewhat after the scCO2EOR process. In addition, the effect of rock heterogeneity on scCO2 storage efficiency is also discussed.

The highlights of this study are that the comparison of the scCO2 storage potential was made based on experimental results of different injection modes, and improving the displacement efficiency in the low permeable zone also increases scCO2 storage efficiency. Furthermore, the experimental results can be applied directly to be helpful for the evaluation and strategy of scCO2 storage and can be used to simulate the performance during the injection process of scCO2 storage.

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