An Evaluation of Solubility of Wax and Asphaltene in Crude Oil for Improved Flow Properties Using a Copolymer Solubilized in Organic Solvent with an Aromatic Hydrocarbon

Wax and asphaltene are high molecular weighted compounds that contribute to the stability of crude oil at a dispersed state. Transportation of crude oil along pipelines from the oil rig to the refineries causes fluctuation of temperature which will lead to the coagulation of wax and flocculation of asphaltenes. This paper focuses on the prevention of wax and asphaltene precipitate deposition on the inner surface of the pipelines by using a wax inhibitor and an asphaltene dispersant. The novelty of this prevention method is the combination of three substances; a wax inhibitor dissolved in a wax inhibitor solvent and an asphaltene solvent, namely, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer dissolved in methylcyclohexane (MCH) and toluene (TOL) to inhibit the precipitation and deposition of wax and asphaltene. The objective of this paper was to optimize the percentage composition of each component in this inhibitor which can maximize the viscosity reduction of crude oil. The optimization was divided into two stages which are the laboratory experimental stage in which the viscosity of crude oil samples containing inhibitor of different component compositions is tested at decreasing temperatures and the data optimization stage using response surface methodology (RSM) to design an optimizing model. The results of experiment proved that the combination of 50% EVA + 25% MCH + 25% TOL gave a maximum viscosity reduction of 67% while the RSM model proved that the combination of 57% EVA + 20.5% MCH + 22.5% TOL gave a maximum viscosity reduction of up to 61%.

Simulation Study of Asphaltene Deposition and Solubility of CO2 in the Brine during Cyclic CO2 Injection Process in Unconventional Tight Reservoirs

A compositional reservoir simulation model (CMG-GEM) was used for cyclic CO2 injection process in unconventional tight reservoir. Cyclic CO2 injection is an enhanced oil recovery process consisting of injection, shut-in, and production. The study of cyclic CO2 injection and hydrocarbon recovery in ultra-low permeability reservoirs is mainly a function of rock, fluid, and operational parameters. CMG-GEM was used to study several design parameters of cyclic CO2 injection process to distinguish the parameters with maximum effect on the oil recovery and to comprehend the behavior of cyclic CO2 injection in tight reservoir. On the other hand, permeability reduction induced by asphaltene precipitation is one of the major issues in the oil industry due to its plugging onto the porous media which reduces the oil productivity. In addition to asphaltene deposition, solubility of CO2 in the aquifer is one of the safest and permanent trapping techniques when considering CO2 storage mechanisms in geological formations. However, the effects of the above uncertain parameters on the process of CO2 enhanced oil recovery have not been understood systematically. Hence, it is absolutely necessary to study the most significant parameters which dominate the process. The main objective of this study is to improve techniques for designing cyclic CO2 injection process while considering the effects of asphaltene deposition and solubility of CO2 in the brine in order to prevent asphaltene precipitation, minimize CO2 emission, optimize cyclic CO2 injection, and maximize oil production.

Viscosity Reduction and Upgrading of Athabasca Oilsands Bitumen by Natural Zeolite Cracking

Oilsands bitumen is an extremely important source of energy for North America. However, due to the presence of large molecules such as asphaltenes, the density and viscosity of the bitumen recovered from these sands are much higher than those of conventional crude oil. As a result the extracted bitumen has to be diluted with expensive solvents, or thermochemically upgraded in large, capital-intensive conventional upgrading facilities prior to pipeline transport. This study demonstrates that globally abundant natural zeolites such as clinoptilolite from Saint Clouds, New Mexico and Ca-chabazite from Bowie, Arizona can be used as very effective reagents for cracking and visbreaking of oilsands bitumen. Natural zeolite cracked oilsands bitumen products are highly recoverable (up to ~ 83%) using light hydrocarbons such as pentane, which indicates substantial conversion of heavier fractions to lighter components. The resultant liquid products are much less viscous, and have lighter product distribution compared to those produced from pure thermal treatment. These natural minerals impart similar effect on industrially extracted Athabasca bitumen.

Effective Self-Preservation of Methane Hydrate Particles in Crude Oils

In this work we investigated the behavior of methane hydrates dispersed in crude oils from different fields at temperatures below 0°C. In case of crude oil emulsion the size of water droplets is in the range of 50e100"m. The size of hydrate particles formed from droplets is the same. The self-preservation is not expected in this field. However, the self-preservation of hydrates with the size of particles 24±18"m (electron microscopy data) in suspensions is observed. Similar results were obtained for four different kinds of crude oil and model system such as asphaltenes, resins and wax in ndecane. This result can allow developing effective methods to prevent the formation and elimination of gas-hydrate plugs in pipelines under low temperature conditions (e. g. in Eastern Siberia). There is a prospective to use experiment results for working out the technology of associated petroleum gas recovery.

Experimental Investigation on the Effect of CO2 and WAG Injection on Permeability Reduction Induced by Asphaltene Precipitation in Light Oil

Permeability reduction induced by asphaltene precipitation during gas injection is one of the serious problems in the oil industry. This problem can lead to formation damage and decrease the oil production rate. In this work, Malaysian light oil sample has been used to investigate the effect CO2 injection and Water Alternating Gas (WAG) injection on permeability reduction. In this work, dynamic core flooding experiments were conducted to study the effect of CO2 and WAG injection on the amount of asphaltene precipitated. Core properties after displacement were inspected for any permeability reduction to study the effect of asphaltene precipitation on rock properties. The results showed that WAG injection gave less asphaltene precipitation and formation damage compared to CO2 injection. The study suggested that WAG injection can be one of the important factors of managing asphaltene precipitation.

Catalytic Aquathermolysis of Egyptian Heavy Crude Oil

Two Amphiphilic catalysts, iron (III) dodecylbenzene sulfonate and nickel (II) dodecylbenzene sulfonate, were synthesized and used in the catalytic aquathermolysis of heavy crude oil to reduce its viscosity. The prepared catalysts exhibited good performance in the aquathermolysis and the viscosity is reduced by ~ 78.9 % for Egyptian heavy crude oil. The chemical and physical properties of heavy oil both before and after reaction were investigated by FT-IR, dynamic viscosity, molecular weight and SARA analysis. The results indicated that the content of resin, asphaltene, average molecular weight and sulfur content of heavy oil is reduced after the catalytic aquathermolysis.

Study of Asphaltene Precipitation İnduced Formation Damage During CO2 Injection for a Malaysian Light Oil

In this work, the precipitation of asphaltene from a Malaysian light oil reservoir was studies. A series of experiments were designed and carried out to examine the effect of CO2 injection on asphaltene precipitation. Different pressures of injections were used in Dynamic flooding experiment in order to investigate the effect of pressure versus injection pore volume of CO2. These dynamic displacement tests simulate reservoir condition. Results show that by increasing the pore volume of injected gas asphaltene precipitation will increases, also rise in injection pressure causes less precipitation. Sandstone core plug was used to represent reservoir formation during displacement test; therefore it made it possible to study the effect of present of asphaltene on formation. It is found out that the precipitated asphaltene can reduce permeability and porosity which is not favorable during oil production.

Mathematical Modeling of Asphaltene Precipitation: A Review

In the Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) method, use of Carbon dioxide flooding whereby CO2 is injected into an oil reservoir to increase output when extracting oil resulted significant recovery worldwide. The carbon dioxide function as a pressurizing agent when mixed into the underground crude oil will reduce its viscosity and will enable a rapid oil flow. Despite the CO2’s advantage in the oil recovery, it may result to asphaltene precipitation a problem that will cause the reduction of oil produced from oil wells. In severe cases, asphaltene precipitation can cause costly blockages in oil pipes and machinery. This paper presents reviews of several studies done on mathematical modeling of asphaltene precipitation. The synthesized result from several researches done on this topic can be used as guide in order to better understand asphaltene precipitation. Likewise, this can be used as initial reference for students, and new researchers doing study on asphaltene precipitation.