Keywords: propane dispersion coefficient, heavy oil, optimal control, packed medium permeability, solubility, diffusion, vapour extraction, vapex, concentration-dependent dispersion, mathematical modelling, oil recovery, simulation
Permeability effect on the concentration-dependent propane dispersion coefficient in vapex
In this paper, the effect of the packed medium permeability on concentration-dependent dispersion coefficient of propane in heavy oil during vapex process is investigated. The experiments are carried out at 21°C using propane at 0.689 MPa pressure. Heavy oil packed with glass beads of different permeabilities is used as a porous medium in a cylindrical geometry. The concentration-dependent dispersion coefficient of propane is optimally determined for three medium permeabilities by matching the experimental live oil and the model predicted production rates. The results show that propane concentration-dependent dispersion coefficient is a unimodal function. The dispersion coefficient of propane (at all concentrations) as well as its solubility in heavy oil increases with the decrease of the packed medium permeability. The properties determined in this work would enable engineers to optimise oil recovery, and perform more accurate simulations and implementations.