Project Description

Project Title: Density and Viscosity Experimentation and Modeling
Prime Performer: National Energy Technology Laboratory
Project Duration: Completed in 2016

Overview

Increasing offshore domestic oil and natural gas activities associated with ultra-deepwater reservoirs, such as in the Gulf of Mexico, poses unique technical and operational challenges. One of the challenges is to develop critical data for predicting in-situ conditions that are required for assessing recoverable oil, drilling design, and control of blowouts in offshore settings.

This project developed methodologies and technologies to reduce subsurface uncertainty and improve deep drilling safety and oil production under high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) conditions by increasing the accuracy of equation-of-state models and viscosity correlations. The ability to reliably predict the thermophysical properties of hydrocarbons, over wide ranges of temperatures and pressures, provides a means to accurately predict the recoverable reserves and promotes safe and secure production.

Approach

NETL focused on improving the accuracy of thermodynamic and transport properties models under HPHT conditions, allowing for better characterization of reservoir fluids and the dynamics of these fluids during extraction. Improved models decrease uncertainty associated with fluid quantity and flow at and near the borehole. Accurate understanding of the reservoir and associated well behavior is an important component of our ability to predict the behavior of wells under both controlled and uncontrolled scenarios. The current lack of information and understanding of these extreme environments inhibits our ability to predict well behavior and develop methods for safely handling fluids under these conditions. NETL researchers have expanded the density and viscosity databases for hydrocarbon compounds to span HPHT conditions. The results have been integrated with existing lower pressure and temperature data, resulting in a comprehensive database.

Outcomes

This project improved the accuracy of thermodynamic and transport properties models under HPHT conditions, enabling better characterization of reservoir fluids and the dynamics of these fluids during extraction. Improved models decrease the uncertainty associated with fluid quantity and flow, at and near the borehole. The information and understanding of these extreme environments gained through this work increased our ability to predict well behavior and aided the development of methods for safely handling fluids. As a result, the researchers have expanded the density and viscosity databases for hydrocarbon compounds to span HPHT conditions, which have been integrated with existing lower pressure and temperature data.  This work is reviewed in High Temperature, High Pressure Equation of State Density Correlations and Viscosity Correlations, and in an interactive database and associated application. The preliminary databases have been released through EDX.

The primary outcome of this project was the reduction of subsurface uncertainty with new HPHT crude oil property data. Other key outcomes included:

  • Unique research capabilities were developed to measure and predict thermophysical properties of hydrocarbons at extreme conditions.
  • The modeling platform demonstrated the potential to expand the knowledge base for crude oil properties at HPHT conditions.
  • Availability of the HPHT property database and models to be used by equipment manufacturers of advanced diesel engines to design fuel delivery systems operating at HPHT conditions, which leads to reduced soot formation and improved fuel efficiency.
  • Project results are used at Michigan State University and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center for further research.

Research Products

Baled, O. H.; Koronaios, P.; Xing, D.; Miles, R.; Tapriyal, D.; Gamwo, I. K.; Newkirk, M. S.; Mallepally, R. R.; McHugh, M.; Enick, M. R. High-temperature, high-pressure viscosity of n-octane and isooctaneFuel 2016, 164, 199.

Bamgbade, A. B.; Wu, Y.; Burgess, A. W.; Tapriyal, D.; Gamwo, I.; Baled, O. H.; Enick, M. R.; McHugh, A. M. Measurements and Modeling of High-Temperature, High-Pressure Density for Binary Mixtures of Propane with N-Decane and Propane with N-EicosaneJ. Chem. Thermodynamics 2015, 84, 108-117.

Burgess, W. A.; Tapriyal, D.; Gamwo, I. K.; Wu, Y.; McHugh, M. A.; Enick, R. M. New Group-Contribution Parameters for the Calculation of PC-SAFT Parameters for Use at Pressures to 276 MPa and Temperatures to 533 KInd. Eng. Chem. Res. 2014, 53, 2520–2528.

Explore research products that are related to this project.

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*Image Source: NETL

*Image Source: NETL

High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) Environment in Ultra-Deepwater Reservoirs (up to 35,000 psi and 500°F).

Contacts

Isaac Gamwo
Principal Investigator

Kelly Rose
Offshore Portfolio Lead

David Berry
Associate Director
Energy Conversion Engineering

Roy Long
Offshore Portfolio Technical Manager
Effective Resource Development

Grant Bromhal
Senior Fellow
Geological & Environmental Systems

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