Evaluation of the EOR potential in shale oil reservoirs by cyclic gas injection

Tao Wan, James J. Sheng, M. Y. Soliman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The current available technique to produce shale oil is through primary depletion using horizontal wells with multiple transverse fractures. The oil recovery factor is only a few percent. There is a big prize to be claimed in terms of enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Well productivity in shale oil and gas reservoirs comes from the horizontal wells with transverse fractures that connect natural fracture complexity. The natural fracture complexity provides a network for injected fluids to contact matrix material. However, in such a system, flooding may not sufficiently enhance oil recovery because the injected fluids may break through to production wells via the fracture network. A cyclic injection scheme is one way to solve this problem. In this paper, we propose to cyclic gas injection for pressure maintenance as well as achieving a certain degree of miscibility with oil if we control the pressure above the minimum miscibility pressure (MMP). This work mainly investigates the effects that planar propped hydraulic fractures have on the well primary production and secondary production performance. We used simulation approach to evaluate the EOR potential from cyclic gas injection. Our simulation results indicate that total oil recovery can be increased up to 29% by cyclic gas injection in a hydraulically fractured shale reservoir, compared with the initial 6.5% recovery from the primary depletion. If a high pressure is used to reach fully miscibility and more cycles are employed, more than 40% oil recovery can be achieved. In this paper, we have evaluated the oil recovery potentials of different scenarios, from primary depletion, immiscible gas injection, to gas injection with different degrees of miscibility. Different EOR mechanisms are discussed and quantified. The results of this paper will bring a new prospect to enhance oil recovery in shale oil reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2013
EventSPWLA 54th Annual Logging Symposium 2013 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2013Jun 26 2013


ConferenceSPWLA 54th Annual Logging Symposium 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


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