In situ carbon dioxide generation for improved recovery: Part II. Concentrated Urea solutions

Shuoshi Wang, Qingwang Yuan, Mohannad Kadhum, Changlong Chen, Na Yuan, Bor Jier Shiau, Jeffrey H. Harwell

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


While injection of CO2 has great potential for increasing oil production, this potential is limited by site conditions and operational constraints such as lack of proper infrastructure, limited cheap CO2 sources, viscous fingering, gravity override at the targeted zones, and so forth. To mitigate some of these common limitations, we explore alternative methodologies which can successfully deliver CO2 through gas generation in situ, with superior IOR performance, while offering reasonable chemical cost. While dissolved easily in reservoir brine, urea is thermally hydrolyzed to CO2 and NH3 after equilibration under reservoir conditions. Therefore, given its exceptional compatibility with reservoir fluids, its CO2 producing capacity and reasonable cost benefit, urea appears to be a promising candidate for delivering CO2 to increase oil recovery. The in-situ gas generation requires single chemical slug, which can minimize the complexity of the injection system. One-dimensional sand pack tests and core flooding experiments were operated at pre-set conditions: different API gravity oils were used, varying from 27 to 57.3. In addition, the reaction rates of the urea hydrolysis and urea solution PVT property were tested separately under reservoir conditions. Most importantly, results of injecting urea solution (as low as 10 % solution) showed superior tertiary recovery performance (as high as 37.97%) are realized as compared to the most recent efforts at our group (29.5%) as well as similar in situ CO2 generation EOR (2.4% to 18.8%) approaches proposed by others. The economic feasibility and operational advantages of this newly developed method were demonstrated in this work. In brief, results of this work served further as a proof of concept for designing in situ CO2 generation formulations for tertiary oil recovery at both onshore and offshore fields under proper conditions.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2018
EventSPE Improved Oil Recovery Conference 2018 - Tulsa, United States
Duration: Apr 14 2018Apr 18 2018


ConferenceSPE Improved Oil Recovery Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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