Screening of spontaneous ignition feasibility during air injection EOR process based on thermal experiments

Siyuan Huang, James J. Sheng, Qi Jiang, Jiali Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The feasibility of spontaneous ignition is extremely important to the success of AIP (air injection process) projects. However, no laboratory experiments were reported on the detection of crude oil spontaneous ignition during AIP. The initial intention of the thermal experiments is to screen candidate oil reservoirs for the application of AIP in a faster and less expensive way than combustion tube tests. However, instead of performing a feasibility study, most of the research only employed thermal experiments as a tool to obtain kinetic data and to characterize the thermal-oxidative behavior for different crude oil samples. The question of how to use the thermal experiments to determine the feasibility of spontaneous ignition has not been answered yet. This study proposes a practical method to investigate the spontaneous ignition feasibility during AIP, which directly relates the oil reactivity and reservoir properties. An example of the application of this method was presented in this paper, where a mixture of a light oil and sand was tested by the TGA and DSC to obtain the kinetic data and net heat. The obtained parameters were then used to evaluate the feasibility of spontaneous ignition. The results showed that the tested oil and sand mixture cannot lead to spontaneous ignition due to crude oil's insufficient reactivity. Furthermore, the typical crude oil kinetic data and reservoir conditions were used to investigate the screening criteria for spontaneous ignition. The results indicated that the crude oil's activation energy and frequency factor need to be less than 60 kJ/mole and higher than 2 s−1, respectively, in order to satisfy the need of spontaneous ignition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3687
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 26 2019


  • Air injection
  • Crude oil
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Spontaneous ignition


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