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Experimental results on heavy-oil/CO2 systems with regard to phase behavior, PVT characteristics, dynamic extraction, and recovery performance are used to evaluate the effectiveness of CO2 as a heavy-oil mobilizing additive.

Under preselected pressure and temperature conditions, 360 SCF of CO2 were found to dissolve in one barrel of the investigated 10° API heavy oil. The resulting swelling factor was 1.12 and the oil viscosity was reduced by a factor of 100. In flood experiments, recovery rates on the order of 5-20% OOIP were achieved.

In general, up to 40 MMSCF of CO2 per day are needed for a field project. This quantity can be obtained from natural sources or from industrial processes. CO2 from natural sources is currently the cheapest. Extraction of CO2 from industrial process gases can be done by physical or chemical methods. Among the chemical methods, the monoethanol (MEA) and the ammonia (NH 3 ) processes are the cheapest.

A CO2 -steam injection process for heavy-oil recovery requires 200-500 SCF of CO2 per barrel of steam (water equivalent). The CO2 can be delivered to the field at 1-2/MSCF. For an added oil recovery factor of 5-10% OOIP, costs of CO2 may range between $1 and $8 per barrel of incremental oil. The economy and the specific demand on CO2 should be calculated for each individual field project.

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