Application of Vapor Extraction (VAPEX) Process on Carbonate Reservoirs

KÖK M. V., Yildirim Y., AKIN S.

ENERGY SOURCES PART A-RECOVERY UTILIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS, vol.31, no.5, pp.377-386, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The vapor extraction process, or VAPEX has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years as a new method of heavy oil or bitumen recovery. The VAPEX (vapor extraction) can be visualized as an energy efficient recovery process for unlocking the potential of high viscosity resources trapped in bituminous and heavy oil reservoirs. In this research, a total of 20 VAPEX experiments were performed with Hele-Shaw cell using three different Turkish crude oils. Two different VAPEX solvents (propane and butane) were used with three different injection rates (20, 40, and 80 mL/min). Garzan, Raman, and Bat Raman crude oils were used as light, medium, and heavy oil. All experiments were recorded by normal video camera in order to also analyze visually. For both VAPEX solvents, oil production rates increased with injection rates for all crude oils. Instantaneous asphaltene rate for Garzan oil showed fluctuated performance with propane solvent. Butane showed an almost constant degree of asphaltene precipitation. Instantaneous asphaltene rate for Raman and Bat Raman oils gave straight-line results with the injection rate of 20 mL/min for both solvents. For asphaltene precipitation, propane gave better results than butane in almost all injection rates for Garzan and Raman oil. In the experiments with Bat Raman oil, butane made better upgrading than propane with the injection rate 80 mL/min. With the other two rates, both solvents showed almost the same performance.