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Revista ION

versión impresa ISSN 0120-100Xversión On-line ISSN 2145-8480


SALAS-CHIA, Luis M. et al. Methodology for the numerical simulation of catalytic agent addition in a steam injection process. Rev. ion [online]. 2022, vol.35, n.1, pp.17-32.  Epub 03-Jun-2022. ISSN 0120-100X.

Oil reserves today are largely composed of heavy and extra-heavy oils, of which small quantities are obtained in primary production. In this type of reservoirs, the application of thermal recovery methods is an important stage in the field development and exploitation program. Steam injection is one of these methods used with the main objective of reducing the viscosity of the crude oil. In the literature there is experimental research which compiles evidence of an interaction between steam and oil in the reservoir, allowing the occurrence of chemical reactions in a process called aquathermolysis. This transformation is a chemical result that occurs at temperatures between 200 and 325 °C typical of steam injection. The addition of the catalyst to the process makes it possible to establish a scenario where the necessary activation energy is reduced, generating permanent changes in the properties of the crude oil, even if the heat supplied has been dispersed. The representation of this phenomenon by means of numerical reservoir simulation is a challenge, since the reactions that govern the process of physicochemical changes in the crude oil are influenced by external factors that cannot be directly represented by commercial simulators. Thus, the present work focused on the analysis of the research found in the literature on the representation of physicochemical phenomena, with which a methodology was generated to replicate the effects through numerical simulation.

Palabras clave : Aquathermolysis; Numerical simulation; Thermal recovery; Catalysis.

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