Modeling and remediation of reservoir souring
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Reservoir souring refers to the increase in the concentration of hydrogen sulfide in production fluids during waterflooding. Besides health and safety issues, H₂S content reduces the value of the produced hydrocarbon. Nitrate injection is an effective method to prevent the formation of H₂S. Although the effectiveness of nitrate injection has been proven in laboratory and field applications and biology is well-understood, modeling aspect is still in its early stages. This work describes the modeling and simulation of biological reactions associated with reservoir souring and nitrate injection for souring remediation. The model is implemented in a general purpose adaptive reservoir simulator (GPAS). We also developed a physical dispersion model in GPAS to study the effect of dispersion on reservoir souring. The basic mechanism in the biologically mediated generation of H₂S is the reaction between sulfate and organic compounds in the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Several mechanisms describe the effect of nitrate injection on reservoir souring. We developed mathematical models for biological reactions to simulate each mechanism. For every biological reaction, we solve a set of ordinary differential equations along with differential equations for the transport of chemical and biological species. Souring reactions occur in the areas of the reservoir where all of the required chemical and biological species are available. Therefore, dispersion affects the extent of reservoir souring as transport of aqueous phase components and the formation of mixing zones depends on dispersive characteristics of porous media. We successfully simulated laboratory experiments in batch reactors and sand-packed column reactors to verify our model development. The results from simulation of laboratory experiments are used to find the input parameters for field-scale simulations. We also examined the effect of dispersion on reservoir souring for different compositions of injection and formation water. Dispersion effects are significant when injection water does not contain sufficient organic compounds and reactions occur in the mixing zone between injection water and formation water. With a comprehensive biological model and robust and accurate flow simulation capabilities, GPAS can predict the onset of reservoir souring and the effectiveness of nitrate injection and facilitate the design of the process.