Estimation of oil production rates in reservoirs exposed to focused vibrational energy

Chanseok Jeong, Loukas F. Kallivokas, Chun Huh, Larry W. Lake

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Elastic wave-based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is being investigated as a potential EOR method, since strong wave motions within an oil reservoir - induced by earthquakes or artificially generated vibrations - have been reported to improve the production rate of remaining oil from existing oil fields. To date, there are few theoretical studies on estimating how much bypassed oil within an oil reservoir could be mobilized by such vibrational stimulation. To fill this gap, this paper presents a numerical method to estimate the extent to which the bypassed oil is mobilized from low to high permeability reservoir areas, within a heterogeneous reservoir, via wave-induced cross-flow oscillation at the interface between the two reservoir permeability areas. This work uses the finite element method to numerically obtain the pore fluid wave motion within a one-dimensional fluid-saturated porous permeable elastic solid medium embedded in a non-permeable elastic semi-infinite solid. To estimate the net volume of mobilized oil from the low to the high permeability areas, a fluid flow hysteresis hypothesis is adopted to describe the behavior at the interface between the two areas. Accordingly, the fluid that is moving from the low to the high permeability areas is assumed to transport a greater volume of oil than the fluid moving in the opposite direction. The numerical experiments were conducted by using a prototype heterogeneous oil reservoir model, subjected to ground surface dynamic loading operating at low frequencies (1 to 20 Hz). The numerical results suggest that a substantial amount of oil could be mobilized via the elastic wave stimulation. It is also observed that certain excitation frequencies are more effective than others in mobilizing the remaining oil. We remark that these amplification frequencies depend on the formation's elastic properties. The numerical simulations show that wave-based mobilization of bypassed oil in a heterogeneous oil reservoir is feasible, especially when combined with another EOR method, such as wettability alteration by low-concentration surfactant injection. The extension of this research into a more realistic three-dimensional reservoir model would help determine the optimal locations and frequencies of wave sources.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - 19th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, IOR 2014
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781632663863
StatePublished - 2014
Event19th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, IOR 2014 - Tulsa, OK, United States
Duration: Apr 12 2014Apr 16 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - SPE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery


Conference19th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, IOR 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTulsa, OK


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimation of oil production rates in reservoirs exposed to focused vibrational energy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this