Minimum misciblility pressure (MMP) is a critical parameter in designing a miscible gas injection process. It is expected that 100% displacement efficiency on the microscopic scale can be achieved provided the injection pressure is above MMP. Two approaches are usually employed for equation of state (EoS) based MMP calculation. The slimtube simulation approach is a numerical simulation of the physical slimtube experiment, which is commonly accepted as the most reliable experimental method for MMP determination. This approach carries out slimtube simulation runs at a series of pressures and determines the MMP from the recovery-pressure curve, just as in the experiment. The global approach, which is based on the method of characteristics analysis of 1D gas injection, finds the MMP by locating the pressure where a key tie-line becomes critical. Although the global approach is faster, the slimtube approach is still a necessary complementary method especially when the injection process involves complex phase behavior caused by CO2 or heavy oils. This study addresses how to improve the computational efficiency of slimtube simulation for MMP calculation. Firstly, a robust and efficient algorithm for rigorous flash forms the basis of the whole strategy. Secondly, a tie-line distance based approximation (TDBA) method has been introduced on top of the rigorous algorithm. In the TDBA method, if a new feed composition in a grid block is close enough to a tie-line previously calculated in the same block, the previous tie-line results can be used with slight adjustment. The approximation affects the final recovery very little but greatly increases the speed. Thirdly, a higher order method can be employed to use a fewer number of grid blocks to get the same accuracy in recovery. Finally, a MMP search strategy is poroposed to reduce the number of slimtube simulations needed. In addition, it is also discussed how to parallelize slimtube simulations for modem computers with multiple CPU cores to further chop the computation time. Copyright 2012, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Proceedings of the Spe Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, 2012, p. 386-401