An advanced numerical model for the in-situ combustion process is developed and studied in detail. The model is based on further extension and modification of the virtual kinetic cell (VKC) and virtual combustion tube (VCT) developed by Kristensen et al. (2007) and Kristensen (2008). Moreover, the model is based on SARA representation of a petroleum mixture (saturates–aromatics–resins–asphaltenes), which may react differently with oxygen and produce other components (for example, light oils and coke). In total, the model contains 14 components, which may undergo 15 chemical reactions. The set of reactions in the original model of M.R. Kristensen has been modified in order to account for secondary combustion of the light oil fraction. The results of the model implementation are applied to the four heavy oil systems and qualitatively compared to the results of previous experimental studies. A new parameter, the critical ignition saturation, is introduced, in order to describe the easiness of oil ignition. Its dependence on the different parameters of the oil mixture and injection gas is studied. The conclusions on the processes governing the ignition of oil in the presence of water are made. A parameter which affects most the possibility of ignition is the activation energy of the light fraction of the oil.
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2013, Vol 106, p. 46-61
in-situ combustion; numerical model; heavy oil; multicomponent mixture; oxidation reactions