Gas injection is a widely used enhanced oil recovery method, and its application is expected to increase in the foreseeable future. In order to build a method of characteristics solution to a two-phase gas injection system, we must construct the composition route from the injection gas to the initial oil where all the intersecting key tielines must be identified. Calculation of these intersecting tielines requires a series of special negative flashes, which allow not only phase fractions outside the physical interval [0,1] but also negative feed compositions. The phase compositions from one negative flash are used to recombine the feed for the next negative flash. Despite the apparent complexity due to multicomponent phase equilibrium and transport, for pure component gas injection, negative flash and elimination of components can be performed in an alternating manner. In particular, if K-values are constant, there exists a simple feature that the vapor fraction roots (beta-roots) for the RachfordRice equation for the initial oil are the roots to be found in all the negative flashes involved. This leads to a simple and well-structured algorithm for the solution with constant K-values. A special problem with pure component gas injection is that there could be two possible roots in the beta-interval of interest. But if the component to be eliminated is left with an infinitesimal amount due to the diffusion or dispersion effects, only the larger root can still give non-negative phase compositions and should thus be selected. For multicomponent gas injection with constant K-values, the vapor fraction roots in all the involved negative flashes are simply from the vapor fraction roots for the initial oil (beta-roots) and those for the injection gas (lambda-roots). By solving just two negative flashes for the initial oil and the injection gas and using proper selection sequences for these beta- and lambda-roots, we can readily determine all the intersecting tielines for constant K-values.
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2014, Vol 53, Issue 36, p. 14094-14112