The U.S. Gas Flooding Experience: CO2 Injection Strategies and Impact on Ultimate Recovery


The Permian Basin in West Texas and southwestern New Mexico has seen 45 years of oil reserve growth through CO2 enhanced oil recovery (CO2 EOR). More than 60 CO2 EOR projects are currently active in the region’s limestone, sandstone and dolomite reservoirs. Water alternating gas (WAG) has been the development strategy of choice in the Permian for several technical and economic reasons.

More recently, the technology started to get implemented in the much more porous and permeable clastic depositional systems of the onshore U.S. Gulf Coast. Continued CO2 injection (CGI), as opposed to WAG, was selected as the injection strategy to develop Gulf Coast oil fields, where CO2 injection volumes are significantly larger (up to 6 times larger) than those of the Permian. We conducted a compositional simulation based study with the objective of comparing the CO2 utilization ratios (volume of CO2 injected to produce a barrel of oil) of 4 conventional and novel CO2 injection strategies: (1) continuous gas injection (CGI), (2) water alternating gas (WAG), (3) water curtain injection (WCI), and (4) WAG and WCI combination.

These injection scenarios were simulated using the GEM module from the Computer Modeling Group (CMG). GEM is an advanced general equation-of-state compositional simulator, which includes equation of state, CO2 miscible flood, CO2/brine interactions, and complex phase behavior. The simulator is set up to model three fluid phases including water, oil, and gas. Our study demonstrates how the selected field development strategy has a significant impact on the ultimate recovery of CO2-EOR projects, with GCI injection providing maximum oil recovery in absolute volume terms, but with WAG offering a more balanced technical-economical approach




德克萨斯州西部和新墨西哥州西南部的二叠纪盆地通过CO2强化采油(CO2 EOR)实现了45年的石油储量增长。目前,该地区的石灰岩、砂岩和白云石储层中有60多个二氧化碳提高采收率项目。出于技术和经济原因,水交替气(WAG)一直是二叠纪首选的开发策略。