Asphaltene deposition during enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes is one of the most problematic challenges in the petroleum industry, potentially resulting in flow blockage. Our understanding of the deposition mechanism with emphasis on the rate of the asphaltene deposition is still in its infancy and must be developed through a range of experiments and modelling studies. This study aims to investigate the rate of asphaltene deposition through a visual study under different gas injection scenarios. To visualise the asphaltene deposition, a high-pressure setup was designed and constructed, which enables us to record high-quality images of the deposition process over time. Present research compares the effects of nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) on the rate of asphaltene deposition at different pressures. The experimental results in the absence of gas injection revealed that the rate of asphaltene deposition increases at higher pressures. The results showed that the rate of asphaltene deposition in the case of CO2 injection is 1.2 times faster than CH4 injection at 100 bar pressure. However, N2 injection has less effect on the deposition rate. Finally, it has been concluded that the injection of CO2 leads to more asphaltene deposition in comparison with CH4 and N2. Moreover, the experimental results confirmed that gas injection affects the mechanism of asphaltene flocculation and leads to the formation of bigger flocculated asphaltene particles. The findings of this study can help for a better understanding of the mechanism of the asphaltene deposition during different gas-EOR processes.
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- Asphaltene deposition rate
- CO injection
- Enhanced oil recovery
- Gas injection