In-Situ and Ex-situ Processes during Production, Transportation and Refinery of Heavy Oil

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (23 December 2023) | Viewed by 11287

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Geology and Petroleum Technologies, Kazan Federal University, 18 Kremlyovskaya St., 420008 Kazan, Russia
Interests: petroleum; upgrading; in situ combustion; catalysts, shale; thermooxidation; oxidation

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Guest Editor
Institute of Geology and Petroleum Technologies, Kazan Federal University, 18 Kremlyovskaya St., 420008 Kazan, Russia
Interests: EOR; heavy oil; aquathermolysis; catalysts; in-situ upgrading; CO2 hydrogenation; electromagnetic heating

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heavy oil and natural bitumen as a subset of unconventional hydrocarbons stand for a significant share of the world’s total oil reserves. Therefore, unconventional resources are established as an alternative sustainable energy source for the depleting conventional crude oil reserves. However, the production of such hydrocarbons is still limited mainly because of their high viscosity, low density, significant content of high-molecular-weight components and low yield of light gasoline fractions. In this regard, it is necessary to develop green, highly effective and economically feasible technologies that provide in-situ or ex-situ upgrading of unconventional oil, enhance its recovery and have easy pipeline transportation and processing.

This Special Issue focuses on the advances and emergent processes that are devoted to the production, upgrading, transportation and refinery of heavy oil and natural bitumen. In addition, it calls into question the reaction mechanisms, kinetics and thermodynamics of the various processes. It is believed that the material published in the given SI constitutes a necessary basis for improving technologies for hydrocarbon production, taking into account the latest environmental requirements and consequently reducing the carbon footprint of products.

Prof. Dr. Danis K. Nurgaliev
Dr. Firdavs A. Aliev
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • heavy oil upgrading
  • shale deposits
  • EOR
  • catalysis
  • microwave 
  • aquathermolysis
  • ultrasonic treatment
  • viscosity
  • distillation fractions
  • pipeline transportation

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 159 KiB  
Editorial
In-Situ and Ex-Situ Processes during Production, Transportation and Refinery of Heavy Oil
by Firdavs Aliev and Danis Nurgaliev
Processes 2024, 12(2), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr12020273 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Heavy oil and natural bitumen are expected to be alternatives to the depleting conventional crude oil resources for the coming decades, mainly due to their sustainability, safety and huge number of reserves worldwide [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

11 pages, 2918 KiB  
Article
Catalytic Conversion of Oil in Model and Natural Reservoir Rocks
by Ekaterina S. Okhotnikova, Ekaterina E. Barskaya, Yulia M. Ganeeva, Tatyana N. Yusupova, Aleksey V. Dengaev and Alexey V. Vakhin
Processes 2023, 11(8), 2380; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11082380 - 7 Aug 2023
Viewed by 725
Abstract
The catalytic activity of metal oxides in the processes of low- and high-temperature oxidation (LTO and HTO, respectively) of oil was studied on model systems consisting of oil-saturated quartz sand with additives of Al2O3, Cr2O3 and [...] Read more.
The catalytic activity of metal oxides in the processes of low- and high-temperature oxidation (LTO and HTO, respectively) of oil was studied on model systems consisting of oil-saturated quartz sand with additives of Al2O3, Cr2O3 and MgO using thermal analysis methods. The used additives were shown to shift the LTO and HTO processes to the low-temperature region. The catalytic activity of a natural reservoir carbonate rock without and with water was studied. This study established that at room temperature in dry carbonate rock, the oil components undergo dealkylation and polycondensation of aromatic fragments for a week. In the presence of water, the polycondensation processes are suppressed, and the cracking of resin and asphaltene occurs. The cracking reactions lead to a decrease in the content of heteroatoms in resins and asphaltenes. Full article
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12 pages, 1372 KiB  
Article
Thermochemical Upgrading of Heavy Crude Oil in Reservoir Conditions
by Temurali Kholmurodov, Oybek Mirzaev, Boudkhil Affane, Arash Tajik, Ksenia Romanova, Yuriy Galyametdinov, Aleksey Dengaev and Alexey Vakhin
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072156 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to enhance the quality of heavy oil through refinement using aquathermolysis with the simultaneous injection of steam and thermally stable nonionic surfactants (NS). To achieve this, the NS R-PPG of the nonionic type was synthesized, and the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to enhance the quality of heavy oil through refinement using aquathermolysis with the simultaneous injection of steam and thermally stable nonionic surfactants (NS). To achieve this, the NS R-PPG of the nonionic type was synthesized, and the optimal product structures were characterized using infrared (IR) methods. Furthermore, the thermal stability of the synthesized NS R-PPG was investigated in line with the requirements for surfactants used in heavy oil applications. Subsequently, the study delved into investigating the hydrothermal upgrading of heavy oil with a catalyst, involving the joint participation of steam and surfactants at a temperature of 250 °C. Additionally, we assessed the improved oil characteristics resulting from the experimental process through SARA analysis, elemental analysis, GC, and viscosity reduction evaluations. The experimental results demonstrated distinct effects concerning the presence and absence of surfactants on heavy oil. Based on these findings, we conclude that surfactants play a crucial role in dispersing asphaltene clusters, thereby facilitating the decomposition process under mild thermobaric conditions, leading to a noticeable increase in the content of light fractions. Furthermore, as per the results of the elemental analysis, surfactants contribute significantly to the desulfurization of heavy oil. Overall, the incorporation of surfactants during hydrothermal upgrading resulted in an irreversible reduction in the viscosity of heavy oil, thereby enhancing its overall quality. Full article
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16 pages, 2099 KiB  
Article
Integrated a Fused Silica Capillary Cell and In Situ Raman Spectroscopy for Determining the Solubility of CO2 in n-Decane and n-Decane + n-Hexane System
by Junliang Wang, Zhenzhen Zhang, Quanyuan Wang, Tianhong Lou, Zhiyan Pan and Mian Hu
Processes 2023, 11(4), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11041137 - 7 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
Understanding the solubility of CO2 is critical for implementing CO2-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). In this work, the solubility of CO2 in n-decane in a temperature range between 303.15 K and 353.15 K and pressures up to [...] Read more.
Understanding the solubility of CO2 is critical for implementing CO2-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). In this work, the solubility of CO2 in n-decane in a temperature range between 303.15 K and 353.15 K and pressures up to 15 MPa was measured using a fused silica capillary cell with in situ Raman spectroscopy. A semi-empirical CO2 solubility prediction model was obtained according to the experimental results. In order to improve the solubility of CO2 in n-decane, the solubility of CO2 in n-decane and co-solvent n-hexane (3% wt) mixture was also comparatively investigated. The results indicated that the solubility of CO2 in n-decane was 1.6355~64.0084 mol/kg. The data from the prediction model were in good agreement with the experimental data, and the mean relative deviation was 3.65%, indicating that the prediction model could be used to predict the solubility of CO2 in n-decane under different conditions. The solubility of CO2 in n-decane + n-hexane system ranged from 1.0127 mol/kg to 65.7286 mol/kg. It was found that, under low-pressure conditions, the addition of co-solvent n-hexane did not enhance the solubility of CO2, while it had a certain enhancement effect on the dissolution of CO2 under high-pressure conditions. As the temperature increased from 303.15 K to 353.15 K, the enhancement efficiency of the solubility of CO2 also increased from 1.34~2.05% to 8.17~9.82%, and the average enhancement efficiency increased from 1.74% to 9.00%. This study provides more CO2 solubility data for CO2-EOR. Full article
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10 pages, 1745 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Criteria for Physical Modeling of Oil Displacement by Gas Injection
by Alexey S. Sorokin, Alexander V. Bolotov, Daniyar R. Nuriev, Vadim K. Derevyanko, Ilgiz F. Minkhanov and Mikhail A. Varfolomeev
Processes 2022, 10(12), 2620; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10122620 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1345
Abstract
In this work, slim tube displacement tests for minimum miscibility pressure MMP were carried out. Based on the displacement data, the MMP was calculated by statistical regression using linear and quadratic extrapolation with threshold values of 90% and 95% oil recovery as well [...] Read more.
In this work, slim tube displacement tests for minimum miscibility pressure MMP were carried out. Based on the displacement data, the MMP was calculated by statistical regression using linear and quadratic extrapolation with threshold values of 90% and 95% oil recovery as well as the intersection of trend lines for immiscible and miscible displacement regimes. The obtained data show a significant variation in the range of MMP values depending on the calculation method. To clarify the MMP value, an analysis of displacement dynamics was carried out. The ratio of the volume flow rate of reservoir oil to the volume flow rate of the injected gas—flow rates ratio (FFR)—was used as a new parameter. The MMP value calculated from the FRR value extrapolation was determined as 37.09 MPa. According to the results obtained, the proposed methodology based on the displacement dynamics can be useful as a criterion for clarifying the MMP value in slim tube displacement experiments. Full article
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12 pages, 1774 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Kinetic and Thermodynamic Behavior of Tracers for Their Applicability in SWCTT
by Oleg V. Anikin, Alexander V. Bolotov, Alfiya R. Mukhutdinova and Mikhail A. Varfolomeev
Processes 2022, 10(11), 2395; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10112395 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1422
Abstract
Determining residual oil saturation by the single-well chemical tracer test (SWCTT) is of key importance for assessing the potential of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and developing EOR pilot projects. However, the test trials conducted since the first injections of tracer compositions until now [...] Read more.
Determining residual oil saturation by the single-well chemical tracer test (SWCTT) is of key importance for assessing the potential of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and developing EOR pilot projects. However, the test trials conducted since the first injections of tracer compositions until now have not resulted in a detailed analysis of the selection of candidates for single-well tracers and their limits of applicability in various reservoir conditions. The purpose of this study was to consider the influence of the structure on the kinetic and thermodynamic components of tracers to assess their application’s operating intervals. It is shown that the rate of single-phase and two-phase hydrolysis of the primary partitioning tracer makes it possible to predict the shut-in time by calculating when the tracer is injected at the reservoir temperature. The influence of the tracer structure during the extraction process with an increase in the hydrocarbon chain of the ester in a different range of brine salinity and temperature has been studied. As a result, this work provides a method for evaluating the thermodynamic and kinetic behavior of primary tracers to establish minimum and maximum threshold K-values at various values of residual oil saturation, temperature, and brine salinity, taking into account the optimal time of the well shut-in to carry out at least 1/2 hydrolysis of esters. Full article
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18 pages, 5504 KiB  
Article
Impact of Geomagnetic Fields on the Geochemical Evolution of Oil
by Andrey A. Ponomarev, Marat R. Gafurov, Marsel A. Kadyrov, Oscar A. Tugushev, Denis A. Drugov, Yuri V. Vaganov and Mikhail D. Zavatsky
Processes 2022, 10(11), 2376; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10112376 - 12 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1188
Abstract
Here, we reported on experimental studies related to the exposure of oil to a 50 Hz electromagnetic field (0.81 T strength) and examined the changes in the geochemical characteristics of oil: n-alkane distribution, isotopic composition (δ13C), and concentration of paramagnetic centers. [...] Read more.
Here, we reported on experimental studies related to the exposure of oil to a 50 Hz electromagnetic field (0.81 T strength) and examined the changes in the geochemical characteristics of oil: n-alkane distribution, isotopic composition (δ13C), and concentration of paramagnetic centers. We discovered that electromagnetic fields have impacts on the distribution of n-alkanes and on their individual isotopic composition, with the concentration of paramagnetic centers remaining unchanged. While discussing the results, we looked into the state-of-the-art of research on electromagnetic exposures of the bottom-hole formation zone and into natural electric and geomagnetic fields. We consequently hypothesized that natural geomagnetic fields can influence the geochemical evolution processes of oil. This hypothesis requires further studies to reveal the frequency and strength characteristics of natural geomagnetic fields. Full article
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13 pages, 3607 KiB  
Article
Utilization of Carbon Dioxide via Catalytic Hydrogenation Processes during Steam-Based Enhanced Oil Recovery
by Firdavs Aliev, Oybek Mirzaev, Temurali Kholmurodov, Olga Slavkina and Alexey Vakhin
Processes 2022, 10(11), 2306; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10112306 - 5 Nov 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been increasing since immediately after the boom of industrialization. Novel technologies are required for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, storage, and its chemical conversion into value-added products. In this study, we present a [...] Read more.
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been increasing since immediately after the boom of industrialization. Novel technologies are required for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, storage, and its chemical conversion into value-added products. In this study, we present a novel in situ CO2 utilization method via a hydrogenation process in the presence of nickel tallates during steam-based enhanced oil recovery. The light n-alkanes are the preferred products of in situ catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 due to their effective solubility, viscosity-reducing capacity, and hydrogen-donating capacity. A nickel tallate was evaluated for its carbon dioxide hydrogenation and oil-upgrading performance at 300 °C. The results showed that the content of saturated and aromatic fractions increased, while the content of heavier fragments decreased. Moreover, the relative content of normal C10–C20 alkanes doubled after the catalytic hydrogenation of CO2. Despite the noncatalytic hydrogenation of CO2, the viscosity was altered from 3309 mPa.s to 1775 mPa.s at a shear rate of 0.66 s−1. The addition of the catalyst further contributed to the reduction of the viscosity, down to 1167 mPa.s at the same shear rate. Thus, in situ catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 not only significantly reduces the concentration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere, but it also enhances the oil-recovery factor by improving the quality of the upgraded crude oil and its mobility. Full article
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13 pages, 3245 KiB  
Article
Hydrothermal In-Reservoir Upgrading of Heavy Oil in the Presence of Non-Ionic Surfactants
by Temurali Kholmurodov, Firdavs Aliev, Oybek Mirzaev, Aleksey Dengaev, Arash Tajik and Alexey Vakhin
Processes 2022, 10(11), 2176; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10112176 - 24 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
The most widely applied methods to unlock heavy oil and natural bitumen resources in the world are still based on steam injection techniques. Improving the efficiency of hydrothermal processes poses a great challenge. The co-injection of various additives is practiced to lower the [...] Read more.
The most widely applied methods to unlock heavy oil and natural bitumen resources in the world are still based on steam injection techniques. Improving the efficiency of hydrothermal processes poses a great challenge. The co-injection of various additives is practiced to lower the steam-to-oil ratio (SOR), viscosity alteration and to improve heavy oil properties. Organic solvents, non-condensable gases, air and surfactants are the preferred chemicals to be combined with steam. This study provides an investigation of the surfactant-assisted hydrothermal upgrading of heavy oil at 200 °C. The thermal stability and salt resistivity of two non-ionic surfactants (SA–3 and Biolub Green) were investigated. Moreover, the improved performance of the surfactants was established by performing an SARA analysis, elemental analysis, FT-IR spectroscopy, and EPR analysis, and by studying the viscosity reduction degree. The experimental results showed that surfactants lead to the in-depth destructive hydrogenation of the high-molecular components of heavy oil such as resins and asphaltenes. However, the content of light fractions increased. According to the results of the elemental analysis, the surfactants assist in the hydrodesulphurization of heavy oil. Overall, the physical and chemical consequences of hydrothermal upgrading in the presence of surfactants led to the irreversible viscosity reduction of heavy oil. Full article
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