Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32451
Gas Injection Transport Mechanism for Shale Oil Recovery

Authors: Chinedu Ejike


The United States is now energy self-sufficient due to the production of shale oil reserves. With more than half of it being tapped daily in the United States, these unconventional reserves are massive and provide immense potential for future energy demands. Drilling horizontal wells and fracking are the primary methods for developing these reserves. Regrettably, recovery efficiency is rarely greater than 10%. Gas injection enhanced oil recovery offers a significant benefit in optimizing recovery of shale oil. This could be either through huff and puff, gas flooding, and cyclic gas injection. Methane, nitrogen, and carbon (IV) oxide, among other high-pressure gases, can be injected. Operators use Darcy's law to assess a reservoir's productive capacity, but they are unaware that the law may not apply to shale oil reserves. This is due to the fact that, unlike pressure differences alone, diffusion, concentration, and gas selection all play a role in the flow of gas injected into the wellbore. The reservoir drainage and oil sweep efficiency rates are determined by the transport method. This research evaluates the parameters that influence gas injection transport mechanism. Understanding the process could accelerate recovery by two to three times.

Keywords: enhanced oil recovery, gas injection, shale oil, transport mechanism, unconventional reservoir

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 409


[1] Fengshuang Du and Bahareh Nojabaei. 2019. A Review of Gas Injection in Shale Reservoirs: Enhanced Oil/Gas Recovery Approaches and Greenhouse Gas Control. Energies, 12, 2355. doi:10.3390/en12122355
[2] Myra P. Saefong. 2020. Shale Oil Production Dropped During the Pandemic. It May Take Years to Recover. Barrons.
[3] Clark, A., 2009. Determination of recovery factor in the bakken formation, mountrail county, ND. In: Paper SPE 133719 Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 4e7 October, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
[4] Schlumberger. Oilfield Glossary. Available online: (accessed on 28th October, 2020)
[5] Bernard et al. 1998. Field Case: Cyclic Gas Recovery for Light Oil-Using Carbondioxide/Nitrogen/Natural Gas. Paper SPE 49169 Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in New Orleans, Louisana, 27th – 30th September.
[6] Yu, Y., & Sheng, J. J. (2015, July 20). An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Pressure Depletion Rate on Oil Recovery from Shale Cores by Cyclic N2 Injection. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference. doi:10.15530/URTEC-2015-2144010
[7] Yu, Y.; Li, L.; Sheng, J.J. 2017. A comparative experimental study of gas injection in shale plugs by flooding and hu_-n-pu_ processes. J. Nat. Gas Sci. Eng. 38, 195–202.
[8] Gamadi, T. D., Sheng, J. J., Soliman, M. Y. et al. 2014. An Experimental Study of Cyclic CO2 Injection to Improve Shale Oil Recovery. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 12–16 April. SPE-169142-MS.
[9] Hawthorne, S. B., Gorecki, C. D. Sorensen, J. A. et al. 2013. Hydrocarbon Mobilization Mechanisms From Upper, Middle, and Lower Bakken Reservoir Rocks Exposed to CO2. Presented at the SPE Unconventional Resources Conference Canada, Calgary, 5–7 November. SPE-167200-MS.
[10] Wan, T., Yu, Y., and Sheng, J. J. 2015. Experimental and Numerical Study of the EOR Potential in Liquid-Rich Shales by Cyclic Gas Injection. Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources 12: 56–67.
[11] Ferno, M. A, Hauge, L. P., and Rognmo, A. U. et al. 2015. Flow Visualization of CO2 in Tight Shale Formations at Reservoir Conditions. Geophysical Research Letters 42 (42): 7414 -7419.
[12] Raghavan, R. and Chen, C. 2013. Fractional Diffusion in Rocks Produced by Horizontal Wells With Multiple, Transverse Hydraulic Fractures of Finite Conductivity. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 109: 133 143.
[13] Dejam, M., Hassanzadeh, H. and Chen, Z. 2017. Pre-Darcy Flow in Porous Media. Water Resources Research 53 (53): 8187 -8210.
[14] Micheal Cronin et al. 2018. Diffusion-Dominated Proxy Model for Solvent Injection in Ultratight Oil Reservoir. Presented at the SPE Oil Recovery Conference, Tulsa, 14th – 18th April 2018.
[15] Garmeh G. et al. 2010. Upscaling of miscible floods in heterogenous reservoirs considering reservoir mixing. SPE RESERV. Eval. Eng. 13. 747 – 763.
[16] Afshari S. et al. 2016. Longitudinal Dispersion Coefficient Calculation during Miscible Flow in Heterogeneous Porous Media Using Pre Scale Stimulation. In: International Symposium of the Society of Core Analyst. Colorado. USA
[17] Taheri S. et al. 2013. Prediction of Effective Diffusion and Dispersion Coefficient, Considering Different Flow and Heterogeneity Properties of Porous Media. In: 2013 SPE Heavy Oil Conference – Canada. Society of Petroleum Engineers, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
[18] Qingwang Yuan et al. 2017. Effects of Concentration-Dependent Diffusion on Mass Transfer and Frontal Instability in Solvent-Based Processes. Presented at SPE Canada Heavy Oil Technical Conference held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 15th – 16th February.
[19] Gamadi et al. 2013. An Experimental Study of Cyclic Gas Injection to Improve Shale Oil Recovery. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 30th – 2nd October. SPE-166334-MS.
[20] Li et al. 2015. Experimental and Numerical Upscale study of Cyclic Methane Injection to Enhanced Oil Recovery. Presented at AIChE Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, 8th – 13th November. AIChE-425710-MS
[21] Lei Li et al. 2017. Gas selection for Huff-n-Puff EOR in shale Oil Reservoirs Based Upon Experimental and Numerical Study. Presented at the SPE Unconventional Resources Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. SPE-185066-MS