The core flooding facilities are strategical located within the SINTEF Reservoir laboratory together with pVT facilities (ECCSEL facility NO3.7c) and support equipment for core cleaning, measurements of porosity and absolute permeability, low pressure core flooding and porous-plate measurements for drainage and imbibition.
The core flooding facilities consist of the following apparatus:
The X-ray in-situ-flooding apparatus is as compact and well-organised setup for core flooding experiments up to 700 bars of pressure and temperature of 130 °C. The setup is intended for 2 or 3-phase in-situ relative permeability measurements for CO2-systems. The setup is equipped with the latest technology in instrumentation and data acquisition, including a touch screen operated PLC and remote-control functionality.
The facility includes two HTHP multi-purpose core flooding setups that can be used for most core flooding applications. They consist of large volume heating cabinets with both flexible instrumentation and valve layout. Process-wetted materials are highly compatible with fluids and gases applied in industry, including CO2 and reservoir fluids. The cabinets accommodate simultaneous temperature control of multiple pressure cylinders, and core holder for sample lengths up to 120 cm. In addition, the setups have access to a selection of auxiliary equipment such as precision high pressure piston pumps, combined gas volume and sampling system, automated fluid sampler systems, in-line fluid analysis, such as pH, conductivity, and a UV spectrometer. Combination of the parameters above add up to a versatile workhorse for reservoir and CO2 core flooding experiments.
The facility has flexible set-ups of core flooding rigs which may easily be adapted according to specific needs related to the porous medium (sand packs, core sizes, etc.) and flooding conditions (volume rates, type of fluids, fluid phases, pressure, and temperature). The laboratory is conducting research within multiphase flow processes in porous media. This work is mostly related to CO2 storage, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes including CO2 injection for EOR as well as studies of CO2 flow and transport processes. There is a special interest in improvements of in-situ CO2 saturation measurement techniques to reveal new information from core flooding experiments. The core laboratory is working in close connection with the fluid laboratory, and most core flooding projects will need fluid analysis to be included.
The X-ray in-situ flooding apparatus is contained within a limited footprint of 2 x 3 meters. Due to low scattering and lead shielded cabinet the facility is located within the centre of our laboratory without any additional shielding measures being necessary. This gives easy access to infrastructure and auxiliary equipment such as pumps and equipment for online analysis. An X-ray source of 80 kV offers faster scanning times and better resolution compared to more conventional gamma sources. Typical scanning times is about 15 minutes for a 200 mm core sample. The setup also includes a lightweight carbon composite core holder which allows an easy and effective core mounting process. Wetted parts are all in HC-276 and 316 SS, which are highly compatible with most fluids and gases applied in industry, including CO2 and reservoir fluids. With minor modifications this also applies for hydrogen at reservoir conditions.
The Reservoir laboratory offers a wide range of services and special research-oriented experiments. Some of the more standard experiments and tests are: