Analytical solutions for free-hydrocarbon recovery using skimmer and dual-pump wells

A. B. Obigbesan, R. T. Johns, L. W. Lake, L. Bermudez, M. R. Hassan, R. J. Charbeneau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Accidental release of petroleum hydrocarbons to the subsurface may occur through spills around refineries, leaking pipelines, storage tanks or other sources. If the spill is large, the hydrocarbon liquids may eventually reach a water table and spread laterally in a pancake-like lens. Hydrocarbons in the aquifer that exist as a separate phase are termed free product or light nonaqueous phase liquids (LNAPL). This paper presents new analytical solutions for the effective design of long-term free-product recovery from aquifers with skimmer-, single- and dual-pump wells. The solutions are derived for steady-state flow based on the assumption of vertical equilibrium, and include the effect of coning of LNAPL, air, and water on flow. The results show how to estimate the maximum rate of inflow of LNAPL for skimmer wells, i.e. wells in which LNAPL is recovered with little or no water production. The paper also shows how to calculate the increase in LNAPL recovery when water is pumped by single or dual-pump wells. A simple equation is given that can be used to adjust the water rate to avoid smearing of the LNAPL below the water table.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE/EPA/DOE Exploration and Production Environmental Conference 2001, EPEC 2001
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781555639327
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001
EventSPE/EPA/DOE Exploration and Production Environmental Conference 2001, EPEC 2001 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: Feb 26 2001Feb 28 2001

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE/EPA/DOE Exploration and Production Environmental Conference 2001, EPEC 2001

Other

OtherSPE/EPA/DOE Exploration and Production Environmental Conference 2001, EPEC 2001
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio
Period2/26/012/28/01

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy(all)

Cite this

Obigbesan, A. B., Johns, R. T., Lake, L. W., Bermudez, L., Hassan, M. R., & Charbeneau, R. J. (2001). Analytical solutions for free-hydrocarbon recovery using skimmer and dual-pump wells. In Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE/EPA/DOE Exploration and Production Environmental Conference 2001, EPEC 2001 (Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE/EPA/DOE Exploration and Production Environmental Conference 2001, EPEC 2001). Society of Petroleum Engineers.