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Global Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology (ISSN: 2322-2441)

Issue 14, 2013, pp. 76-81

© GJSET Publishing, 2013.
Efficiency Evaluation of Immiscible Water Alternating Gas
(IWAG) Process in One of Iranian Oil Reservoirs
Department of Petroleum Engineering ,
International Campus , University of Tehran, Kish Island
Department of Petroleum Engineering ,University of Tehran
IRAN , aminshahidy@gmail.com2 
Abstract :- It is an established fact that substantial amount of oil usually remains in a reservoir after
primary and secondary processes . There is an enormous incentive for development of a field through
suitable EOR methods aimed at recovering some portion of the remaining oil . In recent years there has
been an increasing interest in water alternating gas (WAG) processes . For the fields reviewed , a
common trend for the successful injections is an increased oil recovery in range of 5 to 10% of the oil
initially in place (OIIP). WAG injection is an oil recovery method initially aimed to improve sweep
efficiency during gas injection . In some recent applications produced hydrocarbon gas has been re-
injected in water injection wells with the aim of improving oil recovery and pressure maintenance . Oil
recovery by WAG injection has been attributed to contact of upswept zones , especially recovery of attic
or cellar oil by exploiting the segregation of gas to the top or the accumulating of water toward the
bottom. Because the residual oil after gas flooding is normally lower than the residual oil after water
flooding , and three phases zones may obtain lower remaining oil saturation , WAG injection has the
potential for increased microscopic displacement efficiency . Thus , WAG injection can lead to improved
oil recovery by combining better mobility control and contacting upswept zones , and by leading to
improved microscopic displacement. In this paper as case study in one of Iranian oil reservoirs , one
classification of WAG that is IWAG by Eclipse 100 evaluated and illustrated the importance of IWAG
cycle in oil recovery.

Key-words : WAG , IWAG , IWAG Cycle , Sweep Efficiency , Oil Initially in place (OIIP)

(Immiscible) , HWAG (Hybrid) , SWAG

(Simultaneous) and SSWAG (Selective) .
The water alternating gas (WAG) process is an
enhanced oil recovery method defined as cyclic
method of injecting alternating cycles of gas
followed by water and repeating this process
several cycles desired by the operator(Figure 1) . During Miscible WAG process (MWAG) , the
A comprehensive classification of the WAG injected gas is miscible with the reservoir oil in
process was suggested by many authors , which the first contact or with time as displacement
includes : MWAG (Miscible) , IWAG continues under the prevailing conditions .
Miscibility of gas provides an additional

Global Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology (ISSN: 2322-2441)
Issue 14, 2013, pp. 76-81
© GJSET Publishing, 2013.
advantage of decreasing oil viscosity , thereby permeability , injection pattern , cycling time ,
resulting in mobilization of trapped oil during injection/production pressure and rate , three
later production stages . Miscible WAG occurs phase relative permeability effects and flow
when the reservoir is above the minimum dispersion and finally time to initiate the WAG .
miscibility pressure .
1.2.1 Fluid Properties and Rock
Immiscible WAG process (IWAG) , the injected
gas is not miscible with the reservoir oil and it
Fluid Interaction
displaces the oil while maintaining its gaseous The Property of a fluid is directly related to the
phase , with a front between two phases . viscosity of crude oil within the reservoir . These
Immiscible WAG occurs when the reservoir is properties are determined by standardized
below the minimum miscible pressure . laboratory procedures . Variations in rock-fluid
interaction with changing conditions in a
Hybrid WAG consists in injecting previously a
reservoir result in wettability variations , which
large slug of gas in to the reservoir followed by
in turn affect flow parameters such as capillary
a number of small slugs of water and gas .
pressure and relative permeability .
In SWAG injection technique , at the same time
water and gas are injected in the reservoir 1.2.2 Reservoir Heterogeneity and
through a single injection well . However , when Stratification
the water and gas are mixed at the surface and
then injected in to the reservoir , the process is The degree of interconnection between the pores
referred as SWAG injection , but when the gas of an oil reservoir , are usually not evenly
and water are pumped separately using a dual distributed due to non-uniformity of pore size ,
completion injector without mix the two phases which gives rise to disordered and complex
on the surface , the process is referred as reservoir fluid flow behavior . The effects of
selective simultaneously water alternating gas stratification and heterogeneity can be distinct in
(SSWAG) . different reservoirs , affecting various
parameters such as capillary pressure , relative
permeability and mobility ratio . The presence of
different permeability’s and heterogeneity in the
reservoir , affects the displacement of the native
fluids by the injected fluids . However , high
recoveries result from low vertical to horizontal
permeability ratio because the gravity
segregation do not dominate the fluid flow
behavior .

1.2.3 Availability and Composition

Fig.1 Schematic of WAG Process of Injection Gas
The availability of gas in WAG process design
1.2 Factors Influencing WAG affects greatly the economic viable choice .
Process Design Usually , the gas produced with oil from a
reservoir is separated and re-injected during the
The main design issues for WAG injection WAG process , promoting less expense .
techniques are fluid properties , rock-fluid
interaction , availability and composition of Gas composition , in particular , is crucial in the
injection gas , WAG ratio , heterogeneous design WAG process , a decision parameter that

Global Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology (ISSN: 2322-2441)
Issue 14, 2013, pp. 76-81
© GJSET Publishing, 2013.
determines whether the process will be miscible 1.2.6 Injection / Production
or immiscible under the prevailing conditions of
pressure and temperature within the oil
Pressure and Rates
reservoir. Producer bottom hole pressure is one of the most
important factors that affect the production
1.2.4 WAG Ratio performance . To study the effect of the
producer bottom hole pressure on oil recovery ,
In WAG process , gas and water slugs are
earlier simulation studies made by WU(2004) on
alternately injected in a fixed ratio called the
heterogeneous reservoir showed that the
WAG ratio . WAG ratio can be also defined as
producer bottom hole pressure should be a little
the ratio of the volume of water injected within
less than the bubble point pressure , and at this
the reservoir compared to the volume of injected
pressure , the oil recovery is maximum . For
gas . WAG ratio represents , one important
instance , if the producer bottom hole pressure is
parameters to optimize during WAG process .
much lower than the bubble point pressure , the
WAG ratio plays an important role in obtaining
gas breakthrough occurs very early , which
the optimum value of the recovery factor
leads to oil production to decline .
corresponding to an optimal value of the WAG
ratio . This optimal WAG ratio is reservoir
dependent because the performance of any
1.2.7 WAG cycle Time
WAG scheme depends strongly on the Other variable that can be considered in
distribution of permeability as well as factors optimizing WAG scheme include the timing of
that determine the impact of gravity segregation. switch from gas to water . Furthermore , the
Studies showed that the WAG ratio strongly sequencing of gas , water and WAG injection
depends on reservoir’s wettability and across a large field can offer significant
availability of the gas to be injected . opportunities for increase gas storage .
1.2.5 Injection Pattern 1.2.8 Time to Initiate WAG Process
The choice of the wells spacing , in WAG One important factor to consider in designing
process design , is very important because of the the WAG process is when to initiate the WAG
fact that the sweep efficiency of the oil is process . According with WU(2004) studies
strongly affected by distance between the made by using two approaches include starting
injector and the producer well . In many cases , a WAG process at the very beginning of the
five-spot injection pattern is very popular , as it reservoir development to maintain average
can provide better control on frontal reservoir pressure and achieve high oil recovery.
displacement . However , the results of recent
study made by Mohammad et al (2010) in an 2. Introducing the Reservoir
Iranian fractured reservoir shows that a 4-Spot
pattern (4 producers with 2 injectors ) gives This reservoir is located in southwestern of
higher recovery than a 5-Spot pattern (6 Iran . Table 1 , 2 and 3 illustrate general data ,
producers with 2 injectors) . It means that the rock and fluid properties of the reservoir
best injection patterns have to be chosen after respectively , reservoir temperature is 150 .
simulation studies analysis , because it various
from reservoir to reservoir . Table 1 : General Data of the Reservoir

Phases Gas , Oil , Water

Start of Production 1 Oct 1999
Datum Depth(ft) 9000
Gas Oil Contact(ft) 9000

Global Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology (ISSN: 2322-2441)
Issue 14, 2013, pp. 76-81
© GJSET Publishing, 2013.
Water Oil Contact(ft) 10000 After passing a long time of first use of IWAG ,
Initial Pressure (Psia) 4100 effects of various parameters are not clear , these
Start of Injection 1 Nov 1999 uncertain parameters must be investigated . In
Long of Simulation 5 years this study the effect of IWAG cycle period is
investigated .

Table 2 : Rock Properties 5. IWAG Cycle Period

Permeability in X Max : 3.39 5 sensitivity analysis will done as below :
Direction(md) Min : 0.71
Permeability in Z Max : 0.33  IWAG cycle period : 1 month water – 1
Direction(md) Min : 0.07 month gas
Porosity Max : 0.08  IWAG cycle period : 6 month water – 1
Min : 0.03 month gas
 IWAG cycle period : 4 month water – 4
month gas
Table 3 : Fluid Properties at Pressure 4100 Psia  WAG cycle period : 1 month water – 6
month gas
Water Compressibility 2.1E-6  IWAG cycle period : 6 month water – 6
Water Viscosity(Cp) 0.9 month gas
Gas Viscosity(Cp) 0.02
Oil Viscosity(Cp) 0.4
Gas Density(lb/ft3) 16.5
Oil Density(lb/ft3) 42.96
API 32
Initial Gas Saturation 0.011
Initial Oil Saturation 0.753

3. Required Data for Modeling

Based on Geological data , reservoir static data Fig.3 Wells Placement , 5-Spot Pattern
including porosity , absolute permeability and
NTG were calculated for all grid blocks using
geological model of reservoir and up scaling
techniques and were used as input data to
simulator. Figure 2 shows the selected model .

Fig.2 Three dimension view of selected model

4. Sensitivity Analysis on IWAG

Fig.4 IWAG Cycle Period : 1:1

Global Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology (ISSN: 2322-2441)
Issue 14, 2013, pp. 76-81
© GJSET Publishing, 2013.

Table 4: Gas and Water Injection Rate at 1:1 Table 6 : Gas and Water Injection Rate at 4:4
Gas Inj Rate 8000 Mscf/D
Gas Inj Rate 8000 Mscf/D
Water Inj Rate 1600 STB/D
Water Inj Rate 1600 STB/D

Fig.7 IWAG Cycle Period : 1:6

Fig.5 IWAG Cycle Period : 6:1 Table 7 : Gas and Water Injection Rate at 1:6

Gas Inj Rate 8000 Mscf/D

Table 5: Gas and Water Injection Rate at 6:1 Water Inj Rate 1600 STB/D

Gas Inj Rate 8000 Mscf/D

Water Inj Rate 1600 STB/D

Fig.8 IWAG Cycle Period : 6:6

Table 8 : Gas and Water Injection Rate at 6:6

Fig.6 IWAG Cycle Period : 4:4
Gas Inj Rate 8000 Mscf/D
Water Inj Rate 1600 STB/D

Global Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology (ISSN: 2322-2441)
Issue 14, 2013, pp. 76-81
© GJSET Publishing, 2013.
[3]. Helena Lucinda Morais , “Application
of WAG and SWAG Injection
6. Comparison Between IWAG Techniques in Norne E-Segment” ,
Cycle Periods Norwegian University of Science and
Technology , October 2012 .
[4]. J.P.Srivastava , Laxminarayan Mahli ,
“WAG Injection a Novel EOR
Technique for Mature oil light fields “ ,
9th Biennial International Conference &
Exposition on Petroleum Geophysics ,
Nov 2012 .
[5]. Ghomin , Y ., Pope A.G.& Sephernoori
K. “ Hysteresis and Field Scale
Optimization of WAG Injection “ ,
Presentation at the Improved Oil
Fig.9 Oil Production Total (STB) at Different Recovery Symposium held in Tulsa ,
IWAG Cycle Period Oklahoma , USA , 19-23 Apr 2008.
[6]. Safdarian M. , “Parametric Study of
7.Conclusion WAG Process its Performance over the
Synthetic Fractured Model “ , Master of
According to Figure 9 , IWAG cycle period 4:4 Science Thesis , Petroleum University
gives the most oil production total and this of Technology , Oct 2009 .
sensitivity analysis shows to get the best result
from IWAG scenario needs to optimize the
IWAG cycle which is different in each reservoir.
Some parameters that affect in IWAG cycle are :
viscosity crude oil , wettability reservoir rock ,
initial gas and water saturation , water and gas
injection rate .

References :
Miscible WAG Simulation Using
Streamline ,European Conference on the
Mathematics of Oil Recovery _ Freiberg
, Germany, 3-6 September 2002.
[2]. Sedigheh Mahdavi ,Mahdi Bahraini,
Simulation Study of WAG and SWAG
Injection Scenarios in One of Iranian Oil
Fields, International Journal of scientific
& Engineering Research , Volume 4,
Issue 4,May 2010 .