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Alkaline/Surfactant/Polymer Flood: From the Laboratory to the Field
- Werner M. Stoll (Shell Technology Oman) | Hamad al Shureqi (Shell Technology Oman) | Jose Finol (Shell Technology Oman) | Said A.A. Al-Harthy (Petroleum Development Oman) | Stella Nneamaka Oyemade (Petroleum Development Oman) | Alexander de Kruijf (Petroleum Development Oman) | Johan van Wunnik (Petroleum Development Oman) | Fred Arkesteijn (Shell International E&P) | Ron Bouwmeester (Shell International E&P) | M.J. Faber (Shell International E&P)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- December 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 702 - 712
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.4.6 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 6.4 Primary and Enhanced Recovery Processes
- Polymer, Alkali, Surfactant
- 16 in the last 30 days
- 1,974 since 2007
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After two decades of relative calm, chemical enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) technologies are currently revitalized globally. Techniques such as alkaline/surfactant/polymer (ASP) flooding, originally developed by Shell, have the potential to recover significant fractions of remaining oil at a CO2 footprint that is low compared with, for example, thermal EOR, and they do not depend on a valuable miscible agent such as hydrocarbon gas. On the other hand, chemical EOR technologies typically require large quantities of chemical products such as surfactants and polymers, which must be transported to, and handled safely in, the field.
Despite rising industry interest in chemical EOR, until today only polymer flooding has been applied on a significant scale, whereas applications of surfactant/polymer or alkaline ASP flooding were limited to multiwell pilots or to small field scale. Next to the oil-price fluctuations of the past two decades, technical reasons that discouraged the application of chemical EOR are excessive formation of carbonate or silica scale and formation of strong emulsions in the production facilities.
Having identified significant target-oil volumes for ASP flooding, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), supported by Shell Technology Oman, carried out a sequence of single-well pilots in three fields, sandstone and carbonate, to assess the flooding potential of tailor-made chemical formulations under real subsurface conditions, and to quantify the benefits of full-field ASP developments.
This paper discusses the extensive design process that was followed. Starting from a description of the optimization of chemical phase behavior in test-tube and coreflood experiments, we elaborate how the key chemical and flow properties of an ASP flood are captured to calibrate a comprehensive reservoir-simulation model. Using this model, we evaluate PDO's single-well pilots and demonstrate how these results are used to design a pattern-flood pilot.
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Pandey, A., Beliveau, D., Corbishley, D.W., and Kumar,M.S. 2008. Design of an ASP Pilot for the Mangala Field: Laboratory Evaluationsand Simulation Studies. Paper SPE-113131 presented at the SPE Indian Oil andGas Technical Conference and Exhibition, Mumbai, India, 4-6 March. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/113131-MS.
Pitts, M.J., Dowling, P., Wyatt, K., Surkalo, H., and Adams, K.C. 2006. Alkaline-Surfactant-Polymer Flood of the Tanner Field. PaperSPE 100004 presented at the SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa,22-26 April. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/100004-MS.
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Qi, Q., Hongjun, G., Dongwen, L., and Ling, D. 2000. ThePilot Test of ASP Combination Flooding in Karamay Oil Field. Paper SPE 64726presented at the International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in China,Beijing, 7-10 November. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/64726-MS.
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Shutang, G., Huabin, L., Zhenyu, Y., Pitts, M.J., Surkalo, H.,and Wyatt, K. 1996. Alkaline/Surfactant/Polymer Pilot Performance of the WestCentral Saertu, Daqing Oil Field. SPE Res Eng 11 (3):181-188. SPE-35383-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/35383-PA.
Vargo, J., Turner, J., Vergnani, B., et al. 2000.Alkaline-Surfactant-Polymer Flooding of the Cambridge Minnelusa Field. SPERes Eval & Eng 3 (6): 552-558. SPE-68285-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/68285-PA.
Zhijian, Q., Yigen, Z., Xiansong, Z., and Jialin, D. 1998. ASuccessful ASP flooding Pilot in Gudong Oil Field. Paper SPE 39613 presented atthe SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 19-22 April. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/39613-MS.
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