Study of Alkaline/Polymer Flooding for Heavy-Oil Recovery Using Channeled Sandpacks
- Yongge Wu (University of Regina) | Mingzhe Dong (University of Calgary) | Ezeddin Shirif (University of Regina)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- June 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 310 - 319
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow
- Flood test, Heavy oil, Chemical flooding, Alkaline/polymer flooding, Enhanced oil recovery
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For heavy oils with viscosities ranging from 1000 to 10 000 mPa.s in western Canada, primary production and waterflood together can recover only 8-15% of original oil in place (OOIP) at their economic limits because of the adverse mobility ratio, severe water channeling, low reservoir pressure, and formation voidage. These heavy oils usually have a relatively high content of acids that can react with alkalis to form in-situ surfactants. The loosely consolidated sandstone formations in which these oils are deposited are characterized by high porosity, high permeability, and low reservoir temperature. These reservoir conditions are favorable for polymer application. Therefore, there is a potential to improve waterflood in these reservoirs by applying alkaline/polymer (A/P) flooding.
This paper presents the results of a laboratory study of A/P flooding for heavy-oil recovery, including viscosity measurements, flood tests conducted in channeled sandpacks, residual-resistance-factor (FRR) determination, and residual-oil-distribution tests. A heavy oil with a viscosity of 1,202 cp and an acid number of 1.07 (mg of KOH/g of oil) and produced brine collected from a heavy-oil reservoir in Alberta are used in this study. We found that the distribution of the injected chemical solution within the high-permeability channels leads to the diversion of the subsequently injected chemical solution to low-permeability zones with higher oil saturation because of the formation of blockage in the channel zones. Consequently, pressure buildup during chemical-slug injection is the key to the improvement of displacement efficiency. Flood tests also show that A/P flooding is more efficient than either alkaline flooding or polymer flooding. The optimal formulation for the heavy oil used in this study is 0.4% NaOH + 0.2% Na2CO3 + 1000 mg/L polymer, with a tertiary oil recovery of 25-30% of OOIP above that from waterflooding. Analysis of the results of the residual-oil distributions in the channeled sandpacks at the end of A/P flooding show that A/P flooding can effectively improve the sweep efficiency of waterflooding for the heavy oil.
|File Size||887 KB||Number of Pages||10|
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