Mobility Control With Polymer Solutions
- W.B. Gogarty (Marathon Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- June 1967
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 161 - 173
- 1967. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.8 Formation Damage
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With the use of polymer solutions in secondary recovery operations, the need has developed to understand the mobility control mechanism. This study investigated mobility control by considering both permeability and rheological effects. Experiments used a high molecular weight, partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide polymer. Flow studies took place in reservoir and Berea cores having zero oil saturation. Effective size of the polymer flow unit was inferred from Nuclepore filter tests. Clay studies indicated the particle size capable of decreasing the core permeability. Flushed permeabilities measured the approximate core permeabilities with flowing polymer solutions. These permeabilities were considerably lower than original values. With mobility data and the flushed permeability, maximum effective viscosities were determined for polymer solution flow in a core. Effective viscosities showed that rheological properties play an important part in mobility control with polymer solutions.
The study showed that permeabilities decrease and stabilize with polymer flow. At the lower permeabilities, high shear rates exist in the cores. Because of the pseudoplastic character of the polymer solution, the high shear rates caused low effective viscosities. This condition pointed to the inefficient use of the potentially high viscosity of the polymer solution at low shear rates.
In the oil industry, a great deal of interest is being shown in the use of polymer solutions for secondary recovery and a number of polymer floods are being performed in the United States. Some of these floods have become commercial while others have been reported as failures. A number of floods are still in progress and remain to be evaluated. With the advent of polymer flooding, the need developed to understand the mobility control mechanism in porous media.
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