Heavy-Oil Recovery by Combined Hot Water and Alkali/Cosolvent/Polymer Flooding
- Mohsen Tagavifar (University of Texas at Austin) | Robert Fortenberry (University of Texas at Austin) | Eric de Rouffignac (University of Texas at Austin) | Kamy Sepehrnoori (University of Texas at Austin) | Gary A. Pope (University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- February 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 74 - 86
- 2016.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- electrical heating, optimization, alkali/cosolvent/polymer, reservoir simulation, chemical enhanced oil recovery (EOR)
- 8 in the last 30 days
- 890 since 2007
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A hybrid process is developed and optimized for heavy-oil recovery that combines moderate reservoir heating and chemical enhanced oil recovery in the form of alkali/cosolvent/polymer flood. The process is simulated by use of a model derived from existing laboratory and pilot data of a 5,000-cp heavy-oil field. It is found that hot waterflooding is efficient in heating the reservoir only when high early injectivity is achievable. This may not be the case if incipient fluid injectivity is low and/or long, continuous, horizontal shale baffles are present. To remedy the former, an electrical-preheating period is devised, whereas switching to a horizontal flood could overcome the latter. Once the reservoir temperature is raised sufficiently, a moderately unstable alkali/cosolvent/polymer flood is capable of mobilizing and displacing oil. A best combined strategy for efficient reservoir heating, high oil recovery, and cost effectiveness is found to involve reducing the oil viscosity to values of approximately 300-500 cp and combining a degree of mobility control and low interfacial tension as recovery mechanisms.
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