Prediction of Polymer Flood Performance
- J.T. Patton (Computer/Bioengineering Institute, Inc.) | K.H. Coats (International Computer Applications Ltd.) | G.T. Colegrove (Kelco Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- March 1971
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 72 - 84
- 1971. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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Patton, J.T., Member AIME, Patton, J.T., Member AIME, Computer/Bioengineering Institute, Inc., Houston, Tex. Coats, K.H., Member AIME, International Computer Applications Ltd., Houston, Tex. Colegrove, G.T., Kelco Co., Houston, Tex.
This experimental and numerical study was performed to estimate the incremental oil recovery performed to estimate the incremental oil recovery by pattern polymer flooding in a California viscous-oil reservoir. Results indicate that adding 270-ppm Kelzan to the normal flood water will boost oil production by 42 percent (at 1 PV injected) and production by 42 percent (at 1 PV injected) and will reduce water handling costs sharply. This corresponds to $8.35 incremental oil/$1.00 polymer injected, taking into account the 30 percent pore volume bank of polymer solution. The 28.6 percent additional oil recovery predicted at 0.5 PV injected yields a return of $4.60 incremental oil/$1.00 polymer injected. polymer injected. The field predictions are based on (a) laboratory measurements of polymer solution viscosity, adsorption and dispersion upon displacement by normal water in a sand representative of the reservoir, (b) linear laboratory oil displacement experiments using brine and polymer solution, and (c) a numerical model developed to simulate linear or five-spot polymer floods in single-layer or stratified reservoirs.
The paper presents an analytical solution to the linear polymer flood problem, which provides a check on accuracy of the numerical model and a quick estimate of additional oil recovery by line-drive polymer floods. The numerical model developed indicates that additional oil recovery by polymer flooding is sensitive to polymer bank size polymer flooding is sensitive to polymer bank size and adsorption level and is insensitive to the extent of dispersion active at the trailing edge of the polymer slug. polymer slug
The benefits of improving the mobility ratio, lambda o/lambda w, on waterflood performance is well documented and research on how best to effect this improvement has been considerable. Both producers and chemical manufacturers, spurred on producers and chemical manufacturers, spurred on by the vast reserves of oil which will be otherwise abandoned, have sought to resolve the problem. Currently, two types of additives are being marketed and field tested with promising results. Both additives increase oil recovery by lowering the mobility of the flood water, lambda w. However, they effect this lowering by distinctly different mechanisms. Mobility of the flood water is given by:
lambdaw = kw/ w .
Hence, one may elect to either increase viscosity, mu w, or decrease effective permeability, kw. Viscosity can be increased by adding small amounts of a water-soluble polymer. To be effective at the flood front this additive should exhibit minimum adsorption on the pore surfaces. Polymers showing minimal adsorption are generally a combination nonionic-anionic type. The negative charge repels the clay platelets to reduce adsorption and the nonionic portion provides the brine tolerance required for reservoir applications. A polymer of this type, Kelzan M, was chosen for the study. The alternate method of lowering mobility is equally well known. It consists of adding to the flood water a polymer designed to adsorb on the pore surfaces, thereby physically reducing the available flow area. This study was performed to estimate the additional oil recovery by pattern polymer flooding using Kelzan in a California viscous-oil reservoir. Laboratory experiments were performed to estimate polymer solution viscosity, adsorption and polymer solution viscosity, adsorption and dispersion upon displacement by normal injection water. Waterflood and polymer flood oil recovery curves were obtained for a laboratory core packed with sand representative of the reservoir. A numerical model was developed to simulate polymer floods in linear or five-spot patterns in single-layer or stratified reservoirs. An analytical solution to the linear polymer flood problem was developed to provide a quick estimate of incremental oil provide a quick estimate of incremental oil obtainable by polymer flooding and to provide a check on the accuracy of the numerical model.
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