Upscaling for Polymer Flooding

Al-Dhuwaihi, Abdulaziz (Kuwait Oil Company) | King, Peter (Imperial College) | Muggeridge, Ann (Imperial College)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Polymer flooding is a proven EOR/IOR process for viscous and light oil reservoirs alike. However, it results in the formation of two shocks front that require simulation models with fine grid blocks to represent field scale fluid movement. Therefore, upscaling is required to transfer such fluid behavior to coarser models. However, most upscaling methods are designed for waterflood only, while upscaling techniques for polymer flood are rarely discussed in the literature.

In this paper, A new upscaling methodology specifically designed for polymer flooding is presented to address such impracticality. The methodology allows the average flow behavior to be captured, including the effects of small scale heterogeneity whilst compensating for the impact of increased numerical diffusion present in coarse grid models.

The method is based on the pore volume weighted method for relative permeability pseudoization first derived by Emanuel and Cook (1974) for waterflooding but extends its implementation to model polymer specific parameters such as adsorption isotherm and viscosity-concentration function. The method is demonstrated on a series of simple reservoir models for a range of different aggregation ratios, showing overall improvement in the prediction of oil recovery, water cut, produced polymer concentration with time, and pressure response in the coarse grid models. This is demonstrated by comparing the predictions from the coarse grid, upscaled models with those from fine grid simulations and coarse grid simulations of the same model reservoir without the new upscaling methodology.