Optimization of Polymer Flood Performance byPreflush Injection - Numerical Investigation

Algharaib, Meshal K. (Kuwait University) | Abedi, Mohammed A. (Kuwait University)


Currently, many reservoirs in the region approach the end of primary recovery phase where new techniques are needed to enhance recovery. Therefore, the need to optimize oil recovery from the current resources is very well understood by regional oil companies. To enhance oil recovery from current oil resources, field operators need to overcome the forces responsible for oil entrapment. Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques (EOR) introduce new energy into oil reservoirs to reduce the influence of these forces. Most of these resources contain light oil and are considered suitable candidates for either miscible or chemical EOR techniques. The first technique is challenged by the availability of suitable miscible gas. While, chemical EOR techniques are challenges by the high salt concentrations in the maturing oil reservoirs. The high salinity conditions encourage deficiencies in the performance of chemical EOR processes. Therefore, minimizing the effect of in situ salt on the injected chemical would impose tremendous improvement that leads to higher oil recovery. One way to diminish salt effect is to condition the oil reservoirs by injecting a slug of preflush water prior to chemical injection.

In this paper, the performance of polymer flooding, after preflush slug, in high salinity reservoir is investigated by numerical simulation means. The injected slugs, both preflush and polymer, are driven by water. The objective is to identify the relationship between preflush, polymer, and drive water characteristics and oil recovery. Seven parameters were considered: preflush slug size, preflush salinity, polymer slug size, polymer concentration, polymer slug salinity, and drive water salinity. The results show that these parameters have various degree of influence on oil recovery. For example, increasing the preflush slug size would results in more oil recovery especially during the early time. Detailed findings will be presented in the paper.