Application of polymer flooding as a chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has increased over recent years. The main type of polymer used is partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM). This polymer still has some challenges especially with shear stability and injectivity that restrict its utility, particularly for low permeability reservoirs. Injectivity limits the possible gain by acceleration in oil production due to polymer flooding. Hence, good polymer injectivity is a requirement for the success of the operation. This paper aims to investigate the influence of formation permeability on polymer flow in porous media.
In this study, a combination of core flooding with rheological studies is presented to evaluate the influence of permeability on polymer in-situ rheology behavior. The in-situ flow of HPAM polymers has also been studied for different molecular weights. The effect of polymer preconditioning prior to injection was studied through exposing polymer solutions to different extent of mechanical degradation.
Results from this study reveal that the expected shear thinning behavior of HPAM that is observed in rheometer measurements is not observed in in-situ rheology in porous media. Instead, HPAM in porous media exhibits near-Newtonian behavior at low flow rates representative of velocities deep in the reservoir, while exhibiting shear thickening behavior at high flow rates representative of velocities near wellbore region. The pressure build-up associated with shear thickening behavior during polymer injection is significantly higher than pressure differential during water injection. The extent of shear thickening is high during the injection of high Mw polymer regardless of cores' permeability. In low permeable Berea cores, shear thickening and mechanical degradation occur at lower velocities although the degree of shear thickening is lower in Berea to that observed in high permeable Bentheimer cores. This is ascribed to high polymer retention in Berea cores that results in high residual resistance factor (RRF). Results show that preshearing polymer before injection into porous media optimizes its injectability and transportability through porous media. The effect of preshearing becomes favorable for the injection of high Mw polymers into low permeability formation.
This study discusses polymer in-situ rheology and injectivity, which is a key issue in the design of polymer flood projects. The results provide beneficial information on optimizing polymer injectivity, in particular, for low permeability porous media.
This paper relates the successful water shut-off treatment of a heavy-oil Omani well combining the use of microgel and gel.
As many sandstone reservoir with strong aquifer in Southern Oman, this vertical well faced early water breakthrough along with sand production. Water cut increased dramatically until reaching 100%. The average permeability was around 500 mD but effective permeability ranged from milli Darcy to several Darcy. Due to well characteristics (several perforation intervals, gravel pack, etc…), it was not possible to identify and isolate the water production zones, which oriented the strategy towards the use of RPM products (Relative Permeability Modifiers). The treatment consisted of microgel and gel injections which were bullheaded into the whole open interval. After the treatment, the water cut dropped from 100% to 85% and sand production was stopped over a period of time superior to one year. The treatment was cost effective, producing more than 9000 bbl of extra oil in one year.
In this paper, we describe the treatment design methodology combining laboratory study and near wellbore simulations, and the optimization of injection sequences. Finally, the treatment execution is detailed followed by the presentation of the results obtained since the realization of the operations.
The results show that combining low-risk approach and low-cost RPM technology is an attractive way to restore productivity of watered out wells, in which conventional water shut-off zone isolation is not feasible.
Waterflooding has been the most popular post-primary production approach for improving oil recovery. In fractured reservoirs with large structural relief, gas injection can produce much of the post-waterflood remaining oil by gravity drainage. Oil recovery by gas-invoked gravity drainage in waterflooded reservoirs is known as the double displacement process (DDP). One major reason, among many, is that the three-phase relative permeability residual oil saturation endpoint is generally smaller than the residual oil saturation endpoint for the water-oil displacement.
Field data indicate that the DDP has been successful in single-porosity sandstone formations. Intuitively, one can expect that DDP should produce similar results in reservoirs with ample intercommoned vertical fractures, which is the objective of this work. With the aid of tests on tight reservoir cores from a major Middle East carbonate reservoir, this study focuses on evaluating the DDP in fractured carbonate reservoirs where the wettability ranges from neutral to oil-wet conditions. The scope of the study includes: (1) assessment of the DDP experimentally in fractured cores using a high-speed centrifuge, (2) simulating the experiments numerically, and (3) upscaling laboratory results to field applications.
Results from water-oil gravity drainage tests followed by gas-oil gravity drainage in fractured and unfractured cores are presented. We also show numerical simulation results of matching the experiments using both transfer function and 2-D numerical simulation, and how results from our study can be used in field applications.
Typical waterflood oil recovery from 0.1-md to 2-md fractured carbonate cores has been noted to be around 38% of the initial oil in place while incremental additional oil recovery for gas-oil gravity drainage is nearly as much as the recovery from water.
Significant volumes of heavy oil remain in fractured carbonate reservoirsworldwide. Some of these reservoirs are good candidates for the application ofthermally assisted gas-oil-gravity-drainage (TA-GOGD), a novel EOR technique.Unlike a normal steam flood, the steam is used as a heating agent only toenhance the existing drive mechanisms. The elegance of TA-GOGD is that thefracture network is both used for the distribution of steam (heat) and therecovery of the oil. The number of wells can therefore be kept to a minimumcompared to conventional steam floods. Following encouraging pilot results in afield in Oman, a steam injection project is heading for implementation, a firstof its kind on this scale. Studies to date indicate that recovery factors of25-50% with Oil-Steam-Ratios of 0.2 -0.4 m3/ton of steam are feasible. Thesuccess of the project is critically dependent on the field-wide presence ofconductive fractures and the ability to characterize them. Both stochastic anddeterministic studies were tried, but the latter method is now favoured as itallows the use of geological and dynamic understanding as input to themodelling and honours existing faults, deformation mechanism and the conceptualmodel. Fracture characterisation is to some extent still an art and outputs are'only static scenarios'. Therefore results should be validated with dynamicdata as much as possible. The dynamic models are thermal and dual permeability,with compositional dependencies: a complexity that is rarely encountered.Explicit fracture block models are used to verify that the heating rate andGOGD are captured properly, in particular for irregularly shaped fracturepatterns. A new fully integrated workflow of fracture characterisation withstatic and dynamic modelling has enabled uncertainties and risks to be managedin a scenario based approach.