Injectivity formation damage with waterflooding using sea/produced water has been widely reported in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Campos Basin in Brazil. The damage is due to the capture of solid/liquid particles by the rock with consequent permeability decline; it is also due to the formation of a low permeable external filter cake. Yet, moderate injectivity decline is not too damaging with long horizontal injectors where the initial injectivity is high. In this case, injection of raw or poorly treated water would save money on water treatment, which is not only cumbersome but also an expensive procedure in offshore projects.

In this paper we investigate the effects of injected water quality on waterflooding using horizontal wells. It was found out that induced injectivity damage results in increased sweep efficiency. The explanation of the phenomenon is as follows: injectivity rate is distributed along a horizontal well non-uniformly; water advances faster from higher rate intervals resulting in early breakthrough; the retained particles plug mostly the high permeability channels and homogenize the injectivity profile along the well.

An analytical model for injectivity decline accounting for particle capture and a low permeable external filter cake formation has been implemented into the Eclipse 100 reservoir simulator. It is shown that sweep efficiency in a heterogeneous formation can increase by up to 5% after one pore volume injected, compared to ‘clean’ water injection.

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