Polymer flood using polyacrylamide is an effective way to increase oil production in many aged fields. While extensive research and development and field practices have demonstrated the improvements in oil recovery using this technology, the development on effective methods of processing the produced emulsion from polymer flood lags behind. The polymer in the injection fluid, which alters its physical and chemical behaviors, ultimately breaks out with the produced emulsion and changes its physical and chemical characteristics. This leads to tighter emulsions, increased produced water viscosities, stronger chemical interactions, limitations on the processing methods and process conditions, reduced efficiency on current equipment technologies, and even excessive equipment failures and damages. Adding to the processing difficulties is the uncertainty of the break out fluids. As polymer passes through reservoirs, its physical and chemical properties change due to formation absorption, shearing, and chemical reactions. As a result, the produced polymer is different from the injected polymer, and constantly changing during the production cycle. This requires the emulsion processing technologies to be flexible and stable throughout a large operation envelop.

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