For mature oil fields, foam flooding is an attractive chemical EOR technique and many pilot tests have been carried out in China. The performance of foam flooding pilot tests and its affect factors on oil recovery was discussed in this paper. The development trend and key technologies of foam flooding technique are pointed out.
Eighteen foam flooding pilot tests have been carried out in China from 1994 to 2010. Good performance have achieved in sixteen pilot tests. Through effects analysis of the pilot tests, three main aspects are concluded for affecting the performance of foam flooding tests. First, the characteristics of target reservoirs influence effects of foam flooding tests. The performance of foam flooding in higher oil viscous reservoirs is better than that in light oil reservoirs. The reservoir temperature and formation water salinity also influences the effects of foam flooding. Secondly, the chemical formula of foam solution and the size of slug influence the performance of foam flooding. The stability of foam formula influences the effects of foam flooding greatly. With the same amount of surfactant solution, the effect of high concentration small-sized slug is better than that in low concentration large-sized slug. Last, the injection method and gas liquid ratio can directly influence the foam performance in the reservoir, gas and liquid mixing injecting model is better than surfactant solution-alternation-gas (SAG) injection, and reasonable gas liquid ratio is important for guarantee good effects of foam flood.
At present, the trend of foam flooding in China is from nitrogen foam flooding and natural gas foam flooding to air foam flooding. The key technologies of foam flooding are the development of high stable foam formula with oil tolerance, salt and temperature resistance, good injection method and reasonable injection parameter etc.