In this work we present the results obtained from a coreflood experiment with polymer injection in secondary mode for extra heavy oil at 5500 cP viscosity. The work was carried out on a 30 cm length reconstituted core composed from cleaned reservoir sand. The core was packed using an in-house developed method, and then saturated with live oil partially degassed in PVT cell from initial reservoir conditions down to expected pressure at start of a field test (Pres). Saturation profiles were accurately measured by means of X-Ray scans on the core, enabling the visualization of flow instability development (viscous fingering). Effluents were collected in carbon cells under reservoir conditions with X-Ray production level measurements. The effluents were then flashed to atmospheric conditions, collected in test tubes and re-measured by X-Ray and UV measurements.
The polymer flood carried out in secondary mode showed excellent results with a recovery of around 60% after 1.8 PV of polymer injected at 1 cc/h, even though viscosity ratio was highly unfavourable. The estimated apparent viscosity of the polymer was 60 cP at 7 s−1, corresponding to the frontal advancement rate achieved during the coreflood. This recovery is in the same order as that obtained in tertiary mode after water flood in outcrop cores (Wassmuth et al. 2009, Wassmuth et al. 2007).