The use of alkaline surfactant polymer flooding techniques is becoming more commonplace, particularly in projects where heavier and more viscous crude oil is produced. While the efficacy of increasing recovery factors cannot be disputed, often there is little consideration given to the implications of these EOR chemicals breaking through into producer wells and entering the produced water handling system. The impact caused by EOR chemical breakthrough can be varied, but most commonly the efficacy of oil/water separation is seriously affected. The contribution that EOR chemicals can have on reservoir souring is often underestimated, as is the effect they can have upon standard production chemicals such as scale and corrosion inhibitors. The following paper discusses the oil in water and water in oil emulsion issues during an alkaline surfactant polymer flooding pilot in Asia.

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