Oil displacement experiments are reported which were performed in stratified rectilinear systems consisting of two lower permeability sandstone slabs, enclosing a central high permeability layer made of unconsolidated glass ballotini. The adjacent layers were in good flow communication, except for a very small region close to the outlet. This arrangement allows the crossflow mechanisms that occur when the viscosity of the displacing brine is increased by adding a water soluble polymer. These mechanisms cannot be assessed by performing experiments in one-dimensional cores or packs. Results of oil displacement experiments are presented for different mobility driving fluids, in which glycerol is used to viscosify the aqueous phase. Carbon-14 and chlorine-36 are used as radioactive tracers in the experiments. The effluent fluids from each layer were collected and analysed to produce data on the cumulative oil recovery, watercuts, flow rates in each layer, viscosities and concentrations of radioactive tracers.

The results of these oil displacement experiments were modelled using computer simulation, and a very good match to the experiments was obtained. This simulation work confirms the flow mechanisms involved when water soluble polymers are used to increase the oil production from stratified reservoirs.

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