Water injection is often used as a recovery method for light oil reservoirs; however, for heavy oil reservoirs its efficiency is not so high mainly due to the unfavorable water-oil mobility ratio. For this reason, well placement is an important step of the production strategy definition because it can guarantee the economic viability of heavy-oil, deep water fields.

This work aimed to analyze the behavior of heavy oil displacement by water injection, through both experimental and numerical simulation studies. A rectangular plate filled with porous media was used; its petrophysical characteristics were determined, as well as the relative permeability and capillary pressure. Two horizontal wells were used and the laboratory test was performed in two stages: first, an oil saturation phase and then a displacement phase. Water saturation maps were generated for the two stages, in order to better analyze distortions due to friction effects in the horizontal wells.

A numerical simulation model was built to reproduce the behavior observed in the experiment and compare the friction pressure drop effects. It was further used as the basis of a hypothetical reservoir prototype, in field scale; the results from the simulations reproduced the experiment data qualitatively, however, some differences were observed. The friction pressure drop in the wellbore did not seem to affect the flow, especially according to the simulation results.

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