While polymer flooding has widely been used as a successful technology to improve mobility control and sweep efficiency in many oil reservoirs, its applicability under harsh temperature/salinity conditions and in low-permeability reservoirs has prohibitively remained a challenge.

This study was aimed at investigating the feasibility of low-salinity polymer flooding in a very challenging reservoir located in Kuwait with low permeability (< 10 mD), high temperature (113°C), high salinity (~239,000 ppm), high hardness (~20,000 ppm), and carbonate mineralogy. The evaluation was conducted through a series of systematic laboratory studies including polymer rheology, thermal stability, and transportability using coreflood tests.

Our results highlight that the common constraints may be overcome by careful selection of polymer/cosolvent/pre-shearing and appropriate design of low-salinity polymer flooding.

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