The Salym Petroleum Development (SPD) chemical EOR project aims to increase recovery factor by more than 16% by injecting a cocktail of alkaline, surfactant and polymer (ASP). Work to underpin the final investment decision for full field implementation includes a completed single well tracer test, laboratory tests and a planned production pilot. The pilot will help optimize the development by de-risking and reducing unit cost.

This paper will focus on technical aspects - pilot process, options and design approach, and non-technical issues - required integration of design, operations and supplier personnel, and strategic fit.

Technical work to date suggests a phased field implementation, which consists of 4 steps: fresh water preflush, ASP slug, polymer chase flush, and waterflood post flush. Phasing allows the asset to limit water treatment facility investment. Our approach to pilot design and options is to characterize the most important development uncertainties and design the pilot to address them within cost/time budgets. Our work suggests that key uncertainties at Salym are injectivity, lift, scaling, produced fluids handling and fracture growth and most import uncertainties are chemical efficiency, sweep efficiency, reservoir heterogeneity and creating saleable oil.

Key non-technical considerations include the need for integration on an unprecedented scale and ensuring strategic fit. Chemical EOR is a highly integrated business, involving subsurface, engineering, chemical staff and suppliers. Economic success requires affordable chemicals and process efficiency. Due to the unusual nature of this process and its impact on oil field operations, all parties are on a steep learning and integration curve. Shell's portfolio of chemical EOR opportunities, global coordination and shared learnings are allowing Shell and its partners to enter a new era of development and be a frontrunner in this technology.

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