Thermally Active Polymer To Improve Sweep Efficiency of Waterfloods: Simulation and Pilot Design Approaches
- Gholamreza Garmeh (TIORCO) | Mehdi Izadi (TIORCO) | Mehdi Salehi (TIORCO) | J.L. Romero (TIORCO) | Charles Thomas (TIORCO) | Eduardo J. Manrique (TIORCO)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- February 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 86 - 97
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow
- BrightWater, Thermally active polymer, Conformance improvement
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- 1,106 since 2007
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A common problem in many waterflooded oil reservoirs is early water breakthrough with high water cut through highly conductive thief zones. Thermally active polymer (TAP), which is an expandable submicron particulate of low viscosity, has been successfully used as an in-depth conformance to improve sweep efficiency of waterfloods.
This paper describes the workflow to evaluate technical feasibility of this conformance technology for proper pilot-project designs supported with detailed simulation studies. Two simulation approaches have been developed to model properties of this polymer and its interaction with reservoir rock. Both methods include temperature-triggered viscosification and adsorption/retention effects. Temperature profile in the reservoir is modeled by energy balance to accurately place this polymer at the optimum location in the thief zone. The first method considers a single chemical component in the water phase. The second method is based on chemical reactions of multiple chemical components. Both simulation approaches are compared and discussed.
Results show that temperature-triggered polymers can increase oil recovery by viscosification and chemical adsorption/retention, which reduces thief-zone permeability and diverts flow into unswept zones. Sensitivity analyses suggest that ultimate oil recovery and conformance control depend on the thief-zone temperature, vertical- to the horizontal-permeability ratio (Kv/Kh), thief-zone vertical location, injection concentration and slug size, oil viscosity, and chemical adsorption and its reversibility, among other factors. For high-flow-capacity thief zones and mobility ratios higher than 10, oil recoveries can be improved by increasing chemical concentration or slug size of treatments, or both. Reservoirs with low Kv/Kh (< 0.1) and high permeability contrast generally shows faster incremental recoveries than reservoirs with high Kv/Kh and strong water segregation.
The presented workflow is currently used to perform in-depth conformance treatment designs in onshore and offshore fields and can be used as a reference tool to evaluate benefits of the TAP in waterflooded oil reservoirs.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||12|
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