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Qualitative and Quantitative Evaluation of Permeability Changes during EOR Polymer Flooding Using Micromodels

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DOI: 10.4236/wjet.2018.62021    306 Downloads   656 Views


Polymer solutions are used in chemical EOR processes to achieve incremental oil recoveries through obtaining favorable mobility ratios. In the process, the in-situ viscosity is a key parameter for the polymer flood design, as well as the changes in permeability due to the retention or adsorption (e.g.: plugging). Understanding the major causes of the plugging effects allows predicting injectivity problems as well as optimizing project design. The objective of this work is to use glass-silicon-glass micromodels in combination with tracer particles—attached to the flooded fluids—to qualitatively and quantitatively describe the extent of permeability changes after polymer injection. Laboratory work is performed in order to determine the physical properties of the polymer solutions when they flow through porous media, such as the presence of permeability reduction/plugging of the micromodel. A statistical analysis of the distribution and extent of plugged areas is performed and a study of the pressure response during various injection stages will complement the study. A biopolymer (Scleroglucan) was tested and compared to a commonly used polymer, giving a direct insight into their pros and cons. Five different concentrations of polymers were tested and put into relation with their quantitative and qualitative amount of sort of called retention. The amount of adsorption was determined experimentally in one case in order to draw the significance. By exploiting the potential of GSG-micromodels in combination with tracer particles, it was possible to visualize the reduction of flow paths and its increase during various injections for the first time. Expanding the working principle proposed in this work could provide further understanding of the behavior of any polymers. The results obtained and workflow presented in this work allow for additional understanding of polymer solutions behavior in flooding applications. Furthermore, the definition of optimized workflows to assess any kind of solutions in porous media and permeability changes is supported.

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Knobloch, L.O., Hincapie, R.E., Foedisch, H. and Ganzer, L. (2018) Qualitative and Quantitative Evaluation of Permeability Changes during EOR Polymer Flooding Using Micromodels. World Journal of Engineering and Technology, 6, 332-349. doi: 10.4236/wjet.2018.62021.

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