USE OF POLYMERS TO RECOVER VISCOUS OIL FROM UNCONVENTIONAL RESERVOIRS

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

This final technical progress report summarizes work performed the project, 'Use of Polymers to Recover Viscous Oil from Unconventional Reservoirs.' The objective of this three-year research project was to develop methods using water soluble polymers to recover viscous oil from unconventional reservoirs (i.e., on Alaska's North Slope). The project had three technical tasks. First, limits were re-examined and redefined for where polymer flooding technology can be applied with respect to unfavorable displacements. Second, we tested existing and new polymers for effective polymer flooding of viscous oil, and we tested newly proposed mechanisms for oil displacement by polymer solutions. Third, we ... continued below

Creation Information

Seright, Randall September 30, 2011.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 18 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content.

Publisher

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this report. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

This final technical progress report summarizes work performed the project, 'Use of Polymers to Recover Viscous Oil from Unconventional Reservoirs.' The objective of this three-year research project was to develop methods using water soluble polymers to recover viscous oil from unconventional reservoirs (i.e., on Alaska's North Slope). The project had three technical tasks. First, limits were re-examined and redefined for where polymer flooding technology can be applied with respect to unfavorable displacements. Second, we tested existing and new polymers for effective polymer flooding of viscous oil, and we tested newly proposed mechanisms for oil displacement by polymer solutions. Third, we examined novel methods of using polymer gels to improve sweep efficiency during recovery of unconventional viscous oil. This report details work performed during the project. First, using fractional flow calculations, we examined the potential of polymer flooding for recovering viscous oils when the polymer is able to reduce the residual oil saturation to a value less than that of a waterflood. Second, we extensively investigated the rheology in porous media for a new hydrophobic associative polymer. Third, using simulation and analytical studies, we compared oil recovery efficiency for polymer flooding versus in-depth profile modification (i.e., 'Bright Water') as a function of (1) permeability contrast, (2) relative zone thickness, (3) oil viscosity, (4) polymer solution viscosity, (5) polymer or blocking-agent bank size, and (6) relative costs for polymer versus blocking agent. Fourth, we experimentally established how much polymer flooding can reduce the residual oil saturation in an oil-wet core that is saturated with viscous North Slope crude. Finally, an experimental study compared mechanical degradation of an associative polymer with that of a partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide. Detailed results from the first two years of the project may be found in our first and second annual reports. Our latest research results, along with detailed documentation of our past work, can be found on our web site at http://baervan.nmt.edu/randy/. As an overall summary of important findings for the project, polymer flooding has tremendous potential for enhanced recovery of viscous oil. Fear of substantial injectivity reduction was a primary hurdle that limited application of polymer flooding. However, that concern is largely mitigated by (1) use of horizontal wells and (2) judicious injection above the formation parting pressure. Field cases now exist where 200-300-cp polymer solutions are injected without significant reductions in injectivity. Concern about costs associated with injection of viscous polymer solutions was a second major hurdle. However, that concern is reduced substantially by realization that polymer viscosity increases approximately with the square of polymer concentration. Viscosity can be doubled with only a 40% increase in polymer concentration. Up to a readily definable point, increases in viscosity of the injected polymer solution are directly related to increases in sweep efficiency and oil recovery. Previously published simulation results - suggesting that shear-thinning polymer solutions were detrimental to sweep efficiency - were shown to be unfounded (both theoretically and experimentally).

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems.

  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: NT0006555
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036458 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036458
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc841197

Collections

This report is part of the following collection of related materials.

Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

What responsibilities do I have when using this report?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this report.

Creation Date

  • September 30, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 9, 2016, 7:35 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this report last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 1
Total Uses: 18

Interact With This Report

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

International Image Interoperability Framework

IIF Logo

We support the IIIF Presentation API

Seright, Randall. USE OF POLYMERS TO RECOVER VISCOUS OIL FROM UNCONVENTIONAL RESERVOIRS, report, September 30, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc841197/: accessed July 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.