Evaluation of Non-thermal EOR Techniques for Heavy Oil Production

Brook, G. and Kantzas, A.

DOI: 10.2118/98-45
CIM Paper 98-45, presented at the 49th Annual Technical Meeting of The Petroleum Society, held in Calgary, Alberta, June 8-10, 1998.


The majority of proposed enhanced oil recovery (EOR) strategies for heavy oil involve thermal techniques. These techniques can be expensive, especially in thin formations. There is a need for low cost non thermal EOR techniques for heavy oil. This study involves the investigation of such techniques using physical models. Four physical models with rectangular geometry are used. The oils used, ranged in viscosity from approximately 1100 cP to 6000 cP. Experiments were performed at low pressures with dead oil, while live oil was used in models pressure rated to 600 psi. Primary production, along with water, gas and aqueous polymer solution displacements have been performed on each of the models. The displacement experiments have been performed using multiple injectors and multiple producers. After initial waterflooding, a significant incremental recovery has been observed by altering the injector/producer configuration. Waterfloods were followed by fast gas floods that were not found to be very effective. Subsequent floods with an aqueous polyacrylamide polymer solution gave encouraging results. The polymer displacements performed on the models resulted in incremental recoveries as high as 54 % OOIP.

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