Modeling of Low Salinity Waterflooding for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Cuong T.Q. Dang
Supervisor: Dr. John Chen
Co-Supervisors: Dr. Long Nghiem, Dr. Quoc Nguyen


There are many challenges in oil & gas recovery.  Application and implementation challenges include:a heavy reliance on unscaled lab experiments, the lack of availability of chemicals in large quantities, complicated chemical reactions, environmental impact, high cost, high risk and other uncertainties. Our solution is low salinity water flooding – LSW. Waterflooding is largely designed without regard to the composition of the brine injected. It is an emerging IOR technique where the salinity of the injected water is controlled, and the mechanisms are debated; it also offers a considerable recovery benefit due to the low cost and its relative simplicity.

LSW flooding is an important enhanced heavy oil recovery (EOR) technique as it shows more advantages than conventional EOR approaches. The new mechanistic model has excellent matches with various core-flooding experiments in terms of: evolution of multiple ions, local ph increase, mineral dissolution/precipitation, and wettability alteration. Built in a robust reservoir simulator, it serves as a powerful tool for LSW interpretation, design, and optimization.