Optimum Polymer Viscosity for Enhanced Heavy Oil Recovery

Kevin Guo


Polymer flood is good method to recovery heavy oil reservoirs, while the polymer flood project usually takes multi-years with great investment. So lab evaluations are essential prior to field-scale application, and a fast and effective method to evaluate EOR potential is desired. The experiments of polymer flooding of heavy oils in sand-packs are designed, and made by using polymer solutions with various viscosities. Polymer flood tests for heavy oils with different viscosities are conduced, and the polymer flood potential for 1,860 mPa.s heavy oil is estimated.

For heavy oils with different viscosities, the polymer viscosity-sensitive ranges are different, which greatly restricts its application. By choosing the oil-water mobility ratio at the end of waterflood as a normalization factor, the scattered S-shaped curves coincide into a single normalized curve. Based on the normalized relationship between tertiary recovery of polymer flood and oil-water mobility ratio, the potential of enhanced heavy oil recovery by polymer flood can be quickly and effectively evaluated.