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Overcoming Challenges in Chemical EOR During Polymer Breakthrough

In chemical enhanced oil recovery (EOR), challenges are expected regarding production chemistry and production-facilities operations. Partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) is used widely for controlling mobility ratios. Complex in water chemistry and rich in positively charged divalent ions, flooded polymer, having a negative charge, interacts with divalent ions of produced water (PW). The complete paper discusses the importance of adequate preparation and the approaches used to overcome challenges of EOR operations, including handling back-produced polymer.

Introduction

The Mangala field in northwest India, discovered in January 2004, is part of the Barmer Basin. The primary reservoir unit in this field is the Fatehgarh group, a high-quality quartzose sandstone reservoir having high net-to-gross ratio, high porosity (21–28%), and multidarcy permeability (200 millidarcy to 20 darcy) with an average permeability of approximately 5 darcy. The reservoir contains waxy crude with gravity ranging from 20 to 28 °API. A primary recovery efficiency of less than 10% stock-tank oil initially in place is estimated on the basis of simple depletion; thus, the base field-­development plan envisaged implementation of waterflooding from the start of production to maintain reservoir pressure and sweep reserves. Detailed laboratory studies have established that aqueous-based chemical EOR processes are best suited for these viscous oil fields.

Full-field polymer flooding has been implemented in the Mangala field, with an injection at the time of writing of nearly 400,000 B/D of polymerized injection water (IW) with average polymer concentration of approximately 2,500 ppm. HPAM is mixed with source water to create a mother solution of 15,000-ppm concentration at a central polymer facility and is distributed through a pipeline network to 15 well pads, where it is diluted with IW to achieve a viscosity of approximately 30 cp for injection. Artificial lift is achieved either by jet pump or electrical submersible pump. Average water cut is 80% at the time of writing.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 194689, “Challenges in Selection and Use of Production Chemicals With Chemical EOR Operations During Polymer Breakthrough Phase,” by Robert Zagitov, Panneer Selvam Venkat, and Ravindranthan Kothandan, Cairn Oil and Gas, et al., prepared for the 2019 SPE Oil and Gas India Conference and Exhibition, Mumbai, 9–11 April. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Overcoming Challenges in Chemical EOR During Polymer Breakthrough

01 June 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 6

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