DOI: 9, 2021Proceedings Paper

Impact of Rheology Models on Horizontal Well Polymer Flooding in a Heavy Oil Reservoir on Alaska North Slope: A Simulation Study

Yin ZhangRandall S. Seright


Polymer rheology can have either a positive or a negative effect on polymer flooding performance under varied circumstances. Many researchers have studied the effect of polymer rheology in a vertical well, but no field scale studies have been conducted to investigate whether polymer rheology is beneficial to polymer flooding in heavy oil reservoirs developed by horizontal wells. In this paper, we conducted a numerical simulation study to examine the effect of HPAM polymer rheology on a polymer flooding pilot, which is the first-ever project conducted on a heavy oil reservoir from Alaska North Slope (ANS) developed by horizontal wells. Three rheology types were considered in the study including the apparent viscosity measured during coreflooding of using a HPAM polymer, the bulk viscosity measured with a viscometer, and a Newtonian flow model. The results suggest that using the bulk viscosity in simulation underestimates the conformance control and the water-oil-ratio reduction capability of the HPAM polymer solution. When the apparent viscosity is used, the incremental oil and sweep were largely increased, and the optimal recovery period of polymer flooding was extended greatly, especially for the heterogeneous formations. Ther...Continue Reading

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