Enhanced Oil Recovery Using Micron-Size Polyacrylamide Elastic Microspheres (MPEMs): Underlying Mechanisms and Displacement Experiments

Chuanjin Yao, Guanglun Lei, Jian Hou, Xiaohong Xu, Dan Wang, Tammo S. Steenhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Micron-size polyacrylamide elastic microsphere (MPEM) is a newly developed profile control and oil displacement agent for enhanced oil recovery in heterogeneous reservoirs. In this study, laboratory experiments were performed to characterize the viscoelastic properties of MPEMs in brine water. A transparent sandpack micromodel was used to observe the microscopic flow and displacement mechanisms, and parallel-sandpack models were used to investigate the profile control and oil displacement performance using MPEMs in heterogeneous reservoirs. The results indicate that MPEMs almost do not increase the viscosity of injection water and can be conveniently injected using the original water injection pipelines. The microscopic profile control and oil displacement mechanisms of MPEMs in porous media mainly behave as selective-plugging in large pores, fluid diversion after MPEMs plugging, oil drainage caused by MPEMs breakthrough, and the mechanism of oil droplets converging into oil flow. MPEMs have a high plugging strength, which can tolerate a long-term water flushing. MPEMs can selectively enter and plug the large pores and pore-throats in high permeability sandpack, but almost do not damage the low permeability sandpack. MPEMs can effectively divert the water flow from the high permeability sandpack to the low permeability sandpack and improve the sweep efficiency of low permeability sandpack and low permeability area in the high permeability sandpack. The results also confirm the dynamic process of profile control and oil displacement using MPEMs in heterogeneous reservoirs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10925-10934
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume54
Issue number43
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors greatly appreciate the financial support from the Project Funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2015M570622), the Project Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51574269), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 15CX08004A), and the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT1294).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

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