On the role of polymer viscoelasticity in enhanced oil recovery : extensive laboratory data and review

Rock, Alexander; Hincapie, Rafael E. GND; Tahir, Muhammad GND; Langanke, Nils; Ganzer, L. GND

Polymer flooding most commonly uses partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamides (HPAM) injected to increase the declining oil production from mature fields. Apart from the improved mobility ratio, also the viscoelasticity-associated flow effects yield additional oil recovery. Viscoelasticity is defined as the ability of particular polymer solutions to behave as a solid and liquid simultaneously if certain flow conditions, e.g., shear rates, are present. The viscoelasticity related flow phenomena as well as their recovery mechanisms are not fully understood and, hence, require additional and more advanced research. Whereas literature reasonably agreed on the presence of these viscoelastic flow effects in porous media, there is a significant lack and discord regarding the viscoelasticity effects in oil recovery. This work combines the information encountered in the literature, private reports and field applications. Self-gathered laboratory data is used in this work to support or refuse observations. An extensive review is generated by combining experimental observations and field applications with critical insights of the authors. The focus of the work is to understand and clarify the claims associated with polymer viscoelasticity in oil recovery by improvement of sweep efficiency, oil ganglia mobilization by flow instabilities, among others.

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Rock, Alexander / Hincapie, Rafael / Tahir, Muhammad / et al: On the role of polymer viscoelasticity in enhanced oil recovery. extensive laboratory data and review. 2020.

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