This research aims to test four new polymers for their stability under high salinity/high hardness conditions for their possible use in polymer flooding to improve oil recovery from hydrocarbon reservoirs. The four sulfonated based polyacrylamide co-polymers were FLOCOMB C7035; SUPERPUSHER SAV55; THERMOASSOCIATIF; and AN132 VHM which are basically sulfonated polyacrylamide copolymers of AM (acrylamide) with AMPS (2-Acrylamido-2-Methylpropane Sulfonate). AN132 VHM has a molecular weight of 9–11 million Daltons with 32 mol % degree of sulfonation. SUPERPUSHER SAV55 mainly has about 35 mol % sulfonation degree and a molecular weight of 9–11 million Daltons. FLOCOMB C7035, in addition, has undergone post-hydrolysis step to increase polydispersity and molecular weight above 18 million Daltons but it has a sulfonation degree much lower than 32 mol %. THERMOASSOCIATIF has a molecular weight lower than 12 million Daltons and a medium sulfonation degree of around 32 mol %, and also contains LCST (lower critical solution temperature) type block, which is responsible for its thermoassociative characteristics. This paper discusses the rheological behavior of these polymers in aqueous solutions (100–4500 ppm) with NaCl (0.1–10 wt %) measured at 25 °C. The effect of hardness was investigated by preparing a CaCl2
-NaCl solution of same ionic strength as the 5 wt % of NaCl. In summary, it can be concluded that the rheological behavior of the newly modified co-polymers was in general agreement to the existing polymers, except that THERMOASSOCIATIF polymers showed unique behavior, which could possibly make them a better candidate for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) application in high salinity conditions. The other three polymers, on the other hand, are better candidates for EOR applications in reservoirs containing high divalent ions. These results are expected to be helpful in selecting and screening the polymers for an EOR application.
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