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Open AccessArticle

Experimental Study on the Effect of Polymer Injection Timing on Oil Displacement in Porous Media

1
State Key Laboratory of Oil & Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, China
2
Engineering Technology Research Institute, CNPC Coalbed Methane Co., Ltd., Xi’an 710082, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Offshore Oil Exploitation, Beijing 100027, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8010093
Received: 4 December 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
It has been proven that polymer injection at early times is beneficial to offshore heavy oil recovery. It is of significant importance to optimize the polymer injection timing and decide the residual oil distribution after polymer flooding. Aiming at a specific offshore heavy oil reservoir in Bohai, China, the optimum polymer injection timing is investigated through laboratory experiments. The influence of polymer injection timing on oil displacement and remaining oil distribution is analyzed by combining macroscopic and microscopic flooding experiments. The results reveal that the optimum polymer injection timing should be close to the water breakthrough, i.e., just before the waterflooding front reaches the outlet of the core. In addition, the waterflooding front position is analytically solved by using the Buckley–Leverett method and verified by experimental results, which supply an approach to predict the polymer injection timing. When polymer is injected before the waterflood front reaches the outlet of the core, the mobility control ability of polymer solution can reduce the fraction of bypassed volume of the reservoir by waterflooding. The early injected polymer mainly enters the high permeability zone, which works positively in two ways. Firstly, it improves the oil displacement efficiency of the high permeability zone. Secondly, the polymer establishes a flow resistance in the high permeable zones, thus improving the sweep efficiency in the low and medium permeability zones. However, our residual oil distribution experiments illustrate that there is still a large amount of oil remaining in the low and medium permeability zones. Therefore, it is necessary to explore additional EOR methods to recover the abundant residual oil. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy oil; optimum polymer injection timing; residual oil distribution; microscopic displacement; Buckley–Leverett equation heavy oil; optimum polymer injection timing; residual oil distribution; microscopic displacement; Buckley–Leverett equation
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Shi, L.; Zhu, S.; Guo, Z.; Zhao, W.; Xue, X.; Wang, X.; Ye, Z. Experimental Study on the Effect of Polymer Injection Timing on Oil Displacement in Porous Media. Processes 2020, 8, 93.

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