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SPE 169942

Using Polymer-Alternating-Gas to Maximize CO2 Flooding Performance for


Light Oils
Weirong Li and David S. Schechter, SPE, Texas A&M University

Copyright 2014, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the Trinidad & Tobago Energy Resources Conference held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 911 June 2014.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessar ily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohi bited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

Abstract
Carbon dioxide has been used commercially to recover oil from reservoir by enhanced oil recovery technologies for over 40
years. Currently, the CO2 flood is the second most applied enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes in the world behind steam
flood. Water alternating gas (WAG) injection has been a popular method to control mobility and improve volumetric sweep
efficiency for CO2 flooding. The average improved recovery is about 9.7% with range from 6% to 20% for miscible WAG
injection. Despite all of the success of WAG injection, sweep efficiency during CO 2 flooding is a typically challenge to reach
higher oil recovery and better application of the technology.
The paper proposes a new combination method, named as polymer-alternating-gas (PAG), to improve the volumetric
sweep efficiency of WAG process. The feature of this new method is that polymer is added to water during WAG process to
improve mobility ratio. In a PAG process, polymer flooding and immiscible/ miscible CO 2 injection are combined.
To analyze the feasibility of PAG, couples model considering both miscible and polymer flooding process are built to study
the performance of PAG. In this paper, sensitivity of polymer adsorption and concentration are studied. Feasibility of PAG in
reservoirs with different permeability, different Dykstra-Parsons permeability variation coefficient (VDP), and different fluid
are also studied. A reservoir model from typical section of North Burbank Unit is used to compare the performance between
PAG, WAG and polymer flooding. This study demonstrates that PWAG can significantly improve recovery for
immiscible/miscible flooding in homogeneity or heterogeneity of reservoir.

Introduction
Although CO2 flooding is a well-established EOR technique, its density and viscosity nature is a challenge for CO2 projects.
Low density (0.5 to 0.8 g/cm3) causes gas to rise upward in reservoirs and bypass many lower portions of the reservoir. Low
viscosity (0.02 to 0.08 cp) leads to poor volumetric sweep efficiency. In heterogeneous reservoirs with high-permeability
zones and natural fractures, the condition is even worse (Zhang et al. 2010).
Almost all commercial miscible gas injection projects use WAG to control mobility of gas and alleviate fingering
problems. Recovery of WAG is better than gas injection alone, and 80% of commercial WAG projects in the US are
economic (Christensen et al. 1998). However, recent studies show that most of the fields could not reach the excepted
recovery factor from the WAG process, especially for reservoirs with high-permeability zones or there are naturally fractured
(Christensen et al. 2001).
Gel application is considered the most aggressive type of conformance control. Gel acts as a blocking agent to reduce
channeling through fractures or high-permeability zones of reservoirs (Ali and Schechter 2013). The most applied gel system
in the oil industry for conformance control is hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) with Cr () acetate. Woods et al. (1986)
presented one of the earliest successful gel treatments for Lick Creek field in Arkansas. Hild and Wackowski (1999) reported
a successful gel treatment at the Rangely Weber Sand Unit in northwestern Colorado. In this treatment, a large-volume
(10,000 bbl) chromic-acetate acrylamide polymer gel was applied to improve CO2 flooding performance. The cost of the gel
treatment was estimated to be around USD 6 to 8/bbl, and the project return rate was 365%. Karaoguz et al. (2007) and
Topguder (2010) reported several field applications of gel in Bati Raman field. In General, gels can treat water coning
successfully in reservoir with vertical fracture. However, water coning through matrix reservoir is very difficult to be treated
successfully with gels. On the other hand, conventional foams are considered effectively in matrix rock and are not applicable
in reservoir fracture channels with aperture widths on the order of greater than 0.5 mm (Robert 2007).
Bond and Holbrook (1958) first proposed the idea of using foam for mobility control. Since then, CO2 foam with surfactant
2 SPE 169942

has been used as an effective mobility-reducing agent for CO2 flooding in the oil recovery process. One of the largest full-
scale field demonstrations of foam for gas mobility control was the Foam-assisted water alternating gas (FAWAG) project in
the Snorre field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf from 1997 to 2000 (Blaker et al. 2002). Unfortunately, field experiences
showed that conventional foam with surfactant injected in water had some significant limitations. Enick et al. (2012)
concluded the problems of FAWAG: (1) the dilution of CO 2 foam by subsequently injected water; (2) the inability of foam to
be effective in formations containing fractures or extremely high-permeability open flow paths; (3) the very short propagation
of the CO2 from the injection well, cold weather ice and hydrate formation, unacceptably large decreases in injectivity
associated with coinjection, and other unspecified operational problems.
To overcome the issues of gas breakthrough and gravity segregation, a new combination method was proposed. This new
method, termed as PAG, combines features of CO2 flooding with polymer flooding to produce a chemically enhanced WAG
flooding. Coupling of polymer with CO2 is expected to improve the efficiency of the current WAG. The main feature of PAG
is that polymer is injected with water in the whole WAG process. Zhang et al (2010) conducted the polymer injection chased
with gas alternative water (PGAW) experiment based on Saskatchewan crude. They stated that coupled CO2 and polymer
injection gave better recovery and efficiency than WAG and polymer flooding. Majidaie et al. (2012) carried out the first
coupled CO2 and polymer injection simulation study for light oil based on a synthetic and homogeneous model. This study
showed that PAG and WAG have almost the same recovery. And he also mentioned that chemical slug of polymer with
surfactant and alkali would significantly increase oil recovery.

Workflow of PAG Modeling


In this study, we discussed PAG flooding in light oils based on synthetic models. The commercial software CMG-WINPROP
and STARS were used. It is a simulator could model both has injection process and polymer flooding. The main steps in the
study are as follows:
(1) Build synthetic reservoir models and introduce fluid characterization used in study
(2) Define polymer parameters
(3) Sensitivity study of polymer parameters
(4) Feasibility study of PAG in different reservoir and fluid conditions
(5) Use PAG to improve gas flooding in TR59 of North Burbank Unit (Case study)

Synthetic Reservoir Model and Fluid Characterization


The reservoir model used in this study consists of 21216 grid blocks. Grid dimensions are 50 ft 50 ft 10 ft, resulting in a
reservoir 1050 ft length, 1,050 ft width and 60 ft thick. The reservoir is thick enough to see the effect of gravity segregation.
The reservoir is located 3,000 ft beneath the surface and has no dip. The reservoir is heterogeneous and consists of a
sandstone formation. Fig. 1 shows the synthetic reservoir model. The vertical injection and production wells are diagonally
located in the model. In all simulations the injection rate is fixed at 1,340,000 ft3/day for gas injection well and 800 bbl/day
for water injection well, and the bottom-hole pressure (BHP) at the production well is fixed at 1350 psi during EOR process.
Table 1 presents the input reservoir rock and fluid properties used for the simulation study.

Fig. 13D View of the Synthetic Reservoir Model (Top Depth, ft


SPE 169942 3

Table 1Reservoir Rock and Fluid Properties


Reservoir rock Reservoir fluid
Parameters Value Parameters Value
3
Reservoir size,ft 1050105060 Water density, lb/ft 63.0
Number of grid 21216 Water viscosity,cp 0.5
Porosity 0.2 Initial oil saturation 0.2
kv/kh 0.01 Initial water saturation 0.8
Permeability,md 1-2,000 Water Salinity,mg/L 7,000

Five oil samples were used to study the feasibility of PAG in miscible and immiscible flooding and different oil viscosity.
Viscosity of each oil sample at reservoir condition is 3, 9, 30, 90, and 200 cp, respectively. Fig. 2 shows correlation between
oil viscosity and pressure. Fig.3 shows the correlation between mix parameter and pressure for these five samples. Mix
parameter controls the transition between immiscible and miscible. A value of =1 results in a piston-like displacement of
oil by the injected gas. If =0, the displacement is similar to an immiscible displacement (except for the treatment of relative
permeability). Compared with oil sample #2, oil sample #1 has higher value of mix parameter at the same pressure, which
means oil simple #1 has better miscible possibility. The minimum miscible pressure for each oil sample is 1700, 1700, 2500,
2500, and 2500 psi, respectively. In this study, the highest injection pressure at injectors is set to 2,100 psi, which means that
miscible flooding is possible for oil sample #1 and #2 and oil sample #3-5 would be used for immiscible flooding study.

1000 Oil Sample #1


Oil Sample #2
Oil Sample #3
Oil Sample #4
100 Oil Sample #5
Oil Viscosity, cp

10

0.1
0 400 800 1200 1600 2000 2400 2800 3200
Pressure, psi
Fig. 2Correlation between oil viscosity and pressure
4 SPE 169942

0.8
Oil Sample #1
Oil Sample #2
Oil Sample #3
0.6
Oil Sample #4
Mix parameter

Oil Sample #5

0.4

0.2

0
0 400 800 1200 1600 2000 2400 2800 3200
Pressure, psi
Fig. 3Correlation between mix parameter and pressure

Parameters for Polymer Flooding. Rock adsorption and polymer viscosity are two important parameters for polymer
flooding. As lack of polymer test, polymer viscosity and adsorption were assumed in this simulation. The correlation between
polymer viscosity and polymer concentration is shown in Fig. 4. Fig.5 shows three correlations between polymer
concentration and polymer adsorption. For Function 1, the maximum adsorption is 10 ug/ (g rock); for Function 2, the
maximum adsorption is 50 ug/ (g rock); for Function 3, the maximum adsorption is 200 ug/ (g rock). We also assumed a
residual resistance factor (RRF) value of 1.5 at 0.50 lb/stb in this study.

40
Polymer Viscosity, cp

30

20

10

0
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
Polymer Concentration, lb/stb
Fig. 4Correlation between polymer concentration and polymer viscosity
SPE 169942 5

250
Function 1
Function 2
200 Function 3
Polymer adsorption, ug/g

150

100

50

0
0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00
Polymer Concentration, lb/stb
Fig. 5Polymer Adsorption Functions

Sensitivity Study of Polymer Parameters


To have a sensible study, we assumed that the simulation model data are based on a water flooded reservoir with water cut
98%. Base case was defined by water alternating gas injection. PAG case was defined by the injection of chemical slug
which contains polymer alternating gas injection. The reservoir performance during PAG process was compared with WAG
and continuous gas (CO2) injection (CGI). A sensitivity analysis was performed on critical parameters that affect the process
significantly, including polymer adsorption, polymer concentration.

Polymer Adsorption. Three processes have been run with different adsorption functions in Fig. 5. Polymer concentration
was set to 0.2 lb/stb. PAG has been injected for 20 years with WAG ratio 1:1 (3:3 months) and fluid injection rate 0.1 pore
volume per year (0.05 pore volume of gas and 0.05 pore volume of water). Fig. 6 and Fig. 7 indicate that reducing polymer
adsorption would significantly increase oil rate and reduce water cut. With higher adsorption, the enhanced oil recovery will
be decreased (Fig. 8). Polymer retention leads to loss of polymer from solution, which causes the mobility control effect to be
lost. If the polymer slug is small, and concentration of injected polymer solution is also low, retention may lead to polymer
flooding fail. From these three run processes, it can be seen that with smaller polymer adsorption, the higher peak oil rate and
higher oil recovery.
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100 WAG
Function 1
80 Function 2
Oil Rate, bbl/day Function 3

60

40

20

0
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000
Days
Fig. 6Oil production rate with different polymer adsorption function

100

80
Water Cut, %

60

40

WAG
20 Function 1
Function 2
Function 3
0
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000
Days
Fig. 7Water cut with different polymer adsorption function
SPE 169942 7

60

56

Oil Recovery, %
52

48

44

40
Function 1 Function 2 Function 3 WAG
Polymer Adsorption Cases
Fig. 8Oil recovery under PAG with different polymer adsorption functions

Polymer Concentration. Compared with WAG, one main purpose of PAG process is to control the water viscosity by
adding polymer into injected water to lower the water mobility, especially, for high permeability river channel reservoir. The
biggest benefit of polymer flooding is from the viscosity increasing of water phase, which improves the water-driving.
Higher polymer concentration leads to higher viscosity. Fig. 9-11 show simulation results of WAG and PAG process with
different polymer concentrations. The three PAG process have the same injected polymer slug size. The higher the polymer
concentration is, the more oil can be recovered (Fig. 11). Practically, polymer concentration cannot be increased without
upper limit. With polymer concentration increasing, the viscosity will be highly increased. As a result, the injecting pressure
will correspondingly increase if the injection rate is kept stable. If the pressure is too high, the reservoir rock will be fractured.

80 WAG
Concentration 0.1 lb/stb
Concentration 0.2 lb/stb
60 Concentration 0.3 lb/stb
Oil Rate, bbl/day

40

20

0
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000
Days
Fig. 9Oil production rate with different polymer concentration
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100

80
Water Cut, %

60

40
WAG
20 Concentration 0.1 lb/stb
Concentration 0.2 lb/stb
Concentration 0.3 lb/stb
0
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000
Days
Fig. 10Water cut with different polymer concentration

100

80
Oil Recovery, %

60

40

WAG
20 Concentration 0.1 lb/stb
Concentration 0.2 lb/stb
Concentration 0.3 lb/stb
0
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000
Days
Fig. 11Oil recovery under PAG with different polymer concentration

Feasibility Study of PAG in Different Reservoir and Fluid Conditions


To address what types of fluids and reservoirs are the candiates for PAG flooding, Feasibility study was carried out on fluid
viscosity, reservoir permeability and VDP.
Reservoir with permeability 500 md and VDP 0.70 was used for feasibility study in fluid viscosity.
Oil sample #2 was used for feasibility study in both homogenous and heterogeneous models.

Fluid Viscosity. Polymer flooding is usually used for reservoir fluid with viscosity range 10-150 cp, while CO2 flooding
prefers light oil with viscosity below 10 cp. A sensitivity study of the reservoir performance due to oil viscosity was
conducted on the PAG model by changing the oil viscosity values. Five oil viscosity values (3, 9, 30, 90 and 180 cp) were
studied. During PAG process, concentration of 0.20 lb/stb was set for these five cases. Fig. 12 shows that: (1) lower viscosity
would lead to higher recovery of waterflooding, WAG and PAG; (2) oil recovery from PAG process is 16-24% higher than
that of water flooding; (3) oil recovery from PAG process is 10-13% higher than that of WAG; (4) PAG could significantly
increase recovery in both miscible and immiscible flooding.
SPE 169942 9

100
Water Flooding WAG PAG

Oil Recovery, % 80

60

40

20

0
Oil Sample #1 Oil Sample #2 Oil Sample #3 Oil Sample #4 Oil Sample #5
Fig. 12Comparison of oil recovery among waterflooding, PAG and WAG for models with oil viscosity

Homogenous Formation. Permeability ranges from 50-1,000 md was studied. Table 2 shows the polymer injection
concentrations for formations with different permeability. Fig. 13 shows that: (1) No significant difference in waterflooding
recovery when permeability varies from 50-1,000 md; (2) PAG does not improve recovery when permeability is lower than
500 md. The main reason is WAG could reach very high recovery (more than 60%) for homogenous formation with low
permeability, while polymer has injectivity problem in such a low permeability formation; (3) Oil recovery from PAG
process is 7-15% higher than that from WAG when permeability is higher than 500 md in homogenous formation.

Table 2Polymer Injection Concentration


Permeability, md 50 100 200 500 1,000
Polymer concentration, lb/stb 0.05 0.05 0.1 0.2 0.2
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100
Water flooding WAG PAG

Oil Recovery, % 80

60

40

20

0
50 100 200 500 1000
Permeability, md
Fig. 13Comparison of oil recovery among waterflooding, PAG and WAG for models with difference permeability

Heterogenous Formation. Vertical heterogeneity of formation would lead to CO2 fast breakthrough, especially for high
VDP formation with high permeability layer at the top. In this paper, two groups of heterogenous models were studied. One
group model has average permeability of 100 md with BHP of 100 psi, the other one has average permeability of 500 md
with BHP of 1,600 psi. VDP values range from 0.5-0.9 for both group models. Polymer concentration was set to 0.2 lb/stb for
all the cases.
Fig. 14 shows that: (1) lower VDP would lead to higher recovery of waterflooding, WAG and PAG; (2) oil recovery from
PAG process is 18-29% higher than that from waterflooding; (3) oil recovery from PAG process is 7-13% higher than that
from WAG; (4) Compared with WAG, increment of recovery from WAG decreases with the increasing VDP value. It means
that higher polymer concentration is needed for high permeability formation with high VDP value.

100
Water Flooding WAG PAG

80
Oil Recovery, %

60

40

20

0
VDP 0.5 VDP 0.6 VDP 0.7 VDP 0.8 VDP 0.9
Different VDP Value
Fig. 14Comparison of oil recovery among waterflooding, PAG and WAG for models with different VDP in high
permeability formation
SPE 169942 11

Fig. 15 shows that: (1) lower VDP would lead to higher recovery of waterflooding, WAG and PAG; (2) oil recovery from
PAG process is 21-25% higher than that from water flooding; (3) oil recovery from PAG process is 3-11% higher than that
from WAG; (4) Compared with WAG, increment recovery from WAG increases with the increasing VDP value. It means
that lower permeability formation with high VDP value is a good candidate for PAG flooding.

100 Water Flooding WAG PAG

80
Oil Recovery, %

60

40

20

0
VDP 0.5 VDP 0.6 VDP 0.7 VDP 0.8 VDP 0.9
Different VDP Value
Fig. 15Comparison of oil recovery among waterflooding, PAG and WAG for models with different VDP in low
permeability formation

Case Study
We applied PAG to improve the volumetric sweep efficiency of the WAG process in TR59 of the North Burbank Unit. High
heterogeneity and high permeability at the top layers are the two main challenges for gas flooding in North Burbank Unit.
Performance among polymer flooding, WAG and PAG were compared.

Introduction of North Burbank Unit. The North Burbank Unit, located on the northeastern Oklahoma Cherokee platform
(Fig. 16), was originally discovered in 1920. It has an extensive history of activity, including primary depletion, produced gas
cycling, and water and polymer flooding to the point of very high water cut at current conditions (Fig. 17). The North
Burbank Unit has a cumulative production of 332 million bbl of oil out of an estimated 824 million bbl of original oil in
place. The current oil production rate in the North Burbank Unit is approximately 1,400 BOPD from 360 active wells at a
water cut of 99.5%. Significant reserves are currently available for post-secondary production. CO2 flooding is a good choice
considering that the minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) in the North Burbank Unit is lower than the fracturing pressure
and CO2 is available from a purely anthropogenic source. High heterogeneity and high permeability at the top layers are the
two main challenges of the North Burbank Unit.
12 SPE 169942

a) Location of the North Burbank Unit (edited from Brain 2012) b) Highlighted tracts in the North Burbank Unit
Fig. 16Geologic map of the North Burbank Unit

Fig. 17The North Burbank Unit production history

Reservoir Model. Building a full-field 3D geologic model of the North Burbank Unit presented several unique challenges,
including having permeability/porosity logs and secondary production/injection data for only a few wells. In this paper,
typical section 59 was chosen to demonstrate how PAG improves recovery in field. For the purpose of modeling, the ST59 is
characterized by a gridded network with permeability and porosity parameters specified for each block. For this model, the
0.5 0.5-mi reservoir section is divided into 60 grid blocks in the x-direction, 60 grid blocks in the y-direction, and 6 grid
blocks in the z-direction. In the x- and y-directions, the grid blocks are 44 ft in length. The grid blocks in the z-direction vary
from 7 to 32 ft thick, which results in a pay zone of 89 ft. Fig. 18 shows x-horizontal permeability (kh) in the model. The
vertical permeability (kv) is 0.01 times the x-horizontal permeability, while y-horizontal permeability is 3 times the x-
horizontal permeability. Table 4 presents the input reservoir rock and fluid properties used for the simulation.
SPE 169942 13

X direction Permeability, md
0 200 400 600

Layer
4

Fig. 18X-horizontal permeability of each layer

Table 4Reservoir Rock and Fluid Properties


Reservoir Rock Reservoir Fluid
Parameter Values Parameter Values
Size of Model, ft 2,6402,64088.9 Water Density, lb/ft3 62.97
Number of Grid 60606 Water Viscosity, cp 0.5
VDP 0.85 Oil Density, lb/ft3 50 to 52
kv/kh 0.01 Oil Viscosity, cp 2 to 4
Porosity 0.15 to 0.27 Initial Oil Saturation 0.61 to 0.80
Initial Pressure, psi 1,350 Initial Water Saturation 0.20 to 0.39
Permeability, mD 6 to 230

Fluid model, Well pattern and Other Parameters Used in Model. After matching experimental data, a black oil fluid
model was generated from pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) software. In this model, following mix parameter curve (Fig.
19) was used after matching WAG production between compositional model and pseudo-miscible model. Polymer
parameters are from Fig.4 and Fig.5 (Function 2).
14 SPE 169942

0.8

0.6
Mix Parameter

0.4

0.2

0
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500
Pressure,psi
Fig. 19Correlation between mix parameter and pressure

After optimizing the WAG, following parameters was sued for PAG study. Well pattern was shown in Fig. 20 Fluid
Injection rate is 0.1 pore volume per year (gas and water injection rate is the same 0.05 pore volume per year). WAG ratio is
1:1 (90 days water injection alternating with 90 days gas injection).

Fig. 20Well pattern

PAG Versus Polymer Flooding and WAG: In the production history of NBU, surfactant/polymer flooding and polymer
flooding have been carried in 1980s. The commercializing surfactant/polymer pilot in Tract 97 is considered economic
unfavorable particularly in areas of high heterogeneity (Joseph 1983, and Moffitt et al. 1993). While the freshwater polymer
flood project at NBU block A (included 84 producers and 36 injectors) is technically and economically successful, even with
the large drop in oil prices in 1986. In this project, 4.2 million lb of polyacrylamide and 4.0 million lbm of 2.9 aluminum
citrate crosslinking were injection and incremental oil recovery exceeded 2.5 MMSTB of oil (Tracy and Dauben 1982,
Joseph and Paul 1982, Zornes et al. 1986, Moffitt et al. 1993). It is worth to compare the performance between polymer
flooding and gas flooding in this field.
To identify which injection method yields a better recovery, four different schemes were conducted (Fig. 21). Pattern-1
(polymer flooding) injects polymer of 0.10 lb/stb with water for twenty years. Pattern-2 (polymer-water flooding) injects
polymer of 0.10 lb/stb with water for ten years then follow with water injection for ten years. Pattern-3 (WAG) uses WAG
injection for twenty years. Pattern-4 (PAG) injects polymer of 0.06 lb/stb with water and alternative with gas for twenty
years. Same volume of polymer was injected for pattern-2 and pattern-4.
We forecasted oil production rate for the four different EOR processes (Fig. 22). The peak oil rate by PAG is much higher
than WAG and polymer flooding. Polymer flooding could produce 16.39% OOIP after water flooding, while this value is
12.67% for polymer-water flooding (Fig. 23 and Table 5). It shows that this reservoir also is a good candidate for polymer
flooding. Pattern-2 and pattern-4 use the same polymer consumption, while recovery from pattern-4 is 7% higher than
recovery from pattern-2. Recovery after PAG injection is 19.70%, which is 4-12% higher than other injection method. It
indicates combining polymer and gas injection is better than other methods mentioned above.
SPE 169942 15

Pattern-1

Pattern-2 Polymer
Water
Gas
Pattern-3

Pattern-4

Fig. 21Slug patterns of four different schemes

Table 5Summary of different methods


Recovery Polymer Consumption Oil Increased Polymer Utilization
% 106 lb 106 stb lb/stb
Polymer Flooding 16.39 2.25 1.56 1.44
Polymer-Water Flooding 12.67 1.13 1.20 0.94
WAG 8.72 0.00 0.84 0.00
PAG 19.70 1.24 1.89 1.18

800 Polymer Flooding


Polymer-Water Flooding
WAG
PAG
600
Oil Rates, bbl/day

400

200

0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000
Days
Fig. 22Oil production rate with different injection slugs
16 SPE 169942

25

20
Oil Recovery, %

15

10

0
Polymer Flooding Polymer-Water WAG PAG
Flooding
EOR Methods
Fig. 23Oil recovery under different methods
Conclusions
A new EOR method, named PAG, was proposed to improve the efficiency of conventional WAG process. The following
conclusions were made for this study:
1. PAG is very sensitive with polymer adsorption. Lower adsorption would lead to higher recovery.
2. Increase polymer concentration would increase oil recovery in PAG process when injectivity problem occurs.
3. Based on recovery from different type of oil, it indicates that PAG could significantly increase recovery in both
miscible and immiscible flooding.
4. Oil recovery from PAG process is 7-15% higher than that of WAG when permeability higher than 500 md in
homogeneity reservoir.
5. PAG could improve WAG perform in both high and low permeability heterogeneity reservoir with VDP vary from
0.5-0.9.
6. Case study shows that oil recovery increased by PAG in TR59 is forecasted to be 20%, which is 12% higher than
WAG. Polymer utilization is about 2.10 lb/stb, which is economically feasible.

Nomenclature
EOR Enhanced oil recovery
FAWAG Foam-assisted water alternating gas
Kv Vertical permeability
Kh Horizontal permeability
MMP Minimum miscibility pressure
PVT Pressure-volume-temperature
PAG Polymer-alternating-gas
RRF Residual resistance factor
VDP Dykstra-Parsons permeability variation coefficient
WAG Water alternating gas

Acknowledgments
Financial support for this study was provided by Chaparral LLC. The authors wish to thank DeLon Flinchum and Matt Stover
for their contribution of ideas and data.

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