MODEL-BASED ANALYSIS TO EVALUATE THE EFFECT OF POLYMER PROPERTIES AND PHYSICAL PHENOMENA ON POLYMER FLOODING OPERATIONS

Resumo

Polymer flooding, known for enhancing heavy oil displacement, may encounter efficiency-limiting physical phenomena. This work assesses the impact of key factors like viscosity, shear rate, and adsorption in field applications using a model-based approach on the EPIC001 case, a real offshore Brazilian heavy oil reservoir. In simulation results, increasing the displacing fluid viscosity using apparent or zero-shear functions, oil production and economic returns show improvements over waterflooding. The shear rate effect slightly increases oil production and enhances injectivity loss due to shear-thinning in polymer flow. However, modeling it increases computation costs, as it extends simulation run time from minutes to days, making it impractical for intensive processes like production optimization. An analysis of the method’s effectiveness shows that it varies based on the adsorption level considered. At its highest value, even with a higher oil recovery factor, the economic return was lower than using waterflooding. Combining shear rate and adsorption has a minimal impact on field indicators when compared to adsorption alone. This work enhances the comprehension of physical phenomena and non-Newtonian behavior in tertiary polymer flooding on heavy oil reservoirs and its impact on the production forecast. It also highlights important considerations for modeling-based procedures.

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