Influence of the polymer properties and numerical schemes on tertiary oil recovery processes

P. Druetta, F. Picchioni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) processes comprise a number of flooding techniques aimed at increasing the operational life of mature oilfields. Among these, polymer flooding is one of the most developed; its functionality is to increment the aqueous viscosity, avoiding the formation of viscous fingering. Reservoir simulators consider this influence as well as other physical properties (e.g., adsorption, permeability reduction). However, the polymer degradation is usually not considered even though it plays a critical role in the viscosity. In this paper this mechanism is analyzed and coupled with the previously mentioned physical phenomena in order to present a complete study of their influence in the EOR process. Moreover, since a fully second-order accuracy scheme is used along with a Total Variation Diminishing (TVD) flux-limiting function, the influence of the latter on the recovery factor is also discussed. Results showed that the negative effect of the polymer adsorption was the most relevant physical phenomenon in terms of the oil recovery. Furthermore, the analysis of the discretization of the differential equations showed that traditional, linear first-order schemes created numerical diffusion affecting negatively the macroscopic sweeping efficiency, which disappeared when TVD techniques were used. Reservoir simulators allow determining the desired designing properties for future polymers in relationship with the characteristics of the oilfield to be exploited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-1110
Number of pages17
JournalComputers & Mathematics with Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15-Feb-2020


  • EOR
  • Polymer
  • Degradation
  • Viscoelasticity
  • Reservoir simulation
  • TVD
  • FLOW

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