Polymer and nanoparticles flooding as a new method for Enhanced Oil Recovery

P. Druetta*, F. Picchioni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A new Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) method is proposed by combining the effects of a traditional polymer flooding and exploiting the advantages that nanotechnology presents in the oil industry. Thus, a novel technique is introduced and applied to a 2D reservoir model with a two-phase, five-component system (aqueous, oil phases and water, hydrocarbon, polymer, nanoparticles and salt). For the polymer characterization, a novel approach is presented considering the polymer's architecture and its degradation in order to calculate the physical properties, which has never been reported in reservoir simulation. The presence of the nanoparticles affects mainly the rheological behavior and the wett ability of the rock, increasing the oil phase mobility. Moreover, negative effects such as particle aggregation and sedimentation are also modeled using a novel formulation in reservoir simulation. The combined action of polymers and nanoparticles allowed increasing the recovery factors beyond standard EOR processes, and it represents a suitable alternative to replace traditional combined methods, such as Surfactant-Polymer (SP) or Alkaline-Surfactant-Polymer (ASP). This is due to the fact that the nanoparticles act, to a greater or lesser extent, on the wettability, rheological and interfacial properties of fluids and rock formation, which is complemented with the polymer's viscosifying properties. Moreover, economical factors could also render this technique more attractive, since the nanoparticles' associated costs are substantially lower than those from surfactant flooding. This simulation proves the potential of nanotechnology as a mean to boost traditional EOR techniques in order to further increase the operative life of mature oil fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-495
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Volume177
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2019

Keywords

  • EOR
  • Polymer
  • Nanotechnology
  • Reservoir simulation
  • SILICA NANOPARTICLES
  • RHEOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR
  • CONFORMATIONAL PROPERTIES
  • POLYACRYLAMIDE SOLUTION
  • 2-PHASE FLOW
  • AGGREGATION
  • VISCOSITY
  • SEDIMENTATION
  • POLYSTYRENE
  • SUSPENSIONS

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