Simulation study of polymer flooding performance: Effect of clay minerals
Department of Petroleum Engineering, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Polymer flooding is a very important technique of improving oil recovery from sandstone reservoirs in particular, because of its applicability under a wide range of reservoir rock and fluid conditions. However, these reservoir rocks contain clay minerals with high surface activities which affect the propagation of injected polymers. In this study, simulation study was conducted using UTCHEM, a 3-D, multiphase, multi-component chemical flooding simulator to investigate the influence of different types of clays on flooding performance and also to elucidate the mechanisms underlying polymer adsorption unto clay surfaces since clay minerals play a major role in retention of injected fluids thereby reducing the displacement efficiency. The input parameters for the different types of clays were synthetically generated. Flooding performance was evaluated in relation to oil recovery, Water-Oil Ratio(WOR), Oil rate of production, Polymer retention and Cumulative production. In all cases, Kaolinite exhibited the most favorable performance, while montmorillonite exhibited the least. The sensitivity test carried out to elucidate the mechanisms of polymer adsorption show that there is a gradual reduction in polymer adsorption with increase in reservoir brine hardness.