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Title: First Ever Polymer Flood Field Pilot to Enhance the Recovery of Heavy Oils on Alaska’s North Slope – Polymer Injection Performance

Abstract

Alaska North Slope (ANS) holds an estimated 20-30+ billion barrel heavy oil resources, yet the development pace has been very slow due to high development costs and low oil recovery using conventional waterflood and EOR methods. The objective of this pilot is to perform a field experiment to validate the use of an advanced polymer flooding technology to unlock the vast heavy oil resources on ANS. The advanced polymer flooding technology combines polymer flooding, low salinity water flooding, horizontal wells, and if necessary, injection conformance control treatments into one integrated process to significantly improve oil recovery from heavy oil reservoirs. Two pairs of horizontal injection and production wells have been deployed in an isolated fault block of the Schrader Bluff heavy oil reservoir at the Milne Point Field to conduct a polymer flood pilot. The pilot will acquire scientific knowledge and field performance data to optimize polymer flood design in the Schrader Bluff heavy oil reservoirs on ANS. Polymer injection started on August 28, 2018 using a custom made polymer blending and pumping unit. This paper focuses on the facility setup and polymer injection performance into the horizontal injectors drilled and completed in the Schrader Bluff heavy oil reservoir. Partiallymore » hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) polymer was selected and the initial target viscosity was set at 45 centipoise. Polymer injection rate was set at 2200 bbl/day for one injector (J-23A) and 1200 bbl/day for the other (J-24A) based on production voidage. Injection pressure was controlled at below fracture pressure to prevent fracturing the reservoir and causing fast breakthroughs. Step rate and pressure falloff tests indicate that short term polymer injectivity is similar to water injectivity, which means that injectivity is mostly controlled by fluid mobility deep in the reservoir rather than that in the vicinity of the injection wellbore. Long term injection data indicate that polymer injectivity has been decreasing in both injectors as the reservoir is filled by polymer. No polymer has been observed in the production stream 7 months after the start of polymer injection compared with a 3-month breakthrough time with waterflood. This indicates that polymer significantly delays breakthrough time which will lead to increased sweep efficiency.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1524645
Report Number(s):
URTeC: 643
DOE Contract Number:  
FE0031606
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Unconventional Resources Technology Conference
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Ning, Samson, Barnes, John, Edwards, Reid, Dunford, Kyler, Eastham, Kevin, Dandekar, Abhijit, Zhang, Yin, Cercone, David Paul, and Ciferno, Jared. First Ever Polymer Flood Field Pilot to Enhance the Recovery of Heavy Oils on Alaska’s North Slope – Polymer Injection Performance. United States: N. p., 2019. Web.
Ning, Samson, Barnes, John, Edwards, Reid, Dunford, Kyler, Eastham, Kevin, Dandekar, Abhijit, Zhang, Yin, Cercone, David Paul, & Ciferno, Jared. First Ever Polymer Flood Field Pilot to Enhance the Recovery of Heavy Oils on Alaska’s North Slope – Polymer Injection Performance. United States.
Ning, Samson, Barnes, John, Edwards, Reid, Dunford, Kyler, Eastham, Kevin, Dandekar, Abhijit, Zhang, Yin, Cercone, David Paul, and Ciferno, Jared. Mon . "First Ever Polymer Flood Field Pilot to Enhance the Recovery of Heavy Oils on Alaska’s North Slope – Polymer Injection Performance". United States.
@article{osti_1524645,
title = {First Ever Polymer Flood Field Pilot to Enhance the Recovery of Heavy Oils on Alaska’s North Slope – Polymer Injection Performance},
author = {Ning, Samson and Barnes, John and Edwards, Reid and Dunford, Kyler and Eastham, Kevin and Dandekar, Abhijit and Zhang, Yin and Cercone, David Paul and Ciferno, Jared},
abstractNote = {Alaska North Slope (ANS) holds an estimated 20-30+ billion barrel heavy oil resources, yet the development pace has been very slow due to high development costs and low oil recovery using conventional waterflood and EOR methods. The objective of this pilot is to perform a field experiment to validate the use of an advanced polymer flooding technology to unlock the vast heavy oil resources on ANS. The advanced polymer flooding technology combines polymer flooding, low salinity water flooding, horizontal wells, and if necessary, injection conformance control treatments into one integrated process to significantly improve oil recovery from heavy oil reservoirs. Two pairs of horizontal injection and production wells have been deployed in an isolated fault block of the Schrader Bluff heavy oil reservoir at the Milne Point Field to conduct a polymer flood pilot. The pilot will acquire scientific knowledge and field performance data to optimize polymer flood design in the Schrader Bluff heavy oil reservoirs on ANS. Polymer injection started on August 28, 2018 using a custom made polymer blending and pumping unit. This paper focuses on the facility setup and polymer injection performance into the horizontal injectors drilled and completed in the Schrader Bluff heavy oil reservoir. Partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) polymer was selected and the initial target viscosity was set at 45 centipoise. Polymer injection rate was set at 2200 bbl/day for one injector (J-23A) and 1200 bbl/day for the other (J-24A) based on production voidage. Injection pressure was controlled at below fracture pressure to prevent fracturing the reservoir and causing fast breakthroughs. Step rate and pressure falloff tests indicate that short term polymer injectivity is similar to water injectivity, which means that injectivity is mostly controlled by fluid mobility deep in the reservoir rather than that in the vicinity of the injection wellbore. Long term injection data indicate that polymer injectivity has been decreasing in both injectors as the reservoir is filled by polymer. No polymer has been observed in the production stream 7 months after the start of polymer injection compared with a 3-month breakthrough time with waterflood. This indicates that polymer significantly delays breakthrough time which will lead to increased sweep efficiency.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

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Works referencing / citing this record:

First Ever Polymer Flood Field Pilot to Enhance the Recovery of Heavy Oils on Alaska's North Slope—Polymer Injection Performance
conference, January 2019

  • Ning, Samson; Barnes, John; Edwards, Reid
  • Proceedings of the 7th Unconventional Resources Technology Conference
  • DOI: 10.15530/urtec-2019-643