In order to fulfil the ambitious targets set for oil recovery on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) it is necessary to implement enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods. The targets cannot be achieved by improved exploration, drilling and field management alone. Most of the Norwegian fields are developed with water flooding and are therefore good candidates for EOR. However, cost and logistics have been challenging hindrances in implementing EOR methods in an offshore environment.
Linked polymer solutions (LPS) is an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) method that improves microscopic sweep efficiency and reduce oil saturation by microscopic diversion. Field results from onshore fields in China show up to 20 % increase in recovery and recent core flood studies pe rformed at CIPR indicate a huge potential for NCS reservoirs. StatoilHydro is aiming to perform an injection test for LPS at the Heidrun field in 2010. Both CIPR and StatoilHydro share a common goal in implementing the method offshore. In order to achieve this it necessary to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanism of microscopic diversion and to describe key parameters for evaluating and implementing linked polymer solution (LPS) flood in North Sea reservoirs.
In this KMB we propose to im prove the understanding of the mechanism for microscopic diversion by investigating the effects of permeability, pore structure, brine salinity and polymer visco-elasticity on LPS oil mobilization. In particular, we need improve our understanding of LPS p erformance under saline conditions in order to successfully transfer the field experience from onshore fresh water conditions. We will also search for environmentally friendly alternatives for microscopic diversion which has the potential to significantly reduce the barrier for implementation for operators. The ultimate goal is to reduce the time from lab characterization to field implementation and improve the predictability of LPS simulations.