Once a field is past its prime and waterflooding or gas injection have reached their limits, other solutions need to be considered to increase recovery further.
Chemical EOR (either surfactant or polymer surfactant or in combination) can be the response to that problem. Polymer can help improve sweep efficiency and accelerate production compared to waterflood, even in a high water-cut context, as demonstrated in Daqing. Surfactant flooding is used to reduce interfacial tenson between oil and water and thus allows to reduce residual oil saturation. The Alliance has developed specific solutions to deal with harsh reservoir conditions such as high temperature, high salinity and high hardness. We have also developed techniques such as High Throughput screening using robots to help us screen rapidly hundreds or thousands of formulations to find the best adapted to specific reservoir conditions.
Miscible gas injection (with or without WAG – Water Alternate Gas) has long been used successfully as a tertiary recovery method; however even when WAG is used the process can suffer from gravity override and early breakthrough due to thief zones. Foams can be used to mitigate those effects and the Alliance has developed specific methodologies and additives for gas foam.
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