Further Development of the Pore Scale Mechanism of Relative Permeability Modification by Partially Hydrolysed Polyacrylamide

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    One proposed method for the chemical control of produced water is by using a "relative permeability modifier" (RPM) which is usually based on a water soluble polymer. A considerable amount of literature on such materials has appeared although there is still not a complete consensus on the actual mechanism through which RPMs operate within a porous medium. One mechanism that has been suggested is based on the existence of an adsorbed polymer layer where this layer, within a water-wet porous medium, reduces water flow more significantly than oil. In this paper, we propose further developments of this adsorption mechanism of relative permeability modification. The present study is based on two complementary approaches as follows: (i) a series of detailed coreflood experiments has been performed to assess the impact that an adsorbed polymer layer has on the fluid flow pathways. Experimental results on tracer pulses, end point relative permeabilities/saturations and pressure profiles have been utilised in our analysis; (ii) a pore-scale network model has been developed which incorporates the proposed mechanism of RPM operation. The predictions from this model have then been compared with the experimental results. It has been possible to deduce that, not only is water flow affected more significantly than oil, but that the manner in which this occurs is different for each phase. The contributions to both the water and oil conductivity of relative permeability effects (due to saturation changes) and actual "pore blocking" is deduced.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings - SPE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2002
    Event13th SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery 2002 - Tulsa, OK, United States
    Duration: 13 Apr 200217 Apr 2002


    Conference13th SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery 2002
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityTulsa, OK


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