Simulation of Scale Inhibitor Squeeze Treatments in a Polymer Flooded Reservoir

Alan Beteta, Oscar Vazquez, Mandhr Al Kalbani, Faith Eze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to demonstrate the changes to scale inhibitor squeeze lifetimes in a polymer flooded reservoir vs. a waterflooded reservoir. A squeeze campaign was designed for the base waterflood system, then injection was switched to polymer flooding (PF) at early and late field life. The squeeze design strategy was adapted to maintain full scale protection under the new system.

During the field life, the production of water is a constant challenge. Both in terms of water handling, but also the associated risk of mineral scale deposition. Squeeze treatment is a common technique, where a scale inhibitor is injected to prevent the formation of scale. The squeeze lifetime is dictated by the adsorption/desorption properties of the inhibitor chemical, along with the water rate at the production well. The impact on the adsorption properties and changes to water rate on squeeze lifetime during PF are studied using reservoir simulation.

A 2D 5-spot model was used in this study, which is considered a reasonable representation of a field reservoir under waterflooding (WF)/PF. It was observed that when applying polymer (HPAM) flooding, with either a constant viscosity or with polymer degradation. The study concludes that the number of squeeze treatments was significantly reduced as compared to the waterflood case. This is due to the significant delay in water production induced by the polymer flood. When the polymer flood was initiated later in field life, after 0.5 PV (reservoir PVs) water injection, resulting in 70% water cut approximately, the number of squeeze treatments required was still lower than the waterflood base case. However, it was also observed that in all cases, at later stages of field life the positive impact of PF on squeeze lifetime begin to diminish, due in part to the polymer breakthrough, which results in higher water viscosity in the production near-wellbore region. Preventing the overflush to be as effective transporting the scale inhibitor.

This study represents the first coupled reservoir simulation/squeeze treatment design for a polymer flooded reservoir. It has been demonstrated that in over the course of a field lifetime, PF will in fact reduce the number of squeeze treatments required even with a potential reduction in inhibitor adsorption. This highlights an opportunity for further optimization and a key benefit of PF in terms of scale management, aside from the EOR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431–445
Number of pages15
JournalSPE Production and Operations
Issue number3
Early online date31 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology


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