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Example of better sweep efficiency due to polymer flooding.
Example of better sweep efficiency due to polymer flooding

Polymer flooding is a chemical enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which main objective is to reduce the water-oil mobility ratio, resulting in a better sweep efficiency of the reservoir and thereby increasing the oil field recovery. This reduction in mobility ratio is obtained mainly by increasing the injection water viscosity by adding polymers and by decreasing the relative permeability to water.
However, polymer flooding projects are quite complex because there are physical phenomena that are not observed in traditional water flooding, such as non-Newtonian behavior of the polymer solution, polymer retention in the porous media, degradation, etc.
Thus, there are a large number of uncertainties regarding to polymer injection projects. In this context, polymer flooding research line in UNISIM aims to apply risk and decision analysis methodologies to this type of recovery method, quantifying potential risks and benefits, as well as checking the influence of physical phenomena in the process.