Tracer monitoring of enhanced oil recovery projects
Institute for Energy Technology, PO Box 40, 2027 Kjeller, Norway
In enhanced oil recovery (EOR), chemicals are injected into the oil reservoir, either to increase macroscopic sweep efficiency, or to reduce remaining oil saturation in swept zones. Tracers can be used to identify reservoirs that are specifically suited for EOR operations. Injection of a selection of partitioning tracers, combined with frequent sample analysis of produced fluids, provides information suited for estimation of residual oil saturation. Tracers can also be used to evaluate and optimize the application of EOR chemicals in the reservoir. Suitable tracers will follow the EOR chemicals and assist in evaluation of retention, degradation or trapping. In addition to field applications, tracers also have a large potential as a tool to perform mechanistic studies of EOR chemicals in laboratory experiments. By labelling EOR chemicals with radioactive isotopes of elements such as H, C and S, detailed studies of transport mechanisms can be carried out. Co-injection of labelled compounds in dynamic flooding experiments in porous media will give information about retention or separation of the unique compounds constituting the chemical formulation. Separation of such compounds may be detrimental to obtaining the EOR effect expected. The paper gives new information of specific methods, and discusses current status for use of tracers in EOR operations.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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