Oil recovery from tarmat reservoirs using hot water and solvent flooding

T. M. Okasha, H. K. Menouar, S. A. Abu-Khamsin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The existence of tar accumulations (tarmat) beneath the oil zone in some reservoirs creates productivity problems through restricted aquifer support during the primary recovery stage. It also affects the performance of peripheral water injection when the tar/oil boundary is irregular. The objective of this study was to investigate and evaluate combined solvent and hot water injection beneath the tarmat to improve aquifer support by displacing and dispersing the tar. Displacement runs were conducted in one-foot long Berea sand-stone composite cores, simulating a tar zone and an oil zone in series, at injection rates of 1 ml/min. and higher. The results show that although the oil recovery from hot water displacement is lower than cold water displacement in the absence of tar, the gain in recovery for hot water over cold water is substantial in the presence of tarmat. Driving a slug of solvent with hot water to displace tar increases the hydrocarbon recovery even further. However, for each of the two solvents studied, there is an optimum slug size with which the hydrocarbon recovery is maximum. Moreover, the recovery was found to increase further when the optimal slug is divided into portions separated by small slugs of hot water. The injection rate had a profound effect on the recovery for all hot-water flooding schemes. The results showed consistently that the recovery increased at lower injection rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998


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