Polymer floods: A case study of nonlinear wave analysis and of instability control in tertiary oil recovery

Prabir Daripa, James Glimm, Brent Lindquist, Oliver McBryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Polymer flooding in oil reservoir simulation is considered in two space dimensions. The wave structures associated with such a process give rise to interesting phenomena in the nonlinear regime which have direct bearing on the efficiency of oil recovery. These waves influence and can prevent surface instabilities of the fingering mode. In this paper we resolve these waves by a front tracking method. We consider the fingering problem and the issue of oil recovery for the polymer flood. The details of these two phenomena depend on the separation between the waves and upon the viscosity contrast between the oil, water and polymer. We identify a nonlinear transfer of instability between adjacent waves and a nonlinear enhancement of recovery due to successive waves. The conclusions produced by this work are also pertinent to tracer flooding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-373
Number of pages21
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Polymer floods: A case study of nonlinear wave analysis and of instability control in tertiary oil recovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this