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Improving Polymer lnjectivity at

West Coyote Field, California

P.J. Shuler, SPE, Chevron Oil Field Research Co.
D.L. Kuehne, SPE, Chevron Oil Field Research Co.
J.T. Uhl, SPE, Chevron Oil Field Research Co.
G.W. Walkup Jr., SPE, Chevron Oil Field Research Co.

Summary. This paper presents a case history where laboratory and simulation results were used to model a
single-well polymer injectivity field test in the West Coyote field and to improve injectivity in a subsequent field
test. The polyacrylamide used in the first test exhibited low injectivity. Laboratory studies were performed to
identify the causes of low injectivity and to model the field test physically. Laboratory core data and reservoir
properties were used in a mathematical model to calculate the polymer injectivity, which closely matched that
observed in the field.
The low polymer injectivity at West Coyote was a result of formation damage caused by the polymer and
low-salinity polymer makeup water and the high resistance factor developed by the polymer. These problems
were overcome by using a lower-molecular-weight polyacrylamide, preshearing the polymer solution before
injection, and increasing the salinity of th.e polymer makeup water. These improvements resulted in a 50%
increase in injectivity during the second polymer injectivity field test at West Coyote.

Two single-well evaluation programs for the micel- The premise of this paper is that the chemical solution
lar/polymer process were conducted in the Main and 99 mobilities measured in laboratory corefloods can be re-
West pools at the West Coyote field. The objectives were lated to mobilities that exist in a field flood. Such labora-
to determine oil saturations before and after micellar dis- tOry tests can thus be used to predict and to optimize
placement tests, to characterize the field handling and in- mobility control and injectivity for the field. This approach
jectivity of micellar/polxmer fluids, and to obtain was used successfully in the chemical slug mobility de-
additional geologic data for an improved reservoir model. sign for a micellar flood at the Big Muddy field. ,2 It was
This paper focuses on the polymer injectivity tests per- shown there that the slug mobilities measured in the lab-
formed at these field trials. An earlier paper discussed oratory closely matched those observed in the field. Well
the overall program for the first field trial at Well testing can also be used to interpret polymer-injectivity
MC-374. 1 . field tests and to calculate the in-situ polymer mobility
The micellar formulation tested at Well MC-374 was in the reservoir. 3
effective in reducing the waterflood residual oil satura-
tion from 0.32 to 0. 10, but the polymer injection rate was West Coyote Field
only 70% of the design rate. Both oil displacement effi- The West Coyote oil field is located at the eastern end
ciency and injectivity are key factors in determining the of the Los Angeles basin, near La Habra, CA. This field
economics of a chemical flood. The injectivity for the first has six oil zones. The Main and Upper 99 zones contain
program at West Coyote was too low to generate an ac- the most oil in place and are the subject of this paper.
ceptable rate of return for a commercial-size project. In The Main and Upper 99 are divided into eight subinter-
subsequent laboratory work, the causes of low injectivi- vals, six in the Main and two in the Upper 99.
ty were identified, and a new chemical system was de- The field is a candidate for EOR because the current
signed and tested at Well MC-375. water cuts are in excess of 98% and the waterflood is fore-
This paper first describes the field operations and poly- casted to last only into the 1990's. Micellar flooding was
mer injectivity data for Well MC-374. On the basis of selected as a potential EOR process, because West Coy-
field operations, several causes for the low injectivity were ote is a light-oil reservoir with a moderate temperature
postulated and later verified in laboratory corefloods that and low salinity. Reservoir properties are listed in Table 1.
physically modeled the field test. A reservoir simulator
incorporated these laboratory data into a mathematical Well MC-374 Polymerlnjectivity Test
model of injectivity. Next, alternatives for improving
A polymer-injectivity test was performed in the top 20
polymer injectivity were evaluated, and an improyed poly-
mer system was selected for testing at Well MC-375. Field ft [6 m] of the Main zone Sand B in March 1982 (Fig.
la), starting a few weeks after a micellar oil displacement
and laboratory data were compared through reservoir
simulation and pressure transient analysis. test in the same interval. The results of a single-well tracer
test indicated that the micellar solution reduced the aver-
age oil saturation to 0.10 in the near-wellbore region (20-ft
Copyright 1987 Society of Petroleum Engineers [6-m] radius). Table 2 lists the sequence of fluids inject-

SPE Reservoir Engineering, August 1987 271


Oil gravity, 0 API 27 9-5/8" 21/2"

Oil viscosity at 130F, cp 8 Casing Tubing
Oil saturation 0.30
Reservoir temperature, F 120, to 150
Solution GOR, scf/bbl 10
Formation water salinity, ppm 11,000 to 13,000
Formation water hardness
as CaCO 3 , 1119/L 440 to 540

7" 7"
Liner Liner

ed and produced in conjunction with the micellar-

displacement and polymer-injectivity tests.
Impaired injectivity was already noted during the
micellar-displacement test. This was attributed in part to 3500'
Upper 99 Zone
problems with the surface equipment that resulted in poor High Permeability
Main Zone,
polymer mixing. Appropriate changes were made in the 8 Sand 4082'

surface equipment before starting the polymer-injectivity 3567'


test. A schematic of the surface injection facilities at Well Upper 99 Zone

3587' Low Permeability
MC-374 is shown in Fig. 2.
Table 3 gives the composition of West Coyote injec-
tion water and Bastanchury fresh water. The formation
water has nearly the same composition as the current West a. MC-374 b. MC-375
Coyote injection water. The composition of the polymer
makeup water was adjusted to approximately 0.1 wt% of Fig. 1-Completion diagram of injectivity test wells.
NaCl by metering a small amount of the 10-wt% NaCl
logging brine into Bastanchury water. The polymer
makeup brine salinity was made less than the salinities
of both the interstitial water and the micellar makeup brine a small storage tank for polymer concentrate. The poly-
to incorporate a salinity gradient in the process. This de- mer concentrate was metered into a tee in the main injec-
sign was used in laboratory coreflood experiments to max- tion line just ahead of the static mixer. The diluted polymer
imize oil recovery. solution was then pumped through 50-p.m polishing filters
The polymer selected for this field test was Cyanatrol before it was sent downhole.
960, a liquid emulsion polyacrylamide product. The Viscosity data for Cyanatrol 960 in 0.1-wt%-NaCl brine
polymer solution was mixed at the polymer skid unit (Fig. are plotted in Fig. 3. This polymer exhibits shear-thinning
2), which consisted of pumps, an in-line static mixer, and behavior as expected.



Volume (bbl)
Stage Fluid Injection Production Purpose
1 Micellar solution 87 To displace oil.
2 Polymer solution 1,015 Mobility buffer slug.
3 Formation water 2,050 Brine drive.
4 Formation water 800 Single-well tracer test
and tracers to determine residual oil
saturation to micellar
5 Formation water 1,580 Single-well tracer test
and tracers production.
6 Shut-in well Modify surface facilities.
7 Formation water 150 To clean the wellbore.
8 Formation water 349 To determine water injectivity
before polymer.
9 Polymer solution 1,8~6 To determine polymer
injectivity for a series of flow
rates and polymer
10 Polymer makeup 25 Fresh water behind
water polymer.
11 Formation water 1,245 To determine water injectivity
following polymer.
12 Formation water 450 Back-production to clean the
near-wellbore area.
13 Formation water 382 To determine water injectivity
in cleaned well.

272 SPE Reservoir Engineering, August 1987


Typical Bastanchury
West Coyote Fresh
Formation Water Lease Water
Wellhead Ions (mg/L) (mg/L)
Na 4,828.0 123.4
Ca 105.8 23.0
Mg 93.2 4.88
Fe 0.35 0.22
K 32.8 2.52
Sr 6.64 0.27
Ba 5.67 0.05
I 6.15 0.91
Br 35.5 0.89
HC0'3 1,095.0 227.0
804 <1.0 52.0
Cl 7,399.0 104.3
Si0 2 40.3 21.5
By-Pass Line
to Sump
B 25.4 3.10
pH 7.5 7.68
Fig. 2-Schematic of facilities for polymer injectivity tests. TDS 12,800.0 352.1

West Coyote formation water was injected at different 100

rates before polymer was started. Then, 1,800 bbl [286 80

m 3 ] of polymer was injected over a 10-:day period. For 60

the first 8 days, the injection rate was held at 180 BID
[28.6 m 3 ld] while the target viscosity was increased step- 40

wise from 10 cp [10 mPa s] (at 130F [54 C] and a refer- 30

ence shear rate of 30 s~conds -I ) to a maximum of 35 20

1200 ppm

cp [35 mPa s], and then decreased to 8 cp [8 mPa s].

Higher injection rates were not attempted, to remain be-
low the fracture pressure (estimated 800-psi [5500-kPa] 10

wellhead pressure). For the last 2 days, the viscosity was

held at 8 cp [8 mPa s] while the rate was varied between
150 and 250 BID [24 and 40 m 3 ld]. Fig. 4 shows the 20 30 40 60 80 100

injection rate, solution viscosity, bottomhole pressure

(BHP), and wellhead pressure during polymer injection.
Fig. 3~Viscosity of Cyanatrol 960 in 0.1-wt%-NaCI brine
After the polymer portion of this test, injection con- at 130F.
tinued with only polymer makeup water. The wellhead
pressure rose sharply a few hours later, indicating severe
wellbor~ plugging. Injectivity was restored to some degree
after switching to formation water. Further improvement were used to measure fluid mobilities at the high flow rates
was obtained after the well was back-produced, but the (100 to 500 ftiD [30 to 150 m/d]) representative ofnear-
water injectivity never attained its initial value before poly- wellbore conditions. Fluids were injected in the same se-
mer addition. Some gelatinous polymer was observed in quence as the field test. The initial water mobility was
the produced fluids. This gel may have been poorly mixed determined with synthetic West Coyote water (SWCW).
polymer that was not properly hydrated and could have Tqe chemical flood began with the micellar solution, fol-
been responsible in patt for the skin damage. The results lowed by SWCW, Cyanatrol960 solutions at three differ-
of the water and polymer multirate tests are given in ent concentrations, polymer makeup water, and finally
Fig. 5. SWCW again. Mobilities were calculated over a range
The polymer injectivity. at Well MC-374 was not satis-- of flow rates, because the mobilities of the polymer solu-
factory to meet economic requirements for a field proj- tions are rate-dependent.
ect. For an average rate of 10 bbli(D-ft) [5.2 m 3 1(dm)], Fig. 6 shows the polymer mobilities measured in the
the project life would be about 5 years for a typical1 0-acre Berea and West Coyote cores. For both cores, mobility
[4-ha] five-spot pattern and would not generate an accept- increases gradually with increasing frontal advance rate.
able rate of return. Mobilities are higher for the West Coyote core because
its permeability is about twice that of the Berea core.
Table 4 compares the resistance factors obtained in these
Identifying Causes of Low lnjectivity two tests. The resistance factor, F rf, is defined here as
Coreflood Mo]Jility Measurements. Laboratory core-
floods were performed with the MC-374 chemical sys- '1\b
tem in fired Berea sandstone and native-state West Coy- Frf=-, ... "............................. (1)
ote reservoir rocl<. Short cores (1 x 1 in. [2.5 x2.5 em]) '1\P
SPE Reservoir Engineering, August 1987 273

-.-Injection Rate 70~

60 ~

50 8--

40 ~
r--, 30 ~
,--J I 20 -~

--:_ _____ - --
I I bl
---------~--'-----....:----- 10 >
0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0
2250 Shutdown to . .~ ~l Stop Polymer
Clean Skid Unit :---.-_ -~ ~ ' h / ~ (

~ho''-" l
~ ~j{\li

n (fl 1
' I
1750 d . I f I
r; I I
~ .1250
v 7
Temperature Survey
(No Pressure Data)

0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0

Fig. 4-lnjection rate,viscosity, BHP, and wellhead pressure during polymer injection at well

where Ab is the mob~lity of SWCW after surfactant in- The Main zone cores show a 75% reduction in perme-
jection, md/cp [md/mPa s], and Ap is the mobility qf ability with the 0.1-wt%-NaClpolymer makeup water in-
polymer solution, md/cp [md/mPa s]. jected at Well MC-374. The Main zone cores from Well
The resistance factors are very similar for .Cyanatrol MC-~75 were somewhat less prone to formation damage,
960 in both types of core material. This suggests that and the Upper 99 zone cores from both wells were large-
Berea sandstone is a suitable rock to model polymer in- ly insensitive to fresh water.
jectivity for West Coyote. There is, however, a signifi-
cant difference in the brine mobilities after polymer . Simulation of Field Results
injection. The residual resistance factors, F rif are much A single-layer radial flow model with constant-pressure
higher in West Coyote rock. Residual resistance factor boundary conditions was used to calculate the BHP dur-
is defined here as ing the polymer injectivity test at Well MC-374. Each
polymer and brine slug is assumed to move away from
'Ab the well bore in a piston-like displacement. Dispersion and
Frrf=~, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2)
bp adsorption were neglected. The brine and polymer mo-
bilities determined in the laboratory (Table 4 and Fig. 6b)
where Abp is the mobility of brine after polymer, md/cp were used in the model along with basic reservoir and
[md/mPa s]. well data (Table 5). The effect of polymer shear degra-
The high F rrf for the reservoir core indicates damage dation and any variation in the temperature and oil satu-
by the very fresh (0.1 wt% NaCl) polymer makeup brin.e. ration in the near-wellbore region are not included.
Injecting SWCW restores some of the permeability in the
West Coyote core. As discussed earlier, this same be- Mathematical Model. The BHP at any time may be ex-
havior was observed in the fie~d test. pressed as
West Coyote Water Sensitivity Tests. A series of West
Coyote corefloods determined the susceptibility of this
reservoir to freshwater formation damage. Such forma- where
tion damage was reported for a nearby reservoir with simi- p bh = BHP, psi [kPa],
lar rock properties. 4 p R =: reservoir pressure, psi [kPa],
The residual oil was extracted from the West Coyote f:t.p ob = pressure drop of the oil/brine zone ahead
cores, and then the cores were saturated with a high- of the polymer zone, psi [kPa],
salinity brine (3 wt% NaCl). This brine was injected to
establish the initial permeability. Next, following Reed's 4
f:t.p P = pressure drop &cross the polymer zone, psi
procedure, large volumes of successively fresher NaCl [RPa], and
solutions were injected, and the permeability was remeas- f:t.p s = pressure drop caused by skin effects, psi
ured at each step (Figs. 7 and 8). [kPa].

274 SPE Reservoir Engineering, August ~ 987

.8000~------------------------------~ 40
a. Berea Core
.0 600 ppm Polymer
Water Injection before Polymer
0 1400 ppm Polymer
Polymer Injection [Days 8 to 10]
\!Vater Injection After Polymer ~ 10 r- -
Water Injection After Cleanup >



1 I I
1 10 100 1000
Frontal Advance Rate (ft/D)
p. West Coyote Core

~ 10 r-
~ 0 600 ppm Polymer
A 800 ppm Polymer
0 1400 ppm Polymer

1 I I
1 10 100 1000
Frontal Advance Rate (ft/D)
Fig. 6-Cyanatrol 960 polymer mobility.


Ab = brine mobility before polymer, md/cp

[md/mPa s],
= sand thickness, ft [m] ,
rP = radius to polymer front, ft [m], and
r w = wellbore radius, ft [m].
Injection Rate bbi/D

Fig .. 5-MC-374 polymer injec.ivity test-Main zone, The pressure drop through the polymer zone is calcu-
Sand B. lated by a finite-difference technique. After the average
polymer concentration and frontal &dvance rate for each
radial gridblo~k are calculated, the mobility is interpo-
The value of l:lp ob may be ~alculated from the follow., lated from user-supplied data (Fig. 6b). The pr~ssure drop
ing eqti&tion if the brine injectivity is determined in the across the ith gridblock in the polymer zone is given by 5
field before polymer injection 5 :
. 141.4i ( ri )
l:lp ob =
i l41.4i
J;---:;:;}: ln
r w '
................ (4~
l:lpP1 =-.-1n -.-.-
'A~h ,[- 1
, ....... (5)

where l:lp b= pressure gradient in the ith gridblock, psi
i = injection rat~, BID [m 3 /d], [kPa],
Ib = injectivity to brine before polymer, B/D-psi 'Ab = average polymer mobility in the ith
[m 3/d kPa], gridblock, md/cp [md/mPa s], and


Berea West Coyote Cor!3

Residual Residual
Mobility* Resistance. Resistance Mobility* Resistanc~ Resistance
Fluid (md/cp) Factor Factor (~d/cp) Factor Factor
SWCW after surfactant 247 1.0 566 1.0
600 ppm polymer** 3.6 69 9.8 58
800 ppm polymer** 3.4 73 8.3 68
1' ,400 ppm polymer** 2.4 103 6.0 95
6dO ppm polymer** 3.5 70 9.4 60
0.1 ~wt%-NaCI brine 52.4 4.7 7.5 75.7
swcw 47.8 5.2 54.3 10.4
*Determined at a frontal advance rate of 100 ft/0 (Fig. 6}.
**C.yanatro_l 960 in 0.1-wt% NaCI.

SPE Res~rvoir Engineering, August 1987 275

120 , . . . . . . . ; - - - - - - - - - - . - - - - - : - - - - - - - - - - , 120r-----------.-----------,


1 West Coyote Formation Water

60 ,~
.A. B Sand, Main Zone
X Upper 99 Zone
40 X Main Zone
Upper 99 Zone
Polymer Drive
~ity, MC375
20 20
: - West COyote Formation Water
I 0
NaCI Concentration lwt%) NaCI Concentration (wt%)

Fig. 7-Average permeability loss for MC-374 cores using Fig. &..;....Average permeability loss of MC~375 Upper 99 and
NaCI brines. Main zone cores using NaCI brines .

.ri-I ,ri = radius to (i-1)th and ith gridblocks, Injection of the fresh polymer makeup water and the
ft [m]. West Coyote brine after the polymer flood gave much
The total polymer pressure drop, llp P, is the summation higher BHP's than those predicted by the simulator. This
of all llp b values. can be explained by a comparison of the volumes of fluid
The pressure drop caused by skin damage is calculated injected. In the laboratory tests, several PV's of brine were
by put through the core, whereas in the field, hundreds of
PV's of damaging brine were injected in the near..:wellbore
141.4is region~ Another possible explanation is that the Cyanatrol
flns = ' ............................ (6) 960 polymer was not as well hydrated in the field as in
r Arw h
the laboratory tests.
When the fresh water essentially plugged the well, in-
where sis the skin factor, dimensionless, and Arw is the
jection was stopped, and the BHP decreased only to 1,600
flq.id. mobility at the wellbore, md/cp [md/mPa s].
psi [11 000 kPa] rather than to the reservoir pressure of
940 psi [6480 kPa] . This indicates that greater formation
Simulation Results and Discussion. The overall match damage occurred in the field than predicted by the labo-
between the simulator predictions and the field data dur- ratory tests. Even so, the simulator tracks the shape of
ing polyii].er injection (up to 10.2 days) is good (Fig. 9). the pressure curve quite well from 10.8 to 14.8 days. The
The general shape _and magnitude of the pressure trace decrease in pressure with time at constant West Coyote
are tracked by the simulator, and no adjustments were brine injection rate is caused when the more viscous poly-
made to the laboratory or reservoir input data. This sug- mer zone is pushed away from the wellbore region.
gests that the polymer mobilities measured in the labora- A skin effect was used to match the BHP observed dur-
tory core floods are representative of the fluid mobilities ing the West Coyote brine-injection period (10.8 to 14.8
in the field. days). Wi~h the laboratory-measured postpolymer brine
The sudden decreases in pressure observed in the field mobility of 45 md/cp [45 md/mPas], a skin factor of
data (e.g. , at 1. 2 and 5. 5 days) are a result of short down- around 10 is needed to match the field data. After the well
times for equipment repairs~ These temporary upsets were was back-produced to clean up the wellbore, the water
not included in the simulation run. ihjectivity showed a definite improvement (Line 4, Fig. 5).



Parameter Well MC-374 Well MC-375

Net sand thickness, h, ft 17 50
Porosity, cf> 0.235 0.25
Residual oil saturation to chemical, Sore 0.10 0.12
Reservoir pressure, p R, psi . 940 480
Brine injectivity before polymer, I b, bbii(D-psi) 1.4 1.0
Skin factor Near zero, neglect Near zero, neglect
Brine mobility, Ab, md/cp 186 150
Wellbore radius, rw _ft 0.3 0.37
Polymer mobility in reservoir rock, AP, md/cp See Fig. 6 17.5
Injection rate, 8/D See Fig. 4 800
Injected polymer concentration, ppm See Fig. 4 2,000
Bottomhole pressure vs. time, psi See Fig. 9 See Fig. 13
Rock compressibility, psi - 1 5x1o- 6
Calculated total compressibility, psi - 1 ax 10 -a

276 SPE Reservoir Engineering, August 1987

3000 .---------------,--,--------~----,
Polymer lntecton --------l ~!-west Coyote Brine - i - Shutln- 100,-------------------~
;o: 1500 ppm Polymer in
2750 80~
] 0.3 wt'l6 NaCI, 1300F



e 2(l00

~ 1750
0 /

I . . Cyanatrol960
i5 Cyanatro1950
cn1250 Sheared
Cyanatrol 950

I _: I I I I
10 ~1--~2~-!-3~4---'---!,6~8__w_10_ _.....120-_J3LO-4LO__l__6LO.L.B.LO.LJ100

Shear Rate (s-1)

Fig. 10-Comparison of viscosities of Cyanatrol950 and

Fig. 9-Simulator pr,ediction of BHP vs. field data, MC-374. 960 solutions.

Improving Polymer Slug Design This behavior is consistent with Maerker's 6 findings,
The field test at Well MC-374 and supporting laboratory which showed that for a sheared polymer, the screen fac-
work identified the causes of low injectivity as formation tor is reduced much more than its solution viscosity. The
damage from polymer and fresh water and the high resistance factor correlates better with screen factor than
resistance factor of the Cyanatrol 960 polymer. Labora- with the solution viscosity. 7
.tory work focused on evaluating lower-molecular-weight The increase in F r.i with frontal advance rate (shear
polymers in higher-salinity brines to improve polymer in- rate) is attributable to the viscoelastic nature of the poly-
jectivity at West Coyote. acrylamide solution. 7 The polymer molecules are elon-
gated as they pass through the small, tortuous paths in
Comparison of Cyanatrol 950 vs. Cyanatrol 960. the porous medium. At high. flow rates, the polyacryla-
Cyanatrol 950TM was one of several lower-molecular- mide molecules do not have sufficient time to return to
weight polyacrylamides tested. The smaller Cyanatrol 950 their relaxed, coiled state while going from one pore to
polymer molecules should cause less permeability reduc- another. In this case, the elastic character of the polymer
tion than Cyanatrol 960. Cyanatrol 950 exhibits a lower is significant and causes an increased resistance to flow,
solution viscosity than Cyanatrol 960 at the same poly- It is expected that at lower frontal advance rates, these
mer conce:ptration (Fig. 10). polyacrylamide solutions would exhibit a shear-thin11ing
Berea sandstone corefloods were used to compare the (pseudoplastic) behavior. In this case, the polyacrylamide
resistance factors developed by Cyanatrol 950 and 960 molecules have sufficient time to adjust to the changes
at different salinities (Table 6). The polymer concentra- in the flow path, and viscoelastic effects are less signifi-
tion was adjusted to obtain a 10-cp [10-mPa s] fluid for cant. The polymer solution's viscous nature dominates,
each polymer. The lower-molecular-weight Cyanatrol 950 and the viscosity (or F rf) decreases as the shear rate (or
shows a slightly lower F rf than Cyanatrol 960 over the velocity) increases (Fig. 10).
entire range of salinities, Thisdifference is notsufficient
to give the desired improvement in injectivity. MC-375 Coreflood Experiments. The final mobility
buffer design for MC-375, basecJ. on laboratory micel-
Preshearing of Cyanatrol 950. Shearing the polymer so- lar/polymer corefloods, included a tapered polymer drive,
lution is another means to increase injectivity. Cyanatrol starting with a 1,900- to 2,000-ppm presheared Cyanatrol
950 solutions were sheared by being forced through a nee- 950 solution (20 cp [20 mPa s]) in a 0.3-wt%-NaCl brine.
dle valve under a 150-psi [1000-kPa] pressure drop. This This brine salinity is about three times the salinity used
gave a 20% reduction in solution viscosity and about a in the earlier MC-374 field test. It is lower than both the
four-fold decrease in F rf (Fig. 11). formation water and micellar makeup water salinity to in-


Initial k w of
Fired Berea Polymer* Residual
Sandstone Test Core Concentration Resistance Resistance
Polymer (md) Brine (ppm) Factor Factor
Cyanatrol 950 360 100% swcw 2,000 81.1 2.9
50% swcw 1,500 63.6 2.8
20% swcw 1,000 4a.7 2.0
0.1%NaCI 700 45.0 2.3
Cyanatrol 960 280 100% swcw 1,600 114 3.6
50% swcw 1,300 106 3.6
20% swcw 900 93.1 2.8
0.1% NaCI 550 72.2 2.5
All polymer solutions were about 10 cp at 130 F and 30 seconds - shear rate.

SPE Reservoir Engineering, August 1987 277


Rate Mobility Resistance

Fluid (ft/D) (rrid/cp) Factor*
swcw 450
100 West Coyote oil 30
80 swcw 130
60 Micellar solution 200 27 4.8
(includes 1,900 ppm 100 36 3.6
polymer) 50 43 3.0
10 36 . 3.6
20 1 ,900 ppm polymer 200 18 7.2
100 25 5.2
50 28 4.6
10 10 24 5.4
1,600 ppm polymer 200 20 6.5
kw = 265 md 25 5.2
1600 ppm Cyanatrol 950 in 0.3 wt% NaCI
50 27 4.8
IJ Unsheared, 17.1 cp, 150Df 10 21 6.2
ll. Sheared, 10.9 cp, 15QDf
1 ,100 ppm polymer 200 28 4:6
100 34 3.8
50 37 3.5
10 33 3.9
10 20 40 60 100 ' 200 400 600 1000 2000 0.3-wt%-NaCI brine 130. 1.0
Frontal Advance Rate (It/D) swcw 170 0.76**
*Used SWCW mobility at waterflood residual (Aw = 130 mdlcp) as
Fig. 11-Resistance factor for Cyanatrol 950 in Berea basis.
sandstone. **Residual resistance factor (F rrf ).

corporate a salinity gradient design and to optimize oil to 1244 m]) and one from the lower sand body (CoreL, ,
displacement by the micellar slug. ka ~ 250 md, depth of 4,124.6 ft [1257 .2 m]; perforat-
The chemical formulations used at MC-375 were in- ed interval4, 112 to 4,146 ft [1253 to 1264 m]). (See Fig.
jected through two West Coyote cores to estimate their lb.) Routine core analyses and nuclear magnetic logs in-
mobilities for this field test. One core came from the up- dicate comparable average permeabilities for Sand 13 at
per sand body (Core U, kiJ- 550 md, depth of 4,067.4 Well MC-374 (450 md) and the upper sand at Well
ft [i239. 7 rii], perforated interval4,058 to 4,082 ft [1237 MC-375 (480 md). The lower sand at Well MC-375 has
a lower average permeability (320 md).
In these experiments, the cores wer~ first solvent-
TABLE &-LABORATORY iNJECTiVITY TEST WITH cleaned to remove all oil, saturated with brine, oilflood-
4, 124.6-ft CORE FROM WELL MC-375 UPPER 99 ZONE ed, and waterflooded before any chemical injection. Mul-
tiple PV's of micellar solution were injected to determine
Rate Mobility Resistance
Fluid (ft/D) (md/cp) Factor* its mobility, followed by mobility measurements for suc-
swcw 223
cessively iower concentrations of polymer.
West Coyote oil 13 The results for the two Upper 99 zone cores taken from
swcw 73 We11 MC-375 are given in Tables 7 (Core U) and 8 (Core
Micellar solution 200 9.3 7.8 L) andcompared in Fig. 12. The polymer solution mo-
(includes 1,900 ppm 100 12 6.1 bilities in both of these cores are higher than those deter-
polymer) 50 15 4.9
H) 18 4.1
5 20 3.7
1,900 ppm polymer 200 9.1 8.0 1900 ppm Cyanatrol 950 in 0.3 wt% NaCI, 1300F
100 11 6.6
50 13 5.6
10 10 7.3 Core U
1 ,600 pphl polymer 200 13 5.6
100 14 5.2
50 15 4.9
10 12 6.1
1 ,100 ppm polymer 200 12 6.1
100 15 4.9
50 17 4.3
10 14 5.2
0.3-wt%-NaCI brine 65 1.1
swcw 83 0.88* * 10 20 50 100 200
Used SWCW mobility at waterflood residual (Aw =73 mdlcp) as Frontal Advance Rate (It/D)
* Residual resistance factor (F rrf ). Fig. 12-Polymer mobility in MC-375 Upper 99 zone cores.

278 SPE Reservoir Engineering, August 1987

2500 r-----~------'---~---------,




Brine Polymer Postpolymer Brine

Mobility Mobility Mobility
2000 ppm Cyanatrol950 (Sheared) in 0,3 wt% NaCI
_ _;_T_e_s_t_ (i'nd/cp) Skin (md/cp) Skin (md/cp) Skin
Prepolymer 165 * 13 *
1~ L---L--~--~--L--~--~
0 Polymer A 201 22.8 0.93
Polymer B 21 1.6
Fig. 13-Simulator prediction of BHP vs. field data, Postpolymer 156* 8.0*
MC-375. *Estimated minimum value.

mined for the Cyanatrol 960 system (Fig. 6b). Core U the Cyanatro1 950 polymer in the two MC-375 Upper 99
shows a mobility of 18 to 28 md/cp [18 to 28 md/m:Pa s] zone cores were oneto two times those for Cyanatrol960
for the 2,000-ppm Cyanatrol 950 polymer solution, solutions in the Main zone MC-374 core.
whereas the Cyanatrol 960 mobilities were less than 1 0 Fig. 13 compares a simulated BHP curve with that
md/cp [10 md/mPa s] in the MC-374 Main zone core. observed at Well MC-375 during the polymer-injectivity
The mobilities measured in the lower-permeability Core test. An excellent history match to the field data is ob-
L are about half of those in Core U. The resistance fac- tained with a constant polymer mobility of 17.5 md/ cp
tors are about the same in both Upper 99 zone cores. - [17.5 md/mPas] over the entire 50ft [15m] of sand.
(Compare F rf in Table 7 and Table 8.) This mobility is between the mobilities measured for the
Both MC-375 cores show good mobility with the poly:.. _ presheared 1,900-pprh Cyanatrol 950 polymer solution
mer makeup water following chemical injectimi. This is in the two Upper 99 zone cotes.
consistent with the water-sensitivity results (Fig. 8) where
Upper 99 zone cores taken from both wells show little Pressu'te Transient Analysis. Several well tests were per-
susceptibility to permeability reduction at this salinicy. The formed before, during, and after polymer injection at Well
-increase in water permeability because of the displace- MC-375. Interpretation of these well tests included mul-
ment of waterflood residual oil is almost equal to the per- tiple rate analysis with type-curve and classic semilog
meability decrease caused by polymer retention (residual methods. For the pre- and postpolym~r brine injection
resistance faCtor). tests, only the minimum mobilities and skin factors could
be calCulated because of the short duration of these tests.
Polymerlnjectivity Test at Well MC375 The step-rate injectivity test performed during polymer
Field Operations. A chemical injection program, simi- injection was analyzed as a two-zone composite system
lar to that at Well MC-374, was performed at Well with changing wellbore storage conditions. The input datil
MC-375 in 1984. Two intervals in the Upper 99 zone were used to interpret these well tests are given in Table 5, and
perforated (4,058 to 4,082 ft [1237 to 1244 m] and 4,112 the results are summarized in Table 9.
to 4,146 ft [1253 to 2364 m]), for a total of 60ft [18m] The prepolymer injection tests indicated a. minimum
(Fig. 1b). The net sand thickness is estimated to be about water mobility of 165 mdlcp [165 md/mPa sr After 26
20 ft [6 m] in the upper interval and 30 ft [9. m] in the days of polymer injection (21,670 bbl [3450 m 3 ]), two
lower interval. After a micellar/polymer oil displacement well tests were performed. From these tests, a mobility
program was completed in this zone, a polymer injectivity of 21 to 23 md/cp [21 to 23 md/mPa s] was caiculated
test was initiated. As before, large volumes of West Coy- for the polymer bank, and a mobility of 201 md/cp [201
ote water were injected before the polymer injection pro- md/mPa s] for the outer region containing water and oil.
gram. Field operations wete similar to those at Well Well tests performed after 5 days of brine postflush indi-
MC-374. An orifice plate was added downstream of the cated a minimum brine mobility of 155 md/cp [155
polymer mixing unit to produce a controllable amount of md/ri1Pa s], nearly the same as that before the polymer-
polymer preshearing. In the MC-375 test, an activator so- injectivity test. The results are in good agreement with
lution was added to the brine to ensure complete hydra- the laboratory coreflood and reservoir _simulation mo-
tion of the polymer. bilities.
The presheared 2,000-ppm Cyanatrol950 polymer so-
lution (20 cp [20 mPa s]) was injected below fracture Conclusions
pressure (estimated 2,120 p~ig [14 600 kPa] BHP) for 1. The relatively low polymet injectivity observed at
more than 26 days at an average rate of 800 BID [127 West Coyote Well MC-374 was caused by two factors:
m 3 /d]. Averaged over 50ft [15 in] of sand, this corre- the polymer and ftesh makeup water caused formation
sponds to an injectivity of 16 bbli(D-ft) [8.3 m 3 /d ml vs. damage, and Cyanatrol 960 polyacrylamide developed
only 10 bbli(D-ft) [5.2 m 3 /d m] found earlier at Well high resistance factors in West Coyote rock.
MC-374 for Cyanatrol 960. 2. Improvedpolymer injectivity was achieved in a sec-
This increase in injectivity is consistent with that pre- ond single-well field test at Well MC-375 with a lower-
dicted by laboratory results. The mobilities measured for molecular-weight, presheared polymer solution. the
SPE Reservoir Engineering, August 1987 279
chemical .formulation also was modified to include a Acknowledgments
higher-salinity polymer makeup water to minimize fresh- We thank the many laboratory and field personnel who
water formation damage. participated in these field trials, particularly L.T. Porter
3. Fluid mobilities measured in the laboratory agreed and K.M. Holland, and the management of Chevron for
with those calculated for the field tests with reservoir permission to publish this paper.
simulation and transient testing.
1. Holland, K.M. and Porter, L. T.: "Single-Well Evaluation Program
F rf = resistance factor for Micellar/Polymer Recovery, Main and 99 West Pools, West
F rrf = residual resistance factor Coyote Field, CA," paper SPE 11990 presented at the 1983 SPE
h = sand thickness, ft [m] Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Francisco, Oct.
i = injection rate, BID [m 3/d] 2. Ferrell, H.H., Gregory, M.D., and Borah, M.T.: "Progress Report:
Ib = injectivity to brine before polymer, Big Muddy Field Low-Tension Flood Demonstration Project With
bbl/D-psi [m 3/d kPa] Emphasis on Injectivity and Mobility,'' paper SPE 12682 presented
atthe 1984 SPE/DOE Symposium on Enhanced Oil Recovery,
ka = absolute permeability, md Tulsa, OK, April 15-18.
kw = permeability to water, md 3. Milton, H.W. Jr., Argabright, P.A., and Gogarty, W.B.: "EOR
Pbh = BHP, psi [kPa] Prospect Evaluation Using Field Manufactured Polymer," pap~r
SPE 11720 preseri~ed at the 1983 California Regional Meeting,
.6.p ab = pressure drop of the oil/brine zone .ahead Ventura, March 23-25.
of polymer zone, psi [kPa] 4. Reed, M.G.: ''Formation Permeability Damage by Mica Alteration
.6.p P = pressure drop across the polymer zone, psi and Carbonate Dissolution," JPT (Sept. 1977) 1056-60 .
5. Serightj R.S.: "The Effects of Mechanical Degradation and Visco-
[kPa] elastic Behavior on Injectivity of Polyacrylamide Solutions,'' SPEJ
pR = reservoir pressure, psi [kPa] (Jurie 1983) 475-85.
.6.p s = pressure drop caused by skin effects, psi 6. Maerker, J.M.: "Shear Degradation of Partially Hydrolyzed
Polyacrylamide Solutions," SPEJ (Aug. 1975) 311-22; Trans.,
[kPa] AIME, 259.
ri = radius to ith gridblock, ft [m] 7. Jennings, R.R., Rogers, J.H., and West, T.J.: "Factors Influencing
rP = radius to polymer front, ft [m] Mobility Control by Polymer Solutions," JPT (March 1971)
391-401; Trans., AIME, 251.
rw = wellbore radius, ft [m]
s = skin factor Sl Metric Conversion Factors
sore = residual oil saturation to chemical flood, API
141.5/(131.5 + oAPI) g/cm 3
fraction \ bbl X 1.589 873 E-01 m3
f..b = brine mobility after surfactant injection, cp X 1.0* E-03 Pas
md/cp [md/mPa s] ft X 3.048* E-01 m
f..bp = brine mobility after polymer injection, 9F (F- 32)/1.8 oc
111d/cp [md/mPa s] in. X 2.54* E+OO em
Ap = mobility of polymer solution, md/cp psi X 6.894 757 E+OO kPa
psi - l X 1.450 377 E-01 kPa - l
[md/mPa s]
scf/bbl X 1.801 175 E-01 std m 31m 3
= average polymer solution mobility in the
ith gridblock, md/cp [md/mPa s] *Conversion factor is exact. SPERE
= :fluid mobility at the wellbore, md/cp Original manuscript received in the Society of Petroleum Engineers office March 27,
[md/mPa s] 1985. Paper accepted for publication June 5, 1986. Revised manuscript received Aug.
28, 1986. Paper (SPE 13603) first presented at the 1985 California Regional Meeting
= porosity, fraction held in Bakersfield, March 27-29. '

280 SPE Reservoir Engineering, August 1987