Numerical simulation has been used to investigate the effects of middle phase mobility, dispersion, and a salinity gradient, on the performance of a tertiary surfactant flood involving Type III (three phase) phase behaviour. The BPOPE simulation model’ was used. The results indicate that the relative mobility of the middle phase is an important consideration in the design of a surfactant flood. This mobility should be low compared to the mobility of the oil phase. Unfortunately, the effects of dispersion on the low mobility flood are severe, and “self-sharpening” behaviour must be introduced, for example by means of a salinity gradient. In the salinity gradient flood, the middle phase mobility again has a strong influence on the solution, and the salinity is not necessarily optimal at any point within the surfactant bank. In a future paper, we shall demonstrate that inclusion of an alcohol in the surfactant slug can also produce self-sharpening behaviour, provided the properties of the alcohol are chosen correctly. No additional benefit is gained by varying the alcohol concentration within the chemical slug. Varying the composition of the sur factant within the surfactant slug does not produce selfsharpening behaviour.


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