Polymer flooding as an EOR method that has boomed in the last decade as oil prices have been rising, and new and larger polymer flood projects are being realized. Some milestones and examples are the large-scale viscoelastic polymer flood implementation at the Daqing field in China, polymer injection in Marmul field, Oman, and the Dalia offshore polymer project. Polymer flood is a mature EOR technology, but as the reservoir targets get more diverse and the field conditions harsher, the current understanding of polymer flood is stretched to its limits. In order to explain viscous fingering in inter-mediate to heavy oil reservoirs and viscoelastic mobilization of residual oil there is a need for a better understanding of polymer flow mechanisms on the pore scale. Pore scale polymer flow characterization is very complex and involves several flow phenomena like; adsorption, viscous fingering, depleted layers, hydrodynamic retention, bridging/flow-induced adsorption, viscoelastic effects, in-accessible pore volume and more. In this study we have developed a Navier-Stokes model to analyse polymer flow and to compare against Newtonian fluids. The aim has been to identify the key parameters for polymer displacement. Examples of obtained results are that the depletion layer plays a major role in study of rheological properties. Increased depleted layer thickness lead to lower velocity at the centre of the pore and more slip effect near the pore wall. When a higher degree of shear thickening is included a larger drag on fluids in side channels will occur, this is consistent with oil mobilisation and lowering of residual oil saturation.


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