The number of mature oil fields increases worldwide with recovery factors of 20% – 40%. Further exploration of the known oil resources requires thorough understanding of the reservoir. Partitioning inter-well tracer test (PITT) is a promising method to determine residual oil saturation in the reservoir’s swept volumes, thus contributing for its understanding.

PITTs identify EOR targets, evaluate EOR operations and the efficiency of volumetric sweep between wells. PITTs are rare in the oil industry, partly due to the scarce number of compounds qualified for such application. A PITT tracer must be thermally, chemically, and biologically stable, have constant and reversible phase partitioning and be unique at reservoir conditions. It should also be analyzable in ppb/ppt concentrations, and available in considerable quantities at acceptable cost.

In this paper, the stability studies conducted with 15 PITT tracer candidates are presented. They were tested for thermal, chemical and biological stability under temperatures of 25 °C – 150 °C and pH 5.5 – 8.0. Their interaction with sandstone, limestone and kaolinite was also investigated. Six compounds were found to possess suitable characteristics for this application and another five compounds show interesting properties to retrieve other information from the reservoir, such as temperature or geochemical data.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bennett, B., A. C.Aplin and S. R.Larter
    (2003). “Measurement of partition coefficients of phenol and cresols in gas-charged crude oil/water systems.” Organic Geochemistry34 (12): 1581–1590.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bjørnstad, T., O. B.Haugen and I. A.Hundere
    (1994). “Dynamic behavior of radio-labelled water tracer candidates for chalk reservoirs.” Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering10 (3): 223– 238.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Cooke, C. E. J.
    (1971). “Method of determining fluid saturations in reservoirs”. USA, Esso Production Research Company. US Patent 3,590,923.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Huseby, O., S. K.Hartvig, K.Jevanord and Ø.Dugstad
    (2015). “Assessing EOR Potential from Partitioning Tracer Data.” SPE Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference. Manama, Bahrain, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Huseby, O., A.Haugan, J.Sagen, J.Muller, B.Bennett, S.Larter, E. S.Kikkinides, A. K.Stubos, F.Yousefian, J. F.Thovert and P. M.Adler
    (2003). “Transport of organic components from immobile and bypassed oil in porous media.” AIChE Journal49 (5): 1085–1094.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. IEA
    (2016). “Key World Energy Statistics 2016”, IEA/OECD.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Knaepen, W. A. I., R.Tijssen and E. A.van den Bergen
    (1990). “Experimental Aspects of Partitioning Tracer Tests for Residual Oil Saturation Determination With FIA-Based Laboratory Equipment.” SPE Reservoir Engineering5 (02): 239 – 244.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Leo, A., C.Hansch and D.Elkins
    (1971). “Partition coefficients and their uses.” Chemical Reviews71 (6): 525–616.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Lichtenberger, G. J.
    (1991). “Field Applications of Interwell Tracers for Reservoir Characterization of Enhanced Oil Recovery Pilot Areas”. SPE Production Operations Symposium. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Muggeridge, A., A.Cockin, K.Webb, H.Frampton, I.Collins, T.Moulds and P.Salino
    (2014). “Recovery rates, enhanced oil recovery and technological limits.” Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 372 (2006): 20120320.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Tang, J. S.
    (1995). “Partitioning Tracers and In-Situ Fluid Saturation Measurements.” SPE Formation Evaluation10 (01): 33 – 39.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Tang, J. S. and B.Harker
    (1991). “Interwell Tracer Test To Determine Residual Oil Saturation In A Gas-Saturated Reservoir. Part II: Field Applications.” Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology30 (04): 34 – 42.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Viig, S. O., H.Juilla, P.Renouf, R.Kleven, B.Krognes, O.Dugstad and O. K.Huseby
    (2013). “Application of a New Class of Chemical Tracers To Measure Oil Saturation in Partitioning Interwell Tracer Tests”. SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry. The Woodlands, Texas, USA, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Wood, K. N., S.Tang and R. J.Luckasavitch
    (1990). “Interwell Residual Oil Saturation at Leduc Miscible Pilot”. SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. New Orleans, Louisiana, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error