Inderscience Publishers

Chemical flooding optimisation using the experimental design approach and response surface methodology

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One of the most effective methods of enhanced oil recovery is chemical flooding. This process can significantly increase the oil recovery; however, it involves high risks and uncertainties. We determined the optimal chemical flooding design, which is the maximum of the net present value (NPV), using the UT_IRSP platform and an in–house chemical flooding simulator, as well as the application of experimental design and respond surface for a particular oil reservoir. Surfactant and polymer mass, kv/kh ratio, salinity of polymer drive, and salinity of post–water flood were variables used in our optimisation calculations. We found that the interaction between the surfactant concentration and surfactant slug size is the most important term affecting the NPV. Therefore, the oil recovery was improved by 8% of the original oil in place (OOIP) in a designed chemical flooding case scenario. Also, the NPV with tax and royalty increased notably from 6.42 MM USD to 8.08 MM USD for the 50 USD/bbl of oil price. [Received: September 8, 2011; Accepted: November 20, 2011]

Keywords: experimental design, chemical flooding, optimisation, response surface methodology, RSM, surfactants, salinity, polymer drive, post–water flood, enhanced oil recovery, net present value, NPV, simulation, oil reservoirs

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