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Project evaluation: Penn Grade Micellar Displacement Project

The Penn Grade Micellar Displacement Project tested the micellar/polymer flooding process in a low permeability portion of the Bradford Third Sand reservoir. This test, herein referred to as the Lawry Test, followed the successful test of the micellar/polymer flooding process in a higher permeability portion of the Bradford Third Sand reservoir (Bingham Test). The Lawry Test failed technically and economically as an oil recovery process. Total oil recovery amounted to about 5.2% of the oil-in-place at the time of micellar injection. Project failure did not appear to be the reusult of poor operational practice. Project participants recognized the difficulty of applying the micellar/polymer process in such a low permeability reservoir at the initiation of the project. Nevertheless, the large reserve of oil trapped within the low permeability portions of the Bradford Field made the project attractive. There appeared to be three major reasons for project failure: (1) reservoir heterogeneity; (2) adverse ion exchange phenomena; and (3) high sulfonate loss. Data from Phase I testing, injection well tracer surveys, injection well logging, produced chloride concentrations and the Phase II evaluation well confirmed that only a small portion of the Lawry pilot was contacted by injected fluids. Produced salinity and hardness levels suggested the occurrence of adverse ion exchange phenomena. Adverse ion exchange behavior would be expected to have resulted in severe sulfonate loss, and low oil recovery. Additional data are needed to confirm this conclusion. In addition, injectivity was low throughout the project. In the absence of the above problems, it is likely that the process would not be practical in areas typical of Lawry because of low injectivity.

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Author Suffridge, F.E.
Last Updated July 3, 2014, 16:58 (EST)
Created July 3, 2014, 16:55 (EST)
Citation Suffridge, F.E. (1984). Project evaluation: Penn Grade Micellar Displacement Project.
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