Polymer Injectivity for a Horizontal Well with Coupled Formation-Wellbore Hydraulics

Matt Balhoff, Mojdeh Delshad, Chun Huh

Polymers are often injected into horizontal wells during EOR processes. During injection of these high-viscosity, non-Newtonian polymers, a significant pressure drop may occur along the length of the well. Accurate models for pressure drop in the well and polymer leakage into the reservoir are necessary for simulation but presently do not exist.

Polymer Injectivity for a Horizontal Well with Coupled Formation-Wellbore Hydraulics

We have developed new, approximate models for pressure in horizontal wells based on pore-scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of coupled well/reservoir flow. Here, the polymer is shear-thinning in the wellbore and may exhibit viscoelastic effects in the surrounding reservoir. The CFD results are used to improve existing analytical models for simple, Newtonian flows. The closed-form model accounts for fluid, well, and reservoir properties and can easily be implemented into conventional reservoir simulators.

MS student: Greg Jackson

Publication:

  • Jackson, G.T., Balhoff, M.T., Huh, C. and Delshad, M., “CFD-based representation of non-Newtonian polymer injectivity for a horizontal well with coupled formation-wellbore hydraulics,” Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Volume 78, Issue 1, pages 86-95, July 2011. doi: 10.1016/j.petrol.2011.05.007