The optimization of self assembling polymeric systems for enhanced oil recovery

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University of New Brunswick


The high demand of energy has aroused significant interest toward the development of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques. Polymer flooding is an EOR technique that has gained great interest due to the reported incremental oil recovery. The main issue of polymer flooding is the detrimental effect of the high salinity and hardness of the injection and formation brine, as well as the negative impact of high reservoir temperatures on the effective performance of polymers during EOR flooding. Objectives of this research were the optimization of a self-assembly polymeric system (SAP) and the evaluation of its performance under harsh reservoir conditions. The optimum concentrations of surfactant and βeta-cyclodextrin were found to be 50 ppm at 1 wt% HPAM. This optimum SAP exhibited better performance and higher resistance to various salinities and hardness, mechanically and thermally stable, and lower mobility in porous media than the baseline polymer.