Physical Properties of Associative Polymer Solutions

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Approximately half of oil production nowadays is a result of water flood and a major concern of this process is mobility control of the injected phase. With the unfavorable mobility ratio, channelling through permeable zones and the lingering effect can occur that leads to an early water breakthrough and inefficient flooding. By adding polymer to the injection water and, consequently, increasing the water viscosity, the displacement becomes more stable and a greater flood efficiency can be achieved. A large number of polymer eld applications were carried out in recent years with varying degrees of success. During this period, new kinds of polymers have been developed to improve displacement properties. Associative water-soluble polymer is a new type of polymer that is recently introduced to oil eld application. The main attractions of these polymers are their significant viscosity enhancement ability compared with the conventional polymers and their potential salinity-tolerance that would be more practical in the real application. This research investigates the physical properties of associative polymer solutions using laboratory work. The experiments were conducted in a sand-packed column to measure 2 main properties: permeability reduction and inaccessible pore volume. Permeability reduction is the ratio of water permeability upon the polymer solution permeability. For each polymer, permeability reduction is observed and it increases with increasing molecular weight and concentration. In the case of conventional polymer, permeability reduction is more sensitive to the polymer concentration especially at high concentration. Inaccessible pore volume is observed in each kind of polymer development. The event concentration proles of the polymer and the salt used as the tracer from the experiment indicate that the IPVs for both associative and conventional polymers are approximately 30%. The superposition method is used to construct the model to interpret the experimental data more accurately. The effect of adding salinity into the polymer solutions is also observed. Increasing salinity leads to reduced viscosity of the solutions in both associative and conventional polymers. The permeability reduction and the inaccessible pore volume of the polymer are also decreased.


Type of resource text
Date created June 2009


Author Pancharoen, Monrawee
Primary advisor Kovscek, Anthony R.
Advisor Castanier, Louis
Degree granting institution Stanford University, Department of Petroleum Engineering


Subject School of Earth Energy & Environmental Sciences
Genre Thesis

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Pancharoen, Monrawee. (2009). Physical Properties of Associative Polymer Solutions. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


Master's Theses, Doerr School of Sustainability

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