Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 317–335 | Cite as

Experimental Investigation of Synergy of Components in Surfactant/Polymer Flooding Using Three-Dimensional Core Model

  • Zheyu Liu
  • Hongjie Cheng
  • Yanyue Li
  • Yiqiang LiEmail author
  • Xin Chen
  • Yongtao Zhuang


Surfactant/polymer (SP) floods have significant potentials to recover remaining oil after water flooding. Their efficiency can be maximized by fully utilizing synergistic effect of polymer and surfactant. Various components adsorbed on the rock matrix due to chromatographic separation can significantly weaken the synergistic effect. Due to scale and dimensional problems, it is hard to investigate chromatographic separation among various components using one-dimensional natural cores. This study compared the adsorption difference between artificial and natural cores and developed a three-dimensional artificial core model of a 1/4 5-spot configuration to simulate oil recovery in multilayered reservoirs with high, middle and low permeability for each layer. Sampling wells were established to monitor pressures, and effluent fluids were acquired to measure interfacial tension (IFT) and viscosity. Then, distances of synergy of polymer and surfactant in three layers were evaluated. Meanwhile, electrodes were set in the model to measure oil saturation variation with resistance changes at different locations. Through comparison with IFT values, the contribution of improved swept volume and oil displacement efficiency to oil recovery during SP flooding could be known. Results showed that injected 0.65 PV of SP could improve oil recovery by 21.56% when water cut reached 95% after water flooding. The retention ratio of polymer viscosity was kept 55.3% at the outlet, but IFT was only 2 mN/m within the 3/10 injector–producer spacing during SP injection. Although subsequent water flooding could result in surfactant desorption and the IFT became 10−2 mN/m within the 3/10 injector–producer spacing, the IFT turned to 2 mN/m at the half of the model. The enhanced displacement efficiency by reducing IFT only worked within three-tenth location of the model in the high permeability layer, while the enlarged swept volume contributed much in the other areas.


Surfactant/polymer flooding Synergy of components Chromatographic separation Three-dimensional core model Displacement efficiency 



The authors would like to thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51374221) and China University of Petroleum, Beijing (No. 01JB0585), for the financial support during this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zheyu Liu
    • 1
  • Hongjie Cheng
    • 2
  • Yanyue Li
    • 3
  • Yiqiang Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xin Chen
    • 1
  • Yongtao Zhuang
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Petroleum EngineeringChina University of Petroleum (Beijing)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Research Institute of Exploration and Development, Xinjiang Oilfield CompanyPetro ChinaKaramayPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Tianjin Branch of CNOOC Ltd.TianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Oil Production Technology Institute of Dagang OilfieldPetro ChinaTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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