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Efficient Simulation for Low Salinity Waterflooding in Porous and Fractured Reservoirs
Proceedings of the SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium (2009, The Woodlands, TX)
  • Yu-Shu Wu
  • Baojun Bai, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Low-salinity brine injection has emerged as a promising, cost-effective improved oil recovery (IOR)method for waterflooding reservoirs. Laboratory tests and field applications show that low-salinity waterflooding could lead to significant reduction of residual oil saturation. There has been a growing interest with an increasing number of low-salinity waterflooding studies. However, there are few quantitative studies on flow and transport behavior of low-salinity IOR processes. This paper presents a general mathematic model (1) to incorporate known IOR mechanisms and (2) to quantify low-salinity waterflooding processes. In our mathematical conceptual model, salt is treated as an additional "component" to the aqueous phase, based on the following physical considerations: salt is transported only within the aqueous phase by advection and diffusion, and also subject to adsorption onto rock solids; relative permeability, capillary pressure, and residual oil saturation depend on salinity. Interaction of salt between mobile and immobile water zones is handled rigorously using a multi-domain approach. Fractured rock is handled using the multiple-continuum model or a discrete-fracture modeling approach. The conceptual model is implemented into a general-purpose reservoir simulator for modeling low-salinity IOR processes, using unstructured, regular, and irregular grids, applicable to 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D simulation of low-salinity water injection into porous media and fractured reservoirs. As demonstrated, the model provides a general capability for quantitative evaluation of low-salinity waterflooding in site-specific investigations.

Meeting Name
SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium (2009: Feb. 2-4, The Woodlands, TX)
Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
  • 3D simulations,
  • Aqueous phase,
  • Brine injection,
  • Capillary pressures,
  • Conceptual model,
  • Continuum model,
  • Efficient simulation,
  • Field application,
  • Fracture modeling,
  • Fractured reservoir,
  • Fractured rock,
  • Immobile water,
  • Improved oil recovery,
  • Irregular grids,
  • Laboratory test,
  • Low-salinity water,
  • Mathematic model,
  • Multi domains,
  • On flow,
  • Porous Media,
  • Quantitative evaluation,
  • Quantitative study,
  • Relative permeability,
  • Reservoir simulator,
  • Residual oil saturation,
  • Site-specific,
  • Water-flooding reservoir
International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
Document Type
Article - Conference proceedings
Document Version
File Type
© 2009 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.
Publication Date
Publication Date
01 Feb 2009
Citation Information
Yu-Shu Wu and Baojun Bai. "Efficient Simulation for Low Salinity Waterflooding in Porous and Fractured Reservoirs" Proceedings of the SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium (2009, The Woodlands, TX) Vol. 1 (2009) p. 126 - 138
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