Experimental evaluation of the mechanical degradation of HPAM polymeric solutions used in Enhanced Oil Recovery

Keywords: Enhanced oil recovery, polyacrylamide, HPAM, mechanical degradation, molecular weight, salinity, capillary diameter, concentration


With the design of experiments (DoE), this study analyses the influence of physical (capillary diameter and pressure drop) and chemical variables (salinity, polymer concentration, and molecular weight) on the mechanical degradation of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide-type polymer solutions (HPAM) used in enhanced oil recovery processes. Initially, with the help of a fractional factorial design (2k-p), the variables with the most significant influence on the polymer's mechanical degradation were found. The experimental results of the screening demonstrate that the factors that statistically influence the mechanical degradation are the molecular weight, the diameter of the capillary, and the pressure differential. Subsequently, a regression model was developed to estimate the degradation percentages of HPAM polymer solutions as a function of the significant factors influencing the mechanical degradation of polymer solutions. This model had a 97.85% fit for the predicted values under the experimental conditions. Likewise, through the optimization developed by the Box Behnken response surface methodology, it was determined that the pressure differential was the most influential factor. This variable was followed by the capillary diameter, where less than 50% degradation rates are obtained with low polymer molecular weight (6.5 MDa), pressure differentials less than 500 psi, and diameters of the capillary greater than 0.125 inches.


H. Zhong, Y. Li, W. Zhang, H. Yin, J. Lu, and D. Guo, "Microflow Mechanism of Oil Displacement by Viscoelastic Hydrophobically Associating Water-Soluble Polymers in Enhanced Oil Recovery," Polymers (Basel)., vol. 10, no. 6, p. 628, Jun. 2018. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10060628.

M. Khalil, B. M. Jan, C. W. Tong, and M. A. Berawi, "Advanced nanomaterials in oil and gas industry: Design, application and challenges," Appl. Energy, vol. 191, pp. 287–310, Apr. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.01.074

P. Druetta and F. Picchioni, "Branched polymers and nanoparticles flooding as separate processes for enhanced oil recovery," Fuel, vol. 257, p. 115996, Dec. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2019.115996

A. Mohsenatabar Firozjaii and H. R. Saghafi, "Review on chemical enhanced oil recovery using polymer flooding: Fundamentals, experimental and numerical simulation," Petroleum, Sep. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petlm.2019.09.003

N. Khan et al., "Experimental and mechanism study: Partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide gel degradation and deplugging via ultrasonic waves and chemical agents," Ultrason. Sonochem., vol. 56, pp. 350–360, Sep. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultsonch.2019.04.018

L. M. Corredor, M. M. Husein, and B. B. Maini, "A review of polymer nanohybrids for oil recovery," Adv. Colloid Interface Sci., vol. 272, p. 102018, Oct. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cis.2019.102018

J. J. Sheng, B. Leonhardt, and N. Azri, "Status of Polymer-Flooding Technology," J. Can. Pet. Technol., vol. 54, no. 02, pp. 116–126, Mar. 2015. https://doi.org/10.2118/174541-PA

A. M. Mansour, R. S. Al-Maamari, A. S. Al-Hashmi, A. Zaitoun, and H. Al-Sharji, "In-situ rheology and mechanical degradation of EOR polyacrylamide solutions under moderate shear rates," J. Pet. Sci. Eng., vol. 115, pp. 57–65, Mar. 2014. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2014.02.009

A. R. Al Hashmi, R. S. Al Maamari, I. S. Al Shabibi, A. M. Mansoor, A. Zaitoun, and H. H. Al Sharji, "Rheology and mechanical degradation of high-molecular-weight partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide during flow through capillaries," J. Pet. Sci. Eng., vol. 105, pp. 100–106, May 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2013.03.021

D. C. Morel, S. Jouenne, M. VERT, and E. Nahas, "Polymer Injection in Deep Offshore Field: The Dalia Angola Case," in SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 2008. https://doi.org/10.2118/116672-MS

A. Zaitoun, P. Makakou, N. Blin, R. S. Al-Maamari, A.-A. R. Al-Hashmi, and M. Abdel-Goad, "Shear Stability of EOR Polymers," SPE J., vol. 17, no. 02, pp. 335–339, Jun. 2012. https://doi.org/10.2118/141113-PA

J. M. Maerker, "Mechanical Degradation of Partially Hydrolyzed Polyacrylamide Solutions in Unconsolidated Porous Media," Soc. Pet. Eng. J., vol. 16, no. 04, pp. 172–174, Aug. 1976. https://doi.org/10.2118/5672-PA

M. Moan and A. Omari, "Molecular analysis of the mechanical degradation of polymer solution through a porous medium," Polym. Degrad. Stab., vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 277–281, Jan. 1992. https://doi.org/10.1016/0141-3910(92)90036-5

Y. Wu, A. Mahmoudkhani, P. Watson, T. R. Fenderson, and M. Nair, "Development of New Polymers with Better Performance under Conditions of High Temperature and High Salinity," in SPE EOR Conference at Oil and Gas West Asia, 2012. https://doi.org/10.2118/155653-MS.

P. Druetta, P. Raffa, and F. Picchioni, "Chemical enhanced oil recovery and the role of chemical product design," Appl. Energy, vol. 252, p. 113480, Oct. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.113480

T. Husveg et al., "The Development of a Low-Shear Valve Suitable for Polymer Flooding,"Society of Petroleum Engineers, vol. 25, p. 2632-2647, Mar. 2020. https://doi.org/10.2118/201223-PA.

Xin, X., Yu, G., Chen, Z., Wu, K., Dong, X., Zhu, Z.: Effect of polymer degradation on polymer flooding in heterogeneous reservoirs. Polymers (Basel) 10, 1–25 (2018). https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080857.

T. P. Theriot, H. Linnemeyer, D. Alexis, T. Malik, and C. Perdue, "Evaluation of viscosity loss of viscosified brine solutions due to shear degradation in distribution system components," Proc. - SPE Symp. Improv. Oil Recover., vol. 2018-April, 2018. https://doi.org/10.2118/190178-MS

E. Rognin, N. Willis-Fox, T. A. Aljohani, and R. Daly, "A multiscale model for the rupture of linear polymers in strong flows," J. Fluid Mech., vol. 848, pp. 722–742, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2018.411

P. Druetta and F. Picchioni, "Influence of the polymer degradation on enhanced oil recovery processes," Appl. Math. Model., vol. 69, pp. 142–163, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apm.2018.11.051

American Petroleum Institute, "Recommended practices for evaluation of polymers used in enhanced oil recovery operations," Washington, 1990.

F. A. Morrison, Understanding Rheology, Oxford University Press. Vol. 1. 2001.

How to Cite
Maya Toro, G., Herrera Quintero, J. J., Castro Garcia, R. H., Quintero Pérez, H. I., Barbosa Trillos, D. S., Prada, L., Maldonado Manrique, L., & Pérez, E. (2020). Experimental evaluation of the mechanical degradation of HPAM polymeric solutions used in Enhanced Oil Recovery. CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología Y Futuro, 10(2), 131-141. https://doi.org/10.29047/01225383.275


Download data is not yet available.
Scientific and Technological Research Articles
Crossref Cited-by logo

More on this topic

Most read articles by the same author(s)