Induced migration of fines during waterflooding in communicating layer-cake reservoirs

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The effects of fines migration induced by injection of water with a different salinity than the reservoir brine are incorporated into the upscaling model for waterflooding in a layer cake reservoir with good communication between the layers. Mobilization and re-capturing of the reservoir fines may give rise to reduction of the permeability in water swept zones, which subsequently leads to the diversion of water flow from the initially more permeable layers to the less permeable ones. As a result, the displacement is more even, the water cut at the producer is decreased, and the oil recovery is increased. On the other hand, more energy for the pressure drop is required to maintain a constant flow rate. These effects are studied within a new upscaling model developed previously (Zhang et al., 2011). In a communicating layer cake reservoir, higher end-point mobility ratio (water to oil) leads to more crossflow between layers and lowers the water sweep efficiency. However, this ratio facilitates the fluid diversion caused by the fines migration, leading to a more efficient enhanced oil recovery. The positive contribution from the mobility ratio to the increased oil recovery due to fines migration seems to be limited.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)618-626
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Layer-cake reservoir
  • Fines migration
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Crossflow
  • Low salinity waterflooding


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