EM Heating-Stimulated Water Flooding for Medium–Heavy Oil Recovery

Pavel Z.S. Paz, Thomas H. Hollmann, Efe Kermen, Grigori Chapiro*, Evert Slob, Pacelli L.J. Zitha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


We report a study of heavy oil recovery by combined water flooding and electromagnetic (EM) heating at a frequency of 2.45 GHz used in domestic microwave ovens. A mathematical model describing this process was developed. Model equations were solved, and the solution is presented in an integral form for the one-dimensional case. Experiments consisting of water injection into Bentheimer sandstone cores, either fully water saturated or containing a model heavy oil, were also conducted, with and without EM heating. Model prediction was found to be in rather good agreement with experiments. EM energy was efficiently absorbed by water and, under dynamic conditions, was transported deep into the porous medium. The amount of EM energy absorbed increases with water saturation. Oil recovery by water flooding combined with EM heating was up to (Formula presented.) larger than for cold water flooding. These observations indicate that EM heating induces an overall improvement in the mobility ratio between the displacing water and the displaced heavy oil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57 - 75
Number of pages19
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Electromagnetic heating
  • EOR
  • Partial differential equations
  • Water flooding


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