Mechanistic simulation and history matching of alkaline-surfactant-polymer ASP core flooding experiment at optimum vs. under-optimum salinity conditions

Mohsen Mirzaie Yegane, Elisa Battistutta, Pacelli Zitha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Alkaline Surfactant Polymer (ASP) flooding is a chemical EOR method to increase oil recovery after water flooding through IFT reduction and increasing sweep efficiency. Previous studies have shown that maximal oil recovery is reached when ASP flooding is performed at optimum salinity conditions, i.e. Winsor type III micro-emulsion phase but a recently series of core-flood experiments indicated that comparable oil recovery could be obtained at under-optimum salinity conditions (Battistutta et al. 2015). Mechanistic simulation of ASP flooding considering phase behavior of water-oil-surfactant system, geochemical reactions and alkaline consumption is needed to validate the experimental data and provide a robust model for field scale studies. In this paper detailed history matching of series of core-flood experiments was attempted. Experiments were performed at different salinity conditions (optimum vs. under-optimum) and with different core types (Bentheimer and Berea) using a single olefin sulfonate (IOS) and crude oil with very low acid number (<0.05 mg KOH/g oil). The numerical simulations were performed using UTCHEM, multiphase multi-component simulator along with EQBATCH module to model the geochemical reactions. Neglecting the effect of in-situ surfactant (soap) generation, since the acid number of crude oil was low, modeling of the phase behavior showed an excellent match against experimental data and optimal salinity was observed at 2.0 wt% NaCl (+ 2.0 wt% Na2CO3).Using this and considering aqueous and cation exchange as the most important geochemical reactions in alkaline propagation, several ASP core-flood experiments at optimum vs. under-optimum salinity conditions were successfully modeled. An excellent matching of all the measured parameters including oil cut and recovery, pressure drop, pH and carbonate, alkali and surfactant concentration at effluent was also achieved. Modeling confirms the results obtained from experiment which regardless of core type, although minimum achieved IFT at optimum salinity conditions is lower than the one achieved at under-optimum conditions, comparable final oil recovery was observed for both cases. This emphasizes the importance of performing ASP flooding at under-optimum salinity conditions due to lower surfactant retention and reducing the likelihood of achieving over-optimum salinity conditions. In this paper a robust model which is calibrated with experimental data is presented to simulate ASP flood process at various conditions and the basic model can be used to perform further simulations and can provide practical and convenient approach to model field applications of ASP flooding.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Europec Featured at 81st EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2019
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781613996614
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event81st EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2019 - ExCeL Centre, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jun 20196 Jun 2019


Conference81st EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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