Simulation of in-depth water diversion using sodium silicate

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In-depth water diversion is a chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) method that has been gaining acceptance recently for several reasons. One of them is the fact that sodium silicate, used in this method, is one of the few green chemicals used in EOR. In addition, this chemical has shown the ability to generate thermally activated plugs far away from the wellbore and improve oil recovery due to the better sweep, as validated in several simulation studies and field pilots. In this work, we will apply this technique to extend the lifetime of geothermal doublets in simulations of low-enthalpy geothermal projects. The simulation model consists of a thermal-compositional reactive formulation that was implemented in Stanford’s Automatic Differentiation General Purpose Research Simulator (ADGPRS) based on a fully implicit approach. The motivation for selecting this method is the strong coupling between chemical and flow variables linking the drastic changes in permeability induced by the reaction. The implementation of the silicate reaction assumes the oligomerization reaction proposed in Icopini et al. (2005) with kinetic rate suggested in Hiorth et al. (2016). This model describes the accumulation of solid silicate through a solid phase deposition and the resulting permeability changes due to pore blockage following a correlation described in Hiorth et al. (2016). We start with validation of the proposed model with an EOR case and obtain a close match to previous simulations as reported in Trujillo (2017). In this application, the model shows a successful generation of a plug around the middle of the reservoir, increased oil production rates after water breakthrough and an overall increase in cumulative oil production over 7%. Next, we apply the same model to a geothermal application where the generation of a plug helps to increase the time when the cold water is breaking through to the production well, thus extending the geothermal doublet lifetime. The plug placement has proven to be sensitive to different parameters such as the silicate concentration in the injected solution, the volume of the pre-flush batch and the total volumes of silicate solution injected. In addition, several numerical parameters, such as spatial and temporal resolution, can affect the accuracy of simulation results. In our study, we perform a sensitivity study to address these factors in typical hydrocarbon production and low-enthalpy geothermal projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 43rd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering
Subtitle of host publication12-14 February 2018, Stanford, California.
PublisherCurran Associates, Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781510881211
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event43rd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering - Stanford, United States
Duration: 12 Feb 201814 Feb 2018


Workshop43rd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering
CountryUnited States


  • Sodium Silicate
  • In-Depth Water Diversion
  • Reactive Transport
  • Kinetic Reactions

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