Single-well chemical-tracer modeling of low-salinity-water injection in carbonates

Emad W. Al-Shalabi, Haishan Luo, Mojdeh Delshad, Kamy Sepehrnoori

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Scopus citations


    The interest in low-salinity-water injection (LSWI) compared with seawater injection or high-salinity-produced-brine injection is increasing in both laboratory and field tests. The single-well chemical-tracer test (SWCTT) is also becoming increasingly popular as an in-situ test to assess the reduction in oil saturation caused by an enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) process. Hence, accurate modeling of SWCTTs is essential. In this paper, modeling and simulation of the SWCTT of LSWI in a carbonate reservoir is investigated by use of the UTCHEM reservoir simulator, a non-isothermal, 3D, multiphase, multicomponent, chemical compositional simulator developed at the University of Texas at Austin (UTCHEM 2011). Both radial- and Cartesian-grid models are set up for a field-scale pilot by use of measured rock and fluid data of a Middle Eastern reservoir. Tracer reactions and the empirical LSWI model implemented in UTCHEM are used to estimate residual oil saturation (ROS) as a result of LSWI. Two approaches are used to estimate ROS to LSWI, including analytical and numerical methods. Results show that both approaches give consistent values for ROS for homogeneous radial- and Cartesian-grid models. The two approaches were inconsistent for the multilayer radial model, which highlights the necessity of the use of numerical approaches for layered reservoirs. The Cartesian-grid model was used to investigate the effect of heterogeneity on SWCTT results, where a new numerical approach is proposed for estimating ROS. This finding validates the approach used and the implementation of both tracer reactions and the LSWI model in UTCHEM. The proposed approach can now be used to estimate ROS of the SWCTT for reservoirs with different degrees of heterogeneity, which provides a clear insight into reservoir performance before planning multiwell demonstration pilots.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)118-133
    Number of pages16
    JournalSPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 2017


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