Q: Where did this polymer process come from?
A: Applied Mobility’s technology grew out of the polymer gel treatments that Angel Petroleum Technologies had been doing for the past three years in the Caddo Pine Island Field in NW Louisiana. Single well treatments generally paid out from overnight to within two weeks. However, the water inevitably comes back to the wellborn because of viscous fingering. We needed to change that on a long term basis.
Our reservoir was not suitable for either water flooding or a regular (displacement) polymer flood so we had to develop another approach to mobility control. Basically, it boiled down to: “If we can’t push the oil, what can we do to 1) Preserve the drive, 2) Slow the water movement, and 3) Lower the hydrostatic pressure in the wel bore enough to allow the reservoir pressure to move the oil into the well bore.
Q: How is it different from the polymer flooding that has gone on for the past 30+ years?
A: Tradition polymer floods are for reservoirs with relatively thin water (thief zones) and aim to displace the oil horizontally. This process was developed for reservoirs with much thicker water zones where it was going to be cost prohibitive to do a traditional polymer gel job for conformance control before starting a polymer flood.
Q: How do I know if I have a good candidate reservoir?
A: Excellent candidate reservoirs have profound mobility problems, (API gravity 22 or lower), are relatively homogenous, have a strong water drive, and of course, the closer the well spacing the less the pore volume to be filled before results are seen.
Q: I’d be putting a lot of polymer in ground. What happens to it?
A: A significant percentage will attach itself onto the sand facies and partially block pore throats, the remainder will be produced back up and recycled back into your polymer injection well.
Q: What good is having some of the polymer adsorbed into the reservoir?
A: The name of the game is to make the water move at more nearly at the same rate as the oil. What if your oil and water moved at the same rate through your reservoir, what would your cut be? 50:50 right? It is the combination of economically thickening the water (so it moves more slowly) and simultaneously making it harder to move (lessening pore throat diameters ) that thicker water though the water bearing sand that shifts the mobility ratio in your favor.
Q: What is the Mobility Ratio?
A: It’s an engineering term to describe the ratio of the difference in the rate at which the oil and the water move through the reservoir. The greater the difference in viscosity between the water (1 centipoise viscosity) and the oil (ours is 250-300 centipoise viscosity) the the more miserable your oil/water cut is likely to be.
Q: How can the mobility ratio be improved so much with so little polymer?
A: This polymer works in two ways. First, it thickens the water that the produced wells are going to try to move to the well bore. The second mechanisms is that all of the sand that the polymer contacts becomes coated with polymer that adheres to it. Imagine tiny sand grains with a significant layer of polymer coating them. This lowers the effective permeability of the water sand to water and anything that is water based, i.e., our polymer. So for the polymerized water to get to a producing well bore it travels more slowly (because it is ‘thicker’) and is mechanically slowed also because of the lowered perm. This second effect is called the Residual Resistance Factor.
Q: Is this a safe technology to use?
A: The ONLY hazard listed on the MSDS sheet is “Very slippery when wet”
Q: Do you work out of town?
A: We have a local service company that we built out of own need to service our own leases and those of our neighbors.. If we had to work out of town for extended periods of time you couldn’t afford it. We’d rather show you what we are doing, set you up with equipment if necessary, and license you do this in your own area. Whether for just yourself and/or as a service company, it’s your choice.
Q: Is this a complicated technology to use?
A: Pretty simple. You could think of it like a regular chemical injection program, just on a bigger scale. We size our equipment so that it is visited once a day to add polymer and take readings on total injection, etc..
Q: If I decide to do this on my own what is the base equipment going to cost me?
A: You can build a simple polymer hydration unit for under $10,000 through a Technology License from us that will run reliably 24X7.
Q: How do I get more information?
A: Call me, Jay Reynolds at (318) 208-1137 or email me email@example.com. We can talk about your reservoir and other factors. If I think you have a poor candidate I’ll tell you. Or, come visit.