Combining Sweep and Displacement Efficiency for Reservoir Flooding
August 8, 2023, Noon Central
CSEE Webinar

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Almost all conventional reservoirs undergo secondary recovery whether it is water flooding, gas flooding, or some other enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technique. Conceptually, the overall efficiency of the recovery is often broken down into two parts: 1) the displacement efficiency – the fraction of the oil that is displaced by the injected fluid in well swept regions, and 2) the sweep efficiency – the fraction of the reservoir that is swept by the injected fluid. In a practical sense, the displacement is understood as a 1-D phenomena, and can be understood using fractional flow theory (i.e. Buckley-Leverett). The sweep is understood as a 3-D phenomenon and is primarily controlled by the underlying heterogeneity of the reservoir (also to a lesser extent, the mobility ratio of the fluids). Here I will present how these two concepts can be seamlessly married in terms of recovery curves. Since, all EOR agents affect both the displacement and sweep efficiencies in different manners, the results can be used to quickly screen the economics of potential EOR agents in a wide variety of reservoirs.


Dr. David DiCarlo is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a PhD in Physics from Cornell University and has worked as an Acting Assistant Professor at Stanford University and as a Physical Scientist with the Agricultural Research Service. His research focusses on applying advanced experimental techniques to understanding fluid flow in hydrocarbon reservoirs. In particular, this research touches on three-phase flow (water, oil, and gas), surfactant imbibition, compositional displacements, flow stability, and the effect of nanoparticles on multi-phase flow in porous media. He is the author of over 100 refereed publications, and 20 conference proceedings papers.