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Study of Effects of Polymer Elasticity on Enhanced Oil Recovery by Core Flooding and Visualization Experiments Open Access


Other title
Polymer Flooding
Viscous Fingering
Visualization Experiments
Molecular Weight Distribution
Enhanced Oil Recovery
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Veerabhadrappa, Santhosh K
Supervisor and department
Kuru, Ergun (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Trivedi, Japan J (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Choi, Phillip (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Dehghanpour, Hassan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Petroleum Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Polymer flooding is the simplest and one of the most widely used chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) techniques. Viscoelasticity of polymers is known to contribute significantly towards improved displacement efficiency in polymer flood operations. But the contribution of elasticity of viscoelastic polymers in EOR still remains largely unexplored. This study aims to delineate and investigate the individual effects of elasticity of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) polymer towards improved oil recovery. This was achieved by formulating polymers such that they have same average molecular weight (shear viscosity) but different molecular weight distribution (elasticity). Series of linear and radial core flooding experiments were conducted along with visual analysis. Results from the experiments indicate that, polymer with higher elasticity gives higher recovery. Considering the molecular weight distribution together with average molecular weight seems to be a better approach for screening polymer for EOR. Elasticity of polymer solutions could well be used as a screening criterion for EOR applications.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Veerabhadrappa, S.K., Urbissinova, T.S., Trivedi, J.J., and Kuru, E. 2011. “Polymer Screening Criteria for EOR Application – A Rheological Characterization Approach”. SPE 144570, Western North American Regional Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, USA, 7-11 May

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