Low Shear Polymer Valves
Mechanical degradation of polymers is a well-known problem connected to polymer injection and enhanced oil recovery. In a polymer flooding operation there are several critical locations were mechanical degradation of the polymers can occur, were the most critical location are in the injection valve. Typhonix has together with Total developed a new low shear valve for injection of polymer in a polymer flooding operation. The development has been sponsored by Total, Eni, Statoil and the Research Council of Norway. During the development of the Low Shear Polymer Valve critical locations for polymer degradation has been identified, and it has been developed new technical solutions to overcome this problem. These new technical solutions have been implemented in a Low Shear Polymer Valve Prototype, which treats the polymer solution more carefully than state of the art injection valves. Reducing mechanical degradation of polymers during injection may increase a reservoirs oil recovery with 6-12 % compared to state of the art.
Results from a prototype test at Statoil’s field realistic test rig in Porsgrunn, showed that mechanical degradation of the solution can be dramatically reduced with the Low Shear Polymer valve compared to conventional valves. The prototype reduces degradation with more than 50 % compared to the standard valve that was tested in parallel.
The Low Shear Polymer Injection Valve
The Valve is designed and built with new technical solutions and with optimized geometries of the valve internals which treats the polymer solution more gently, hence reduces mechanical degradation of the solution. The new valve keeps the strain rate under its critical value, which means that the polymer chain is not broken down, and polymer degradation is minimized.