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Status of Alkaline Flooding Technology

James J. Sheng


Very few review papers on alkaline flooding have been published in the petroleum literature. One paper gives an extensive review of caustic mechanisms to improve oil recovery, followed by a brief description of a few trials. The other paper summarizes the field tests completed, in progress and planned by 1983. This paper will not repeat a detailed discussion of mechanisms and a presentation of individual field projects. Only a brief summary of mechanisms is provided. It summarizes the overall performance of field projects from a statistical analysis. It focuses on the technical aspects of alkaline flooding which were not addressed from the previous reviews. Specially, this paper covers the following topics: Mechanisms of alkaline flooding, Alkaline reactions with oil, water and rocks, oil recovery versus acid number, oil recovery versus interfacial tension, technical screening criteria, laboratory and numerical simulation work, summary of field alkaline projects, problems associated with alkaline flooding, alkaline flooding in heavy oil reservoirs and remarks on future developments.

Keywords: Alkaline flooding, oil recovery, acid number, interfacial tension, heavy oil reservoir

Cite this Article: Sheng JJ. Status of Alkaline Flooding Technology. Journal of Petroleum Engineering & Technology. 2015; 5(1): 44–50p.

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