Defining a field’s potential for chemical EOR is complex. It requires some upfront laboratory studies, and a solid foundation in reservoir engineering and chemistry. Prior to diving in too deeply, there are some pre-screening criteria that could shed some light on that potential:

  • Is the reservoir a good waterflood candidate?
  • Target oil: High residual oil saturation indicates strong economic potential. Oil wet reservoirs are often the best candidates for chemical floods
  • Water quality for dissolving chemicals
  • Injection Rate: Ideal candidates are able to inject 1 pore volume within 15 years
  • Reservoir permeability greater than 25 mD suggests that high molecular weight polymers will not plug pore throats
  • Reservoir temperature less than 250°F (120°C)
  • Other factors such as geologic features and drive mechanism can influence the application of chemical EOR

Successful application of chemical EOR can increase recovery as much as 30% OOIP. Chemical floods have been applied throughout the world in several different types of reservoirs.

Contact us to see which fields are analogous to yours.

SURTEK’s laboratory provides analytical and field application services primarily focusing on application of enhanced oil recovery technology.

SURTEK’s evaluations use actual reservoir oil, waters, and rock and are conducted at the oil reservoir’s temperature so that the study can best represent the actual physical environment. Initial design work includes:

  • Oil and Water Analyses
  • Interfacial Tension Studies
  • Phase Behavior Determinations
  • Cation Exchange Capacity
  • Static Adsorption Evaluation

We physically model linear and radial flow to study the oil recovery performance for waterflooding and various chemical enhanced oil recovery processes. These include:

  • Waterflooding
  • Alkaline-Surfactant-Polymer flood design
  • Surfactant-Polymer flood design
  • Alkaline-Polymer flood design
  • Mobility Control Polymer flood design
  • Injectivity improvement
  • Clay stabilization
  • Permeability profile modification
  • Relative permeability
  • Special core analyses
  • Imbibition studies

These evaluations determine many aspects of the displacement process such as: relative permeability, incremental recovery, non-Newtonian fluid rheology, chemical consumption, clay dispersion, pore plugging, etc. We have unparalleled experience in these laboratory evaluations. This has led to our involvement in more chemical flood field projects than any organization in the world.

Simulation capacity and needs differ drastically between companies. Whether your needs are only calibration of chemical EOR processes or build/calibrate/predict, SURTEK can help. SURTEK has been modeling chemical EOR processes since 1991 and understands the implementation of laboratory generated parameters necessary to calibrate a model.

Laboratory results are recreated in (linear/radial) coreflood simulation models. Properties such as chemical adsorption, resistance factor, capillary number, shear behavior of polymer, relative permeability curves of increased miscible systems and many more are defined at this step of simulation.

Once a model is calibrated to historical performance and laboratory results, meaningful forecasts can greatly assist in the design/optimization of an economic chemical flood development.

SURTEK is uniquely qualified in calibrating simulation models for chemical EOR processes. We have both expertise and experience in handling these complex models. More importantly, our knowledge of field applications can validate simulation results.

SURTEK can provide engineering services to design a facility that will utilize the optimum chemical system generated in the laboratory evaluation program. This design incorporates the results of all chemical formulation screenings and numerical modeling simulation findings to generate an injection plant that will support the project objectives. Key elements of the design are water treatment, proper chemical blending, and fluid quality control.

Special attention is required for treatment of the source water, including supplemental oil removal, filtration, softening, iron removal, and dissolved oxygen control as needed.

In the chemical mixing facility, instrumentation and controls emphasize the need for maintaining proper chemical composition concentrations and critical fluid physical properties. These parameters include filtration specifications, solution viscosity and screen factor.

SURTEK can help you choose a fabrication partner or work with your selection for detailed design and fabrication of a processing plant that includes water treatment, EOR chemical storage, chemical mixing, and injection into the reservoir.

Project implementation does not simply mean design, fabrication and installation of the appropriate chemical EOR processing and injection facility. Implementation really refers to successfully duplicating laboratory results on a field level. Therefore, one should define project implementation as being characterized by the following key components:

  • Site Installation, Commissioning and Start-up Services
  • Local Operator Training and Direct Operational Supervision
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control Management of Injected Chemical Recipe (Site Specific QA/QC Lab Setup & Instruction)
  • Real-time Interpretation of Injection and Site Lab Data
  • Professional Communication Between Field & Office Engineering


Continuous monitoring of the project involves analyzing incoming data in order to react to what is happening in the field and making adjustments. SURTEK can assist the operator in their effort to maximize oil recovery and economics.

SURTEK offers training courses that not only cover the principles of chemical EOR but practical application along with discussion of past and present chemical floods around the world. The course is offered in the following forms:

  • 3 day course presented in a location near you
  • 5 day course offered at our facilities in Golden Colorado which includes hands on training in the laboratory
  • Customized training course to fit the needs of your company


Let’s be honest, if this is your first application of chemical flooding your management is going to give you one shot at getting it right. Getting the results necessary to convince management of EOR’s potential is our specialty. We helped Daqing do it. We helped Husky do it. And we can help you do it.

Our knowledge on the common challenges associated with chemical EOR can save you time, headaches and money.

We are unbiased in our work as we do not sell any chemicals, mixing equipment, plants or supplies. Our goal is for your project to succeed economically as well as technically.