Advancement of sweep zones in waterflooding: conceptual insight based on flow visualizations of oil-withdrawal contours and waterflood time-of-flight contours using complex potentials Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2016, The Author(s). Sweep zones are traced in synthetic reservoir models of waterflood advancement based on potential functions. Time-of-flight contours, oil-withdrawal contours and streamlines corresponding to fluid withdrawal paths are visualized. The effects of differential well rates on waterflood sweep regions for a range of well architectures are systematically investigated using reservoirs that are continuous isotropic with and without impervious fault barriers. Complex potentials are capable of solving the drainage path for any constellation of producer and injection wells, accounting for any discontinuities that affect the flow path and productivity of the wells. Flood patterns are visualized for a series of doublets and 7-spot well patterns. Loss of planned drainage symmetry occurs when an undiscovered fault barrier obstructs and diverts the waterflood. Our method is assumed effective in illustrating the value of analytical streamline simulations for first-order assessment of sweep patterns in hydrocarbon field produced with waterflooding. The critical impact of injection rates and fault barriers on the shape of the waterflooding patterns is visualized in detail. The analytical streamline simulator allows tracing of the respective flow paths of displacing oil and water in the reservoir and visualizes both oil-withdrawal contours and waterflood time-of-flight contours. Generic rules are formulated to aid sweep maximization both prior to drilling and during the surveillance of producing wells.

author list (cited authors)

  • Weijermars, R., & van Harmelen, A.

citation count

  • 16

publication date

  • December 2016