Argentina: Plant Engineering BASF Completes Installation of Five EOR Polymer Injection Units

Editor: Ahlam Rais

The five modular polymer injection plants have been successfully designed, supplied, installed and commissioned at a major oilfield in Argentina. The plants are expected to minimise mechanical degradation of polymers and will also help increase oil recovery rates.

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One of the five successfully installed and commissioned modular polymer injection units in Argentina.
One of the five successfully installed and commissioned modular polymer injection units in Argentina.
(Source: BASF)

Buenos Aires/Argentina – In the oil and gas industry, production declines as oilfields mature. With its enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies, BASF offers solutions that help revive oilfields in decline by maximising extraction efficiency from the reservoir. Recently, BASF’s high molecular weight polymer and polymer injection technologies for EOR were selected to extend the life of a major oilfield in Argentina.

The design, supply, installation and commissioning of five modular polymer injection units were previously successfully completed in close collaboration with the operator. These units can minimise mechanical degradation of the polymer used in the EOR process and are part of chemical flooding projects to help increase oil recovery rates.

BASF combines standard and high-performance polymers and surfactants into EOR formulations which are tailored to specific field conditions. “A key success factor for chemical EOR projects is the multifaceted partnership with the operator throughout the life of the project,” said Damien Caby, Senior Vice President, Oilfield Chemicals and Mining Solutions, BASF. “This is where our lab-to-well chemical solutions make a difference.”

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Lab-to-well means that BASF supports its customers along the entire product development and implementation process, starting in the lab. During the design phase, BASF Enhanced Oil Recovery customises the chemical solution to reservoir conditions through modelling and laboratory testing. The well operating conditions are considered to ensure the product is easy to implement in the field. For the implementation phase, BASF offers suitable dissolution equipment which supports product efficiency and ensures seamless well operations. Furthermore, BASF provides field support during injection.

In such a polymer flooding project, hydration and injection of the polymer solution with minimal mechanical degradation is essential. “The modular polymer dissolution units were designed using BASF’s vast experience in field hydration. They preserve the polymer chains and are extremely robust. The units operate remotely with minimal maintenance requirements to ensure continuous operation,” said Michael Bueschel, responsible for the enhanced oil recovery business at BASF. “The project in Argentina had a very tight schedule. We were able to meet the very challenging deadlines, while fully complying with the budget. Especially in the final phase of this project, our on-site field support was crucial for the flawless commissioning of the injection units.”

Argentina is pursuing enhanced oil recovery projects in various regions of the country. These polymer flood projects involve supply of BASF’s high molecular weight polymer (HPAM) and polymer injection units.