Definition - What does Waterflood mean?

Waterflood, also known as waterflooding or water injection, is a technique of increasing the production of crude oil from an oil well. In this method, water is injected into the reservoir through an injection well which is drilled parallel to the primary producing well. This method of enhancing the production of oil by using water is known as secondary recovery.

Petropedia explains Waterflood

Over time the pressure in an oil reservoir slowly and steadily decreases and as a result the production rate decreases. Waterflooding or water injection is one of the techniques used by E&P organizations to enhance the production of the reservoir. To use this technique, an injection well is drilled parallel to the primary producing well through which water is injected forcefully into the reservoir in the direction of the producing well.

The benefits of injecting water in the reservoir are:

  • It supports the reservoir pressure, also known as voidage replacement.
  • As oil is lighter than water hence it floats on top of the water. Thus, water helps in displacing oil from its location in the reservoir and pushes it toward the producing well.
With this technique, oil recovery factor can be increased and well production rate can be maintained for a longer period.

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