Hot Water Flooding

Definition - What does Hot Water Flooding mean?

Hot Water Flooding, also known as hot water injection is a technique of increasing crude oil production from a producing well by injecting hot water into the reservoir. The hot water is injected through an injection well which is drilled parallel to the primary producing well. The heat from the hot water acts as a way of reducing the viscosity of crude oil, making it to flow toward the producing well with ease. Hot water flooding is generally used to extract crude oil which has an API degree of less than 20.

Petropedia explains Hot Water Flooding

Hot water flooding is considered as one of the techniques of increasing crude oil production under Enhanced Oil Recovery Technique (EOR) and thermal recovery. It is less effective than steam injection process, due to the fact that hot water has a lower heat content as compared to steam.

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

The benefits of injecting water into 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. Also, the heat content of the water reduces the viscosity of heavy crude oil, making it not to stick on the edges of the reservoir and move quickly toward the producing well. 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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