The paper reviews the 65 years’ experience of progress of the contour waterflooding technology to increase production from the Russian super-giant Romashkinskoye field. The technology has come a long way having witnessed the emergence of different scientific schools competing with each other and offering their solutions, having overcome a lot of doubts and fears as to feasibility of water injection and, finally, having matured to its current status of an efficient world-class technology, maximizing oil production, yet at reasonable costs. Waterflooding systems, in and of themselves, and, importantly, a wide-scale and universal application of the technology at early production stages resulted in unprecedented flow rates and high production performances of oil fields in the former Soviet Union. Owing to the grand-scale implementation of water-injection projects, the USSR was able to attain one of the highest annual oil production levels in the world, about 625 million tonnes, which was 1.56 times higher than in the USA with the total well count 6 times less, at that. However despite the evident advantages of the waterflooding technology, in many cases being the single option whatever, some authors have persisted in criticizing the waterflooding process basing their arguments on the alleged destruction of subsurface formations because of water injection. The author dispels these myths, and shows the groundlessness and even noxiousness of such assertions. Quite the contrary, the waterflooding technology has a high potential for further improvement and application. Technology development and improvement opportunities in the light of the newly-discovered phenomena characteristic of the advanced stage of reserves production (re-forming of deposits and hydrocarbon charge from deeper sediments) are discussed.
contour waterflooding, waterflooded development, modern waterflooding methods, waterflood as secondary EOR, man-induced damage to oil fields, destruction of formations, forced production, cyclic waterflooding, irregular displacement, poor conformance, water fingering, hard-to-recover reserves, re-forming of deposits, hydrocarbon charge, crystalline basement.
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