Abstract Branched-preformed particle gel (B-PPG) is a newly developed chemical agent for enhanced oil recovery in heterogeneous reservoirs. In this paper, laboratory experiments are performed to characterize the morphology and rheological properties of a B-PPG suspension in water, investigate its transport behavior through heterogeneous porous media, and study its performance in enhanced oil recovery in heterogeneous reservoirs. In the flow and displacement experiments, parallel-sandpack models are used to represent the heterogeneous porous media. The experimental results show that the viscoelasticity of the B-PPG suspension makes it a promising agent for both conformance control and enhanced oil recovery in heterogeneous reservoirs. Both B-PPG flow and tertiary oil recovery tests in parallel-sandpack models demonstrate that injection of a B-PPG slug can effectively improve the sweep efficiency and recover more residual oil in the low permeability zones. For a more heterogenous model, the effect of B-PPG on the sweep efficiency becomes more noticeable. This is because the viscoelastic B-PPG particles not only increase the viscosity of the water phase, but also divert the flow to the unswept low permeability zones.