Waterflood and Enhanced Oil Recovery Studies using Saline Water and Dilute Surfactants in Carbonate Reservoirs
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Water injection has been practiced to displace the hydrocarbons towards adjacent wells and to support the reservoir pressure at or above the bubble point. Recently, waterflooding in sandstone reservoirs, as secondary and tertiary modes, proved to decrease the residual oil saturation. In calcareous rocks, water from various resources (deep formation, seawater, shallow beds, lakes and rivers) is generally injected in different oil fields. The ions interactions between water molecules, salts ions, oil components, and carbonate minerals are still ambiguous. Various substances are usually added before or during water injection to enhance oil recovery such as dilute surfactant. Various methods were used including surface charge (zeta potential), static and dynamic contact angle, core flooding, inductively coupled plasma spectrometry, CAT scan, and geochemical simulation. Limestone and dolomite particles were prepared at different wettability conditions to mimic the actual carbonate reservoirs. In addition to seawater and dilute seawater (50, 20, 10, and 1 vol%), formation brine, shallow aquifer water, deionized water and different crude oil samples were used throughout this study. The crude oil/water/carbonates interactions were also investigated using short and long (50 cm) limestone and dolomite rocks at different wettability and temperature conditions. The aqueous ion interactions were extensively monitored via measuring their concentrations using advanced analytical techniques. The activity of the free ions, complexes, and ion pairs in aqueous solutions were simulated at high temperatures and pressures using OLI electrolyte simulation software. Dilute seawater decreased the residual oil saturation in some of the coreflood tests. Hydration and dehydration processes through decreasing and increasing salinity showed no impact on calcite wettability. Effect of individual ions (Ca, Mg, and Na) and dilute seawater injection on oil recovery was insignificant in compare to the dilute surfactant solutions (0.1 wt%). The reaction mechanisms were confirmed to be adsorption of hydroxide ions, complexes and ion pairs at the interface which subsequently altered the surface potential from positive to negative. Results in this study indicate multistage waterflooding can enhance oil recovery in the field under certain conditions. Mixed streams simulation results suggest unexpected ions interactions (NaCO3-1, HSO4-1, NaSO4-1 and SO4-2) with various activities trends especially at high temperatures.
Enhanced Oil Recovery
Alotaibi, Mohammed (2011). Waterflood and Enhanced Oil Recovery Studies using Saline Water and Dilute Surfactants in Carbonate Reservoirs. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from