Surfactant flooding is one of the most promising chemical enhanced oil recovery techniques. However, this technique has been mainly applied in sandstone rocks with limited applications in carbonates. In this study, we present a comprehensive review on surfactant flooding for carbonates under harsh conditions of high temperature and high salinity. This review starts with highlighting the underlying mechanisms of surfactant flooding. Surfactant types, screening studies, and surfactant retention are then discussed. Laboratory and modeling works as well as field applications are also summarized. In addition, other surfactant applications such as surfactant-polymer, alkaline-surfactant-polymer, low salinity-surfactant as well as foams are presented. At the end of this paper, a list of recommendations and conclusions for better implementation of surfactants flooding are also discussed. This paper gives more insight into surfactant flooding aspects and its different applications in the petroleum industry. The literature review shows that a field-scale application of surfactant flooding in carbonates under high temperature and high salinity conditions is feasible. Also, this paper is considered as a guide for implementing potential projects on surfactant flooding in carbonates under harsh conditions.

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