Over past decades, technology innovation in exploiting unconventional resources has become increasingly important. Associated with technologies applied in shale gas development, exploiting tight oil resources comes into a new stage. Primary recovery in tight oil reservoirs remains low even produced with massively hydraulically fractured horizontal wells.
Waterflooding is applicable over a wide range of reservoir conditions but its recovery is not high enough. In addition, gas flooding suffers from channeling problems with existence of highly permeable channels. A water alternating gas (WAG) process seems a good method to recovery tight oil.
Recent breakthrough in nanotechnology provides a promising technique in the oil and gas industry. Nanoparticles have a very high surface-volume ratio, easily moving into tight formation without external forces. Nanoparticles additive does not raise weight of an injection fluid, associated with wettability alteration and interfacial tension reduction, and can be an excellent solution in improving recovery in tight oil reservoirs.
This paper demonstrates the merits of nanofluids; concentration of 0.05wt% nanofluid gives the best performance in a core flooding test. Simulations of nanoparticles additive in a WAG process are run by Eclipse and CMG in various cases. As the degree of wettability alteration and permeability reduction highly depends on concentration of nanoparticles underground, a tracer is applied in the simulations to confirm the locations of nanoparticels underground and its concentration, and it shows that nanoparticles mainly stay around injection wells and high permeable zones. Simulation results show that a nanofluid alternating gas (NAG) process has a great potential in improving WAG performance, and it performs better with existence of natural fractures.