Fines Migration in reservoirs during hydrocarbon production has posed a big challenge to the oil and gas industry. Various methods have been tried but a lasting solution to the problem seems elusive. The application of nanotechnology to solve fines migration problem in reservoirs is still under investigation. This paper is focused on identifying the type of nanoparticles and dispersant that can effectively trap migrating fines in sand, thus prevent particle migration through the pore spaces of sand. Nine types of nanoparticles were experimented with using four kinds of fluid in the absence and in the presence of crude oil. The amount of fines that 3g/l of each nanofluid can trap before breakthrough of fines occurred was determined. The pH values of the nanoparticles in aqueous solutions were determined and the zeta potentials of the nanofluids were inferred.
The obtained laboratory results show that aluminum oxide nanoparticles is the most effective that can trap migrating fines and prevent them from further migration in sand. The estimated mass of fines captured by aluminium oxide nanoparticles in about 80cm3 volume of sand in distilled water, brine, ethanol and diesel were about 0.63g, 0.52g, 0.8g and 0.94g respectively in the presence of crude oil. The results also revealed that the presence of crude oil affects the performance of the nanoparticles because in the absence of crude, the results were better. The pH of aluminum oxide nanoparticles in aqueous solutions gave the lowest values ranging from 2.5 to 3.6 and this could partly be responsible for the good performance of the compound in trapping migrating fines in sand.