Supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) flooding is a widely used method in tertiary oil recovery; however, there are many challenges such as inefficient gas utilization, poor sweep efficiency and low oil recovery due to viscous fingering and gravity segregation. One recent development is the application of CO2 foam in order to reduce the CO2 mobility, especially in high permeability zones of the reservoir. However, the efficiency of the CO2 foam often decreases sharply during flooding as a result of contact with crude, adsorption of surfactants, high salinity in formation water and high reservoir temperature. Surfactant formulations which have better tolerance to these factors can greatly enhance the CO2 utilization, reduce the cost of surfactant, and improve the oil recovery. A series of formulations, including various surfactants and corresponding micro-emulsions, were evaluated as CO2 foaming agents in lab-based heterogeneous sandstone equipment at reservoir temperatures and pressures. This paper describes formulating high temperature CO2 foaming agent with co-surfactants and in a micro-emulsion system to improve crude, salt and temperature tolerance and minimize adsorption in order to place the foamer further into the formation.

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